In an effort to start the slowly-but-surely process of auditing what we have, what we need to minimize, and what we can put away in preparation for scooting off on our next adventure to the countryside next year, I found this pink owl, sitting in the corner with the other stuffed animals that have been gathering dust since we decided to embark on this journey back in 2014. We bought it at a museum in Paris in 2015, a week after our first DEIVF had failed, and when you pull on the string it plays Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Back then we had high hopes. Extraordinarily high. In fact, we were afraid we’d have TOO much luck, can you believe that? We thought initially we’d need to just transfer one embryo because we weren’t sure about having twins AND a little one from Africa joining us all at the same time. After the first DEIVF failed, that would surely mean the second round would HAVE to work, right? Back then our RE was saying “this will work”, not knowing how that would ultimately crush my heart as we ultimately saw nine embryos die inside my body, eight hormone cycles (not including the 2 IUIs before that), including an incredibly special little one who stayed inside me for 9 weeks, showed us his little tiny flashing heartbeat, before my body sent him to die in the cruelest way.
Yet all the while we thought, we have this little girl in Ethiopia we are waiting to meet as well, the one we chose this little pink owl for as our paperwork sat in Addis Ababa (and y’all, I am NOT a pink and blue gal, my husband just likes owls and I like little toys that play sweet melodies). She was not a “backup plan” – she was in our plans from the day my sweetheart and I talked about having a family.
These days my husband has a harder time than me being around little ones. He can’t even talk about our years reading to the kiddos at the elementary school who we’d gotten so close to, without tearing up. And while I tried so so hard to next in the first month we started down the final road via domestic adoption, these days I can’t wrap my mind around that. Not til it’s real. I’ve seen essentials come and go on our neighborhood page and can’t convince myself to prepare any more. I listened to the little plush owl and I began to cry. After this many years, it’s not real anymore. It’s just…quiet.
And that’s okay. We all have to find a way to go beyond survival and learn how to thrive again. I suppose our nesting just looks a bit different now. We nest by taking care of each other, by looking forward to where we know we will be happy, and pursuing the things we’d put on hold these past few years. We put our oxygen masks on first.
When and if we are chosen, it will work itself out. Then – and only then – will I pull out the little pink owl and listen again to its little melody. And the dreams that we dare to dream really just might come true.