Sunday, May 18, 2014

Redeeming Love

The past 5 1/2 years have been riddled with anger, grief and confusion surrounding our infertility. I let those feelings steal precious time from our marriage and drive a wedge between God and myself that we have had to work at removing. We have to work at removing it so that we can try to get back to the place we were before, but with me having a different and new understanding of who God is. People would tell me that once my child was in my arms, I would know that it was never supposed to be any different, but at the time I had a hard time seeing that and believing it. As the years passed I began to think, "by this point I could have had a biological child AND been on our way to adopting"! I watched couples that got married around the same time as us or even after us have baby 1, 2 and some even 3. I couldn't for the life of me understand why it wasn't our turn. Why God had deemed us "unworthy" or as least less worthy of being parents.

I still don't believe that God has caused our infertility or that He wants to see us struggle and suffer. I don't believe that that kind of suffering is His will, but that we have brought it upon ourselves as a fallen people. If we were not a fallen people there would be no infertility and there would be no need for adoption. All children would have parents that could take care of them and that were always conceived out of love into loving and healthy homes. All couples would be able to have as many children as they pleased, when they pleased. But we are a fallen people and that has resulted in pain and suffering for many children and families.

The great redeeming factor is that God USES pain and suffering to draw us closer to Him and astound us with His blessings! God began healing my heart about a year ago. I still struggled with grief and anger and bitterness, but those feelings were slowly going away and I began to understand that God was not causing this suffering. He was using this time to prepare us for something great, something so much bigger than ourselves and something bigger than we could have ever imagined. I remember watching a Rob Bell video where Rob's son wanted a toy from the mall, but little did he know that his parents were later taking him across the street to get a dodge ball. A dodge ball he had wanted so badly! He just couldn't see what his parents were up to, he couldn't see what good thing they had in store for him. He just saw the present and how badly he thought he wanted this other toy. If his parents had gotten him this other, smaller toy, he probably wouldn't have gotten the dodge ball. Rob correlated this with what God does in our lives and how many times God wants to yell to us all that He has in store, if only we could understand that He has something great for us across the street. And if we knew what was across the street, we wouldn't be asking for the smaller thing.

I look at my boys and I can now see what was across the street. I can see that if we had gotten pregnant, we would not have them. If we had gotten pregnant, Elias may have closed his heart to adoption, or we at least wouldn't have been still pursuing it at this time in our lives. If we had gotten pregnant, we wouldn't have opened our hearts to TWO babies and a baby with Down syndrome that has now become our world. I can finally understand what people say when they say once they are in your arms, you will know it was never meant to be any different. I don't grieve not being pregnant with them, that wasn't my role to play. I'm sure there will be times when the pain of infertility will resurface, I certainly will never forget it, but it will be different because I will have a new understanding of God and how He works through suffering. I will have a new understanding of His love for us. I'm sure I will have times where I am impatient frustrated that I can't see across the street (by the way, 5 years is a long time to wait to cross the street), but I will be reminded of the greatness that can come when it is finally time for us to cross. God truly is good.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day

Considering this is my first mother's day as a mom to human babies, I feel like I would be doing an injustice to all of my avid readers to not squeeze in time to post this year about how I'm doing, feeling, and if my feelings regarding mother's day have changed. So here it is: this year I have actually looking forward to Mother's Day. I was able to walk through the store and not feel angry, annoyed or saddened by all of the Mother's Day paraphernalia. I have felt no feelings of dread leading up to this weekend, I even have a gift planned to make with the boys to commemorate our first Mother's Day. We are actually planning on making our family debut at church, as long as we can get out of the house on time, and I feel like we could go out and I would feel worthy of being celebrated for the first time. We will celebrate this weekend and feel happy about this new chapter of our lives and the precious gifts that have been entrusted to us.

As I write these things though, I still feel sad for the old me and for all of the individuals who will be hurting tomorrow. I feel sad for every woman who will go to church or walk into a restaurant and face the awkward "do I give her a flower or not" thought process that goes through the flower bearer's mind when all they want is to feel worthy of receiving that flower. They may even play the role of a mother every day that makes them worthy of that flower. I feel sad for the child who never knew his or her mother, or who have been adopted by an amazing family, but will never know his/her birthmother and why they were placed for adoption. I feel sad for every person who has lost a mother or wife, who has no one to buy a gift for, or the mother who has lost her children and has no one to buy her a gift. And of course I feel sad for the birthmother's who have placed a child for adoption that haven't experienced healing while at the same time I think of the one's that have experienced healing and still feel that sting of loss while also celebrating the woman that they chose for their child.

Tomorrow as I celebrate, I will be thinking of the boys' Mommy Kate. How she is an amazing mother to her two children at home, how she will always be a mother to our two boys and how she's a mother to them in way that I can never be. I will think of her selfless act and her obedience to God to give our boys more. I will celebrate her as well as myself tomorrow and we will forever share the gift of motherhood. Today is actually Birthmother's Day. I love that they have their own day, but I don't want them to be forgotten or viewed as unworthy to be celebrated on Mother's Day since they are indeed all mother's.

This weekend, please celebrate the women in your lives whether they have children or not, because they are worthy of being celebrated.