Adoption, Stamina, & Desire

This post is hard for me to write. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel or how to explain it. But this is my best shot…

Most people are very, very shocked – and saddened – because we don’t currently have plans to adopt or do more medical treatments. I think most people don’t understand why we just couldn’t continue on and are very confused. “Why wouldn’t you adopt?” Other people think we are choosing this because we actually want to be childless and so they act very excited for us and even congratulate us and say, “Yay! Awesome! You get to travel the world! So glad you guys are doing what you want!”

We are not offended by any comments as everyone means so, so well. We don’t mind talking about it with people.

But here’s what it’s like for us…

It is very, very sad for us.

The idea of a family seems like it won’t happen.

But we’ve done what we can. 

After 10 years, I don’t have any more stamina to continue the pursuit.

This makes me sad that I don’t have the desire anymore.

It has been very hard and uncomfortable to feel this way, but I do.

Moving on is one of the most complicated things I’ve ever faced.

But every ounce of myself is done with pursuing, pursuing, pursuing.

I don’t have it in me to make even one more phone call, let alone 1,000.

It’s like someone has died and instead of dedicating a life to changing what is, we are going to move on and try our very, very best to live the best life that we can. We wish that the death didn’t happen, but it did.

And we’re trying to cultivate as much excitement and hope that we can for a life that looks nothing like we had planned. 

Raising a child is a noble thing, no doubt. But I know that many, many noble things can be done without being a mother or a father. Also, over the years, I’ve had to redefine what I always thought mattered most in life. I used to think it was family, a spouse, & children and my worth and identity was wrapped up in it. But years ago, I realized those don’t matter most. The most important thing is learning to live a life motivated by love, no matter what your circumstance. That is what makes good parents good parents. That is what makes good people good people. Living a life motivated by love trumps everything and adds vitality to everything. And I still have that. By the love of God, we ALL have that.

I know that many people choose to pursue adoption, foster care, many more IVFs, etc. I root for anyone out there trying to follow their hearts and desires and do whatever they can muster. I guess for me, as I’ve mentioned here a few times, the overall desire to continue on any front has lessened (otherwise we would continue). I am not sure why, exactly…but now I just couldn’t feel further away from motherhood, mothering, being motherly. It has been so, so far in the distance for so long now that I can’t see it anymore. I used to feel closer to it when I was only a few years in…when there still seemed a chance that being a mother could be a reality. I thought about it, planned on it, fought for it, transformed my life for it, had a list of baby names, saved clothes. It just felt…closer.  And then the divorce came. It felt so, so far away. I nearly thought that might be the end of my chances. And then I met Danny. There was a brightness of hope again. So, so bright! I could envision a baby running down our hallway. I could envision a baby sleeping in our nursery. I planned playdates in my head. But now (and for quite some time now), I feel further away than ever. I can’t taste it. I can’t touch it. I don’t know it. It seems impossible to pursue adoption while feeling this way. For the same reasons, it was nearly impossible to survive the last IVF.

I would strongly recommend to others to think about how much they have in them to fight and choose your path accordingly. I sometimes wonder if we had not done the IVFs. At one point, we had it in us to start the massive adoption process and would have.

I have no doubt that if I got pregnant or if someone rang our doorbell and gave me a baby – that I would rise to the occasion and be up for it. I know we would just love and adore and honor that baby to no end. I am sure that motherly instincts would kick in and all would be amazing and we wouldn’t be able to envision our life without that child. But I’m afraid that babies don’t come that way.

I do realize that my desires to continue the pursuit might change. Many people think we might be going to Ecuador to adopt a baby, but that is not in the plan. It’s actually more difficult and expensive for an American to adopt there. I can’t even fathom the amount of stamina I would need for something like that and I just don’t currently have it in me. But, if I ever do have a return of stamina or a return of desire, then the multiple year process will begin again and I will go for it with the same amount of energy that I put into most everything I do.

Sending much love today to anyone out there navigating the path to having children (or not) or raising children (or not). I’m convinced these are some of the most difficult paths to face. But also, they can be the most sanctifying paths ever found.


P.S. We just had a beautiful foggy day in New York. These photos (from two days ago) take my breath away. The first one was taken by my friend, Brian Morris. I’m not sure who took the second one…it was on my friend’s facebook feed. 

P.P.S. It’s taken me a few days to figure out the wording on this post. I went to bed very late last night and I guess it’s such hard core stuff that I slept two extra hours. Then we went back to packing. 🙂

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  1. Judy January 17, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Mara, thank you for your courage in sharing this with us. Much love to you!

  2. Aubrey January 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    I loved this post and it's so true, "Living a life motivated by love trumps everything and adds vitality to everything. And I still have that. By the love of God, we ALL have that." – Love to you both, safe travels and amazing adventures.

  3. Emm January 17, 2014 at 7:55 pm - Reply

    Mara, I think it's wonderful that you are honest with yourself about what is possible and what YOU and Danny have the energy for. You are YOU, not anyone else. Thanks for sharing your advice and love of life. I am a newlywed and find it all very helpful!

