Michael’s story has touched everyone in different ways. One of the most frequent comments we get are from those who have also suffered with infertility. 1 in 8 couples experience infertility. Statistically speaking, that’s someone we know – friends and/or neighbors, yet it’s a difficult and lonely experience. One very few of us talk about. We want you to know – you’re not alone.
We remember being invited to baby showers and then making up an excuse and leaving, because we couldn’t listen to one more labor and delivery story. We remember the packs of diapers and onesies we bought on sale and stockpiled for the day we would use them. We remember sitting in a beautiful, but empty nursery, wiping tears from our cheeks as we asked God again…”WHY?” as we rocked on the glider, arms empty.
Find a Facebook Group or other support group. Talk about your feelings of loss, fear and sadness. Let your doctor know how you’re feeling. You are not alone.
After nearly 7 years of praying, wishing and trying for a child, we began looking into adoption. If there’s one thing we believe, it’s this: Everything happens for a reason. Just believe. God has a plan and you must trust in Him. Like you, we’ve had many disappointments in our life. We’ve grieved for what will never be. We also find comfort in knowing that we are following God’s plan, even if we don’t know what the plan is. Eighteen months after starting our adoption journey, our journey to be parents, our prayers were answered and our eldest was born. We were in the waiting room, while her birth-mother, a strong, wonderful young woman gave birth to our beautiful daughter. We were the first to hold her and will never forget that incredible day. The state of Texas mandates birth-parents wait a minimum of 48 hours post delivery, before signing adoption paperwork. Those next 48 hours seeming longer than the 18 months that had just passed. Our faith helped us through that scary time.
We were given this poem first when we were starting the adoption process and then again from a different friend when we realized we were raising a child with special needs. We hope it brings you some comfort, as it did for us.
Welcome to Holland
Written by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of adoption or raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this…
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!” you say. “What do you mean, Holland?” I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.