Well, I'd make birthdays go in reverse? Or not happen at all?
I've developed a special relationship with birthdays over the past few years. Not just because I've cruised through my early 30s and now am well established in my mid 30s (Tuesday was the charming and alarming numero 36) but because we've been trying to build a family for over five years now. So every birthday is met with complicated emotions, much more complicated than just "oh crap I'm getting older." You know the drill--that familiar ache of "oh crap another year older and still no family." I remember turning 31--my friend Bea called it my "Golden Birthday" because I was turning 31 on the 31st. A group of us went out to dinner to celebrate and I can look at the pictures and actually see the angst in my face--I was turning 31 dammit and I wasn't pregnant yet!
If I could go back and talk to that young lass I would tell her to buckle her seatbelt because it was going to be one helluva ride for the next five years. If I was feeling particularly cruel I would whisper in her ear that when she turned 36 she really wouldn't be a whole lot closer to having that family she had dreamed of for so long.
You could say I'm closer but I'm a realist. Until I have a child in my arms I'm simply not close--not close enough anyway. At all. Wait times are extending longer and longer for Ethiopian adoptions...I see it all around me. Families that have been waiting far longer than we have are still waiting...families who have received referrals are waiting much much longer for court dates. They've added a second trip requirement which extends everything and of course makes things much more expensive. (and did you see where airlines are probably going to start requiring tickets for kids under 2. Oh, thankyouvermuch, add another 3,000 to our cost).
It's a good thing there isn't such a thing as time travel because if I had met my 36 year old self when I was a fresh-faced naive 31 year old and I told her about the next five years surely I would have punched her (me?) square in the jaw. More than likely I would have laughed and simply not believed her (me). Because really--who can believe some of the shit we put ourselves through? And who could believe anyone would willingly keep going back for more?
I received a lovely email from a fellow IFer who said the following:
"I sincerely hope, wish, dream that this is the year of your life you create your family."
Oh me too. So, so much. I hope this is the year for the rest of of you still in this Godforsaken limbo too. All of us, it's time to cross over.
2 years ago