Wednesday, October 8, 2014

At Peace Together, At Last




On Friday I said good-bye to the last of my grandparents; my Nana was age 94.

At 36 I would say I am pretty lucky. I also lost my paternal grandmother this year. Both women lived very long and full lives, but it is never easy to say good-bye. Solace comes when envisioning each of them holding hands once again with my grandfathers. At peace together, at last.

Now closes a chapter of my life that left me feeling somewhat close to my childhood. Spending time with  grandparents as an adult brings you back to your younger days in many ways. My Nana's age and wisdom always humbled me and made me feel child-like in her presence. And now that she is gone, I have moved up in the ranks. My children won't benefit from having the influence of their great grandparents. Therefore, my job became all the more important.

My Nana was one tough lady. We thought she was going to pass away over two years ago. It really looked like the end. So much so that when I found out that I had become pregnant after 9 years of trying, I felt the need to flee to her house as she lay in bed and tell her the wonderful news. Nana was  one of my greatest confidants during a very difficult time in my life; I know she cried many tears as I struggled to get pregnant and thought perhaps I would never be a mother.

Alas, she rallied and saw my beautiful baby days after she was born. She also got to witness her grow and thrive for the first 18 months of her life. I am so grateful to have had that time with her.

Now comes the task of cleaning out her house and possessions. My mother bears most of the burden of this exhausting job. It's so funny how meaningless possessions become once the house is empty of the person who once lived there. The bins of hats and gloves and cupboards of food while full, seem vacant at the same time. There really is nothing more important in life than the ones you love.

I only hope to have the priviledge of caring for my parents as they age. I know it is not an easy task by any means. But I want to have them in my life as long as possible. Watching your parent care for their elderly parents is very humbling. It really reflects how fleeting life is. I have often thought that in a blink of an eye, I will be the caregiver and my children will be there to spend the final years with their beloved grandparents soaking up the memories and reliving their childhoods.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Show Your Face

When Parenthood for Me, Inc. was founded in 2008 there were only a few other organizations that offered financial assistance for adoption or Assisted Reproductive Technology. Throughout the past six years I have seen a few come and go.

I would like to recognize s fellow non-profit named AGC Scholarships www.agcscholarships.org and its founder, Aprill Lane. Taken from their "About" page:

AGC is nonprofit group committed to providing both advocacy and scholarships for those struggling with infertility in the United States.

Help put a face to infertility and join AGC's I Am the Face #Iamtheface campaign on Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for all you do and being an ally to Parenthood for Me.

Here we are! Show your face too.

 
#Iamtheface#1in8#hopeneverfails


Monday, June 23, 2014

The First 14


We have reached 14 months already. Baby is the same age as Min when he came home from Korea. When I was waiting for him to come home, I was very sad for all that I missed in his development. And now that I have experienced that with Sammie, I wish even more that I had witnessed all the various stages of infancy with my boys. Whenever she would make a milestone, I wondered when they made the same milestone. It is difficult not knowing how and when they started teething, sleeping through the night and crawling. I will not be able to explain to them when they first said a word or took their preliminary steps. There will be many blanks I cannot fill in on their timeline of life. The baby books I provide will start at the time they came home with only a few details of their life in Korea.

There is a chance I can get in contact with their foster mothers at some point. They will be able to share with us what their first 14 and 19 months were like; I hope I can help facilitate this reunion of information for them so they know their story.

As for life with 3 children, busy does not even begin to explain my days. We got through all of the spring birthdays and are now into summertime with activities and mini-vacations.

Here in Western NY we only get about 10 weeks of warm weather, so we are going to enjoy it to the fullest.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

He Had My Heart and That Was Good Enough for Me


One Mother's Day many years ago I ended up having to do an open house. This was a difficult day for me to begin with, but having to work when feeling very sad added an extra element of despair. Other than my own mother I did not want to have to wish anyone a Happy Mother's Day or answer any questions as to whether I was a mother myself.

Turns out that due to an error in a newspaper advertisement regarding the open house date and time, I had to hold this particular listing open both Saturday and Sunday. My client at the time apologized that I had to do an open house on Mother's Day. I felt so bitter.

I kept thinking that if I was actually a mother the way I had hoped to be by then, I would have a good excuse to postpone the open or have someone cover for me. When I entered this client's home that Sunday, there were cards and flowers around the house. I felt tormented sitting in their living room stewing over all my sadness and grief. This was a very similar feeling to when I attended a baby shower or children's birthday party. At least when they were social events I could decline.

After the Sunday open was done my client wished me a happy mother's day. The words stung me like a forceful spray. My mind thought, how dare you? My heart ached for the word's to actually apply to me.

Motherhood was a club I wanted so badly to join. This feeling was not dissimilar to being in school and wishing I was good at sports or had a beautiful singing voice that would land me the lead in the school musical. Hard work would not really make me a great soccer player or give me the immense talent needed to sing those high notes; I may have been mediocre, but that was not enough.

Infertility made me feel mediocre- an underachiever of sorts. And for all the things in my life that I was able to fix with hard work and determination, I simply could not fix infertility.

The first year I celebrated Mother's Day my baby was due to arrive home from Korea any day. He was not in my arms, but he had my heart and that was good enough. However, it was not until the next year after he has been home for almost 12 months that I received the card signed by Daddy and Min.

I have celebrated 6 years of Mother's Days. As we begin to see the commercials on TV and ads on social media leading up to this season, I am reminded of my longing to be a mother. And I think of all the men and women whose sadness is deepened as they have nothing to celebrate and no title to bear. Or those who are missing their babies that never had a chance to live.

Monday, April 21, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week


It is the time of year to spread awareness and help educate on Infertility.
 
Visit Resolve.org for more information on support and education. 
 
 
While there has been some progress made in bringing the topic of Infertility into the mainstream, there still remains a long road to hoe. Starting with what to say and NOT to say to those struggling to have a family is a good step. Rewording questions or comments or omitting them altogether can ease the burden and pain felt by infertiles.
 
Resolve's article, "25 Things To Say (and Not To Say) To Someone Living With Infertility" is a great link to forward on to friends and family.
 
1.Let them know that you care.
The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care.
 
As with any difficult situation in life, it can mean the world just knowing that someone is thinking of you and cares about you. They may not be able to fix it, but they can at least offer support and compassion. This can ease even the most unbearable circumstances.
 
Surround yourself with people who offer positive support and refrain from judgment. Your pain should never be dismissed due to a lack of understanding. The grief of infertility is very real and very debilitating. You deserve to have your feelings recognized.
 
You will never get over your infertility experience, but with time, you will work your way through it. The answers will come, but it is the waiting that proves most difficult.
 
 
 


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