Lately I've been feeling blue. Quite blue, actually. I feel silly and ungrateful admitting that when I have a wonderful husband and a precious little girl who makes me smile every single day, but I sometimes look at the things I post on the blog and know that I'm hiding some burdensome feelings behind the fun and new things Clara is learning and doing or the smiling, happy images of us playing together (which are accurate but not a good representation of many of the overwhelming emotions I have been going through).
The truth is that it has been almost a month now since we found out that we would not be adopting the baby girl we had been expecting for more than four months. And I still can't get through a single day without thinking of that birthmom and that little girl on an almost hourly basis. I'm not stinging from this most recent failed adoption the way I felt earlier in the year with our previous failed adoption - I feel more numb and sad about it all this time around. 2012 was a difficult year for us with those two major adoption let-downs where each time we thought that we were literally this close (insert tiny thumb and forefinger hovering near each other) to having a newborn baby join our family.
We actually heard from "D" this past week letting us know that she still hasn't had the baby even though she had told us back in the first week of December that the doctor's had informed her she would have the baby "any day" due to quite a few complications. D was writing to tell us that she hasn't had the baby yet but that she is scheduled for a c-section this Monday (still two weeks before her due date) and letting us know what she decided to name the baby. And that email actually helped. It is hard going from regular emails with someone who you have come to love and pray for multiple times a day to absolutely no communication after one short email letting you know that that person had changed her mind about whether you are going to have another daughter. I have been worrying about D and the baby and wondering when and if she had had the baby and it actually eased some of my burden getting that email from D and knowing that D has carried the baby full-term.
And yet, I sort of want it all to just go away (not D, per se, but "family planning" I guess? which sounds like a cruel joke because there is not much "family planning" that Paul and I can actually do, is there?). I suppose I don't really mean that and I don't mean to be overly melodramatic about things, but sometimes infertility and adoption is just so hard. Like over Christmas when it hurt to smile and act normal around the people who know and love us best - our families - just a week and a half after having an adoption fall apart. Not because they wouldn't care or understand or want to comfort us and be there for us, but more because I just feel so weak and fragile and sometimes when people are too nice to me when I am feeling badly about my life it makes me cry just when I am trying my hardest to hold the pieces of my heart together. I don't know if that even makes sense or if anyone else ever feels that way but I imagine I'm not the only one who has experienced this which is why I am going to go ahead and not delete this post.
Or when I am around my sister or sister-in-law or multiple friends who are all expecting babies this next year and I want them to know how truly, blissfully happy I am for them and I want to celebrate with them and not dampen any part of their joy with the sorrow that we so recently went through or turn the conversation away from them and onto me and yet there is a niggling ache inside of me that just hurts and hurts and hurts and while I kept everything together while I was around these pregnant friends and sister and sister-in-law (who I know will read this and I am so, so, so sorry to burden you with this knowledge of how I was feeling over the holidays) I cried over it more often than I care to admit and had a full-on melt-down in front of my mom one afternoon when nobody else was around that was beyond embarassing (and confusing too because you are supposed to confide your deepest feelings and sadnesses to your mom, right? I figure that if there is anybody I shouldn't be embarassed to cry in front of it is my mom for crying out loud! and yet I felt so ashamed!). And as open as I am about my life with people, this hurt that I am feeling is something that is incredibly hard to talk about or share, I think, in part, because I worry that it will so easily be misconstrued as envy or bitterness or anger, which isn't accurate at all. I am not jealous. It is not that I wish I could get pregnant. I'm just sad. I just wish things had worked out. I just feel defeated and outside and alone. I feel spent.
It has been hard shaking those feelings. I mostly think of myself as a naturally happy person and I have certainly always tried to live by the philosophy that I can choose to be happy and maybe that is part of the reason why this has been such a difficult period for me recently - it is because I don't feel like myself.
I know things are going to work out and I'm fairly confident that someday another little one will come join our family. I feel myself getting stronger each day, especially this past week as I have gotten back into a routine of exercise and prayer and balanced eating and semi-normal sleep (as much as you can get with a toddler with a 102.5 degree fever that lasted four days) that all seemed to go out the window the last few weeks of December. If I wasn't feeling better about things, I don't know that I could have brought myself to tackle this topic in a blog post.
Anyway, I think that one of the reasons I hesitated to post this is because I feel like I am rehashing ground I have already covered - sadness, heavy heart, adoption is tough, yada-yada-yada - but I know my feelings are valid and probably not unique and I know that I have a number of friends who this might help so I am going to go ahead and hit "publish" at the end of this post.
I can't say that I am "excited" to see what 2013 brings. I feel like 2012 aged me more than just 365 days and I am wary of what 2013 will do - maybe I am gun-shy or something coming off of 2012. Part of me is quietly hopeful that maybe by next Christmas we will have another little one to share the joy of the season with. Another (smaller) part of me feels like maybe it would be healthier for us to have a year with no activity on the adoption front to "cool our jets" so to speak: It's not like it is the worst thing in the world to have kids spaced a few years apart and I know that we went for a second adoption really fast when Clara was (and is) still so young since we were hoping to have our kids close together in age. And a big part of me is hitting myself over the head and trying to get it through my thick skull that I should just let everything happen when it happens and just focus on the here and now of Clara and Paul and Amy. (Yeah right, since when have I ever been the "just let things happen" type?)
Phew, this bit of honesty has been highly therapeutic. And now I can get back to posting way too many pictures and not feel as guilty about it.