I am so grateful that I am in a better place now than I was a year ago. It is a little crazy to me that all of the changes have happened in just one year -- yesterday was the anniversary of my lovely emergency room visit that preceded the mental breakdown that was one year ago tomorrow. I went back and read a few posts from that time for a little perspective.
It is a wonderful thing, having a blog, because it's like having a little time machine. I can go back and see exactly how I was feeling in a particular point in time, and gain a new appreciation for how far I've come.
Yesterday I received an email that would have totally destroyed my day closer to Spring 2017.
I was sort of cleaning out my inbox (I am NOT a zero-inbox person, I am a Hoard-All-the-Emails-In-Case-I-Need-Them person) when I see one in Promotions that says, "You have not yet responded to the RSVP for the Spring Fling." Huh. Spring Fling. I'm pretty sure I don't go to things like that, and it sounds suspiciously like a family-friendly sort of event.
So I click on it.
It is an invitation to the Spring families event hosted by our former adoption agency. An event we NEVER went to because being the weird childless people at an Easter Egg Hunt wasn't real appealing, and spring is usually a difficult time, but here I am, with an invite through Sign-Up Genius that is giving me a bit of a twitch.
Not so Genius, if it can't figure out that WE AREN'T ADOPTING ANYMORE AND SO REALLY DON'T NEED THESE INVITES.
So I click "NO" and see a section for "Personal Message." Great, perfect. I write, "Hi, if you could remove me from this list that would be great. We resolved child free and are no longer affiliated with [Adoption Agency]. I hope you have a wonderful event! - Jess
Oh. Not so "personal," Sign Up Genius. It posts on the message board. Which makes me feel twitchy again, briefly, but then... not so much. Do I care that everyone can see it? NO. It's true. And maybe it's not bad to know that some people resolve child-free. Or that the agency seems to not remove people from distribution lists after they leave.
So, for good measure, I email the organizer and am just a TAD more specific:
"Thank you for the email -- if you could please remove me from your events list that would be great. We decided to resolve child free last year and are no longer with [Adoption Agency]... It was a very difficult decision and came at a very challenging time in our lives, and so not getting emails at this point would be preferable. Thank you so much and have a great day!"
I got an IMMEDIATE response with an apology and assurances that I was off all communications lists.
My heart was hammering the whole time I typed these things, and part of me was like, "eh, I'll let it go." But no, dammit. I shouldn't let these things go. I should speak up and let people know that getting an email like that (on the anniversary of the beginning of the end of your journey) could really be painful, and stir up some shit. It's kind of like when I left the facebook group for the agency families. I was like, "oh no, I don't want people to see that I've left the group, blah blah blah." Until the part of my brain that makes sense and takes no shit put her foot down and said, "YOU ARE TORTURING YOURSELF for no good reason! LEAVE THE DAMN GROUP! Who cares if people see you left? You never really did much but lurk up there and feel bad about yourself, anyway! DITCH THE GROUP!" So I did. And it felt way better. No more passive torture. I am now a person who takes action on such things.
I had a pretty relaxing day otherwise, reading a book (I've read 5 so far this break, that was pretty much my travel plan) and taking a nap and going to the gym.
Until we went to do our taxes.
Luckily, our tax lady friended us on facebook and so she already knew that we weren't coming in with a child tax credit. She was perfect about it. She loved how we announced on the social medias, that it was no nonsense, very clear, and pretty much shut down the chance for people to say, "But...but...but...[insert suggestion here]" because it was DONE.
But, we had to go through the material donation of our nursery. And for some reason, I felt it necessary to read out loud my list of items that we donated, one by one, like reading out names of the fallen at a memorial. I did not cry. I felt a bit empty on the inside though. It was truly a really nice nursery, and one that had contributions from so many that were given with such love and hope. So reading that list, to me, was necessary to honor each and every item that we bought or that some else gifted us for Mystery Baby -- that sat for nearly two years in anticipation of an arrival that didn't come. That hopefully is all joyfully covered in spit-up and vomit stains and well used by someone who really, really needed it. It felt like a memorial service, actually. All our hopeful things, moved on to a better place of use.
It was incredibly difficult.
But it is now over, and unless we get audited (which our tax lady was like, "if they audit you for this they are a special kind of evil, but I kind of would love to see how you would unleash on them, especially since you have a complete photo record and your posts about taking everything down, so it's not really questionable AT ALL. But let's hope that doesn't happen."). The very last thing I had to do was find my binder in my flowered box in my closet with all our adoption and infertility stuff in it to find the expenses from 2015, in case we can claim any adoption-related costs on our taxes. We may not be able to, but why not try? Going into that box is dropping into a pit of grief. I did it efficiently, and then we had some wine.
At one point in the evening, Bryce said, "You look sad."
Yup. I do. BUT, I am not on the floor. If I want to go on the floor, I go face-up and stretch my aching legs (I've been REALLY good at working out this week, but my hamstrings and hips are not liking me much). I am not face-down. I get up fairly quickly.
And I celebrate how far we've come, how resilient we've become, and how free we feel now that that period of our life is over. We are in SUCH a better place than last year.