Thursday, December 23, 2010

Conceiving, Adoption, and Compassion

Since we are, as of yet, unable to have kids of our own {I've been off the pill since last August and we've officially been trying/not preventing throughout this year}, and since we aren't in agreement on adoption, we love kids in other ways that we can.

It's extremely tough this time of year--as I long to be a mom and have for several years now--to face the holidays without kids. Again. Year after year other families have their traditions, opening presents and looking at lights with their kids. Decorating the house and baking cookies with their kids. They laugh, play games, and look forward to years and years of great family Christmas traditions.

I often fear that we will never have kids. That we won't be able to conceive and that Tim won't want to adopt. There are days I fully trust God and truly get to a place where I'm okay with that. I know He's good and wants the best for us. But around Christmas, it's just really stinking hard.

So. very. very. hard.

Right now the ache suddenly seems unbearable. My heart hurts. The tears come fast and furious.

In the midst of all that....

I love being an aunt to my 2 biological nieces, and an aunt to my through-marriage 25 nieces and nephews. Have I mentioned my brother's wife is pregnant and their first boy is due the end of April?! Sooo exciting, yay!! {Although also hard because I wish I could be pregnant at the same time as her, and they know this is their last one.}

I love being an auntie to four unrelated children {Logan, Eve, Parker, and Charlie--the kids of my dear friends Tracie, Monica, and Sherah}. These kids and their parents are truly like extended family to me. And apparently they feel the same way about me, yay! {I always fear being annoying or in the way, but they keep inviting me back for some reason....} See Monica's recent post on this. Made my heart happy. :)

I love being able to be soooo ridiculously excited for a great friend who tried for so long to get pregnant and is officially in her 2nd trimester! I couldn't be happier for her and her husband. She's been married for 10 years, and it truly does make me feel hopeful whenever I think of her. God is using her to remind me of His faithfulness and goodness. I rejoice with her, cry with her, and am truly so happy that this finally came to be in her life.

One thing that stuck out to me from what she said was this, because it's something I've often struggled with throughout the past several years:

yes, i know i said i was at peace with
and accepting the whole idea
of never having children by this point.
and for the most part i was.
but that thursday night at counseling,
i told my mentor/friend how i was excited about
and looking forward to the next day... our anniversary.
she asked me something.
i can't remember exactly what.
but whatever it was, it prompted me
to open up about my true feelings about the day.
i was going to just share what we would be doing to celebrate,
and other surfacy, small talk kind of sentences.
but her question made me dig much deeper.

i said something to the effect of,
"i'm so happy we have made it this far.
but deep in my heart,
i am heart-broken that we have nothing to show for it."
and then i broke down weeping uncontrollably.
she just let me cry.
then very quietly,
she said back to me, "like what?"

somehow, i uttered back through my sobs,
"like... children."

she was again quiet... giving me space and time and room.
then she went on to explain how
i have so much to show for ten years...
how we have stayed together through a great deal.
through trials in faithfulness,
through infertility.
through financial struggles beyond what we ever imagined.
through job losses.
through illness and car accidents.
through mere time taking it's toll on a relationship.
through so very much.

and what we had to show for it was a deep love
we would never have known without those things.
she was absolutely right.
and my sobs turned to tears upon peace
and realization that ten years was
an AWESOME milestone for us.

I have to be honest, I sobbed and sobbed after reading that. Letting it sink in. Letting God minister to me in my hurt through her words which were like a healing salve being poured over a broken heart. It was really touching for me, and I appreciate her friendship so much!

Since we aren't adopting yet, we're helping others who are. Like our friends Don & Sara. Please read their blog at 7500 miles and pray for them through their process. They are so close to getting their little boy from Ethiopia, but I know it's got to be so hard to wait! Also my friend Amber at Striving for 31. They are in the process of adopting two children from Belize. I've also randomly seen several other blogs recently talking about adoption. So many people in the process need our prayers!

I showed you that video recently that really impacted me about adoption. Last night we watched Home for the Holidays on CBS that promotes adoption & foster care. We went to Wendy's recently and saw their stuff about the Dave Thomas Foundation for adoption. I'm currently reading Mary Beth Chapman's book called Choosing to See and learning more about their organization Show Hope which helps people adopt {they adopted 3 girls from China over the course of a few years, and in May 2008 they lost their 5 year old in a tragic car accident}. I'm thinking often about the ministry our church works with, Safe Families, to help children in need. I've heard radio interviews, seen TV shows referencing it, and heard in general conversation the word 'adoption' a lot lately.

