Necessary disclaimer: I feel blessed beyond compare to have three BEAUTIFUL goddaughters in my life, in addition to not feeling worthy of so great a blessing. If spiritual motherhood is all I am called to in this world, I am joyful to have been given that opportunity which I realize not all women get.
Last night we had dinner with our wonderful neighbors. Somehow our infertility came up (doesn't it always??) in talking about marriage and their grown children. These neighbors do already know about our infertility struggle, but basically that was all they knew. So, of course, the question arose which always arises when speaking with couples who have been trying to grow their family for as long as we have. The question "Have you... or would you ever... consider adoption?"
I glanced across the table to Mr TCIE, because really, there's no getting around this crazy, lengthy answer in our specific situation. But still, I knew it was up to him to disclose as much information as he wanted. And so, without hesitating, he did. He told them the story of our denied Home Study, all about the arrest and subsequent court cases, and I filled in the gaps. Not once did either of our voices falter, never did we need to blink away a forming tear... it was as if we were describing a story of someone else's life instead of our own.
This may sound "unhealthy" to some of you. But actually, it felt exactly the opposite. We have shed our tears, yelled out our frustrations, felt every angle of hurt in all aspects, over this past/present of ours which prevents us from adopting. This was the first time we had told someone the story in quite some time (most friends and family at this point already know)... and it took us by surprise that we were so matter-of-fact. I understood at once that this was trust. Through our sufferings over the past 6 years, we often felt forced into submission, like as much as we tried to plow through, we always ended up being pushed back further and further. A necessary amount of trust was involved in that process, so as to keep us from despair... but now it's different. Now, we seem to have a sense of complete trust in God's plan for us. Sure, we're still human, and we still feel anger, remorse, sadness, jealousy, etc. But overall, we know we have not been abandoned and that we are carrying our crosses in a way that pleases God.
After coming home last night and processing all of this... I began to envision a different future. A family of two, devoting our careers to helping people, becoming more financially secure and eventually able to travel again. The world really is our oyster.
Of course... it's not what I "want." I am a Godmother, three times over, and twice I was chosen to fill this role for babies who may have been conceived in part due to my help. Is there any greater honor than that?
Yes. Motherhood. Real, true motherhood in more than just the spiritual sense. To have God Himself choose you for such a blessing as this... nothing comes close to that honor. This is what I want. It is what I have always wanted. And it is what I will always want.
But as the years pass, and we see our growth in trust of God's plan for us, I know that I don't want what I want anymore. I want what God wants. And if God wants me to be always a godmother, never a mother... then I want that, too.
I used to argue that I knew myself better than God did. And that if He was not lifting my cross of childlessness all of these years because He felt that I could not do what I am doing as a FertilityCare Practitioner and Ultrasonographer while also being a mother... He was just wrong. I knew better! (Imagine!) I could be one of those women who does it all, and never sleeps. (In truth, I still feel that way.)
Now I'm beginning to understand that God is not withholding what I want so much because He doesn't think I can handle it all. He is not waiting for me to fulfill some other purpose first, before answering my prayers for a child. He knows me better. Better than I know myself, or ever will. He is giving me so many more opportunities for blessings, for joy, for peace, than I ever, ever could attain through motherhood. Because if I had what I wanted... I would almost definitely miss out on what I need.
And so suddenly, looking into the future of no children is not as frightening as it is exciting. God doesn't have just one path in mind for us, but a multitude of options, all of which would please Him and bring us joy. We can be his fruitful vines. I need to repeat that.
WE CAN BE HIS FRUITFUL VINES. Without bearing children. We can bear more fruit than the Duggars. If we can stop dwelling on what we don't have, and on what has "happened to us," and begin focusing on what we can have, and what we can make happen. In God, with God, and through God.
Always a Godmother...
and no one can take that away from me :)