June 29, 2011

Why I'd Rather Be Awake

"If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up." ~J.M. Power

We were made to procreate. God placed in each living being an instinctual desire to recreate and continue the species. Humans being were further given the opportunity to make choices about procreation. We can choose to do so or not to do so. We are not just driven by instincts. We can logically and personally decide if we want to bring forth children or remain child-free.

Except when you can’t. What most take for granted, for some of us it is unattainable. You don’t really understand the power of that choice until you don’t have it. Infertility is cruel and random. You don’t think about it until it invades your life, turns it upside down, and takes over your dreams.

I had the normal dreams of most young girls. I would go to college, get an education, find a job, marry my dream man, have children, live happily ever after. As I was growing up life seemed to go just as planned. College and graduate school, check. Job, check. Man of my dreams, check.

The next logical step for us was to have a baby. And so we began to dream. Oh, how we dreamt. We dreamt of a little girl with my curly hair and my husband’s green eyes. We dreamt of a little boy with my energy and his introspective personality. We dreamt as we planned, timed, checked, and counted days.

We kept dreaming as weeks turned into months and months turned into years. All around me my friends would get pregnant and become moms. And I prayed, and hoped, and mostly dreamt. We continued dreaming while the doctors tested and prodded. We kept planning as they took samples and made diagnoses.

Twice we thought the dream would finally come true and twice we were disappointed by medical science. But we could not stop dreaming of the little girl and the little boy, for we thought if we stopped dreaming we would stop living. Infertility consumes you. It becomes the nightmare that kills the dreams.

And I moved as in a fog. Dreaming of the children I couldn’t have. Dreaming of the mother I could not be. And living only medical nightmares.

One day when all the science we were morally and ethically willing to endure was exhausted, I was faced with two choices: to allow the nightmare to drag me deeper into a dark obsession where I compromised my beliefs of right and wrong in pursuit of this elusive dream; or to shake myself awake and allow the Dream-Giver to reshape my reality and my hopes. So I woke up.

I woke up to the reality that there are many ways to make a family. The little girl I was dreaming about for so long was not in me, but out there. She would have beautiful eyes - brown, not green. She would have curly hair, not like mine, but beautiful anyway. She would not grow in my womb, but I would love her madly nonetheless.

And wide awake we filled out the paperwork, went through the homestudy, and received the phone call. Wide awake we chose her, picked her up, and made her ours. A little while later, wide awake we brought her little brother home the same way. A boy with energy to spare and as laid-back as a peaceful stream. Wide awake we took charge of our dreams, and with God’s amazing help and grace, they came true.

I don’t believe adoption is for everyone. It is not to be entered upon lightly for it can be a painful, bittersweet process. It is not second best and it is not a last resort. For us it was a God-given calling and the reality that made our dreams come true. For some of my dear friends dealing with this infertility monster we “affectionately” call IF, their dreams have and will be made reality with the help of doctors. Others have and will make the choice to redefine their dreams and dream up a new way of living, child-free. But for us, it took waking up from our infertility nightmare to realize our two dreams were out there somewhere waiting for us to find them.

Gaby is a pastor's wife, a momma to two, teacher and recent homeschooler from Ecuador who likes to imagine that she can write. Her family is a little bit famous in their small southern town because they look like a committee of the United Nations everywhere they go, including multiple languages just to confuse the neighbors.

Author Website: Life In A Glass House