Yesterday morning I woke up with a headache like no other and my tummy rolling around like crazy. I went into my ND and got some needles and tried to float on the acupuncture cloud. My mind was a little bit of everywhere, so I never quite hit the cloud but at the end, I was driving on a rocky road with my dad. It was one of our just-the-tw0-of-us road trips we took many of during the five years after he and my mother divorced, before he decided to up and leave town for good with his new wife and start a whole new family of their own. We were in the desert and driving near the edge of a cliff, and I was terrified we’d fall off.
Then this morning? It had melted away. My husband and I slept in an hour or so, woke up slowly as we like to do on his days off, and made breakfast together. It is what it is and no matter what it is? I got the best partner I could have ever wished for to walk down this road with. How cool is that.
I grew up in an environment where everyone had their own family – I was only partially part of every family in the tree, growing up with two sets of half-siblings (one set much older and moved out when I was young, the other set much younger and living several states away) and seven step-siblings (much, much older, their kids close to my age), who I wouldn’t know if I passed them on the street. So I never really felt all that whole. No sides wanted anything to do with the others, and I sat in the middle, a strange metaphorical orphan of sorts who had no one who really could empathize. Who else do you know who could be called the youngest, the oldest, AND the only child depending on who you were referring to? It’s an interesting thing to look back upon – and then look forward at how your life looks and what it might look like moving forward…
But with that life I learned that family has nothing to do with blood. Family is something you can feel in your heart and DNA doesn’t equate the trust you must have to really bond with someone. Blood often lowers the bar instead of raises it, with people sometimes taking that “oh, well you can’t choose your family” way out of treating people with kindness and empathy and accountability for their actions. There are people I no longer have relationships because of years of drama and toxic behavior that I can no longer allow in my world. It’s not worth it to be around people who are so consumed with themselves and therefore absolutely unwilling to take responsibility for the actions and pain they’ve caused others, and my husband and I agreed long ago that when it comes to our happiness and our peace, sometimes you just gotta let certain biological ties float away and focus on the people who, at the end of the day, you feel better for being around.
I have forgiven the pain, but I have not forgotten.
You don’t really think about this stuff much as a kid because you only have that particular reality. But as you get older and the world opens up, you realize how much your childhood experiences affect your perspective on life. You look back and see how many trends there are in how you dealt with things, how your hopes and expectations were shattered when you realize, your whole life has flowed in a very non-traditional way. Look at how we are building our family, with donor egg embryos (hopefully) and international adoption.
But through all of this, we hold close the people in our lives and are so grateful for their love and support. We try to remember that because the way we live our life may not be like so many others, that when we don’t get what we anticipated in this journey towards bringing children into our world, that there is a different way we will get to our goal.
We have more frozen embryos in storage. We don’t know what’s going to happen now in Ethiopia because the famine may affect what happens with the government and no matter what is rational in our own minds (let’s get these kids homes faster, not slower!), there is – as in every country – bureaucracy.
We are trying our best to breathe.
So with that, today we returned as a couple to yoga. Oh thank you world for this beautiful practice. We used to go to another studio but they jacked up their rates a year ago so much it was just not democratic, ya know? And with last year’s back injury keeping me away for so many months, it was something I really had to work towards returning to – as even if we say we don’t, many if not most of us still compare our abilities in yoga practice to what we “used to be able to do.” But there’s only one way to get back there, and that’s why we went. Rediscovery. Regaining that breath and peace. We’re now fortunate to have a place around the corner from us with kind, supportive, skilled instructors to help us regain our center, stretch our bodies, find our breath, and allow us to let go of the pain from the first four failed infertility treatments and the hyper-unknown that is adoption (whether it be domestic or international, there are so many ambiguities…just like infertility treatments).
In class today it was tough at times…my body reminded me of how I’d not been in class for far too long…it reminded me of what I have all balled up inside me as I tried to “wring it out” through simple twists…it reminded me of how fragile our own bodies can be as we age and/or deal with injuries like my PF.
But it also forgave us. It let us breathe and close our eyes and accept who we are, right now. It guided us in the right direction.