Originally posted August 2018
Today’s post is from someone I have come to love in my Instagram community! Her name is Kay West. She is on IG A Worldwide Sisterhood and is bringing many women together in Christ.
Kay is a wife to the very best husband, and the mother of two beautiful children. Her children joined their family through adoption from the day they were born. Kay has journeyed through infertility, adoption, miscarriage, failed adoption and raising a multiple special needs child. These unique experiences have brought with it learning, challenges, blessings, and connection with any woman who has experienced a trial in her life. Kay and her family are Canadians currently living an American adventure. Kay is a speaker, blogger, author and friend to all. She does it with a little bit of faith everyday.
“I remember sitting in church on Mother’s Day, the feeling of emptiness that filled my heart, trying to hold back the tears that threatened to make their presence known. It was a day that was supposed to be filled with joy and love, but Mother’s Day to me brought sadness, and a feeling of inadequacy. I was broken. I was not enough.
Each year that passed as newlyweds in our church, more and more individuals would ask when our children were coming. It’s something I can look back on now and, not laugh, but no longer feel hurt or anger; I feel more understanding and patience for both sides.
It was another Mother’s Day in our ward, and another stab in my heart. Mother’s Day to me brought nothing but heartache and questions. Why? Why wasn’t I being blessed with children I so desperately wanted? Why wasn’t I good enough to be a mother? Why wasn’t I whole enough? Faithful enough? Strong enough? Every year that passed was like going through an emotional mourning process, an actual loss for me.
My husband and I were good people. We tried to live righteously. We tried to follow the commandments, and do all that was asked of us. Still there was no miracle granted. No prayer I felt was answered. I felt like a failure. Wasn’t I put on this earth to be sealed with a good man in the temple? Weren’t we then supposed to have children to fill our home with laughter and tears, joy and sibling fights, sticky fingers and sleeping angels?
“Huh, I am not sure what’s wrong.” The specialist had said to us. “There is nothing medically wrong with either one of you.” He chalked it up to “unexplained infertility”. That’s what was written in our file. This was followed by 2 years of infertility treatments, and testing. I felt so alone. I felt so broken. I felt like it was all my fault.
I swallowed hard, and forced back the tears, and stood with a smile to receive my Mother’s Day chocolate. The young men all came around, and I graciously thanked them and left the chapel with my husband. I tried not to burden him with my thoughts of failure and inadequacy, but it was beginning to take its toll. He was so patient and understanding, and even with each blessing he gave me, I was no closer to understanding.
It wasn’t until I went visiting teaching of all things, where I was reminded of how individually our Heavenly Father knows and loves each one of us. I was visiting an elderly sister, and I loved her. We began talking, and I have no idea how, but she started to talk about how someone in her family was going through the adoption process. I began to ask questions, and she began to tell me more and more. Then my companion shared that she had family members that had adopted also. A whole new world was opened to me, and I knew it was my Heavenly Father’s Hand gently guiding me, for what else could it be when I had visited with these sisters for months, and this topic had never come up.
All of a sudden, after years of infertility, new faith and hope was born. As I began to learn more about adoption, more and more friends and family talked to us about someone they knew, or a loved one who had gone through the adoption process. I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before. When my husband and I were first married, we had even thought about adoption, but that was “after” we had biological children.
As I prayed about it, I realized how I had never been alone. There were thousands of women out there, just like me, who longed to be a mother, but for one reason or another were unable to. I knew and understood that Heavenly Father was in my life, just as He was in everyone else’s lives. Our opportunity to be parents was possible, and it would come.
We prayed, and fasted, and felt good about adopting. We let our families know, and they supported us. All of a sudden, the blessing of being parents came. We were blessed with our son, only 24 hours old, and exactly 9 months after we began the adoption process. We were blessed with our daughter 13 months later, 36 hours old and barely 5 lbs.
I learned I had a loving Heavenly Father there guiding us, always. I had known the whole time He was there but when you hope for something, something good, and you pray and have faith and it just never happens you begin to have doubts of your own self worth. It is sometimes easier to think you are alone. That you are not worthy of the love and blessings than it is to push through and endure the heartache.
Did everything come easy after that? Definitely not. We did not get to adopt our third child, even after having her for her first year of life. I had a miscarriage, and ended up having a D&C. Our daughter has multiple special needs from substance abuse during pregnancy, and other things. But with each new challenge, I am now able to face them head on, knowing that Heavenly Father will always be there for me, even when I need to learn and grow a little on my own first. It’s doesn’t make the challenge easier, but there is definitely less heartache and enduring each challenge is not as difficult.
There is always a light somewhere at the end of the dark tunnel. There is always someone out there who has gone through what you have, or is going through what you are. There is always a new day on the horizon. There is always a rainbow somewhere after the rain. And always, there is a loving Heavenly Father Who knows you, Who loves you, and Who is in every detail of your life no matter how great or small. That knowledge right there is enough to get you through the toughest times in life, and let’s you gloriously celebrate the best of times.”
I can relate to Kay about how you feel when others ask when kids are coming. I remember several occasions where someone jokingly asked when we were having another one, because from the outside no one could have guessed we had trouble with fertility. One particular time, we were out in public somewhere and that question was asked. Little did they know I had just a couple weeks before had a d&c. In that split second moment, I glanced at my husband and willed my eyes to communicate that if he didn’t get the subject changed, I might start bawling and that would really confuse our friend and make them feel bad. Luckily, after many years of marriage, my husband gets my eye pleadings.
Elder Uchtdorf said, “Our hand can comfort. With this in mind, let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others , for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path.”
As we trust in Heavenly Father, we are strengthened to bear all things. And when we are blessed with that strength, it seems only right to help others on that same journey who need some extra strength. And then when we serve like that, the circle completes, and it is actually us that also receives more strength. Kay helps give strength by sharing her journey. She gives strength as she lovingly reaches out with her kind words. I hope you will check out her blog and follow her on IG.
PS You can find the most beautiful jewelry at A Worldwide Sisterhood website. Use my code EMMA20 for 20% your purchase total. I love her necklaces and bracelets. They each come with a beautiful story of the meaning behind each piece and will help you remember your purpose and connection to all God’s daughters.