Saturday, December 05, 2009

What Next?

Perhaps surprisingly, I seem to be okay. Sad and subdued, but not depressed. I've enjoyed weekends with a house filled with kids and long sessions on hot summer days with a blow-up swimming pool, icecreams and water pistols, and it was quite fun, even for me.

I am already thinking about my Plans B (more career emphasis) and C (some respite volunteering, posssibly as a precursor to fostering).

Yes, I am seriously considering Plan C: Fostering. I don't think of it as a substitute for another biological child. More as a way of making some good come out of this depressing situation. If we had the capacity for a second child, perhaps we have the capacity to give a child who is already alive some love and stability.

Sometimes when I looked around at the clinic and saw the yearning faces on the women, then looked at the posters begging for foster carers with the sad faces of the children, I felt like some connection should be made.

Actually, having all these kids in our house has increased that feeling. It has reminded me that, actually, I never really yearned for a baby, as such. When I think about what I want, it's always an older child running around the house, talking at the dinner table, and playing with the Little Dude. It's almost as if what I really want is a certain level of riotous noise - without it, the house seems too quiet, our lives just a little bit too empty.

But of course, it is not as simple as that. As someone who had a problematic father, I have some sense of what a stable adult can bring to a kid's life, the value of just having another adult to rely on and talk to. When I was a kid, I cultivated my own "auntie" type adults. But I also have an idea of the kind of disruption and probable sadness it would bring, too. If you bring a child into your life, you also bring their parents into your life. Would there be drunken, abusive, mentally ill parents at my door at 3am? Quite possibly. And I could get that from within my own family!

In some ways, what I should do now is Plan B: Work on my career, earn more money. For a start, we are pretty broke thanks to our financially ruinous IVF habit. Plus, it would be building on what I am good at and do naturally. I always find it easy to lose myself in work. I go back to work with a sigh of relief like some people go back to using their dominant right hand after a long period of clumsily trying to use their left following a bad break.

But I feel I need something that feeds my heart. That creates some connection with other people. That gives a purpose to all this spare love that currently has no othe direction, this impulse to rescue, this ability to care for others. It's not my dominant hand, but these years of being a carer, of being a mother, have given me some kind of skill with that left hand that maybe shouldn't be wasted.

The Big Dude is not at all keen. I think he was hoping for a quiet life in front of the telly. But I'm only 38 and I'm not ready for a life in front of the telly.


Blogger Sailor said...

I hope that whichever way you decide, plan B, or C, or perhaps there's even a D you don't know about yet, that you find peace and fulfillment in it.

Riotous noise can be a blessing indeed, so good luck with that if it's the future you find.

3:37 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Well, Em, I'm familiar with the Riotous Noise, and it is wonderful. But even still, 'contemplative-type' that I am, there are plenty of days that I wish it weren't quite so constant and obligatory. And children with varying degrees of mental illness bring their own unique sets of challenges, as well. . .

You pays yer money, and you makes yer choice. And oftentimes, the specific choice you make is less important than that you carry it thru with love and integrity. . .

Blessings to you, my friend. . .

6:22 AM  

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