What is This Blog About?

So I'm not Carrie Bradshaw: I don't buy clothes I can't afford, I'm not super skinny and you can usually find me shopping at your local Kohl's (tragic). I am, however, full of opinions about life, love and mindless pop culture. This is a blog by a woman for women and those who love them everywhere.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Why Your Opinion of My Employment Doesn't Matter (sorry)

Here's a blog about a topic that has been beaten to death, but hell- let's beat it some more! I didn't mean for that to sound perverse...I promise.

The Mommy wars are so real. No one is harsher on women than..other women. What? I feel like I've felt this before. In my life I've struggled to find and keep girlfriends because the culture that develops amongst lady friends can be so toxic. Jealous, envy, score cards and gossip make it so too often, we can't support each other or be happy for one another. And let's not even talk about girls who make finding a dude the center of their lives, so much so that they're not able to hold any kind of intelligent conversation. Le sigh- I digress.


As if it's not awkward explaining to people that I will be an adoptive mother and encountering lots of appropriate and/or inappropriate questions that follow ("WHAT IF THEY TAKE THE KID BACK?"), I now get a string of questions that sound something like this.

"Are you going to work?"
"You know, it's really better if you stay home. Have you talked to your husband about it?"
"How does your husband feel about you working?"
"If you cut costs, you could survive on just your husband's income."
"Mothers today- if they were less selfish- they could stay home and do the most important job ever: raising their children."
"I have a college degree but I've always known I was going to stay home. It's the best choice."

Maybe you've heard some of these too. Maybe you haven't. I don't really care, because I do notice that my husband NEVER GETS THESE QUESTIONS.

In preparation for this blog, I consulted the very wise opinions of many moms, working and not. What struck me the most was their bravery and honesty. Acknowledging it was a difficult topic, many had one thing in common: guilt. Guilt over not working, guilt over working, guilt over working but not working enough, guilt for liking their jobs, guilt for not liking their jobs...it seems as the one thing we have in abundance in the Mommy hood is guilt. And interestingly enough, I never hear the same level of guilt from men.

I'm not even going to broach the gender roles here or say that being a father is same as being a mother- it's not. In many cases, women are the ones that give birth (literally) to the children. There is a physical aspect in traditional parenting that distinguishes men from women- not gonna deny that.

But what about those of us who are not physically birthing children? Why, in so many ways, are we left out of every conversation entirely? Why is it assumed that the same paradigms apply to us?

So, now, let me answer some of the questions that have been asked or not asked- and explain to you clearly why, even though I love you and you're really special, I don't care about your opinion of my employment and mom status.

1. SPOILER ALERT: I am not physically birthing my children. I will want, ache and cry for them as many of you preggos do, but my babies will not be coming out of my vagina. That does not make them less mine or make my journey "easier"- I will have different struggles that you won't even begin to conceptualize. But my body won't need time to heal. Now, my brain and my sleep schedule...that's another story. But suppose I adopt a 2 year old? That is not a newborn. The needs of my family might be drastically different from yours. I am also not breastfeeding- that is not an option for me, so keep lecturing me about it and watch my eyes glaze over.

2. I have a great job- no lie. I have a job that I love and I make enough money now that if I quit...it will take me years to get back to that level of income. More important than income, I have respect. I have a position where I can make my own schedule and my own choices about how to spend my time. This doesn't mean I slack off all day, but it does mean that if I need to re-arrange things in my schedule to make a parent-teacher conference, I can. If I need to go to a doctor's appointment, I can. Why would I give that up when I know this kind of job will be the exact one I need to make my family work?

3. My husband works in sales and is in the process of transitioning to a new career. This means his pay fluctuates wildly. My salary is the "stable" one, and as such, we need my salary as a stabilizing force for our family and for budget planning purposes.

4. The latest research points out that working moms are less depressed than stay at home moms. I know I can find studies that say the opposite, but in my very non-scientific studies of my friends and family, I find many working moms who take pride in both their jobs and their roles as mothers- they're not mutually exclusive. For women who love and find fulfillment in their jobs, motherhood doesn't have to mean ending working.

