Showing posts with label voice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label voice. Show all posts

inevitable questions

I can remember being in a grocery store with my mom. I must have been six or seven. My two younger sisters were in the cart. An older woman approached us to ohh and ahh over my littlest sister who was still quite young. I can so clearly remember the woman commenting on how different the three of us looked and asking my mother if we had the same father. The question confused me, but my mom explained to the lady that we all shared the same daddy. I remember so clearly that the lady was so nice and even now I don't think that she intended any harm by her question.

My mom was so matter of fact in her response, and so confident in her and my dads love for each of us, so proud of our differences. That was the first time I remember that question being asked, but most certainly not the last.

It is a totally inappropriate comment to make, regardless of the family circumstances. (In our case my sisters and I do share genetics from both our mother and father, but look very different from each other.) But people are curious and will ask questions, inappropriate or not. It is how we respond to and educate people about situations that they don't understand that really matters. It may not be a duty we signed up for, but it is necessary. I can only hope that others will offer me the same education when I say or do things that might be hurtful. 

As ML and I embark on building our family with the assistance of DS, I am thinking alot about how we will deal with the future questions and situations that are waiting for us. 

Mel reviewed a post by Kristen at I Spy a Family in her Round-Up last Friday. Kristen describes a situation that occurred in the grocery store, where a store clerk inappropriately questioned how her family was formed. She acknowledged that this was an inevitable situation for her family that has been built through adoption, but wishes that people would show respect for her children by asking questions when her children are not in ear shot. 

Kristen's post reminded me of that day we were in the grocery store, and all of the times since that the formation of my family has been questioned. It is a gentle reminder to me that these questions are normal, that we can expect them. The only part of this equation that we can control is our response. For some of us the emotions of our situation make it difficult to respond in a matter of fact way, and that is totally understandable. What I will always remember is that my mom didn't hesitate in her response, she was so confident in our family, there was no doubt about her love for my dad and their love for us. She made it so clear that we belonged together and that our differences were valued. 

I hope that I - that we all - can find that confidence. I hope that we can use it to educate others, and most importantly to show our children just how loved they are. 

Thanks Kristen for this great post, and thanks Mel for making sure that I didn't miss it!


Her son was conceived with IVF

I have been so insanely busy. It is great to have the energy again to keep up with the life that I want and enjoy living. But I miss having time to write here, and to keep up with my reading.

For the record, I have to say that I absolutely love the that my dr. prescribed me a few weeks ago. It magically calms the crazy swirling thoughts that apparently were sucking so much of my energy up. and also, at night, I actually fall asleep instead of laying awake for hours, and I sleep so well and wake up feeling rested. I seriously love this stuff. My dr told me I could take two pills every day (morning and night), but I only take half every other day because I am afraid that I'll get addicted or something. I read some scary stuff on the internet about this medication, but feel like it has given me my life back.

There is a lady who I know. I met her some time ago when we were volunteers on a local school district committee. We were like-minded in our approach to solving the problems facing our committee, and spent many evenings in the parking lot talking after the meetings. She was older than me, and had a child in the schools. We were in very different places in our lives, but there was always a connection. The committee ended and we went out separate ways, crossing paths every so often. She eventually ran for the school Board, while I ended up serving on another district committee that advises the Board.

The District has been in desperate need of funding and finally put up a school bond measure for the November election. I was asked to be a signatory on the ballot statement in support of the bond, along with a few other very prominent community members. I am not sure what makes me qualified to be at the same status of these other folks - former mayors and local philanthropists - true community leaders. But they asked me, and I said I'd be honored.

In the last week, I've ended up working incredibly closely with this Board member, nearly every minute that I am not at work, to campaign for the passage of this school bond. She really is awesome. And then, on Thursday, as we walked to our cars after a late meeting, I shared that it had been a really difficult year for ML and I.

I broke the silence and said "we found out last summer that we can't have kids."
and she said her son was conceived with ivf.
she understood. she really understood.
and I realized that she also lived with the silence.

