October 8, 2011

grieving and rejoicing

I hesitate to write about the emotions I have been experiencing these past few weeks, for fear that it will make my dear friends feel guilty or awkward around me in the midst of their pregnancies or new-mommy-hood. That is not my goal with this post.

I could not be happier for my friends who are expecting a baby. One of my friends, who is possible days (hours?) from meeting her little boy, is so lovely, so delightful, so honest in her pregnancy. I love being around her. I love talking with her about her baby. I love dreaming with her, laughing with her, agonizing with her when she shows me how big 10 centimeters is. I love pregnancy. I love babies.

Which is why this season of the explosion of pregnancies is so delightful for me...and also so agonizing.

I want a baby. I want to be a mom. I want to be pregnant.

And it seems like the answer is a resounding NO.

I've been wresting with the no. And I've been trying to grasp to enough faith to believe that this isn't a no, it's a yes to a different avenue toward motherhood.

I know there are so many fears that come in the 10 months of carrying a baby. Fears about labor, fears that the baby will be healthy, fears that you won't screw up a human being for the rest of their life, fears that you won't have enough money to pay for good counseling when they do end up screwed up...

But the fears that I'm experiencing right now feel so isolating. I think that's the hardest part for me, and especially for my husband, is that we feel so.alone. Nobody really understands the fears we face on the path toward foster parenting, towards adopting abused, neglected children.

It's a process of letting go of the picture perfect dreams I had built in my mind. It's letting go of the dream of seeing my husbands face in the face of my son, of seeing the face of my mother in the face of my daughter. It's a process of embracing imperfection, of realizing with joy that this is going to be a life lived in close communion with Jesus, or else it isn't going to work.

We start our foster parenting class this month. If all goes as planned and we get approved, we could have children in our home by February, if that's what the Lord has planned for us. So, in some ways, we could already be pregnant. Like I've mentioned before, its a different pregnant...but a time of growth, preparation and prayer, nonetheless.

If I could isolate one emotion about this whole process, it wouldn't be grief, though there has been a lot of it. It wouldn't be anger, though I certainly feel it. It's isolation. Loneliness. The bonds that come with pregnancy don't seem to apply to me. I don't feel like I belong in the mommy circles. I don't feel like anybody understands where we're at.

I've experienced this before...when my mom died, when I was depressed, when I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. But this time, it involves such a huge area of dreams...our entire future. Parenthood. And its just hard to not belong in the clubs where everyone else seems to be getting membership.

Anyways, this isn't to make anybody feel bad. I guess I just needed the world in general to know that beyond the hurt of not having babies or being pregnant, the feelings or isolation in this process are just difficult.

But the feelings of joy I felt tonight when I realized that I can start nesting - I can start getting bedrooms ready, buying clothing, getting life in order...oh man, that is exciting. So...can you be excited with me and try to understand that for me, this is what I need to make room in my heart and home for children that I don't get to connect with for 9 months in my womb? Because even though they won't be biologically mine, they will become mine...I love them already.

Will you love them with me?