As my first Mother's Day approaches I can't help but think about all the women out there who want more than anything to be celebrating that day with a child of their own. I know with all the "Teen Mom" type TV shows and the endless parade of announcements on Facebook newsfeeds, it seems as though everyone is effortlessly jumping on the mommy bandwagon. However, for so many, every month brings a growing sense of frustration and the question: "Why not me?" looms larger and larger. I can't even count on one hand the couples I know personally who are struggling with trying to conceive.
My parents tried for 8 years to have me, so I grew up convinced that it would take me years to get pregnant. Even though it didn't take as long as I thought, knowing what my parents went through -- watching all of their friends and family members have babies year after year -- has made me ultra-sensitive to others who are waiting and waiting for that positive test result. Therefore, although I haven't personally experienced the agony of that seemingly endless wait, there are a few things I want to share with those who are experiencing that challenge this Mother's Day.
-- You are NOT alone. I know it must seem like everyone you know is pregnant or has a baby, but there are many other women who are going through the same thing. Don't suffer silently... Ask for prayers like my brave friend, Rachel, does weekly. Make your desires known to God and others and get together with other women who know what you are going through.
-- Don't give up hope. I'm sure glad my parents didn't give up because I wouldn't be here today if they had. On the other hand, if they had gotten pregnant when they first wanted to their lives and mine would be very different. My parents would not have been as mature and their marriage wouldn't have been so well-established. This waiting time can be a great opportunity to focus on yourself and to develop a rock-solid relationship with your husband.
-- Don't forget that, if having a biological child is not in the cards for you, you still have the opportunity to give the gift of a stable home to a child for whom you are a dream come true. There are over 100,000 US kids in foster care who, just like you, know what "waiting" is all about. This whole post was inspired by a friend of a friend from MS State who, along with her husband, is currently trying to raise money to complete the adoption process. They are selling "Party of Two... Praying for More" t-shirts to help them along this journey to parenthood. Visit their blog for inspiration or to purchase a shirt to help make their dream a reality.
I hope that this blogpost has come across like I've meant for it to: as encouraging and sensitive and not offensive. I just felt really called to do something in support of those for whom Mother's Day is one of the toughest days of the year. This Mother's Day, let us celebrate all mothers, not just the typical ones. This day is for all women who display determination and grace in the face of adversity -- mothers who have lost babies before meeting them, mothers who had to say goodbye to babies after they were born, mothers who care for children not their own, and mothers-in-waiting.