Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Weight.

{My list of baby names, years in the making.}
 Things have felt very heavy lately. Do you know the feeling? It's like your entire life is resting on your shoulders and after a while, it becomes tiring. Maybe it's all in my head, perhaps my overabundant hormones are to blame, but it feels like a weight is resting upon my shoulders. It can feel like there are more things to worry about than there are to be thankful for, which I hate to admit.

Sometimes, I wonder what it all means. You know, the waiting and wondering and the pain that can be involved in our lives. At what point is it decided that we have adequately learned our lesson and we're able to move on? Years? Decades? An eternity? Never? In the end, what causes the tides to again turn in our favor? I don't have the answers, and perhaps that is what has caused that intense weight to settle in again. I often rack my brain for theories, because I'm that person. The person who always, even when there is no answer, must know why. Why is this happening? Why do people make their choices? Why, why and why?

I have an intense interest in hearing the story behind the story for just about everything--and often, it doesn't exist. There is a reason for everything, but there are plenty of times we never have the opportunity to hear the entire story. Our "whys" are lost in the shuffle. The best way I know to answer those lingering "why's" is this: my story is not your story. Your story--your life--is not the same as mine. Our stories have already been written. Our paths have already been decided. And worrying about, asking questions about and lamenting over the direction is useless.

So, when I think about adoption---I think about that path. Because deep in my heart, I know that it will not be an easy journey ahead. The journey that has already been decided for us is just waiting for us to arrive. And our path involves adoption. Adoptions, even. The more I talk about adoption, the more I realize that I need to prepare my heart now for what is to come. I can only dream of what it will be like, but I know it will dig deep into that place in my heart I've been protecting. The one that I don't let people see, because it's still battered and bruised from the journey behind us.

More than anything though, I find myself hanging on to the things that people say. Despite the journey, and beyond the shell I have developed, I still can't keep myself from clinging to the words. Regardless of what is or is not said, words still hurt. They still carry meaning. And for me, I fear that the day will come when those words pierce that soft place in my heart.

When I say, "We are adopting," I quietly wait for a response. I ready myself for, "Once you adopt, you'll get pregnant." and "I know 5,899 people who adopted and then they got pregnant." and it hurts. That's the truth. And here's why: as anyone who has experienced infertility will tell you, it's never that simple. It's not about letting it go. It's not about relaxing. It's not about what it's about. (It never is, right?) It's about years--at least 12 months--of failure, followed by doctor's appointments, financial burden, medical procedures and surgery. And for many, it's about heartbreak and loss. So it feels like the suggestion, which is likely meant to inspire, is actually minimizing a terrible pain. And that's what hurts the most.

Making the choice to move on to adoption is truly about actively choosing to let that other part go. I make that choice every single day, because it's the only way I know how to live. It's about saying goodbye to month after month of heartbreak and embracing the hope of a family again. A family that, perhaps, will not look like we once imagined. But at the end of the day, it's not about a child who has my ears and my husband's eyes. I've said goodbye to that child, because I had to--not because I wanted to. That doesn't mean I've stopped believing in miracles; it means I have accepted that kind of miracle may never arrive. Living in the light of possibility, believing in the arrival of a miracle--it's different, but it's still present.

Considering all that has been, I know all that will be won't be easy. I know that adoption will test me, just as infertility has; I believe that to be a guarantee. I'd be a fool to think it's possible to truly prepare myself for the journey ahead. What I do know is this: despite the disappointment, regardless of the pain and in spite of the heartbreak, life is still beautiful. Miracles are possible. And your life's path has already been decided--so it's useless to lament over what is not. Life is about how you react, learn and grow from the hand you're dealt, not the moments you've wasted feeling sorry for yourself.

If you know anyone (and I'm sure you do) who is struggling with infertility, I highly recommend you read this article, written by Resolve, the National Infertility Association:

It's perfect.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I love this post. You have a beautiful way with words!


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