On My Mind: Difficult and Painful Roads
In April, a story appeared online in a local newspaper about me, my book, and the Utah Infertility Awareness Event which I organized. After I read the first few public responses to the article, I decided that it was a waste of time to sit and read each response. Many of them were far from sensitive and instead of kindness, I found a lack of understanding and respect for the difficulty of trial. One comment has caused me explore my feelings over the past several months. And, between this exploration and recent events in my life, I have come to a new conclusion. This conclusion is one that I would like to share with you…
Any road taken toward family building is a difficult and often painful road.
Last fall, I told you about my friend (read here and here) who, after 8 years of marriage, decided to entertain in vitro fertilization (IVF). Now, this path was a path chosen after prayer consideration, financial preparation, and after other options had proven unsuccessful. She and her husband felt strongly that IVF was the route they needed to take. After she and her husband completed the IVF cycle, she had a positive pregnancy test. Excitement filled the air. When I spoke to her, a new happiness, a feeling of joy filled every word. I felt as though she was happy after 8 very long and extremely dark years. She was a different person, transformed by witnessing a miracle she had hoped, prayed, and waited for. Celebrations and preparations began, and it was very much welcomed! I cannot express my relief and MY joy in being able to see her so happy. Not long after those joyful moments, tests showed that even though there was an egg sac, it did not contain an embryo. The hope dwindled, the joy diminished, and sadness, even darker than before, returned. Her miracle had turned into another devastation. My heart broke.
My other friend has been working through the process of adoption for quite some time. She and her husband decided on adopting after a long line of other disappointments with her health, including the passing of their unborn child. After many interim blessings and apparent miracles, they were chosen by a birth mother. They watched many details fall into place in such a way that they were assured that this was the right thing for everyone involved. Just as with my friend who decided to go through IVF, excitement filled the air. When I spoke to her, everything about her had changed: new happiness, new joy. She, too, had been transformed by witnessing a miracle…one she had hoped, prayed, and waited for. I was thrilled beyond expression!!
After she held her little baby girl in her arms, my friend knew with a mother’s heart that this was her daughter. She felt complete and she felt absolute joy. Days later, with the unexpected advent of the birth father contesting the adoption, this sweet baby girl was taken from her. She was reintroduced to sorrow, a questioning heart, and deep pain. My heart broke.
Yes, adoptions work out every day as do cycles of IVF, IUI, surgeries, and hormone therapies. It is unfair for any of us to say one path is easier or more right. Each path is expensive in every sense of the term. Each path involves decisions which you sometimes wonder why you have been chosen to make. Each path involves sacrifice. Each path encourages you to look at life in a different way. Each path causes you to explore the depth of your spirituality and your ability to trust in the Lord with every power you possess.
I encourage each of us to reach out in greater love and strive to understand the path our friends are walking. Let us not judge but rather offer love and support, especially when the pathway seems particularly difficult and devastating. If you are the one walking the hard road, I offer you all the comfort I can give you. My heart hurts to hear of pain and suffering. I shed tears when I think of what you are experiencing. May you be buoyed up and strengthened!
4 July 2010