Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"The Vacant Space" Chapter ???

Don't Compare Your Chapter 1 to Someone Else's Chapter 20.
Where exactly is 'Chapter 1'?

I think, in some cases, it's easier to pinpoint than others.

Did my 'Chapter 1' in fitness begin when I signed up with Trainer Guy? Or did it start when I started doing Zumba 5 days a week in 2012? Maybe it started when My Sailor was deployed and I started running every day and picking up a spinning class? Did it start in 2004 when I started my second low calorie nearly-completely-liquid diet? Or did it start in 2009 when I jumped back on that plan and added in 'Bike n' Brunch Sundays' into my week?

Did it start when I played rec sports as a kid?

Or the first time someone called me fat?

I can't possibly pinpoint it. I can say that 'Chapter 1' of my 'screw the scale' adventure started this year, for sure. Getting stronger and fitter has changed the power I used to give the scale. Now, when it's in my favor I celebrate a little. When it isn't it isn't a big deal.

For other things, 'Chapter 1' is pretty cut and dry. 'Chapter 1' of my adventure as a military wife began when I married My Sailor. 'Chapter 1' of my adventure as a homeowner clearly started with this house (the condo didn't count).

'Chapter 1' of my adventure as an adoptive parent has yet to being...

And though I know I should 'cherish' this intermediate time, the fact is, I'm over it. I like dreams. I like hopes. I like the certainty of taking one little step at a time. And, for the last month or so, it's felt like we're getting closer to the adoption bit by bit.

But yesterday, it felt as if we took a few giant leaps back. See, here was the original plan:

Complete the Home Study by the end of December 2014.
Dive on the waiting referral lead that we had.
Hopefully this would delay My Sailor's upcoming deployment and he'd be able to stay home for paternity leave and bonding time.

But here's the reality of it -
My Sailor's schedule is starting to hit the "crazy making" again. As an example, whether or not he's working on Saturday has changed 3 times between Monday and Tuesday alone. Who knows what today will bring. Most days for us start around 4:30am and end around 11pm, and, while we're told he'll have weekends off, he's also starting into night school soon. We've done night shifts before. It means that he won't have energy for ANYTHING else, aside from the odd movie out every once in a while.

Which means completing things to get our home study and licensing by 2014 has gone from 'going-to-happen-no-matter-what" to a near-impossibility.  That doesn't mean it won't get done. Just not done right now.

But it does mean that I am almost done. Maybe it's because we're still early in this book, but it's taken about 10 years for me to get through Chapter 1 ("Partnership") and into Chapter 2 ("Build a Family") - and this is one emotionally exhausting book. Frankly, I'm getting to the point where I'm almost ready to close this book and put it down, permanently. I know you readers are probably looking for a 'silver lining' kind of post, and there is a silver lining to this.  But I have to say, even I have my limits on the amount of near-constant disappointment and discouragement I can handle. This process has tested and stretched every bit of it. While it's easy for me to see people well into Chapter 20 ("Jr.'s First Speeding Ticket") it's perhaps easier for me to see a different Chapter 20 ("My First Volunteer Vacation to Africa to Build a School"). I can pretty much control the latter one. The former? Well, it's proven that I have little to no control over it what so ever.

So, I'm not comparing my Chapter 20 to anyone else's Chapter 20.

Most of my friends at this point have kids, and that's great. That's their book and their journey, and I'm happy to share it with them. I enjoy spending time with them and their kids.

Before I make this sound 'easy', I've had my own gut wrenching melt down when I discovered that it appears our adoption plans are hitting pause yet again. I sobbed inconsolably and wanted nothing more than to be left alone to moarn the dream and find another one. After all, this relocation has challenged me to let go of dreams I never thought I'd let go of. I haven't been involved in a show for 2 years, though I've patronized a few. I still write, but I have only recently been able to persue it as a career path - and that may be going on the shelf again unless some paying gigs materialize, as the money may soon outweigh the personal fulfillment and the daily responsibilities can't continue to go uncared for. My writing time this morning went towards doing some much neglected cleaning, and the lawn is nearly knee high - again - since I didn't get to finish mowing it last time.  Responsiblities have a way of taking priority over the things I 'want' to do. 'Want' and 'Need' are 2 different things. (Don't worry - the blogging isn't going anywhere, and I'm sure the work outs won't go anywhere either. They are my sanity.) I'm still feeling the ripples of all that and, I won't lie - a lot of fear and uncertainty about this future. This pause could require us to do just about everything over again if we don't get a referal in time, and referals can take years to get. If that happens, we'll have to start over - again.

It took us 2 years to get this far, so if that happens, I'll probably just be done. I'll find some other way to contribute to the world that doesn't involve raising children. Not every person is ment to be a parent - and that's okay.
Maybe the empty room in our house is meant to always be a pet room. Maybe it's meant to be a guest room. Maybe it's meant to be an office. Maybe it's meant to be a kids' room. Maybe it's meant to be a roommate's space?

I can't pretend to have an answer to that. Right now, all of it seems too many pages ahead to flip to.

My journey through life isn't the same as others. My Chapter 20 isn't the same as someone else's. Life isn't a "page to stage" comparison, and and 'should-ing' myself to death certainly won't help anyone.

Truth is -
I'm married to an awesome guy who is part of something less that 1% of 1% of the country is part of.
And it rules about 98% of our lives.

I'm not complaining. I know I signed up for this, just like he did. Neither of us were exactly clear on what it meant, but we knew it wouldn't be easy. And that's okay. Few things in life worth having are.

He'd hoped it would be 'easier' when he signed up, because he'd be deployed less, but we had no idea the havoc an unpredictable schedule could wreck on things like adoption.

Even if we did, I'm not sure our choices would have been any different.

This is our book. These are our chapters.


  1. Yeah I am not ready to give up yet. You would be an amazing mom. Scratch that you will be an amazing mom. Yes I start class. But only for a week and I will get all my paperwork done soon. We will finish this journey together as it was meant to be.

  2. Whatever path you take and life gives you, you are always going to have great strength and courage to get through it.

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I'm sure we'll figure things out. :)