Have you ever heard someone respond to a couple’s month after month struggle with infertility this way: “Just adopt, then you’ll get pregnant”? Couples who dare to share their pain and longing to conceive a child deserve more than this insensitive remark based on one of the most common myths about infertility.
Infertility is often called a silent disease, because so many men and women suffer silently—not knowing how to share their grief and dodging questions about when it will be “their turn.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 11 percent of men and women hoping to become parents experience difficulty achieving or maintaining pregnancy.
For over 15 years, Bethany has ministered to these couples through our Stepping Stones ministry. Stepping Stones reaches out to those who often feel alone and forgotten by friends who have moved into parenthood, by churches whose programs can so often focus on childrearing, and by God, who has seemingly not heard their desperate prayers.
Infertility can strain marriages, friendships, self-esteem, and a person’s relationship with God. Through Stepping Stones’ newsletter and online forums, couples can find understanding, a sense of community, and spiritual encouragement from those who are also walking this isolating path. Stepping Stones provides an avenue for couples in which their grief is openly acknowledged and where steps toward healing and hope can be taken. At Bethany, we recognize that infertility is a loss that needs to be grieved. Couples grieve the loss of the biological child they may never have, the life they planned for themselves and their dreams as a family.
Many couples who struggle with infertility at some point may make a decision to pursue adoption. We have seen couples reexamine their desire to be parents and choose adoption as an equal way to experience the joys (and sorrows) of parenthood, and provide a loving home to a child in need. Adoption must always be first and foremost about the child. By ministering to couples facing infertility, it is our prayer that those couples pursuing adoption will experience the help and healing in their own journey that can enable them to joyfully focus on the needs of their adoptive child—a child they call their own.
Whatever path is pursued, my prayer is that Stepping Stones will continue to be a rich source of spiritual encouragement and a caring community, building up hurting couples with comfort and a renewed hope in God.
Please take a moment to visit Stepping Stones to learn how you can help support this ministry or share it with someone you know facing infertility.