I can't stop thinking about how glad I am that I said something to her. Why would she have ever brought infertility up to me?

I want to hug her and tell her that our exchange means the world to me. Instead I wrote her a card today - it just said that I think she is awesome and am so grateful that we are friends.

It seems that I am going to be sucked into this campaign. I keep telling people this bond will benefit my someday kids. The more I refer to them, the more real they become, my Someday Kids, My Someday Twins. The need for this Bond is so great. And my need to be distracted is pretty big right now too. ML has his FNA Biopsy next Wednesday. We'll get results back by October 15th. That will be a tough two week wait for me, and I have every expectation that I'll fall apart when we get the results. So having something else, something bigger than me, to focus on might be a really great plan.

My Puppies. 
Much love to everyone visiting from ICLW. I promise to come visit your site in the next few weeks, and make up for all my missing comments during ICLW. Your comments pop up on my phone throughout the day and make me happier than any words can express. One more picture of my puppy's for your viewing pleasure.  Love to all!


Infertility E-Class

This past March I took an infertility e-class with Lily from The Infertile Mind. It was incredible. I wrote a post about it earlier, and will forever be grateful to Lily for the gift that she gave me via that class. It was that class that opened the world of this online community for me, and helped me find the most essential tool of writing to help me on this journey.

I am so excited to announce that Lily is going to offer another infertility e-class starting in October! I can't recommend this class highly enough and hope that you will all sign up and participate.


The World Travelers

We have these awesome friends. I’m going to call them Mr and Mrs World Traveler. (Mr T and Mrs T, for short.) Mr T and ML were in a fraternity together in college. 
They both drank like fish and and smoked so much 4.2.0. its surprising that they have functioning livers or lungs left. This fraternity was like animal house. A very diverse and random assortment of guys who, against all odds, have turned out to be some of the most successful people we know. Many of our closest friends are rooted in the relationships that ML formed through that fraternity. In fact, I met ML in that dirty house one night, but that too is a story for another post. 
So Mr. T and ML became good friends in college. Mr. T was ML’s best man at our wedding, and ML was Mr. T’s best man at his. I guess you could say that ML and Mr. T are like besties. When our world started to fall apart last year, (after the azoos diagnosis, work slowing down substantially for ML, and our dog died) I started feeling like ML must need a friend. I have a pretty solid support network with my bestie, my sister and my mom, but he really didn’t have anyone, and I worried about that. So I called Mr.T and without going into any details asked if he could reach out to ML. 
I think that Mr. and Mrs. T had some inclination that something was going on with us. We’d stayed at their house a few times when we had to travel to the City for early appointments. They knew that we were seeing doctors, and were stressed out about some stuff, but we’d sent some pretty strong signals that indicated we didn’t want to talk about it. 
I am friends with Mrs. T, but we are not super close. I love her and love hanging out with her, but we don’t actually have that much in common and probably wouldn’t make the effort if it weren’t for Mr T and ML. We’d always talked about starting our families sometime in 2009, and used to gossip about who was or wasn’t drinking at parties. She is super career oriented and travels a lot for her job. She’s always worried about how maternity leave will affect her career ladder. Earlier this year, on a ski trip, on a ski lift, she asked about our “plans”. Without saying much I just told her that we’d encountered some serious challenges and that it wasn’t going to happen without some serious assistance. And then last time we visited, maybe a few months ago, I must have been in a really good place because we talked about it a little more. I didn’t divulge many details, but was able to tell her how hard it has been and how hard the road ahead of us will be. She was really kind and empathetic, of course.
Every so often I ask ML if he has shared our situation with any of his friends, and he always says no. Until this weekend. 
We were festival camping with a big group of friends, including Mr. T.   I saw them sitting together and decided against joining them. ML later told me that he’d spilled his guts and told Mr. T everything. He said that it felt good to get it all off his chest. I feel so relieved. It feels so much better to know that ML has a friend who he can share this all with. A friend who knows the depths of what we are dealing with. 


the celebration society

One of the most wonderful things about being a part of this blog community is being able to read what others have written. I've discovered some of the most incredible amazing posts by the most talented writers. Your stories are so often my story, and your fears are my fears. Seeing the words already written down, articulated so beautifully is the most comforting reassuring experience. For the first time I don't feel quite so alone. I feel validated. I feel like I've found a safe place to explore my thoughts and emotions and fears and hopes. I feel understood in the most wonderful way, by you and by myself. 

