March 14, 2018

Thoughts on Infertility Seven Years Later

I've been thinking lately about how my journey through infertility has evolved over time. It's not something I have talked about much here on my blog (because that would require actually writing a blog post every now and then), and I feel like when I read back through posts I've written in the past, it doesn't do justice to where I am now.

Here's the reality. Infertility is still hard, but for very different reasons than it used to be. It is not hard because I still want to get pregnant. I can honestly say that I don't. The honest truth is that I am overwhelmed every single day with joy and amazement at the life I get to live and the family I get to have. Adoption was always part of our plan, but I have infertility to thank for the specific family I have now. Not getting pregnant was our miracle. In a world where it's hard not to get pregnant when you're having unprotected sex, we are among the small percentage who don't.
But the thing about infertility is that people never think not getting pregnant is the miracle. Everyone thinks the miracle in the middle of it is getting pregnant. That's the ideal. My story is the consolation prize.
Infertility isn't hard because I want something different or because I wish I wasn't infertile. I don't. It's hard because it's lonely. Even having reached a place where I am at peace with infertility and truly do not wish for "healing" from it, it is still isolating. There's a variety of reasons for this, including the myriad of pregnancy and birth stories exchanged regularly in female circles that I am on the outside of. Or the conversations about how much kids look like their parents, where people awkwardly try to come up with some random physical similarity between us and our kids, as if we feel like we're missing out on having children who look like us. Or the husbands who express how much more love and respect they have for their wives after seeing them carry and give birth to their children. All of these things can sting and leave me feeling awkward and isolated. But, the hardest part of it all is that the majority of people do not choose what we chose. They see us, they know us, they love our family and think adoption is great, but still they do not choose it. And sometimes, that sucks. Because my story is not the consolation prize. This life of adoption and being a transracial family is our passion. It's what I would choose over and over again any day over a "normal" family. And I am honored that God saw us worthy to live this story.
We want our kids to grow up in a church world where God's adoptive love isn't just a nice idea in theory. But, in the church world where 77% of Christians think Christians should adopt or foster, but only 5% actually do, that's pretty much all it is. So, when pregnancies are announced and simultaneously celebrated, it doesn't hurt because we want what they have. It hurts because sometimes it just feels like a confirmation that we live in a world that doesn't want what we have.  I've seen adoptions (including ours) announced without the same celebration, often times with people saying, "Can you not have your own kids?" or "Just watch. Now you'll get pregnant." Comments that just give further confirmation that adoption is seen as second best.

There is obviously nothing wrong with having or wanting biological children, and I'm not criticizing that choice. God created the world and humans to function in this way, and it is a beautiful thing. But, creation as it should have been fell, and God chose to redeem it through adoption. He sent his son to be adopted by an earthly family, he adopted us, and he told his people to adopt as well. He wove adoption all through his gospel story. Adoption is at the heart of who God is, and that means it sure as hell is not a consolation prize. I just wish more people knew that.
My family is a miracle. My body didn't need to be healed for a miracle to take place. My body didn't even need to be healed for healing to take place. God's power is not displayed only through supernatural physical healing. How dare we limit God's power to that. It takes a far more creative and powerful God to bring beauty and healing to brokenness that doesn't get a quick fix. Not getting the miracle we think we want can sometimes lead to miracles that are immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. I've got two to prove it.  The last thing I want is for people to assume I want something different or feel sorry for me because I don't have what most of the world has. I've never really liked being part of the majority anyways. And for anyone thinking about joining me in the 5%, life's pretty damn good over here.
Jesus tells a story about a farmer who finds a treasure hidden in a field that's not his own.  It is "with joy" this man sells everything he owns to buy this field.  When it comes to our adoption story, we feel like this man.  To focus on the pain of infertility at this point in our story is like making the farmer's sacrifice and loss the point of the parable, when the actual point of the story is the farmer finding real treasure. 

Yes, there is loss and pain in our story, but like this parable, the point of our story isn't what's been lost or given up.  The point of the story is what's been found. To some, this man's investment probably seemed risky and foolish.  Some may have even pitied him for his "loss."  But to pity the farmer, or to pity us, is to miss the point of the story...the treasure.


  1. Thank You for Sharing This. My Heart needed to Read this Today.

  2. This is exactly how we feel, and thank God that although infertility feels lonely at times, we really aren't completely alone in this world. I'm so thankful for the adoption community I've found both near and far!

  3. Perfect!! There is NOTHING second best about adoption!!! And your two are treasure indeed!! Beautifully written, Mindy!!!

  4. Preach. Love this. Our story is NOT second best or the consolation prize. Thank you for writing.

    1. Exactly! Thank you for reading! It's always nice to know others feel the same way!

  5. WOW!! Thank you for expressing this complex dynamic so perfectly and beautifully!

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  7. As the mom of two adopted daughters, I say "Amen, sister. Amen."

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