When I was 5 years old, I made an “All About Me” poster in kindergarten. One of the questions was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
My answer: Mom and Doctor
I soon realized that being a doctor involved a lot of needles and blood, so that dream went right out the window (soon to be forever replaced by “teacher”).
However, the dream to be a mom has never changed or faltered. What I did not know as a kindergartner though, is how many different paths there are to that dream.
My husband and I started trying to have children as soon as we got married. I had a family history of infertility and we did not want to waste time.
I read all the books.
I charted all my cycle symptoms.
We timed it perfectly EVERY SINGLE month.
It was exhausting.
It did not take me long (about 6 months) to realize something was wrong. I don’t just mean that we were having a hard time getting pregnant, but there was something wrong with our approach.
I did a lot of soul searching. Prayer became my best friend. During this time, we continued to try to get pregnant. We got all the zillions of tests the doctors ordered, only to be told that our infertility was unexplained. I was so confused. I began to question our goal. What is it that we want? What is that God wants for us?
Is our goal to get pregnant? Is our goal to give birth?
It took a doctor telling me that exploratory surgery was the only option, to finally make me snap into focus. We could keep trying and trying and trying. We could try every procedure under the sun, but we would still have the wrong motivation. It was in that moment, as the doctor told me she would need to cut me open, making no promises that it would fix anything, that I finally remembered my kindergarten dream.
I want to be a mom. I am called to be a mom.
There is more than one path to every dream. If I am feeling boxed in, it’s because I haven’t opened all the doors. I had been putting so much effort into the goal of getting pregnant, while losing sight of the real goal of being a mom.
So in November of 2013, I cancelled the surgery and we began the adoption process. I felt more joy in that decision than I had ever felt during our first year of trying to get pregnant. I felt joy because we were finally opening ourselves to all the paths to parenthood that God had chosen for us. I also felt at peace. That peace came from the realization that:
my desire to be a mother is far greater than my desire to be pregnant.
The journey is still very rough at times. I may give birth to our child naturally or we may adopt. Heck, we may do both one day! I have no idea. But I take great solace in knowing that we are now focused in the right direction.
I don’t need to get pregnant…
I need to be a mom.