5. All working moms are subpar? Not so. I know crappy moms of all persuasions: working, non-working, somewhere in between. There are many ways to screw up your kids. Working in and of itself does not have to be the ultimate screw-up for your children. I'm not naive enough to think it's going to be easy and I'll have it all perfectly balanced- I won't. Hell, I may regret everything I ever write in this blog entry and have to write a new one about how I was wrong. But right now- this is how I feel.

6. I want my children to understand that it's important to work, to make your own money and be self-reliant. This is one of the most important lessons I ever learned: if you work, you eat. This might seem harsh to some, but it's important to me. I want my children to see that Mommy has a very important career in her own right: that I go to work everyday to improve the lives of children in our community. I want my children to be proud that I have a degree, a Master's and a senior level leadership role. They may not be proud of this as children, but this is something they'll look back on and remember the example I set for them.

7. My husband supports any decision I make regarding this topic, but he's proud of my success and proud of what I bring to our family. He does not feel threatened by me working or advancing my career. He's grateful for the financial peace and stability it brings. He also admires my passion and conviction around the work I do.

8. You stayed home to raise your kids? That's great. I support your choice. Please support mine. Understand that no two mothers have an identical set of circumstances and that each of us make the best choices we can with the circumstances we have. Don't feel sorry for me- I feel content. My life is a little nutty, messy and not perfect, but I'm content that it's moving in the right direction. Please don't feel the need to poo poo all over my choices because they're different from yours. And when I want your opinion, I'll ask for it.




Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Starting the Adoption Journey....


Dear Friends and Family,

We hope the holiday season was phenomenal for all of you! It was quite uneventful around our house with three dogs and a lot of free time.
As our nearest and dearest, it’s important that we share in this journey. 

For the past few months we have been trying to have a baby. Given Tricia’s health history it was important that we do this with the assistance of Tricia’s doctors. Through the process doctors found that Tricia has a genetic mutation that makes carrying a child to full term incredibly dangerous and nearly impossible. Though Tricia has been eating healthy, lost 54 pounds and following doctor’s orders to a T, the condition has not improved. Her doctors stated that she only has a 10-15% chance of carrying a healthy child to full term, and given her genetic mutation, it is incredibly dangerous to both her and the child. There is a heightened risk of blood clotting, preeclampsia and the worst case scenario: loosing Tricia and the baby. It was recommended by her doctors that she not pursue getting pregnant anymore, and that she is not an optimum candidate for fertility treatments or in-vitro fertilization.  This condition has little effect on Tricia’s day to day health, but it has greatly affected her reproductive system and her ability to carry children.

This was a heartbreaking process for us, and we were devastated. Through a lot of prayerful consideration though, we believe that we have found the best choice for our family. We strongly believe that God is calling us to expand our family through adoption, and it is with great excitement that we share with you that we are beginning 2013 on the path to pursuing expanding our family through adoption.

We know that you are probably feeling a range of emotions: sadness, confusion and excitement. Believe us when we say we understand! We want to try to answer some of the questions you may be having while acknowledging that we don’t have all the answers yet.

But what about fertility treatments? I know a lot of people have gotten pregnant through those.
Absolutely. Given Tricia’s unique health condition however, she is not an optimum candidate for those treatments. Doctors have recommended that we stop trying and to preserve Tricia’s health, we are honoring those recommendations. If we were to pursue them against doctor’s recommendations, insurance will not help us down that road at all. For example: one in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment costs about $12,400. It generally takes two to three cycles of IVF to get a pregnancy. Given Tricia’s odds of carrying a pregnancy to full-term, this does not seem like a wise option for both health and cost reasons.

Adoption is very dangerous- can’t the mom take the child back?
Each state has unique laws concerning adoption. Texas laws state that once a parent’s rights are terminated, the parents cannot come back for the child. You can go here to find out more about adoption laws: http://www.iaatp.com/docs/faqs-tx.pdf

What type of adoption are you seeking?
We’re not sure. We’re still in the process of discerning what kind of adoption is best for our family. We’re open to pretty much any adoption right now- we’re in the process of learning more about the different types of adoptions. A lot of this will be contingent upon the agency we are accepted to.

