|Image Courtesy of Elton Harding on Flickr|
It's messy, stressful, and difficult. And it can also be very lonely. Especially for those mothers who are still waiting for their children.
Do you remember the Friend's episode, when Chandler is talking about Monica and their struggle to start a family? He says "She's a mother, without a baby."
So many mothers, and fathers, are in this position. They know in their heart that they are already a mother or father. They have made space. They have carved out a section of their heart and soul for a baby that hasn't yet come.
And waiting to fill that space is one of the most painful things anyone can endure.
I adopted my daughter last year after 5 years of infertility. I wondered, would I be surprised? Would the love I felt be something brand new?
For me, it wasn't. It was profound and deep and wonderful and so beautiful, but I was not surprised by it. And I think I know why.
I had loved her all along. I had been waiting for her. My heart had a space just for her, waiting to be filled. And once she came, and my heart filled up, it wasn't new. The love was there all along. It just finally had somewhere to go.
And this is what made infertility so painful for me. I had so much love to give. I had opened up so much of my heart for this child, and the waiting and wondering if she would ever come was the hardest thing I've ever experienced.
I hate that so many of my friends, and those in the infertility community, are still in limbo. Wondering if their love will have somewhere to go. If they will ever be fulfilled. If their heart will ever feel whole again.
What kills me is knowing that for some, it won't. Infertility treatment is so expensive and draining in every sense. Adoption is even more expensive. For many families, their desire to have a child is completely dependent on the size of their bank account, and this is heartbreaking.
Families are important. These mothers and fathers without a child are important. Their story matters. Their pain matters. And unfortunately it's a fact that infertility is often seen as an "optional" state.
But it's not optional for us to want a child. It's inherent. It's in our culture and DNA. It's a huge part of who we are and who we hope to become. And neglecting that part of ourselves will only cause pain, depression, and isolation.
So, it's time to Listen Up. Affordable infertility treatment, adoption tax incentives, and access to healthcare are all critical for our families. And we have the power to change this. Call your local Senator. Talk to your employer. Ask them to listen, because what you have to say is important and meaningful and will have an impact not just for yourself, but for the thousands of waiting parents with an incomplete heart.
For more information, please visit http://www.resolve.org/get-involved/