Question Submitted: I’ve noticed that several of your hosts have adopted children this year. Does it hurt that you are the only HRTB host not to have been given the gift of a child?
Don’t gasp, readers. This is not an audacious question. It is an honest one, and, frankly, I get asked it quite often. So, here is my honest answer:
First, from this website’s conception, my goal was never to have only childless hosts. In fact, if you have ever referred to the host page of this site, you already know that Rebecca, Kristi, Melissa, and Sandra have been mothers for years, whether through the gift of conception or adoption. I invited these sage women to cohost this site with me, because I am terribly aware of my own shortcomings. I am not an authority on every topic we cover on this site, and I rely heavily on their experience, wisdom, prudence, and compassion in responding to such issues as miscarriage, secondary infertility, adoption, and other concerns that touch upon the subject of barrenness.
Now, in response to the hurting portion of your question:
It does not hurt that I am the only HRTB host not to have children; it hurts that I don’t have children, period.
It is remarkably easy to rejoice with my fellow hosts in the gifts they have been given this year, because I, too, have been given special gifts from God. I have been given the gift of knowledge from God’s Word that children are His gift to give and that He is wise in His giving; I have been given the gift of faith which trusts in the goodness of God’s giving and His not giving; I have been given the gift of fellowship in the Body of Christ, and I get to participate in the joy of my mother-sisters; I have been given the gift of assurance that my own prayers and sorrows are made known to my Father in heaven, because I have a Mediator who always intercedes on my behalf at God’s right hand; I have been given the gift of a Comforter who, through Word and Sacrament, grants me peace that surpasses all understanding; and, last but not least, I have been given a special vocation in the lives of my fellow HRTB hosts: First Officer of the Starship Motherhood.
What, exactly, does the First Officer do?
The First Officer receives stunned, amazed, blessed, joyous, play-by-play texts when Baby Mayes arrives.
The First Officer gets to share meals with Baby DeGroot and Big Boy Ostapowich.
The First Officer gets the privilege of being one of the first people to receive updates and pictures of Baby Leckband in China so that she can post said updates and pictures to Mama Leckband’s website for her while international internet access is limited.
Most importantly, the First Officer receives tender empathy at all times, even from across an ocean in the middle of a sleepless night just after Baby Leckband has been put into the arms of her family for the first time:
“I know there is joy and pain for you personally on this day. Know this, dear sister, you are loved for who you are TODAY. Your worth is found in the shadow of the One who has borne all of our suffering. His gifts are yours each and every day, despite your earthly pains and sorrows. You. Are. Loved!”
Does it hurt? Not as much as it could, thanks to the compassionate generosity of my fellow hosts who never leave me out but put me right in the middle of the celebration.
I am one blessed, barren woman.
First Officer Schuermann