This holiday season has been so incredibly blessed for us. After several very painful holiday seasons, I cannot begin to explain the happiness I felt as I cuddled my little man on Christmas morning.
Christmas has always been one of those big benchmarks where, as a person experiencing infertility, you say, "We will definitely have a baby by (insert some big event)." For the last four years, we were certain we would have a baby of our own at the next Christmas gathering. But every year, Christmas came and went without a baby and was just a huge reminder of our heartbreak and failure. This year we finally have so much to celebrate. For the first time, our family photo did not entail me holding my dog while my sisters clung to their beaming babies--this time I held my own beautiful bundle of goodness!
That isn't to say that there haven't still been painful moments this holiday season. Today, we received a late holiday card in which our friends announced the impending birth of their third child. Reading this announcement set off a pang in my heart. There is still this unexplainable longing when I hear friends talk about being pregnant. That longing is less painful than in the past--I can now walk down the hall and peer into the peaceful, sleeping face of my little angel, and the pain dissipates. I cannot fully explain the longing that I still feel, and that inability to explain is part of what makes it so difficult to deal with. There is a huge part of me that feels if I talk about--or even acknowledge--the longing that it makes me less of a mother or less grateful for the gift we have been given through adoption. But, I know that without talking about the pain and longing, I will never be able to move on and fully heal. I am grateful for the strong women in my life who have talked about their continued struggles with infertility, even after having/adopting babies. Knowing that I am not alone makes me feel less crazy and makes this wacky journey more bearable!