Friday, July 11, 2008

Much Better

Thanks to the support of everyone who loves us, including my delurking readers that completely shocked me (I thought only Deanna and Amy and Cat and sometimes Jen were reading!), J and I are doing so much better. We had a conversation yesterday and made a conscious decision to let ourselves heal and move on and not feel guilty. We were feeling guilty about healing because it felt like it minimized the pain we felt Monday-Wednesday and the joy we felt before that. We did yoga together on Wednesday in an attempt to destress (we like Steve Ross on Inhale) and at the end of the hour, he was talking about the Buddhist philosophy that attachment brings suffering. While we aren't Buddhists, far from it, it made sense to us and we realized that our suffering early this week came from our attachment to Clio and to being parents, but that at a certain point the attachment is to the suffering itself, not just to Clio. I don't know if that makes sense outside my own brain right now, but it's helping us move on.

One big thing that is helping me right now is that I met with the principals of the school I have taught at for the past 3 years and there is a job opening that I'm taking, so I'm very relieved to be going back the faculty, students, culture and even the buildings that I know and love. I'll get my classroom back, and my advisory (like a homeroom). I used to teach sophomore World Literature and senior literature electives, but the new position will be all English I for freshmen because they already hired someone for my old job. The benefit of the new job will be only one class to prep for, instead of 3 (I had regular and accelerated sophomores and a different senior elective each semester). So, I'll be teaching five sections of freshmen each day, which will be a bit repetitive, but require less time to plan. I think freshmen will be easier to teach than sophomores, but their parents will definitely be more challenging! Yikes. Hopefully, this new job will just be one year and then I'll be home with a baby. Josh and I are tentatively considering that if another adoption match doesn't happen in the next year, we'll do IVF next summer. Those plans might change, but the plan feels good right now. We'll be saving the majority of my paycheck each month of this year and putting it away to pay for adoption/IVF. After all, we were prepared to budget without my salary and with a new baby, so it shouldn't be too hard to do. We'll just pay for my gas to commute and my professional clothes, etc., out of my salary.

Another exciting development is that a vacation is in the works. We were planning to visit Montreal this summer for our 10th wedding anniversary, but cancelled the trip in March when we matched with Clio. Now we are working on setting up a trip to Mexico to stay in a hacienda in a mission town and tour Aztec and Mayan ruins. We're very excited about it, although J is bemoaning his expired passport and need to pay $250 to get expedited processing in order to have it for next Friday. I'm not thrilled that we'll be flying on our anniversary, I'd rather be there by then, but it will be so nice to get out of this house for a bit and forget about the baby paraphernalia lurking behind the nursery door.

In other news, I met with our social worker yesterday and got her to fess up that she found out what M & T renamed Clio. I don't know why J and I are so obsessed with that, but we are. Drumroll, please. Teresa Lynn. The Teresa is after (you guessed it!) T's mother, the benefactress who "bought" the baby. Lynn is M's middle name, too. Our social worker said that M was attached to "Lucy" and wanted to keep it (heck, they put it on her birth certificate right after she was born because they knew that's the name we'd picked!) but T talked her out of it because it would be too weird. Darn right it would! That's something J and I are still steamed about, that we like the name Lucy so much and now it's ruined and can't be used for a future baby. Actually, I think knowing the new name makes it easier for me to accept the reality that Clio is not ours and won't be ours. J and I are straddling the line between the anger and acceptance phases of grief right now, because anger still feels really good sometimes.

In "Karen is a criminal" news, I flirted briefly with the idea of reselling the medication I'd purchased and not used for my breastfeeding preparations. However, in the end I decided that it wasn't worth the risk of putting medication into the US Mail with my return address on it because getting some money back isn't worth a criminal record. There are so many aspects of this process that have been wasteful of our time, money and emotions that this is just a drop in the bucket. Also, I decided to resell my hospital grade pump on ebay to recoup that money, but found that pumps with warranties were selling for more money than those without. So, I contacted Medela to check on my warranty and they wrote back to let me know that, based on my serial #, my pump was stolen in January from a rental place! Wow. I bought it in April on ebay and so I doubt that my seller was the thief, but still. So, now I'll be sending it back to Medela and they're only offering $150 finder's fee. Better than nothing, but I'm very disappointed because I was expecting to resell and make back most of the money I paid for it.

