To me, infertility seemed like an insurmountable hurdle. But Carol was determined to focus on what we had. Carol made me realize that our goals were not to match our sperm and egg and biologically reproduce a miniature Allan or Carol; but rather our greatest goal was to parent and nurture children with character, values, and morals that would eventually reflect who Carol and I are; and to fill our home with laughs, cuddles, hugs and love for all to thrive in. That refocusing of our parenting goals was a major handicap to overcome, which allowed us to overcome the great hurdle of infertility. Carol`s determination in pursuit of these goals reminds me of a very determined man named Roger Crawford.
Roger was born with a rare disease that caused him to have one finger on one hand and a finger and a thumb on his other. His left leg has one toe and the knee was locked and deformed. When he was about four or five years old, his leg was amputated from the knee down; he now has a prosthesis for a false leg. Roger was ashamed of his hands. His parents would always tell him, "Roger, take your hands out of your pockets, put a smile on your face and go out there and do something. Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. Find what your something is and do it." Roger wanted to play football, so he tried out for the team. The coach said, "Come on kid, give me a break. You`ve got a wooden leg, no fingers and you can`t hold the ball." Roger replied, "I want to try out anyway." Roger made the team, became a first string defensive end, and had a goal to intercept a pass and run for a touch down. One day, Roger`s opportunity arose as the quarterback threw the ball and it was tipped up in the air. Roger leaped for it and caught it is his arms (he couldn`t catch it with his fingers). He pulled it into his chest and started to run towards the goal line. Roger got about six yards from the goal line and this guy grabbed his false leg. Roger pulled and this guy pulled; and finally Roger`s leg came off. Roger then hopped on one leg the final six yards and got his touchdown.
Roger just got married recently. He always wondered who would ever want to hold his hand when he only had one finger and he met a woman who would. Roger is a very successful speaker now talking about overcoming handicaps. Roger produced a life that worked. Rogers handicap was only a hurdle to him if he allowed it to be. In fact, Rogers false leg eventually became an asset in achieving his goal.
Infertility to us was not any different. At first it appeared to be a great hurdle towards parenting goals. Today we view it as a great blessing; a blessing that has made me a father of five children; a blessing that has created millions of families who were also down on their hopes and dreams; and a blessing that has brought to us many dear friends.
Every holiday season, I am reminded of the families we`ve helped build. Throughout the years we get visits from parents proudly showing off their children and the happiness we`ve brought to them. With this, I truly feel like we`ve scored the winning touchdown in a most important game - the game of life. We are forever motivated to continue to re-ignite the hopes and dreams of more infertile couples.
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