June 5, 2012

Infertility, You Lost Again

There was a time when I used to think about infertility a lot. Every month, in fact. Each time the stick was negative, each time I was injected with horrible hormones that made me crazy, each time my friends would announce yet another pregnancy, I would remember. Time after time. Year after year.

One day we decided infertility would no longer define us and we turned our hearts to adoption. Quickly came Isabel and soon after, Noah. In the busy-ness of parenting, infertility became an old nightmare that no longer occupied my thoughts or my heart.

And yet this last year I have been reminded that no matter how long I’ve been a parent, no matter how many children I have, no matter how much I look, sound, and act like any other mom, when it comes to growing my family I am still just that: infertile. If I want another child I have two choices: expensive medical procedures that have no guarantee to work or a very complicated, intrusive, prolonged adoption process. And the frustrations of each choice again remind me:

You. Are. Infertile.

So, we chose to adopt again. We sent the paperwork and we opened ourselves to being scrutinized in ways no biological parent ever is. We have to prove we are good parents. We have to show we have the finances necessary. We have to convince that our marriage is strong in every way. We even have to submit to psychological evaluations to make sure we are of sound mind. Despite the fact that we already have two well-adjusted children at home. Despite the fact that the same agency that twice trusted us is now handling this adoption. And the complexity of this process insists:

You. Are. Infertile

We joyfully announced our decision to the world. And our motives were questioned. We were met with doubt. We were asked about our choice to adopt internationally rather than “take care of the children right here in our land.” We were asked about our discontent with having a family of four. We want three children, not twenty and we have saved, we have prayed, we have made this decision carefully. 

We were questioned even as we celebrated the baby-shower of a 16-year old who is keeping her baby and whose family, after the initial shock and disappointment, joyfully awaits the new life that will come to brighten their clan. And the lack of support for us, seasoned and equipped parents, whispers loudly:

You. Are. Infertile

But, infertility, you will not define me yet. You have forced me to take a different path than the one I anticipated. You have brought me down a journey I did not ask to take. But you have met a bigger foe. You have met the One who still works for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. You have met the One who took my inability to conceive and turned it into full arms and joy and laughter. You are battling against the One who called us to search and reach for a child we have not yet met,  but whose name is already written in our story. You will never win against the One whose plans for us are meant for hope and a future.  You have given ashes to the One who knows how to exchange them for beauty. 

You lost the battle, infertility, because I am the mother of three. 

**Linking up with Jen for SDG this week, and with Ann for Pages in Our Heritage of Faith**