Infertility & the Road Less Traveled
An Open Letter to Future Moms & Dads
Don’t Give Up
I know you’ve heard it before, but I want you to know I’m sorry you’re going through this. This wasn’t supposed to be part of the plan. And maybe it has you second guessing all the decisions you’ve made, wondering what you did to cause, or deserve, this kind of pain. And the worst part? You’d be a great parent—the best. You’re so ready to be someone’s mom or dad. You were made for giving bear hugs and packing lunches, coaching Little League and kissing skinned knees.
I can’t even begin to know the kind of pain you’re feeling—what it’s like to lose a future you’ve hoped for. I hope you take the time to mourn that loss. Be gentle with yourself; you’re grieving.
But while you’re in this dark place, let in a little bit of light: you are going to be a great parent. Don’t give up. Because your child is waiting for you.
All the Difference
Infertility often seems like the end of the road or the beginning of a long, winding path—a path involving dollars and injections and pills and tests and trials. In the hustle and bustle of doctors’ offices and parking lot tears, you might miss the third option—a path that brings together a grownup who wants to be a parent and a kid who needs to be somebody’s child. This road isn’t as well-trod as the others, and the journey down this path can be hard. It’s full of paperwork and training, tough questions and tough love. It’s not the way many people build their families so embarking on it can seem daunting.
After all, adoption might not be how you joined your family, and it probably isn’t how your friends are becoming parents. Probably your sister isn’t wading through paperwork and home studies, and your cousins don’t have foster care licenses. You might not even know anybody who is adopted, or who has adopted. Adoption is definitely the road less traveled. But everyone who goes down this path attests: it’s worth traveling.
Trust Arianne Riebel, our Manager of Adoption and Foster Care Programs, who’s worked in adoption services for years. She’s helped hundreds of families and says:
“In all my years in adoption, the one thing I hear families say the most is that they wish they hadn’t waited so long to explore adoption.”
They wish they hadn’t waited so long.
You probably know a thing or two about waiting—for test results to arrive, for medicines to work, for hope to shine through. You know who else knows about waiting? Kids in need of forever homes. They might’ve been waiting for a week, a month, or a decade. And they too are tired of waiting too. They are ready to be somebody’s son or daughter, and you’re ready to be a parent.
Robert Frost tells us that something special happens when we take the road less traveled. He says this road makes “all the difference.” This road ends in parenthood for you—it ends in a hand to hold, and a sweet face that calls you “Mom” or “Dad.” For a kid awaiting parents, this road means being wanted, feeling secure, and finally being able to flourish. When you take the road less traveled, for you and especially for your child, it makes “all the difference.”
In a perfect world, there would be no infertility. There would also be no adoption. In our imperfect world, we’re all a little broken, our edges worn down and chipped away by the rocks life throws at us. But our brokenness can help us fit together. We can fill the cracks with empathy, with love. We’re like puzzle pieces, using our flaws and edges to figure out where we belong.
All the hurt you’ve suffered—the waiting, the disappointment, the loss . . . it will only make you a better parent. Your child has waited, been disappointed, lost a vision for the future. Sound familiar? You two already have more in common than you might think.
Struggling with infertility doesn’t mean you should choose adoption as Plan B. Adoption is no conciliation prize. In reality, struggling with infertility means you’re uniquely prepared to parent a child who has also faced struggles, a child who is craving the love of a mom or dad—the same love you’ve been aching to give.
Take the First Step
Begin your adoption journey today. Children of all ages and levels of care are eagerly waiting to find forever families. At Arms Wide Adoption Services, we welcome families of all shapes and sizes. We’ll walk you through each step of the process and stay by your side long after the adoption process is finalized. Learn more about what makes Arms Wide special here.
About The Author
As the Summer Marketing Intern, Isabel created web content and social media posts to uplift and engage our Arms Wide community. She’s a senior English major at the University of St. Thomas and hopes to teach middle school after graduation.
The Arms Wide team feels very lucky to have had Isabel in our Marketing Department this summer!