This post is hard for me to write. It's hard to pinpoint exactly how I feel or how to explain it. But this is my best shot...
Most people are very, very shocked - and saddened - because we don't currently have plans to adopt or do more medical treatments. I think most people don't understand why we just couldn't continue on and are very confused. "Why wouldn't you adopt?" Other people think we are choosing this because we actually want to be childless and so they act very excited for us and even congratulate us and say, "Yay! Awesome! You get to travel the world! So glad you guys are doing what you want!"
We are not offended by any comments as everyone means so, so well. We don't mind talking about it with people.
But here's what it's like for us...
It is very, very sad for us.
The idea of a family seems like it won't happen.
But we've done what we can.
After 10 years, I don't have any more stamina to continue the pursuit.
This makes me sad that I don't have the desire anymore.
It has been very hard and uncomfortable to feel this way, but I do.
Moving on is one of the most complicated things I've ever faced.
But every ounce of myself is done with pursuing, pursuing, pursuing.
I don't have it in me to make even one more phone call, let alone 1,000.
It's like someone has died and instead of dedicating a life to changing what is, we are going to move on and try our very, very best to live the best life that we can. We wish that the death didn't happen, but it did.
Raising a child is a noble thing, no doubt. But I know that many, many noble things can be done without being a mother or a father. Also, over the years, I've had to redefine what I always thought mattered most in life. I used to think it was family, a spouse, & children and my worth and identity was wrapped up in it. But years ago, I realized those don't matter most. The most important thing is learning to live a life motivated by love, no matter what your circumstance. That is what makes good parents good parents. That is what makes good people good people. Living a life motivated by love trumps everything and adds vitality to everything. And I still have that. By the love of God, we ALL have that.
I know that many people choose to pursue adoption, foster care, many more IVFs, etc. I root for anyone out there trying to follow their hearts and desires and do whatever they can muster. I guess for me, as I've mentioned here a few times, the overall desire to continue on any front has lessened (otherwise we would continue). I am not sure why, exactly...but now I just couldn't feel further away from motherhood, mothering, being motherly. It has been so, so far in the distance for so long now that I can't see it anymore. I used to feel closer to it when I was only a few years in...when there still seemed a chance that being a mother could be a reality. I thought about it, planned on it, fought for it, transformed my life for it, had a list of baby names, saved clothes. It just felt...closer. And then the divorce came. It felt so, so far away. I nearly thought that might be the end of my chances. And then I met Danny. There was a brightness of hope again. So, so bright! I could envision a baby running down our hallway. I could envision a baby sleeping in our nursery. I planned playdates in my head. But now (and for quite some time now), I feel further away than ever. I can't taste it. I can't touch it. I don't know it. It seems impossible to pursue adoption while feeling this way. For the same reasons, it was nearly impossible to survive the last IVF.
I would strongly recommend to others to think about how much they have in them to fight and choose your path accordingly. I sometimes wonder if we had not done the IVFs. At one point, we had it in us to start the massive adoption process and would have.
I have no doubt that if I got pregnant or if someone rang our doorbell and gave me a baby - that I would rise to the occasion and be up for it. I know we would just love and adore and honor that baby to no end. I am sure that motherly instincts would kick in and all would be amazing and we wouldn't be able to envision our life without that child. But I'm afraid that babies don't come that way.
I do realize that my desires to continue the pursuit might change. Many people think we might be going to Ecuador to adopt a baby, but that is not in the plan. It's actually more difficult and expensive for an American to adopt there. I can't even fathom the amount of stamina I would need for something like that and I just don't currently have it in me. But, if I ever do have a return of stamina or a return of desire, then the multiple year process will begin again and I will go for it with the same amount of energy that I put into most everything I do.
Sending much love today to anyone out there navigating the path to having children (or not) or raising children (or not). I'm convinced these are some of the most difficult paths to face. But also, they can be the most sanctifying paths ever found.
P.S. We just had a beautiful foggy day in New York. These photos (from two days ago) take my breath away. The first one was taken by my friend, Brian Morris. I'm not sure who took the second one...it was on my friend's facebook feed.
P.P.S. It's taken me a few days to figure out the wording on this post. I went to bed very late last night and I guess it's such hard core stuff that I slept two extra hours. Then we went back to packing. :)