These stages are sometimes called “The Upward Turn” or “Working Through.” I started to crawl slowly into this phase, and then jumped in with both feet when we received one phone call on an April morning in 2008.
I had resolved to take much of my infertility walk in stride, which is clearly easier said than done. We didn’t know what was going to happen. But we were going to move forward together. Come what may. My joy had returned for the most part, as had my perspective. My walk with Christ began to deepen and I began to focus on Him.
Yes, it still hurt when I saw pregnant women. Especially, young, unmarried girls who had not planned for this. But, I chose to trust God. I began to focus on what was right.
We had a great marriage. Perfect? Um, no. But, very strong. We’d been through so much together. So very much. We began to look into and pray about adoption. My research habits kicked in again and I learned about The Dave Thomas Foundation http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/. I learned that there are approximately 100,000 children in the US alone legally available for adoption.
We attended a meeting for our county’s Department of Family Services to learn about adopting. We hoped to adopt a child or a sibling group from the foster care system. Less than 2 weeks after attending this meeting we got a call that changed our lives forever.
We got a call from a dear friend about a woman at our church, T, whom we knew was expecting. T knew we desperately wanted children, but didn’t have any yet. She also knew she could not parent at this time in her life. The whole story is a post for another time, but in six short weeks from this phone call, we were holding our son in our arms.
Many people (including me) would think this would be the END of our grief. We had a son. We were parents! But, it actually started a whole new cycle of grief I was completely unprepared for. But God is gracious and although I had to go through the stages all over again, they were shorter, though more complicated in their layers.
I think that’s what is somewhat unique with infertility grief. It’s never really fully resolved. Another blog I found called “Childless Me” described it this way, “Infertility grief is one of the rarer and more complicated griefs, in that it features both of these sub-types: ambiguous loss and disenfranchised grief. Ambiguous grief is the kind that doesn’t want to resolve. I suppose in a way no grief totally resolves, as if the loss never happened, there is healing and there’s a scar. If you think hard about the loss of a loved one even over a decade ago you might start sobbing like it was yesterday. That’s my experience anyway. But that grief process itself is done, I am not breaking down into tears whenever reminded of her. The loss of my grandmother (in 2001) is not effecting my ability to live and thrive. Even the loss of my other grandmother in recent months has markedly healed by each week’s end. It’s like these losses have their defined place inside and timing, but infertility doesn’t have these.” http://childless.me/2013/05/infertility-grief-ambiguous-loss-disenfranchised-grief/
The song below really shows my walk through these stages. Read the lyrics as you listen. I pray it ministers to you as it has me.