It’s National Infertility Awareness Week!
Did you know that infertility impacts 1 in 8 couples? Are you (or someone you love) journeying through miscarriage, barrenness, loss or adoption?
Today I have the joy of sharing my infertility and adoption story over at Sarah’s Laughter.
Click here to read my story posted on Sarah’s Laughter.
Please share this post to spread the good news that YOU ARE NOT ALONE on your infertility journey.
A Baby Step
Have you heard that old saying, A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step? Well, I remember taking that one step. I guess it was more of a baby step. Let me tell you the story.
My husband and I had arrived extra early and circled the block. I fidgeted in the passenger seat while anxiously watching the minutes pass. It was finally time. We pulled up to the curb of an attractive single-level home. Towering palms on the property danced in the balmy breeze. I double checked the address. This was it.
I pushed open my car door. My legs had turned into Jell-O. I looked like a wobbly youngster learning to walk. My baby steps steadied once I grasped my husband’s hand. With each footstep down that narrow path my heart boomed louder. I knocked on the front door. It opened to kind, unfamiliar faces that beckoned us to come in.
I slipped off my work worn pumps and placed them beside the neat row of shoes. My hot feet met the cool floor and a wave of calmness washed over me. I perched myself on a sofa next to my husband and took a deep breath. In that holy hush, I prayed. My clammy palms tingled with anticipation. I knew something extraordinary was about to happen in that living room. And indeed, on that very evening our prayers would finally be answered.
In less than an hour, we waded through awkward introductions and bravely plunged into the deep stuff. They shared a story about an unexpected pregnancy. We shared our story about unexpected infertility. Somehow the magnetic force of heartache and hope had drawn us to the journey of adoption. Tears and laughter knitted our hearts together in that cozy living room.
We marveled at the details of this miraculous meeting. A father, a mother and their expecting daughter had traveled cross-country for a relaxing vacation. The final days of their trip, they began the search to find adoptive parents for the unborn babe carried for seven months.
They perused hundreds of online adoption profiles from couples all over the country, but when they found one, they stopped searching. Low and behold, the couple they were considering lived just minutes away from their vacation destination—that couple was my husband and me. Our adoption agency had promptly contacted us and arranged this providential meeting.
Before their trip ended, we met again for dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant. Fear, inadequacy, and all those agonizing years of waiting vanished as we slurped steamy soup and shared platefuls of curried cuisine. This new chapter in our lives read like a storybook fairy tale. We couldn’t believe our dreams of parenthood were coming true. And before the clock struck midnight, we received the joyous news that we’d be the parents of a baby boy in just two more months.
The flurry of preparations began. We shared the good news with friends and family. After two showers, our cozy condo was filled with everything you need to bring home a baby.
A couple weeks before the due date, we flew with a burgeoning baby bag to the town of our birth mom. Right from the start, we had discussed plans for an open adoption. Our birth mom had even invited us to stay as guests in her apartment. During our stay, we became a family doing simple things together–preparing meals, watching TV, going to church and running errands. On one particular evening after supper and a game of Jinga, we all picked the baby’s name.
Nothing could have prepared me for the mixture of emotions I felt the day our son was born. Our family had grown not just by one, but we had an extended family (our son’s birth mom as well as her father and her mother). After this miraculous answer to prayer, I didn’t expect another.
I had worked for years in Corporate America. And I was eager to accept my new “job” as a full time, stay-at-home mom. However, this new position was filled with challenges I never imagined. I was overwhelmed by endless loads of laundry and I struggled to make dinner each night. I did not any way, shape or form feel qualified for motherhood or homemaking. Then, I received the most shocking assignment of all—starting a ministry.
At this point in my life, my husband and I had bravely conquered the infertility beast; we had healed from the devastating news that we would never conceive; and we had crossed the finish line of our adoption journey. We were busy parents.
Then right in the middle of this major transition, I lost a good friend and former co-worker. She not only bravely battled cancer, but she also experienced the sting of infertility. She never had children. And as I grieved, this unexplainable desire to start an infertility support group took root in my heart with intensity.
First, I thought to myself, I must be going crazy. I was basically the last person on this planet that would ever be called to start a support group. But much to my surprise, when I shared my crazy idea with my husband and my closest friends they cheered me on. In fact, the few people that I had the guts to tell said, “That’s a GREAT idea! You just HAVE to do this!”
Then I did it. I emailed my very first prayer request to Sarah’s Laughter (www.sarahs-laughter.com). I still have that email.
A multitude of events followed. But the short-and-sweet version is that I talked with the founder of Sarah’s Laughter for the first time on Labor Day in 2012. I listened intently and scribbled notes as we chatted on the phone. I knew this was another history-making day. That single conversation marked the conception of A.B.I.D.E. Ministry (www.abideministry.blogspot.com) and the first infertility support group was born just 9 months later.
This year, my son is six years old and A.B.I.D.E. Ministry turned two. My life has not been a leisurely walk-in-the-park, but instead a rocky road filled with breathtaking peaks and valleys of sorrow. And I have no idea what adventure is just around the bend. Right now, I can only guess about the possibilities. However, there is one thing I can almost guarantee. When that next door-of-opportunity opens, I know I will feel under qualified, have unanswered questions, be completely overwhelmed, but all I have to do is take one single step. A baby step.
This is my life’s version of that old saying: A journey of a thousand miles begins with one baby step.
Want to receive encouraging emails from Sarah’s Laughter Monday through Friday?
They are filled with encouraging stories of triumph over impossible medical situations, Biblical accounts of infertility, God’s miraculous interventions, plus testimonies of couples who know the devastation of infertility and loss.
Find out more about Sarah’s Laughter: Christian Support for Infertility & Child Loss at http://www.sarahs-laughter.com/
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“There is a time for everything, and a S E A S O N for every activity under the heavens…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV, emphasis added)