I feel as if we have signs advertising what tragic excuses we must be for parents hanging 'round our necks. We waited and waited to hear about those three children and thier caseworker seemed to avoid our caseworker like she possessed the plague (AKA. us). Yesterday, I was browsing our state's waiting children photo listing, I discovered that the three children we've been longing to love have been matched with another family. To top it off, two days ago, our caseworker contacted me with the prospect of two very young siblings who would need immidiate placement. I was ecstatic to say the least and, like an idiot, assumed we would surely be the obvious choice. Right. No, wrong...again. That was two days ago and our worker has not yet heard back from the babies' worker.
So, obviously upset, I ran to my social addiction: Facebook...to post "What was on my mind." Simply put: "I'm just so very disappointed." But then of course a few of my friends needed to know more. Certainly. I then explained my dissatisfaction. I feel, perhaps, my online FB friends have become "immune" to our experience and the few who've not simply don't know what to say...well, they don't know what to say without it stinging my senses, namely: common sense. Who can blame them, really? They don't know. They are fertile. They have children. They really cannot begin to comprehend what our journey is like unless they have an immense amount of insight and empathy, which let's face it, most people don't. There are a few who do, don't get me wrong. For those few, I'm so utterly grateful for their grace and humility.
I try very hard to be a Godly woman. I struggle as everyone, maybe moreso than most. I trust God and I put faith in His Word. However, it always seems there are people out there who know His relationship with me better than I do. I don't want to get all religious and righteous but I simply would like to inform people that there are some things best not said to people in pain. I love my friends but some need lessons in comforting.
So, for those out there, honestly, that never know what to say in an awkward situation with their infertile friends...I'm here to help you. Please, please, never tell them to be thankful for Unanswered Prayers and that God has reasons for not giving them children. Think. Before. You. Speak. Would you really tell someone who has lost a loved one to cancer, "Hey friend, you should be thankful that God didn't let your spouse live...yea, that's it...be thankful for those unanswered prayers." Um, no, you would not say that. And, if you would say that, please promptly exit this website and go jump off a bridge.
Let me give you the secret response(s)...don't worry, it's FREE advice! All we need to know or hear is that you love us, you are thinking about us, you continue to pray for us, and that you know we deserve to be parents and that this world is so incredibly unfair for dealing us the hand of cards we're holding. Any one or all of those thoughts will work wonders for us and you. Other than that, just be there...let us vent and be our shoulder to cry on when we need it. Our pain is very real so please, be a real friend and try your absolute best to have some empathy. This lesson can also come in handy for other painful situations so feel free to try it out.
Furthermore, try and keep any religious thoughts out of your "well-meant" comments. They suck. Realize that for many people, their relationship with God is, like their relationship with their spouse, a very, very personal thing. You don't need to overstep your boundaries. It's ok to say that YOU are praying for us because that is YOUR relationship with God. Do not ever tell US to pray to God because that implies that you know my relationship with God better than I know it. Big mistake. Don't tell me that our having children is in God's time. How do you know, really? That implies that God felt it more necessary to give Mr. Child Molester down the street a baby girl but my loving, caring, big hearted husband doesn't fit into God's timing enough to warrant him being a Dad. Same goes for Ms. Meth Addict across the county who has a newborn baby boy addicted to drugs because God saw it fit for her to be pregnant while she was using rather than permit me to carry that precious gift. Guess it just didn't fit in His timing nor His plan. Please don't insult my intelligence and my God by saying those things. It's quite uncouth and can create quarrelsome relations.
To my readers, I hope you feel inclined to share this post with your friends and family as I'm sure you understand exactly how this feels. You understand how desperately tact needs to be taught in a society where people never know what to say but usually seem to say the wrong things.