  4. Alexis January 17, 2014 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Leslie January 17, 2014 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Right on, Mara. This is something that people who never struggle with infertility sometimes don't get. There comes a point in time when you are just ready to move on and see what the rest of life brings instead of living life in constant suspended animation while you are navigating all these different methods of attempting to bring a child into your life. People who don't know infertility have no idea how exhausting it is to constantly live every day of your life feeling incomplete because you are constantly thinking about this child that you don't have while you are actively trying to change that. I imagine it feels good to move on and realize it is enough. I don't know if it is that way for you, but it has been that way for me anytime someone says to me something why we aren't trying adoption after dealing with infertility and endless rounds of treatment for so long. I know they are well meaning, but still, it is totally a kind of judgment that people can sometimes make when they are simply ignorant of everything that the other person has been through. This is a thoughtful, kind post to clue people in. I am not yet in the stage of moving on, but I have a feeling I will be there soon, as we still have at least one more round of treatment left. And you are right. The most important thing in the world for anyone isn't they loved someone in a specifically prescribed and defined relationship like mother and child, but that they showed love and brought love to others regardless of circumstance or relationship status. Everyone has a different path. Everyone has a different way to do it. You said it exactly right.

    • Amber May 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      I completely agree with you, Leslie. The continual cycle of anticipating and trying for a future that never comes to fruition is exhausting and self-deflating. 7 years of infertility with 2 miscarriages has changed me, my outlook on many things in life, and if I allow it, has driven me to be a more compassionate person. However, it's ever so slowly taken away my desire to be a mother, and what I once deeply believed was my God-given purpose in life as a woman and a wife.
      This post is a few years old, but I just found this blog last night and it has brought me so much hope and a kindred perspective on life with infertility. Thank you, Mara, 🙂

  6. Lisette January 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    I think for many who already have children adoption is the "easy" solution for any couple currently without children. What people don't realize is adoption may take many years, loads of energy, resources and is simply not for everyone. Before we had our son I naively thought if we could not get pregnant than we would adopt, but after having lost our son I realize it is simply not an easy choice.

  7. Amanda January 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Mara, thank you for sharing. I have always appreciated the way you write with such humility and candor. This post especially moved me because it speaks of the death or deferment of a dream, and that is always so very difficult to endure. Shortly before the holidays began I watched the door slam very abruptly on a long cherished dream of my own, and under very unfair circumstances to boot. Certainly not related to a future family, but to my career goals. Well-meaning family and friends like to remind me that I am young and have many opportunities ahead of me and ask me whether I have thought about doing this or applying for that. And right now I just can't. I'm so very sad and the months leading up to the end were frustrating and exhausting. And after several weeks of trying to force myself to compensate for my loss, I came to the realization that I just need to take some time to heal, however that may look. So thank you for being so courageous and honest in your struggles; it inspires many of us to be the same. Best wishes to you as you embark on a new journey.

  8. Tiffany January 17, 2014 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    It takes a lot of courage to say what you just did. There are so many things I want to say in return but lack the courage to even say it in the comments section. I identify completely with everything you've said, perhaps for slightly different reasons but with the same results.

    I love what you said about knowing how much fight you have in you and making your choices accordingly, so well said. Thank you for that. Thank you for stating that it's okay to let the fight go, that it's not a weakness to do so.

  9. zben January 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    Mara and Danny, You guys are lighthouses. Thank you for your courage, your honesty, and sharing it so candidly. Your blog and the brief time I spent walking with you in the park and the things you both shared, have become guideposts in my life. I refer to you frequently and not a day goes by where I don't mull over some of the things I've learned from you.
    I am excited to see what this next chapter in in Ecuador brings for you both, and recognize that the closing of your current chapter is very very hard. Lots of prayers and love your way. You are two of my heroes. -Zina

  10. WeeHermione January 17, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    "It's like someone has died and instead of dedicating a life to changing what is, we are going to move on and try our very, very best to live the best life that we can. We wish that the death didn't happen, but it did.

    And we're trying to cultivate as much excitement and hope that we can for a life that looks nothing like we had planned."

    I just want to give you a virtual hug. Not in a "I'm so sorry" way or a "rah rah" way either, just…after having gone through stuff for a few years (measly, in comparison to many) I do get it, if on the outskirts of getting it. So, sending many virtual hugs.

  11. Heidi January 17, 2014 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    We all have our own journeys. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about love and forgiveness and being true to who we are. You are inspiring.

  12. Brittany Moore January 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I've been a dedicated reader since the first post and have been so inspired by you both (I've even had dreams about meeting you. Weird? Maybe a little. I promise I'm not some creepy stalker chic :).

    My husband and I found out a little over a year ago that we will not be able to have biological children (he is sterile from cancer treatments as a child). When we found out for sure he really struggled, and I did everything I could to lift him up at the time since I was feeling very peaceful about trying adoption (but of course wanted to wait until he was ready). At the time I even thought to myself how weird it was that I wasn't sad and felt so much peace. I concluded that it was a blessing and was so grateful for it.

