2009: a year of transformation (after a decade of crap)

Ah, the obligatory year end post. I’ll try to make it quick though, so you can get back to your cocktail. Even though it’s still morning here. Oh hell, just pull up a chair and toss one back and let us bid farewell to the whole decade.

Fare thee well decade of ’00s — don’t let the door slam your fat ass on the way out!

Last year as I bid farewell to 2008, I realized what a striking year it had been. But as I have an annoying tendency to do, as I did when I bid farewell to 2007, let’s go back even further, shall we? How about a little context. How about the last half of this mostly grueling decade.

In 2005, I nearly lost myself. After a year and a half of trying to conceive (after recovering from life altering surgery in 2002), I questioned whether I would ever become a mother. I doubted my body’s ability to create life. I wondered if I would ever be happy again. Then, as the year came to a close, I surprisingly entered the second trimester of the pregnancy that shocked everyone. It looked as though we were finally going to have a baby. Bliss.

In 2006, I lost the only child that my love and I ever made, and a piece of my soul along with him. Heartache.

In 2007, I again lost faith in my ability to ever create or sustain life. Multiple surgeries and recoveries. Multiple treatments. All failed. Then we lost our best friend. And we were adrift, again. Sorrow.

In 2008, I lost all hope. And then I found it anew. The year began with devastating news of failed treatments and it went downhill from there. Our options were dwindling. Then gone. Or so we thought. I hit a low point right around my 39th birthday. It looked as though we would never be parents to a living child. I would never be a mother. And then. The tide shifted. Hope rose anew. A new dream was born, 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, but a possibility — and that was more than we’d had in a very long time. Hope.

2009 began with a bang. We rang it in in style while on vacation in beautiful Vancouver, treating ourselves to sushi, dim sum, sake, cocktails, coffee, chocolate and cheese (and meeting Deathstar!). We toasted the young woman we had just met weeks earlier, who just days before had bestowed upon us the greatest honor when she asked if we would parent her unborn baby. I cried at midnight a good cleansing cry, while dancing with my love and welcoming the year that might bring us closer to our dream of parenthood. Our dream.

In January, on the day that our nation ushered in a new era of “hope,” we heard our daughter’s heartbeat for the first time. We continued to build a relationship with K, spending afternoons together, meeting her family, cooking 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 my head at any given time. I chose love over fear.

Still, at times it was an emotional rollercoaster. As K’s due date approached, we started to feel as though this baby might actually become our child. Though nothing was certain, it seemed that K was likely to place this baby with us. She treated us as though we were her baby’s parents. We took a birthing class together and helped K prepare as best we could, and we all became empowered to welcome this little soul to the world.

On Mother’s Day, as I pondered the early stages of my mother’s illness, M and I did not presume to celebrate ourselves. But K, at 37 weeks pregnant, gave me the most lovely card. We’ve never sent so many cards ourselves. That weekend, we all decorated the nursery together in a labor of love. Then I turned 40 just before K hit 40 weeks, and we planned a fun weekend close to home, just in case.

And then. Our lives were forever changed when Baby J was born just after the sun rose on the last day of May, her due date. We welcomed Baby J to the world in K’s home, all together, in the most beautiful and gentle birth I could have ever imagined. Witnessing our daughter’s entry to the world and catching her with my bare hands is something I will carry with me forever. (I shared her birth story in a series of protected posts which many of you have read.) We brought her home the next day, and I cried tears of joy at our good fortune, though with great empathy for K.

Though I haven’t written as much since then, I’ve posted updates about our beautiful girl on occasion (at 3 weeks, at 50 days, at 100 days, and at 6 months). We welcomed Baby J to our family with a beautiful celebration in August. We’ve continued to reach out to members of her birth family, even when it has been challenging. And we (finally) enjoyed our first visit to our local pumpkin patch, which was so unlike our visit last year.

It’s strange to think how much can change in a year, but it’s true, as I was remembering as winter solstice recently came upon us again. It has been quite a year of transformation.

While with the close of this year I am anticipating the inevitable grief of losing my mother, whenever that may be, I know I have so much to be grateful for. While infertility still clouds and colors the way in which I experience the world, even from where I now stand, I know how fortunate I am to experience this journey of motherhood, finally.

Now, as this year comes to a close on our daughter’s seven month birthday, I reflect on the year that almost wasn’t and I am so grateful for the year that was.

Once in a blue moon (like tonight), the universe gets it right. The last New Year’s Eve blue moon was the first one M and I spent together, in 1990.

Wishing you all the best for a peaceful and healthy 2010 filled with love, laughter and joy, and the time to enjoy it. Cheers.

Peace out.

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~ by luna on December 31, 2009.

14 Responses to “2009: a year of transformation (after a decade of crap)”

  1. Congratulations on all your progress and happiness, and best wishes for dealing with the challenges to come. I’ve been honored to read about it all!

  2. What a beautiful, thoughtful post. As I reflect on my own year of transformation, one of the things I am grateful for is the “company” of such intelligent, sensitive, blogging women like you who have helped to make me feel less alone and shift my thinking in positive ways.

    In 2010, I hope you will continue to share your experiences with adoption, parenthood, and life in general. You contribute so much. Thank you!

    Best wishes to you and yours for the New Year!

  3. Wishing you and yours all the best on this blue moon and this new year. What a difference a year makes!

  4. Happy new year, Luna!

  5. What a recap, Luna. It gives me hope to know there can be a way to that hope again. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself.

    Will be here with you through this year. I’m so sorry you are facing the loss of your mother.

  6. You’ve really lived the gamut, and I thank you for sharing your story.

    g

  7. Happy New Year…thanks for allowing me in on the journey.
    I am so happy that you have your baby girl.

  8. I hear ya! Be gone decade of 00s! Happy 2010 to you!

  9. I really enjoyed being a part of your url life – I’ve learned so much from your posts, felt such kinship with you – you really made me feel less alone during my journey. I can’t tell you how much I wish you were closer to me. I’m always annoyed that you’re not my neighbour. The birth story of Baby J brought tears to my eyes – I feel she is part of my world.

    I hear ya on that decade of crap! There’s a Buddhist saying: suffer what there is to suffer and enjoy what there is to enjoy. Man, I was tired of the suffering, the grief, the loss. The hope is that all of that has prepared me with the patience to endure this new chapter of motherhood, don’t you agree?

  10. Happy new year to you and your lovely family. I wonder if that post was as healing to write as it was uplifting to read? It is so warm (?) joyful wonderful all of the above to read about your impossibly hard and painful decade and know that you are reviewing that time from a place of peace and love. I am filled with joy for you.

  11. Totally tearing up at your amazing journey. You are such an extraordinary person, Luna! It’s a joy to read your words and thus share a slice of your life…

    On a far more banal note, guardrails are fine, so I’ve read, as long as there are not big, baby-sucking gaps between them and the mattress. I think if they fit properly, or if you stuff the holes with blankets or whatever, you’re good to go.

    Hugs to you and your little one!

  12. Most appropriate New Year wishes I’ve received in a long time!
    May this decade be full of happiness and discoveries in your journey with baby J. Just imagine, she will be 10 in 2019!

  13. that was a nice post revisiting your journey to baby J. hoping for an amazing 2010 even though there is grief on the horizon.

  14. What a gorgeous post and congrats at the arrival of your J into your family!!! I haven’t been reading much in the blogosphere lately but was thrilled to come here to catch up and see your news! May you be blessed! I look forward to reading more in the days to come.

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