Kim is a wife and mother of two beautiful boys she and her husband were blessed with through the gift of adoption. Her family is her world. She is energetic and full of love for everyone she comes into contact with. Having fun and enjoying life is her priority: she loves to laugh, sing, dance, run, and make every day a family fun day. She believes that through being vulnerable and honestly sharing you can help others.
Let’s be honest, marriage is hard. I remember hearing that a lot prior to getting married and thinking, “Maybe you picked the wrong person.” But, here’s the thing; my person is the right person, and it was still hard.
My husband and I have been best friends since high school. When I say we love each other, we really do and always have – but first and foremost, we’ve always been the best of friends. We’ve been blessed with 2 beautiful boys through the gift of adoption. You could say they are the rainbows at the end of our storm.
Our journey through infertility and adoption did indeed bring us closer together, but not without shaking us up a bit first. Here are 4 things that we learned while going through infertility. These are essential to any relationship, whether or not you’re going through infertility.
Open, honest communication is a must. Without that, you don’t know what the other person is thinking or feeling. In my case, I would fill in the blanks with my own insecurities (which was quite often not at all what my husband was thinking or feeling). Also, when I didn’t communicate openly and honestly, I left my husband in the dark and set myself up for being frustrated with him for not knowing what I needed. He can’t possibly know what is going on in my head if I don’t tell him. Also, the only sure way to communicate what you need is to do just that: communicate.
- Let go of society’s stereotypes of becoming a family
You know what I’m talking about. Two kids, a boy and a girl; the boy looks just like Daddy and the girl just like Mommy. Sometimes I was so focused on these norms that I lost sight of what it was that I really wanted; to be a family. As we opened our lines of communication more, we both realized that we didn’t care about the stereotypes. Neither of us did. Having a baby grow inside of me isn’t what would make me a mom and my husband a dad. We actually couldn’t care less if our children were boys or girls, white or black, gay or straight. We just wanted to have a family.
When I say forgive, I mean forgiving each other and yourself! It took some time, but we finally were able to forgive each other for not being who we needed to be for each other during that time. We also got to work through the process of forgiving ourselves. I couldn’t believe how much harder it was for me to forgive myself than it was for me to forgive my husband. It meant letting go of the ugly things I said and most of all, letting go of the blame that I’d placed on myself for not being able to get pregnant. This took a lot of time and a lot of work. By a lot of time, I mean years. Once I allowed myself that, it was like a switch flipped in myself and in our relationship.
- Love unconditionally and without reservation
Forgiveness is the key to loving without reservation or conditions. We all have bad days, and we all say things we don’t necessarily mean. The key is to recognize that and love your partner anyway. Those bad days are the days you need love the most; so give it without condition or reservation! Like forgiveness, loving unconditionally applies toward yourself as well.
I think that had we not gone through our journey of infertility and adoption, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work through some of these things like we did. Through this, I’ve really come to believe that things need to get messy sometimes. And that’s OK. It’s how you work with the mess that can make or break it. I recently heard somebody say that some of the most beautiful things in life need to be covered in “crap” (aka manure) to become the beautiful, cared for things that they are. In our marriage, we worked through it.
We worked hard and fought hard for each other and the family that we were dreaming about. We defined that family as not only two great parents, but also a husband and wife that love unconditionally and support each other without a question.
What is a life changing lesson you learned about infertility?