    After about 6 months he was feeling better and then WHAM, out of nowhere, I started experiencing what I can only describe as delayed grief. I felt heartbroken and numb all at once, and my desire to pursue anything related to starting a family was completely gone. It felt almost crippling at times, but as I've worked on pursuing virtue (the way you describe it has been so inspiring to me) I've started to feel better. Yet, the desire to start the adoption process (or to look more into using a sperm donor) has still not returned. You describe how I've felt perfectly in these two lines:

    "This makes me sad that I don't have the desire anymore.

    It has been very hard and uncomfortable to feel this way, but I do."

    I'm LDS and we're taught from a young age (especially as girls) that we'll grow up and raise our own children someday. This is why this feeling has felt so uncomfortable to me, and you're post has made me feel not so alone.

    I have hope that the desire will return (if this is the path we're supposed to travel) as I keep trying to live my life in the best way that I can.

    I appreciate this post more than you'll ever know. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing yourself with us.

  13. April January 17, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply


    I so admire your honesty and willingness to share. I think you did a beautiful job of expressing yourself. Much love to you, my friend! I can't wait to live vicariously through your Ecuador experiences!

  14. Thais January 17, 2014 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    For me it was not so much a loss of desire but a need for freedom. Freedom to realize that not having children:
    1. Would not make me less of a woman
    2. Would not make me less of a church member no matter how much others would try to make me feel so
    3. Would not make me selfish
    4. Would not better or worse than anyone else

    I knew I never wanted to pursue adoption. Once I decided that we were done I felt relief. I did think of all the millions of possibilities that could come into my life because I wasn't going to be spending endless hours, and resources into raising children. We're talking a good 25 years of raising children gone. I looked forward to more education, more traveling, going on medical trips, getting to serve a mission before I had major health issues and aches and pains. I felt great. Pursing a dream of having children is all consuming and so dark at times when infertility is involved so once you come to a resolution everything feels lighter.

    The freedom of having other dreams and letting one go that wasn't possible is the biggest blessing.

  15. Beth January 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Mara! I love it when you talk about your infertility. Of course not because I am glad you have it, but because it is so validating that someone else feels the same way I do. It is SO HARD to want a baby and not be able to have one. It hurts, and it is my greatest life disappointment to not be able to have as many children as I would like. It really is just like a death…I feel that so profoundly. I admire your attitude, and I appreciate your good example with that attitude – thank you for helping me!!

  16. Rik January 17, 2014 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

  17. Anonymous January 17, 2014 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Mara, I am sorry you felt you had to explain your choices to us readers, but I am also thankful you did. I find no fault in your present choices. You need time to mourn, to heal, and you are always free to change your mind–or not.

    Living in Ecuador sounds like a wonderful adventure, but since I am in my later years, the first thing that popped into my head was: you need to stay close to family and maintain relationships as you age. My husband had two aunts who were childless, but fortunately we were nearby to care for them as they aged into their 90s. I often thought, "What would have happened to them if they didn't have us nearby to watch over them?" The answer was not a happy thought.

    I enjoy your blog very much. I weep and laugh with you as well as with other comment. I love the way you are so open, and when I tell people about you, I call you "my friends who have a blog about love."

  18. Kristine Anderson January 18, 2014 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Thank you for this post. About 5 years into infertility we had an IVF baby that cost $20,000. For many reasons I'm not comfortable with LDS social services adopting. That left any other option of adoption $15k+ except for foster care. Adoption is never easy, it is messy and difficult and so many other things people don't understand. So we did foster care in two states for 3 years. We even had a possible adoption fall apart during the parental termination hearings. After ten years of marriage we moved across country and circumstances dictated my need to work full-time. I told my husband that after 10 years I needed a break. My understanding is that motherhood is what I am supposed to do, but I told my husband I needed a year or two break.

    The most amazing thing happened. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace from my Heavenly Father that I was finally willing to let go of my expectations of what my role in life is and to actually listen to what His plan is for me. It's now been three years and I haven't looked back once, even my baby-hunger is gone. I hold a baby and love it, but I no longer have the ache or desire. That's not to say if I got pregnant I wouldn't want it — we certainly aren't doing anything to stop pregnancy from happening.

    My singleton daughter harasses me constantly to have more foster/adopt-kids, and my husband is hoping I change my mind. But I've found peace in His will for me, regardless of other people's will for me. It's hard for other people to understand. But it is now in His hands. And I am now listening.

  19. Anonymous January 18, 2014 at 1:57 am - Reply

    I'm so glad you wrote this. I was going to post before I read this saying you don't have to explain to anyone what you are feeling. I went through it. Very similarly to you through my first marriage and now my second. I reached the same point you just did a year ago. It wasn't pretty. It was incredibly painful and hard and everyone's advice wasn't helping. If one more person with children said just adopt I was going to lose it even more. It's been great to not think about it anymore. A relief actually. My months became mine again. My brain cleared. I stopped counting stupid days. After a year I'm finally feeling like my old self. I did have a crystal clear thought of what I wanted. It hit me over the head out of the blue and actually surprised me. I won't share it because we each have our own path and I don't want to be one of those people that's like just do this and you'll be happy. Blerg. Not cool. I just want to say you're not alone and you're amazing for sharin g your heart with the world.

