11 things I’ve learned about myself through infertility

April 24-30th is recognized as National Infertility week.  I’m pretty positive most people who know this don’t “celebrate” this week. Instead, it’s a time to reflect on their individual journey and raise awareness.  It’s not something I ever thought I’d be familiar with, but here I am.  We are 5 years into our journey with no end in sight.   I have certainly learned many things about myself, and I thought maybe some of them would interest you.


 11 Things I’ve learned about myself through our journey with infertility

  1. Don’t let your heart root in bitterness. There was certainly a point in this journey that I let bitterness seep into my heart.  Each time someone announced an “oops” pregnancy I wondered why it wasn’t me.  How could it be so easy for some people and yet so incredibly impossible for me to have a baby?  Every story about an abused or neglected child made me question God- why give those people a baby when I would certainly love that child and take care of them.  I’ve learned that there will always be times when grief hits me and causes my eyes to well up with tears, but I can’t stay there and let my grief turn to bitterness.  I have to trust in the story God is writing for my life and believe that His plan and His purpose is so much better than my own.

 

  1. God is good, even when life is not. It’s not promised anywhere in the bible that life would be easy. Actually, it’s not even promised that God wouldn’t give us more than we can handle.  Life can be really hard and painful sometimes.  However,  I know ultimately that God is good and again, He has a plan and cause use my story for a purpose. I just have to trust Him.  (Easier said than done…

 

  1. My husband really is my best friend. Throughout this journey I have seen some of my darkest moments.  I have not been my “prettiest” self and through it all, Ryan has stood by my side and loved me- unconditionally.  Friends, marriage can be hard.  Throwing something like infertility into the picture can make it even more difficult. We’ve had our times of frustration with each other, but it’s strengthened our marriage.  It’s brought us close together.  Hard times can push couples away from each other if you aren’t careful.  We’re purposeful about doing things to stay connected: Praying together, hanging out together, talking to each other even when we’re mad, having fun together, etc.

 

  1. Being a mother won’t “complete” me. There have been times I have felt incomplete because I can’t carry a child.  I have felt like less-than around other women and wondered if I would ever get to experience the joys of motherhood.  It would be easy to get lost in the feelings of being incomplete. But, just like marriage couldn’t complete me- neither will being a mother.  I have to find my “completion” in Christ.  He’s the only one who can fill the voids in my heart.  Being a mom is going to be AMAZING.  But it won’t complete me.

 

  1. There can be beauty in brokenness. I recently heard someone say, “Infertility is brokenness.  Ainfertility2doption is brokenness.  God is using brokenness to build my family.”  This really stuck with me.  It’s true.  A woman’s body was designed to carry children.  Mine can’t.  In reality, I’m broken.  A baby is supposed to stay with their birth mother and birth family.  For whatever reasons, sometimes that can happen.  That brokenness woven together with my brokenness will undoubtedly create something beautiful beyond comprehension.  I could look at it in a negative light, but I choose to see the positive of what God is doing.

 

  1. People will say the wrong things. I can’t tell you how many times someone with beautiful intentions has said something to me about our journey that has cut me to the core.  Their intentions were pure, but as they wrangle their 3 children running around the house, they can’t possibly understand my story.  There have also been those who for whatever reasons have said things bluntly and seemingly set out to hurt me. I can’t possible understand the journey of using a surrogate or IVF or pregnancy complications.  People generally have good intentions, sometimes they have no idea what they say hurts. Even if their intentions aren’t pure:  Be forgiving.  Be gracious.

 

