Sunday, May 31, 2009

my life is a mental game

I've been playing a mental game for some time now. The months of April to June exactly one year ago marks our process of gathering adoption related paperwork and completing adoption related tasks. We were so naïve one year ago. When we were told by our Canadian agency that it took about 3 months to complete the home study, we did the math. When we were told by our American agency that placements for African American babies often happen very quickly, even within 1-2 months, we did the math. The part of the equation that we weren't aware of was how long the approvals would take in each country and how long we would end up waiting. So now that we have started to experience one year "anniversaries" of the paperwork gathering and task completion, my life has become a mental game.

One year ago in May I was convinced that we would have a family by now. As I attended regular yearly functions and events I thought about how my life would be different next year which might mean I didn't attend that particular event. And yet here I sit, still childless and able to attend these functions and events. But each time I do I have to play the game. I have to mentally prepare myself for the emotions that surface as I am continually reminded that I do not have a family. That 12 months of life have passed without much changing in mine. That I have lost much hope and optimism.

Today was one of those days. Had my game face on.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

what if...?

What if we had decided not to pursue adoption and not have any children. What would our lives look like now? How would our focus be different?

I know one thing is for sure, we would have gone on a kick ass, hot destination vacation during this wretched winter! We’d likely be thinking about getting a different vehicle. Possibly doing some small renovation projects to our house.

But all of those things just involve the use of money that is currently tied up in savings for a different purpose.

How would life be different in general? Would we make new friends because all our current ones have kids and are at a very different life stage then us? Would we spend more time volunteering to find purpose and meaning or would we become more selfish because life would just be about us? Would we grow closer together because kids wouldn’t get in the way of our relationship or further apart because we wouldn’t have the common goals and desires related to parenthood?

What would we do with our time? Now we’re anticipating lives full of diapers, playing, soccer games, and piano lessons. What would fill in the spaces of that extra time? Would we feel less stress by not becoming parents or more stress because we haven’t followed the “norms” of society and fall on the fringes.*

We’d definitely be able to retire sooner and possibly even find a small retirement community by the ocean somewhere!

I've been thinking about this whole idea of never becoming a mom lately. As I watch countless others become parents I wonder if my time has passed. Maybe it just isn't "meant to be." Maybe these adoption plans were just a ruse to keep my mind busy for a time, planning and preparing for a future that included a child. Perhaps I need to face my current reality with different eyes. Is this what life holds for me? I am blessed with so much but yet why do I feel so empty? I know we could make life without children work.
The thing is that I don’t want to make it work in that way. I want more from life, a fullness and richness that can in part be provided through family. I will put myself through this waiting hell to get that. To become a mom and look beyond myself and what I could have accomplished on my own, to look upon a child and be needed in a way that I have never experienced before.

For that I will wait.

*Just for the record, to adopt transracially already pushes us out into the fringes of society and we will experience this fact regardless.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a new distraction

I got the job.

Yay for me!

My hours have been cut in half and I’ve taken a substantial cut in pay, but I got the job! I am excited about this position and think this is a good long term move for me. Whenever baby comes into our lives I will want to be working part-time and now I’ll have a permanent job to go back to after parental leave. And my current job will let me reduce my hours to part-time so I can still make a decent income and keep my hours up for parental leave.

Things worked out so nicely….now if only the same could be said about the adoption…