Do ever feel as if you’re in a constant battle with yourself? So often I make a decision and forge ahead on the path of my choice, only to catch myself looking longingly at another paths and wondering if I ought to have taken them instead. As soon as I make a decision I lose sight of all the things I’ll gain from choosing that path and can only see all that I’ll be losing from walking away from the other paths.
I certainly did that when I chose the “life without children” path. I knew what I would gain by opting to stop treatments and I knew what I would gain by walking away from the adoption route we were on. I knew that my sanity and my marriage would benefit from that decision, and that I’d claim back the life that was passing me by. But I could also see clearly everything I would lose from walking away from the possibility of motherhood.
I know I made the right choice, and I’m glad I kept walking on my chosen path, but it doesn’t stop me looking back once in a while to see where I might have been.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend who was making some difficult life decisions. She talked about the idea of trusting that the path you’re on will take you where you’re supposed to be.
At first glance, this reeks of “everything happens for a reason,” a philosophy that makes me bristle. Personally, I do not believe that I was denied children so that I could take a bigger, more important path instead, or that I wasn’t granted motherhood because it was more than I could handle. I have an untreatable medical condition; I cannot reproduce; end of story; $#it happens.
And yet I’m intrigued by the idea of trusting the path.
There is no doubt that not having children will take me on a very different path than motherhood; it already has. But what if I stopped fighting that? What if I stopped looking over my shoulder at all that I’ve lost and trusted that the path I’m on will take me where I’m supposed to go? Granted, I might not have much to blog about with my new peaceful self, but perhaps I could just enjoy the journey and see where it takes me.
What do you think about the idea of trusting the path?
This is a place I’m at as well, I’m settling into whatever comes next. And actually, trying to see my path as one that is open to many different little journeys and detours that can be very interesting or exciting. I’ve started to consciously seek out opportunities I can do because I don’t have kids. I took a spontaneous, small, overnight road trip to go see a show this weekend by myself (I am married). I have a couple personal days off work next month I’m taking to work on a sewing project and go visit some nearby antique stores (I feel compelled to say I’m 35, because my hobbies make me come across as quite a bit older ). It’s maybe not exciting to other people, but it’s little things I couldn’t do spur of the moment if I was still trying so hard to have or adopt a child. And I’ve been saying no to the things I don’t want to do.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t occasionally feel stabbed with sadness at a life that has been lost. But, I have found, it means I don’t quite take it so personally when people are insensitive, rude or just crazy. And that seems like a positive step. I hope the reframing is good for you too!
I’m curious about if you have stories of those who have ended the adoption journey after already ending the fertility treatment journey. We already went through 6 rounds of failed DEIVF and miscarriage and failed international adoption when the country closed, and acknowledged 2 years ago that this body was not going to bring a child into the world…then we jumped into domestic adoption and after a 2 year wait, were matched with a birth mother who it turns out was only trying to scam us for money. When you’ve already paid half the agency fee, do you walk away, or do you keep ordering hundreds of dollars in profile books in hopes that maybe BirthMother #342 will be legit? Or do you go the way of podcasters Erik + Melissa and try to turn from childless to childfree? We are standing on the precipice after this fraud, terrified as to what to do. So instead we are just repressing the hell out of it and trying to figure out how to start the $ saving process since everything else, including retirement savings, for 5 years has gone to doctors and agencies. We can’t go be the glam childfree folks – we’re broke!
Lisa Manterfield says
I am so sorry to hear your story. There are a few of us here on the site who moved into adoption after infertility, only to either come out without a child, or (like me) realized that adoption wouldn’t be the solution for us. It’s so hard to know which way to go when you’re already in so deep. There’s always “one more thing” to try and maybe that one thing will be the thing that gets you your child. I think though, that only you can know when enough is enough. I reached the end of the line several times, then went back to try again. at some point, though, you just know it’s time to stop. You may or may not be there yet.