Monday, December 13, 2010

The Call

It's funny what makes us remember certain things. I'll remember this date forever, but not because I'm good with dates. Rather, I remember that The Year of Waiting was bounded, largely, by my little sister's pregnancy. I got her phone call telling me she was pregnant as we were on our way to visit friends and ask them if they would write us a recommendation for our homestudy. While I love my sister, and I truly enjoyed our homestudy process, that particular weekend was marked with tears, self-pity, and lots of cake as it really hit home to me how simple becoming a parent is supposed to be, as opposed to having to get referrals and affidavits just to have the chance to try.

Our friends took pictures for us to put into our profile to send to donating families. I had been so excited about it, but I remember forcing the smiles for the camera as it flashed through my head over and over again that we shouldn't "have" to be doing this. I completely understand the need for adoptive parents to go through a screening process, and I agree with it, but there are times when a couple who is adopting after infertility especially feels awkward about selling themselves as good potential parents. Of course, I didn't include these captions on our real profile, but I was thinking something along these lines.

Look! We're happy, healthy, and we love each other! Pick us!
Plus, we may or may not actually live on this beautiful beach!

We have a clean kitchen, and Mr. Myth even washes dishes!  What a great guy!
Why no, this picture wasn't staged at all!!

Aaaaaand, we have books! Lots of books! Books in every subject and category!
 More books than a potential child could ever read in a lifetime! We will educate said theoretical children very well!

That was April. By late autumn, as our "should have been matched by now" date had come and gone, I was trying my very best to hold it together emotionally, but I was on thin ice. I missed my sister's baby shower because I didn't trust myself to be any kind of good company for her. I started running to lose the pity-cake-eating induced weight I'd gained that year, and to get myself out of the house after work. I hate running.... I did it anyway. I figured if I couldn't have kids yet, I could at least be healthy and thin- I don't know if that's a good reason to run, but I do know that the running did help my mood!

Finally, December 12th 2010, my sister delivered. Sam and I had gone to the drive-in with friends, and ended up texting back and forth with my dad the whole evening about her progress (we live 6 hours away). She and my new niece did beautifully, and I don't think I cried, but I definitely felt numb. Infertility does that- it takes away your normal emotions and filters everything through a meat grinder, before spitting it out mangled and ruined into your consciousness. I don't honestly even remember if I called my sister directly to congratulate her. I really hope I did.

The next day was Monday. At 9:45 a.m., right after first period let out and my students had left the classroom, I drew in a sharp breath, and burst into gasping tears. Sam, who taught in the next class over and could hear everything, came running faster than I have ever seen him, convinced that something terrible had happened to me. I couldn't even speak. All I could do was turn my computer screen towards him and show him where I had opened my e-mail, and was reading the subject line that said:

We have a family that is excited about you! Congratulations!!

On December 13, 2010, we were introduced to a family who wanted us to consider giving their embryos a chance to continue their lives. Our wait to be matched was over, and our dreams were beginning to take shape in reality. 

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