  1. Our Adoption Journey isn’t the only “right” way to adopt.. Ryan and I set out on this adoption journey knowing that not everyone would understand it or support it. We’ve had people judge our every move since we opened up about our adoption plans.  “Why don’t you adopt from foster care?  Are those kids not good enough for you?”   “Why are you adopting here in the United States?  Kids overseas need you more than kids here in the US.”  “Why are you adopting an infant?  Why not adopt a teenager. Nobody wants the teenagers.”  “Why would you possibly say no to a child with special needs? “.. the list goes on.  Those questions can be painful, and so extremely invasive. We have prayerfully considered every single step in this journey.  Our steps aren’t for everyone.  Some people are called to adopt from foster care.  Some people are called to adopt overseas. Some people are called to support others who are adopting and cheer from the sidelines.  We are confident that this is the path God has placed us on.  If you have questions, we’d love to talk.  But know that we have researched and prayed about every possible scenario. We know the pros and cons of every Adoption possibility. This is the journey God has placed us on. We’re good with it.
  2. Face your fears. Infertility is scary.  Growing up, I knew there were issues.  My cycle was always extremely irregular and often times, non-existent.  I was terrified to go to the doctor because I was afraid they would tell me what I already knew deep in my heart: I’m broken.  I knew there was something wrong.  I often questioned what exactly my issues were and if they were fixable.  Instead of facing my fears and finding out, I hid.  I ran. I avoided.  I made up excuses and refused to face whatever my reality was.  Maybe things would be different if I had addressed it from the beginning.  Maybe they would be exactly the same.  The point is, I took a risk. I’ll always question if my story would have turned out differently had I faced my fears. (FYI… I go to the doctor now, I know my issues. No lectures needed! 😉 )
  3. It’s ok to not be ok. This past week has been extremely painful. I feel as though I’m walking around with a broken heart.  Things have been happening that we’ve been public about and things that we’ve been not so public about.  I’ve cried… a lot.  Actually, I’ve cried a lot over the last few years about our infertility. It’s ok to grieve.  It’s ok to cry. It’s completely normal.  It’s ok to not be ok… for a while.  I can’t let myself stay here though.  I have to find joy in the everyday and trust that God is writing my story.  I may not understand some of the chapters, but I know that the ending will be beautiful.
  4. I’m stronger than I ever knew. I have faced fears.  I have faced uncertainty.  I have held it together when everything else was falling apart.  I have stepped out in faith.  I have asked for help when it’s been REALLY hard.  I have worked an incredibly stressful job and then started a new job. I finished my first college degree and we have walked through every hoop and obstacle adoption could throw our way.  I never would have believed I could do everything I’ve done.  I certainly don’t give all of the credit to myself.  Again, God has been beside me.  Ryan has been beside me and I have some incredible family and friends who have cheered for me and loved me every step of the way.  But I am strong. I CAN do this.  I might cry about it and whine from time to time… but every step forward is a step closer to becoming a mom.  It’s worth it.
  5. Sometimes it’s ok to run away- but you have to come back. There have been times that this journey has been so hard that I have wanted to give up. When your life is completely consumed with questions and you are all out of answers, it lays heavy on your heart. Instead of giving up or self-imploding Ryan and I choose to run away.  Sometimes we run away to our house and lock the doors and turn off our phones and veg out for a day or two and try to forget that the world outside exists.  Sometimes, we load the car for a mini road trip.  Sometimes we just need to run away and leave the pain and heartache here.  We’ll come back to it.  We know that we can’t run away forever.  Sometimes you just need some respite from the hard stuff so that you can think clearly and come up with a game plan

    YES

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Sometimes the Answer is No….

Sometimes the Answer is No.

Over the last 5 days,  our lives have been in a whirlwind.  An unexpected situation arose concerning a very special baby who has some pretty intensive medical needs.  We saw pictures of this baby and watched videos of them laughing and smiling.  We instantly fell in love with that little laugh and that precious smile.  Their chubby cheeks were perfectly pinch-able and I felt a longing in my heart to rescue and love this little baby who hasn’t really had a fair shake at life.

When I think about this situation with my heart, it’s overwhelming.  For the baby’s privacy, I can’t share any details regarding the situation.  I know that I could fight for this child. I have no doubt that this child would have a family who loved them unconditionally.   When I think about this child with my heart, I consider the fact that I would be a mother and celebrate my first mother’s day in a few short weeks. I think about cuddling this baby and falling asleep, and seeing Ryan love on this baby and embrace the daddy role that I know he will just effortlessly fall in love with.   My heart wants to say yes.  My heart wants to save and rescue. My heart wants to love.  My heart longs to love on our baby.

When I think about this situation with my brain, it’s overwhelming.  Ryan and I both have to work in order to make ends meet and provide for our family both now and in the future.  Unfortunately we aren’t independently wealthy, nor are we called to be doctors or investment bankers or some other career that would provide enough money for us to have a stay at home parent.  I love working in human services, but trust me there isn’t big money here. Ryan loves barbering and he is awesome at it!  Again, a great career, but haircuts don’t bring in millions either. We’re happy with our careers and we’re comfortable with the freedom that our jobs give us.   But my brain tells me that if we consider loving this child that one of us needs to stay home full-time.  One of us needs to be able to advocate for the needs of this child and make sure they are receiving the therapies and early interventions so that they can reach their full potential.

In this particular case, it’s impossible to tell us what “full potential” would be.  This baby could already be meeting all of the milestones that they will meet for a lifetime, or they could surpass every expectation and lead a fairly typical life with proper intervention.  They will face surgeries and a lifetime of medical professionals. Even still, my heart longs to love this baby that nobody else seems to want to love.

