Monday, June 14, 2010

Infertility: My Empty Nest

Empty Nest SyndromeImage by cindy47452 via Flickr

I needed to write a bio for my new gig at Colloquy Moms and I admit that initially, the whole task seemed daunting. Yes, they have a pretty loose and open definition of what a mom is, but what exactly was I going to say about my version of motherhood? So I decided it was time for a refresher course on family building options, time to review the materials at Resolve once again.

Resolve is the National Infertility Association. Robert and I joined back in 2004 and even attended an adoption conference sponsored by them in 2005. Then we decided that, due to my emerging chronic illnesses and disability, we needed to put our family building options on hold, and let our membership lapse due to financial constraints created when I could not work anymore.

I went to the site yesterday looking for more information about the family building choice of not having children. Yes, choosing to have an empty nest is a family building option.

To be honest, I did not find a lot there on this choice, but what I did find inspired me to write the following:

With our family building plans on hold for now, we are trying out the option of life without children. But just because we don't have children of our own doesn't mean kids aren't an important part of our lives. We are part of the village that is raising the children of our friends and the kids in our neighborhood. We also donate to causes that support children's health and education, of which PBS is one of our favorites. I satisfy my mothering urges by nurturing a backyard container vegetable garden, rescuing and fostering stray kittens, being a devoted and doting pet parent and enjoying arts and crafts like loom knitting.

Truthfully, I have been trying this option on for a while now. Another point made at the Resolve site was that we could always change our minds and pursue other family building options if this one wasn't a good fit. That is good advice. But I can't help but feel a bit hopeless in the face of my chronic illnesses. They appear to be stubbornly stuck in a status quo, never giving me a break and letting get just a bit better. I'm not sure I can be a good enough mother in my current condition and it pains me to admit this.

Robert and I are willing to be so flexible in our family building plans. We actually agreed that we should look into adopting a child from the foster care system and would even consider bringing a pair of same sex siblings into our home. With our multicultural marriage, we don't have our hearts set on a particular race or color either. And since I am diabetic, we would be willing to take on a child that has some medical issues because we know that we could handle them.

So why can't God see fit to let us win some kind of lottery so we could hire the right amount of help to support us raising a family?


There are so many feelings that have sprung up right now that I feel the need to stop and compose myself. Clearly this is one of the BIG unresolved issues in my life. But don't worry, I'll come here again. In the meantime, I'll figure out a way to keep being O.K. with all of this, even though it is not my first choice.

To be continued...

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