Sunday, June 7, 2015

Loss + Grief = Clarity

The last few months of 2001 were pretty life-changing for me. We all know what happened on September 11th.  Terrorists took over those four planes, and three of them slammed into buildings. The twin towers blew up and fell down and disappeared from the city skyline. Sitting here writing that 14 years later, it sounds like some kind of violent video game. I can so vividly remember the utter unreality of that day.  
Less than a month later, I was faced with a different kind of shock.  My mom died suddenly. It's a long story, and perhaps material for another blog, but suffice to say, my mom and I did not have a typical mother-daughter relationship. She had health issues for my whole life and we certainly had more downs than ups. That said, losing her, like watching those towers crumble, was sad and sudden and unreal. And one thing that made me particularly sad was that my mom would never meet the child that I and she had been praying so hard I would conceive.

She died on October 2, about a week after I had undergone my last fertility-related procedure. Some time soon after that -- I can't pinpoint a date -- I finally decided I had had enough.  My husband and I had been riding the infertility roller coaster for five years.  Yes, we wanted a biological child.  Yes, I wanted to experience pregnancy. But in hindsight, and in thinking about those last few months of 2001, I think maybe those two earth-shattering events (in my little patch of the earth, anyway) had knocked some sense into me.  I had seen two towering, seemingly indestructible skyscrapers literally disintegrate within two hours on a bright sunny day.  I watched my mother die a few weeks later with no warning, leaving me feeling so many different things, but above all, lost. I was face-to-face with two fundamental sobering realities:  Life is short and it can change in the blink of an eye. I knew this already, but now the point had been driven home, with my infertility struggle along for the ride, occasionally even driving the car.  
I had finally realized that I wanted control back, and I just wanted to be a mom already. I wanted that more than I wanted to be pregnant.  And I wanted that more than I wanted to see if a child of mine would get my nose or my husband's eyes.  We started the adoption process soon after this "a ha moment" of mine, and the rest is history, as they say.  "When God closes a door, he opens another,” my mom liked to say.  My daughter is now 11. She will never meet her grandmother and she'll never see the World Trade Center, but I like to think the loss of each of them played a pretty big part in Our Story.  

Written by Aileen
Adoptive mom
Adoption Support Group Leader
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