Sunday, July 24, 2011

Choosing Parenting Over Pregnancy

Part One in a series of articles on Adoption By Stephanie Buckner

When my husband and I were engaged we had discussed our future offspring with excitement and glee. We never, ever, would've guessed that infertility would haunt us. We were young, we were healthy and we were full of faith! When the first year went by with no baby...then the second....and the third, we realized that having children would be a lot harder for us than for our siblings and friends. "That's ok" we thought "it'll just take a little more effort for us, that's all." Yes, one would think that with modern advances in medicine that we would be able to "fix" any fertility problems with a little bit of help, but we were bitterly disappointed when multiple failed treatments failed to produce our hearts desire. The more we suffered, the harder we prayed, and the more we pleaded with Heavenly Father the more we learned about what truly makes a family.
In our 4th year of marriage we decided to pursue adoption. It is a heavy, complicated process that is full of invasive questions and frustrating roadblocks. It is also a process full of miraculous events and life-changing experiences. Before we could pursue adoption we had to take a cold, hard look at ourselves and ask ourselves the most important first question: Which is more important? Pregnancy or Parenting? For many couples this is a complicated question. As a woman who has never been pregnant, given birth or been blessed with the opportunity to nurse my children I will admit that sometimes I have felt a little robbed of the right of passage that comes with bearing a child. I have a child-yes. But I didn't bear my child. I was enamored with the idea of being pregnant - I was in love with the visions of rounded belly - a tiny creation that was half of me and half of my husband. From an infertily perspective pregnancy was the goal. After several years of fertility treatments...pregnancy was the ONLY goal. I had forgotten the big picture. Why were we doing this? Wait! The purpose of pregnancy is to become a parent! We realized that our hopes and dreams were not lost... We could still become parents through the miracle of pregnancy but we would need help.

Spencer W. Kimball said, "God does watch over us and does notice us, but it usually through someone else that he meets our needs." Miracles do happen. When we matched with our first birthmother, K, in July 2006 we felt the peace that comes from knowing that God was watching over us...and later that month he used K in a miraculous way when she chose to place her beautiful baby girl in our arms and entrusted us with her care. Do I still mourn for the pregnancy that never was? Sometimes. Parenting does not erase the pain of infertility. But it is hard to focus on the pain when my heart is filled with joy. I have never considered for a single moment that my daughter Kayley is not my child. She was born in my heart. She is my baby. And I am her Mom. And that is all that matters.