... families, friends, and parties come together...this can be a painful time for infertile couples and those waiting for their child through adoption. I have compiled a couple of articles that I want to share with you that can be helpful in approaching families in these circumstances during the holiday time AND the rest of the year.
Helping Friends and Family Understand: ‘Tis A Gift To Be Wise
An invaluable holiday present is Patricia Irwin Johnston’s booklet, Understanding Infertility: Insights for Family and Friends. Share these suggestions:
1. Understand that an infertile person does not resolve intense feelings overnight.
2. Listen to what the couple has to share—their pain, frustration, and anger—and try to imagine what they are experiencing. Avoid advice.
3. Let the couple know that they are not alone—share your support.
4. Respect the couple’s need for privacy, but let them know you’re there when they might need you.
5. Be honest in telling of your own pregnancy. As painful as the news may be, it is usually better than keeping it a secret.
6. Be aware that emotions differ from person to person and from day to day. Understand that some people may need to isolate themselves occasionally.
7. Humor has its place in dealing with the struggle of infertility, but do not be the one to joke about it—leave that to the one experiencing it.
8. Do not imply that the couple’s inability to conceive must stem from inner doubts about having children or must mean that God has not found them suitable for parenthood.
9. Support the couple’s decisions regarding medical treatment or resolution as best you can, even if you do not agree.
10. Learn about infertility so that you can be an informed listener.