Three years ago I wrote a series of posts about what the letters of adoption stand for to me. They're posted on the sidebar to the right.
Now three years and one adoption later I thought I'd revisit that.
Today, A is for Acceptance.
Probably the biggest part of infertility is acceptance. Accepting the diagnosis, or even the lack thereof. Accepting that things aren't working out like you'd planned. Acceptance that your family will be different than you imagined. And acceptance that God has a better plan for you and your spouse.
I personally feel like I've been through acceptance several times. The first time was the acceptance of my own infertility. That was hard. To say the least. I felt like such a failure of a woman. I had to accept that the one automatic, natural thing a woman's body is supposed to do, I couldn't. I was heart broken. I still am.
The second time was when my husband's infertility was diagnosed. Not only were we both in shock but we both started to feel the finality of our reality. That time was very difficult for both of us. We grieved. Oh how we grieved. I went through the process of mentally saying goodbye to the beautiful biological children I had dreamed of. It really felt like someone had died. We felt our loss keenly.
The third time was when we prayerfully decided to adopt. Through that decision, we felt hope. And peace. Our dream to become parents seemed like a possibility again. But with adoption comes strings attached. And that's where acceptance comes into play again. Your privacy is taken away. Everything about you is examined to pass approval to become a parent. It's both invasive and exhausting. You lose knowing how much time you'll have to prepare. No 9 months to get ready. It could happen at any time. You accept that someone else has control over whether you become a parent or not. You accept that your children will probably not look anything like you. With time, we were okay with all of that.
Trying to adopt a second time has brought new things for me to accept. Even old things revisited. And it's probable that I'll feel these things each time we adopt. You never "get over" infertility. You learn to accept the new plan your life has been given and more importantly you learn to love the life you live.