Last year on Thanksgiving Day, I wrote: "I have never, however, been more thankful for the path my life has taken." And I was thankful. But I was thankful for the destination--the end of the path. I was thankful to have my adorable, healthy twins in my arms. This Thanksgiving, I am learning to be thankful for the journey as well.
At some point in the future, Andrew and I hope to expand our family. We are completely unsure of how or when that might happen, but we both earnestly desire more children. This fall, when the months during which we went through our roller coaster of miscarriage hell rolled around, I realized that I had never properly processed all that we experienced to become parents to the children we already have. I never stopped to examine my spirit, to let myself really feel the grief. I feared that if I let myself stop, I would never get started again. And I wasn't willing to take that risk. Once we got pregnant, I couldn't let myself go to that dark place. I had to protect my mind and my twins. Then, once the twins were here, the whirlwind began and "processing time" was a luxury I just didn't have.
So this fall, when it became blatantly obvious that I still had some processing to do, I made it a priority. I knew that I owed it to myself, to Andrew, to Barnes & Frances, to our future children, and most of all, to the children we lost. So I let myself grieve. I let myself dwell on who they might have been. And in the midst of the sadness, God has shown me so much. He has shown me that He is faithful. That He can make beautiful things out of ugliness. He has taught me that healing is possible. That you can be grateful for something that you never would have chosen in a million years.
In the book One Thousand Gifts, the author's (Ann Voskamp) brother says, "maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending holds." This has become my mantra, and I can now finally say that I would not change my story. The story I lived resulted in Barnes & Frances. I believe in God, but I also believe in science. If we had not done IVF, we would not have had twins. Moreover, Barnes & Frances were created from one specific egg and one specific sperm. If we had done IVF at any other time, any resulting children would not have been these two miracles. Only by having three miscarriages the way we did, all in a row and all with the babies living mere days past my positive pregnancy tests, then we would not have done IVF in January 2011. And we wouldn't have B&F. It's a bit mind-boggling, but it's true.
So as we enter Thanksgiving week, I feel such deep gratitude. Gratitude for all the same things as last year, but in a new and deeper way. And gratitude for a Lord that can make the ugliest ugly the most perfect creation.