If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew, To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you, Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

longroad

 

 

Oh sweet baby. Mothers Day is Sunday, and to say that I’m not taking it well is an understatement.

 

Part of me wants to scream.  I want to scream out to the world to get them to understand that this isn’t right. How they can keep on moving when my world has been shattered so much? I want to scream until there isn’t a single breath left in my lungs, until they sting with the energy I’ve expended and my words hang in the air for all to hear. I should be a Mom by now. It was my turn. It’s been my turn so many times….and yet here I am, at this junction again- a childless Mother on Most Definitely Not a Mothers Day.

The part of me that doesn’t want to scream wants to curl up into a ball and pretend this isn’t happening. I was supposed to have not one, but two bouncing babies on my lap this year. This year was supposed to be different, it was supposed to be my first mothers day.

 

And to be honest, this holiday is not just full of sadness this year- but it’s also full of fear.

The fear that I will never be a mother hangs over my head like a storm cloud following me around. It’s the little voice whispering in my ear when I’m searching the greeting card aisle, taunting me, “will you ever get one of these cards?” It’s the lump in my throat that chokes on the tears whenever I hear another pregnancy announcement or adoption match announcement, not because I’m not happy for them or excited, but because I wonder- again- if I will ever get to be in their shoes. Will I ever get to be a mother? Will I ever find you?

It’s the disdain for every greeting card, every TV commercial, every restaurant promotion, every radio ad, every magazine cover… all of these reminders that I am not, in fact, not a mother. That I failed. That what has come so easy to so many others is still an every day battle for me. That I don’t have my precious baby to spend this holiday with, that I am once again knocked down, because I let my hopes get so incredibly high.

 

It’s the reminder that another year has passed without you here.

That hurts most of all.

 

I know that it will all be worth it. You mean more to me than any holiday, any time table and every heartache we’ve endured. I know that this is just part of the journey to get to that elusive finish line, that even if I cannot see it, I feel that it’s there somewhere in the distance.

 

The other day I reread one of my most favorite poems, If by Rudyard Kipling. A lot of the words spoke to me now more than ever:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Right now, there is nothing in me but the will to be your Mother. That is my will telling me to hold on, to not get caught up in the loss and get tired of waiting. I refuse to sink, because sinking means not getting to you- not being your mother. I refuse.

So I’ve been thinking of my own If’s for this Mothers Day.

If I can wade through the greeting card aisle, and focus on the positives, like having my own mother and mother in law who support and love us every step of the way.  If I can hold my head up, and count my blessings. If I can believe, really believe that you’ll be here soon. If I can pick myself up ten times after getting knocked down nine. If I can tie a knot and hold on with everything that is in me. If I can keep preparing, keeping moving in the direction of our dreams. If I can let myself feel that deep down, this waiting and heartache will end.  If I can let myself let go of the pain, let go of what was supposed to be and what isn’t and prepare myself body and soul for the goodness that is coming down the road if I just keep on walking.

If I don’t give up.

 

Then mine is the earth and everything that’s in it,

And- which is true – that is you, my daughter or son! 

 

And if you’re not here next year, I will just keep trying. I will never give up on you, on us being a family. I will push through all the hurt and pain and glaring reminders. I will silence that little voice of doubt in the back of my head, and replace the if’s of doubt with the if’s of reassurance.

 

I will be a mother. I will find you, sweet baby.

No if’s, ands or buts.

 

Waiting for the earth and everything that’s in it, 

With love and unwavering hope this Not Yet a Mothers Day,

Love,

Mom

 

 

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Little One, the quote above is from the late Steve Jobs, a fellow adoptee who undeniably changed the landscape of technology forever. How did he accomplish so much? He followed his heart with a level head.

If there is one thing I want you to learn in this world, the most important lesson that I am relearning everyday, it would be this: follow your heart, and trust your intuition. 

I’ll say it again.

Let the words sink in.

Follow your heart.

Trust your intuition.

We have been presented with a few situations where it was a tough call so far in this journey. At times, we’ve had to make really, really tough decisions.Hard things to face. We’ve had to say no to some things, some people- and it’s been incredibly difficult to make those decisions. But when something doesn’t feel right – you need to trust your intuition. And when something feels so right that no matter how much thinking you do about it, you can’t get rid of that indescribable, airy feeling of hope- trust your heart.

