It is a beautiful home tucked away in a quiet neighborhood with tall beautiful trees surrounding it. And it will soon be ours. Joy! And yet, today has been tough…
A few weeks back, I was washing dishes on a quiet afternoon. No one was home. I had a lot on my mind. As I scrubbed plates, gentle sunlight peered through the kitchen window, and tears trickled down my face while I conversed with Him. ‘It doesn’t feel fair, God. It just isn’t fair.’ The sting of infertility sometimes feels so fresh – others times it presents itself as a dull, quieter ache. Sometimes the ache feels almost dormant. When life moves along pleasantly in other areas, my mind can become preoccupied and distracted from the pain of infertility. But then, unknowingly, I enter into wasp territory and get stung. Dormancy rarely last for very long.
That day in the kitchen, as I reflected on my life, I observed that most things have come fairly easily for me. I haven’t gotten everything I wanted all the time. Not everything has happened on my time table or just the way I preferred. I was almost always picked last for playing on a sport’s team during recess. But, in general, things have gone relatively well for me.
…But Motherhood. There’s the rub. There’s the sting.
I kept thinking about life and how we all want it to be fair, but it isn’t. I began thinking about how tough life has been for a lot of dear people I know. I was praying specifically about us stepping forward toward Foster To Adopt. This has been a path we have been considering for a few months now. I kept thinking about how fostering children is a hard thing that would likely be incredibly meaningful and life-changing, but that I don’t know if I’m strong enough.
I was feeling squished and desperate.
A thought impressed upon my mind right about then –
‘This doesn’t feel fair to you, Kasey. I know. But what about them? What about those children who are being born into broken homes; broken enough that they are being removed from their family? Has life been fair to them?” It occurred to me that perhaps He wants to take my brokenness and their’s and make something beautiful out of it all.
Today, it became clear that the home we fell in love with is very likely going to be ours! And how it came to be ours is a such a neat story and I feel so touched with how the Lord brought it to us. So this day should be simply filled with joy, right? Today is also the day we have our first Foster to Adopt class. I should be excited right? Then why did I wake up this morning and cry ? Today, I am simultaneously filled with joy and sadness. Welcome to being a woman – our spaghetti noodles of emotions just mix all up don’t they? I’ve heard men’s emotions are more like the squares of a waffle – neat, non-overlapping compartments where their emotions are found – how very basic of them 😉
Joy for the wonderful home we are receiving. Joy for the opportunity to consider the Foster to Adopt path. Sadness because I thought it would have happened by now. I thought I’d have a baby bump. I thought it would happen easily like it has for so many. I thought I’d be singing lullabies and bearing the marks of a labored body. Stepping toward fostering to adopt has highlighted the reality that all that I thought hasn’t happened – that’s why I woke up teary this morning. That’s why in the midst of immense joy as we received good news on the house today, I also felt a steady ache.
More than having a child that is biological, more than experiencing pregnancy and labor and breastfeeding, I simply desire to have children (adopted or biological) and be a mom. This can happen through fostering to adopt and that reality brings much hope and joy! But, embracing the foster to adopt path could very likely mean that I am embracing even more loss; the having of a child, and then the losing of a child. There is already a sense of loss with infertility – feeling loss over something that you were built to have. Can I embrace potentially more loss? That is the question that lingers in my mind. Am I ready for such a call as this? Is anyone ever really ready? I don’t know.
So today we took a step in this direction. We attended an orientation. Now we pray and think and ask and trust that He will guide. We take a day at a time, cause doing any more than that will just overwhelm.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 – He will direct. He will guide. He will say go or stop or wait. Whether I find myself in the dormancy, the stinging, or the simultaneous experience of joy and pain, my questions about this infertility, about adoption, about my abilities…He holds the answers. Only He can make crooked paths straight.
One way or another, our new home will have children in it. It will have the pitter patter of feet, the ‘oh make it stop’ cry of a baby :), the enormous amounts of laughter cause how cute is this kid!?, plenty of poop, and small banging palms on the piano…
And probably aching joy. I imagine anyone who is a parent understands the joys and pains of it all. And pain is not an enemy to be fought off or avoided at all cost. It reminds us that we are human. We are alive. And I happen to know someone who can take all trials and all pain and recycle them to bring me gain. Though sorrow may last for a night, His joy comes with the morning.