  20. Elizabeth January 18, 2014 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Thank you so, so much for sharing so openly. I think about and pray for you often.

  21. Michelle Bunt January 18, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

    Hi Mara,
    This post was so well written, and I totally respect the decision you have made. I also respect the fact that it wasn't and isn't an easy decision to make, and I can only imagine how you might be feeling right now having devoted years and years of your life to the pursuit of something, only to discover that you now no longer have the fight/energy to continue pursuing this path, and instead have to face the job of cultivating a new life/future for yourself that is radically different to that you had longed and planned for. I am however glad that you are respecting what your body/mind/soul is telling you right now. You have been in my thoughts, and will continue to be.
    Much love!

  22. Anonymous January 18, 2014 at 5:03 am - Reply

    Did you ever consider a Gestational Carrier? I'm so sad for you.

  23. M January 18, 2014 at 5:23 am - Reply

    Beautifully written post. I loved your last line best of all: sanctifying paths. I'm heartbroken for you and I understand every word you wrote. Thank you for your vulnerability in sharing your deepest and saddest feelings with us.

  24. Cindy January 18, 2014 at 5:55 am - Reply

    Good for you for listening to what is going on inside of YOU, instead of letting yourself be propelled forward into some other action that you are really not up for based on the expectation or friends, family, or church.

  25. Amy Hackworth January 18, 2014 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful post, Mara. I love you and admire you so much. Thanks for sharing your honest heart–it's so powerful. I have no doubt that life is full of wonderful things for you and Danny because you are so open to learning and embracing its lessons, so willing to love.

  26. Anonymous January 18, 2014 at 6:37 am - Reply

    I hear you…when you say "life is very, very, sad for us", I totally get it. I've just never had the guts to say it out loud to anyone besides my husband. It took me 12 long years to finally understand that infertility is a death and those that experience it must face the various stages of loss and grief. For years I was stuck in the shock and denial, anger, and depression stages. it wasn't until just last year that I was I finally able and emotionally ready to accept my loss. It took me a long time to realize that we indeed can choose happiness and hope and although those things might not come in the form of a child/children, there are most certainly other wonderful paths to take on this journey of life. The crazy twist to all this is that shortly after revealing in my new found freedom from grief and loss and my readiness to take on the world and follow the "other" desires of my heart…a baby came into our lives. We knew of someone who's baby was placed in foster care and needed a permanent home. When the time is right…boy is it right…we just knew it was something we had to pursue. Was it easy…NO WAY…the foster care system is a mess and a roller coaster in and of itself, but I wanted no regrets in my life or what if's, so we dove in head first. I honestly believe one must never give up hope…life has it's way of making things right…maybe not exactly the way we intended it to be, but wonderful none the less.

  27. Christa January 18, 2014 at 8:21 am - Reply

    I'm from a huge Mormon family (7 kids spanning 20 years). Since I was a tween, I've seen my older sisters struggle with infertility. And like many Mormon families, we had a hard time talking about the hard stuff–or maybe just because of the age gap between me and my sisters. For most of my life, infertility has been something I've seen deeply affect my family, and it's been a spectre hanging over me as well (will it haunt my footsteps when I try to have kid? how will I cope?). Finding blogs like yours has been one of the only ways I could start to even understand where my sisters are coming from, and likewise prepare for what I may face as well. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Your words help others know they're not alone, and help people like me develop more empathy without reopening the wounds of our loved ones by asking them to explain.

  28. Anonymous January 18, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Mara, thank you for your courage in posting this. I wish you and Danny all the best in your future endeavors.

  29. Annie Goddard January 18, 2014 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I'm in my forties and never conceived a child – I have a tilted womb, same as my mother had. I'm her only child. I do love children, don't get me wrong. If I got pregnant tomorrow, I would love that child with all my heart. Over the years I've got used to people's reactions when they've asked about children and I've told them upfront that it's unlikely I'll conceive. I've been in relationships over the years and we've tried, but nothing ever happened. Those relationships have broken up because I wasn't prepared to put myself through IVF. I admire women who chose that route and honour their commitments to their dreams, but it's not a path I want to choose. My partners didn't want to pursue adoption, which was a pity. But people have their opinions and that's their choice. I respect that. What I'm trying to say perhaps very poorly is that, is that I empathise with what you're saying and I applaud your courage for standing up and saying it. Change isn't easy, nor is figuring out what that life is going to be, or even who you're going to be, but it's worth it. I'm still in the process of sorting that. I'm currently single and I know in my heart I'm done. Things could change – perhaps I might meet a lovely man with a child who needs a spot of mothering. Or even find someone with whom I could adopt. Anything is possible and although in the here and now I am done, I'll keep myself open to possibilities. But bless you both and I hope your new life brings you lots healing and peace.

