Saturday, August 29, 2009

Called To ?

I have a few friends who have adopted. One has 2 children through domestic adoption and another is traveling to China September 10 to bring home her daughter. Both friends said they always 'felt called to adopt.' I don't know about the always part - maybe I put that in there. Not going into each of their stories, they each have a different path to this point. Whether through infertility treatment or deciding to not pursue that, each has a different road they took. And neither road looks like mine.

I, however, absolutely do not feel 'called to adopt.' What exactly am I called to do in this area? I have no idea.

This is a lonely path. No one I personally know has experienced multiple miscarriages AND infertility, with no living children. I know you ladies are out there, and I am grateful that you are. How I wish none of us had to seek each other out! How I wish we each never knew this thorny, boulder-filled road! What a sweet victory we will each experience when Jesus returns one day, to redeem this earth and each of us! Our stories will end vastly differently than they began.

We have the adoption paperwork sitting all organized in a designer hanging file box - one of those with pink and green flowers with brown accents. Each hanging file folder is different - one with stripes, one with flowers, some embossed. So creative, pretty - but I want nothing to do with any of it. It hurts my heart to begin this journey. Somehow I have to admit defeat. Somehow I have to admit that IVF didn't work, and though it's completely obvious, I just can't let it go.

A friend who went through this 2nd round of IVF with me and is pregnant is in a Bible study with me. Seeing her is SO difficult. She isn't showing much yet, but it's coming. Her face is much rounder, and while very nearly the only physical change I can see for now, even that pains me. She is a sweetheart, but when she told me she 'understands what I'm going through' I want to tell her, oh no you don't. Granted, she HAD infertility treatment, but for them, it was male factor infertility. Their first round of IVF was a success. She has never had a miscarriage, much less 2. I wanted so much to let her know how much she didn't understand. But I know that would be wrong.

And why does she have to understand, God asked me? I understand you, each of your thoughts, each of your tears, each of your pains, your confusion. Let me be the One who understands you. Ok, God, but sometimes I'm mad at You. That's ok, My child. I'm not leaving you, ever. But sometimes I want to leave You, God - but I won't. Don't let me.

Today my friend adopting from China had her baby shower at church. Eden, her daughter, is no longer a baby, but for my friend, having the shower meant so much. Waking up this morning, I was angry. My friend is celebrating a victory, but the more I feel her happiness, the sadder I get. So to avoid that, I just got angry. Anger and infertility go so well together, I'm afraid. I have been praying for help in this area, but so far, God is asking me to lean on Him, yet my anger remains.

I walked into the banquet hall, beautiful music playing and round tables laid out with pink decorations. I was carrying a fruit tray with the price sticker still on it. I was late, and they had to make room for my fruit. I had intended on leaving after dropping off the fruit and a gift card, the only baby or child gift I can manage to purchase at this time. For a moment, I thought, maybe I can stay, maybe I can do this. Then a mutual friend said to everyone 'oh, you're so lucky you look so good at your shower! My ankles were swollen, my belly was big, and I felt just awful at my shower!' That was my signal to exit.

I made it to my car without my lips trembling, but inside, I felt ashamed. Why couldn't I do this, why couldn't I stay? Somehow the shower being held at church felt more divinely-ordained than an ordinary shower. And yet, the very road my friend had taken to arrive here was the same road I felt 'not called' to take. How wrong did that make me?

My head felt like it was about to explode. All of my emotions were roiling, not to mention the fact that my hubby had to pick up the fruit tray because I was running late and bring it to the church for me. He was furious. Why couldn't he understand I didn't do this on purpose? When I told him my heart is grieving, he said, over what now? My hubby is really the sweetest man on earth, but he is still a man. He is lucky in that he doesn't FEEL all the feelings women feel who struggle with infertility. But dealing with the lack of harmony in this area is difficult.

So, I went to get a pedicure. There's not much that a pedicure won't 'cure.' I chose a coral-hued polish and waited. It was crowded, but nothing that a wrinkled In Style magazine from May wouldn't cure. I can read that stuff as the day is long, and be distracted I think, even from impending death. Listening to all the women (and 2 men) around me made me feel equal with them. There was no comparing child photos, child accomplishments, numbers of children, due dates. Just us and our nails.

And in that comparison, my nails looked pretty good.

1 comment:

  1. Is it weird for me to say that I love this post and hate it at the same time? I love how you've written it so beautifully and so honestly, but I hate that the pain is so real and often just below the surface. I'll say this: I haven't been brave enough to try to go to a baby shower for about 3 years now. They are so, so difficult. I can finally go see some friends in the hospital after a birth, and for me that's a stretch sometimes. I can also relate to your hesitations to pursue adoption. I think it's so hard to envision putting this whole thing to rest and moving on. Sometimes, though, that sounds pretty good. Thinking of you & sending hugs & prayers.