autumn musings

I miss fall on the east coast. That crisp air and the crinkling of leaves underfoot. Red, amber, orange, and gold that explodes in a kaleidoscope of color everywhere I turn. The scent of wood burning from chimneys and fire pits. Pumpkin everything.

Okay, so living down south still has a lot of those things. Certainly the pumpkin. But, it’s hard to enjoy fall when the mornings are frigid but, by midday, the temperature has shot up 40 or 50 degrees. Mother Nature has a serious case of menopause down here.

Also, Halloween. Growing up, Halloween was always a favorite (only second to Christmas, because, c’mon. Christmas. But that’s another post altogether). I am finding that as the years pass, Halloween has dropped farther and farther down the list. And, it’s not getting older. If I am completely honest with myself, Halloween is one of those holidays – like Valentine’s Day to a single person. I get to watch all the families out with their kids, dressing them up in sickeningly adorable costumes, and I feel bitter.

Frankly, it has gotten to the point where I avoid it altogether. Last year, DH and I went out to dinner and a movie. I mean, who does that? (Well, apparently I now do.)

I don’t want to feel that way. I want to enjoy the holidays, with or without children. And, I do still enjoy Christmas. Oh, sure, I get twinges here and there when I see the Christmas photos and all the fun things families can do (I have a list THIS long of traditions I am dying to start…)

(You see? Christmas.)

Back to Halloween. Or, more generally, fall. Fall is a time of reflection, a season for balancing light and dark, yin and yang. It is also a time of letting go and – wait for it – acceptance.

Oooh, dirty word in the infertility crowd. No woman wants to accept that this is the way things may just end up. That, no matter how much she wishes, begs, pleads, spends thousands of dollars… that sometimes, things are not meant to happen the way she envisions. (And, by she, of course I mean me).

That’s where I am right now.

I think I have begun to truly accept that I cannot control this, and that I have to let it go. I’ve mentioned that phrase before. I’ve tried to do that phrase before. It is a constant struggle. I give it away, then yank it back and fret, and on and on the cycle goes.

But, I am realizing that the best thing for me is to let things be and to continue down the path I am on. The path to self-betterment (if that’s a word. It should be). I have noticed significant changes to my body in the past few months. My cycles have always been regular, but I have noticed that they seem to be lengthening a bit. I am ovulating each month. I’ve had symptoms that I used to never have. My body temperature is regulating. My thyroid levels are regulating (I’ve actually had to lower my dosage because my body is starting to really fix itself!)

Oh! And, I have lost 50 lbs to date. 50 lbs! I am no longer obese! I have a BMI of 28.6 and I am continuing to lose weight. I have 30 more pounds I am looking to lose, but just losing what I have has made such a significant impact.

In the midst of all these physical improvements, my hubby and I are also going to take an adoption class my church is having. I didn’t even realize they did anything like this, and I am excited to go and check it out. We’ve always talked about adoption, and I have no problems with adoption at all (other than the immense costs). I feel like this class may be a God-send. We shall see.

So, those are my reflections. I am sorry for the silence. A lot of things have been going on in my life (some good, some not so good) and it was time for reflection.

I hope that this post finds all of you in a good place in your lives. If not, maybe you need to do some reflection of your own.


love is stronger than blood

I cannot watch Sarah McLaughlin ASPCA commercials, nor can I walk through PetSmart during pet adoption days. Everyone has a kryptonite, and animals are mine. I am the girl who falls in love with a dog after the first nanosecond of introduction, who would, given the chance, adopt every single animal I came across. It’s not a compulsion… I just really have a heart for animals. I’ve said on numerous occasions that my pets are my fur babies, and it’s true. They are more than just animals to me. They are my family.

When it comes to children, my reaction is really no different. I cannot hold a baby without them taking a little piece of my heart. Four years as a preschool teacher taught me that even the most seemingly unlovable child will grab onto my heart with grubby little hands and I am just completely head-over-heels.

In high school, I had the opportunity to go with a group in our church to Central America. The whole trip was an experience I will never forget, but one particular scene has dug itself deep into my memories. Just a quick, tiny little thing, but one day we were performing at a school, and there were so many young children around us. A good friend of mine had picked up a little girl, no more than four, and placed her on his hip. Her tiny little arms wrapped around his neck and her big eyes looked up at him while she said something in Spanish. I was taking Spanish for my high school language course, so he looked to me and asked, “What did she say?”

I blinked back tears and replied, “She asked, ‘Would you be my daddy?'”

Only a teenager at that time, yet I wanted to take that little girl home with me. So, naturally, I do not look on the idea of adoption with disdain or trepidation. Would I like to have my own child, my own blood, who looks a bit like my husband and me? Lord knows how much. But does that mean I would be resentful if I had to go the adoption route?

Not a bit.

Families come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Love is stronger than the blood that binds us. I would love an adopted child no less that one created inside of me. I know that some people don’t feel that way, and that’s fine. We are all created with different things that speak to our hearts. But I do want to try everything in my power to have at least one child through traditional means. I want to have that experience.

I feel I have the right to that.

Maybe I shouldn’t feel that way. God knows better than we do what we need. As much as I want it, maybe I am just not meant to. And I’ll be at peace with that revelation in time.

Just not right now. I can’t give up on that dream just yet.