A friend of mine who has gone through infertility and adoption told me about a series of articles being published in the Des Moines Register this week – chronicling the story of a couple on their own infertility journey. I tend to avoid reading these sorts of stories, and brushed it aside for a few days. But last night, as I was waiting for Matt to finish getting ready for bed, I sat down with the iPad to check it out. Of course it brought back a great big wave of emotions, and as I grappled with them, I couldn't help but wish I hadn't read the story.
Like most couples struggling with infertility their story was wrought with ups and downs, miscarriages, disappointment, heartache, self-doubt, resilience, love, fear…rinse and repeat. And, like many stories you hear about, theirs is ultimately winding up with a crazy happy ending. This is where I struggle. Where the deep recesses of my heart cry out…why.not.us?
Reading the story, seeing the pictures and names of the nurses and doctors who were a part of our own story brought all those feelings right back up to the surface. I see their faces and the memories are so vivid. The many appointments. The high hopes we had. The months of disappointments. The amazing news of our first actual success. Hearing the heartbeat…and seeing the tiny flutter and KNOWING there was actually a baby growing inside me. ME. The complete and utter devastation as that tiny life was lost. And the emptiness that has remained ever since. My empty womb. I have pictures like these…what can I do with these? Should I delete them? Hide the evidence that we ever went through that? While moving forward with adoption gives us hope – it’s not a guarantee…and it doesn't wipe away all that we've been through to get to this point.
Of course, ultimately we are still hopeful that our story will have a happy ending as well. In fact I came home last night to see these flamingos in my neighbor’s yard. A few of them put their heads together and are organizing a neighborhood fundraiser to help support our adoption. Matt text me yesterday that there was a surprise waiting for me when I got home…and he was waiting for me in the garage, with a big smile on his face when I got there…big tears filled my eyes. We were humbled and touched by their generosity and support. All the love and support we've had from friends and family over the years is indescribable. We are deeply, deeply grateful for you all.
And while our story may not be on TV, it may not be featured in a newspaper article, it may not have a crazy happy ending…we move forward with hope and love and do our best to trust in the plan unfolding for us. Of course it’s always nice to read stories about people who've been through these struggles and come out with a baby in the end – I can’t help but hurt for those of us still waiting for that baby, for those who may have to accept a life without a baby. Those stories should be told too.