"Trying to find a church has been miserable. It seems like every where we go, the focus is on children and parents. How to get more families with young children and how to keep them. After years of seeing it from the business side, I understand. But at the same time, dang! I exist too you know!!!"This is so true. And not only for the infertiles, but for the singles, the divorced, and the widowed. It saddens me that this is the case. Church is not meant to be just mom, dad and children. It is meant to encompass everyone. It is for the hurting. It is for the forgotten. It is for the misplaced. Families are great, it is just our definition of family that is lacking. My dh, 2 dogs, cat Winston and myself are a family and if I could take my four legged kiddos to the nursery, I would. The single mom with 2 kids is a family. And for those without a family should we not embrace them as part of the family of God?
This problem does not solely belong to the church, but also to those of us that do not "fit in". It is easier to sit in our pews and avoid the "perfect families". Yet this does not help me/us to make friends. I admit it gets difficult to find a common ground with someone who is locked up all day changing diapers and listening to kids say "mommy, mommy, mommy". But there must be something that we can discuss!! There seems to be such a gulf between the fertiles and infertiles, yet this ought not to be. Are we not all children of God? Are we not all here to serve Him? Are we not all women? Is there nothing that we have in common?
Some fertiles may envy me my "freedon". Yes, I can go to the salon and spend 3 hours getting my hair done. Yes, I can get a pedicure at will. Yes, dinner can be somthing other than chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese. Yes, I can go on a road trip any time that I like. All great things that I will miss if ever we have children. But those are not things to envy. I envy your tiny hand smudged windows, your grape juice stained carpets, your sleepless nights, your spit up stained laundry, and your endless hours of cartoons. I also envy your "good night, mommy" and messy ketchup covered kisses.
So next time that you are at church and you see someone that does not fit the traditional idea of family, greet them. Invite them to lunch. Ask how their week was and try not to let your eyes glaze over when we talk about out pets or job. We don't have the plague and we won't bite you, I promise. Yes, your rowdy kids may annoy us from time to time, maybe even make us thankful for our childless state. But the fact that you take time to acknowledge that we are a worthwhile human being will be priceless.