goddess gift


We were walking around Granville Island in Vancouver, resisting the urge to buy small yet thoughtful gifts for the woman who would make us parents. (More on that some other time.) We came across a little shop that we might have walked right past. Soon I found myself at the counter, talking to a woman about talismans and goddess imagery. Thumbing through a bowl filled with small pewter goddesses, I picked this one out first: 


“When nothing is certain, everything is possible.”

I could not put it down. I held it between my thumb and finger and gently rubbed the cool metal until it warmed. Each goddess had something different stamped on back. But this one was perfect, for me. 

This sentiment helped me pick myself up and face the future after our son died nearly three years ago. Deep down, part of me believed we would never have another child. I wanted to believe that we would, we could, we should. I convinced myself it was possible. I was encouraged by our doctors. Our boy had given us hope. I knew we had to try again.

Yet I think a small part of me, the part that had been silently defeated by this horrible failure, wondered how I would go on trying despite this persistent doubt. How could I subject myself to further prodding, poking, dissecting, and dehumanizing when my body was bound to fail, again?  

Yet how could we not?

Nothing is certain. Anything is possible.

I worked with a grief counselor on my attitude towards the future. I had read books on loss, on mindful living, on dealing in crisis. Yet a few hours in her presence helped me embrace the uncertainty in the simple unbreakable truth that the future is unknown, unknowable, that anything is possible and all we have is this moment. 

Yes, our son was gone, that was certain. But as to the future? Wide open. Underlying it all was the fundamental belief that anything could happen, and I needed to remain open to the greatest possible good.  

This helped immensely when I went back for more surgery and treatment. I had to believe we had a chance, or why bother? It wasn’t about the odds. Once you’ve been on the losing side of odds when a rare event kills your child (P-PROM occurs in  just 1-2% of all pregnancies), those numbers don’t mean shit. It was about knowing we were giving ourselves the best chance for the greatest possible outcome. 

Ultimately, this approach also helped when we turned to adoption. We were told by several people we respect to “trust in the process” (I’m looking at you, Lori!).  I had to believe that something wonderful could come of it, if we just could remain open to the process.

Since we met this young woman (let’s call her K) last month, I’ve been well aware that nothing is certain, that anything can happen. I’ve been saying it ever since. And it’s true. While that is a scary thought — there are no guarantees in life, after all — it is oddly comforting too. In a sense, it is liberating.

We have no control over this situation. We have no idea what the eventual outcome will be. It could go in any direction. All we can do is live in this very moment and focus on our process.

We can try to get to know K better by spending some time together. We can try to support K without being manipulative. We can give K the space she may need to continue to re-visit her decision. We can try to learn what we can about the baby’s biological father, and hope to get him fully on board with an open adoption, should it go forward. 

Again, we are forced to focus on the process rather than the outcome. And that is really hard.

It’s hard not to think about bringing that little baby home, about what a wonderful family s/he will have come from, and how we might share this little life together. But we must. Despite the most wonderful words we have ever heard, we are not this baby’s parents yet and we won’t be, unless and until s/he is entrusted to our care at some point far down the line. An eternity to go, it seems. 

We can only live one day at a time, one moment at a time. I often have to remember to breathe into some tough moments. 

Today I had such a moment. Looking back, it seems so minor. But nothing is insignificant. Everything matters. When I hadn’t heard back from K in a few days after sending an email, my mind started to wander. I began to worry. Maybe she decided she didn’t want us after all, maybe any number of things happened. Maybe we’ll never hear from her again. Total insecurity. Doubt, fear, uncertainty. I began to accept that we would have to get up and move on. But you can bet I kept checking my email about every 3 minutes… 

After lunch, I went into our would-be nursery and began to read a baby book from the growing shelf (it has grown a lot since then!). I do this from time to time. The room is peaceful and it helps me breathe. Nothing else is there besides our cushiest chair and a large window looking out to the woods and creek. When I went back to the office, who do you think had sent an email in that 10 minutes? K had confirmed our lunch date this weekend, and asked how we felt about meeting her mom! Um, yes please. 

