20 Reasons To Not Ask Childless People About Adoption

#worldchildlessweek2021

Not even two months after my final failed fertility treatment, I had entered the adoption option’s funnel cloud.  As harsh realities and impossibilities swirled from every direction on this front, I was also sharing myself with people as I tried to make my way out into the world again.  I’ve noticed since this is something that other grieving people commonly and spontaneously tend to do.

After conveying some grief over my unfruitful attempts at trying to conceive I was told by an acquaintance I thought well of, “Well, you can ALWAYS foster or adopt…..”.  Given that this was someone with a few healthy biological children of her own, I was thrown by her unyielding certitude.

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Exploring the “It Can’t Happen to Me” Mentality…

And what precious little separates us

The day after the fierce flooding caused by Hurricane Ida here in the northeast United States, I had just so happened to have a consultation scheduled with a solar company.  A sobering, “too little too late” synchronicity?  Perhaps.  But given the years – long absence of it in my trying to conceive and healing processes, I now revel in any remnant of synchronicity that comes my way!

As I took the virtual call, I was fumbling through assimilating the events that had occurred a mere thirty miles from my home while feeling mildly comforted in taking a step that would perhaps contribute a drop to leveling off the climate crisis.

Towards the end of the call I inquired about the benefit to the environment.

“You care?” The representative said in a facetiously caught off guard tone.

“It’s a quaint notion, but yeah, every now and then…” I shot back sarcastically.

As he went on to connect the dots between solar power and burning less fossil fuel, he also shared that almost no one ever asks about the environmental benefit when looking into going solar.

“Well, that’s strange,” I thought.  I mean, of course people want to know the ways in which THEY will benefit, as did I.  It’s only human.  And, if infertility and childlessness have enlightened me to anything, it’s the human tendency to be disinterested in other people’s suffering.  But what about one’s own potential suffering due to the climate crisis?  Why would that not be of any concern?

And then I remembered – there’s also the human tendency to fail to see how easily other people’s suffering could (or could have) become their own.  Or as I inwardly have been referring to it, the “It Can’t Happen To Me” mentality.  

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All That Comes Back

At the onset of my nervous system disorder four plus years ago, I became intimately connected with the spring phase of my gardens.  It somehow served me to meander around and stick my face inches from the earth, securing ring side seats to nature’s first pokes back from dormancy.  For the fifteen or twenty minutes that I could anyway.  Dizziness, lightheadedness and light overwhelm would drag me back inside all too soon – where I would then be overwhelmed by the darker setting to which my body could barely readjust.  

What I remember though was the awe at this phase of unfolding.  Never again was I going to miss it, to dismiss it as subtle or to only turn my attention to plants once they became more “obvious”.  I recall last early spring stumbling upon something I had forgotten I planted stridently spearing itself through the earth.  “You came back!!” I literally gasped in wonder.  It hadn’t owed me that, or anything else.  But yet there it was.  

early rumblings of white sage

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Integration

On questioning ritual and getting different

Around four years ago, in the fourth year coming out of treatments, I found myself in a vehement phase of mourning.  The pull towards expressing my love and losses through gardening continued to grow more fervent.  It was then I created our candle and flower ritual to mark the conclusion of our final failed attempt – and to chauffeur me through winter in the absence of gardening.  I was pulsing on a regular basis with the need for physical symbols that could mark, prove and memorialize.   Read more

BOUNDARIES

Drawing lines in the conversation amid social invisibility

A couple of months ago I took myself to the dentist.  Fitting in a tooth cleaning while the Covid infection rates remained low, I found myself in what felt like a surprisingly normal conversation.

In an innocent exchange of “work and business during Covid” stories, I shared a slice of how things were going in restaurant world.  And the hygienist shared how thankful she was to get back to work in July.  Staying at home with her toddler had not been good for her mental health. Read more

PHASES

SpaceX-Imagry, Pixaby

The psychological trajectory of non parenthood is not a flatline

Over the past year plus now, I’ve been on an expedition with my body.  I enlisted in physical therapy due to a shoulder injury, which then spanned, at my urging, to a fuller body physical therapy program to address scoliosis.  Between that and osteopathic manipulation therapy sessions, I notice slow but steady improvements.  It’s hard, consistent work.  And even though my present musculoskeletal issues would likely qualify as minor, I’m choosing for now to keep trekking.  

Characteristics that shaped my infertility experiences have resurfaced and this puts me on alert.  My persistence, ability to commit, need to see what’s under every rock and general fire – the very things that screwed me in baby making land – have re-emerged within this plight.  A scoliosis body carries with it a whiff of mystery, it’s conceptually akin to a Rubik’s cube that never quite gets solved.  I remind myself that I am now also equipped with a much softened expectation of cause and effect, an awareness of persistence’s dark side and an honorary PhD in that which we don’t control.  With all that, I think I’m ok to keep going. 

I’ve gotten the idea along the way that I’m not your average patient.  Much of this is due to my alignment based yoga practice and training, and the heightened body awareness that renders.  But underneath the surface I feel there’s something else. Read more

Social Isolation on Mother’s Day Not a Novel Concept For Many

And other pandemic deja vus

Well folks, here we are.  In a worldwide crisis with no known ending.  A crisis that entails a major loss of control, an utter disruption of our normals and a smashed view of the future.  We are dealing with a disease that was initially not taken too seriously, a condition whose effect on individuals is intensely swerving and has the capacity to leave major wreckage in its wake.  And all in a situation where social isolation remains one of the few ways to lessen bad outcomes, where much time and energy is expended re-learning daily life basics. 

We’re fumbling our way through a global pandemic.  And for me and many like me, it all feels so familiar.   Read more