“It’s not supposed to be this hard.” These are the words I spoke across the table to my husband. We were sitting in a restaurant, a glass of wine to my left, my pasta front and center, and his steak filling the remaining space. We look like a normal couple. Two people, young(ish), enjoying a meal together on a Saturday night. Your standard date night. What meets the eye is often such a simplistic view of the truth, isn’t it? But in reality, that thin exterior of an American Saturday Night is really just a shroud to what is really happening-we were talking about adoption.
This mantra of it’s not supposed to be this hard is one that we’ve said, or rather I’ve said, about a thousand times through this journey of infertility. We all know how the story goes: boy meets girl, girl meets boy, they fall in love, exchange some rings, say some pretty words, and then after a specified amount of time they bring home that perfect little bundle that is a mix of their DNA. We all know that story. We all expect that story. It’s easy-peasy this little life. It’s not supposed to be hard.
But for some of us it is. For some of us, the pretty words and the golden band don’t mean the stork will visit. For some of us it means the only way we will ever have children is after the prying eyes of a case worker have scrutinized our home, our lives and our history. For some of us it means thousands of dollars spent with our feet in the stirrups, our bodies plied with hormones and enough ovulation kits to test the virility of a small country. For some of us, our happy ending comes as a result to a broken dream, a broken heart, a broken trust. For some of us, adoptive parents, birth parents, adopted children-there will always be a part of us that aches for that break. My heart grieves for my children’s loss, and a part of me grieves for their biological family’s loss as well. It’s not supposed to be this hard.
And yet, it is. We live in a broken world that can only be mended by love. But all the stitches and balm will never fully erase the scars. We will still sit across from each other and plead for an easier path. And for so many of us, as we enter the month of May, the celebration of mothers, we will beg for another test, a different result, a bundle of our own. For some of us, we will pray for a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on and an understanding heart. For some of us, we will reach out and wipe the tears, calm the frustration, and sooth the spirit. Because it’s not supposed to be this hard.