So there you have it. I definitely need to get my daily freakouts under control. This baby is not due for another 5 months. I know full well that anything can happen. Nothing is certain. Now I just need to find a way to really live with that. Maybe rubbing that goddess belly will help…


~ by luna on January 6, 2009.

39 Responses to “goddess gift”

  1. The goddess is beautiful. I love it. Your post is so true also. It’s so hard to remember and accept (at least for me) that anything can happen and that I have no control. That if I just let things be they will happen as they should.

  2. What a beautiful quote to carry with you. I hope that everything goes well this weekend.

  3. Whenever I look into the future, I find that all I can see is the present, stretching into the distance, endlessly repeating. As you say, it’s so hard to remember that that vision is a mirage.

  4. Such a beautiful verse! And a gorgeous way to always have it close to your heart.

    And, YAY for meeting Mom!

  5. It must be very hard to let go and to trust in a process over which you have so little control. Please know that there are many of us waiting and hoping along with you, Luna.

    I hope that your meeting with K and her mother goes well.

  6. love, Love, LOVE that talisman.

    It will help bring you back to center when you veer toward the ledge.

    You are a wise woman, Luna. You may not think so all the time, but you are.

  7. What a beautiful post – and you know I am right there with you!

  8. Hooray for possibilities! What a perfect goddess.

    And hooray for the art on Granville Island. One of my very favorite things in my whole house came from there. It doesn’t have meaning like yours, but it is fun fun fun.

  9. What a poignant and appropriate treasure you found!

    There is nothing I can tell you that will erase the doubts or minimize the freakouts over the next five months. Nothing. But I want to validate that what you are feeling is NOT abnormal nor should it be pushed away. Acknowledge it, even briefly, and then keep moving forward. Some days your heart & mind will allow just drips & drops of hope in. Other days it will stay right where it was the day before. And then, one day, it will gush as it collects this huge surge of “OMG this is really happening to us!”

    It will happen. The right baby will find it’s way to you. The one you are meant to parent.

  10. Luna, you are not allowed to ever take this post down! This post really speaks to me. I too get completly frozen by fear that I will not have a child or that something terrible will occur (again) in another pregnancy. I think I am really developing anxiety attacks!!!
    It was very inspiring to beleive that “nothing is certain” and that therefore “anything is possible”. I need to learn (and i’m working on it) to live in the moment. It is so hard!

    I’m so glad that she sent you that email though!

    Maybe I should do something for my child (like you do) although she/he is not here, like what you are doing by working on a library. It’s such a sweet idea.
    Right now, the husband and I are working on curbing debt and fixing and painting our home. It feels like we are doing something toward our dream, even if we are not actively trying to conceive.
    I agree with Ms. J above, your child (like mine!) is on it’s way!

  11. I love that saying.
    Trusting in the process is hard work.
    I think you are doing it beautifully.

  12. A beautiful set of thoughts, Luna.

    I agree that acknowledging our lack of control can be very liberating, even though it’s hard. We’re hardwired to seek certainty in our environment. It equals security and satiety. And yet despite all our scheming and resistance, we’ve never had any other real option besides trusting in the process and experiencing the now. Funny, isn’t it?

  13. I love the goddess and the quote she has! Absolutely beautiful.

  14. Hi Luna,
    I’ve been off the bloggy map for most of the last 6 weeks, but when I (finally) went to my reader and saw that you’re connected with a birth mom I was so thrilled!

    I couldn’t find a contact page here, but I would love to correspond if you’re up for it. My email is ann@vintagemommy.com.

  15. I love the Goddess and I love the inscription. What a simple yet powerful saying.

  16. I love the Goddess talisman and the inscription is so powerful. I hope it carries itself with you in this journey. I’m glad you found K. I know that a lot can happen in 5 months, but I’m hoping for the best.

  17. Very cool! And very appropriate!

  18. Your thoughts are lovely and strong and inspiring. Be gentle with yourself when you have tough moments, though, uncertainty is hard too. Hugs and tons of hope for the next five months!

  19. I’m so impressed you’ve been able to adopt this mantra (pun intended, heh). I’m not quite there yet. My way of getting around odds is to simply fall back on the basic premise: either something will happen, or it won’t. And 50/50 isn’t so bad in my worldview. I too find it liberating.