  30. themoodybroody January 18, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Mara thank you so much for writing this. I am a 35 year old in the UK waiting to start my first round of IVF – I am literally sat here waiting for the courier to deliver the drugs. I am currently trying to balance excitement, belief, positivity but also acceptance and a desperate attempt to not let it take over ours lives completely…so hard as I know you understand only too well. People have already started asking about adoption and how many rounds we will do…I can see this is only going to get harder to answer if our journey continues after this first round. I wish you love and light for you exciting adventures ahead. Also, as a newby blogger I am also taking inspiration from you site…love it! Thank you.

  31. Jennifer Theriot January 18, 2014 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Mara, thank you for this honest, beautifully written post and for all that you share on this blog. It has inspired me in countless ways. You are so right: "Living a life motivated by love trumps everything and adds vitality to everything" regardless of circumstance. Praying for your peace, happiness, and healing.

  32. KAM January 18, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Mara, Thank you for posting this honest, from the heart and soul of you picture of where you are on your life's journey. The twists and turns of that road are always specific for each of our needs….the key is being able to stay with the changes in a loving and caring way for ourselves and for those we love. Your clear description of your process and your acceptance of how your pathway may vary from those of others was done with so much kindness and appreciation for everyone. May you and Danny have a gloriously fulfilling time in Scandinavia and then in Ecuador…world travelers, adventurers and explorers. It will be delightful to follow along on that continued journey that is your road of life.

  33. Audrey January 18, 2014 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    I always learn a great deal from the beautiful words you write. Thank you for sharing your heart. My challenges and sorrows are not the same as yours but you give me courage to move forward with love, with heart, and with gratitude.

  34. Mari Kjar January 18, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Man I just love y'all. I see what you mean. I understand your words, you articulated your emotions very well. And from the limited perspective of your situation that I have (simply blog posts), I perceive you are doing the right thing…taking a break. A break from all of it. Time heals. You will press on and live for what God has in store for you. It's such a mystery now, but over time, it will unfold. Especially if you are listening, and I feel like you two definitely are. It's beautiful. And hard. Like life. Much love!

  35. Tresann Dawson January 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    I feel so deeply sorry that you felt the need to share this because of the opinions others have towards your situation. But I do have to say that I am so incredibly grateful for this post. I have been trying to understand if we should pursue other options once our adoption papers expire in May or come to a conclusion of family expansion. And your post has touched my soul and answered my prayer that has been uttered for many weeks.
    Thank you.
    Thank you for your honesty and your straight forward writing.
    I am also grateful to a few of the comments that have made me think too.
    My our loving Heavenly Father watch over you and your husband with your travels and cultivating a new future path to take!

  36. Melinda January 19, 2014 at 12:37 am - Reply

    I TOTALLY understand what you are saying! It's just so tiring. After 6 failed IVFs, 5 failed IUIs and failed rounds of Clomid all after a miscarriage, I'm over it! I need a break! People ask us if we are going to adopt and I always say maybe, but I'm not quite ready to take on that battle yet, I'm still getting over all the other ones! I am on the Candida detox to help get my body healthy, but other than that, I am not really doing anything else in the quest to have a baby. I feel like IVF is a total battle and it takes A LOT out of you. People who just decide to have a baby and get pregnant no problem, will never understand. Maybe you'll feel differently in time and maybe not, that's totally up to you. I get it.

  37. Sarah January 19, 2014 at 4:00 am - Reply

    I just wanted to add to what has already been said.. I get it. I won't even pretend to know what it feels like to be childless but having dealt with infertility too, it is completely exhausting and I totally see how you have reached the point where you are at. I just want you to know there are those of us out there who won't be judging for your choices whatever they may be. It is hard knowing people are judging you and can't understand your struggles.

  38. Anonymous January 19, 2014 at 4:53 am - Reply

    So well said and written. Thank you for sharing.

    I wonder if one small way to make this easier is to stop this line of thinking…"The idea of a family seems like it won't happen." You HAVE a family. Children are not required for a family. You have a birth family, and the family of you and Danny is so much happier and healthier than what most have.

  39. Julie January 19, 2014 at 5:54 am - Reply

    I can say that infertility is a death even if you already have your own children. I can't say I know exactly how you feel but I do know the loss of wanting a child and not being able to get pregnant and carry it full term.
    But I'm on a different road now after coming to terms with not having another baby we decided to try and foster/adopt an older child. What we ended up with is a miracle…. We got a baby. We were told we most likely would never get a baby. I never planned on a 8 year gap between children. But then our plans don't always go along with our lives.
    My main thing I want to say is when you said LOVE is the most important. I agree with you, I saw the love in my baby girls bio parents faces this week as I showed them pictures of her just minutes before they signed over their rights. It was the most unselfish love I've ever witnessed. They didn't sign them because she was a burden on them, they knew they couldn't give her what they wanted her to have. They are true heroes in my book.

  40. Anonymous January 19, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    "This being human is a guest house.
    Every morning a new arrival.

    A joy, a depression, a meanness,
    some momentary awareness comes
    As an unexpected visitor.

