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Life is unbearably hard and messy at times. What you thought life would be and what life actually is can sometimes feel like it is worlds apart. Reconciling the two can feel like an insurmountable task and yet… if you have the patience and perseverance to do so you might find out just how blessed you are.
I have always tried to be a positive thinker even when life has me pinned to the ground. After all if you are pinned to the ground face up you might see some of the most beautiful clouds that ever existed… And if you happen to be pinned to the ground face down there is still beauty in the dirt beneath us.
It is true that life can not always be that uplifting and finding good in the mess can be hard especially if you are a neat freak.
Struggling with infertility and loosing my dad are two of my worst messy life has me pinned moments. When I was in my twenties, struggling with the possibility of infertility, I had my doctor telling me “no need to do tests now you are so young!”. I believed him. Following the loss of my dad, and being in my thirties, I felt absolutely different.
I talk a lot about these two struggles because they feel like battles I am still fighting. Neither are things I can change as they are defined points in time. When money is tight and the house needs fixing those are things I can change by saving money and finding a good price conscious handy man. I can’t change the type of infertility I have by seeing a doctor. We tried that. It is what it is. I can’t call up to heaven and ask to speak to my dad because I miss him and need to hear his voice. It also is what it is.
While I can not change those situations, what I can do is change how I view them. Sometimes it takes time and distance to change ones perspective just as if you are an artist needing to look at a landscape differently.
Due to my family medical history, I always knew there was a possibility I could never biologically have children. Growing up with that possibility meant I had some time to think about I could do. Ever since I was a young child I knew I wanted to be a foster parent and adoptive parent irregardless of what I could or couldn’t do biologically. Most people struggling with infertility don’t have that type of perspective from such a young age. Even with that perspective, I like others struggling with infertility feel like our self worth does not amount to much because we can not “produce”. What hit me hard after loosing my dad is the knowledge that I won’t be able to look any children in the eyes and see my dad.
The loss of my dad has been a daily struggle. I never had the father/daughter relationship that parents and children dream of. Our relationship was always fraught with struggle. I was not the little girl in frilly dresses he thought I would be. Instead I was the girl in frilly dresses that climbed trees and helped fix cars. I could sense in my dad that I was not what he thought I would be and that made how I felt about him tense. We argued all the time. But the day I knew he would no longer be there to pick up any broken pieces was the worst day. Through all of our arguments and issues I had always known if I needed them he would be there.
Even though the ground work to view my infertility differently had been there since childhood getting from point A to point B was a struggle. Picking myself up after the day we lost my dad took time. It all still takes time.
Even as I had dreams of being a foster parent I never knew what type of foster parent I would become. Sure I knew I wanted to protect children. Yes I knew I never wanted to loose contact with any of them. BUT did I know I would be the type of person who would regularly have former foster children in their home as if they were still my children or nieces and nephews? No. I didn’t know that. I could have assumed that is what I would do based on who I am but I never KNEW that.
Something else I didn’t know is that I do see my dad in all the children I help raise. With one of my nephews I see my dad’s love of seeing how things work. In both of my nieces I see his love of desserts. I get to share his creativity, compassion, positive thinking, and love through me and because I that I see it in each of them. While I miss my dad like crazy I know he wouldn’t want me to change who I am today just to have him one more day. I also know that I wouldn’t be the foster parent I am right now if he were still here. Towards the end of his life my dad was physically handicapped and I was one of his caregivers. If my dad was here today then I most likely never would have met, loved, or cared for any of the children we have fostered so far.
I can not see changing my life or my world as it is right now. Sadly this means I can not see a world in this present that would have my dad. As I say that I also feel the same way about “if” Rent-a-Dad and I had been able to have biological children. Our worlds today would be different. I don’t want that.
I wouldn’t change the people who are in my life today for anything. To realize and recognize that means I live with my struggles with a heavy but very full heart. I know I am blessed. I know that somewhere in all that mess called life I am very blessed. So yes some days I look at how messy my house is and how messy my life is and I wonder how we got blessed in all this mess…