I know God is putting it on my heart for a reason. But I'm not sure that reason since it's not on Tim's heart in the same way at all. I don't understand why we feel so differently about it, but I know God is good and faithful, and I just have to be patient. Which is a lot easier said than done. Right now, it's super hard. I don't get it. I'm just being honest. It's really confusing. I'm practically begging Him now to stop showing me this stuff because I can't handle it emotionally if we're going to be on two totally different pages about it. Please be praying for us in this regard.

The closest thing we have to a child of our own is our Compassion child who lives in Honduras. She's on my heart and mind a lot right now. I pray for her regularly and wish we could do even more than we can. I hope someday to meet her and try to help her understand how much we love her despite that she's so far away.

Well, there you go... the very honest, open post about where we stand on having kids. Comment away. I could use hearing from you.


Alexandria said...

That was such a touching post. I want you to know that I just prayed for you. That you will either have a child of your own or that your hubby will come to understand how fulfilling adoption can be. You obviously have the heart of a mother and I pray God will use that. And the "The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." -James 5:16. Keep praying, girl. He'll fill that hole for you somehow. =)

I'm getting married in November, Lordwilling. Because of how severe my Fibro is, we've decided to adopt. And moving to Africa to be missionaries will give us a lot of opportunities. But not being able to give him a baby of his own really hurts. I'm sorry you're going through that. Hope you have a blessed and happy Christmas in spite of Satan's antics. =)


Anonymous said...

You know my heart and soul is with you and beyond. I know exactly what you are feeling and thinking.....and I HATE that you have had to have even a day of it. I pray, hope, beg, plead, and anything else that I need to do that this disease (as it is recognized as in IL..but not in IN) does not plague you as long as it has me.
I would not be able to bear it if you had to go through all the depression, sorrow, etc. that comes with infertility like I have. It would break my heart.
I love you both, and I KNOW you'd make great parents. Know that you're in my thoughts hopes dreams and prayers that the greatest desire of our hearts is given to you.

I love you beyond all imagination.

Missy Schranz said...

Oh, Rochelle, my heart aches with yours! I've wanted to be a mom, too. My husband and I have been married for 14 years now and for the first few years we tried furiously to get pregnant to no avail. I don't whose at "fault" with that (for lack of a better term!) but just when I was going to suggest infertility testing, my husband came down with cancer and takes a chemo drug for the rest of his life. So no kids EVER for me. We are not in the financial way to adopt, even. I was mad at God for awhile, but then I though, He knows what He is doing, so I have to trust him. I'm praying for you, Rochelle! Merry Christmas!

georgia b. said...

roe, i cried reading this. i'm so glad God can use this blessing in my life to minister to you. i know it can't be easy. i know, because when i would hear of others who i love dearly becoming pregnant {whether quickly or after many years of trying}, i would get sad deep down, no matter how happy i was for them.

so i think you are a very strong person to be able to say that God is ministering to you through the good news of another, even though you have not experienced that good news.

my heart goes out to you, because i have been there... so recently. i prayed for a good while for you last night when i went to bed. after a certain point, i felt myself wandering away from that subject and onto the next... i think i was itchin' to get my praying done so that i could doze off. but then i felt the holy spirit say, "you need to keep praying on her behalf" and i remembered how jessi prayed for me for as long as she felt led, so i went back to praying for you. most of all, i pray that God will give you a great peace about this all... no matter the outcome. that is what i had to pray for myself.

i love you, friend.

georgia b. said...

i also wanted to say, b. was also not on the same page as me about adoption. he still is not. he never wants to adopt. it just isn't in his heart. i would do it in a heartbeat.

but i wanted to share that i have a dear friend from college who struggled for years having a child. they finally were able to conceive through fertility treatments, but then when they tried again after their first was born, it was not happening again. so they decided to adopt. they have gone through a very long and painful process of trying to adopt an american, and it is not happening at all... almost two years, and things keep falling through every time they get close. this not to discourage you, but to let you know, that even if tim was on the same page as you, it could still be a long and difficult thing... just as much as trying to conceive. so i am glad you said you are trusting God about this, too.

he may not want you to adopt for some reason, and he may be preparing you to have your own children. but i know if he is capable and mighty enough to make that happen, he is also capable and mighty enough to change hearts and minds about how they see adoption. i will also be praying for tim. and both of you coming to total agreement and acceptance of whichever path you choose.

Rochelle said...

Thank you all so very much for your sweet comments. I really, really appreciated it! You are all so sweet!!