February 10, 2008
© Photographer: Mcech | Agency: Dreamstime.com
Many of my posts may sound pretty harsh toward those who suffer from infertility. It isn't meant to be uncompassionate, though. It is just reality from the eyes of the "product" of a business-run adoption industry whose main customers are infertile couples who become alittle TOO desperate for children. Like a famous woman in the Bible, many go so far as to say, "Give me children, lest I die."
I once got a message from a lady who was infertile and trying to adopt ~ it was full of rage and anger at me, saying that I had no idea what it felt like to be infertile and go through years and years of testing and horrible procedures with no child.
It was so sad to me, because actually, I do understand that pain. I wasn't physically barren, NO, but I was emotionally barren for many years. When I found out that my first mother passed away from breast cancer at the age of 32, I allowed great fear to come upon me. All through my young adult life, this fear ruled me and kept me from being brave enough to have children. I was married 14 years before my first child was born, because I was so frightened. So I do know the PAIN of watching all my friends have children and not having my own. I felt the sting of judgement and being different and childless. The feeling of saddness at watching other families become "complete" with the joy that children bring. It was heartbreaking for me ~ but I already knew PAIN from not having my own biological family, in the first place (being adopted), and therefore, it was just one more layer of that pain that I endured. I was used to it. Sadly.
Precisely because I already KNEW the pain of not having biological family, is why I never considered adopting. I couldn't bring myself to do THAT again. Why would I? I knew it wouldn't "fix" my problem of not having my own offspring anyway. My husband and I did work as respite foster parents for awhile, and it was a blessing to have these children in our home and lives. But we knew they weren't ours from the get-go. And we tried to help them gain self-confidence and love through the time we knew them, helping them overcome the KNOWN loss they had already experienced in their lives ~ namely the loss of their family.
Where adoption gets deceptive is in the fact that adoptees are asked to play the role of someone they aren't and can never be. The children of others. The children who are asked to ignore suffered loss, and are legally transferred to "parents" who really AREN'T there's. But pretend. To me, that is the cloak of shame and abuse in the adoptee's life. It is the cloak of shame over the adoptive parent, because they know they are also playing pretend. Yes, we can LOVE and ENJOY and THRIVE in our new adoptive families, but it NEVER takes the place or erases the primal wound and pain that is reality.
And the adoptee can NEVER replace the biological child that the infertile couple hopes and dreams for, and attempts to fill with the child of adoption. Thus, we have unspoken pain brewing in all our hearts lifelong.
In Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner's book, "The Spirit of Adoption", she says, "...we cannot simply celebrate with these joyous biblical stories (of barren women who prayed for a child and became pregnant and gave birth), for that would gloss over the pain of infertility...nor can we end our reading of the text with the biblical women, because there is not one woman recorded in either the Old or New Testament who, desirous of progency, remained barren. There is not one model, mentor, or mother in Scripture with whom modern-day infertile women can connect."
I completely DISAGREE with this statement, and the entire book's philosophy. Maybe God DID answer every barren woman in scripture who called out to Him with a pregnancy and children of her own BECAUSE He wanted THEM to be the mentors, the role-models, the MOTHERS in scripture with whom modern-day infertile women COULD connect. Maybe His ultimate desire and plan is to HEAL infertile women and answer their longings with MIRACLE children of their own womb! Isn't that a novel thought!
Instead, the discouraged infertile woman will many times give up on a miracle and instead call a chance to adopt their answer. When really, it isn't the same, and everyone knows it. That is why I've heard Christians try to justify it with "Adoption is NOT God's Second Best ~ It is His First Best". Excuse me, but that makes no sense whatsoever. It is not His Highest Will for a child to LOSE their Mother, and a Mother to LOSE her child, so that an adoptive parent can benefit. That is blasphemous and offensive to Scripture and to God's creation.
I just wanted to address the whole infertility issue, because YES, I have experienced the searing saddness of being childless, for many, many years. But I never thought that could give me the excuse of taking a newborn baby from it's Mother, and call it my own. I was willing to spend my entire life with the REALITY that nothing could make me a true Mother except child-birth. But I found a group at my church that prayed and believed God for infertile women to conceive and have children. I swallowed my pride and fear, knowing I was emotionally barren and filled with paralyzing fear. I sat through many services with tears running down my cheeks because I so wanted to be free (and still do) and called out to God to TEACH me to trust Him.
I thank God He heard and answered my cry, and delivered me from my fears ~ even through the fear-filled valley of a premature delivery and all it's implications. But it was and is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. I just sit and smell my son's hair, wanting to soak it up into my very core ~ my miracle. He is the ONLY biological relative I have that I can experience a "normal" familial relationship with ~ and it is pure Heaven. Thank you, God.