when a loved one dies we mourn. it takes time to “get past” it. once you do that, you are mostly ok with it. you can understand the implication of what is lost with that person’s passing and why it is lost. you can understand the reason they are gone (sometimes), and will be ok because you have to be – because you have no choice. what happened is done and there is nothing you can do to change it. most days are ok. those memories of how they died or how you found out they died are locked away. not necessarily deep, but locked away. then there are days that you are not ok. a holiday, milestone, or hearing their favorite song unlocks those memories and what is lost. the tears can’t be held in. you cry not because it is just hitting you but because there is a moment of despair that you don’t want to be ok with their loss. that you don’t want to believe that the rest of the world has moved on. that you don’t want to deal with the realization that the rest of your life you will be without them. so you weep, pouring out all the tears that have been trapped inside. that is what infertility is like.
we are at a place where we are “ok” more times than not, and even when we are not it doesn’t take long to get back to a good place where we are “ok”. with that said i am not sure that someone who goes through infertility will ever be “ok” with it. i don’t believe there will ever be a day that i wake up and say thank goodness i had infertility issues. i don’t think i will ever believe that i was better off because i had infertility issues. but what i do believe is that for the rest of my life i will have days where i am fine and i can tell you everything without batting an eye and there are days where i will open my mouth and tears will pour down my face before any words are spoken.
so after the infertility journey and once we felt we healed enough from that part of life we started talking about what was next. i knew that i wanted to be a mom and that andy would be the best dad. something we talked about long before we infertility would become part of our vocabulary. we decided to proceed with adoption. now, i still struggled with those stages of grief. they came in waves – and to be perfectly honest they still do.
with all of that said we are very excited about adopting. in our minds we didn’t expect to go down this journey but this is the adventure that we have been dealt, so we will do so with as much grace and understanding as we can.
since i have written my 4 post leading up to the adoption announcement a lot of questions have been asked. i will attempt to answer some of them in this post, but some of those questions will be answered in a later post dedicated specifically to the process of adoption.
1. why did we announce the way that we did? i wanted people to know that we had tried several other options and it wasn’t like we woke up one morning and decided to adopt. i wanted people to know that they could feel free to ask questions, but that hopefully i gave enough information to satisfy. i really didn’t want people to come up to me and say “oh you are adopting – have you tried fertility treatments?” i wanted it to be out there so that people could understand where we have been and the raw emotion associated with our story. i wanted to tell it once instead of to each person we told we were adopting.
2. what does a donkey have to do with a kid and adoption? absolutely nothing.
3. why did you start a company? the company started because of a fundraising idea that went a little crazy. we know that adoption is expensive and we knew that we would need to raise money and we looked into a few fundraisers and we feel in love with the idea of the bossy donkey co and ran with it.
4. why not just fund-raise or ask for money? as i have said earlier, infertility has caused me to look at myself in a negative way. at times it has caused me to feel less like a woman and human. i didn’t want to come across as begging people to help me adopt. i know a lot of people sincerely want to help with no ill intent. the deeper we get in this process i am able to really see that i am still a woman regardless of my faulty ovaries. i am able to get my pride in check and realize that by people wanting to donate it isn’t a way they are looking down on us, but rather, a way that they can join in our excitement – and be a part of our child’s amazing journey to our home. in short, infertility robbed me of having a biological child and i couldn’t stomach “begging for a baby.” it took me a while to realize that my way of thinking was the bitterness, pain, and hurt still seeping out of my soul – a by-product of infertility. we have talked to the adoption agency and they will take donations directly for our adoption. if you want to make a donation, you can look at the about us page on the bossy donkey website. checks for 250.00 and above can be mailed directly to them (with our names in the memo line) and smaller checks can be mailed to us and we can send them once we have collected 250.00 or more.
5. why did you have horrible friends? we didn’t really. part of the reason i didn’t put names is because i really feel like it was just a horrible way for ALL parties to deal with the situation. for me it is easy to justify the “abandonment” and them jumping ship – we weren’t in a place to join them FULLY in their happiness and they weren’t in a place to understand our pain and sorrow. in each relationship our expectations weren’t met and feelings got hurt. let’s be honest – who wants to hang out with a girl who looks like she is doing drugs and cries all the time? i was hesitant to put that in the post but for me it was important to illustrate how things for us personally and socially got turned upside down. it was important for people on the outside of infertility to maybe see what it is like inside as far as the social aspect. it was important to show our entire side of the story and maybe show them where we were while they were going through their joys. maybe communicate some sort of explanation that we never could visualize before – assuming they would even take time now to read this.
6. has deciding to adopt made not having a baby easier? a lot of times this comes at me as a statement and not a question. i will be very candid here. when we first made the decision to adopt i felt like i was saying “i give up on me.” it isn’t really like that now and we are so close (to waiting) we can’t stand it. with each milestone we pass in the process it gets more and more real and the excitement and giddiness escalates. we can’t wait for the day that we get to hold our baby in our arms. with that said i do feel that infertility has robbed me of certain “passages” and i will always wonder “what if” and will mourn those – adopting or not. this question brings me to things that are not ok to say to people with infertility problems – which will be its own post (compiled by a collection of people and experiences).
7. isn’t it amazing this journey that you are on and the plan God has for you? this one comes in many forms as well. i will say there are days were i still struggle with understand God and his plan. i still have moments of anger towards God. i have times where i don’t understand. i have times where i want to scream when someone pats my hand and says but “God’s plan…” i understand that having faith means that you trust even if you don’t understand – i get that. but i don’t think that means i have to love it. i don’t understand why i had to go through everything we have been to get to the same result – before infertility we talked about adopting at some point. i don’t understand how a 19-year-old addicted to meth can get knocked up the first time she has sex and someone who would do anything can’t get pregnant. i don’t understand how someone can hide a pregnancy and when their baby is born, drown it, when someone did everything in their power to get pregnant and lost everything. i don’t understand God’s plan. the beauty of it is that i don’t have to. i don’t have to understand, i just have to take it one step at a time and have faith that one day when i am having a cup of coffee with God, looking back on my life, his plan will make sense. so our journey through the pain and hurt and the lack of understanding will be known to our child as the greatest love story – their story.
8. are you happy now? yes we are. we are thrilled. we can’t believe that we are almost done with the long process of paperwork and state laws and almost to the “just waiting” stage. we are happy. through the pain and hurt of our journey we have found unexpected things. we found that our relationship (mine and andy’s) that we thought was pretty solid turned out to be the strongest foundation. we found the joys in simple things again. i still get an ache in my heart when a pregnant woman walks by – my heart hurts but healing eventually comes. and while sometimes i dwell on the things i will miss because of infertility, i come back to the unique things andy and i will share that other couples won’t ever get the chance to.
9. are you going to write a book? no. i will be honest i have never felt like i was a good writer. i felt like i was good enough to get by (and still do) but not fabulous. i have been completely humbled by all of the compliments on my posts. in college i did take a creative writing class and he encouraged us to write a lot and i did start a “book” so maybe i will pick that back up. but for now i will continue to feel like the average writer that i am and hopefully will be able to use words to inspire others.
several people told me that i was able to express their emotions when they couldn’t come up with the right words. i was able to give them a tool to show their families so they could say “that is what i have been trying to say.” i don’t want to be the next poster child for infertility by any means, but i do hope to raise some sort of awareness which will hopefully instill compassion and understanding and obviously to share the story of the cutest baby ever (to be determined).