I’ve been wanting to update our blog recently, but I just haven’t really known what to say. Today I was reading this article and I was struck by the idea of sharing who we really are with the world. I try to do that. I often do want to share my faith and beliefs with friends and family on social media, but I am at a loss sometimes as to how to do it. One of my good friends talked once about the meaning of being bold in sharing our faith. As a missionary, I often thought it meant blasting people with gospel messages at every chance I got. My friend said that being bold meant being sincere and sharing your experiences you’ve had with living the gospel. I loved that. Being sincere isn’t so hard, right?
I want to make more of an effort to share what’s going on in our world here. I’ve been wanting to post about adoption for awhile, but I haven’t exactly known what to say. I’ve written drafts over and over, editing, and thinking. I’ve had a friend read some of it to get her opinion. After everything, I still haven’t posted anything. Since it is something that still feels so personal to me, I wanted my post to be perfect. But that’s really not the way life is. So I’m not going to be perfect, I’m just going to be bold by being me.
We are currently working on our home study to be approved for a domestic adoption or an embryo adoption. Before I was in the adoption process, I always considered the home study to be an interview at your home. It is that, and a whole lot more. Overall, it requires 4 interviews, physicals, referrals, tons of paperwork, background & criminal checks, detailed & extensive biographies written by us, and some hard work and patience. I’ve been through a pregnancy, so I understand the hard work that goes on there! Adoption is similar to a pregnancy in that it can sometimes be physically, emotionally, and mentally draining.
When I first had my surgery, I felt rushed to have another child. We had been trying to conceive for a few months when I had the surgery and so I was already hoping for a baby. Having a baby was intoxicating to me. After I had Madison, I understood why some women choose to have 8 kids. I loved it. I wanted so many children. With my fertility gone, I wanted to get things rolling on the adoption front because I knew things could take a few years and I also didn’t know when we would be financially ready. Many times I felt frustrated that even though most people can get pregnant rather easily, in order to adopt I needed to be completely financially stable (and then some), be thoroughly examined and analyzed by others to see if I’m a competent parent, and then wait for somebody to choose us. Sometimes it felt like I had to sell myself and that can just feel too much like middle school (“LIKE ME, LIKE ME!”)
Being me, I started reading everything I could about adoption and embryo adoption. I started reading and following blogs, looking at books, etc.This has already been a life-changing process for us. I read about the need to grieve fertility loss. I thought “well that’s really great, but how do I know if I’m finished grieving? How do I know that my feelings toward it are all wrapped up and resolved?” The first few months I felt like maybe I was one of those people who didn’t really need to grieve or that I had accomplished my grieving in a few cries here and there. During that time I was actually in the first stage of grief, which is denial.
I’ve started to learn that grieving is a process and although there are stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) we don’t necessarily go through them in order or in specific periods of time. We can experience many of these stages simultaneously. Even after acceptance, there may be times when we revisit any or all of these feelings. This frequently occurs when we experience triggers–certain things that can put one back into the grieving process all over again. For me this week it was as simple as wearing a certain dress to church. One of the last times I had worn that dress was when I was pregnant with Madison. It brought back memories of such a happy, exciting time for me. I remembered how it felt feeling her kick and move. I remember our anticipation and excitement. Remembering these feelings brought me an indescribable sadness and sense of loss. In those moments, I desperately wanted to have a little baby growing inside of me again. I looked at my husband seated by me and longed for a little boy version of him.
Recently I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m not done grieving. Kyle and I want to adopt because we want more children, we want Madison to have siblings, and we feel we have so much more love to give. However, I don’t want to inadvertently place unfair expectations on a child to solve all of my personal grief. That is an unfair burden. For that reason, I am hoping to be a little bit closer toward acceptance than I am now before we adopt.
We are continuing the adoption process because we know it can be a lengthy and expensive process, but we are also giving ourselves time. We are continuing to focus on the family we have now, spending time together, laughing & loving together. One of the reasons I know that I am healing is because I am okay with that. Before, I wanted a baby now, now, now! As I am healing, I am starting to see that I am okay with our family the way it is right now.
I am sharing these things to be real and honest. If you know of anyone who is grieving fertility loss or grieving in general, I hope you’ll share it with them and maybe they can relate. I don’t really know exactly what “stage” of the grieving process I’m currently in, but I know that I’m working on it. Please know that I am still grateful for my wonderful husband, daughter, family, and life. I recognize the incredible bounty I’ve been given from God. I believe in grieving as part of the healing process. I find comfort in knowing that Christ took time alone after he found out his beloved friend and cousin, John the Baptist, had been killed (Mark 6, specifically verse 46 talks about him praying). I know that as I let myself experience these feelings, I will continue to heal through the peace of Christ.