"If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up." ~J.M. Power (Mama Kat’s Weekly Writing Prompt)
We were made to procreate. God placed in each living being an instinctual desire to re-create and continue the species. Humans being were further given the opportunity to make choices about procreation. We can choose to do so or not to do so. We are not just driven by instincts. We can logically and personally decide if we want to bring forth children or remain child-free.
Except when you can’t. What most take for granted for some of us is unattainable. You don’t really understand the power of that choice until you don’t have it. Infertility is cruel and random. You mostly don’t think about it until it invades your life, turns it upside down, and takes over your dreams.
I had the normal dreams of most young girls. I would go to college, get an education, find a job, marry my dream man, have children, live happily ever after. As I was growing up life seemed to go just as planned. College and graduate school, check. Job, check. Man of my dreams, check.
The next logical step for us was to have a baby. And so we began to dream. Oh, how we dreamt. We dreamt of a little girl with my curly hair and Matt’s green eyes. We dreamt of a little boy with my energy and Matt’s introspective personality. We dreamt as we planned, timed, checked, and counted days.
We kept dreaming as weeks turned into months and months turned into years. All around me my friends would get pregnant and become moms. And I prayed, and hoped, and mostly dreamt. We continued dreaming while the doctors tested and prodded. We kept planning as they took samples and made diagnoses.
Twice we thought the dream would finally come true and twice we were disappointed by medical science. But we could not stop dreaming of the little girl and the little boy for we thought if we stopped dreaming we would stop living. Infertility consumes you. It becomes the nightmare that kills the dreams.
And I moved as in a fog. Dreaming of the children I couldn’t have. Dreaming of the mother I could not be. And living only medical nightmares.
One day when all the science we were morally and ethically willing to endure was exhausted I was faced with two choices: to allow the nightmare to drag me deeper into a dark obsession where I compromised my beliefs of right and wrong in pursuit of this elusive dream, or to shake myself awake and allow the Dream-Giver to re-shape my reality and my hopes. So I woke up.
I woke up to the reality that there are many ways to make a family. That the little girl I was dreaming about for so long was not in me, but out there. That she would have beautiful eyes, brown, not green. That she would have curly hair, not like mine, but beautiful anyway. That she would not grow in my womb but I would love her madly nonetheless.
And wide-awake we filled the paperwork, we went through the homestudy, we received the phone call. Wide-awake we chose her, we picked her up, we made her ours. And a little while later, wide-awake we brought her little brother home the same way. A boy with energy to spare and as laid back as a peaceful stream. Wide-awake we took charge of our dreams and made them come true, with God’s amazing help and grace.
I don’t believe adoption is for everyone. It is not to be entered upon lightly for it can be a painful, bitter-sweet process. It is not second best and it is not a last resort. For us it was a God-given calling and the reality that made our dreams come true. For some of my dear friends dealing with this monster we "affectionately" call IF, their dreams have and will be made reality with the help of the doctors. Others have and will make the choice to re-define their dreams and dream up a new way of living, child-free. But for us, it took waking up from our infertility nightmare to realize our two dreams were out there somewhere waiting for us to find them.