    Welcome and entertain them all!
    Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
    who violently sweep your house
    empty of its furniture,
    still treat each guest honorably.
    He may be clearing you out
    for some new delight."

    Your writing made me think of this little poem. I don't know your particular struggle, but I've found myself sitting at a crossroads, exhausted and confused wondering "well, what now?" And I have to believe that those times are preparing us for something new. Something is happening, even if we can't know what it is yet. I hope that this next stage in your life fills you with peace and rest.

  41. marlene January 20, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Wow, that Rumi poem is so powerful. I love his work — always pares things down to their beautiful simplicity. Mara and Danny certainly embody the positivity at the end of that poem. Onwards and upwards! Thanks for sharing Mara.

  42. suzy January 20, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    so well said. especially the part about how having children is not the only "noble thing" a person can do. when i struggled with infertility, i almost felt like i'd be less of a person than all of my friends who could only talk about how motherhood made them into more complete people (selfless! more loving! more able to understand love! etc! join us!) i think that was one of the hardest parts for me. (i wrote about it on my own blog a few months ago, here:

    no one understood why i was so upset, and furthermore why i wouldn't "just adopt". i love your perspective on it. i know that it can't be easy, but think you're handling it in such a beautiful way. your story is one that can help a lot of people, not just in the area of infertility, but in so many other life situations. because i think a lot of people are looking for something to fulfill them, something that might never come (or something that WILL come and still never complete them like they think it will) and could learn so much from you. thanks for being open.

  43. Anonymous January 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your journey here. I'm currently at that point in my infertility road and it's nice to hear from people who have been through it too and understand those feelings and experiences.

  44. allison January 20, 2014 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. "The most important thing is learning to live a life motivated by love, no matter what your circumstance."


  45. Anonymous January 20, 2014 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    Amen. After a difficult weekend, which included having to answer the question "why don't you just adopt?" I came here hoping for a post on this topic. Thank you so much.

  46. The Islander January 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    I must agree that living a life motivated by love conquers the odds and adds vitality to everything. But being human we only acknowledge them when we are in nirvana of humanly love.

    Most of the time it sucks when you are confronted with odds so odd that you lost the sanity to recognize that indeed it is one of the odds that have to be conquered in order to win the battle of love. And then sustaining that momentum of losing hope at love, we gave up. So love then sucks.

    But yeah, by the love of God, life is more meaningful. (But it's hard to master)

  47. The Islander January 20, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    Btw, the photos look creepy. Seems like after apocalypse.

  48. Rebecca January 21, 2014 at 4:31 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing that. I have a friend who has tried to have children and cannot and I have often wondered why she and her husband did not adopt, but I also felt it was really none of my business to ask unless she brought it up. Reading your post I imagined that she would have said some of the things that you did, and it makes me feel like I understand now. Thanks <3

    The photos are beautiful and mystical and just perfect.

  49. Anonymous January 21, 2014 at 5:21 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing…My husband and I have decided that after many years of heartache of not being able to have children along with not getting chosen for adoption, we are finally in our happy spot. We know Heavenly Father has other plans for us, we are just not sure what. I am grateful for a Facebook page called Childless Mormons that has helped me get through some tough times.

  50. Anonymous January 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    I wonder if this principle could apply to many places in life – not just infertility. After my divorce…I too felt empty. Absolutely empty…had nothing to give. After you give something, anything your full heart and get heartache, or sorrow or disappointment etc…your "gas tank" if you will or the "bank account" becomes empty. I too felt that in all things, life, relationships I couldn't give one more thing. And so I didn't for about a year. I spent that time refueling in all possible ways. then one day I realized that I had that desire- to give again. I hope that you guys also take the time to refuel and then when the times comes when the tanks are full again…take another look at possibilities. All the best!!!!

  51. Julia Spencer January 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your courage and honesty. Sending you wishes for peace.

  52. Anonymous January 21, 2014 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful post. Thank you for being open to sharing such personal thoughts with those of us that follow your blog. I started reading your blog a couple of years ago. I was searching for blogs about infertility because I was struggling with that at the time.

    I felt that I had some things in common with you. I got married when I was 30 and my husband was married before. My husband got a vasectomy at the end of his first marriage as he tried to save that marriage. He's got two great kids and when I met him I fell in love with his kids as well but I did want my own kids. We talked about having kids when we were dating and he told me that he would have to get his vasectomy reversed. He got it reversed and the doctor said it was successful.

