Momma-in-Waiting (Part 6)

Momma-in-Waiting, I remember you.

It’s been years but you’ve never left my mind. Standing behind a brochure-covered table at a conference, you made your way over to me. I recognized that sheepish grin. One filled with grief and forced onto your face. Your hands grazed over the brochures about adoption; nervously picking one up.

Before you knew it, your friends showed up. Excitement and eagerness written all over their faces. “Here, take this one!” they exclaimed while pushing the brochures onto you. “You should call them!” You stood there, frozen, politely telling your friends that you will think about it.

I wanted to grab you and run away. Take you far from the pain and the pressure. I couldn’t though. Instead, I was a witness to the turmoil you surely felt. As your friends moved on, you paused for a moment and looked up at me. I said, “Call me sometime if you have any questions or need to talk.”

Momma-in-Waiting, your well-meaning friends have no clue what you’re going through.

They try but will never be able to fully meet you where you’re at. That place is reserved for those moments of anguish. You know this far too well.

Momma-in-Waiting, I don’t know if you ever called me.

I talk to so many people throughout the day. Ones just like you. Calling out of curiosity, wanting to learn about adoption, but fearing the answer might not be what they need to hear.

It is hard navigating this strange new land, isn’t it? You dreamed of being a mommy. Married the love of your life and soon, baby-talk became a part of your conversations.

And, then. Nothing. Silence. Negative test after negative test.

You became fraught with worry. That worry turned into frustration. Frustration turned into despair. A few friends know and reach out to you, but don’t know what to say so they overcompensate with philosophical statements and impulsive reactions.

Others become silent. Their silence is nothing compared to the stillness you come to home every day. Your home isn’t filled with the giggles of children. The spare bedroom you once dreamed of becoming a nursery sits empty. Sometimes, you go in there and visit for a while. Laying on the floor and looking up at the ceiling, you imagine the joy that could fill that room. That room is one of emptiness but also of hope.

Hope creates courage. Courage generates resolve. Resolve produces tenacity. Tenacity gives rise to overcoming. And, sweet sister, you can overcome.

Momma-in-Waiting, hold on to that hope.

Let it be a guiding light.

It will carry you far.

Momma-in-Waiting on Thanksgiving

Pssst…Hey, Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you.  You’ve cooked up the most delicious dish for today.  You get compliments on it and are asked for the recipe but if truth be told, you barely remember cooking it.  Instead, your mind was focused on what this Thanksgiving Day brings to you – a whole lot of anxiety and sadness. You’re a Momma-in-Waiting on Thanksgiving.

You meet and greet family members that you haven’t seen in a while.  They are all excited for you to meet the new little one just born into the family.  You act thrilled (and you are) but deep down, you are also absolutely devastated.  You think, “When will it be my turn?”

As the day progresses, you take a moment or two to step outside and catch your breath.  It is tricky, you know; tricky to navigate the relationships that you have, to express joy and gladness over the new little one that is in your family, and to answer the best you can when folks start asking about starting your own family.

A part of you just wants to scream – I mean, SCREAM!  If only they knew how much you wish you could actually give them an answer or how often you research infertility, treatments, doctors, adoption, and anything else tangled up in your experience.  If only they knew.

Here you are on Thanksgiving.  You are told to be thankful.  You are expected to be thankful.  You feel guilty if you are not.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  While others are gleefully living their lives (or at least, it seems like it), you are stuck waiting for your life to move on.  You want to move on past this whole infertility/no baby/no pregnancy garbage.  You want to forget this whole chapter of your story was ever written, but you can’t.  Most of all, though, you just want to know that you will be a mother one day.

On this Thanksgiving Day where so many around you remind you of what they are thankful for, take time for yourself.  You don’t have to be thankful for what you are going through but it is important to notice it.  How can you not?  Even if you don’t want to remember this season of your life, your body, mind, and spirit will remember every single pain-staking decision you have had to make and every single tear you have shed.

Thanksgiving is hard, isn’t it?  If you are a believer, you know that we are to be thankful in all circumstances.  Ugh, right?  How can you be thankful for infertility?  The honest answer from this previous Momma-in-Waiting is that it is extremely difficult and maybe you won’t ever be able to be thankful for it, and that’s okay.  One day, you will recognize that you survived it.  That’s big.  That’s enough.

Pssst…Hey, Momma-in-Waiting on Thanksgiving. Yes, you.  Today might be a little rough.  You’ve got this.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Tomorrow is a new day and that is something we can all be thankful for.

Momma-in-Waiting {Part 5}

Dear Momma-in-Waiting,

It is that time of year again, isn’t it?  Images of happy children during the holidays are flooding your social media threads, but you are still waiting, aren’t you?  You are trying, with every ounce of your soul, to make the world seem simple, but you are in the most complicated battle of your life.  Appointments, tests, needles, counseling, hope, disappointment, prayer, tears, anger, confusion, frustration, and countless moments of utter heartbreak all seem to color the path to which you walk.  For some of you, there are no needles, no appointments, no tests, and no tangible sense of hope.  Barrenness has settled in and made you its home.

