I feel like we’ve been living in the weeds — in the details — and trucking right along for the last month. Nothing super major, just the day-to-day life stuff. The outpouring of support and random emails from people I’ve never met have been so unexpected and so nourishing for my soul. My soul…that thing I like to pretend is strong and fully recovered. But goodness, what a broken little mess it becomes with each month of disappointment, each random unexpected pregnancy announcement on frickin’ Facebook and each month of being plagued with the “what if’s?”. I fight with my heart, and with myself, to try to stay positive…hopeful…and if I’m lucky, distracted.
My church in Charlotte has been one of the most encouraging places for me lately (when we actually make it there!). Each time we go, I feel like Jonathan Martin is preaching to me…and me alone. In one of the last sermons, Jonathan talked about being “friends with our wounds” in order to help others…really believing that our afflictions are not meaningless, but that there’s great value and purpose in our suffering. He said “when you make your wounds and scars available to others, there’s purpose and healing that takes place.” The crazy thing about suffering is that it’s not separate from joy. It’s through suffering that we come to really know and appreciate true joy.
I know this to be true. Over the last few years, my hopeless pain & disappointment have managed to co-exist with laughter, joyful moments and a stubbornly hopeful heart. How can that be? How can it all feel so hopeless–so out of my control and yet my little heart STILL clings to the hope of something beautiful for our family? It makes no sense. But is it supposed to? The “unknown” can be paralyzing, but when you can find a way to lean into that discomfort, you start to realize that life indeed goes on.
It does go on.
When people ask how it’s been going recently, I talk about a lot of things. I talk about how Jay and I sold a car to get rid of some debt (hello, Dave Ramsey!)…how we are trying to live on a budget…how Jay is really coming into his own as a first-year teacher…how we FINALLY got renters and refinanced (thus making our old house less of a burden)…and how we are counting down the days until spring break and our little beach trip. It sounds like a lot and yes we’ve been super busy and we’ve had great times with friends, with family, with work and with life in general…but under the surface, the disappointment exists. We don’t always talk about it out loud, but the fact that we STILL have yet to start our family is painful. My heart winces in pain when Jay manages to talk about the kind of father he longs to be and the adventures he wants to have with his own children.
But the fog is starting to lift. Maybe the joy can outweigh that pain soon. Maybe, just maybe, there are big things on the horizon for us. It is with a hopeful heart and a lot of other emotions (which we’ll sort through later) that we share this:
Now we are SO in the WEE beginning stages of this thing AND I want to go on the record and say that us pursuing adoption does NOT mean we are giving up hope in all the other things. For us, since the beginning of Team M (2004 holla!), adoption was always a part of this family…OUR family’s story (before any unforeseen infertility issues). Someone…not sure who…but somebody thinks THESE clowns could be good parents:
And as the fog lifts and the warm, spring weather rolls in (hallelujah!), the icy cold winter starts melting away and LIFE — with its joy AND pain — finds a way to continue on.