Many people I talk with have trouble understanding the emotional and physical anguish people like me endure daily due to the starved hope and expectation left behind from striving to have the child I can’t have. To them, I would say, Can you imagine not only not having your favorite boy or girl, but experiencing disappointment after crushing disappointment while trying time and time again to bring them into the world? This piece though, I write to my fellow survivors.

The last six months have been filled with joy and expectancy. We moved to a new neighborhood and our apartment is spacious with two bedrooms. We had friends help us get our child’s room ready. We started our foster-to-adopt process, had our home visits and our interviews and got our home study approved. We even got our foster-to-adopt license in the mail. Now we are in the process of being matched.

Our infertility journey goes back ten years with countless doctor visits and disappointments. We’ve always dreamed of being parents but a decade into our marriage we now wait to become parents through adoption. It certainly did not feel like a gift in the beginning but my faith in God has given me a new perspective.

You may be saying, “How is infertility a gift when everyone else is having babies and growing their families?

God has shown me that there is shaping in the waiting. He has shaped me to develop the gift of long-suffering for others. Long-suffering can be described as having patience during hard circumstances. I have been able to reach out to others. Since I am a teacher by profession, I started going the extra mile for my students. I began differentiating lessons for my different students, adding material for creativity, and nurturing them more than before. My husband and I also serve with an organization that helps immigrants and refugees adjust to American life and learn English. Immigrants and refugees bring loneliness, confusion, insecurities, and many other needs when they enter a new country. Seeing beyond ourselves by reaching out to others has made the waiting a gift.

My faith has reminded me that there is no hopeless ending. My faith has shown me that life is fulfilling when we look out for the needs of the poor and the vulnerable. So, as you walk through infertility, continue to do the next thing right in front of you. Your doctor visits, taking care of yourself, reaching out to someone else in need. Infertility is your special gift that no one can take away from you – it can unlock the key to helping others.

Disha M.