rebirth of hope

Winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night of the year. The sun lies at its lowest point in the sky, appearing to stand still for a while before the days grow longer and the nights shorter. As the earth continues to orbit, its angle to the sun evolves and the seasons change. The solstice signifies the very reversal of the seasons. 

Different cultures mark this annual event in various ways, but at the heart is a celebration of the sun and its central significance to life. Ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice as the “rebirth of the sun” and return to light. More light means more energy means more life. The solstice is about the yin and yang of life, light and dark, death and re-birth, balance and harmony. 

In these harried times, people don’t tend to think about astronomical events like the solstice. Maybe they’re in the midst of holiday frenzy, trying to stay afloat, trying to get away. Like many of you, I’ve been feeling so far removed from the holiday spirit. Mostly I’m just looking forward to some time off. Not working so much. Relaxing with M. Winding down the year…

Yet these days I’ve been feeling very aware of the natural ebb and flow of life. Searching for some kind of balance. Harmony. Peace within. In spite of everything.

In gearing up for what will be some unknown length of time until we finally find and bring our baby home, I have felt compelled to create and maintain my own balance. I was never really able to do that while cycling. But I need to stay sane. I want to try to be positive.

I want to believe that the child we are meant to parent is already on his or her way to us, somehow. 

Yet I have not held hope in a very, very long time. 

In many ways, it feels like these past few years have been my winter of discontent. A really grueling, achingly awful winter of despair that I will be so happy to finally put behind me. I want to feel the frozen layers of my life begin to thaw, melting away the pain and ugliness and washing it down to some final resting place far away. Of course at the core will always be some part that remains. Whether I will continue to build upon it with new strength, or tuck it away somewhere and watch for it to fall out all messy around the edges at some point, I don’t know. Probably both. 

We have been re-claiming our lives from infertility. We  re-envisioned our dream of parenthood and allowed it to be reborn anew. Exactly six months ago, I reflected on the summer solstice and wrote about our decision to step out of the shadow of infertility and pursue adoption. Now that we finally have some forward motion, I recently allowed myself to consider that it could finally happen some day. We don’t know for sure that it will happen, or when. We don’t know if even the best match will actually result in a baby for us to parent. But it is a real possibility. Which is far more than we’ve had in a long while. 

Although I am afraid to utter it aloud, I am feeling just the slightest bit hopeful. Cautious maybe, but hopeful.

This weekend, the sun will be reborn, returning light to the sky and earth. And we will meet our first expectant mom.

The young woman we plan to meet seems like an incredibly genuine person in a less than ideal situation. We agreed to try to get to know each other a bit to see if it feels like this might be a good match. There are so many factors. We have no idea whether she will ultimately place her child. We have no idea how many other families she is still considering. I truly want her to make the best decision, whether or not that includes us. All I can say at this point is that, for us, it seems like a situation we could have only dreamed about. 

But here’s the thing I haven’t said in a really, really long time. It doesn’t hurt to hope. That’s right. I am holding hope. Here and now. One day we will become parents.

After a few days of worry, I have come to accept this: I must put aside my fears and embrace the possibility for good. Holding back won’t serve anyone. Believe me, we are not talking about painting the nursery. I’m talking about the kind of opening that acknowledges the enormity of the situation without backing away simply because it’s so very huge.  

It’s very hard to hope, knowing that someone would feel loss at our gain. It’s hard to worry about feeling loss ourselves when another’s loss would be far greater. I just have to believe that what is meant to happen will happen. And I guess it always does…

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~ by luna on December 19, 2008.

34 Responses to “rebirth of hope”

  1. I have chills. They’re multiplying.

  2. I’ll sing a good, old song for you and roll a burning wheel down a hill or something (an old Slavic way to greet the returning sun) to celebrate your new path, your return to hope.

  3. I was so excited to reas this news, luna! I am crossing fingers, toes, eyeballs, and every other crossable set of appendages, in the hopes that all goes beautifully and that this is the perfect match for all of you.

    xo

  4. Thanks for the reminder about winter solstice. I almost forgot. It’s always a magical time of the year for me, especially since there is no celebrating around it. I’m so ready to let go of this last year. Your news of meeting this young woman is exciting, but I’m sure it’s hard to get too invested in it. I’m glad hope has reentered your life. Merry Solstice to you!!

  5. I like that no matter what happens with this woman, it shows that you two are a match for someone – cuz she’s considerng you, which means others will too, which means this will work out one day. Good luck Sunday!

  6. Your wonderfully written post makes me think of the new moon, and how different cultures consider it a time of darkness versus renewal.

    Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot on Sunday. But I do hope that your hope keeps on building (or should I say snowballing?). I, too, have developed a push-pull relationship with hope, but when you’ve got it, time to enjoy it!

    Happy Solstice!

