I sent this kissy picture message (above) to all of my lovelies while parked outside of a coffee shop, about to enter into the lovely land of "me" time. I was feeling sassy and excited and alive. Sundays are the days I get to sit all day at a coffee shop, with headphones on, to work on my book and another project that I am keeping a bit mum for now. This was my sweet, darling husband's idea. Bless him!
A piece of my days here in the cafe is spent going through the archives of my Chronicles of Me blog. The blog where I spilled all the deeply raw bits of our fertility journey. I have started from the very beginning and as this is my second Sunday doing this, I have only read through my first 6 months. What I am doing is writing down in a journal all of the wise nuggets that carried me through. What I also find myself doing is getting lost into a world where I haven't been in a long while.
I think I am feeling tender today because I am really FEELING all of it. Here I sit in the corner of this cafe, up against a window and biting back tears. So many moments I have to look away from the screen and take a huge breath. I think so much of that comes from how I am reading it now objectively. The same girl, but a different girl. The girl that knows how it ends (or begins). The girl that just left her beautiful baby, kissed him all over, hugged her husband and took off to a cafe. Had I known way back then, where I would be today...it would have made my journey a bit softer with a cushion for the pain. But then again, I also sit here knowing that I needed to go through it because if I didn't, I would be different than who I am today and I am so very happy with what the lessons did for my heart, my life, my way of BEing in this world. So in a sense, I am that parent or mentor or big sister to the old me, nodding my head, knowing I have to let go and let her go through it all.
How could I have known way back then that I would be okay with adoption? Adoption was always such a beautiful thing to me. I admired it from afar. But while going through my own journey, I was so very attached to growing my child in my belly and birthing him into this world (literally). People assume because we adopted, that I was okay with it from the beginning as many blessed couples are. I don't even remember if I ever shared here on my blog that I actually wasn't totally okay or open to it for my own personal journey up until the very last moment. Whenever we got a phone call from our dear friend Tammy about a birth mom, it took me time to come to a space where I was open to hear more. This is why we had to take months off from the idea of it after the first adoption fell through. I just didn't feel ready. I still felt attached to conceiving naturally and I had taken the fall through as a sign that it just wasn't meant to be.
Even when we got the call about K, our birth mom that carried Cedar, I cried in my husband's chest. I suppose to me at that time, allowing adoption into my life sort of solidified that we were going to stop trying, indefinitely. Logically, I understood that we would be too exhausted as new parents to try for another. I understood the logic that we are far away from living near family and with two little babes, I would need help. Then of course, there were those ugly voices...ugly untrue voices that told me time is ticking. In two years I will be 39 and blah blah blah. Those are the gremlins that creep in from close-minded fertility doctors, articles and hundreds of books that are all about the "last good egg" philosophy. A philosophy I find dis-empowering and I am not a fan of, nor do I believe in it down deep in my heart. But I digress...
I can remember many phone calls to loved ones where I wept, full of fear that if I adopted, I had to let go of this one precious desire I held so close to my heart. I knew that I longed to be a mother and raise a beautiful, conscious child and that is why adoption was an option for me, for us...but I also couldn't let go of the desire to be pregnant. It was a vision that I held in my mind my entire life.
Then something shifted in a big way. Something I didn't expect. Something that swooped into my heart without any movement on my part. When I first heard the voice of K, our birth mom, I knew...I just knew...she was carrying our child. My heart for this young woman, within just a few words whispered from her sweet southern lilt of a voice, grew to envelop the whole idea of what adoption was about for us. For us. Slowly, my heart was letting go of what I thought I needed and wanted and was accepting a whole new way of creating our family. I couldn't get K out of my mind after hanging up the phone from that first call. I liken it to talking with someone for the first time, that you feel you've known all of your life. Or perhaps felt you might have dreamed of this person. A deja-vu of sorts. The feeling that you've walked with them, side by side, in another lifetime before this one.
Still...still, the weeks following that day, I suffered from the pain of letting go of pregnancy. I still had phone calls with loved ones where my fears crept up and I wept and wept. I still ached for that life and couldn't fathom letting it go.
But then I met her. The first time she opened the door and looked into my eyes with her deep baby blues, I came undone. I saw her swelling belly and again, this deeply spiritual transformation began and I knew she was carrying my child. It was then and only then...one month before Cedar was born, that I completely let go of needing to be pregnant with him. It was in that instant. The moment I first saw her...and him in her belly.
My heart changed course and a whole new concept of growing a family opened up for me, for us.
If someone would have whispered this into my ear two years ago, I would have walked away from them full of hurt and frustration. I share this because I will never forget where it is to be where I was, wanting what I thought I needed so badly. I am grateful I have it documented on my old blog, just in case I do forget at times. Adoption is not for everyone. I know this. But the fact that I didn't feel it was for us and now, now...I cannot imagine it any other way, is a testament to the idea that hearts can completely change course in regards to something we are holding onto so tightly.
Now I look into his eyes, I hold him, I smell his skin...and he is so completely meant to be my son. I have never carried or birthed a child but if I had, I cannot imagine loving him any more than I do now. I cannot imagine feeling any more the belonging and connection as a family that I feel with him and my husband.
Now where I sit with the desire to be pregnant is that it just isn't there. Yes, yes...there are moments when I see a pregnant woman and I remember it all. Yes, I sometimes look out a window and wonder what it would feel like...but the longing isn't laced with pain. Just simply curiosity and wonder. To me, the fact that I feel THIS differently is totally and completely wild to me. Perhaps someday it will change. Perhaps it will always be this way. Perhaps someday I will become pregnant with our second child. Perhaps we will adopt a second child. Perhaps Cedar will always be our only child. My thoughts just don't really stay with those questions for very long and that feels so, so good.
So, as I sit here in the corner of the cafe and wipe my tears while going through the heart of a girl that once was, I believe and I have hope. I have hope that yes, our stubborn hearts can indeed change course. Change course to a path that is so very perfect for us...even if at one time we didn't think so.