    Maybe I need a goddess that says something to the effect of, “It all can’t suck, can it?”

    Wading through the next few months sounds as though it will be both exciting and excruciating. Waiting with you.

  20. I love that saying, that’s going up on my bathroom mirror! You are doing exactly what you need to do for yourself. I’ll send you some of my “force” to guide you.

  21. Your goddess is perfect! I also really love that you read in your nursery to your future baby. It seems important to establish this communication early, even before the baby is born.

  22. This is a perfect, beautiful piece and you have been able to really develop such a balanced view of the unknown, an area that I am forever struggling with. Trusting in the process rather than the result is genius.

  23. Love that talisman and this post. Sheer perfection! You are doing a great job of being present and focusing on the process. That is such a beautiful thing.

    I got a call tonight that has us doing the same thing. I’ll fill you in later but it would be awesome to share similar journeys at the same time.

  24. Hi Luna. I accidentally left a comment for this post on your last post. Forgive me. I’m pasting my comment here. Sorry, I’m such a dork.

    Adoption require so much strength, faith courage and expectation management. All you can do is breath. Just keep breathing. Sounds to me like you have such an amazing attitude (hard.fought might I add).

  25. I love the goddess and her message was just want I needed to hear. I am so in the same place of feeling like it has to be moment by moment. Like you said it is tremendously difficult to focus on the process. I just hope K is the one for you and you’ll have your baby soon. Wishing you many blessing in 2009!

  26. […] 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm (Uncategorized) I have to credit today’s post to Luna.  If you haven’t been keeping up, she has had some potentially wonderful news!  A birth […]

  27. this is the greatest post I’ve read in a long time. if I could just embrace the same mindset, life in general would be a lot easier. thank you so much for sharing these thoughts and this journey.

  28. What a beautiful, perfect little talisman to carry around! I’m glad it found you at just the right time.

  29. When nothing is certain, everything is possible. Perfect! Again, I am amazed by your wisdom and strength and the eloquence of your words. I wish you peace as you focus on the process and get through these next months, whatever they may bring.

    I am going to try to tattoo that phrase on my brain – thank you for this post.


  30. BTW, do you know if I can order one of those goddesses on-line? I’d really like the address, thanks!

  31. My best friend sent me a card with that quote when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life; it is still up on my refrigerator now, over five years later. For some reason I found it helpful and comforting then, and I still do. Glad to see that it has a similar effect on others. I am so happy for you guys about K, and I hope that the process continues to go well.

  32. I often notice key things about a post that resonate with me and that I can comment on. I liked so much about this post: the hope, the fear, focusing on the moment . . . then I read “woods and creek” OH, HOW WONDERFUL!!! I would love to live near a creek and woods! Oh, someday. Please post a pic of your view. 🙂

    On to more serious matters, it is good practice to enjoy the moment even after you get your Someday Baby. I think the reason (statistically speaking at least) parents are less happy than the childfree is because they spend so much time changing diapers, running kids here and there, breaking up fights, making meals, etc. etc. and they forget that there is joy and peace in those moments too.

    Oh, and I really benefited from my grief counselor too. It’s possible she even saved my life.

    Wishing you all good things, Luna!

  33. That is beautiful. I think we can all take those words to heart. I’m going to keep being quietly hopeful for you 🙂

  34. […] knew there would be hurdles. We knew there would be uncertainty. We knew we would have no […]

  35. […] simply reclaim our lives from the indefinite limbo of The Wait. How long would it take before the uncertainty would become […]

  36. […] over two months. I have resolved to dwell in the moment of what may be right now, rather than fear uncertainty and become immobilized by the  lack of […]

  37. […] a long time, I wavered between embracing the uncertainty and accepting the fear before I could completely let go and flow with this process. Time was […]

  38. […] her dinner. We tried to give K plenty of space and ensure that she was free to change her mind. I embraced the uncertainty and gave up on the illusion of control. I tried not to be overwhelmed by the jumble of thoughts in […]

  39. […] For once, we had synergy. And once we met our match, I learned to live in the moment and with the uncertainty and lack of control that is inherent in open adoption. I embraced the time we had to get to know K […]

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