What’s the process? How long does it take?
While each adoption is different, here’s the basic outline of the process:
1.       We apply with an adoption agency to facilitate the adoption
2.       Adoption agency accepts us and agrees to work with us- we pay them their fee
3.       We embark on a home study where a social worker spends several days with us interviewing us and understanding how we work as a couple, what our history is, why we want to adopt, etc.
4.       Home study is favorable and we are put in the queue to wait for a child
5.       Pay more adoption fees
6.       Child is referred to us
7.       Hire attorney and pay legal fees
8.       Go through legal process with attorneys to legally adopt child
9.       Baby Noyola is ours!
On average, infant adoption takes 18 months to 24 months. Adoption wait times are considerably less for older children or special needs children. We are not sure which route we’ll take..

Isn’t adoption expensive?
Yes! The average adoption costs about $30,000. Adoption through foster care is considerably less expensive, but the likelihood of adopting an infant through that program is slim to none. We have to do a lot of prayerful consideration about what is best for our family. Given that CJ and I have quite a few school loans, we are committed to doing the adoption debt free- we cannot start our new family with even more debt.

Why don’t you guys just focus on buying a home first?
See above. J  We want to adopt a child before we go into any more debt (i.e. purchasing a home). The more debt we take on, the less favorable we look to adoption agencies. This may seem out of order to some, but we hope you’ll respect our decision. This is a process that will already take too long and we don’t want to delay starting it any longer.

Maybe by starting the adoption process you’ll get pregnant! I heard that happens a lot.
Given the advice from Tricia’s doctors, we are not pursuing getting pregnant anymore. Even if Tricia does get pregnant, there is a 90% chance that she will miscarry the baby with potential grave consequences to her health. We want to be a happy healthy family together, and any plan that includes putting Tricia is severe danger is not a good one.

What can we do right now to support you?
1.       Right now we could use a lot of kind words and emotional support. This is an incredibly difficult process and sometimes we are short on inspiration or happiness. Remember us during this time.
2.       Be excited for us! Adoptive parents often don’t get the same level of excitement and support because there’s no immediate promise of a baby. That excitement and celebration helps sustain us in times of sorrow and disappointment.
3.       Pray (if you are so inclined to do so)- pray specifically that we will have the courage, strength and wisdom to persevere during this process. Pray for the birthmother who might be carrying our child right now. Pray for that CJ and I will be transformed into the kind of parents we’ll need to be to be worthy. Pray for our child- we know that the third Noyola is out there somewhere, we just need to find him/her. J
4.       Educate yourself and learn more about adoption- especially adoption myths. Here are some good websites. I’ve also pasted my favorite article below:


1When your loved one comes to you with the news that they are planning to adopt:


•Do not say, "Oh, don't give up trying for 'your own'" or "Don't you want to have one of 'your own' instead? Adoption is not something people enter into lightly. And prospective adoptive families already do consider this child that they do not even know as 'their own'. By saying this to an adoptive family, it insinuates that you will not be accepting their new addition as your 'own' grandchild/neice/nephew/etc. Also- many families that consider adoption have been through long periods of time dealing with infertility and adoption may be a very emotional decision. It signifies the end of one dream and the beginning of a new dream. Supporters need to be very sensitive to this and be positive!

•Share your concerns about the finances of adoption, but do it in a non-judgemental way. Yes, adoption is expensive. But you need to understand that there are grants, fundraisers, and ways to aquire the money. So instead of looking at the people who want to adopt and saying, "Oh my gosh- you are so poor, you will never be able to afford this!" say something like, "I know that this will be expensive, how can we help you plan a fundraiser?"

•Do not recall in gory detail every terrible adoption story you've ever heard. This is the equivalent of telling a pregnant woman that her baby will be born with 12 arms and she will be in labor for 3 weeks and her boobs will fall all the way down to the ground after breastfeeding. Just don't do it.

•If the family is adopting internationally, do not condescendingly talk about how there are so many kids here in America who need home. Each person needs to do what feels right for their family. Sometimes that means adopting domestically, and sometimes that means going international. Either way, a child who needs a home and a family will get one. Focus on that fact and leave your personal opinions about which you think is best to yourself. Remember- they are BOTH awesome (and BOTH necessary!)

2. Once families are in process:


•Check in with the adoptive family's (from here on out called A.F.) emotions! Adoption can be a very emotional process. There are days where you are in the dumps and days when you want to celebrate. Give the A.F. the space to talk about their feelings and their frustrations. When they call super excited and say, "I got my I-171h", pretend like you know what they are talking about and jump up and down and throw a party.

