Infertility. It' sting is jolting. It's ache can be paralyzing. It has the strong potential to isolate those it is afflicting. Its burden causes stretch marks on the soul - so much so you can feel like you may explode. The strongest heart can fall to her knees in the agony of its contractions. The intensity of its pain can cause an immediate c-section of the heart to be needed or the mother wannabe's life could be compromised.
I have had cancer three times and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. From my experience, the pain of cancer cannot hold a candlestick to the emotional toll of infertility. It has felt, at certain times, almost unbearable.
It is indeed and unseen struggle. Being a woman of childbearing age, it is so common for friends and family to have baby announcements what can feel like, on a weekly basis. Social media posts showcasing adorable children around the holidays can feel like a knife in a wound. I had to ban myself from social media during the heat of my grieving process.
Women with infertility will testify with me that it truly has nothing to do with a lack of joy for the blessings of children our loved ones are experiencing. But it is true that the ache in your own soul is magnified when you are reminded of this very real loss that you see others enjoying.
Yesterday, on the Today show my heart was moved for Dylan. She was so full of grace as she shared her story, and celebrated with Jenna about their pregnancy news. As I watched her, my heart was moved to compassion. I could also simulatneously relate to the joy I saw on Hoda's face of becoming a mother to her second adoptive child as her home videos were played.
I am an adoptive mother too. My daughter, born in Ethiopia, came home to my husband and I 11 months ago. She is our angel. Our joy. Our delight.
I like to clarify for people who have never struggled through infertility that the joy of adoption and the joy of having a child biologically are two separate dreams. They are EQUALLY beautiful and special, but they are not interchangeable. There are many couples who can have biological children and still choose to adopt. Likewise, there are many couples who cannot have biological children but have no desire to adopt. Both having a child from your womb and adopting a child induce parenthood, but they are separate, glorious dreams.
I really wanted both dreams to come true for me since the time I was a little girl. I knew I really wanted adopted and biological children. The Lord, has chosen to give me one of those dreams. And I am so grateful.
I will always have a longing to carry a child in my womb. The Lord may decide to do a miracle and give us that gift. But, a womb child, could never replace my precious adopted daughter either. Both dreams are beautiful, both gloriously special. Sometimes our tears can water the ground and a beautiful bloom will unfold in ways we never expected.
Cancer, infertility, the fact that our daughter spent the first year and a half of her life in an orphanage - these are all tears that have watered our ground - and now, we are together watching vibrant blooms unfold in front of our very eyes as a family of 3.
Thank you for letting me share my story with you, Today. Thank you, Dylan for sharing yours. Thank you Hoda, for your love of adoption. Thank you, Jenna, for your sensitivity yesterday as you announced your news.
If you would like to read more about our adoption and my struggle through infertility, please visit my blog: Tearwateredblooms.com