Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life, or Just a Dress Rehersal?

In contemplating the adoption option, M and I have discussed many different scenarios.  One tool that we have been using is to "try on" different outcomes.  We've decided to imagine how our lives would be if we were parenting a toddler, a school-aged child, twins, a biological infant, an adopted infant, and children of different races.  During these try outs, I've tried to imagine myself in different scenarios and picture what I would do, say, act like, feel like if I was living out this situation.  It has really helped us to fine tune our decision making process into what "type" of child we would be comfortable parenting, and has helped us to get used to situations that might be different or uncomfortable.

Another options to contemplate, and one I've been a bit afraid to consider fully, is the "child-free" option.  What would my life be like if we were child free.  I've been thinking about that option a bit lately, and it scares me a bit to realize how easily I could picture the choices I would make and the things I would do.  I think we'd live downtown, rather than the suburbs.  We'd travel - and go to Europe - preferably when an unpronounceable volcano isn't mucking up traffic and air quality.  Maybe we'd save our money for a vacation home (rather than a college fund).  I wonder if we'd make different career choices?  I think I would take more chances and explore the unfamiliar a bit.

Sometimes, it scares me with how exciting and carefree this life feels.  It would be so easy to give up and this child free life sounds kind of fun.  Then, I think further down the road.  When we're 50.  What will life be like then?  When we're 80?  Who is going to invite us for the holidays?  Will we always be the aunt and uncle who don't have anywhere to go?  Who will help me clean my apartment when I'm 82 and cannot see the dirt any longer?  Whose photos will I display on the wall?  Who will I tell my "when I was your age" stories to?  Who will get my scrapbooks and my collected family memories that I've been cherishing?  Whose wedding will I cry at?  Whose baby will I dream of and long to hold?  Who will miss me when I'm gone?

I contemplate and think and plan and wonder.  And, I realize, that I've lived the child-free life, and it isn't that exciting.  I shouldn't hold back on living now, and if I really am doing so, then I need to STOP.  And, I believe that child free living isn't for me.  I want it all.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog for ICLW.

    What a great, great post. I too have been picturing different adoption scenarios, and the whole child free life. I know that the child free life would be the easiest path to take, but on the other hand, also the hardest. I cannot imagine my life without a child in it. For me, it's as simple as that...whatever else is meant to be, will be!

    Good luck on your journey...I will be following along! :)

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  2. Happy ICLW!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. As far as the list goes, our agency is unique in using a numbered list in the waiting pool. They still match waiting families with expectant mothers but by starting with family #1 and move down the list until they find a match. So, a little more controlled than being thrown in a pool. It actually works better with my control-freak-self but at the same time it feels constraining. Good luck on your decision!

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  3. It's an excellent idea to try to visualize your life in those different scenarios. I hope and pray that your ideal situation presents itself and brings you peace.

    ICLW

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  4. And you should have it all! Hang in there. Great blog, can't wait to read more. I'm your newest follower from IComLeavWe.

    -K
    http://mypottyseat.blogspot.com/

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  5. Thanks for your comment on my blog. We went through all of those scenarios as well when we were deciding on adoption, or foster care, or foster to adopt, etc. I even made a list recently of what our life would be like without children. What we could do, what we could spend our money on, and the list goes on and on. Then I thought screw it - all I've ever wanted to be is a mom - why the hell am I writing this list? Never in a million years did I think I would be contemplating a child-free life and I'm not going to ever again. Everyone should be able to have it all without having to settle. Good luck with everything!

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  6. We've had those child-free thoughts too. We came down to trying to make most of the child-free goals happen anyway. Sure, they'll take a bit longer if there are kids but it's still a goal to work towards.

    ICLW
    http://daega99-arewethereyet.blogspot.com/

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  7. I am ok with being childfree, but that's my choice. I think you need to figure out that your life will be wonderful NO MATTER what happens. You can choose for it to be wonderful

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  8. Here through ICLW, and thanks for this post. I can still vividly remember the LAST time (and there were MANY times over the five plus years before our first child joined our family) Hubs and I tried on the idea of child-free living. We reached the same conclusion as you. In our story, that was the night that the first mother of our first child was choosing us to parent. We met her a week later and our daughter was born two days later. What you say is the truth... YOU have to live. And bless you on this journey!

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  9. That was a great post and so true. You know in your heart which road you want to travel down and hopefully you're able to!

    ICLW #119

    http://lovelyladybump.blogspot.com/

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  10. What a great thought process. Throughout the years I too have tried to picture myself childfree and decided it wasn't where I wanted to be. I wish you much success and peace on your journey and know whatever you choose and whatever presents itself will be right for you. Happy iclw. What a great blog to stumble upon, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us all, i really enjoyed reading.

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  11. This is an amazing post. We *just* decided to adopt, like last week, and I've been trying to find other folks who are in the pre-homestudy, still feelin' it all out stages. Hope you don't mind another follower!

    Happy ICLW!
    ~Miriam (ICLW #39)
    Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed

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