The other night, Joey told me that he read my april showers; may flowers post and that it made him sad. Though we've discussed living child free privately, it's the first time I've ever written about it or expressed it in such a public way. I know it was as difficult for him to read as it was for me to write. It's not easy to talk about "the end" or what would happen if adoption doesn't end up working out. In some ways, I can relate it to ending infertility treatments. As much as we all love to plan for "just in case this doesn't work," we WANT it to work. We never want to have to set aside that initial dream.
Only with this, it's 10x more emotional. Adoption was not a back-up plan; it was simply an alternate one - one we were happy moving forward with. Sure, there was grieving involved. I had to grieve the loss of a pregnancy that I would never have. We both had to grieve the loss of a biological child. But our hearts were filled with so much hope when we thought about adoption. Hope and understanding that it didn't matter how we became parents - that we would simply be parents to any child who came into our lives. Now that there is no other step, it's easier to see child free living as an option.
Somewhere along this journey, I realized that I wanted to be a mom, but that it wouldn't necessarily make or break me as a person. This concept has become very real to me now. I don't want people to take that as a sign of giving up. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that I'm prepared. We're prepared. We've talked about what we would do in either scenario. We've talked about buying a bigger house in the area if this does happen, with a yard for Danica and our little one to play in; likewise, we've discussed where we'd take our "mourning" vacation if things don't work out (Europe, hands down). We've set a timeline. I don't view doing these things as being pessimistic. I view it as being realistic. Like infertility treatments, things don't always work out - and it's more likely the case with people like us who don't have tons of disposable income to keep going on with this forever.
This is by no means easy for me to admit, especially all of you in this community. In fact, it's incredibly difficult. To think that it could all end in one second. To think that everything we worked for could be over. But I have to start accepting that. I've ignored it far too long. I spent so much time planning what our future would be like with a child that I didn't pay any attention to what our lives might look like without a child. I was afraid to. I guess this is proof that infertility has made me stronger. A year or so ago, I never would have been able to think about these things.
The future is a mystery to me. I could get a call 10 minutes after I finish this blog post saying we are matched or that there's a baby at the hospital ready for us to pick up a baby. Or, I could be sitting in this exact same chair one year from now, writing another blog about decisions and acceptance. I don't have a crystal ball (though it'd be nice) to reassure me of what's going to happen. The only thing I can control is my own emotion, my own reactions. And for the first time in nearly four year, I feel as if I've finally grasped how to do that.