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Father's Day Superheroes

Anna Hornbostel

As we head into this weekend, my heart is heavy.

For my husband, who yet again faces this weekend with the knowledge that there aren't any colored cards or sticky kisses for him, no one yelling "Daddy, play with me!" or running up to show him found treasures. We don't know what the future holds, but we do know that we have faced many Father's Days like this and may face more. We sit in trust that God sees us and knows, but we also sit in uncertainty as we wonder what the future holds.

And so my heart hurts...

For the other men out there who are facing the same empty yearning and wondering "Why me?" and "when will it be our turn?"

For the men who are ashamed to open up about this hurt, afraid that they will be mocked and disparaged for their "lack of ability" in producing children. 

For the men who understand longing to see a belly grow, to feel a baby kick, to go to the hospital to meet a wondrous miracle.

My heart hurts...

For the men who carry their wives heartache above their own, struggling to support her and unsure of what she needs, pushing aside their own fears and insecurities to hold her while she cries, to hold her hand while she endures yet another prying exam, to listen while she screams about the unfairness of it all. And maybe to scream along with her. Or maybe not, feeling that he needs to "be strong" for her.

For the men who will go to the mall, to restaurants, to churches and see and hear things like "Dads are the greatest!" and "Dads are superheroes!" and they will feel neither great, or super, but rather like an outsider.

For the men who are asked "Haven't you figured this out yet?" with a suggestive laugh or wink, as though anyone has a right to come into their bedroom.

 

My heart hurts for these men who are stoic in public, because we don't invite them to be honest.

Who put on a brave face, because we don't invite them to admit feeling weak or confused.

Who  soldier on alone, because we don't offer to walk alongside them.

 

There is no simple answer to infertility, but there is a simple answer to hurt: Love.

So, if you know a man who is hurting and struggling along this path of infertility I invite you to reach out in love this weekend and ask "How can I be here with you?" and if the answer is "I don't know" then simply sit there- and be with him- and be a superhero for him.