Is infertility a punishment?
I never saw it that way. Maybe because of the way I relate to God. The way I see Him is through the lens of forgiveness and immeasurable love. I have lived my youth bravely and honestly, and pure to the best of my ability. But as far as sin goes, we are all sinners. I just don’t see a direct correlation between infertility and punishment. This clarity has given me a timely resolve on the matter. I feel grateful that God eventually closed the conceiving door with a thump. My husband was diagnosed with a very common form of cancer in his age group. It was discovered during the investigations (tedious and a drag) motivated by us not getting pregnant.
My heart, bruised and confused, remained open to hearing what God’s plan was with us. Adoption was never on my radar. But it quickly appeared. I had a hard time talking about adoption to others, even those who were good sports, eager and helpful. I couldn’t quite verbalize our fears and questions. I didn’t like the excitement it would create, in me and in others. It felt premature. I wanted to stay grounded. And the planning, the hoping of adoption shook my ground. I am also organized and pragmatic. Financially adoption was prohibiting for us in California. We were both working full time, renting, and had just finally paid off the Art School (in San Francisco) debt. Beyond the process of getting to the adoption finish line, I couldn’t picture parenting all of a sudden an older child in California.
It took me two years to mull it over. We considered adoption and put it on the back burner. We prayed that God would lead the way. That He would open doors and make the decision clear to us. I didn’t think it would be so obvious at some point. We ended up moving to Cluj Napoca a few winters ago. The uprooting from Northern California and replanting in Transylvania took us half a year of training replacements at work, building solid relationships with design clients who were willing to work with us across the Pond, selling cars and furniture. We did it though.
After we moved, we waited another year, mandated by law, before applying to be certified as adoptive parents. A year of traveling, of freedom, of rest. We got a taste of our new life well-lived in simplicity, while being self managed. During that time I have asked myself many-many times if we’re actually ready to do this, to pursue adoption even with all the life investments thus far. I’ve asked myself this question in earnest, because I knew it won’t be easy at first, or maybe for a long time. Because of that I think we were more realist, grounded and ready than the psychologist and social workers gave us credit at first. It was their prerogative to question everyone. But I also took everything at face value and I trusted with my gut and my heart the journey and the people peppered through along the way.
I’ve been thinking. I don’t know what comes first. If the journey transforms the adoptive parents or they are strong and special way beforehand. But I am tempted to believe that God gives such a gift and challenge to people He choose in a special way. In hindsight I see how God prepared me to be different and embrace it. Adoption is a lifetime journey. I wondered if I have what it takes to enter the arena, to enter the adoption world and stay in it forever, because my kids will always have adoption as part of their story.
Every story is different. Every kid is unique. Worrying about how God will work things out for you, when watching hundreds of happy adoptive families, know that your story will be and is special. Keep walking by faith.
You infertility, your spouse’s infertility, are not up for debate. It is something you will have to forgive yourself for, while in the same breath understand it is not your fault. It’s simply a reality and you can make the best of it.
I had finally joined the mothers club, the mothers meetings. Anyway, I did it because I needed communities of faith with shared interests. Yet I felt out of place, like fallen out of the sky. I thought that they were so much better equipped to be mothers compared to me. But over time, as I filled my own shoes comfortably (frankly I now quite enjoy motherhood) I realized that new mothers are just as scared and clueless as I was at first. I just happened to be a new mother to an older child. And the “clubs” I imagined are communities of normal people who all strive to learn, to grow, to not be lonely in motherhood. I’m not sure anyone thinks of how special and lucky they are to have “joined the club”.
Parenting can be isolating. It is definitely exhausting. And because somewhere something is done right, the adoptive parents I know are the most well prepared, with reality checks, training and ongoing resources, checkins and a plan. Granted, we have our own bonus lifetime challenges. But it all balances out in the end.
To tell a young wife or husband that infertility is not the end of the world, it might sound like the scary music in the most terrifying movie. Nobody really wants to talk about infertility or adoption. But these two don’t even need to be a pair. If only our hearts and minds would be open to adoption before our arms are twisted to even consider adoption… It is possible that God uses our heart’s deep desire to nurture children, to call us to live a greater story than we could have ever imagined.