I feel I have to apologize a bit because in writing about my disappointing therapy session last week (which I have solutions for, thanks for all the suggestions!), I apparently dropped news that I hadn't mentioned before in a very offhanded way and I didn't mean to. Unintended consequences galore.
So, yeah. We are not renewing our homestudy. We are done. Our journey to parenthood has ended, or is in the process of ending, and it's a very surreal place to be.
See, going back to work was harder than I'd anticipated, because I only have so much energy and as a friend told me, I'm on a REST QUEST. So I have struggled to have the energy to get everything done that I've piled on my plate, and I've done a lot of "off the clock" processing that normally would happen here, and I just. didn't. know. where. to. start.
Do I start with how sad I feel?
How I feel like a quitter? (How Bryce told me if I'm a quitter then so are people who quit, you know, addictive drugs or smoking, which made me laugh and made a perfect kind of sense...)
How I also feel a sort of relief to be slowly shifting myself out from under the weight of uncertainty?
How I feel a crisis in identity, since who am I if I'm not keeping up the fight to become a mom? That the name of my blog is now a lie?
How it doesn't escape me that I posted my video of me reading my audition piece for LTYM the Sunday before everything went so horribly wrong, and everything in it was true and is true: I do have a strong desire to be a mother, but now it seems like it rings hollow? Like I'm going to be looked at like a liar, as a fake, as someone not quite committed enough to "sticking with it," even though when they start testing you for heart attack enzymes in the ER and you have a very public meltdown at school, perhaps you have actually stuck with it enough?
There's more, so much more. It's been weeks of hashing this out and trying to decide what to do and what the right choice is, for us, given our unique circumstances, and I AM EXHAUSTED.
But also, I feel that it is the right decision, despite the ways self-doubt creeps in via imaginary voices and arguments with people who might question our decision. Despite the fact that anyone who we have actually told has responded with nothing but compassion and empathy. As they should, quite frankly. This is a huge loss.
But it's also been a journey that has literally been a series of unfortunate events. At one point in our discussions, Bryce said that the last time he felt truly happy and hopeful that our future would pan out with a child was when we took our butterfly walk when I was pregnant, that incredibly brief moment where everything was the fulfilled promise of all we'd hoped so hard to achieve. That was almost FIVE YEARS AGO. Nothing quite went the way we'd hoped it would, and while I know "waiting is the hardest part" and "if you stick with it, adoption WILL work" are favorite catchphrases, the cumulative effect of close calls and long spells without calls at all and feeling like your LIFE is being passed over and you're not quite sure how long you can live in this limbo makes waiting and sticking with it seem Sisyphean. And you just want to live life out from under the weight, and it's been made clear that your body has its limits with stress and limbo, too.
So there it is. We are done, and I am sad, and empty, and we are slowly making our way around to telling people in our own way, in our own time. But I am only empty in a compartment, because I also see how very, very full the rest of my life is. That I couldn't be luckier to have this life with a wonderful man who loves me possibly more than I deserve, to have all the happinesses that we enjoy and have yet to enjoy. That I can start my 41st birthday knowing that the rest of my forties are going to be different than I thought, but that it's a new beginning.
And so, to get back to the title of this post, which should really be I'm Sorry, (and also, Best Birthday Present Ever)...
I bought myself a fabulous new throw pillow for our new couch, for which I splurged on expedited shipping to get it in time for my birthday tomorrow and it makes me laugh maniacally and do a happy dance when I see it:
Is that not the best thing you've ever seen?
I saw it in my head the other day, and then googled it AND THERE IT WAS. In real life. Purchase-able even! So much happiness in a little square. It's like I finally manifested something, ha HA ha ha.
I can get behind pillows with words on them if they swear and are strangely appropriate for life at the time.
(Lest you think this couch looks strangely like the other one, it's not and here is the temporary arrangement to prove it...the loveseat will go for real when the chairs come. IN LATE JUNE.)
And so we grieve and feel sadness and anger and frustration at the same time there is a bit of lightness, a feeling of CLOSE THE DOOR ON THAT CHAPTER (or volume, more like), and we look forward to all that is to come in this new life together.