This morning, my wife put up an encouraging post on Facebook to celebrate National Infertility Awareness Week and I simply had to share it here:
This picture is much more than a cute little baby girl sleeper. It’s the first thing I bought for our daughter back in July of 2014, days after finding out a birth mother wanted us to be her parents. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. From early 2011-2014 we desired and prayed for a child. It was the most difficult season in my life. It was frustrating, isolating, lonely, painful, scary, and depressing.
I don’t like to think back on it often. It’s too painful. Could the Lord not hear our cries for a child? I knew he could, but I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t answer the way we wanted.
Of course now we know the “whys.” Two (or someday more) beautiful reasons why. If you’re in the middle of dealing with infertility, doctor visits, being asked when you’ll start a family, loneliness, and all the “whys,” I am so sorry.
But now I can say something I never thought I would. I am thankful for infertility. Without it, I wouldn’t have had to stop this post 5 times to have a conversation with my 3 year old who never stops talking. 🙃 Or to wipe the spit up off of my 5 month old that somehow spits more out than he ate in the first place.
I am thankful for infertility because it led me to a job that I love more than anything I’ve ever done. I’m thankful for infertility because our marriage is stronger.
I’m thankful for infertility because it led me to friendships and an unspoken connection with so many women out there. A sisterhood of strong women, mothers, if some only in their hearts.
I’m thankful for infertility because of how God spoke to me during that time and the years to follow. Reminding me that I am never alone and His plans are indeed greater than my own.
I’m thankful because it led me to adoption and embryo adoption and the extended relationships that come with that.
Some of you reading this have been there. Some of you are there now. And some of you will be there one day in the future. If there’s anything I would have done differently if would be to tell someone sooner. Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out. Tell your family. Tell a friend. They may not understand what it’s like, but hopefully you will find support there.
Family members and friends of those facing infertility, don’t be afraid to ask how they’re doing. They may feel like talking, they may not. But ask. And pray. And be understanding. Support them in whatever choice they make. I know this can be difficult for the family members too when things don’t go as planned, but one day you may look back and be thankful for how things turn out also.
Lastly, I’d be happy to listen to anyone in the middle of this struggle and pray with you.