The reactions you receive when discussing our journey TTC with people can be quite amusing. I wonder if this is because we are accustomed to keeping personal matters personal, not burdening anyone with difficult subjects. And believe me, TTC is a difficult, personal matter.
In the past couple of years, I have cautiously opened up to others about this topic. Each time I open up to a new person or group, it feels like a step of trust and faith. For the most part, our story has been received with love and grace, but occasionally this hasn’t been true.
Through this experience, I’ve learned a few things about others and a lot about myself.
First, don’t expect people to understand. This means I now understand that each time I open up, I should expect to go through a similar recounting of experiences and events. This isn’t a bad thing. I only didn’t understand how emotionally draining this would be. Trust me, I’ve grown and now prepare myself better for each conversation, but at first this was a bit of a shock.
Second, expect the adoption question or story. Thankfully, I had run across a blog discussing this before first experiencing it, but that didn’t diminish the jolt in my gut. Here’s my short answer to the question, Have you considered adopting? Yes. Have you?
I understand it’s easy to jump to the story of your friend or cousin you know or a story you saw on Facebook about how someone struggled for years to have a child but once they started the adoption process, they found out they were pregnant. I personally know people this has happened to and it is amazing. I love their stories and rejoice with them in their gifts. But please understand that a person who has opened up to you about the difficulties they face as they try to have biological children doesn’t first need to hear about another story. They have opened up to you because they trust you to be heard, to be understood, to be acknowledged. Trust me, there are moments I need to be reminded of God’s truth and I have dear friends who don’t shy away from speaking that truth to me. But, through this experience, I’ve gained a better appreciation for those gifted with patient listening.
I, too, understand the desire to help fix a friend’s problem. I’m a problem solver and if someone shares a problem, I quickly find solutions others may miss. Still, I have looked back wishing I would have listened to a friend share a story about grief rather than have rattled my inexperienced solution.
I don’t intend to diminish the beauty of adoption. I have two amazing nephews who are both adopted and I love and care for them more than I thought possible. I have enjoyed seeing them grow these last few years and am honored to be their aunt. So, for an honest answer to the adoption question, I say this: if God leads, we are open.
Finally, I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t trade this experience, because I would. But I wouldn’t trade the friends and family that have earnestly prayed for us, listened to us, and comforted us. I’m grateful for the friendships that have grown closer and the sustaining grace we’ve received. Because, honestly, I would be a bigger mess right now if not for those prayers.
And for those of you who have prayed, listened, spoken truth, hugged, laughed, or have just been a good friend, thanks for sharing the burden.