Friday, March 26, 2010

A glimpse from "the other side"

I often wonder how I will react if and when that day comes when I am on "the other side." You know...if the day comes when we either give birth to a baby or receive one in love through adoption or foster care. I think about that a lot, especially when I'm trying to sift through my thoughts and emotions at this stage in the journey (8 months post surgery and no conception). Would I look back at this time in the valley of tears and wonder why I had been so sad? Would I feel frustrated that I had wasted so much time worrying about conceiving? Would I be embarassed by the numerous emotional outbreaks and tantrums when I felt that life wasn't fair? Or would I be proud of me and the way I held up under the pressure and sorrow? What would I be happy with the way I had carried this cross? The answer is, I just don't know. I'm not there yet. What I do know is that I'm doing the best I can. I think we all are, aren't we? We're doing our best to make it day by day, and that's all anyone can ask of us. This entire journey is a growing process...and even if we would never have chosen it for ourselves, I would imagine that most of us have learned things along the way, and have grown stronger and holier (which is what really counts!!). But still, every so often, I come back to the question, if I were on "the other side" what would I say to me now? What advice would I give?

Karey (AllYouWhoHope) had a beautiful reflective post on just this topic recently and I wanted to share it here as well because she provides that insight from the "others side" that I have been curious to know. After adopting her baby girl Clara, Karey talks about what she would say to her former self. You can read the post it it's entirety here, but here are the parts that touched me so deeply.

I wish I would have had more of an opportunity to really reflect on all that has happened. There is just so much. So many angles I need to reflect upon. So much gratitude. So much love for baby Clara. For all of you.I wish I could get it all down and out of my head. There is just so much I want to say. I still want to write down the entire story of how all this happened. I want to talk about my complete joy of becoming a mother and how it is everything I dreamed it would be and more. How it was worth the battle it took to get here. I want to talk about how it has changed my struggle with infertility. I want to write to those who are considering adoption but wondering if it will fill the void in their hearts left by their inability to conceive. I will hopefully get to some of that in the days to come...

...The other thing I often reflect on is my former self. Boy, do I want to hug her. I'm not ashamed of the way I reacted to my infertility in the past, before the adoption. I always used to say that if I ever became a mother, that I wouldn't regret my actions, and I don't. I did the best I could. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. It was as if someone was holding my head under water and I was fighting for air every. single. day.I don't have to tell all of you about that. But my point is that just because I am arguably on "the other side" now, that doesn't mean that I am going to be hard on my former self. Just the opposite, actually. That person I used to be tried hard. She fought. She hung on and endured some pretty rough crap. She didn't know if it would ever end. She assumed it wouldn't.My heart breaks for her and I tear up just thinking about it, and about all of you who are still fighting. It's so easy for me to say, "hang on! Your time will come!" So I won't. I didn't want to hear it then, and you might not want to hear it now. I will just keep praying for all of you every day, that your time is just around the corner. I want all of you to be as happy as I am. I wish I could make it happen for every single one of you.In adoration today, Clara's first time, I came across a passage that summed up my feelings exactly. I loved it as soon as I started reading it and it just got better and better as it went on. Then, I read in the notes that the psalmist was recently delivered from suffering himself. How fitting. I especially like this part near the end:

When the just cry out, the LORD hears and rescues them from all distress.The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.Many are the troubles of the just, but the LORD delivers from them all.God watches over all their bones; not a one shall be broken.

The thought of God watching over all our bones comforts me. He is watching over every single one of us, even those of us whose ovaries don't work. And, like this psalmist, I want to tell my former self, and all of you, to hold on and trust in the Lord. He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those whose spirit is crushed.

Thank you Karey for this glimpse from "the other side"! It was just what I needed to hear. It acknowledged the depth of our suffering [someone holding our heads under water and we are fighting for air every. single. day] and validated us in the way we carry the cross...that while we may not always carrying it willingly or with beauty we do the best we can [We try hard. we fight. We hang on and endure some pretty rough crap]. And finally, her post reminds those of us still childless, that infertility is not an end. It feels like it sometimes [we don't know if it will ever end...we assume that it won't], but our physical barenness could be lifted at anytime and we do not know the plans that God has for us. Thank you Karey, for providing the insights and the comforting words that I too might share with my former self if I someday were on "the other side."

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11

1 comment:

  1. That is wonderful that some women's journey's end with a baby either by giving birth or by adoption. They should and do feel blessed. However, my journey has ended with being childless. It is what it is. I'm no longer raising my fists at God asking "Why me?" He has His reasons...and I have to just ask that and continue on this path of life He wants of me. I've learned (and so had my dh) to accept His plan for us. Mind you, we are happy and content. We love each other and have come to realize the many blessing WE DO HAVE! A child does not guarantee life long happiness...but following God's will can. THere will always be suffering no matter if there are children in our lives or not. That's life. I don't know...I find it interesting that AFTER a women has a baby through adoption or birth...the persepective changes and they share that perspective hoping to what? Heal our still IF hearts? I have not yet been able to find comfort in their words...I just think "Okay, now that you have a child, it's so easy for you to say it was worth the hardships of IF etc." Great! Great for you! But knowing I'm never going to have children...I just can't find comfort in other's stories. I'm happy they have moved on...however I feel a disconnect. I do, however, find some comfort in other childless couples words...seeing and hearing their stories of happiness and having purpose and the like...that comforts me. I guess it's that connection. I guess I no longer hold out much hope on a child of our own...I just hope we can stay happy and love our lives. One day and one prayer at a far so good!

    Sorry to babble...that is great that you found comfort in Karey's words...but I just think it's so easy for someone to HAS a child already to say all of that. I don't know.

    Trust's tough (very, very, very) to give up the dreams of having a child...I used to read the words of happy mothers hoping it would be me one day sharing such stories...however..that dream is gone and I'm dreaming about other things. I'm praying for you and your dh. I pray one day your dreams come true and prayers are answered. God bless.

    I haven't listened to your talk yet..maybe this weekend. I've been busy. :)

    One more thought..I know blah, blah, blah, as much as I have felt a disconnect with women who were IF but now have a baby...they feel a disconnect with me. Most of those women no longer read or comment on my blog. Interesting. It is what it is.