• Throw a baby shower just as if the A.F. was pregnant. Make a big stinkin' deal over the mom to be. Obviously, don't play the how big is your belly game. But do everything else the same!

•Support A.F. fundraisers. They need your help! Better yet- host a fundraising dinner, pancake breakfast, auction, raffle, etc. to help the family raise the money to bring their child home.

•If there are other children already in the A.F. offer to babysit them leading up to traveling so that mom and dad get a few last dates in before the new addition.

•If the adoption is international, educate yourself about the child's birth country.

•If the adopted child will be of a different race, educate yourself about transracial families by reading articles, books, etc. Just googling transracial families will bring up a wealth of information. Also (and no one should do this anyway!) do NOT make derogatory comments about the child's race, birth country, or culture.

•Offer to keep siblings, pets and housesit for the A.F. when they are traveling.

3. Once families are home:

•All the same rules apply as when you bring a baby home from the hospital. Bring food, offer to coordinate meals and food dropoffs for church groups. Come over and clean. Wash clothes and put away laundry. Wash dishes. Do not believe the A.F. when they say they do not need help. THEY DO!

•Respect the A.F's rules regarding holding their new addition. Many families may wish to not have any outsiders (this includes Grandma!) holding their child so that this child who has been with many caregivers can learn who mom and dad are. A.F's do not do this to hurt your feelings. They are only doing what they feel is best for their new child. Do not make them feel bad about this.

•Also- sometimes to foster attachment in our adopted kiddos, the parent's don't want to leave them with a sitter or family member for a long period of time after coming home. Understand that this is not because the family member or sitter is not trusted or loved. It is just to help give the new child the right sense of family and permanance.

•Offer to run the carpool, run errands, cut the grass, babysit the siblings, pick up items at the grocery. New moms are notoriously sleep deprived- even if this is the 10th child they've adopted. Drop over a huge cup of Starbucks. Say hello at the door with said cup of coffee and leave.

•Give gift cards for takeout and pizza- so that long after the food welcome wagon has stopped coming, the family can still eat without having to cook! Seriously- who wants to cook when you've been up all night with a crying baby?

•Even though the A.F. did not give birth, families who are bringing home new children will be exhausted from long nights in the hospital (domestic adoption), long flights or a week or two in a foreign land with a new child who has most likely been screaming non-stop or acting out because the child has no idea what is happening to them. Give the A.F. the forum to share how ragged they are. Do not judge them. Every single part is not going to be perfect. Let them get how hard it all is off their chest without feeling guilty about it.

•Watch for 
post adoption depression. It is a real thing. Just because a woman isn't flooded with pregnancy hormones, doesn't mean that she can't develop depression. There is a lot of leadup going into an adoption and sometimes the reality is tough and can lead to lots of emotional ugliness. Be supportive.

•Do not expect adoptive parents to be "super parents". I find that there is a huge stigma that adoptive families should have it all together because they "paid a lot" for their children. All families are on a learning curve- no matter how they got their children. Do not be quick to dispense advice if you've never adopted a child (because parenting an adopted child in the early days is a lot different than a biological child), but be quick to say, "How can I help?"- Then be willing to actually help!

•Most of all, share in the joy that comes with bringing a new child into the family!


CJ and I love each and every one of you so much, and we look forward to sharing in both the trials and the joy of this process. Tricia will be starting an adoption blog soon specifically for family and friends so that all of you can be on this journey with us no matter where you are. Be on the look out for that!



Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Fine Art of Forgiveness

Happy holidays, readers! I am trying to revive the Twelve Days of Christmas routine because I get super depressed that all this preparation is for ONE DAY. Let's see if I can stretch this mother out- holidaze until we puke!

Full disclosure: I am not a therapist or a doctor. I am simply one crazy chica sharing my life lessons. Take everything I say with a grain of salt and a shot of tequila.

Today I want to take a few minutes to address the topic of forgiveness. This is something I personally struggle with on a variety of levels, and especially given my spiritual incognito right now (not sure what I believe or if I even believe in God at all), it's tough for me to feel really grounded in any kind of doctrine where this is concerned. Being an open proponent of therapy, I have spoke a lot with my therapist about the act of forgiveness- when it's right, when it's warranted and how to do it without feeling like a chump.

