It is the journey, not the destination. Hmmmm. I am not so sure I agree with that given what my husband and I have been through. The journey has been long, and we are still not at a final destination. It is as if we desperately want to go on a trip, but for almost a decade have been stuck in the airport waiting for our ticket.
For those that don’t know, a brief history. I say brief because this blog is meant to be positive and uplifting and I don’t wish to re-hash in detail what we have been through. Long story short, after five years of being married, we found out there was a medical reason we were unable to conceive. We were told we could probably not have children. We felt we were meant to take a different path and started the adoption process in October 2008. After a very long, expensive, unpleasant and difficult process with the adoption agency, our home study was approved in May 2010. In January 2011, our caseworker called to say the adoption agency was, essentially, going under, along with all the money we had paid. We hunted for similar adoption agencies in other states, but no one was accepting additional adoptive parents. We turned to another adoption agency that agreed to take our valid home study, only to have them change their minds once they received the check. They wanted to re-do the entire home study ($$) again…well…because they can. So, we researched and started the process of international adoption. We submitted everything only to learn later that the country we had just chosen was no longer allowing adoptions to citizens outside of their own country.
In September of 2011, we turned again to a [different, more optimistic] medical specialist (aka “Tressel”). Full circle. On June 24, 2012, I had a miscarriage in my second trimester. We were married nine (9) years ago. We work opposite schedules and only see each other about ten (10) hours a week. We are not the normal couple that comes home and has dinner together (although he is a fabulous cook!). We are two ships passing in the night. I don’t think many women would like (or be able to handle) only seeing your husband, when you are both awake, for a few hours only two (2) days of the week. I have always been used to it. I am not clingy or needy. This is the way it was when we were dating (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth). I knew what I was marrying into and, for the caliber of husband I was receiving in return, it was worth every penny.
As our relationship evolved, and we got engaged and married, we thought the opposite schedules would be wonderful for when we had children. Our thought process was that his parents would move up near us (I love them and would love for them live closer – hint, hint Mom and Dad if you are reading this) and at least one parent would be with the child every day. We may need someone (*cough, *cough, Grandparents) to watch the child during the shift change, but that is only about an hour a day. Win win, we thought. Our child will always be with one of us and possibly have an hour of grandparent spoilage per day. We had it all planned out. Funny how life can throw you curve balls. I particularly get a kick out of those in People magazine (one of my last vices besides red wine) when a celebrity is quoted as saying, “I want to be a young mom. I want a girl first and then twin boys.” Ummmmm, yeah. Good luck with that! Or when Countess LuAnn, at the age of 47, on the Real Housewives of NYC is asking everyone if she should have another baby. As if it is just a matter of deciding if she wants to have one instead of whether or not she can have one. From a 39 year old woman, again, good luck with that! No one ever says, “I want to grow up and have difficulty with fertility and adoptions.”
Fast forward to current day. In the midst of redefining my life (see prior post), I am finding myself actually longing for more time with my husband. I am sure all you ladies are thinking “TAKE MINE” as you pick your husband’s underwear off the floor for the 10th time this week. All these years, it felt like Christmas every day I got to see my husband. It was as if our family, the two of us plus the pets, were having a special holiday each weekend when we were able to spend time together. Who wouldn’t love to feel like it is Christmas every weekend? Now, as I redefine my purpose in life, I am wanting and needing more time with him. Honestly, if I had it my way, I would work and he would stay at home. Yes, you read that correctly. I love that he is at home during the day and I love it when he has the night off. I am noticing now, since we are most likely coming to an end of the nine year quest to have a child through various methods, that this is it. Me, at home at night, alone. When he is gone, I wear his white Hanes undershirts to bed that smell of his cologne. When he is home, I will post things to facebook like, “I love me some husband” and “My husband is my Superman”. Am I afraid to be alone? No. I have always been fine with his schedule. However, now that this may be the way it is forever, well, I don’t know about that. In the words of “Christian” (wink, wink), I need more. More. More.More.
He will, like we all do, get frustrated with work. I think this is partly due to the post traumatic stress and pent up frustration from all that we have been through. I try to put apositive spin on possibly living a child-free life when my husband and I get a chance to speak about the future: There is nothing wrong with it. There is absolutely no shame in not being a parent whether it be by choice or not. I know ours is not for lack of trying, that is “foh show” (for sure). We can move anywhere we want to in the world. Anywhere! Not many people can say, let’s move to Key West or Montana today. WE can. I also remind him that we have the chance to buy whatever we want since we won’t have to pay for a college degree. He can have that Lexus 470 he always wanted (this is when I see a twinkle in my little shopaholic husband’s eye). I can get botox (tit for tat – botox would be my Lexus). We can go on vacation whenever and wherever we want to. Last, but not least, we will be the most rested people on the face of the Earth.
I think he gets most frustrated at work when he sees parents that are getting arrested for drugs and/or harming their children. He will say, “We can’t have a child, but these people can have five?!” I respond that we should have tried meth – it seems to be the most effective and inexpensive fertility drug. I get his frustrations. Totally. However, I FEEL we are destined for something. I have no idea what that is at the moment and that is what frustrates me.
I am a Capricorn. Capricorns are patient, reliable, stable and they want to know where the ship is headed and that it is on safe waters. Our boat has been rocked time and time again. I have wanted to jump out at times, but I am still in the boat. I have no idea where we will dock, but I will do everything in my power to try to make it a safe and happy destination. I have faith that whatever happens to our family, it will all be okay. I am not really sure where that faith comes from (most likely inherited from my late mom) but I have this overwhelming calm and peace, which is a tad unusual for me. I am the person that, even as a child, could not wait to see what was next. I was in high school and I could not wait for college. In college, I could not wait to be an adult and be on my own*. (*Note to self and other college students, that last sentence is crazy talk. Stay in college as long as you like. Sleep in, drink beer, eat pizza, go to football games. Working all day, every day, is not all it is cracked up to be.)
I remember at my mom’s funeral, Deacon Schermer’s sermon was that some people just finish their purpose here on Earth sooner than others. Why have I always been prone to want to rush through life? Normally, my personality is that I want things done yesterday. I am a planner. That is why I am so shocked and impressed with my patience at this point in my life. I am waiting to listen to what my husband wants to do next. This is a new normal for me. I don’t have the answers now. I have no idea what the future holds. What I do know is that this new normal has finally freed me up from medical appointments, adoption evaluations, home visits, drug tests, physicals, fingerprinting, background checks, home inspections, etc. etc. etc. I can drink a glass of wine and eat seafood again. Right now, I don’t have to worry about our home being childproofed, about how I am going to shave my legs when my belly gets enormous, about labor, or the challenge of breastfeeding. I am, for the first time, not under the microscope of adoption agencies, doctors, therapists and pregnancy. Ah. That is right. Ah. A new normal after almost a decade is not bad. Or, as they say here at work when you ask how their food tastes at a fabulous restaurant, “it does not suck”. Right now, I just want more.
Until next time, thanks for following and reading. Please enjoy my prior posts. And, as always, socks.