A few years ago, Russ and I got into one of the biggest fights of our marriage. It lasted weeks. I don't even remember what started it initially, it was certainly nothing he did. I just remember feeling as if I was on a bed of fire, and I needed my outsides to match my insides. So I yelled. I nitpicked. I might have even punched a wall....the memory is hazy.
It wasn't until the storm was over that I realized the root behind my pain. I woke up one morning and opened up my computer to write and work and there — right in front of me — was an ad for Mother's Day.
This is grief, I thought. And then I wept.
I didn't want to be a mother when we started this process of adoption. I kept it at arm's length for so long, ignoring the call I knew we were meant to take. I'd known it for years. It was a rhythm I couldn't escape: this is the way, walk in it. But I didn't want that rhythm....that interruption. I was confused, scared, worried and overwhelmed.
I wasn't soft enough to be a Mother.
I wasn't right.
I'm not sure when the transition happened, but I do remember moments where I could feel my heart turning to this someday child of mine.
Overheard conversations between mothers and children.
Dreams where I wake up, certain our child is waiting for me.
The growing excitement of knowing The Call could come at any second.
My hesitation was all based out of fear: fear I wouldn't be enough, fear I would muck things up, fear this would cause more heartache then anything else.
That last fear. That's the one I reckon with the most.
Last week I could feel the emotions swirling internally. Every morning I woke up, the tears a liquid ball at the base of my throat. I art journaled, fighting the urge to scratch my pain into the pages.
And then yesterday, I went to Target for some vitamins.
In the early stages of our adoption, I would walk around Target and dream. I'd hold a onesie in my hand and imagine what it would feel like to shop for a baby — our baby — when it was our turn. I would weave in and out of the baby aisles, a small smile on my face, and pray.
Come soon, I would whisper. Come soon.
I'm not sure what propelled me to walk the long way around Target, maybe just habit or the internal chaos I could feel reaching fever pitch. There were a lot of families there. As soon as I walked in, two men approached the customer service desk and asked if they had flowers.
"You know, for Mother's Day."
I swallowed and kept my eyes focused. I walked around, noticing the clothes and the shoes and the fabric. One foot in front of the other, snippets of conversation falling around me.
And then I saw them. Crib sheets.
I wasn't even looking. They were an end cap by the carseats. I walked over, running my fingers over the fabric. The loss in my gut was palpable. I blinked and drew my hand back, as if the sheets themselves were on fire. I wouldn't cry there. I wouldn't be that person.
I got my vitamins. I checked out. I walked to the Subaru.
And I didn't cry until I pulled into our apartment.
his is not what my life is supposed to look like right now, this isn't right. I wiped my tears and walked up the stairs to our apartment. The anger felt real — tangible. I could hear the niceties — the when the time is right it will happen and there's a season for everything and everything else everyone always says when they don't know what to say to someone who's waited for so long.
But really, I just wanted silence. How can you tell others that when they notice the pain it makes it more prevalent for you? How can you also say that when nothing is mentioned there's a gaping hole begging for acknowledgment?
No one wins, here.
In the beginning, I feared the heartache. Now we know each other intimately.
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