See for me- and I don't know if anyone else feels this way- forgiveness feels very bad and foreign. It almost feels as if I'm opening up my arms and saying "EFF ME OVER ANYTIME YOU WANT!". I feel vulnerable to the point of being sick, and it feels as if I'm giving others permission to run right over me. Boundaries have never been my strong suit, and I vacillate between several extremes: giving no boundaries to anyone and having them run right over me again and again, or putting up way too many boundaries so that I don't let others completely in- creating just enough space for me to throw them away when they disappoint me.

What they never tell you in the Adult 101 class is that people mess up- big time. Especially being married, your spouse will piss you off on levels you never even thought conceivable. They will hurt you in ways you didn't know existed because you are most vulnerable with them. And it's not limited to spouses- I've been hurt by friends and family so monumentally in my adult life that it has sometimes knocked me so hard on my ass it's hard for me to even wake up the next morning. My gut reaction is to yell "ENOUGH!", scream and break things, and then run out. Though this feels incredibly gratifying in the moment, I'm left with the wreckage of what I've done. Yeah, this person has pissed me off and betrayed me, but now I've wrecked any hope of reconciliation with my all consuming anger.

Betrayal sucks...especially when it's among balloons and a bad Valentine's Day date. 


Spoiler alert: I have anger issues. Now you know.

The strong message in society today seems to be to dump people, friends, family, etc. when they disappoint you. We're always looking for the bigger better deal, and this is nowhere more true than in our personal lives. So how do you know when to forgive, how to do it and when to throw in the towel?

Important: These steps do not apply to people in repeatedly physically abusive relationships with abusers who have no intention of stopping. Please, if you find yourself in one of these- get. out. now. The following do not apply to you.

1. Give yourself space to feel the anger, but don't make the other person your dumping ground- Yes, you are angry as hell and you're not going to take it! You need to vent, cry, scream, etc. The person with whom you are upset with is the not the optimum partner to do so. Find a therapist, a pet or a trusted plant and let 'er rip. Recognize this for what it is: extreme pain. Though your pain feels real, many of the emotions you're feeling are immediate reactions to this betrayal. It's common to draw absolutist conclusions (This person is NEVER GOOD FOR ME! EVER!) that aren't quite true. That's why it's important you don't verbalize all of them to the person you're upset at.

This feels good!

2. Do an honest evaluation of the relationship- If this is a friendship, think of the relationship you had before the betrayal. Was it mostly good? Don't let the betrayal color ever other aspect of the relationship. While the betrayal sucks hard, it might not be indicative of the rest of the relationship. This gets trickier with marriage and romantic relationships where the stakes might be much higher. Why did you begin your marriage or partnership with this person? Are those reasons still at least mostly true today? Is there anything in this relationship that makes it worth salvaging?

3. Come to the table and practice the art of emotional negotiation- It's important you are not in the space where you want to attack the other person. Clearly spell out what happened and why it hurt you, but assure them that you know that they are still a good person at heart. You need to spell out what exactly you need and why you need it. And this has to be something you can do together. You cannot simply tell the other person "I need you to fix yourself immediately or I'm leaving". You will both have to work together to build back the trust, but the betrayer must be willing to put in the extra effort to earn the culpability and trust back that they lost. This is not a punishment though- this has to be a rebuilding process that both of you commit to doing together. For example: if your best friend was talking behind your back, then she needs to show you that she can be trustworthy by being openly frank and honest with you on a regular basis. She cannot expect to have all the trust back immediately.

4. Evaluate and gauge whether each of you is willing to do the work- If you're married and you've committed to going to therapy, then you have to see whether or not the other person will actually follow through on therapy. Whatever the clear steps you've laid out, you have to give a window of time to let each of you actually see if you're willing to follow through on the steps. And remember: where there is dysfunction in a relationship, both people have contributed to it, even if it feels one-sided at the moment. And for those who are betrayers: don't expect the betrayed party to tell you what you should be doing each and every moment. You need to be willing to do a lot of work on yourself independently without prompting.

