We know the old saying about how if things come easy they’re not worth having or how good things are worth waiting for. This is my story about having children late in life when I didn’t think it might happen.
During my first marriage back in the early ’80s, my wife and I tried often to have children. Being unsuccessful after about five years of trying, I decided to take the first step and seek the help of a specialist.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, this was probably the biggest mistake I would make in my life. You see, after testing was complete and the doctor had the results, the doctor came to the conclusion that I would never be able to father any children.
As devastated as I was to hear this, I remember walking through a long hallway, walking towards the exit of the building and thinking to myself, “Well, if God wants me to have children, I’m going to have children someday.”
I actually didn’t dwell on this too much after that day, and I can’t really explain why. For someone who loves and enjoys children so much I really wanted to have children. But I really didn’t let it bother me.
But for now I had to go home and report the news to my wife, already knowing what her reaction would be. Needless to say, this, and other reasons, would mean an end to our marriage. My wife had previously told me she didn’t want to adopt, and didn’t want to go through an alternative way of conceiving. And I didn’t want to push this anymore.
We were both still in our mid 20’s. We separated without telling anyone. We had been everyone’s perfect couple, childhood sweethearts, together since the age of sixteen. I know it broke our family’s heart knowing that we were no longer going to be together, especially her mother and younger brothers and sisters too. To this day I still see them the same as always and their kids still call me uncle and I still call them my nieces and nephews. It was an awful feeling not to be part of their daily lives anymore.
Having moved out of town to move closer to my mother and siblings in a different state, I lost touch with my ex-wife until about seven years later when I returned to our hometown to attend a friend’s funeral.
At the funeral service I saw my ex-wife’s best friend from high school, and learned from her that my ex had remarried and had two daughters.
When she told me this, the first thing that popped into my mind was that the infertility specialist had been correct in his assessment and that it was my fault my wife hadn’t been able to get pregnant.
So now about fifteen years after first getting married, and wanting to have children, I was married again, actually married a women with two beautiful children.
I remember when we were first getting to know each other one of the questions I had been wanting to ask her was if she already had children. At this point in my life I didn’t want to marry a woman who hadn’t already experienced childbirth for fear of going through what I went through with my first wife. I didn’t want to put myself in that position again, and didn’t want to put another woman through the agony of not being able to conceive. At least that’s how I felt.
So thinking back to what I said to myself walking out of the doctor’s office that dreadful day many years ago, I thanked God for finally allowing me to have children. And I promised God I would always strive to be the best step-father I could, and to treat both children as if He himself had delivered them to me.
And now as I sit in a hospital room watching over my youngest son, who’s now 16 years old, and who came down with pneumonia yesterday, I again thank God for giving me another miracle and proving the specialist wrong.
Oh yeah, and my wife was again pregnant about a year later, this time with a beautiful baby girl.
When the youngest son was about 10 or 11 years old I remember him asking me why I had named him after me. At that time I felt he was too young to understand, but I may be getting closer to telling him the whole story now.
One thing I want to tell him, right or wrong, is that I had already made up my mind that if God allowed me to have a son I was going to name him after me. I’ll tell him that after all I went through, with the emotional trauma of losing my first wife, and living all of those years not knowing whether I’d ever have children, I wanted the privilege of passing my name down to him. I hope he would understand.