On a sunny, cool fall afternoon in Marietta, a young woman wandered aimlessly down her driveway. As she stared out into the empty cul-de-sac, she heard the smack of a baseball hitting an old leathery glove. The sound brought her back to reality. Looking into the neighbors yard, the young woman saw a father playing catch with his son. She continued to watch the two throw what appeared to be an old dirt stained baseball back and forth, and got lost in her thoughts again. Imagining the feelings the father must be having in watching his little boy hurl this old ball with such accuracy and speed, the young woman fell deeper into her thoughts. She wondered if the father was proud. Was he grateful? Was he scared that he might miss the ball and get hit? Did he truly appreciate the moment he was experiencing with his son?
See, this young woman was struggling with her own feelings. She was in the fourth year of a wonderful marriage to a man whom she loved dearly. But that’s not the struggle she felt. She had just returned from her fifth visit to her fertility doctor, where she had little success and her hopes were fading. After each visit, her sadness crept in more and more, and after each unsuccessful attempt to get pregnant, she feared the worst – that she and her husband would not be able to have a child. The young woman continued to watch the father and son as they laughed and played together in their front yard. As she sat there, a tear forming in the corner of her eye, thinking of the memories she might not be able to make with her own child, like the father and son playing catch. She was startled.
Her husband had meandered out of the garage and, as he neared his wife, suddenly swallowed his wife with his arms, wrapping them around her, and kissing her cheek. At that moment, the husband noticed the tear in his wife’s eye, but didn’t ask any questions. He knew. He knew what that tear meant. After glancing at the neighbor and his son, the couple walked back into their home, the faint sound of the baseball smacking against a glove fading in the distance.
The husband continued to hold onto his wife, entangling his hands in hers so that she knew she was loved, but also couldn’t get away. He guided his wife to the kitchen table where he had his laptop up and an array of pamphlets spread out in a mess across the table. The husband, a bit nervous, launched into a passionate and shaky speech. His wife looked down and noticed the caption on the screen and saw the pamphlets. There, in big bold letters, the word “Adoption.” And just like the sound of that baseball hitting the glove, she heard a smack. It was her own hand hitting the table. The wife had a sudden, almost involuntary, reaction to seeing and hearing her husband’s interest in adoption. She had all but given up hope of having children. However, unbeknownst to her, her husband had dreams of adopting when he was younger but never mentioned it.
The couple sat, and paced, and talked, and cried for what seemed like hours. The young woman, who earlier in the day had all but given up, slowly began to fill with hope again. At one point, she thought about the possibility of adoption if the fertility treatments did not work but she and her husband had not discussed it. And, so lost in her despair, the young woman had not thought about it again until earlier that evening.