I happened to come across this photo on Facebook from an interview Lisa and I did for Night of Hope last year, and I can’t stop looking at it.
There’s love there.
Even after all the ups and downs, and smile and frowns, and screaming and yelling and hugs and kisses, there is love.
If I sound surprised, maybe it’s because when I see the way we are looking at each other in this picture, I remember times when there was a different look on our faces. Tears, frustration, disappointment, drunken escape, confusion, anger, resentment all contorted our faces into almost unrecognizable shapes.
I also remember what got us through all those years of hardship, and disappointment leading up to the day we found out we were finally pregnant: love.
But it wasn’t just our love for each other. It was the love of other people who prayed, cheered, supported and wanted to see us realize our dream of having a baby as much as we did.
Many of those people we met through Resolve: The National Infertility Association. The other couples in support groups that we saw struggling with their ‘looks’ at each other brought us closer together, gave us a mirror to see the ugliness that we were caught up in sometimes, and returned perspective that allows Lisa and I to still look at each other the way we do in this picture after 25 years of marriage and 29 years together.
I remember smiling when I would see a guy walk in, arms folded, chest puffed up, and completely closed off at the beginning of a meeting, and then gradually unfold his arms, exhale, and hold his wife’s hand. A beautiful, reflexive gesture of love that every guy is capable of in infertility one he realizes that being emotionally accessible is far more helpful than being strong and silent.
We have framed pictures all over our house that showcase our little family’s evolution, and many of them have one simple phrase that sums up how we expanded our family from two to three:
Family: All because two people fell in love.