The other night I dreamed I had newborn twins. A boy and a girl.
I was relaying the dream to my husband the next morning while we were lounging in bed, during those moments when you are just enough awake to describe your dream in detail before you forget it completely with the sound of your alarm and the warmth of your shower. I laughed as I described how my mom kept dressing the boy twin in an Woody costume from Toy Story.
My husband laughed, too, and then asked if the babies were biological or adopted.
"I don't know," I said. "It didn't seem to matter in the dream."
And honestly, that "not mattering" seems to be true for my life these past six months or so. I do not know what has happened to me, what has caused my deep longing for biological children to ease and even dissipate a little.
A year ago my emotions were in shambles, and I walked around with a heart that felt shredded and exposed. In vain I tried to put the scraps of flesh back together until I realized it just felt better to live in my pain.
And I did.
Wallowed would probably be a more fitting term.
It was a hard, crippling time for me. I felt paralyzed by my unfulfilled desires. I was almost too depressed to be angry about that. At the time my husband was preaching through the book of Romans, and as I grappled with my crisis of faith, it was the hard truth of God's sovereignty that both wounded and healed my heart. How like God to use a difficult doctrine to teach me about His love for me.
As time crept by, the attempts at patching up my heart fell to the wayside as the Word of God healed me permanently. Months slipped by before I realized that the nearly constant pain of my infertility had...well, stopped. I remember looking at the calendar sometime in June and thinking, "This hasn't bothered me in months. What's happened to me?"
I think it's a number of things. I think God has provided some miraculous healing to my heart, but I also think He has used time to ease the perpetual ache. His Word has rebuked, corrected, wounded, and bound up my heart with healing. And God has used adoption to teach me that I can love a child not of my womb more than I thought was humanly possible. He has taught me that perhaps the very purpose of our infertilty can be seen in the faces of our son and our future Ethiopian blessing.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband read Psalm 127 during our call to worship at the beginning of corporate worship. I used to read that Psalm and weep. Why could we not have a reward or heritage? Even after our son came to us, I felt like we were exempt from that Psalm. But, it dawned on me a few weeks ago, that although our son wasn't the fruit of my womb, he was still of somebody's womb and because he is our son, he is our heritage and reward, our blessing. And so will our next child be. (Maybe that's poor interpretation...I hope not.)
And so I come to what feels like the end of a road. I don't know what to say about infertility anymore. It is still a part of my life--I expect it always will be. But I don't harbor any hope for conceiving anymore. It feels like a far-off dream that I can't describe in great detail anymore because the pain that was necessary for its description feels nearly as far-off.
Instead of infertility characterizing my life like it has for nearly eight years, I feel like I am moving on to a new phase of characterization. I hope it's something full of joy.
I know I will still have difficult, awkward moments when someone else's pregnancy causes that band of longing to squeeze painfully around my heart. I know hospital visits to new mothers with new babies will be touched with the faint reminder that I am unlikely to find myself in their position. But I am tired of living my life in the shadow of embracing what God has blessed me with.
It is time to move on.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.