You are a Momma-in-Waiting, and the world seems to be passing you by.

You hear others speak about their babies.  You view their first pictures with Santa, and watch videos of them singing Christmas songs.  They are all growing, aren’t they?  They are learning new words, discovering the excitement of first steps, and giving their Momma’s an array of challenges on a daily basis.  Yet, there you sit.  Listening, smiling, even laughing at some moments, and looking upon their babies with a longing that is only matched by your own determination to get through this season of your life.

You wonder, “When will it be my turn?  When will I hear first words, see first steps, and be challenged day in and day out?  When will I get to experience a Christmas flooded with the laughter of children?  When will I no longer be a Momma-in-Waiting?

You are dwelling in that seemingly lonely place.  This time of year is especially hard, isn’t it?  The holidays, New Year’s Resolutions, fresh starts, and images of children splattered across almost every single piece of media only seems to remind you of what you long for…

a child…

your child…

your blessed answer to prayer.

Dear Momma-in-Waiting,

When your friends are trying to avoid pregnancy, you are screaming for it.  When your friends are complaining about pregnancy, you turn your ears away.  Your heart sinks in a bit, and you just want to silence their words.

It took me many long years to meander my way through the thickness of barrenness.  It seemed an even longer journey to until my number was called and I knew that I would be a mother, forever….when adoption called my name.

It’s not easy.  You know that all too well.  It is not understood.  Nothing seems to be anymore.  Infertility is truly one of the unexplored territories in the human existence.  The ones who travel through it understand, but the ones who do not, really have no clue.

Even after adoption and the gift of three children, I still find myself thinking back to my surgery.  Sometimes, I still wonder what my birth children would have been like, or look like.  I wonder if they would have had resembled my grandmother, or had the dimple of my husband’s chin.

If there are a few words of comfort that I can offer (and I’m a woman of many words, so this will be hard for me) it is, do not stop praying.  Do not stop seeking the ends (whatever they are) to meet your goal.

If, at the end of all the medical trials, you are told your only hope for motherhood is to adopt, it is okay to grieve this.  It is okay to cry fountains of tears over barrenness.  I know I have.

It is okay to get angry, question why you are battling this stupid war taking place in your body, and wonder if the very Lord you have staked your eternity in has forgotten about the life you are living on Earth.

Dear Momma-in-Waiting,

One day when things seem to make more sense, you will look back on this time in your life, look up to the heavens, and say, “I get it now.”  You will be able to share your Christmas pictures, wait until the kiddos are asleep to put out gifts, and plan for months how you are going to surprise them during the holidays.

One day, you will wake up on Christmas morning to the sweet excitement of…

a child…

your child…

your blessed answer to prayer.

 

Momma-in-Waiting {Part #4}

Pssst…Hey momma-in-waiting. Yes, you….

It is that time of year again, isn’t it?  The day where mothers are celebrated, loved on, and honored.  You are already thinking about this upcoming Sunday.  You are dreading sitting in church, listening to the sermon about motherhood, and watching people clap for the all of the mothers who stand up in the congregation.  You know that little by little, your heart will collapse upon itself.

You are sick and tired of being sick and tired of worrying about motherhood.  You hear people say, “Just stop trying and it will happen”, “God has a plan for everyone”, “Relax, it will happen when it is supposed to”, or “You can always adopt”.  The truth is, sometimes, you just want to scream out when people say these things to you.  You want for them to not just hear the binding pain you have experienced through the barren walk…you want them to feel the crunching of your bones, the twisting of your guts, the dryness of your spirit, and the haunting of your hopes.

You are a Momma-in-Waiting, and you are tired of being one.

Pssst…Hey momma-in-waiting. Yes, you….

You dread this time of year.  You watch kids pick out Mother’s Day cards in the stores.  You see social media posts about the simple gifts given to momma’s by their wide-eyed babes, and you “like” them out of courtesy.  Sometimes, though, you would rather ignore them.  Sometimes, just sometimes, you despise them.

How could it be that you are still a Momma-in-Waiting?  Why has another Mother’s Day crept up on you without any difference from the years gone by?  Anymore, it is often that you have forgotten to ask when it will happen.  Instead, you are surrendering to the emptiness of unanswered why’s.

You are a Momma-in-Waiting, and you are longing for an answer.

Pssst…Hey momma-in-waiting. Yes, you….

There is something special about you.  You are strong, courageous, patient, and hopeful.  You choose to keep your pain to yourself because you do not want to dampen other mother’s experiences.  Instead, you hold it in, take it home, and unleash it into your pillow, your prayers, and your tears.

Only the other Momma’s-in-Waiting will ever understand the path you are on. Despite the attempts of your friends and families to empathize, you know this desert you have found yourself in, is unlike any other.  It is a dry place.  It is a woeful place. It is an agonizing place.  Still yet, it is also a place where hope seeps into your clutch.

You are a Momma-in-Waiting, and even though you despair, you also carry a burning torch of hope for your future.

