This post was originally published on April 20, 2012.
In responding to the April 4th Whiny Wednesday post, a few of us commented on the frustrations of having to deal with the inevitable, “Have you considered … adoption, fostering, egg donation, or surrogates?” It is annoying. Why do other people think (a) they have the answers and (b) that we haven’t considered whatever “solution” they are proffering?
The worst is the suggestion followed by the “miracle story.”
I was extremely surprised when I got such a story from a friend. She is a new mom who suffered several miscarriages on her way to mommy-hood. I am happy for her, and still consider her a sister-in-arms, even though she’s crossed over.
I was sitting in her living room broken-hearted over recent news of a pregnancy in the family, when the conversation turned to the financial barriers of adoption. She launched into this story of a friend who was an obstetrics nurse who managed to adopt a baby from one of those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” patients that you hear about on TV, but never quite believe they exist. The total price tag was around $6,000. What an incredible stroke of luck.
I honestly did not know what to do with that information. What was I supposed to take from it? I am supposed to camp out in emergency rooms waiting for a mom who might not want her baby? Seriously, I love my friend, but this was not a helpful story.
I think that Americans are groomed to expect a happy ending. I personally blame the entertainment industry for this. All problems are resolved in Hollywood. No problem is insurmountable. It is so pervasive that when people encounter real life scenarios that can’t be fixed, they are confounded, and that’s when the suggestions and the stories start a-flyin’.
What these well-intentioned people don’t understand is their stories usually have the opposite effect than what was intended. Instead of feeling inspired, we feel deflated. Why someone else and not us? What are we doing wrong? Have we not tried hard enough? Are we unworthy?
I do believe in God and the power of faith and prayer, but with that comes surrendering to the fact that our destiny may not look the way we envisioned it. God is not a cosmic ATM. If we all got the miracles we prayed for, everyone would be a lottery winner, right?
We all have different paths, and they are beautiful in their own way. Part of our struggle with childlessness is embracing it for what it is worth and finding the beauty in ourselves and our lives with or without baby. It is not an easy path, and, unfortunately, there is no easy way for us to make others realize that.
Luckily, we do have an amazing community here. One that reminds us we are not alone, and that in itself is something I consider a small miracle.
Quasi-Momma, whose real name is Susan, is not quite a mom, but really wants to be. In her blog, Quasimomma, she explores her struggles with pregnancy loss and facing childlessness while grappling with the ups and downs of step family life.