Friday, February 19, 2010

Fire Storm

Fair warning: I'm going to get religious at points in this post because I can't express my thoughts here with out doing so. Suck it up. Or don't read it.

So I inadvertently started a fire storm on Facebook today. In fact, my post was "flagged for review because of reported abusive content." Ready for the post?

I do realize I'm saying this from the comfortable position of being able to have children, but I don't understand the people that spend tens of thousands of dollars on elaborate procedures to get pregnant when there are millions of children through out the world that need homes and families to love them. The kids are all on loan from Heavenly Father so I don't see why the route they take to get there matters so much.

Yeah. That was it. 

I got people going off about how I just don't understand b/c I have kids and its the most painful thing ever to be told that you cannot have children. 

Um.... unless I'm much mistaken I did in fact start by stating that I don't understand because I have a kid. I get that. I do not know how you feel. There is only one person that does and that person is Jesus Christ, not me. 

Also I never said being told you can't have children isn't painful. I, in no way, shape or form meant to belittle, negate, or ignore that infertility is a very painful issue. In fact I am well aware that it is an acutely sensitive topic because it is such a painful thing for many women. 

And no I don't really know what that feels like. I did have some trouble getting pregnant. Most of the women in my family are bunny rabbits who get pregnant if their husband looks at them funny and it took me 6 long months of trying to get pregnant. I remember starting my period and crying and feeling like I had somehow failed. There were 14 pregnant women in my congregation at church, not including the family, and friends that were popping out babies left and right. Yes, it sucked big time to not be pregnant when I so desperately wanted to be pregnant. 

So no I do not know how you feel. I have no fricking clue. I have the tiniest inkling of empathy for your situation because of my experience I just related but no I don't know how it feels. I only know that I always said that if I couldn't have kids that I would just adopt them and that even if I can have kids I'll probably try to adopt a few anyways. 

I am also aware that there are many reasons why people go the fertility route instead of the adoption route. Some people desperately want the experience of pregnancy, although I really can't fathom why. I mean seriously I really don't get the people that are all about the "wonder and joy of feeling a life growing inside you." I'm not trying to mock or make fun but I never got that. It was cool to feel the baby move, mostly b/c it was a really, seriously weird, never felt anything like that sensation but after the initial thrill, it got REAL old. And real painful. I couldn't wish it would stop because then I would freak out because he's supposed to move on a regular basis or it means something is wrong. 

For me, pregnancy was all about puking, and pain, and exhaustion and worry. I mean gut wrenching fear that something would go wrong, that the baby wasn't going to be okay. That I would do something wrong that would screw up the kid, that somehow I'd lose my baby before he ever even got here. Half of me wishing like hell that he'd stop kicking because it hurt so bad and the other half desperately needing him to kick me again so I'd know he was okay. 

Don't get me wrong. I have always wanted to be a mother. I adore my baby boy. He is the light of the world and he's worth a trip to hell and back to have him here. But I also feel deep in my heart that giving birth does not make you a mother. I don't think that is the case anymore than being a sperm donor makes you a father. Being a mother is about loving your child every single day and raising them the way Heavenly Father would have them raised to the very best of your ability for the rest of your life. 

I think the fact that I try my darndest to do just that makes me a mother and that is the part that I find joy and rejoicing in. Not the fact that I managed to pop out a kid. 

I also got told about how expensive adoption is and while I'm aware that some routes cost tons of money, there are routes such as foster care that are very affordable, to which it was responded that then you go through the heart break of attachment to these kids who can get taken away from you over and over and you may go years with out being able to adopt. 

And my first thought there is: is it so terrible to be a bright spot in a terrible time in the life of a child? 

I was a missionary, and as a missionary, you have a responsibility for the welfare of the souls of every single person in your assigned area. And in order to have a prayer of reaching them and teaching them you have to genuinely love them with every last fiber of your being. It does mean when you inevitably leave that area that you leave part of your heart behind. You get your heart ripped out every single time I promise you, but this is your one and only chance and you will never forgive yourself if you don't give it your everything. 

So you get this kid, and you might get to keep them, but you might not. But either way the child and you can only benefit if you love them with your whole heart, knowing that it might hurt in the end. 

I have a cousin who has a couple kids and has adopted a few kids, but has intentionally keeps a spot open in their home for one more foster kid, knowing that they won't be able to keep these babies that they fall in love with. And they do it so that they can have a positive influence in the life of a child. So that they can offer safe shelter and loving arms to many children. 

I think that they're amazing and wonderful for doing it. 

I then got told how horrible it is to have to sit and wait on an adoption list in the hopes that somebody picks you and having your heart broken when they change their minds. Yes, my heart does ache for those mothers who wait for children to love. I ache for those who have their hopes raised and dashed. But the thing that I do know, is that when they do get "picked" it is God that picks them. That child is their baby, meant for them by their Heavenly Father. They are the family that sweet spirit is meant to be with. 

It is my firm belief that whatever God wants to happen will happen. And he knows what experiences you need to have to learn and grow and progress. And yes some of those experiences seriously suck. And they hurt. And they're no fun at all. But I testify that if you are supposed to have the experience of being a parent in this life, then it will happen in the time and the way that God wants it to happen.

I'll also take a moment to note that once again I'm not saying the fertility route is wrong or that you're bad if you go that way. I think that as long as you have prayed about it and got an answer then go forth and do as the Lord has commanded you. If he says adopt do it. If he says go fertility then do it. 

Honestly, the only way I can "get there" on the fertility route is if thats the answer you got when you prayed. 

If you're not religious, then I don't get it. Not judging, just saying that from my whole point in my initial facebook post was that cognitively, I did not understand the people that chose that particular route when there are other children that need homes.   

The last group, I didn't have pointed out to me, but I am aware they exist and these are the ones I don't understand the most. There are those who believe that "blood" matters. That the kid isn't really "yours" if it doesn't share half your DNA. They desperately try to have a baby because they don't feel they can accept "someone else's kid" as their own. 

And when faced with that thought, I start to sputter and my brain kinda melts a little. Part of me goes back to "giving birth doesn't make you a mommy," therefore "motherhood" is an act that takes a life time of dedication, and its that amazing dedication and love that "gives" you the right to make a decision in the life of a child (the legal system would hate me), so you might have given birth to this kid, but that doesn't make you its "Mommy". Being their "Mommy" is something you earn through sleep deprivation and a million poopie diapers and cuddles and kisses and loves and not killing them even though sometimes it might just be tempting. 

I guess what I'm saying is that if giving birth doesn't make you Mommy, that it is your actions afterwards that make you Mommy, then what does it matter who the biological It is? Being a mother is about being selfless, to give your all for that child. That is the mother heart. That is the goal. That is where the joy comes from. Not from being capable of a basic biological function that practically every mammal on the planet can do. 

And now I'm going to go off on another random tangent topic b/c my brain train has taken me there. 

I was in a Institute class (bible study for college students) on marriage once and they were discussing kids and birth control. And one of the guys says "I think that if God gives you the child then he'll make a way for you to take care of it," as his argument against birth control. 

To which I had to respond: "I think that you shouldn't confuse God and biology." Because basically, yes, if you have prayed about it and feel strongly that now is the time to have a baby, then go for it and God will make a way for you to be able to take care of this kid. BUT God gives babies to teenagers, and child abusers and prostitutes. He allows us the natural consequences of our actions. He gave us intelligence that we can figure out where babies come from. And then if we chose to follow that path he will allow nature to take its course. 

So please, use your brain, and a contraceptive because unless you're actively preventing pregnancy, you are trying to get pregnant. 

And now I'm going to stop because otherwise I think blogger will melt. 

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