5. Do frequent status checks- Make sure you're taking the time each week to talk about how you both are feeling and doing with the progress that's been made- and what each of you need. Remember that things should be getting progressively better, but there will be set backs. You have to take time at regular intervals to talk to each other frankly about how you're doing and whether or not things are getting better.

6. Keep hope alive- MANY relationships bound back from betrayals and disappointments stronger than ever. There's no reason why yours can't if BOTH of you are willing to do what it takes to get it there.

This is NOT like the movies where Big betrays Carrie repeatedly and somehow, without the aide of therapy or serious soul searching, they are able to magically "make it work". This is not even like how Miranda tries to eff up Big and Carrie's marriage and their friendship resumes perfectly with a sandwich and a walk in the park.

YOU CANNOT CONVINCE SOMEONE TO LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO WANT TO WORK AT IT. Sorry, you just can't. No amount of threatening, weeping or gnashing will convince someone to want to do the work it requires to restore a relationship with you. You cannot want it bad enough for the two of you- both people have to want it.

I look back on my life and I realize there are instances in which I was quick to forgive with no substance or reason to- and then there are times when I wish I would have had a forgiving heart more than I did. I mean really- sometimes when things have gotten so bad- how much would it really cost you to try to extend some forgiveness and repair the relationship? I want to walk forwards and practice more forgiveness, because I'm fairly certain at the end of my life I won't wish that I had held more grudges- I will probably wish that I had gotten over them more quickly.

And when you feel like having a calorie fest and giving up- listen to this song because I like it. If you prefer Don Henley's version, go on with your bad self.



Talk Back: What tips do you have for practicing the fine art of forgiveness? 


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thank You

I make this short post in gratitude. I had no idea how my post on infertility and pregnancy loss would go over, and I have been so warmed by all of the emails and messages of kinship and hope I've received from all over the world. I actually wasn't expecting it at all. As a blogger/writer, you never know what will hit a nerve, and it's clear to me that this did for many reasons. It is my greatest hope that we can all start an open conversation around infertility and pregnancy loss that is currently very hidden and shrouded. If you're living this space with me right now, I hope you felt for a moment that you are not alone.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Waiting



This seems like a perfect time to revitalize the blog, eh?
I have struggled to write this a million times- thus my absence on my own damn blog.

I struggled to conceptualize what putting this into words would mean for myself, for my family and for those that care about me. I’ve been pretty open about sharing my life and I know I have tremendously benefitted from those that have been brave enough to put their stories out for the world to see. People talk a lot of trash about people who share too much on the internet, but there is a redemptive healing property of open honesty that lets those of us who might be struggling feel commonality and community with others in a way that didn’t exist before. So if you don’t like oversharing, then you should stop reading right now and go away (and why do you read this blog?).

Charlotte- the chicest character that's ever struggled with infertility. Or, as she lovingly put it, "We're reproductively challenged!". 
Nothing stops a conversation quite like infertility. It's like the lamest, unsexiest disease ever. I'm not going to bore you with all of my health shiz I'm honestly tired of talking about it, and I'm not super sure I'm ready to make this a "Tricia tries to have a baby!" blog. I'm not ready to go there.

Motherhood had always been a dicey proposition for me- I have never been completely certain that I am ready or willing to do what it takes to be the kind of mother I aspire to be. And to be honest- I still have my moments. However, the overwhelming deep desire within me is growing every day. Yet, the possibility that this will happen for me seems further away the more I am poked, prodded and tested.
I am not looking for anyone to tell me “Oh, you could totally get pregnant!” because you’re right- I could. But right now, where I am sitting, I have to accept the very real possibility that it might not happen due to medical circumstances completely beyond the realm of my control. In summation- infertility sucks.

This is pretty much the response I get from my doctor. Yay modern medical advances!


It's kind of sadly hilarious, really. You spend so much time trying not to get pregnant that you never begin to think about what might happen if one day- you just can't. 

I don’t know what will happen- or if I will ever get the opportunity. I typically hate folksy sort of rock songs, but I have been listening to this song on repeat- particularly since I’ve been processing the various pieces of news I’ve received. Don't worry, I'm not getting totally artsy fartsy on you- I just really dig this song and the lyrics.  Kind of speaks to me at the moment.

