Monday, January 26, 2015

What I Wish You Knew About Adoption and Infertility {Part 1}

Today starts a three part series about adoption and infertility. Too often we address infertility or adoption singularly and not in a broader context of a family desiring to grow their family. Not every family who decides to adopt has suffered with infertility. In my experience, a little more than half of the families I work with have struggled with some form of infertility. I wanted to start a conversation about the topic and the response I received was overwhelming. Families who were eager to share their experiences, their grief, and even their hope. So much so, that I need a week to to cover it all.

Infertility is a heartbreaking part of so many couple's lives. I haven't met one woman who doesn't remember exactly where she was when she received the news of a devastating diagnosis, and often remembers the exact words her doctor spoke. 

I've asked some of my families to share their thoughts, their stories, and their hearts over the next few days about their journey through infertility and adoption. Here's their thoughts on the pain of infertility...

I so wish people had a better understanding of the loss you feel with infertility. It's a loss that both HUSBAND and WIFE need to grieve.  - Amy

There is hope for the grief/sadness caused by infertility to pass. I remember saying to a friend, somewhat in surprise, that I truly felt no sadness anymore about our infertility. I want nothing different than our son and his story. She wisely said, "God placed a hole in your heart the shape of [our son] and now it is filled." … I learned God can bring a lot of healing and peace through his plans.  - Meagan

Now that we have our daughter I am so glad God's plans were BETTER than what I had thought they would be. We always wanted to adopt (long before I knew about our infertility) but we needed to give ourselves the time to heal and process and move forward.  - Ashley

Going through infertility was like living life on slow motion. Every treatment and every month took 3 times longer than it should have. We were sad ALL the time. Now that we have our son, it's like life is on fast forward and going by WAY too fast. This is what happiness feels like!   - Jessica

Sometimes the journey feels so lonely!  - Rosie

We adopted our first daughter 4 and a half years ago and she is absolutely the apple of our eyes. Having said that, I would like to share that infertility is something that I don't think you ever 'get over' It is still a nagging ache in my heart…  - Denise

I often think to myself "what a great honor that God has chosen us to walk the path of adoption! I can't believe he finds us worthy to do such an amazing thing!" It's so humbling! But, I know that I will never fully heal from the loss of not being able to carry a child inside of me. I wish I too could feel all of the aspects of pregnancy. People do belittle our journeys and it's hard to not let their words cut us deeply.  - Amy

I'm totally content with our family and adoption was certainly not 'second best' for us. However, it doesn't mean that infertility doesn't still have it's moments of 'sting' or that I don't have the desire to know what's it's like to have someone kick my belly from the inside. It doesn't mean that I don't long to know what labor is like however painful it may be.  - Amanda

Infertility. The ever-present elephant in the room. Your family sees it, but doesn't quite know what to say. You see it and wonder if anyone feels your pain. God sees it. He allows it. He wrote it for my family. He wrote it after we had our first daughter. And let me tell you, even though we had a biological child and experienced pregnancy, I had some big words for Him… I was pouring out my heart to Him, mostly groanings deep within. He heard Hannah, right? Surely He'd hear me, too, right? I know He heard me. But His answer wasn't the one I wanted to hear, but the one that would forever reshape me… I am forever grateful that He works in ways that I never could have dreamed.  - Kate

I thought I would forever carry with me the void of never physically feeling a baby grow inside of my belly...but God miraculously healed that desire. He literally filled that void through our experience of feeling our love grow in our hearts for our boys from Ethiopia. Just as is also happening now for Baby Sis (domestic adoption). "You may not have grown in my belly, but you grew in my heart" is SO TRUE! That aching, dreaming, praying, anticipating still occurs whether that baby grows in your belly or your heart!  - Debbie

Come back later this week for more on how others add to the pain of infertility and the choice to adopt.


  1. Oh. I love this article. I feel like I felt every single bit of this article at one point or another. I remember the exact moment of the news of not being able to have my own children, I remember everything about that day and I remember the most, having to tell my fiance then, DJ, now husband. The disappointment, the hurt, the hate for all of those people that didn't give a shit about their children but kept having one after another and the heartache of never being able to hold my own little baby in my arms, checking fingers and toes and loving the way those little eyelashes grew. Then going through fertility treatments is a huge waiting game and it's something that not many people can even begin to understand. Going through the medication, injections, blood work month after month after month, the doctors appointments, especially those ones when your sitting in the waiting room FULL of pregnant teenagers that are talking about how they got high last weekend and they can't wait for their kids to be born so they can be back to their carefree "normal" life and you want to scream at them...and you accidentally do because your hormones are CRAZY...whoops! Then there's the ovulation tests 2 times a day, pregnancy tests, vitamins and blah blah blah. The scheduling of EVERYTHING. The hormones that are being pumped in your body and the way they take you over. It's disgusting. It takes such a toll on your body and your relationship. Not just your relationship with your significant other, but your relationship with YOURSELF and the people around you. If I could have curled up and hid form everyone I would have. I hated myself. I hated myself for not being able to give DJ a child, I hated myself for putting myself through everything that I did for the last 10 years for it just to "end" like this, I hated myself for not being able to be the one and only thing I have EVER wanted to be, a Mother. I have always felt that we were put here to have children and mold them to make society better, the thought of not being able to do that was absolutely heartbreaking. I always thought of that as an "end", it wasn't, it was only the beginning. March 27th, 2013 changed ALL of that. That very moment that I was asked about that baby in her belly, I stopped. I stopped everything. I stopped treatment 2 days later, I stopped hating myself, I stopped telling DJ that if he didn't want to be with me anymore it was okay, I stopped the battle with my heart and head, it all just stopped. I stopped hiding, I stopped being sad and mad, I stopped it all. I honestly don't think about the fact that I can't have my own birth children anymore. I have everything I need right here. My son is the most amazing little human in this WHOLE WIDE WORLD. He is my heart and soul. Nobody can take that away now. Everyone asks us if we will continue to "try" to have kids, well, we will never stop having sex lol...but to start all that fertility nonsense again, no. I don't think so. We don't need anything more. If the opportunity came to adopt again, would we? If the circumstances were what we were comfortable with, of course! I would LOVE for Bradyn to be a big brother, but again, if that doesn't's perfectly, perfect. He will have amazing cousins that he can have that relationship with. Apparently someone else had a better plan for us and we are totally MORE than okay with that.


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