I hope this post doesn’t come across as pompous or preening. I trust you guys will keep my ego in check 😉
An older woman I know read the Faces of ALI posts. She confided in me that she had had “many, many miscarriages” before her child was born. I have known her for years. And she has kept silent about it until now. She said she was proud of me for trying to combat the shame and silence around these issues. I’m sort of embarrassed to put that on the page.
I spoke with her about how I don’t think personal testimony about ALI seems to work. Whenever I tell my story to friends, I have to argue with them about it. They’ll say things like “It’s fate”, “Why didn’t you just adopt?” and all the other platitudes we know and hate. When I try to tell them the facts, like the costs associated with adoption or my own personal beliefs that I just don’t believe God means for us to suffer like this, they turn away.
This woman told me that though my friends didn’t know it, I had planted “seeds”. She compared my frustration to her own as a mother of a special needs child. She fought with many people about her child’s ADHD, most notably the child’s kindergarten teacher, who did not believe ADHD existed. Years later, this teacher sheepishly called her to tell her that her own son had been diagnosed with it and asked for advice.
“The seeds had been planted,” she said. “Maybe for you they will lay dormant for years, maybe they will never have the right conditions, or fertilizer. But you have tucked them into the soil, and maybe someday they will bloom.”
What do you think? Does personal testimony work for you? Do you think that if we talk about loss, infertility, miscarriage or adoption, eventually it will pay dividends?