It’s been a lesson we’ve learned a lot recently, and it can be applied to almost everything in life. It’s tough to balance the logic of your brain and the flood of your emotions. It takes some fine tuning and finesse to be able to detect which one is leading you where at what times. But there will be two very distinct feelings you can never ignore.

The first of which is that feeling in your gut. The one that gnaws and tears at you, no matter how good you may think you feel about something. It’s the voice in the back of the theater screaming fire while you’re blissfully watching the movie play out in your head. It’s the friends advice your ears won’t let you hear. It’s that outside perspective. It’s that fight or flight feeling. It’s your intuition, your sensory point of danger. Trust it. Put your life in it. You won’t want to hear it a lot of the time. You’ll want to drown it out with positives, put a new spin on it, get your emotions involved. It’s incredibly hard to ignore, and at the same time, incredibly hard to listen to. In my life so far, my intuition has been a beacon, a lighthouse that brings me back home in the darkest of storms and roughest of seas. It’s the keeper of the logic, the neutral safe place in your head that gives you another perspective- not for any reason other than to keep you safe. It’s the cold armor of truth round your warm heart.

And then, sweet baby, there is your heart.

Trust in your heart. Follow your heart. When someone says something is impossible, trust in your heart to guide you. Your heart is not the booming voice of intuition, it’s the tiny whisper that you have to slow down to understand. It’s that little voice inside of your head that when you’re so down on life, it softly tells you to try again. It’s your soft side, the ship that will take you to the lighthouse. It’s that gnawing feeling that you need to stop thinking and make the leap in the zero hour. Sometimes it’s the illogical decision that no one understands but you. Sometimes it’s going against the grain.

Don’t follow trends, Lo. Follow your heart instead.

And they need each other, these two. Intuition needs heart, heart needs intuition. There may be times where it hurts so much to take this advice. Where it feels like the world is crashing down because you are following one or both of these feelings. But know that it’s not.

Following your heart is following hope.

We have been burned so far. A lot. But we follow our hearts. Our hearts are telling us to not give up, to keep going, that maybe we’ve already made the contact we need to make. Our hearts are telling us that this is not a matter of if, but when. That when may not be this month, next month or the following month, but when is when it’s meant to be. Our intuition guards our hearts from the people who could potentially hurt us, but lets its guard down when something is safe.

Together, trusting these two feelings will help us find you. And once you learn to trust in them (which is something we’re still learning every single day) they will help you find peace, acceptance and where you’re meant to be.

And you’re meant to be here with us, sweet baby.

With trust, love, and a gut feeling about this going right, 

Love always,

Mom

Life is too ironic to understand. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.

Little One, is it weird to say I miss you? Is it weird to say I love you, though we’ve yet to meet? Because it’s true. Though I’ve never heard your tiny cry, the pitter-patter of your little toes on the bare floor or your silly laugh, I yearn for it. Though I’ve never seen your sparkling eyes, marveled at your long fingers grasped around one of mine or smelled your fresh baby skin, I miss it. It’s there in that space where it’s never been, and yet I feel like I’ve been there before. Almost like walking into a room you haven’t seen since you were a child. There is a musty memory where you’ve forgotten there was one, and seeing some glimpse of familiarity sparks a fire inside your heart of love and remembrance and yearning.

I’m in love with a child I have yet to meet, Lo.

Over the past few days, I’ve been kind of down. Looking around at the people in my life, I feel stuck. They are all getting married, moving in to houses, having children- then second and third children. They are on a line that’s constantly moving, and I’m watching as they go further into the horizon, but I stay in place.

Stuck.

We’ve been married three years now, Lo. We accomplished a lot early. When we bought our house, RB was only 21 and I was 20. Now, five years later, everyone is catching up. They are getting houses, having weddings- and we’re done that part of our lives. We’ve been struggling to start the next chapter for all these years. And my ridiculous fear is that they will now surpass us. I’m nervously awaiting more pregnancy announcements, more forced smiles while I say congratulations, more nights crying over the hurt of not having our dream come true yet.

