As you can tell, Mr. M and I haven't updated this blog for a while, now that we have a new, more public blog at www.adoptionpilgrimage.blogspot.com - public meaning we share our first names and pictures.
But - I am glad this blog still exists. As excited we are for our adoption pilgrimage, infertility still hurts, a lot! I read back through a lot of entries on this blog this morning, and I had a number of emotions: sadness to think of everything I have gone through and still experience (and so many people do too) -- admiration at myself for surviving without too many psychic scars -- and a whole lot of gratitude for our friends and especially God who have carried us through the roughest parts and kept our hope alive that life is good, despite everything.
I felt moved to write a new entry today because I wanted to capture some thoughts from a beautiful Mass we attended yesterday for couples experiencing infertility or healing from pregnancy loss. It was at a parish with a pastor who has a good reputation as someone very gifted in healing. Mr. M and I personally have been blessed by him. I honestly forget how we first got in contact, but we ended up having a private Mass with him twice along with some very honest conversation and guidance, and him praying over us and anointing us with blessed oil. Whoa. Pretty powerful experiences. We were struck by how much he "gets it" - gets the suffering of infertility in so many of his facets.
So we were looking forward to the Mass yesterday, and we were not disappointed. Somehow his homily managed to hit what seemed like practically every point you could make to a crowd of infertile/subfertile people plus those who have lost children: it is not your fault; God loves you so much; your marriage has value; surrender to God on a daily basis; find ways to love; maybe you're called to adoption, but it's a call, not something you have to do; stay close to your spouse; and so on.
Definitely some tears during the homily! It just felt so good to have a priest, a spiritual father and representative of our Church, speak words of both comfort and challenge, calling us to greater depth of acceptance and holiness while assuring us that yes, this hurts and it is okay to be sad/mad/fed up.
After the Mass, Father exposed the Blessed Sacrament (awesome) and then everyone was invited to come up and kneel and receive a special hands-on blessing and anointing - with oil from the Church of St. Anne in Quebec, which was pretty cool! There is something so beautiful and of course sacramental about being prayed over and physically touched on the head and shoulders during the prayer. It's impossible to describe, but just felt very peaceful and definitely like the Holy Spirit was there.
Afterwards there was time to pray some more in front of Our Lord, and Father again invited anyone who wanted to come meet with him later to do so - I loved that he made himself available, and really stressed that we can't (shouldn't) walk this path alone. Such an example of true pastoral accompaniment!
After the Mass we had a lovely lunch with two other couples we've gotten to know largely through our shared experience of infertility, so that was a nice way to top it off. I am just so grateful when our beloved Church offers this very concrete act of love to those who us who are carrying this heavy cross. It really boosts my spirit, helps me not to feel as alone, and has very much strengthened my faith to know that yes, God IS with us.