I sure have. And I do.
"When I grow up I will..."
"When I graduate I will..."
"When I get a job I will..."
"When I get married I will..."
"When we have children I will..."
Well, I've grown up (mostly!). I graduated. I've had a few jobs. I got married. And attempting to grow our family has been one heck of a "when".
I love my son on earth...with every single fiber in my soul.
I love my five heavenly angels, with those same fibers.
I'm coming to a place in my life where I know God CAN provide that miracle we still desire...but my heart, in all honesty...doesn't know if it has the faith that He will.
I'm sure that sounds completely UNfaithful, and I guess to an extend right now my faith is weary...so it's just where I am at right now.
Ever since Evan outgrew his exersaucer and swing (along with a few other items), those two particular items have been hanging over my head...LITERALLY! We have had them stored in our back entry over our closet, and they literally hung out from the edge of the top storage space.
They have been there for years. Always hanging over my head.
And for a while, during our FETs, I would look up and hope that one day soon we would be able to take those items down again, dust them off, and put them in to use.
That didn't turn out to be the case.
So, the other day I started doing the unthinkable.
I began to sort through baby items and clothes that I will be putting in to a consignment sale in our city in April.
Is my heart truly ready to part with these things?
Is my head?
I don't know.
Then why am I doing it?
I'm tired of living like this.
Of wishing, and hoping and praying. Of begging, of pleading, of bartering.
I'm tired of feeling stuck in a place of questioning whether my faith isn't big enough, or maybe my hope is too niave.
I tend to rush in to things from time to time. And then a while later wish I hadn't rushed so quickly.
But in this case...Evan will be FIVE in March. We've struggled and prayed and hoped and have come close to seeing these items being dusted off and used, only to have it crush our hearts.
So it is time for me to start fully living in today.
We have no embryos left.
We have said good bye to our dear fertility doctor and clinic.
We have donated my unused medications and packed away my huge file of correspondence with my clinic.
In this respect...there is no going back. No "maybe next time".
Do I still secretly hold in my heart that maybe, just maybe WE could be one of THOSE stories of a couple who experience a natural blessing by surprise?
Yes. I do. I guess my heart just can't fully let go yet.
But I know it won't be through the gift of the world or ARTs. Those days are done. And my body is too tired. I have put it through more than it's share of procedures, medications, manipulations, injections, blood draws and emotional highs and devastatingly painful lows.
But...I still hold the slightest glimmer of niave hope.
I'm learning that the word "when" can be a word that can both give you anticipated hope and drive, yet can also paralyze you from reaching past that exact "when" moment.
I've been in paralyzed mode for a while now. It's time to move forward.
I want to embrace the life in front of me and ahead of me.
Not even just as a mother...but for ME.
Though I do NOT want to face this, nor do I want to accept this...a time will indeed come when Evan won't need me like he does now. And truly...I have no idea who I am outside of being the mom he needs. For right now, that is ok. I truly believe that is ok, because he needs me. And I need him.
When the day comes when I know my place isn't front and center with him anymore...I need to have an idea of where I go from there. So I suppose I am dabbling in exploring new adventures and possibilities for me.
The thought of the future both scares and excites me. It fills me with pride, and with sadness to watch my tiny 2lb wonder grow up from me.
I see his little life and wonder...who is this precious boy going to be? What will he do? Where will he go? Will I have done my job by instilling everything I hope he holds dear and true to his heart?
Who will take the place of my hand in his? Will she be good to him? Will she respect and cherish him? Will he treat her like the queen she should be in his life?
This is all a bit heavy for my heart to write out early in the morning while I wait for Evan to wake up!
And I feel like my words are as scattered as my mind right now.
I don't mean to sound that every "when" moment has been a holding place for me. No, not at all. You need a few of those "when" moments to drive you.
It's just that now in this place in my life, I want some of those "when" moments to come to life. And slowly...they will! And that can be very exciting too. Even if it means that the reason for why you were being held back from that moment (though prayerfully desired...the desire that maybe this would be the time you would have another living child) has not, and may never again happen.
So step one for me has been dealing with the baby items.
I have a corner (ok, half of a room!!) starting to get organized with SOME of the items that I will be putting in to the consignment sale.
Should the time ever come where God completely shocks us with a natural surprise and another living child...then I now know where to go to buy gently used baby items! ;)
I have also gone through the OH SO MANY bins of Evan's clothes. Some to hopefully pass on to my nephew's boys, and well...lets admit it...the majority of those clothes have been put back in their bins because I just can't let go yet.
Some items and clothes I am just not ready to let go of. I told Brett to give me until I am 41 (which isn't that far away).
An exciting "when" moment that Brett and I have talked about for SIXTEEN years (yes, 13 years of those have been because we have been so family-growing focused so that is where our money had to be allocated to. Oh the joys of not being able to reproduce the good ol' fashioned way!) is that we have officially, and seriously begun preparations for a trip to Hawaii!!!!! And THAT is exciting me BIG TIME!! Evan asks every day "can we go to Hawaii on Tuesday? I don't like being cold!" I wish!!
But our trip won't be until 2015. (is it bad that I'm excited for this year to fly by??!!)
I look back on the past 16 years of our marriage, and on our journey to have a family, and I see a lot of those "when" moments.
I do not regret putting many of those on hold. Not for a moment.
Our focus to have a family was greater than all of those moments.
But I see now that there comes a time when you have to refocus and begin to move forward.
Right now I'm still in heel-dragging mode. Though I'm only fresh off the ARTs wagon...and just over a year from the loss of our fifth Angel, Faith. So, I don't feel the need to just instantly switch gears. I'm not "there" ...yet. And that is ok.
I'm just realizing that I don't want to lose moments and adventures with my husband and son now. And now that we are done with treatments, there truly is nothing holding us back.
Life will always hold "when" moments...it's just that now those moments are starting to bring a new excitement. Even if letting go and moving forward is like slowly ripping off a bandaide that has been there so long it has grown on to my body!
Here is to today!
Wishing you all a beautiful one!