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Taking Comfort in “What’s Meant to Be”

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a blog by Ellen Glazer, February 14, 2014

Anyone who has ever gone through infertility or suffered a miscarriage knows how painful it is when someone says to you, “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” When a close friend or family member say this, it elicits all sorts of emotions—and none of them feel good. Worse still is when you are the one wondering “Maybe I wasn’t meant to be a parent?” or “Maybe we weren’t meant to have another child?” or “Maybe this pregnancy that I wanted so deeply was not meant to continue?”

Now here is some good news. People choosing other paths to parenthood—adoption, egg and sperm donation, surrogacy--, often find comfort in “the meant to be.” You hear it all the time: “you will get the baby that is meant for you” or “I found a donor with whom I share uncanny connections.” I know that it can sound “soppy” or “schmaltzy,” but ask any adoptive parent or one who conceived with the help of a donor, if they have a sense that this is what was “meant to be” and they will reply without hesitation that it was. The Chinese call it “the Red Thread,” declaring that there is an invisible red thread that connects people who belong together.

So why does this matter? I’ve thought a lot about this and think that it helps you make sense of an otherwise out of control experience. Believing that “things “happen for a reason” can us feel that the disappointments and frustrations we face are neither our “fault” nor ours to overcome. Rather, there is a different path that is simply “meant to be.”

In his August, 2012 article in the New York Times, “Adoption, Destiny and Magical Thinking,” writer Matthew Hutson quotes a mom who says it far better than I can, “But am I in awe of the amazing alchemy of timing, chance, life paths intersecting and a thousand other intangible happenings that made these children mine? Do I think about the small changes in those random happenings that could have brought other children into my family, whether biologically or by adoption? And do I gasp in wonder at how lucky I am that these are my children? At the alchemy that created my family?”


Comments (1)

I understand what you are writting about in this post. My husband and I also heard the comments, "Maybe it wasn't meant to be", or "It's just not in the cards for you right now", and so on...Thank you for this post.

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