It started out as something really innocent. You fall in love, get married, make babies.
What I thought was figuring out why I could not have a baby, became I am not enough to have a baby. I don't have the space in me to do what I'm genetically geared to provide. Don't worry, this is *not* a sad story. It is one of defying what we are made to be defined by and along the way, generating our own definition. Along the way, pain, resentment and anger pushed themselves in. I welcomed them. They were necessary to give voice to the real pain I felt.
Pain, lessens and can awaken areas that were patiently waiting to bloom. Resentment loosened it's grip when I decided to make room for love that chose me. Love that came into my life, innocently and unapologetically. My stepdaughter Maddie has no idea how much she has saved me. Saved me from the anger that wrapped around my heart when I lingered on what I didn't have, couldn't have. The need to find the composed answers for innocent questions asked of why *we* didn't have a little one of our own. The answers use to fill me like sandbags stacked along an embankment about to breach. Sturdy but just one more strong storm and all could break free. I would loose control.
I share this with you because I believe in the infectious quality of our stories and how they have the ability to reveal other truths, unhinge perspectives we thought were anchored down and sometimes they connect deeply with our own. Those truths that we have yet to uncover about ourselves. Reading, sharing and listening guided me when life and all it's unbalanced moments made me uncomfortable and uncertain. I speak to you not as an act of bravery but because speaking one's truth should be an act of caring. It's not just about me and my story, it's about you, your story, your truth. We get to uncover, settle in or start anew by these moments.
How did I move beyond these moments? It took time and allowing myself to open my eyes to the blessings that came to me, without me ever asking. Fueling myself with a husband that wanted to love me and struggled to know how to make things right. Realizing that we saw things very differently when it came to adoption and figuring out how to let love heal that gap. He soon realized that there was no right way to make me reach a place of understanding. It was my journey to climb and mine alone. Hard conversations led to big emotions that were at times difficult to digest. However, it eventually opened up the real truths about what "our" life would look like as a family and what I in turn wanted for myself. I was fueled by my stepdaughter Maddie. Her unconditional love and the incredibly blissful way she filled the empty room that was in heart. I was fueled by the love and compassion of my friends who let me cry and walked along with me when I started to move forward. I was fueled by my faith. Which lifted the weight I allowed myself to carry and filled me with gratitude.
Nothing is set in stone. It's the beauty of life, of living. I'm challenged to realize how much we impact each other and the space we occupy when doing so. I'm learning to choose my space a bit more carefully, to listen more intently and most important, to be truthful as I meander this path.
As you meander through your path, know that your moments of pain will bring you to a space where some of your "whys" will be answered and some won't. That the now of what you feel, will make way to the after of better days. That you will gift yourself the freedom to sit in the grief but never linger. After, you will be stronger, more forgiving, deliberate, grateful, loved and relentlessly you.
All photos by Karen of Karen E Photos