    We were struggling with a difficult custody battle but we thought it was going to get wrapped up and decided to start trying to get pregnant. After trying for several months I was starting to get discouraged and worried about our future and even wondered if we would ever have kids. I had a chemical pregnancy which was a very difficult emotional time for me. It felt like a miscarriage even though I was only pregnant for 2 days. My doctor put me on clomid at that time and I was so sure that I would get pregnant right away. I didn't. My doctor then recommended IUI's. We were sure that would work. The first one didn't work so we tried again. The second one didn't work and my doctor wanted us to meet with a specialist and look into IVF. We met with the specialist and we finally felt that we had a plan and that we would be able to get pregnant. We decided to do IUI one last time before we do IVF. We were shocked when the third IUI worked and I was pregnant. I was nervous throughout the pregnancy that I would lose the baby but I always felt that Heavenly Father was comforting me and telling me that everything would be okay. I ended up having high blood pressure and preeclampsia so my baby was born at 33 weeks. I also had intrauterine growth restriction so the baby was only 2 lbs 12 oz when he was born. Heavenly Father was watching over us that day because we both survived. I had placenta abruption and was rushed into an emergency c section. Our baby (Ted) was in the NICU for 4 weeks and did great. He came home to us 3 weeks before he was due and he weighed less than 4 pounds. He didn't fit in his car seat so we had to get a car bed. He is now 4 months old and is thriving. He's tripled his weight and is doing great.

    Looking back my infertility wasn't bad compared to many other people. We tried for 11 months before I got pregnant which doesn't seem like a long time but it felt like a long time to me because I got married when I was 30 and I wanted more than one kid of my own. Now I feel like I'm a better person and that I've grown through these experiences. I hope and pray that Heavenly Father will bless us with more kids as well. We never know what life has in store for us. My sister went through infertility challenges for 5 years and now has 2 African American boys that she has adopted. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I believe that each of us have a different path and we need to learn to go with the path that Heavenly Father has prepared for us. Thank you for reading my long comment. I felt strongly that I needed to share my story with you.


  53. Anonymous January 22, 2014 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    I really hope that you can work through these feelings and sometime in the future consider adoption. It is truly one of the most noble things a person can do. Don't let these discouraging thoughts determine your destiny, but definitely do not ignore them either. Sending love your way.

  54. Tiffany January 23, 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    I am in the process of looking for a new job and just stumbled upon this nonprofit that focuses on the adoption of older children and they have programs that allow families to host children. I know you are not interested in adoption at this time but thought I'd share in case some time in the future you are or even just want to volunteer to host a child:

  55. Anonymous January 23, 2014 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Beautiful post Mara. I’m in a very similar situation as you and have been having the most difficult time trying to articulate my thoughts and feelings. Your insight and words have brought me comfort and clarity. Thank you for sharing. I wish you and Danny all the very best as you enter this new chapter in your lives. Xx

  56. Stephanie Selcho January 24, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    You are brave. You are following your heart and that is sometimes the hardest thing to do. No matter what anyone thinks about your life, you and Danny continue to do what YOU are supposed to do, and I love that. I admire you very much.

  57. Anonymous January 25, 2014 at 7:03 am - Reply

    Oh Mara, what a blessing you are to so many of us. I'm going thru a divorce and I've reached a point where I'm finally and truly moving on in some key ways (job, living situation, etc). Although my divorce needed to happen and my post-spit life has been enormously enriching and fulfiling, these brave new steps are scary and hard to accept. I didn't want this. In my deepest expectations, I believed I'd be starting a family now and yet instead I'm starting all over again. I've been trying to picture what I want my life to look like, and I've run into two obstacles: 1) redefining myself socially- YIKES! I'm no longer the married girl!!, and 2) feeling guilty for enjoying my freedom and for considering new options. It's a day-to-day thing and when it feels really hard, honestly I think about you guys. I admire how you guys have been so brave to change your lives during your divorces and again now. When the worst feelings come up, I turn immediately to prayer because I'm humbled to know that G-d has the vision, compassion and love to see the positive when I don't.

    I wish you always the best and thank you again for sharing yourselves with us.

    Love always,
    Ms. Pink Feet

  58. Linda Pickles January 28, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Dear Sweet Mara! My daughter, Melinda, told me about your blog and I have so enjoyed reading about your life. It has been many years since we've seen one another, but I have always had such love for you and knew that whatever came your way, you would make a success of it. And so you have! Keep writing, Mara! You are touching many, many lives!
    Linda Pickles

  59. A.Co January 30, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Mara–a big hug/high-five/and admiration to you for sharing such an emotional and difficult post with us.. with EVERYONE. You are one strong woman, and it's funny because although I don't know you (but have been following since, basically the beginning–I think I found your blog in October and you started in August of that year, I believe..?) I feel like I know you, in a way, and your sweet, sweet sentiment, and loving, caring persona. To me, with all the excitement that surrounds your impending move, it woudln't seen you would or could be so upset–but of course, that's the Internet for you, and how we try to be positive, even when going through the worst of the worst. I feel for you, and am sending you a BIGGGGG HUG from Ottawa.

    No matter what, the good days, the bad, the life long struggles, know that you touch soooo many people through this blog (including myself, especially when I need a pick me up!) and inspire them and help them be better people. We all love coming here and reading what you write and hearing about your stories and reading about your experiences because they are REAL and other people are EXPERIENCING them too. You make a difference. Don't ever stop blogging or sharing here, it's such a POSITIVE place to come.


