Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Votes Are In

I don't know if I've ever said exactly what it is that I do at work - probably not, because it's not that interesting. But anyway, here it is: I work in University Planning. There, I've said it. I'm a Planner. I like to plan. And sometimes I think that the reason that all this fertility stuff is hard for me is not actually because I would be such a wonderful mother, and isn't it a shame, but just because it's a situation that I can't control or plan for. Note my completely subconscious and unintended moan about family planning two posts down. Yes, I cry at baby knitting books (see below) but sometimes I fear it is tears of pure rage at not getting my own way rather than overflowing maternal hormones. This is a hard thing to learn about myself, although it's probably blindingly obvious to everyone who knows me.

I guess at some time or other we've all noticed that it seems God touches and challenges us just exactly where we don't want to be touched or challenged, and this is definitely one of those times for me. I've always had trouble with the 'be anxious for nothing' stuff, but have (sort of) managed it by trying to just be really, really in control of everything so I wouldn't need to be anxious because I've planned it all out and everything is under control. And of course that's never actually possible, but sometimes it's possible to fool myself that it is. Except for now, when it's really really clear that when it comes to this adoption, I am not going to be able to sort things out just by getting my ducks in a row. Frankly, I don't even know where the ducks are. Some days I'm not sure I was allocated any ducks.

This doesn't stop me trying to retain the shreds of control that I have. There are pretty strong warnings about complacency in the bible (James 4:13-16, anyone?) but sometimes I think I transmute this principle all the way over into what's basically superstition. By which I mean - it's probably pretty sensible that we haven't gone out and bought a crib yet. We're not even approved. But I find myself acting as if saying or doing anything that implies I actually believe this whole thing is one day going to happen is somehow going to jinx it. So I try to help it to happen by acting like it won't. This is where the whole blanket thing comes in. "Arrrghhh, I can't knit this! It's presumption! What if we aren't approved! What if our foster home shuts down! What if our plane is hijacked! It will be my fault!" and so on.

This is stupid of me on several levels. It's logically stupid - obviously. I mean, did that last paragraph even make sense? It's theologically stupid - I'm pretty sure that's not how God works. ('Well, the whole thing was going pretty well, but I think I just heard her say she was considering knitting a blanket. No baby for her"). It's egomaniacally stupid - I am not actually powerful enough to magically stop this adoption with my thoughts. It's also psychologically stupid. I've been having awful, terrible agonies over whether to allow myself enough hope to knit a blanket? Do I somehow think that, if this all goes horribly awry, I won't care because 'oh well, at least I never knitted that blanket, so I didn't have very much emotional investment, you know?' I don't think so.

So I decided to knit it.

It's harder than I thought. Not just the knitting, although I'm even less talented in that direction than I remembered. But the letting myself hope, even when I can't control. It's not coming easily. But I'm working on it.


  1. Wow, it's like you are in my head. I have had some conversations with my therapist about having trouble admitting I have even a shred of hope because saying it could jinx it all. She has convinced me that no matter what I think or do, what is going to happen is going to happen. She pointed out that I completely 100% believed without a doubt that IVF#1 would work and it didn't. Now I am 100% convinced that IVF#3 will NOT work.

    All of this to say I think you are making a great choice to just move forward and overcome your fears by making the blanket. I'm holding onto hope for you while you work on finding it for yourself. Hugs.

  2. I hope that everything goes smoothly for you with the adoption. Glad to see that you're letting yourself hope. I know what a rollercoaster ride of emotions you're on.

  3. Take a deep breath, I'm so glad you are allowing yourself hope. It's okay to be in control - of course, I know you know that. Also, give yourself a break, you are too hard on yourself. You have been through quite a bit. :)



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