January 3, 2011

Why I'd rather be awake.

"If you want to make your dreams come true, the first thing you have to do is wake up."  ~J.M. Power (Mama Kat’s Weekly Writing Prompt)

We were made to procreate. God placed in each living being an instinctual desire to re-create and continue the species. Humans being were further given the opportunity to make choices about procreation. We can choose to do so or not to do so. We are not just driven by instincts. We can logically and personally decide if we want to bring forth children or remain child-free.

Except when you can’t. What most take for granted for some of us is unattainable. You don’t really understand the power of that choice until you don’t have it. Infertility is cruel and random. You mostly don’t think about it until it invades your life, turns it upside down, and takes over your dreams.

I had the normal dreams of most young girls. I would go to college, get an education, find a job, marry my dream man, have children, live happily ever after. As I was growing up life seemed to go just as planned. College and graduate school, check. Job, check. Man of my dreams, check.

The next logical step for us was to have a baby. And so we began to dream. Oh, how we dreamt. We dreamt of a little girl with my curly hair and Matt’s green eyes. We dreamt of a little boy with my energy and Matt’s introspective personality. We dreamt as we planned, timed, checked, and counted days.

We kept dreaming as weeks turned into months and months turned into years. All around me my friends would get pregnant and become moms. And I prayed, and hoped, and mostly dreamt. We continued dreaming while the doctors tested and prodded. We kept planning as they took samples and made diagnoses.

Twice we thought the dream would finally come true and twice we were disappointed by medical science. But we could not stop dreaming of the little girl and the little boy for we thought if we stopped dreaming we would stop living. Infertility consumes you. It becomes the nightmare that kills the dreams.

And I moved as in a fog. Dreaming of the children I couldn’t have. Dreaming of the mother I could not be. And living only medical nightmares.

One day when all the science we were morally and ethically willing to endure was exhausted I was faced with two choices: to allow the nightmare to drag me deeper into a dark obsession where I compromised my beliefs of right and wrong in pursuit of this elusive dream, or to shake myself awake and allow the Dream-Giver to re-shape my reality and my hopes. So I woke up.

I woke up to the reality that there are many ways to make a family. That the little girl I was dreaming about for so long was not in me, but out there. That she would have beautiful eyes, brown, not green. That she would have curly hair, not like mine, but beautiful anyway. That she would not grow in my womb but I would love her madly nonetheless.

And wide-awake we filled the paperwork, we went through the homestudy, we received the phone call. Wide-awake we chose her, we picked her up, we made her ours. And a little while later, wide-awake we brought her little brother home the same way. A boy with energy to spare and as laid back as a peaceful stream. Wide-awake we took charge of our dreams and made them come true, with God’s amazing help and grace.

I don’t believe adoption is for everyone. It is not to be entered upon lightly for it can be a painful, bitter-sweet process. It is not second best and it is not a last resort. For us it was a God-given calling and the reality that made our dreams come true.  For some of my dear friends dealing with this monster we "affectionately" call IF, their dreams have and will be made reality with the help of the doctors. Others have and will make the choice to re-define their dreams and dream up a new way of living, child-free. But for us, it took waking up from our infertility nightmare to realize our two dreams were out there somewhere waiting for us to find them.

Mama's Losin' It


Carole St-Laurent said...

"One day I woke up."

What nudged, or poke you? What kind of alarm clock finally pierced through the nightmare?

Gaby said...

Really good question, Carole. You are asking like a good editor :) I may have to edit the post to include an answer to your question!

Deborah said...

I missed you! I hope you had a great New Years'. I love the language of taking charge of your dreams and making them come true.

Gaby said...

Thank you, Deborah. I hope you didn't read it when it went crazy on me. Phew. It's all good now. For a few minutes the whole post was upside down!

Katie said...

That is absolutely beautiful Gaby! I can relate in so many ways to what you have said here. I am so thankful to have "met" you and have someone to talk to who has followed the same path as us, almost to a T. Thank you so much for sharing this. With our recent developments it brought tears to my eyes while I was reading it. God bless!

Gaby said...

Katie, thank you for your kind comment. I write because I know my experience is not unique and maybe having "been there, done that" this will help someone else see there is light at the end of the tunnel. Blessings to you as well!

Jennifer said...

Gaby, your story works perfectly with the metaphor of waking up. I love reading your story and learning how God orchestrated your challenges for good.

Gaby said...

Thank you, Jennifer. God has been good to us.