Seven years ago today, my life changed forever.
I was an innocent freshman in college. I stood at the entrance of my dorm on a warm September evening, and I smiled as Joey walked toward me. I'll never forget that moment, the moment of our first kiss. I didn't want to let go when I hugged him. I held him close, and I knew that I would spend the rest of my life with this man. We would experience wonderful times together - birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, family trips, vacations, weddings - and I would cherish each of them, especially when things got ugly.
And they did. I knew our relationship wouldn't always be a fairy tale. I knew there would be disappointment and heartache. Of course, nothing could have prepared me for the loss of our hopes and dreams of adding to our family and sharing our love for each other with a child. In seven years, I grew from a naive and playful 18-year-old girl to hardened, jaded 25-year-old woman. The playful is still deep inside. I know it is. Joey is the person who brings it out in me. It gets easier by the day to let it out of its cage, but I know that I will never be the same girl I was seven years ago.
But I also know that, for what has changed in the last seven years, one thing remains constant. Despite the hell of infertility, we are still standing. We are still in love.
I may never see what this love can create in a biological child. I may never share the experience of parenthood with the man I love. I may never hear my son or daughter say the word "dad." I may never see him walk our little girl down the aisle or watch him play catch in the backyard with our son. But I will always look at him and see the man walking toward me on that September night. I will always look at him and see the man who stole my heart. I will always look at him and see the man who has dried all of my childless tears.
And I will always look at him and see my happiness.