Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Love {insert heart symbol}

This weekend was a momentous one in our adoption journey: we told our families we are adopting.

For a variety of reasons - some understandable and others that are regrettable - we were not very open with them about our infertility. They knew we were "having trouble" conceiving and that it had been "awhile," but they did not know the length of time nor the extent of medical intervention we sought. Thus, I felt quite nervous to tell them we are adopting, because it could have been a bit of a surprise.

As we drove down to their houses, I felt jittery and anxious. If you had asked me what I was nervous about, it would have been hard for me to pin point. I knew they would be supportive. I knew they would love an adopted grandchild/ niece or nephew. I knew they loved us. But ... but...

I think I was nervous to have to see their grief. I have had 3+ years to process and grieve that I may never experience pregnancy or have a child who shares features and attributes with our families, and I still grieve this... but they have an instant. One moment to realize that they, too, will never get to see me pregnant, go to an ultrasound appointment with me, or wait anxiously in the hospital waiting room while I give birth. They, too, will never get to see a grandchild from me (and for one of our parents it could be from any of her children) who has "our blood." Their losses are once removed and therefore probably not as acutely painful as mine, but I had to acknowledge that they may still feel them. And that just because they experience some sadness (like I have), does not in any way take away from the love and family that our child through adoption will have.

But in my own still aching heart, I was nervous to see their sadness. I knew it would be like salt in my wound.

Also, because we have not been very open with them, I was not sure what - and how many - questions they would have. I felt like I wanted them to be able to ask questions, but, again, my heart is still so raw from our failed infertility treatments that I did not know if I could handle it.

Lastly, there were those pesky, unfounded what-ifs. What if they are not excited? What if they disapprove? What if they cannot love our child? And, the biggest one - what if telling them we are adopting is less exciting, hopeful, and special than telling them we are expecting through pregnancy? Is this another loss?

In the midst of all of these thoughts and emotions, our family stepped up in complete love and support beyond what I could have even imagined. There was nothing scary, sad, or less-than about telling them we are adopting, and I felt a renewed joy to experience the love of a family. To know that our family is always in our corner, to see them eagerly embrace adoption as our path to have a family, and have them hug me as I cried blessed me so much that I cried more.

I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders, and am so relieved that our family is now on the same page as we are. That everything is out in the open, and that there is nothing to fear from our families. Whew. I feel ten pounds lighter, and 100 times more excited to move forward.

Love. <3

14 comments:

A said...

I am so glad they responded with so much support!!! It is so exciting to see God carrying you through this journey!!

Diana said...

I felt the excitement in this post! Congratulations to one step closer! This is am awesome feeling and I wish u nothing but the best =)

andreajennine said...

Yay!

Keiko said...

I'm so happy for you - it sounds like you were surrounded with such love and support. Congrats on this big step!

Keiko said...

I also forgot to add - your entire paragraph about your parents only having an instant to grieve... so beautiful and poignant.

Michelle said...

I'm so glad that you received the support and love during this time. I read this with tears in my eyes, because I can remember that dinner, down in Florida, when I came "clean" and told my family. Congrats on taking this step. You're one step closer!!
xoxoxo

kkasun said...

I am so glad that this went so well for you!
I hope that you continue to find this ease, love and support through the rest of your adoption journey!!!

RMCarter said...

I was so happpy to read this today. Adoption is a beautiful miracle and I am glad your family can see that. You two deserve all the support in the world.

Amy said...

It was scary for us to tell our families too and for some it did take awhile for them to warm up to the idea, but now they absolutely ADORE our little guy - maybe too much because he is sooo spoiled ;) And while they didn't get to sit in a hospital waiting room and wait for the news, it was priceless and amazing to see them all standing in the airport with signs and tears when we arrived home with our son! It isn't a lesser journey by any means, just different :)

Rach said...

So glad you family is supportive. I was nervous to tell my dad, but he is just as excited as everyone else.

I feel like they treat me the same as if I were actually pregnant, it's so fun!

Mellow said...

Beautiful and wonderful! So excited for you!

Ribbens Family said...

praise god!! so thrilled for you ... makes my heart so happy that they responded with so much love!! god knew exactly what you needed!!

Joyce said...

So happy that things went so well with your family and I'm so excited with you! It sounds like slowly but surely things are falling into place :)

Melody said...

Oh I'm so glad for this Hillary. How freeing to be able to share and celebrate with them this new phase of life that you are leaning into so beautifully.