I attended the Mother’s Day service with my parents at their church. I say their church even though it was the church home I grew up in. I knew the best gift that I could give my mother was to worship with her and the whole family so I surprised her and she loved it.
The preacher did a great job of acknowledging all aspects of Mother’s Day and pointed out that for many this was a challenging day. He proceeded to read a long list of Mother’s Day feelings including “For those that lost their mother…we mourn with you.” “For those that are expecting a baby…we celebrate with you.” But the two that hit home for me were:
“For those that are infertile….we wait and pray with you.”
“For those adoptive moms…we thank you and need you.”
I fit in a few other groups in his list, but these two struck me. I am an infertile and adoptive mom. How can I be an infertile mom? Well, I am. I adopted a sweet baby boy, but that does not take away the infertility. The sting still hurts. Do I dwell on it? No way! Life is too short and it is what it is, but adoption and all the joys of motherhood do not erase that my body is broken. It does not erase the memories of waiting, counting, testing, crying, asking, documenting etc. I get infertility. I get trying medications that made me crazy. I get asking doctors to do more testing while trying to stay calm. I get the two week wait where I put my life on hold. I also get giving up and just living. I get researching reproductive endocronologists and learning how to spell that. I get vials and vials of blood work. I get looking at an empty womb on a sonogram. I get asking my husband to endure more invasive tests only to learn he is 100% healthy. I get crying at night and all during the day. I get the dreaded phone call reporting the disappointing lab results and the private meeting saying “there is nothing else we can do”. I get taking off work because you can’t fake it anymore and you don’t want to try. I get praying and reading scripture for meaning and then hearing a song that leads you straight to adoption. I get infertility in an all too real way.
Thankfully, I also get adopting. I get filling out a inquiry sheet and then going in for an interview. I get the mounds of paperwork including criminal background checks, references, medical checkups, home studies, floor plans and safety plans of our home, submitting financial documents and pay check stubs and tax returns proving financial stability, the infamous adoption book that I labored for two months over. I get meeting home study groups and discussing with other adoptive parents. I get waiting and waiting and waiting. I get taking a phone call that would change our lives three weeks before the bably was born then preparing for a boy with only 20 days left. I get meeting a birthmother and then hoping she likes me and hoping she does not change her mind unless it is God’s will then I pray for her to parent wisely. I get going to the hospital for her planned Caesaren and then getting to know her for four days while we shared parenting responsibilities. I get not knowing who should get up when he cried or needed to be changed and then I get not having the words when it was time to leave the hospital. Watching her wince from her scars, seeing tears in her eyes and yet knowing we were driving four hours in the opposite direction. I get her anticipation every time I post a new pic or give a new update. I hold so much of her heart in my arms at night. I get all that, too.
At the end of the day I am blessed to be a mom no matter how it all happened. I am blessed to have empathy for the infertile in such a way that I can respond when asked what to say. So many don’t have the words or scriptures and I do. I can also respond when people ask about adoption and how it works, where do they start and what to expect. I can also relate to bottle feeding, putting a baby to bed, feeding solids, bathtime and everything baby because I have been there, too.
The good news is: I am blessed with the experiences that I have had and as we celebrate the one year anniversary of Callen’s adoption day…I am thankful for them all. I am especially grateful for a family that has accepted adoption and God’s plan for our lives with no hesitation and that his birthparents love us unconditionally and love to watch him grow. I am thankful for a husband that does not think twice about genetics when preparing to pass our full inheritance on to him. He is our son and he will get everything we work for and more. Our goal is to support him so that he can have it all. I am proud to be an infertile, adoptive mom because I am proud to be Callen’s mom.