When I first started writing this blog, I had it set to private so no one could find it. I was going to treat it like a personal journal of our adoption process. Writing has always been therapeutic for me and sometimes it’s the only way I can sort out complicated emotions. But even though they taught me to share in kindergarten, I rarely do when it comes to writing about matters of the heart.
But after writing a few posts, I thought I’d share it with my mom so she could stay updated on what was happening and understand how I was feeling since I’m not always so good at verbalizing that kind of thing. I hadn’t planned to share it outside my immediate family because it just felt too personal.
I have a tendency, as I think most people do, to keep painful things private. Somewhere along the line, I learned to keep my pain to myself which is why most of you didn’t know we had been struggling to start a family. If we had decided to progress with infertility treatments and pursue IVF, it probably would have remained that way–a very personal thing. I would have continued to suffer emotionally and mentally, in private and without ever telling you what was happening. I wouldn’t have shared the hell I would surely have been going through if and when IVF failed. It’s in my nature to want to project strength, not vulnerability, even if vulnerable is exactly how I’m feeling. It’s a defense mechanism, I think.
Sharing our adoption journey feels much different than that, though. It makes me want to open up. In the past couple of months, adoption has already changed my philosophy on sharing so much. I’ve realized that there is a richer level of experience that you just don’t get unless you share it with the people you love. We could have quietly navigated this process, just Jamie and I, and kept it a nervous secret until we had the baby or were sure the adoption was going to work out. A lot of people do that. Or I could have left out the struggle and pain that led us to choose adoption. But if we had kept it to ourselves, I would have missed out on the deeper, more meaningful journey that I’ve been feeling since I opened myself up to sharing it with all of you.
The love and support you have shown us, in comments, texts, emails, and messages since I did has given me strength and made it all feel very real. It fills my heart that you all know what is going on with us and that you want to share in this very special time in our lives. I can’t thank you enough for your excitement and your encouraging words. I can’t tell you how good it feels. I have been waiting for this moment–when I can finally stop wondering if I’ll ever have children and start celebrating and preparing for one–for such a long time. Feels like forever. And though it’s happening through adoption, the joy and anticipation I feel now is exactly how I imagine I’d feel if I were pregnant. Only without the morning sickness. (Bonus!)
It makes me so happy that Charlie will be welcomed into such an incredible community of friends and family who will know the full story of how much we loved him before we even knew him. If he ever asks, you’ll be able to tell him that while he didn’t grow in my belly, he most certainly grew in my heart. You can tell him you know that for a fact. Because I shared it with you.