When we have prayed about this situation, and let me tell you guys, we have prayed, my heart feels overwhelmed.   We have cried out to God in a big way to give us an answer.  My heart prayed for a miracle for this baby W, for a sign that we could do the impossible and that this baby would have some sort of miraculous recovery.  But, sometimes the answer is “no”.  We really feel like we have gotten the confirmation we need to say with confidence that this isn’t our baby.  It’s probably the hardest no we’ve ever had to say. I’ve cried and dnooubted and cried even more.  But, underneath of this fresh layer of grief , there is a peace that surpasses understanding and a continued hope that our story isn’t over yet. 

I’ll be honest.  I’m wrestling with feelings of selfishness and self-doubt.  I feel horrible that we are yet another family who says no to a baby that God loves just as much as any “typical” baby.  My heart is broken, but I know that it will heal.  I know that there has to be another family out there for this baby who can give them everything they need.  As much as I want to be that family, we just aren’t. We could choose to say yes, but it would be for all of the wrong reasons.  This baby deserves a yes from someone who can give them the world.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned from this process is that we are now at the point in this journey where things can move very, very quickly.  Things can happen unexpectedly and a situation that screams “YES!”  in our hearts could fall into our laps just as easily as this “no” situation.  We want to be ready.  At times through the decision process, we would panic because we really havegood NOTHING other than a crib, a car seat, a blanket and a few (like 3) outfits that we have seen along the way and couldn’t say no to. We didn’t know how we would possibly get everything done in time to travel early next week to meet this baby and bring them home. The items we do have are tucked neatly in a closet…waiting. I wonder if it’s time for us to start picking up a few more items here and there that we’ll have just in case a whirlwind “yes” comes waltzing into our lives without warning.

It’s also lit a fire under me to finish meeting our financial goals.  I don’t think it’s any secret that money is my biggest fear and my biggest wrestle with faith in this process.  I hope and pray that we don’t pester our friends and family for help.  That’s certainly not our intention.  However, we can’t make this happen on our own.  We are over
½ way to our final goal.  We know that with hard work, prayer, and determination we can meet the rest of our goal in the next few months.  I’m not sure my heart could handle saying “no”  when it was screaming YES because we didn’t have the money we needed to make it happen. Saying “no” when you feel like no is the right answer is painful enough.

So, that’s where we are today.  We’re broken, but not broken beyond repair.  We know that this is all a part of God’s master plan and that His story is being written into our lives. More importantly,  His story is being written into the life of a child that we love with all of our hearts and haven’t even met.

Things are HAPPENING! (and I’m not telling..)

Things have been happening.

.. Big, scary, exciting, stressful things.  Some things we can talk about, others we can’t.  We are asking you to pray big prayers for us right now! I know you’re all going to wonder about the things we can’t talk about, but trust me when I say we’ll share what we can share when we can share it…if in fact there are things we have to share. (Vague enough for you?!  HAHA!)

As many of you know from my facebook page, things went a little crazy with our home study.   The shorter version of a very long story is this:  The agency that completed our home study has decided to no longer do this part of the Adoption business.   This means that when they turn in their license they can no longer be the “holder” of our completed home study.   For us, that meant that we needed to have our completed home study transferred to another agency to hold for us.  By law, certain parts of the home study must be completed by the holding agency so we had a very short amount of time to re-do a few portions of our home study in order for it to remain active.   We were frazzled.  We were stressed and I was feeling a bit defeated.

However, I’m being reminded of the fact that God uses ALL things for our good and we are beyond confident that He has called us to add to our family through adoption.  This new agency that is/will be holding our home study has been phenomenal to work with.  They also advocate for and help place special needs children who are in need of a forever family.  If you know me, you know that this is very near and dear to my heart.  While the transition has been stressful, I think in the long run it’s another step in the right direction for us to be able to meet our baby!

We’ve had several people ask if switching home study agencies means that we have to start all over on the financial end of things.  Absolutely not!  While there was a small financial setback that occurred with the switch, the majority of what we’ve raised and paid towards our adoption so far is unaffected.  We are still fundraising and planning and working and dreaming up ideas to gather the rest of what we need to be fully funded.  The timeline is so unknown.  We are learning that things can move very quickly and then suddenly stop and back track a few steps and then take off in lightening speed again before we can catch our breath!  I’ll be honest, the fear remains in my heart that we’ll be matched and then not have the money that we need to make it happen. But at the same time I know that I have to trust God.  He’s already done so much. I know that He won’t fail us now.

Current Fundraisers:
1. Adopt an Envelope (Message me for details!)
2. Youcaring Site: https://www.youcaring.com/ryan-cera-wymer-366061
3. Paypal Donation:  https://paypal.me/wymerpartyof3

Upcoming Fundraisers:
1. Rummage Sale (July)
2. Pancake Breakfast
3. 5k Family Fun run/walk/stroll

 

Thank you so much for your prayers, your love and your financial support.  It means the absolute world to us.  We are so blessed to have such an amazing group of friends and family.