2016: A Year to Learn to Let Go

I am a “Type A “personality. For the majority of my life, I thrived on control. Control of my education, career, and life successes. I choose everything that happened for me. If something was a stretch, I simply worked harder to get it and I always did. Infertility was the first thing I ever dealt with where I truly found myself out of control. No amount of work, money or energy was able to change the situation. And trust me, I/we tried everything.

As we first stepped into the journey of adoption, a book was handed to me by a fellow waiting adoptive parent – “Adopting after Infertility” by Patricia Johnston. It was written in the 90’s and was a little dated, but for the most part it talked about what to expect when pursuing adoption – a solid read. At the beginning, the author spends a portion of the book talking about coming to terms with the losses of infertility before moving forward with adoption. The author even suggests doing a little exercise to gauge where you are today to help determine if adoption is the right choice for you. It was a simple exercise of the heart that helped me to identify what mattered.

Johnston explains that to embrace adoption, a couple needs to move on from infertility by reflecting on a series of losses: a loss of genetic continuity, a loss of a physical pregnancy, a loss of emotional pregnancy, a loss of becoming a parent, and a loss of control. In her exercise she asks the reader to identify, in order of importance, the losses that most impact your life. Depending on your answers, it can lead you to help determine if adoption is a good choice for you.

I was surprised as I reflected on the list of losses and I honestly put them in order of most important. In my world, the loss of never becoming a parent was number one. Number five was genetic continuity. Number three and four were the losses of experiencing pregnancy. What shocked me was what fell as my number two selection – the loss of control. Of course I wanted to be pregnant and have genetic continuity with my husband…but I come from an adoptive family and I know first-hand that genetics and pregnancy are not necessary to having a family. My light bulb moment came about as I realized that what really pissed me off after potentially losing the opportunity to be a parent was that I couldn’t control the situation. In reflection, the loss of experiencing pregnancy and genetic continuity was minor in my heart. Talk about a moment that provided a deeper level of understanding for myself that clearly pointed the way for us and the choice of adoption.

As the rest of 2015 unfolded – on top of infertility – I dealt with a myriad of uncontrollable factors in my life. My flourishing career in Marketing and Communications was hitting a mid-life crisis due to a contracting economy and industry. I had to accept a 20% wage rollback, a suspension of pension contributions and had to say goodbye (AKA layoff) my little team of two. If that wasn’t enough, I am now dealing with the disintegration of my parent’s 40 year marriage and my father’s announcement that he is gay. Yep, you read that right…just call me Kim Kardashian.

So, as I step into 2016 and I think of what I want the next year to be. I have decided that this next year needs to be a further exercise in learning to let go and be fine with what happens. I realize that so much of what I want right now is out of my control. There are steps I can take to help guide my future…but in the end life is this crazy ride and I do not have control of the steering wheel. I can choose to laugh, cry or scream as the ride continues…but what comes next isn’t necessarily something that I can predict. I can lean into or against the turns and most importantly, I can hope. I might feel like I am in control sometimes, but ultimately I need to let the outcomes unfold as the universe means for them to unfold.

letting-go-is-hard

I know that in the next year there will be lots of surprises and that I can handle anything that lies beyond the next curve. My objective in 2016 is to learn to let go and enjoy the ride. I have faith that I will get everything I desire in my life…I just won’t necessarily know the timeline or the path I am going to take and that’s alright because I know in the end everything will be alright.

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13 thoughts on “2016: A Year to Learn to Let Go

  1. Beautifully said. The control thing we often don’t like to admit. Our own decision to pursue adoption simultaneously as donor egg IVF was never a difficult one because, like you said, the number one goal is to be a parent above all else. But it’s a very valid thing to lose the genetics, and our decision to use a donor egg was a rough one until I thought, hey, I would still get to be pregnant (if it works, that is) and it’s more like adopting than I’d realized – we were adopting an egg. It’s a new mindset but after a good 5 months since that decision was made, I fully think of these embryos as part of both myself and my husband. Yet I consider the embryos the long shot if I’m being real, and like you, that the timeline or path probably won’t look like I originally imagined – but hell, whose ever is?

    Congratulations on starting the new year with this strong perspective. May it give you everything you wish for!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. We see the embryos as an adoption too… But this way you get to control the pregnancy. The problem is the wait at our clinic for that…plus the fact it isn’t a sure thing…so infant adoption it is! All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great view on adoption. One of my biggest struggles throughout our 5 miserable failed cycles was the loss of control – like you, I’m used to setting my mind to things and getting what I want. We most certainly did not get what we wanted over the last few years! Glad you are figuring out your next steps x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s interesting. Being adopted, for me after the number one, the chance to be a parent is the chance to be biologically related to someone. Even stronger perhaps is my partner was also adopted so I think we both feel that. We aren’t anti adoption in any way. I often feel if I hadn’t been adopted I would easily pick adoption. But in a way we both already have lost a genetic connection, so somehow it seems more important- I didn’t grow in my mum’s womb and I just want the chance to do something the “normal” way, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Totally. I can see how that choice would be different for you. All sorts of things impact these choices and I feel like we are all going to order them differently based on our life experiences and desires.

      For me, I have gotten a lot of comfort in having a positive adoption experience in my life. Other couples we did our seminar with had anxiety about certain aspects and for me that just doesn’t exist. Image to say that I am also excited that my brother will be able to have a unique bond with this child. That’s something not all adoptive families can offer.

      In the end Nara, we all gotta do what we gotta do. There is no right or wrong choice. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow that sounds like a great read that lead to some great insight! I hope that things come together, and I’m sorry that things with your family have added stress to everything that’s already going on. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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