Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Own Personal Flood

No...I'm not in Iowa and {luckily} our basement isn't flooding right now, despite the large amount of rain we've had recently. For those two things I am grateful. But for some reason I can't shake the overall feeling of sadness I've had hanging over me these past several days.

I've been thinking a lot about life and death and the inevitability of it all. I think what first set me off is the realization that our puppy--our fur baby, Ditto is aging. She's eight now, going on nine...and she's starting to show her years. This little dog has been my baby. Simply put, I cannot imagine my life without her...and yet I know those days will come. When you get a pet, you pretty much know that (barring some freak accident) you will outlive that pet. But that realization doesn't actually hit home until you start to see the age in your beloved pet's eyes. Ditto is fine, really...she should still have several good years with us, but I guess I am hypersensitive to her changes because of how much I've loved her all these years. Without her I really feel like my heart would have shriveled up into a bitter, twisted little ball by now. Clearly I'm being overly dramatic but I just very sad right now.

The other factor is the silence in my house these days. Normally during the school year I care for my niece and another little girl here in my home three days a week. Both of their mothers work in the schools and now that school is out, my services are no longer needed. This is new for me this summer. In the past I had another little girl whose family wasn't affiliated with the schools so I cared for her all year. Plus my own school is out, except for one math class, so I'm not nearly as busy with my own activities as I have been for the past several months. I still see the kids in question, I am lucky in that regard, but it's just not the same. There is something different about having them here with me and having them all to myself than there is about seeing them for a few hours from time to time. I can't explain it any better than that. A lot of people who are infertile try to stay away from kids and keep any reminders of them at bay, but my coping strategy has been the exact opposite. For me, the more kids I can be around, the less preoccupied I am with my own lack of children, hence the happier I feel.

On top of all dear friend (the mother of the other little girl I care for) and her family are moving away at the end of this summer. I am happy for them, because this change is one they've been longing for, but I'm so very sad they are leaving. I am going to miss them more than mere words can describe. It's not like we won't still be friends, but things are always different from a distance, they just are. All through my childhood my family was the one who moved away. I've lived in Michigan now for 15 years, and I guess that's a long I'm the one being left behind. This is all foreign to me. Another close friend moved away a year ago and now this one, plus there have been several other people (just not quite as close) who have moved away over the past couple of years. I guess it's the changes I don't like. Change is inevitable but hard. I'm struggling with this and it is adding to my sadness.

Then there's adoption. Mostly I feel happy, but in an odd way I also feel sad. Our agency sent out an email this week (an email!!!) about a little baby who was deprived of oxygen for several minutes right after birth. The hospital used cold pack therapy to try and minimize any damage to her brain, but of course the extent of that will not be known until she begins to develop more. Well...because of the medical intervention...the family who was going to adopt this little one decided to back out. I guess there was some conflict with their own religious views and the medical treatment the baby received. SO...cut to the email I received...this sweet baby will need a new home. Her case will probably be handled as a "safe delivery," which is a law in Michigan (maybe in other states too?) that allows any birth parent to relinquish their newborn to any hospital, church, police officer, or fire station within 72 hours after birth, no questions asked. So after being gone all day long Monday, I got home and found THAT waiting in my inbox. Our adoption specialist is out of town right now and the birth parent specialist is doing both jobs. I'm not sure WHY this kind of information was sent out in email form, and I'm especially not sure why we received it since WE'RE NOT EVEN OFFICIALLY IN THE POOL YET. My heart aches for that little baby. We would open our home to her in a heartbeat (as I'm sure MANY other people waiting to adopt would) but we can't yet because of a few small formalities. And meanwhile this baby is in the hospital with no one holding her as I am here, heartbroken because I have no sweet baby to hold. SOMETIMES THE IRONIES OF LIFE ARE JUST A LITTLE TOO MUCH FOR ME!!! I love our agency and I have no other complaints about them, but how could they send such delicate/sensitive information via email?? Why did they do that?? I know the caseworker must have been overwhelmed and was probably doing the best she could...but seriously...she sent that above information out to a group of people who are all aching to become parents. HOW INSENSITIVE IS THAT?!!!

At times like this I have to take a deep breath and remember that I am where I am supposed to be and that things happen for a reason. I know it will all make sense someday when I look into the face of the child we have waited all these years to parent. Intellectually I know that, but emotionally I feel drained and pretty much like I don't know if I can wait one more day to become a mother. And yet I have no choice, so here I sit and here I am, waiting and nearly about to drown myself in sorrow. Normally I try to be positive and happy, but I just don't have it in me right now.


Tracey said...

I am with you girl! I teach school and it really helps me remain distracted. The waiting is so hard...I feel like my life is on hold....and I have to remind myself to breath.

Bri said...

Melba- I think it is all part of the process. Some days (weeks) you will feel like you're floating on a cloud and other days you are just down in the dumps. Make it ok for yourself to feel sad or angry or whatever else you feel-- and lean on us for support! I know I've been there and I know I'll be there again. I hope you find an upswing soon, my friend!

Dave Gerhart said...

We got e-mails like that, too. Sometimes it was because a birthmother might be early on in her pregnancy and they figured you would be aproved by then. However I understand that it's extremely sensitive, and many people don't understand unless they've longed to be parents like we have.

The good news is that there's incredible joy and peace at the end of this tunnel. I can remember feeling so sad and angry at times throughout the process, but the moment I held Josiah it was transformed into unspeakable joy. Your day is coming!

Rebekah said...

I hear your shock! We aren't officially on the waiting list yet either, and I received an EMAIL a couple of weeks ago from someone at church saying they thought they had a baby for us. I didn't even finish the email, I called as fast as I could dial. The whole time I was thinking "why didn't you call!"

People don't realize we wait with baited breath!

Becky said...

Sorry you have been down and in a funk! I so understand! It is so hard sometimes..all the waiting and the process in general! Hang in there!

Our agency would send out e-mails like that if it were a situation where they needed an immediate placement for a hard to place infant. They want to field everyone quickly so they can quickly see who would be interested and willing to take delicate cases such as that. So sad! I know that God will have just the right parents and home for that baby!