OK, back to topic.
I'm going to be honest here. I've been really struggling lately. The last few months have been really intense at work and life has been super busy. Not enough time for me. And I feel like my life is flying before my eyes and I'm not slowing down to enjoy it. But in processing how I'm feeling, I realized that much of my current angst comes from The Bag.
Envision that all those years back, when we started down the path of trying to start our family, I carried around The Bag. Every roadblock, hurdle, loss and frustration along the way has wound up in The Bag. All those fertility shots? Yeah, they're in The Bag. The doctors? Yup, they're in there -- and they aren't small. Stephen and his birth mom? You better believe it. The Bag keeps getting bigger and the load just gets heavier. Yeah, I mourned not having kids biologically and am completely committed to adoption. But that doesn't mean that all of what we've been through is forgotten.
What I recently realized is making The Bag extra heavy, though, is that at every turn, I add another smiley face button onto the outside of The Bag. So with our first miscarriage came the "Hey, this happens to lots of people! Let's try again!" smiley face button. And with the fertility treatments came the "Check out our home science experiment! I'm so lucky that my husband is good at administering shots!" smiley face button. And with the loss of Stephen from our lives came the "He wasn't meant to be ours and our baby is still coming!" smiley face button. These buttons are becoming as heavy as The Bag itself.
It's not that I should buck my nature; I'm always inclined toward the positive. And when it comes to the adoption process, on most days, hope is all I have, so I need to muster up some sunshine to get through. But I also have to allow myself to feel the full range of emotions related to this journey so far. It's been exhausting, sad, frustrating, heartbreaking. And I think I do myself a disservice by always pinning on another smiley face instead of feeling what I need to feel. I wonder if I'd really let myself grieve along the way if The Bag might be a bit lighter now.
So I'm going to try and honor my feelings and unload some of The Bag's contents. I probably won't stop adding smiley face buttons, but hopefully I can balance them out with really processing some of the emotional weight of the last several years.
I'm going to end this post on a happy note. I learned today that friends may be a bit closer to being parents on their adoption journey and may have a little one within the next six months. You know who you are -- know that we love you and can't wait for you to be a family. It's a beautiful thing!