I love leaving comments. I love leaving comments, even more than I love receiving comments. I love being able to say how a post makes me think and feel. I appreciate being able to express my appreciation to the author, to let them know that their post, their writing, their story has touched me in a meaningful way. 

Apparently I am not alone in this desire to appreciate my fellow bloggers! One of Mel's special projects right now is the Celebration Society.  Mel describes it as one of the most interesting delurking projects you'll ever participate in.  You can read the whole background story at Mel's celebration society post. Basically, the celebration society is a way for you to tell me what my blog or comments mean to you.  Really what I am hoping is that you will do the same on your blog - join the celebration society and create a place on your blog where I can tell you how much I appreciate YOU.

Ohhh - BTW - I just discovered that there are a few follow-up comments waiting for me at posts I have visited recently. I stumbled on a few of them, and can only assume that there are others that I might have missed.  As I said before, I love leaving comments, and would love to read your follow-up post, however I don't know that you replied to me unless you let me know. There must be a better way to keep track of comments, like a gadget or something that keeps track of the posts I comment on - if you know about something please let me know!

Cards at Target

Okay, so I am going out on a limb here. My Lover is one of only two people IRL who know that I have this blog, and the only one who has the web address to read it. I wanted him to know that I was writing about our private story in this public yet anonymous space, and I wanted him to be able to read what I had to say, if and when he wants. 
So anyways, he might be reading, I don’t know. Babe - this post is about something that I am planning for you, so be warned that you might spoil the (little) surprise if you keep reading. 
I was at Target this morning, picking up ink so that we could finnish printing our Cade Foundation grant. I walked in, through all of the kids clothes noticing how cute all the little outfits are, but thinking that even if I had kids, I wouldn’t be spending tons of money on new clothes (since we’ll have all those hand me down, but also because we are pretty frugal.) I walked through the baby isle, those things get me every time, but then I thought about how fast babies grow and decided to put on a pretty pair of IF glasses and think that it was kind of nice that I get so much time to admire these sweet baby clothes without being sad that my baby is all grown up. 
I found the printer ink and headed back to check out, and walked past the cards isle. I love cards and always stop to look at the cards isle. The whole row was Fathers Day Cards. I sighed. I found a card for my dad. It was perfect and talked about what a great dad he was for me growing up and how much I still love him. I may have my issues with my dad, but I do love him, and nothing can change the fact that he was a great father while I was growing up. 
Then I saw these cards “to my husband on fathers day.” I have never seen a card like that before. I was stopped in my tracks. I pulled one of the cards up to get a closer look. I can’t remember exactly what it said, but I was hooked. I looked at every single one. 
and then I bought one. 
For My Lover.
I do love him, so much, especially on Fathers Day, because he is the only person I could ever want to experience parenthood with, because he has been so wonderful dealing with this IF journey, because he is willing to undergo examinations, and procedures, and injections so that we can become parents together, because he is patient and kind and loving and will be a most wonderful father someday.
I am going to have to edit the text of the card a little bit, since he is not a father, yet. But I am going to give it to him on Father’s Day, in celebration of our journey, and anticipation of the wonderful father that he will someday be.  
So I guess the limb I am going out on is that i feel a little like maybe this might not be an appropriate thing to do. Maybe he doesn’t want to be reminded that it is fathers day. Maybe this, Maybe that...  
As I am writing this, I am catching myself trying to guess what he might or might not want.  I was going to ask for your thoughts and ideas about how to deal with Fathers Day, and these “to my Husband on Fathers Day” cards. 

