Wednesday, April 24, 2013

National Infertility Awareness Week

I believe all of us were created with some sort of purpose in mind. I'm not talking about a specific, predestined set of roles...more like a designed set of strengths and gifts that allow us to be a very important part of the overall puzzle that constitutes life in our corner of the world.

I always believed that part of that purpose, for me, would be wrapped up in forming young lives under the title of "Mom". From the time I was very small, I knew I would have kids one day. I am a part of a large family and assumed that chaos and tiny feet would be a part of my life forever.

So, when infertility became the label by which we were defined, life just sort of stood still. What was the direction? What was the purpose? Why were we doomed to suffer the injustice of a sterile existence?

That last statement is complete hogwash, and I have the clarity to realize that now. None of us, regardless of our marital status or condition of our reproductive organs, are doomed to a sterile existence. There is no such thing. God can bring life of all sorts through the authentic living of our vocations and the use of our gifts for Him.

But. Women were created with an organ specifically designed to foster and sustain new human life. An entire organ dedicated specifically to that purpose. It is no mistake that for many women, the cross of infertility can become an existential crisis.

Now, two adoption experiences and 5.5 years of hands-on-mothering experience later, I rarely even think of infertility. It is a vague shadow of a past life that allows me to empathize with those in the throes of infertility, but it doesn't consume any of my personal reflection time. Now, my thoughts are turned to the needs of my own two rapidly-growing kids and my responsibility toward those forgotten kids still bouncing around in foster care, in need of permanence. Whether or not we jump into that fray is yet to be determined or even discussed. But the thought of future growth in our family is not limited by (or even influenced by) our infertility. The fertility of our union will be determined by how God leads us to use our gifts and talents, as a couple, in the Church and in our world. The possibilities are endless.

This post brought to you by the fact that it is National Infertility Awareness Week, which got me thinking about such things. Awareness does that to you, I guess.