So today I sent in my final USCIS request so that they can approve our petition to adopt from a Hague Convention country. I also woke up with that all-too-familiar grief over loss. Infertility makes you feel many things, inadequate, angry, cheated and sorry for your self at the sight of a pregnant woman. Now I have to say, ever since we started the process of adoption I have come to accept this flaw in my design. In fact, it was acceptance of this that made me begin the journey we now find ourselves in, however, much like the pimples of yesteryear, the empty feeling comes over you when you least expect it. As a matter of fact, very much like those unwanted teenage blemishes, it stops your world, it makes you hide from the masses, and if you were me back in 1993, it makes you binge watch MTV with a box of cookies. Of course we are in 2016 and since MTV no longer plays music videos (frankly their ‘shows’ confuse me) its Netflix and a box of lo mein. I still struggle with that feeling every once in a while, and now its combined with the guilt of thinking that maybe I am not ALL in with this adoption. I thought this time around, I will write down these feelings with the intention of allowing myself to own them, analyze them, and free myself from them.
The feeling of loss is something I had no idea I had. It was brought to my attention by a friend who also expeienced it. It is the loss of the idea of carrying your biological child. Perhaps of feeling the kicks, of nursing a newborn etc. Esentially, you grieve the loss for all these motherly experiences when they will be no more. I think this is were the guilt comes in. I know in my heart that I long to have a child, no matter how that child comes into our lives so this feeling of loss brings out some doubt. When I really think about it however, I feel that those feelings are normal and in no way do they take away from the excitement of growing our family through adoption. The reason I say this is because of the way I feel when my agency throws me a bone here and there with news about our progress. The minute I see an email from them my heart leaps because I just may open up an attachment with the pictures of my kids. And that trumps any old doubt or question.
Now inadequacy is something I think I will continue to battle with. I mean really I wouldn’t be a woman with access to any beauty magazines or tv if I didn’t, am I right? I also think that this feeling can be bulked in with feelings of anger and feeling cheated. As a woman I feel angry that my body failed me. I mean, the one thing that I, as a woman, should be able to do is bare chirldren. You don’t need a degree, a license or frankly to be a super model. Your body just creates life, with the help of a human of the opposite sex of course….annnd maybe a few drinks… just kidding. Granted as a teenager it could be as easy as sharing a towel and as we get older a use of a thermometer and an ovulation kit, but it should happen. When it doesn’t, we feel cheated. We feel sorry for ourselves and we feel angry with ourselves and with our reproductive organs. I use to say that when I die I would like to come back as my uterus. I mean, its a sweet gig really. I could work once in 30 years and call it a day. I would be like “allright it was 9 months, we are good here?, I’m out”. Little by little I began to trust in an alternative design. I started to allow myself to think that my body did what it was suppose to do and now adoption is what I am suppose to do.
My final thoughts here are that I am sure I am not the only woman who has battled with infertility or the feelings associated with that. I am not the first and I won’t be the last and when we start cutting ourselves a little slack about the pressure to procreate, we can feel free to explore other journeys to raise children and see our new design. We are still meant to be parents if we want to be. We will still be called Mom and we will still feel that bond. Not all our uteruses (is that the plural…eek) are meant to be full for us to be parents. Our kids are already here in this world and the paperwork and the documents we so painfully agonize over is our labor. A labor of love!
So I leave you with this, my beautiful women readers. If you are pregnant momma, enjoy every kick, every innapropraite burp in public, bad timed pee emergency and love your ever changing body. If you are a single chic whose family is hounding to settle down and reproduce, know that you are allowed to do YOU until the you is not enough, because that is when you’ll know. If you are a woman just navigating that 4 letter word ‘infertility’, fight it, do everything you need to do to achieve a biological pregnacy because at the end, whether you achieve one or not you wil know you did all you can and now you need to move forward whatever you decide. And finally my adopting mommas, those that already have bio babies or not but their heart needs to be parents of children who grow in their hearts, and my mommas adopting because, although we started out with dreams of children growing in our bellies, our beautiful reality is simply being a mommy no matter how that happens. The end goal is the same, see you on the playground mommas!