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“Am I struggling with infertility?”

Alternate Title: Why We’re Foster Parenting

I’ve been asked this question a few times lately in regards to our foster parenting motives and we suspect many other people are wondering (or making assumptions) but not asking. So, here’s my answer: no.

I know this an be a sensitive matter to some people so I’ll tread lightly; this is just my personal position on the matter. There are two parts to that phrase “struggling with infertility.” I’ve haven’t, in recent years, been tested for or officially diagnosed with any reproductive problems. I suppose some people would consider not getting pregnant after a year of “not trying not to”—as we like to put it—to be infertility. I have no use for this label as I’m not interested in treatment for this problem… because I’m not treating it like a problem. Either I get pregnant or I don’t—Jason and I have chosen to leave that up to God. We are completely at peace with that. So am I struggling? I hope it’s obvious that I am not.

There were times last year when I struggled a bit. After medically preventing babies for a decade, letting my body “reset” to it’s natural rhythm was interesting. At times I thought I had it figured out and I could control what would happen. Other times I was frustrated and bewildered. With my husband’s gentle urging I chose to really, fully let go of control of this area of our lives and trust God with it.

That was about a year ago. At that point, I never would have guessed that Jason and I would now be on the cusp of becoming foster parents. It just wasn’t on our radar at all. We figured we’d have a couple babies, build an addition on to our house, then maybe adopt a little girl from China. Or something along those lines. I can see how it might look from the outside like we’re substituting foster parenting for infertility treatment. After all, becoming foster parents certainly was part of the bursting of my perfect life plan bubble. But desperation to have children, it is not. God had other plans for us. If I had gotten pregnant right away, I probably wouldn’t have been interested in considering adoption or foster care at the point when God opened our hearts to the need. Somehow that little seed grew into a passion.

Honestly, I’m so busy with everything else going on in my life right now that I really couldn’t care less whether or not I get pregnant. Sure, if it happened we would be excited and happy. But if it never happens, that really is A-ok with us. What I’ve been learning—and believe me, I’m not all the way there yet!—is that this really isn’t about me and what I want. This, this life (marriage, family, work, friendships…) is not all about me getting what I want. As a Christian, if I want God to use me for something big, it’s essential that I grasp this concept. Foster parenting for Jason and I is not about “getting” kids because we just want to be parents. It’s about kids that need some adults to step up and be parents and to love on them. A couple of artists from East Nashville that like gardening and thrift store shopping just might be the perfect fit for some kiddos going through a really rough patch in their young lives.

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10 Responses to “Am I struggling with infertility?”

  1. Jenna says:

    Love this post. So encouraging and uplifting and i am beyond proud of you for answering the call of God on your lives. Amazing to see and be a part of. ANY way that we can help or partner or be there for you, please let me know! Love you guys!

  2. K says:

    You guys are the best 🙂

  3. Brienne B. says:

    Awesome, girl. I admire you. Before Cohen came along, I “struggled” with infertility for 4 years. And, I really did struggle. I wish I’d have been like you & just let it go and been content with whatever the outcome. Thankfully, the Lord saw my struggle & gave me my heart’s desire. You are an amazing person & I’m proud to call you my friend.

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you for writing this. As someone who has had endometriosis as long as I can remember, people often treat me as if I’ve been forced off THE path. But I don’t feel that way, I’ve never felt that way and I’m excited to see what’s in store for my life, and it’s certainly not a struggle in any way. I’ve been thrilled to follow your journey to this point, and I think it’s amazing what you’re doing, because you’re motives aren’t purely for yourself.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think you’ve made a lovely decision and there are many wonderful children out there that need love and support, even if only temporarily. Good luck.

  5. […] it was the pregnancy symptoms. I think I’ve made it clear in the past that I’m not trying to get pregnant. However, in the two weeks leading up to […]

  6. Maria says:

    I loved your post! It made me cry. I’m so happy that there still people out there that wants to give other people a better life… and happier because you guide your life through your faith…
    Keep sharing your love…!

  7. veronica says:

    Hi there! Such an incredible encouragement to stumble across your blog – I think I got there from Apartment Therapy of all places. We are in the process of becoming foster parents with the hope of adopting – it’s definitely overwhelming at times but it was really amazing to read through your stories. Thank you for sharing your journey! Look forward to following your adventures 🙂

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Thanks Veronica! Reading other blogs really helped to get a better picture of real foster parenting so it makes me happy to know others are enjoying hearing about our adventures too.

  8. […] In fact, some people actually consider adoption a “first-resort” instead of a “last-resort” and have never even tried to get pregnant!  Believe it or not!  I invite you to read Martina’s take on things from My MCM Life.  She does a great job of explaining their personal choice to adopt, a lovely seed that God placed in their hearts that did not require years of fertility treatments to bloom.  Check it out here: “Am I Struggling With Infertility?“ […]

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