But I'll kneel down - wait for now
 And I'll kneel down-  know my ground

And I will wait,
 I will wait for you”


Give it a listen- particularly if you're waiting for something too.

All right, now put down the damn banjo because really that's only cool if you're in Mumford and Sons. 

So I have chosen a strange tactic to process my emotions and share my feelings. It’s a weird way to commemorate the strong feelings of love that we have in this moment- that no matter how our family ends up, we want the universe to know that we were filled with love, desire and intention.
So I wrote our potentially non-existent child a letter. Forgive the weirdness, but it’s helped me.

Maybe it might help you too.

I am going to save this letter for when (and if) that child has been a real a-hole- which, let's be honest: if it's mine and CJ's child, will probably be a lot. Or maybe I'll just keep it hidden until they're an adult and contemplating parenthood.

 **************************************************************

Dear Honey Boo Boo Child of Mine-
I write this to you right now feeling a million zillion miles away from where you are. I want to capture in this moment how I’m feeling and the story- the story of your dad and I, the story of me, and the story of how you came to be in this world. 

The tricky thing is I don’t have a lot of specifics at the moment. This is because the path to becoming your mom hasn’t been easy. That’s something your mom is used to though- I like a challenge. This is a challenge though unlike anything I’ve ever experienced because I don’t always see a clear course of action or path to finally becoming your mom. I’m struggling right now to have faith that it will happen, but I hope it will. 

Your dad and I love each other so much. I know that will gross you out and cause you to cringe and lament to your friends. We don’t care because our love will bring you here. Your dad says he loved me from the moment he met me. For your mom...it took a little more time. We got married without having much of a plan except loving each other and working through whatever life has thrown at us. And goodness, has it thrown some things. The thing is your dad has never, not even for one second, stopped loving me.  Your dad’s love has healed me in so many ways and has taught me that unconditional love exists. He really ticks me off sometimes, but that love has not diminished. That love led us to our first pregnancy.  I will spare you the specifics of how that happens, given that will gross you out even more at the moment. 

Your dad and I were shocked at first. It’s always shocking to learn you’re going to be a parent, no matter how prepared you are. That shock gave way to incredible joy, love and euphoria. Your dad and I knew, in that instant, that this is what we were born to do: to make a family together. Did we know that much about pregnancy? Er, no! But we were excited to learn. We hilariously learned about baby stuff, about pregnancy and felt incredible happiness and joy over what was to come. 

In a moment- in an instant- it was over. That dream was violently ripped from my body. Your dad and I were crushed. Our dreams of becoming parents were taken from us without so much as a warning or a care. I won’t belabor the sadness we felt or the cloud of absolute grief we lived in, but suffice to say- it was horrible. And we questioned whether or not it was meant to be. Perhaps this had all been a sick joke meant to test our resolve.

Believe it or not, in that moment, losing that dream showed us how much we really wanted it. In that precious moment, it was confirmed for us that we wanted to have a family. 

And so began a long and complicated path. 

Today I sit here not knowing how you will come here. Your mom’s body isn’t the most awesome at getting pregnant or having babies. In fact, they’ve told me that it’s pretty dangerous and probably won’t happen. Your dad and I are looking for lots of different options. They cost a lot of money and are pretty time intensive. We don’t know what is right for us. Some nights we feel more hopeless than ever. 

I want you to know, right now, how wanted you are. We don’t know you yet we love you with every inch and fiber of our being. There is not a day that goes by that we are not working towards the day which we can be a family with you. We don’t know how you will get here and we don’t care, because through whatever means you come, you will be ours. Know that you are desperately loved and cared for, and we are waiting and preparing a home for you. Trust me- it’s not going to be a mansion. We don’t even have a private jet. We’re still mastering the whole “keep the house clean” routine. In all actuality, we are still learning how to be fully grown ass adults ourselves (yes, your mother cusses: get over it). We don’ t have all our ducks in a row just yet.

But what we do have is a loving, deep desire to be your parents- as much as it might annoy you sometimes.

So know that your parents are total weirdos, that your mom is a little controlling, that we watch a little too much TV, that we are pretty loud, that your dad is still kind of a giant kid and that your mom sometimes works too much.

But know this above all else-
You were wanted.
Always.