In just the first 2 days of our 10 day visit back at home with family, and my mind was all over the place. As I mentioned before, this trip stirred up a lot of reflection for me- This trip was one of the priorities we made sure to fit in our summer, as our family is so important to us. But it also is a reminder of where I thought we'd be in life, and where we are not. The first 48 hours of the trip were a whirl wind of visiting friends and family, and in the midst of the whirlwind, I felt like I saw glimpses of "what our family might look like some day"- And with each glimpse, I have found myself asking, is this what I want? Is this how I see our family coming to be?
Behind Door #1: An infant
- time spent holding and cooing with my 7 1/2 month old niece. I found myself reflecting on the 8 1/2 month child that should have been for us. Thinking about life with a newborn, watching husband light up when our niece would smile at him. Is this what I want? And if we adopt and a child comes to us older than this, will I regret not experiencing infanthood?
Behind door #2: Foster/adopting older kids
- time spent living my other sisters kids- 5 kids (blended family) ages 2 1/2 to 14 years; Three of the kids have had a tough road with divorced parents, and a parent with mental illness that led to some neglect, and custody battles. Watch ing these kids heal now that they have some love and stability in their new situation gave me pause to reflect on foster parenting for older children as I watched their parents work on attachment issues, setting boundaries, dealing with grief, etc. Is this how I see our family coming to be? Do I have what it takes? Do I want this?
Behind door #3: Multiple kids
- time spent at a reunion with my college friends- about 25 kids were there, ages 4 months to 14. Every one of my college friends have at least three kids (so far!). Some have 4 or 5. It was interesting to be the one couple without kids yet (a topic for another post). But I found myself reflecting on what life would be like with more than 2 kids. Do I want this for us?
Behind door #4: Twins
- time spent with a friend who knows infertility personally, and has 20 month old twins (IVF #1 was a success after three years of trying). Yes, I know, I just wrote about twins a few posts ago. And yes, I know I stated strongly that I did now want twins. Well, ....of any of my reflections as I caught a glimpse of scenarios of how our family COULD come to be, this was the most surprising to me. As I spent time with my friend and her twins, I thought to myself- i would want this if this came to be for us. I could do this. There was no fear in seeing this as a glimpse of what life could be. In fact, I even found this scenario most exciting. Granted we were only there for a few hours, granted they are 20 months and not 2 months old. But I loved watching them play together, having a sibling and friend to play with. It was beautiful.
I think as I evaluate all this, one of the questions I am silently asking myself is "am I ready to move on to adoption and put our TTC plans to rest?" "How far will I go to conceive a biological child?" And I find myself still wanting to pursue TTC, even while putting adoption on hold. Yes, I want to experience bonding with an infant, yes I am completely okay with chance of twins, yes, I only want to be pregnant just once, yes I could see foster/adopting older kids- but not right away, more like later down the road.
All in all, it was a wonderful weekend spend with family and friends- and it was good to get glimpses into what our future might become. And in some small way, as we came back home today- to our quite orderly condo, after 10 days spent living with 5 kids under one roof- I found comfort in enjoying, that for right now, this small quiet home is our life. Sure it doesn't look how I thought it would be, but for today I embrace it as "our life" and that is okay with me- for today.