I'm the type of person who has to have a plan at all times in order to be happy, and so now I have plans...for teaching, vacation and for becoming a mother eventually. These illusions of control over my world are very comforting.

We are still struggling to understand what we are supposed to learn from this experience, or what good might possibly come from our pain, but we are beginning to accept that we may never know the answers to those questions. One thing we do know is that we'll be much more guarded with the next birthfamily. I'm not picturing us inviting them over to dinner next time, and I'm hesitant about the idea of witnessing the birth again. Seeing Lucy born was just too beautiful; it awakened every maternal hormone in my body and bonded me to that little girl immediately. I hope the next birthfamily will understand if we are scared to go through this again. Our social worker says that because of this experience, birthparents who are secure in their choice will be drawn to us and birthparents who are unsure will run away from us as a match. Let's hope that's true.

Thanks again to everyone for your prayers and support. They have meant more to us than I can adequately express.


  1. Thanks for updating us. I totally understand your need to have a plan in order to feel in control -- I'm so glad your job fell into place so quickly. I don't quite understand-- is this the school you taught at this spring, or one you taught at a few years ago?

    I hope you're able to enjoy your anniversary.

  2. Hi Amy, sorry I didn't make my wording very clear. Yep, it's the school I just left. It's really a miracle they still had a position open in mid-July for me. Definitely a God thing.

  3. Wow, that's great that your school had a position for you! How wonderful and a load off of your mind, I'm sure. And have a great time in Mexico. You deserve a little get away. Too bad about the pump being stolen and you couldn't get your money back for it...I'm actually looking for a pump and would have bought it from you! Oh well, better to be legal. :) I think your social worker is right about your next chances for adoption. If you stick with it (and I think you will) it will happen. Still thinking of you!

  4. Oh, I hope Mexico/the passport thing works out!! That would be a great way to celebrate ten years of marriage. The ruins that I've seen we're so incredible.

    Obviously you're an awesome teacher and an incredible asset to STA. Way to go.

    We're excited to see y'all in less than a month.

  5. Whenever I think of your situation and you, (which I have been doing a lot of recently, along with praying for you), I think that something great is going to happen for you soon. I am praying that you continue to feel peace. Thanks for the update! I have checked for something new an almost embarrassing amount of times...

  6. Wow...I am enamored by your strength through all this, and so happy to read you are feeling better. I only just found your blog the other day, but have found myself thinking about your story quite a lot these past few days. You are both definitely in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you all the best as you continue to work your way through all that's happened.

    Happy early anniversary, and congratulations on booking what sounds like an awesome trip!!


  7. That's so, so great that you'll be returning to your school, a place with familiar halls, and comforting associations, along with a sense of normalcy. I'm really relieved to hear they had an opening that sounds like a great fit.

    I think I know what you mean, in your description of clinging to suffering itself. It's the times in my life when I've been unable to detach from that suffering that it has devoured me the most. I don't think you have anything to feel guilty about, by wanting to break its hold on you. It's the only way to survive pain that strong, and potentially destructive. Taking your (fabulous!) trip, getting away from things, sounds like exactly the right thing to do.


  8. So sorry, to hear the news...This is my first time reading your blog. Hubby and I are a few weeks away of being on the infamous adoption "waiting list." Your reality is my biggest fear. I have no words of comfort because I don't think any exist. Hang in there, push through and try to re-focus. I plan on keeping up with your journey. You will WIN in the end!

  9. I'm so glad that you got your job and about your trip. The way you are handling all of this is really inspiring.

    You are in my prayers.

  10. Came from another blogger - Mrs. J.

    I am so, so sorry. I cried so many tears reading of the loss of Lucy. I know there are no words, but please know that a stranger is thinking of you and crying for your loss.

    I will be thinking of you and praying for your family.

  11. "we realized that our suffering early this week came from our attachment to Clio and to being parents, but that at a certain point the attachment is to the suffering itself, not just to Clio."

    I can't even BEGIN to imagine the pain of this kind of fiasco but I still totally identify with this statement. This is a concept I've been tossing about in my head for at least 6 months and you finally distilled it into a simple sentence for me. Thank you!


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