Four years ago, I wrote an entry about my friend, Dianne. She was the first person, outside of my previous spouse, that I confided in about IF. I had been suffering in silence for about a year when she opened up and shared her story, and it allowed me to tell the beginning of mine. She also guided me to where I could seek support from a community online, which I am forever grateful.
At the time of when I wrote the first post, my intention was to write two parts. The first part was in thanking Diane for all of her support through some very rough spots and transitions in my life. The second part was to be a celebration, which it still is. However, there are many more lessons I have learned from my friend that deserves recognition.
So, before there is part two, there should really be a part one and a half because it is often the journey and not the destination that has the rich stuff in life.
When I met Diane, she and her husband had been trying to have a child for quite some time through a variety of ways. However, they were on a break, and one that seemed to be considering if they had hit their limit. To someone who was new to this whole IF journey, and had just felt so much comfort from our mutual disclosures, it was a bit jarring. There were feelings of relief, sadness and hope that were suddenly tapped by meeting someone who had been there and really got it. It was quickly followed by feelings of confusion, fear and loneliness. How could I be learning about all of this stuff and now you all are going to stop trying? I just learned about your journey and it could be the end, without a baby?
Fortunately, unfortunately, I had an aunt and uncle whom struggled to have a child of their own and I had learned as a young preteen that each couple makes the best decisions for themselves and it is to be respected. While other couples may choose various, alternate paths to creating a family, it does not mean that every couple tries everything or for a defined amount of attempts. Every couple has their limits, which only they can know. I kept quiet. But on the inside was cheering for them, as one may tend to do at the beginning of their IF ride.
But, Diane taught me the value of stopping, whether by choice or not. It is important not to loose yourself. Take time to invest in you. Center yourself. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself. If you get a little lost, get off the roller coaster and rediscover yourself because you need the best you. When you are the best you, you will have more to give. You are special, worthy and strong. Remember, you deserve to be happy, regardless of the outcome. Be more than, always be more than.
Time passed, and Diane and her hubby decided to try and grow their family one more time. Then, part two...
Diane called with fantastic news! They were matched and were going to adopt a baby boy! Joy upon joy!!
And that was just a few months before Mother's Day four years ago. I was thrilled for my friend. She seemed to be in a place in her life that was not distracted in desperation (my feelings at the time if I was in her position, not her feelings necessarily), but a tempered hope to try one more time while living her life as it was. I believe it helped her to be more present in her joy of that moment. It was beautiful to see Diane and her husband welcome this adorable little child into their home.
This I would have shared four years ago, but time slipped by and it felt too much time had passed. Plus, I realized that while Diane and her husband adopted the little guy, it would take time through the legal system to make it fully official. So, I did not want to jinx it and justified that I could wait until his official day in court. Unfortunately, that took much longer than expected by no fault of their own. But, that day came and I was so very happy for all of them.
So, more time had passed and I told myself, next year. And this post sat in my head. But honestly, it allowed me to learn a few more things from my friend, Diane.
Diane is a wonderful example of a mother who loves her child deeply. She is an awesome mother. It is an honor that she shares this special person and their moments together with family and friends, and that I get to see him grow up in pictures and in person. Diane and her husband are truly grateful in their blessing of their special little guy and it shows through in their pictures and stories and how they interact with him. They are realistic, too. He is a kid and kids do all kinds of stuff that we love and that drives us crazy and love some more.
Diane also seems to strike that balance of not over sharing and keeping some things just for themselves when it comes to online media. She is also mindful of others, especially those who have lost children or who are hoping to have a child one day. And Diane is not alone, as I have other friends that I have met through the IF community that do so, as well.
But, I think the other thing I learned from Diane and other mothers after IF is that "getting your happy ending" does not equate to making everything else better with no more worries. Life carries onward. And with it, there are health issues, bills, caring for the sick, disappointments, job loss, house repairs, death of a loved one, rationships to nurture, moving homes, career transitions, going back to school, loss of a pet, difficult decisions and so much more. It can be easy to get lost in the idea of an idealized, imagined life. It is important not to forget why you wanted to be a parent and to welcome a child into your family for the right reasons.
So, again, it is the journey that teaches. Sometime it is the journey that follows a moment in time, too. Thank you, Diane! Thank you to the other ladies that I met through this online community! You all have taught me so much. And in your words, Diane, ...Happy Mothering Day!