Five years ago this week Chad and I placed an ad on a surrogacy website beginning the journey to make our family.
Besides the obvious differences of less hair (sorry Chad) and more wrinkles between our two pictures, there is a lifetime of things you cannot necessarily see. To start…
- a healthy, stronger and better marriage.
- three babies who live only in our forever scarred hearts.
- a woman found.
- trust and faith in God.
- new curiosities, purpose and passions.
And so, with these five years of hell and back, through the darkness of a failed infertility journey, this is what I would say to that couple five years ago who was dreaming, planning, hoping and paying for babies:
- It will be okay. Even if you do not get the 2.5 kids out of this, I promise, it can be okay.
- You must turn towards one another; remember why you looked at one another and chose each other to do life with. I promise, it was not only to procreate.
- Find you and your identity in many things. And, it is not only as your roles to one another as husband and wife or your roles as parents.
- You can be pissed at God. It is okay to ask why and think you deserve more and better; and still feel His love and trust Him always. Don’t forget to breathe and look up.
- Give yourself permission to feel it all, all at the same time; afraid and brave, sad and joyful, angry and accepting, longing and content. Your clarity, your answers and your truth lie in the complicated gray of it all.
- Decide your limits, how much and how long, together. Know they are not set in stone. Be honest with yourself and with one another. Ask for what you want and need. Together you can get through this stronger.
- Remain open. You will have many choices. What you think is not survivable, is. What you think is the only happy ending, is not the only version.
- You can always make more money but you must be realistic with the long term effects of spending what you don’t technically have.
- Even though you will feel invisible and ignored for the rest of your life at times, trust you are seen, known and loved by those who really matter.
- Find the things to be grateful for, it will be the single most helpful and significant thing for coming out of this alive.
- Speak your story even more. It will be the only way you get the support you will desperately need through this.
- Forgive others often and over and over. They don’t get it, but they do try and mean well most of the time.
- Don’t be so harsh and judgmental towards yourself. Unfortunately, you will get plenty of this from some of your loved ones and society, be nice to yourself and to one another.
- It is only through this struggle that your dreams will come true. And even though they may not look like how you had hoped they are even more than you can imagine.
- You will be parents. And, every day you will honor and love your three in how much love and light you put into this world.