Ben and I have never been able to conceive, but several families in our class have experienced the thrill of pregnancy only to be devastated with a miscarriage or stillbirth. I sometimes wonder if God knows that I would really struggle with that type of heartache and thus has protected me from experiencing it thus far. In our first class everyone was pretty quiet and stuck to small talk--tonight it seemed like the floodgates were opening--especially after sharing our stories! Infertility can be a very lonely and private journey--I am so thankful that I have a close friend who has also struggled that I can confide in, vent to and cry with! (You know who you are!) It's exciting to be getting to know seven other couples who have driven down the same path as us and are now speeding down the highway of adoption!
Tonight we talked about something called the grief wheel (I tried finding a picture to post but nothing fit the one we looked at tonight). It was eye opening for me as we talked about each stage to reflect back on all the emotions I have experienced in the last three years:
Denial: At first I didn't want to believe that anything was wrong or that my biggest fears were actually coming true.
Anger: During the last three years I have ranted and raved to God crying out "why me?" (Especially when it seemed everyone around me had no problem whatsoever getting pregnant)
Bargaining: I remember making promises to God: "If I get pregnant I'll never moan or complain" etc...
Loneliness: I remember feeling like no one else could possibly imagine how I was feeling and that no one had ever experienced what I was going through.
Guilt/Shame: My strong desire to have a baby and start a family has made me feel guilty and very selfish at times.
Depression: There was a time when I had pretty much given up hope of ever conceiving or starting a family. The depression overshadowed everything I did for a while.
And finally...Acceptance: When a close friend of my mind announced she was pregnant it brought me to an all time low. But during that low God met me and with perfect timing allowed the adoption information packet to arrive when he knew I would be open to what it had to say--and low and behold the depression lifted--I am truly EXCITED to adopt and start a family!
Grief and Loss was described in many ways tonight:
A river without a bridge. You can't go over it, around it or under it--you must go through it!
An emotional roller coaster with a blindfold--you never know what's around the corner that might devastate you or draw you to your knees once again.
The adoption specialist tonight shared that often times when we are struggling with grief and loss it's because a crisis has occurred. The word crisis in Chinese means opportunity. Every crisis is an opportunity, from God to grow, succeed and draw closer to Him! She also shared that the grief wheel doesn't flow from one stage to the next--it goes back and forth--and takes a while to conquer. She shared you can't put a lid on grief--at least successfully!
One of the couples, while sharing their story, used a phrase to describe how it felt to finally focus on and choose adoption. I love this phrase: Choosing adoption is how it feels to finally get a positive pregnancy test!
I have a positive pregnancy test in my hand but it isn't my own! I am so excited to start this adoption journey!