Pssst…Hey momma-in-waiting. Yes, you….

You are a Momma waiting on her children to arrive.  You do not know how or when, but you are starting to visualize them.  You have cried out their names to the Lord (even if you don’t know them).  You have hung their images in your mind.  You have engraved their stories onto your heart, and you have included your own story of being a Momma-in-Waiting.

So, Happy Future Mother’s Day, Momma-in-Waiting.  

Happy first time you look upon your children’s faces, or the moment when your children call you Momma for the first time,

Happy first time they tell you that they love you, or snuggle up next to you in the middle of the night,

Happy first time you hear the pitter-patter of their feet,

Happy first and forever moment you look into their eyes and see yourself,

Happy glorious moment when everything makes sense,

Happy instant when you look at your scars (physical and/or emotional) and no longer see the pain they harbor,

Happy breathtaking time when you know the Lord carried you through it all,

and,

Happy day when you will no longer be a Momma-in-Waiting.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31

*Author’s Note:  Sunday, May 11th is Mother’s Day in the United States.  I wrote this to be an encouragement for all of the Momma’s-in-Waiting.

Momma-in-Waiting (Part #3)

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you....

I saw you the other day.  I saw the longing in your eyes.  I recognized the deep searching that your heart is doing.  You are waiting for a soft place for your heart to land.  You are on a quest to end the night to which you have been waking up to.

You are a Momma without a child.  You are a Momma-in-Waiting. 

You see the images of the babes of others splattered all over social media.  You watch new mothers at the park.  You greet the new babies at church with love, but while you do, your heart feels as though it is being ripped from your chest.  You read the headlines about others who do not seem to care about the very thing that you long for.

You know there are Momma-less children in the world; and yet, you feel as though every door you try to open remains unlocked.  You also know that there are children-less Momma’s in the world; and yet, you feel completely alone.

You get angry.  You question.  You feel sorry for yourself.  You keep it to yourself.  You are a Momma without a child.  You are a Momma-in-Waiting.

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you…. 

You are backed into a corner where your faith and your frailness collide.  Still, in this waiting time, there is great beauty.  You…Momma-in-Waiting…You know full well the magnitude of the gift of life.  You know every measure of importance that children are to our lives, and to this world.  You…Momma-in-Waiting…You do not take anything or anyone for granted, anymore.

It may not feel like it now, but there is much to be gained while waiting.  There are moments that cut and sear your heart.  There are moments when doubt about your purpose, or better yet, His purpose seems to cling onto you.  There are times when you feel as though your heart will never recover, and your tears seem to flood any attempt to see life with clarity.

You question.  You seek.  You wonder.  You wait.  You are a Momma without a child.  You are a Momma-in-Waiting.

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you…. 

You have made a pledge to yourself.  You have promised that once you no longer are in waiting, you will be the best Momma around.  You are already visualizing the moment you see your child for the first time.  You are already thinking about parties, nursery decorations, and announcements.  You may have even, in anticipation, tucked away a picture or item you will use once your wait is over.

In this waiting period, although sorrowful at times, there is great beauty.  There is coloring of the memories to come, prayers for the child who will be joining you, and soul-deepening conversations with the One who hears the deepest, and often unspoken, hunger of your heart.

You pray.  You plead.  You visualize.  You cling.  You are a Momma without a child.  You are a Momma-in-Waiting.

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you…. 

You do not understand why you are waiting.  You wonder if you did something wrong, or perhaps, just perhaps, you are holding onto the promise of something incredible in store.  Your faith and strength is unwavering.  Did you hear that, Momma-in-Waiting?  YOUR FAITH AND YOUR STRENGTH IS UNWAVERING.  

No one knows how you walk each day with an armor of courage, shield of strength, and heart of hope.  No one fully understands how this life experience has shaped you, grieved you, changed you, and matured your heart to the calling of His voice. Only the other Momma’s-in-Waiting who share in this journey of walking through the wasteland, will ever understand it.

You have courage.  You are strong.  You do not lose hope.  You are a Momma without a child.  You are a Momma-in-Waiting.

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you…. 

I used to be a Momma-in-Waiting.  I used to greet the new babies at church with quiet happiness, while harboring the sadness in my heart.  I used to feel alone.  I once battled between my faith and my frailness.  Doubt seemed to wrap around me

I questioned if I deserved barrenness.  I wondered if there was a daybreak in sight to the endless night to which I had succumbed.  I fantasized about my babies.  I decorated their rooms in my head.  I clung onto the intense prayers to our Lord.

I look back now, and I recognize the incredible beauty of the wait.  I know that my armor of courage, shield of strength, and heart of hope kept me going each day.  My experience shaped me, grieved me, changed me, and matured my heart to Him.

Pssst…Hey Momma-in-Waiting. Yes, you….

My head was lifted, and so will yours.  My eyes were dried, and so will yours.

Soon, yes, soon….You will no longer be a momma-in-waiting.

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Momma-in-Waiting

Momma-in-Waiting (Part #2)