The reality is that I want this, I want to give him this card, I want him to know that I am thinking about him on this day and loving him with my whole heart. 
Sweet, its settled. and I feel great knowing that someday, My Lover will be a wonderful father. 

This year I am Stronger

I found the Cade Foundation in one of my many infertility web searches last year. Every year they offer a few family building grants of up to $10,000 to help couples build their family thru infertility treatment or adoption. The thought of ‘coming out’ and applying was too much for me to handle at the time. But this year is different. This year I am stronger.

Maybe I started feeling stronger when I came across Lily’s infertility e-class last November. (Lily authors  The Infertile Mind) I wanted to sign up, but holiday funds were tight and I wasn’t going to be near the computer enough, and, well, I had lots of excuses. It was okay though because just wasn’t quite ready.

Then Lily offered her class again in March. She titled it March Together and I loved it. I realized that I have so much to say. I realized that I needed my voice. I realized that I needed people who understood me. Every couple of days she posted a little assignment, a little question or task that helped me get my arms around this mob of thoughts that had taken over my brain,
and my life.
She broke it down into bite size pieces, so that I could start finding the right words.

I was actually scared at the start of the class to share anything. Lily made it a password protected blog and assured me that it was safe.
That I was safe.
And that what I needed to say could be said. Thank you for that Lily.
So I started writing, and writing, and writing. And ohhhhh, does it feel good. And things that I couldn’t say found their way to the computer screen, because I guess talking and writing are different somehow. And little by little, it is easier to talk about the stuff that I write about. I tested out the words in writing and if they felt okay, I tried them on verbally. Amazing how that process works.

So, Lily’s e-class was wonderful. And the March Together class was free! Instead of charging for it, she asked that we make a donation to the Cade Foundation. So I found myself back on the Cade Foundation website. They had just announced their 2010 grant cycle, and can you believe it, I applied. It was actually just a form that sad I intended to apply, but I did it. And I talked to my husband about it.
“coming out” on the application with my real name!
“talking” about the possibly of being public with our journey!

Big steps for me!

So I spent a good portion of the weekend (while I wasn't consumed reading My Bumpy Journey's entire, yes entire blog!) working on the full application that is due June 15th. I participated in the Q and A conference call this morning. I picked out a PICTURE, yep a real one!, that we will submit with our application.

I suppose I could go on and on about all of the things I thought about as I completed the application. The fact of the matter is that I am stronger and I can do this and we WILL have our someday family.

A final note of gratitude before I go.
Lily is one of those souls who touched mine. I will always remember the kindness that you showed me in our email exchange and the warmth that you exuded in welcoming me to let go and write and share. Your e-class is amazing and I hope that you keep doing it. I hope that you turn the assignments into a workbook so that I can buy it and give it to my therapist (especially the ones I don’t see anymore!). I want you to know that you opened doors for me and that I am thriving. I can’t thank you enough.

Lemon Cheesecake

We made my mom the most delicious lemon cheesecake for Mothers Day dinner. It was so good, and I ate way too much.  I thought that Mothers Day might be hard, but it was fine. I am grateful to have such a wonderful mom and family. I am happy for my friends who have perfect little ones and are expecting perfect little ones. It was my mom who brought it up, who expressed her grief for me and hope that maybe next year there will be reason to celebrate.

Hope has been so elusive, and although I feeling a thousand times better recently, I still can't bring myself to think that "maybe next year at this time" we will be parents. There is way too much hope in a statement like that.

* * * * *

I read a study that there are a disproportionate number of female bloggers. The researchers found that teens and young women were empowered in communicating their thoughts and feelings and ideas and fears in the form of a blog. Blogs offered a mix of diary-writing and public validation. I've been thinking about this blog for a long time and ready to give it  try. I need my voice now more than ever.

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