  7. The best of luck to you.

  8. Oh, Luna! Good luck this weekend!

  9. Breathlessly hopeful for you.

  10. Hoping so much for you.

  11. Luna, I am overwhelmed with the hope that I feel for you. I truly believe and know that your birthmother is out there somewhere and that each day that passes brings you and she one step closer to each other. Every day is one day closer. I know it. I feel it. Above all, I am warmed and brightened to hear of your acknowledgment and embracing of the hope that is there. That, in and of itself, is celebratory. Thinking of you especially this weekend, my friend.

  12. Yes again, thank you so much for writing the words I need to read. It doesn’t hurt to hope, and I am so hopeful for you in this part of your journey, and hopeful for the one we will begin again. Soon. Thank you, Luna, for touching me with your words.

  13. I’ll be holding all three of you in my thoughts today!

  14. Luna,
    Beautifully written. You continue to amaze me. It is tragic how infertility strips us (at least for a time in our lives) of our ability to hope–unfettered. You are brave, wise and connected in a profound way to be able to step through it and let hope in. I am hoping for you, too.

  15. I’m hoping with you.

  16. Holding hope for you!!! This sentence really struck a chord for me: “It’s hard to worry about feeling loss ourselves when another’s loss would be far greater.” I’ve thought about that a lot.

    (And thanks for the reminder about the solstice — at this time of year, I tend to forget that the sun will ever come out again.)

  17. I know cautious hope, but it is hope nevertheless, and I am so glad that it is finding its way to you. Infertility teaches us to step so lightly, to expect so little lest we be met with heartache, that to begin to emerge from that is a wonderful thing. It is a new beginning for you and although you don’t know exactly when your new life will begin, you know that it will be here someday. No more ifs, but when. That is hope!

  18. It makes me so happy to hear that you are feeling this hope. It’s so hard to feel for so many reasons. I definitely did not feel hope during our wait and it truly fills me with joy to know that you CAN and DO feel it. You said it best: it doesn’t hurt to hope and it is so nice to embrace that possibility for good. I am so, so excited for you and M. So excited. This is a truly special time in your lives.

  19. Well said! The only time I have felt betrayed by hope is right after a new loss. Soon, I was able to look back and appreciate the joy that hope brought me even when it didn’t turn out.

    Here’s to hoping that you will be parenting soon!

  20. You are very courageous, Luna. I hope the meeting went well and things unfold the way they are meant to.

  21. i don’t know if you realize it, but your post gives ME so much hope. You’re inspiring Luna, and I am so, so hopeful for you!

  22. I am thinking of you on this winter solstice Luna, as you so bravely open yourself up to feel hope once more. I am joining with all of those who are sharing in this new-found sense of hope, and am sending my heartfelt wishes to both you and the expectant mother. I hope that this first meeting goes well for you both.

  23. I am sending you two so much hope and love. I hope you had the most amazing meeting this weekend and all parties have peace in their heart.

  24. “I want to believe that the child we are meant to parent is already on his or her way to us, somehow”

    I love this. I’d like to take it a step further and beleive that this whole painful process for you (and M) through all your treatments and surgeries and of course the loss of your precious son was part of the process somehow…that your future child was ALWAYS on his or her way.

  25. hoping for you!! 🙂 thanks for the inspirational post.

  26. Best of luck Luna. Hoping and praying this is it for you.

  27. I’m just catching up now and while I know there is NEWS I haven’t read it yet cause I wanted to start from the beginning (well, not really the beginning, but a few posts back anyway.) And I just want you to know how much this post has resonated with me – I feel like, even though I celebrated the solstice weeks ago with my women’s circle, it’s not quite completed yet, somehow. And reading that you are longing for the layers of ice around your life to melt, too – well, it helps. Funny how alone I can feel without knowing it until I read words like yours.

    May the returning sun bring you new life and all the healing you seek.

  28. […] first met K on a cold rainy day, the winter solstice. After corresponding by email for a couple of weeks, we had agreed to meet in person. We arrived […]

  29. […] first met K when she was 17 weeks pregnant, on the auspicious winter solstice. We had an amazing three hour meeting and time flew by. Afterwards, we tried not to get too attached […]

  30. […] Hard to believe we first met K just six months ago yesterday. […]

  31. […] solstice revisited One year ago today, we were remembering what it felt like to hope. […]

  32. […] re-envisioned. By the summer solstice, we had decided to apply for domestic infant adoption. On the winter solstice, we sat in a cafe meeting K for the first time. The year ended with a spark of hope: not a promise, […]

  33. […] from Kaye. She was 16 weeks pregnant. After a week of email exchanges, we agreed to meet on the winter solstice. A week later, she asked the question that would forever change our […]

  34. […] the winter solstice will be etched in my mind as the day we first met the woman who made me a […]

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