We wanted to highlight a story we heard this week from the wife of one of our vasectomy reversal patients. This is being shared with their permission (they are so modest that we had to beg for them to let us share it with others). We found it very inspiring and wished to share it with others in the hope that they would be similarly inspired. Additionally, I (Landon) have found that many people are unsung and unrecognized heroes out there. In my case, I would go to meetings at Mayo where I would receive different awards, but then when I would go home to my wife, she wouldn’t have received anything which recognized her ‘more significant’ contributions. So, we wanted to take a minute to share this story. If you have similar stories that you know of and would like to share, please email us, as we would love to highlight them. While this story isn’t something that necessarily has to do with male fertility directly, we think it is a beautiful story about serving others and family (which is ultimately the goal of infertility treatment).
Kelly (name changed for anonymity purposes) and her husband got married and had a baby at 17. They decided to continue to grow their family and tried for another child. After attempting to have their second baby, they went through a horrible miscarriage. They were able to conceive another child on their third try, but were still recovering from their miscarriage. They were afraid to risk another pregnancy, so they decided to have a vasectomy. Sometime after the vasectomy, they decided that their family was still too small for their liking. They soon realized how expensive vasectomy reversals could be, and they investigated other options. They eventually decided on international adoption and were able to adopt a baby from China. They absolutely loved their son and were grateful they chose to adopt. Through raising her own children and adoption, Kelly felt that she had found her calling from God. She felt her calling was to be a mother and that she had been given a gift from God to be able to love children that weren’t biologically her own. With their family growing they still felt they wanted more children, but at this point adoption and a vasectomy reversal were too expensive. Their daughter suggested foster care.
Kelly and her husband talked about it and decided that they wanted to give it a try. In their first year as foster parents, they were given three foster babies. The first one was a criminal case with a heartbreaking story. But even after getting these three children they knew giving foster care was something they wanted to continue doing. They felt that giving foster care would be their own personal ministry. They loved giving these children a safe place to stay. They learned through foster care what it really means to “give someone grace.” While it has been difficult for them to receive a child that is broken in many ways and return them to parents that may not have deserved to have them back, it has taught them “so much about love and grace.” Kelly further said, “having these foster children has allowed us to see another side of hell we never really knew existed, that has been very humbling and a blessing for us.”
After fostering for some time, they decided they wanted to have a more permanent larger family, while also continuing foster care. They recently underwent a vasectomy reversal to try for more children again. They also plan to continue to provide foster care for children in need.
We wished to highlight this story particularly because of the huge sacrifice that this family has made in fostering children. I (Landon) couldn’t imagine how challenging it would be to take a child for a few months or years, only to have to give it back to another. And then to do this repeatedly over time. It is such an example of consecrated sacrifice and highlights the love that exists within couples and families. The example definitely motivated me to want to be a better parent and to applaud those who went to this extent to help others.