Most (if not all) of my previous blog posts have been related to my various hobbies and it is my desire they are informative and entertaining. This post will be a bit different from the others. Sharing this experience through this venue has been on my heart and mind for some time, but it was my desire for it to be concise so people would actually read and understand my viewpoint. So, without further ado, here we go.
Even before we were married over 8 years ago, I knew about my wife’s desire to have/raise a child after marriage. We also openly discussed any medical/physical barriers that may need to be addressed. I’m extremely happy to say all issues have been resolved and the doctors cannot find any physical reason my wife and I can’t produce our own children. That’s the good news – almost a miracle by itself!
Through the years we have tried to just let nature take its course, suggested “home remedies”, had more tests and been to more doctors than we care to count (the wife more than me), and even used an infertility specialist for a period of time. So far we have been unsuccessful after many years of trying on our own and with the assistance/guidance of various doctors.
Before I ever faced this issue, I made the assumption that everyone could produce children easily and if there were difficulties the issues were easily corrected. Was I ever wrong!!!! For those that have never struggled with infertility, you cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster ride that a couple faces together. The doctors and specialist inform you nothing is stopping you and success is a short time away. Months go by. Success is elusive and no one can explain the reason for failure, so you take it personally. It is a tough situation that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. That has been our struggle and life for many, many years while seeing peers and friends get married and have healthy children time and time again.
This is an extremely difficult experience full of hope, heartbreak, and frustration. Why are there couples desiring a child with every fiber of their being and have so much difficulty while there are other couples without the desire to have children that have multiple children without any issues? While I’m not expecting an answer, it’s a natural question one faces when going through infertility issues. Other natural questions/statements include: What is wrong with me? What have I done wrong to deserve this? This isn’t fair!! There are many, many others as well. We are taught from young age that if you want something hard work and determination are the keys to obtaining that goal. This is not the case with fertility issues and what makes it so difficult. As a couple, you are doing EVERYTHING within your power and control for the desired outcome but the goal seems to always be a mirage on the horizon.
After many years of tears and prayers we still have the desire to be parents but have been unsuccessful (up to this point) in creating our own creation. While we are still holding onto the hope of having our biological child, we have the desire to be parents and are open to raising a child other than our own. This is not an easy decision and it took many prayers to have a peace that passes all understanding about taking this “unconventional” route. We have explored the option to foster/adopt through the local Department of Human Resources (DHR). This could be a separate blog post on its own (and may be in the future).
Regardless of your opinion of foster/adoptive parents I will assure you that from my perspective we were well investigated and vetted for approval just to be eligible to be a foster parent. Not only were we fingerprinted with criminal background checks, but many very personal questions were asked regarding childhood, finances, previous relationships, and opinions on various discipline and child rearing techniques and history. Questions were asked about what type of issues (medical and emotional) we would be comfortable with in our home. The tough questions were asked and answered. The teachers/instructors were honest and blunt about some of the challenges we may face. This process took place over a period of 10 weeks in addition to a pending home inspection by DHR where they “interview” each prospective foster parent individually to address any additional issues that may have arose but not addressed previously. Needless to say, it isn’t an easy process to work through and by the time you finish, you must really want to help a child in need to continue and be willing to be a foster parent.
I have learned several lessons from going through this process up to this point that I want to share. First – as much as we like to believe it, we really aren’t in control – especially after you become a foster parent. Second – biologically speaking, conception is miraculous, a medical phenomenon, and not at all guaranteed regardless of the desire or wishes. Third – even without obstacles and with lots of hard work, there are some things in life that don’t come easily (if at all). This can also be summarized as “Life isn’t fair.” Lastly – there are times when our ways are not His ways. Probably the most important thing I have learned is to keep my heart open because He may be giving me an alternate path to the same destination.
While we are not giving up the desire to “create our own creation” we are finishing up the final steps to become foster parents. If that is the route God leads us, it is our desire to be a foster family to a young child that we will eventually adopt to raise as our own. Please lift us up in prayer for whatever direction He directs our path.