Spanning the Chasm

I have read a lot of adoption quotes that basically say, “Adoption was never plan B.” For those of us who struggled through infertility, we do not have the luxury of making such claims. For some of us, not only was it not plan A, it was more like D, E or F. At some point, we had to make the leap from the hope of a biological child onto the road to adopting.

How does one make such a jump? Very thoughtfully!

For years, I had very mixed emotions about adopting. I desperately wanted to carry a child in my womb; to know what it was like to breastfeed; to see which characteristics each of us had passed on. I desperately did not want to look into my child’s eyes, knowing that I did not have all of the answers to their questions about their biological parents. I did not want to compete with the fantasy in my children’s heads about what might have been had adoption never occurred. I did not want to sit with my child and help them sort their grief about another mother in their life. Jody Landers’ quote rings so true – “Children born to another woman call me ‘mom’. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.” But, under all of this, was the desperation to be a mother.

And so, we continued to trudge through infertility treatments, riding the roller coaster month after month until a concept was introduced to me through a poem that I have never been able to find again – the children we are blessed with, no matter how they arrive into our family, are never really ours to begin with. All children are God’s, on loan to us for a short time, while we raise them to serve in His master plan for their life. I rewrote a poem to reflect the theme I was inspired by, which I will include as the next post.

This notion kept churning in my head. Did it really matter if the child that I was blessed with was biological or not, if really he/she was never “mine”? It was this thought that allowed me to make that leap, to abandon the pursuit of a biological child and embrace adoption.

Really, it was not one, singular, leap – more like a bouncing back and forth between the two, wanting to embrace adoption, but grieving the loss of my dreams of what “should have been”, until I was increasingly spending more time on the adoption side of the chasm. Even now, almost 7 years post hysterectomy and blessed with two children, the grief of being barren can tangle me back in its grips. I get jealous of pregnant women. I find it hard to attend baby showers. And, I still get infuriated by women complaining about the one thing in life I wanted most – to know what it was like to feel a child grow within me.

I had hoped, like I think a lot of families do, that adoption would cure me of my feelings regarding infertility. That is a common misconception. Adopting a child fills that hole in your heart until you feel so much love that it seems like your heart is going to burst. I was hoping I was exempt from Proverbs 30:15b-16, “There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, ‘Enough!’: the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which ever says, ‘Enough!’” But, no, adopting does not erase the grief of infertility. My intent is to dive deeper into this in a separate post because the depth and uniqueness of the grief deserves attention of its own.

I love the quote that I opened with and wish I knew who authored it. I would go and personally thank them because it has summed up this journey so well. I held tightly to the picture in my head of how it is “supposed to be.” It was only when I was able to let that go and embrace whatever God had in store for my life, that I was able to find peace. And, find out that His plan, as always, far exceeded my dreams! Thus the title of the blog – “From My Plan to His.”

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