I tortured myself recently. I read a blog about a birthing story, and found myself crying with joy for the couple. My tears also held within them a sadness for myself, husband, and parents. You can read the story by clicking on this link, Our Birth Story. While reading the story, I found myself gasping for air, covering my mouth, and wiping away tears that were flowing down my cheeks.
The mother’s words seemed to punch me in the gut. On the one hand I felt guilty for reading them, as if I had no business exploring her experience. On the other, I knew that I needed to visit that part of life that has passed me by.
This is at least the second time I’ve done this. I recently read a blog post, I want to be a doula, that also brought me to tears. The words of these new mothers are poignant, and reminded me of what I have missed out on. I do not know why this is…perhaps it is the knowledge that I was not the first person to hold my children.
Proverbs 30: 15-16
15 … There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:
16 The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
Sitting here on the second birthday of my youngest son, I find myself thinking about his entry into the world. Honestly, I think about all of my children’s journey from the womb to the Earth, and then I get pissed. Yep. I said it. I get angry that I was not the one to bring them into the world.
I did not labor in pain to birth the very beings who have captured my heart. In the agony of pain, there are life-declaring moments when the hope of the future and a piece of oneself is born. In the posts I’ve read, I have recognized the beauty I have missed out on…the moments between husband and wife holding their child…the minute grandparents first laid eyes on their grand-babies…and, the gasp of their breaths when realizing the glory of the child they created.
I did not see any of my babies in their first hour of life after-birth. I did not hear their first audible exclamation to the world that they have arrived. I did not hold them, feel their tiny bodies against mine, and gaze at the wonder before me. So, yes. I get angry about this.
I could never imagine having any different children than my children. They are Majestically matched to fit our family. I would not have it any other way…but…I sure wish that I would have been the one to carry them as they developed, pushed with the incredible God-given strength of a woman, and then rested with babe in arms.
Yes, I think about missing out on the beauty of it all. I think about the laborious, yet incomparable moments of childbirth…the genesis of new life.
Although blessed to be a mother, I still get caught off guard by the pain of barrenness.
I also wonder if I’m a completely selfish person. Is it not enough that I am experiencing, raising, and growing my children as they meander their way to the Lord’s purpose in their lives? I mean…am I being completely self-centered to wish that I would have been the one to bring them into the world?
In barrenness, there is courage and resilience. It may sound odd to say, but in the rawness of barrenness, there is beauty. It seems to be carved out of the clinging onto prayers in the lost hours of the night. Choosing to look into the future without infertility and barrenness requires strength beyond measure. This is the very depiction of beauty.
But just when I start to become consumed by the loss of the human experience I will never have, I begin to think about my own (and many other’s) beauty after becoming a mom for the first time. In barrenness and adoption, there is an incredible radiance that is found. There is a courage like no other….courage to venture into waters where land is not seen. Determination to seek out options that other’s may never have to consider.
There are also moments of grief…extraordinary grief that seems almost too big for any human to consume. Gut wrenching. Soul-darkening. Pain that is impossible to put into words. Stillness that seems to go against nature.
Then, there are moments of hope spliced into the loss, faith, and the reality of it all.
There are the times when you look upon your child and see that a piece of yourself has been born….perhaps, you will carry on through your children. In these moments, you feel hope and peace about the future.
In adoption, there are immeasurable moments between husband and wife holding their child for the first time. There are memory-searing images of grandparents first laying their eyes on their grand-babies…and, there is that gasp of breaths when the gavel falls and the glorious little one is declared forever a part of the family.
And let’s not forget about the birth mothers to whom our children come from. Their courage to choose life despite hardship, plan adoption with a level of hope and selflessness that is rarely seen in this world, and carry within them the ability to let go when needed, is perhaps one of the most powerful declarations that life is worth it, hopeful, and beautiful.
The mighty truth is that I won’t miss my children’s birthdays, new friendships, discovery of talents, heartache, heartbreak, frustrations, accomplishments, and growth as children of a loving Father.
Although saddened and brought to a place of envy and anger, I’m thankful to have read the blog posts. I appreciate glimpsing into the rawness of childbirth, the nude emotions of it, and the humanizing words of the mother’s whose agony of childbirth became stories of beauty.
For all of my sisters of the barren womb, and Mamma’s through adoption, your own birth stories are equally beautiful.
The birthing of your fortitude to seek motherhood, the labor of your endurance that clings to hope, characters of your unfolding life-script, humility to answer far too many questions, and the moment your breath is taken away by the gaze of the child to which your soul is settled by, are powerfully, and beautifully sculpted human experiences.
I will probably read more posts about childbirth, and I may cry at each one. My tears will surely hold the loss that visits me from time to time, but will also carry the joy of my own birthing experience…one filled with courage, resilience, humility, endurance, and remembrance of the first time I looked upon my children.
Yes, in adoption, there is radiance, and many life-declaring moments.
Adoption is beautiful.