Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grieving and Letting Go

I've come to a realization. It is time for me to come to grips with something I've known in my heart for so long.

We are in the process of bringing another child into our family. It is a child that I want more than anything else in this world. A child I love with all of my heart even though I have never met him.

We began the adoption process last fall and we have not progressed very far. I have been dragging my feet on getting our paperwork done. And I wondered why I wasn't doing what I needed to get done. The faster I moved, the sooner our child would be here. I want this other child. I can see his face when I close my eyes. So why wasn't I moving heaven and earth to get him here? I could chalk it up to laziness and procrastination, I am no stranger to those demons. But that was not the answer.

Then one day it hit me. I wanted to have a biological child. I thought if I didn't get the adoption process rolling, then maybe just maybe I would get pregnant.

It is a dream that I have had for so long. I can't even rememeber the first time I thought about having children, playing mommy as girls often do with a pillow under my shirt. It was a given, I would get pregnant, I would have a baby. Every one does.

But not every one does.

I didn't.

Month after month, year after year, I didn't get pregnant.

So I moved on and made other plans. We built our family through adoption. But I thought about having a baby. People told me that I would get pregnant after we adopted. They told me stories about it happening. I knew people it had happened to. I grabbed at the hope that those stories offered and held on tight. It happens. It can happen to you.

But it didn't happen.

Month after month, year after year, it didn't happen.

And maybe it never would.


In my mind I knew it.

But my heart still held on to this dream. And in order to move forward, I had to release the dream that I had held in my heart for so long. I thought my heart would break into a million tiny pieces when I finally said those words. But I had to do it, I had to open my mouth and say out loud to the world:

I am never going to get pregnant. I am never going to carry a baby inside of me for nine months. I am never going to give birth to a child. I am never going to feel the joy and the pain that experience can bring.

As I said those words, I opened my eyes and took a deep breath. My heart hurt but it had not broken. I was still here. The earth was still spinning. The sun was still shining. My daughter, my beloved daughter, was still laughing and playing.

And now I can move on.

The child I see when I close my eyes does not look like me, nor does he look like my husband. He has cocoa brown skin and dark eyes. The son that I want, the son that I love is the one we are planning on adopting.

Not flesh of my flesh, Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart - but in it
--- Fleur Conkling Heylinger


Christy said...

Oh Renee you brought tears to my eyes. I have known people in your shoes, and though it is so incredibly sad that you can't carry a child, I find it just wonderful that you have Bunny, and Turtle on the way. Some people completely give up on parenting and don't consider adoption - I'm so glad you have - it's tough, like pregnancy - but so worth it for you.

I know I'm so redundant, but I really can't wait to meet you.

Marinka said...

Such a gorgeous post. I think sometimes about what I value in reading posts and this kind of raw honesty is exactly it.

Kirsten said...

I admire your honesty here and I'm sorry for your pain.

Z said...

Such honesty, such a beautiful, bittersweet post! I am both so sad and so happy for you - sad that you must give up one of the dreams of your heart, but happy that you are finding your way to another one...

michelle said...

Your post is very thought provoking. I feel for you that you can't have your own child but the ones that you have/will adopt are so lucky to have such a loving mother.

Anonymous said...

That quote sums it up perfectly.

So sorry you had to go through the pain of realizing this... but very happy that you were able to face it and that you can now take that next step with your family.

Anonymous said...

Oh honey. You are giving love, warmth, and unconditional everything to children that otherwise don't have that. I have no idea what its like to not carry a child but I also can't imagine the feeling of being able to bring a child from unfortunate circumstances into my home filled with the love that you and your hubby do. What you did for your daughter and what you will do for your son is special all on its on. I am sure its not the same thing but the unconditional love is and you have that.

Heidi said...

This is beautiful...aching heart kind of beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

Jen said...

Glad you are finding peace with moving on. Your adopted children will be very lucky kids.

Issas Crazy World said...

Am crying as I read this. hugs my beautiful friend. Tons of hugs.

Mom2Peach said...

Renee, I just found your blog tonight and can relate so much to this post. I have a son about to turn two, and I did give birth to him. But not until after my husband and I had a miscarriage, which I endured while I was out of town for work. I returned to an OB/GYN office where I was congratulated by the office staff on my new pregnancy. Apparently the dozens of phone calls the previous three days, begging for answers to the bleeding, had been logged in my charts. I switched doctors and underwent a year and a half of fertility treatments. Clinical "deposits" and hormone injections that we really couldn't afford, administered by doctors with the compassion of robots. Health insurance that would cover gastric bypass and methadone treatments for crack addiction but nothing to help me give birth. There was my daily temperature taking, my baby aspirin to encourage implantation, saliva monitors, a $200 ovulation monitor, and pee sticks. Lots of pee sticks. And to add insult to injury, I couldn't even drink coffee?

I wasn't getting any younger. We decided to pursue Ukranian adoption, then Chinese, but realized that our finances and paid time off would accommodate the potentially long trips and bonding period afterward. We changed course and looked to open domestic adoption. Met with families, found an agency that we connected with. Initiated paperwork. Looking at a potential pricetag of $30 grand, we applied for a home equity loan, six months after buying our first place. Our bank told us that they might loan the money if we wanted to update our kitchen and bath, but not to add to our family.

Dejected, my husband handed me a $50 and said, go to the drugstore and buy another pack of those pee sticks, which I did. And I got pregnant. To which countless people told me, "see, that's what happens---you go to adopt and you get pregnant!" or "see, it was meant to be!" Like if we had attended half a dozen meetings at Adoptions from the Heart five years earlier, I would have been knocked up a lot sooner and could have skipped all the heartache. And now, at the age of 41 with an almost 2-year-old, I get the "so, when are you having another?" and "oh, you say you're not having another but that's what I said too." I still take birth control, although I'm not exactly sure why.

So, that was my way-too-longwinded comment to say that I don't know exactly how you feel, but I have some idea. And I know how hard it is to forgive your body for not being cooperative when you want something so badly when it comes so easily to people who are far less passionate about the idea. Thank you for sharing your pain through a lovely post, and I hope that it brings you some peace. I look forward to getting to know you and your beautiful little girl better.

Mom2Peach said...

For all my verbosity, I forgot one important one word: "...but realized that our finances and paid time off would NOT accommodate the potentially long trips and bonding period afterward."

Kind of makes a big difference. :)