Anna and Steve have two beautiful sons and they are great parents. I sat with her this morning before dropping our children off for school and it seems I caught her at a vulnerable moment. Her infertility was on her mind.
She said, "It's emotional," as I caught the very wisps of tears at the corner of her eyes.
Anna has healthy children sitting in the backseat and a devoted husband. Anna is beautiful, has a job she loves, and lives in a great house. Anna has all the boxes checked for a care-free life. Foolishly, I thought her infertility was a thing of the past, but it dawned on me that it won't ever be a thing of the past. She will always have this struggle.
Her church, Reid Presbyterian, where my husband and I were married come ten years ago this March, asked her family to be the host family of the annual race that raises money for a foundation of the host family's choice.
Here is the article from her church newsletter:
When we got married almost 10 years ago, we both wanted to have a large family - at least three or four children. After several years, however, we were devastated to learn that we would not be able to have children without the help of assisted reproduction.
As Anna’s physician stated, “This is just how you were made.” We knew that God never makes mistakes, but that the journey to start a family would be a long and difficult one.
And it was.
As we began to research and learn more about infertility and assisted reproduction, we realized everything was very expensive and nothing was covered by insurance. There was very little help available, which probably explains why more than half of women with infertility never seek medical assistance.
We decided we would do all we could and put our trust in God with the outcome either way. Regardless of how financially difficult this would be, we knew it would be worth every penny. After several years of multiple tests, uncertain diagnoses, numerous failed treatments, and thousands of dollars, we finally were blessed to have a successful In Vetro fertilization.
Hamp was born in August 2013.
We then had to go through several additional rounds of treatment before having our second child, Lewis, earlier this year. Aside from the incredible blessing of having children, the process for us became an opportunity to minister to others with similar circumstances. After trying without success to find a faith-based support network, Anna started a blog, InVariablyFaithful (IVF), that chronicled our faith journey and, to our surprise, became a source of inspiration for others.
As we have learned just how common infertility is - 1 in 8 couples is diagnosed – and have seen many of our own friends and neighbors face the same challenges, we have always felt there should be more in the way of support and assistance available, especially for those who may not be as fortunate as us. So when the Children’s Ministry Committee raised the idea of having the 2017 Reid on the Run support this cause, we wanted to do whatever we could to help. The proceeds from this year’s event will help give aspiring parents in our community an opportunity to have a family of their own - a chance they may not otherwise have.
We hope you will join us and show your support on February 4th.
Steve and Anna Sanders
"This is just how you were made" -- that sat with me when I read it. What tears must have been shed in that paper gown when the diagnosis came down. Having seen her go through the process of having her second child, I can only imagine how it was before I knew her.
And I am thankful to know her.
Knowing the all-encompassing love that courses through my veins from when the doctor handed me Birdie until the day I stop breathing, it must be ten-fold when you have to work that much harder to create life.
Families struggle to become families and to stay families. Helping this cause will help another family struggle a little less and laugh a little more. Anything is possible.
With God, anything is possible.