  60. Anonymous February 2, 2014 at 11:45 am - Reply

    We went through 2 failed IVF cycles last year and my husband and I are about to embark on our 3rd. I have always been very open with family and friends about our journey and the process. This time it feels different. We have told no one. I'm not excited and I have this constant uneasy feeling about it all. It's like something deep inside is telling me to stop and move on. I admire your strength and courage to make the decision you have. I feel that that will be the decision we will make very shorty, I don't have the energy or stamina to continue with IVF. We live in Australia, so adoption is pretty much out the question. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sharing your journey and sending all that positive energy out into the universe. Lots of love, Jess

  61. Living Middle School February 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Stumbled upon you're blog. My husband and I have gone through this and the stress of it caused me to make some bad choices because of depression and anger. Infertility among other things have caused us problems for years. We had a choice between a $20,000 ICSI procedure and Adoption. My Alabama teachers insurance did not cover procedure so it was like, which one would be less of a gamble. At 37 and husband

  62. Living Middle School February 2, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Sorry, the keyboard keeps stopping and have to publish.

  63. Alex February 8, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    It seems like you are making a very wise and thought-through decision. Adoption is such a roller-coaster, much like trying to conceive and IVF and it requires immense amounts of stamina. I think everyone who comes off the IVF/TTC roller-coaster owes it to themselves to take some time between that and starting the adoption efforts – if nothing else to heal and prepare for what will, no doubt, be a gruelling process, albeit very rewarding.
    Thank you for articulating it so beautifully!

  64. betty February 10, 2014 at 1:01 pm - Reply

    I just found your blog and I am so grateful for it. I too live in Brooklyn, was divorced and was blessed to meet a wonderful man soon after. I have always dreamed of having a family. After a year of trying to conceive naturally, I decided to try IVF. I did my retrieval yesterday, I only had 5 eggs, I will find out today if any were able to be fertilized.
    It has been challenging journey for me. We have decided to stop with this one round of IVF, hoping it works but if it doesn't I believe it was for the best.
    I love your honesty and courage to write your feelings for everyone to see. Believe me they do help.
    Best of luck to you.

  65. Anonymous February 14, 2014 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Hi Mara, I just found your blog. Your video with the framework (that I paraphrase) being the best man I can be, being worthy of the title of "father". That idea is very helpful to me. My wife and I walked away from the infertility journey almost two years ago after two iui's, two rounds of ivf and no child. We also decide NOT to adopt. We pivoted to focusing on some items we were putting off due to infertility and there has been growth. However, it has been difficult at times for me to process the grief. Your idea from that video allows me to acknowledge and work through the grief with the mind set that it will help me be worthy of 'father". Whatever form those children may take for my wife and I. Blessings to you and your husband.

  66. RULAYNE February 22, 2014 at 6:03 am - Reply

    I stumbled on your blog today. Despite the differences in our ages ( me, 64! Yikes, how can that be?)we share soooo many things. I'm the oldest of 9, I don't remember ever not wanting to be a mom, (maybe because my mom is such a great mom) my mom says from the time I was 3 or 4 I was a mother hen, fussing & worrying over my younger sibs. I just imagined I would have children. I did'nt marry until I was almost 33. My husband had 2 daughters from his first marriage but was eager to start our family. It did not happen. We started the treatments, got on the crazy roller coaster, hope, followed by dispair, month after month. Year after year. In the meantime my amazingly fertile siblings were each having their 4th and 5th babies. Twice I picked up the Adoption Packet and made the initial appointment at LDS Social Services only to cancel I just could not face possibilty that adoption might also be a no. I bet you understand. So, so many nights my sweet husband held as I cried myself to sleep. Finally I realized I was becoming totally crazy. Making the man I love crazy, my sisters were nervous to share with me their joy as the became pregnant, they thought it would be salt in my wound and felt guilty about something that should only bring joy. I was tired and crazy! One day I counted my blessing. . . So many, I had a wonderful husband, a great job, a loving extended family, a firm testimony of my Savior's love for me, nieces and nephews who I loved and knew they loved me. I could spoil them and send 'em home to mom and dad to deal with. As I prayed one night, with tears running down my cheeks, feeling sooo empty, I felt like fingers caressed my cheek and I felt like I could let this go, it would be okay, no matter what happened. From that moment I felt like less empty, more sure that God was mindful of me and would enrich my life with so much, I just needed to see the blessings we were being sent. To give up that need, want desire, obsession was like someone died. It took awhile but whenever it got hard I would remember that fleeting feeling of comfort and let it go, again and again. I wish you all the best. I promise the future is bright, more beautiful than you can begin to imagine. Move forward together with hope and joy, your future is bright.

  67. Anonymous April 29, 2014 at 3:36 am - Reply

    Thank you for this. For the past few years I have felt alone as many women in my life look at me as though I am speaking a completely different language when I tell there the likelihood of me conceiving is low. After seeing all of these comments below it is nice to know that I am not alone.

  68. M. Eileen June 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    Oh man, I wish I had found your blog long ago. Infertility is a lonely journey, but I'm realizing I'm not alone.

  69. Anonymous July 31, 2015 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for this blog, you have saved me from falling down the black hole today. I feel understood x Much Love and Light xx

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