After a long struggle with infertility, Whitney and Spencer are now parents of two adorable adopted boys. Both boys were adopted at birth and they keep their parents hopping. Now ages 4 and 2, the boys also know their birth families. Whitney and Spencer are grateful for loving, unselfish birth mothers who have sacrificed to give their sons what they believe is best for them. The result is a rich relationship between adoptive and birth families—a relationship that gives the best of both worlds to their children.
Couple Takes Healing with Humor to the Next Level With ‘Infertility Announcements’
“Having a sense of humor was one of the things that made infertility at all bearable."
It was after three years of struggling through medical procedures, negative pregnancy tests, and a whole lot of disappointment that Spencer and Whitney came to know that adoption was the way for them to create their family. Part of trudging through the pain of infertility was a healthy sense of humor.
As is true with most couples, the infertility roller coaster was painful for both Whitney and Spencer. But most of Spencer’s pain came in seeing the turmoil his wife was experiencing.
“Infertility made me feel ugly,” says Whitney. “I felt ugly on the outside because my body was broken. Deep down I knew that my femininity and worth as a person was not tied to my ability to carry a baby. However, there is something about being unable to do something that comes so naturally, even effortlessly, for some that makes you feel like less of a human.
"I felt ugly on the inside because I struggled with feelings of jealousy. Any time a friend or family member would announce their pregnancy, it was like a kick to the stomach. I was happy for them and I didn’t begrudge them any of the joy they were experiencing. But at the same time, I was so devastated for myself. It sometimes took everything in me to put a smile on my face and then count down the minutes until I could excuse myself to go home and cry. I hated feeling this way. I’d never considered myself a bitter person and it killed me that my knee-jerk reaction to someone else’s good news was to burst into tears.”
It seems impossible to see light, much less to laugh, when stuck in the middle of the infertility battle. But Whitney and Spencer learned early enough in the journey that laughter was healing: “Having a sense of humor was one of the things that made infertility at all bearable. There were definitely days that were really, really hard, and laughter was out of reach. But we tried to be positive and find the humor in our situation. Like when people give you absurd advice about 'sure-fire ways to get pregnant,' for example, we can't help but chuckle. Our personalities are such that we try not to let the ridiculousness of a frustrating situation ruin each day (though sometimes it does); rather, we try to see the lighter side for our own sanity.”
Recognizing that infertility didn’t mean they couldn’t have a family gave hope back to the Blakes. But experiencing invasive medical procedures, putting on a smile when tears were close, and trying to convince oneself that being unable to become pregnant doesn’t mean you’re deficient is exhausting. Emotions are at the surface most of the time and it’s a fight to avoid obsession over this one part of your life. For Spencer and Whitney, engaging in humorous activities was a welcome distraction.
Although none of us ever wants to repeat the hard times in our lives, many of us can look back and see that it was the hardship that led to happy, good things. So it is with Whitney: “Though I will never love the heartache of infertility, I do have an appreciation for how it has shaped my story. Infertility ultimately led me to my boys. My sweet, perfect little boys. I just couldn't imagine my life without them.”
When asked if she has any advice for others who are hurting because of infertility, Whitney said: “We don't have any advice, per se, but to those struggling with infertility, we're sorry. It's awful. We're sorry you have to go through it. You are not alone. There are others who have walked or are walking the same path. Connecting with some of those people is one of the things that helped us the most through our own struggle.”
Denalee is an adoptive mother, a motivational speaker, a writer, and a lover of life. She and her husband have adventured through the hills and valleys of life to find that the highest highs and the lowest lows are equally fulfilling. Book Denalee to speak to your group, or find Denalee's writings, including her books on her website at DenaleeChapman.com.
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