Warning: I have a little hunch this post is going to be all over the place.
First, boy do I only wish I were kidding or lying about my poll in my other post. I won't say anything more about it, but indeed it is a very true situation, with other layers that are even yuckier. PPD might be an issue--money issues should most definitely not. I'll keep that in my brain and see how I can help.
I'm reading Elizabeth Gilbert's "Committed" right now. I'm only near the beginning but already there is so much--so much!--that stands out and I wish I had it with me to directly quote what she wrote. She talks about how in our society it is just drilled into us that we have the absolute right to being happy. Well duh, right? Of course we are entitled to happiness. Happiness on a grand scale, happiness in everything we do--our love lives, our work lives, our family lives, our social lives.
It got me reflecting on my childhood, my upbringing. As I've worked to transition from pursuit of a biological family to pursuit of an adoptive family I see so many ways I was horrible ill-prepared for what I've been through. It's not my parents fault, per se (imagine that, NOT blaming my parents!) but rather it was their over-abundant love and devotion that sort of set me up for a massive, massive fall without any sort of a net to catch me.
In this society at large, and most definitely in my little tiny society that is my family, we don't spend a lot of time emphasizing that you might not achieve a dream. Quite the opposite--we're told to dream big, to go for it, to just do it, to work hard, to set big goals, to push push push and climb climb climb. So it's not surprising I adopted the same attitude when, five long years ago, we decided to get started with the family-building process.
The irony in this situation is that the physical act of having a baby isn't really a lofty goal (note: I'm not saying it isn't hard work or extremely important work to raise a healthy, happy, well-adjusted family--but the act of getting pregnant is accomplished regularly by all types of people usually with little er, effort--we all know that). Getting pregnant and having a few kids isn't really special or unique in say the same way as becoming highly specialized neuro-radiologist at one of the top medical facilities in the country (hi Anna!) or overcoming a shitty childhood and adolescence and writing a best selling memoir and then going on to lead efforts to end the sexual exploitation of girls (hi JE!). Now those are some unique accomplishments that took diligence, hard work, and major effort.
So as I've mentioned before, I wasn't prepared to fail or lose, most especially at something that shouldn't be hard in the first place.
But I did.
And it threw me for a loop of unparalleled proportions.
Suddenly, there was nothing as important as achieving a pregnancy, as delivering a baby that was a genetic hybrid of myself and Mr. LC...nothing else could possibly do. You tell me that it's going to be difficult and that just made me that much more determined to do it, to just work harder.
Hence spending nearly five years of my life in pursuit of such a decidedly un-lofty goal. I expended more energy towards this than anything else in my life and I am quite certain if I could have contained all of that energy and directed it towards any one thing I could have won the Tour de France or run for President. I'm just sayin'.
When we started talking about adoption I was so all over the place. I remember telling Mr. LC that if indeed we adopted then I would absolutely refuse any stupid baby showers. Baby showers are, after all, for women sitting high up on a make believe throne with huge baby bumps, swollen ankles, and a certain glow about their smug faces (I know that sounds rude, but I was bitter folks--majorly bitter--when the mister and I had this conversation). I wouldn't be one so I wouldn't have--couldn't have--a baby shower. I hadn't earned the right. I hadn't worked hard enough?
I'm still very, very quiet about our adoption. It makes me uncomfortable to talk about it. Not because I am not thrilled and excited about it. But it's because I've been burned. I'm now much better prepared to see the world for what it is. I am much better prepared to realize that we have already worked very hard to make this adoption happen, we have already spent multiple thousands of dollars to make this adoption happen, but yet it doesn't guarantee us anything. Working hard does not = a baby to raise and love. Not for everyone. Really, not for anyone, because most people do not work hard to get a baby. They just get one.
Of course when I imagine my life in a few years I am prone to picturing it with a little girl, with big brown eyes and beautiful brown skin wearing some adorable Small Paul duds...and I wonder if I will do what my parents did to me to her? That is, love her so fiercely and be so protective that she grows up with the sense that the world truly is at her feet, with boundless opportunity, and anything she wants she can get--if she just works hard enough...
3 years ago