There are two babies at my table at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). One of them is a two-month-old little boy and the other, a one-week-old girl. Apparently, today, I was staring intently at one of them. I didn't realize my obsession and someone asked me if I was okay. I said something along the lines of, "Yeah, sure, why?" To which she smiled politely and answered, "You looked like you were in another world for a minute there." And really, I suppose I was. It's a world I fade into and out of at the drop of a hat. A world where my two-year-old son is doting on my newborn baby. A world full of soft fuzzy blankets and ridiculously small outfits. A world before talking back and before the poop starts stinking. A world of powder fresh scents. A world I am longing desperately to enter into--again.
I shook myself out of my make believe world and smiled. "My uterus is doing flips." (She knows we're a few steps into the adoption process.) She smiled back and lifted her son, the two-month-old out of his carrier and into her lap. "There go the fallopian tubes," I replied. More to little Jeremiah than to her, I suppose. We proceeded to have a conversation about how God works in mysterious ways. She talked about how her four children came one right after the other but she knows so many people who've had to wait for a long time or who never receive the blessing at all.
I thought of a time when a woman with four children who came one right after another simply because her husband and herself reside in the same state and sometimes brush past each other on the way up the stairs would have made me sob buckets. A time when I would have contemplated stealing one of them because, what with three others, would she notice? Instead, today, several years down my path of infertility and one precious miracle later, I thought about how tremendously good God is. Infertility is my thing. Seeing my answered prayers in a tangible toddler taught me, more than anything else, about trusting God. It's what makes my heart break for people on their own journey through infertility. It's an ache that is sometimes dull and sometimes acute and didn't go away with the birth of my son. Certainly it ebbed. But then it swelled, again, over these last 17 months of trying to conceive again. Sometimes I hurt for myself and always I hurt for other people who don't have a toddler to remind them that it's all going to be okay. And always, always, I am waiting for a second child to be welcomed into this family.
Today, over at Shannon's blog, a guest writer speaks on this topic. The writer of What I'd Like For You To Know: Infertility tells it much better than I ever could and has experienced a much higher level of grief associated with infertility than I ever did. In fact, her story makes my own battle seem like a Saturday frolic through daisies. But the bottom line is, there's a whole gaggle of women (and men) out there who just might look like they're momentarily in another world. The truth is, we are. We're in a world of tiny fingers and tiny toes. A world that a whole lot of people in this world take for granted.