Let me make something undoubtedly clear to you sweet baby: life is not a race. It’s so difficult to step outside of this culture and realize that not everything is a competition. That is what I’ve been struggling so hard with lately, is taking that step outside of myself and reflecting. I’m not racing against anyone, everyone is on a different path. But it’s so hard to keep that in mind when milestones pass everywhere around you, and you’re not one of them.

But that’s not what life is meant for, no matter how hard school, work and advertising will try to tell you otherwise. We’re on our own path. RB put this in perspective for me on a long ride home this weekend. He comforted me with his kind words, “Few people are on this journey that we’re on, and you can’t compare it to anything else. How many people do you know, personally, that have been down this path? A few? Sure. But not many. Not nearly as many that are having families through traditional routes. This is our unique journey, and no one elses. It’s too beautiful to compare.”

I know, he always knows just what to say. You’ll get to experience that too, Lo. He’s going to be one amazing father to you, and you’re going to be on lucky Little One to have him to call Dad.

I need to bow out of this silly race I’ve made up in my own head. I need to stop worrying so much. Yesterday, feeling overwhelmed and crushed under the weight of the important things this week (our physicals, the health department check) I freaked out. I became someone I’m not usually- I became bewildered, frozen, scared to death. I took it out on RB by being angry that we weren’t further along in the process than we are, when really we’ve done nothing but work as hard as we can to get everything done.

We sat on the couch, cradling each other and crying about how much we just want things to be perfect and go right. We wiped each others tears, held each other tight and talked about how important this is to both of us. We just want this to happen so badly, Lo. And we want everything to go smoothly so there are no bumps in the road to get to you, so we can have our family as fast as possible.

We’ve been waiting a long time for you. Our hearts are so filled with anticipation and joy and anxiety about this process that sometimes they stop us right in our tracks. Like a deer in the headlights, we stand frozen, unable to move- afraid one tiny movement will rock everything back in to place, and all our hard work will be for not. I don’t think RB and I have ever been filled with this much passion- except for each other.

It’s such a hard feeling to describe. Not many people would understand how we can miss someone we’ve never even met. But we do. We get it, we understand it, and we recognize it. We are so in love with you in our hearts, that we miss what we don’t yet have. And I’m so scared of someone coming along and telling us we can’t have it that it is killing me. I’ll be so happy when we’re home study approved, just to have the peace of mind that no one is left standing in our way to get to you. It’s a motherly instinct that took no hormones to achieve. It’s a pretty amazing thing to feel, because it is such a deep, unwavering, cerebral love.

I know I’ve said this before, but I realize it more and more in life: timing is everything. Timing is what can turn a bad situation into a life changing good situation. Timing means life or death. Timing means everything. And I feel like timing is on our side. Never in my life have I felt more prepared for you, and the same with RB. We have good jobs, we own our house, our cars, our camper. We have a great relationship with both sides of our families. We have amazing friends. We have a great support system. We are head over heels, heart-beating-out-of-our-chests-cartoon-style crazy in love with each other.

The timing is right on our end. But is it right on yours?

I had a dream the other night about my grandmother (your great grandmother) who has been gone from this earth for quite a while. In the dream, we were at dinner with the entire family when she came up behind me, put her hands over my eyes and exclaimed, “Guess who?!” I could feel the warmth of her hands, the weight of her soul and the smell of her perfume, but I couldn’t see her face. She continued to give me messages to give to my Mom and sister, but nothing for me.

After telling my mom about the dream, she thinks Guess Who is my message. I don’t exactly see it.

But maybe she is right. Maybe your great grandmother is holding you right now, figuring out the timing from your end. Maybe she’s waiting for the right time to release you to our arms after holding you tightly in hers.

I’m not sure, Lo. I’m not sure when you’ll get here, what your cry or laugh will sound like, or what color those sparkling eyes will be. But I’m sure of this: the timing will be right when it is right for you.

This is not a race, its a journey. We have to stop running, because maybe somewhere along the path you’re already waiting. And I wouldn’t want to miss a single step.

 

Walking slowly hand in hand with Dad,

Love,

Mom