Thursday, November 13, 2008

One Year

Today marks one year since our dossier flew off to Ethiopia via Fed Ex.

I thought I would be a big, sobby, mess today but I'm not. Hmmmmmm....this is good.

Our mini-break out to the west coast definitely helped. We both needed the time to relax and unwind from the daily stresses of life.

What really helped was this: I am part of a clothing club. 10 girls get together once a month and we throw $25 into a pot. We draw a name and that girl wins the pot of money for the month. She then gets to spend her $250 anyway she wants. Anyways, we met last month on a Monday. I had not been in a good frame of mind for a while. I was sad, angry, disillusioned, tired - you name it! I had the 10 and 11 month blues bad.

I wasn't going to go to this gathering. But I thought I to myself - "Self, you need to go out, you need to be around people, you need to stop moping around the house." So, I got myself ready, showered, did my hair, put my make-up on trying to cover the deep, dark circles that had taken up residence under my eyes. I stepped back from the mirror and I thought to myself - "Self, you look pretty good, as good as one can for someone who is feeling like she has been hit by a mack truck of emotions." "You will hold your head high, no one will know you are feeling so low, you will have fun."

I headed down to the restaurant we were meeting at and sat down at the table. This night only 4 of the 10 girls could make it. We ordered drinks, some ordered food and we all chatted for awhile.

All of a sudden one the girls (who I had met thru this club and only 2 or 3 times) looked right at me and said "ARE YOU ALRIGHT? YOU LOOK VERY STRESSED!!!" And she said it just like that - fairly loud and with great emphasis! Now, it could have been my sensitive self hearing it as though it had been been broadcast on a bullhorn to the whole restaurant. I am sure she said it in her indoor voice but that is not what I heard and the worst part was she had said what I was feeling. I was feeling stressed, tired, and like I had aged a hundred years in the last few months. Only I thought I was doing a good job of hiding it - obviously not!

I deflated faster than a balloon that has been poked by a pin. I wanted to cry, crawl under the table, or run out of the restaurant as fast I could. The other girls all turned and looked at me with the look, you know the look! The look that says "aaaaaw, are you o.k.?" followed by pity nods. I explained in a condensed version why I was feeling this way. It has to be condensed for those not on the adoption roller coaster because if you get too detailed their eyes start to glaze over. They all commiserated with me and then we moved onto the next topic.

I tried to be engaged, funny, witty, and to act like there was nothing I wanted more than to be right where I was. Truth be told - I wanted to go home and sit on our couch and cry. At that exact moment - when a veritable stranger can tell you are falling apart - well, at that exact moment you have lost the art of the "happy face" and it is time to make some changes!!!

I got lost in the fear - it consumed me. I let it affect every ounce of my being - I started to believe that I was victim. I got lost in the "What if?" worst case scenarios. I forgot about the "Law of Attraction" - where what you put out into the universe is what you attract back. I was putting out fear and I was getting it back ten fold. I believed that I could control every aspect of my life and what happened was the fear started to control me. I forgot to live in the present.

I have decided I don't want to feel like I have these past few months. I want to be happy and fun to be around again. I want to laugh and enjoy life . I don't want to get consumed with the "What if?" again. Will this be easy? HECK NO!!! Will I get caught up in my own self-pity again - probably! Will I let it get as far as it did before - no way! It is way harder being sad than it is being happy.

I don't want to look and feel like this anymore:

I'd rather look like this:

So, here is to being one year closer to our dream of a family!

And me being able to keep this calm and peaceful state of mind. Oh PLEASE let me keep this calm, peaceful state of mind!! I will be calm. I will be peaceful. I will be calm. I will be peaceful. My new mantra!


Anonymous said...

Oh Rana, I am so sorry you felt that way and had to fake it. I hate that glazed look that people get when they are done listening. I just want to reach out and give you a big hug. I am so glad you are feeling better. I look back at how I felt waiting to bring Selam home, and I am horrified who I was. I am so different now and I feel huge amounts of guilt about it. I wasted so much time being miserable and preoccupied with the whole process. Nothing I did would have made it faster except maybe keeping positive. I pray that you hear really soon. I am going to be screaming from the roof for you that is for sure!
love, Natasha

CinnamonOpus said...

Rock the peace, girlfriend.

Here's to not having to pretend you're happy when you are sad anymore. Here's to preparing for a great adventure ahead of you with positivity, optimism, and inner equilibrium. Here's to you being one step closer to that wonderful, glittering prize of family.

Every day is one step closer to where you want to be.

Sherri said...

You are very inspiring to me Rana!! I'm excited for you to reach and go past this 12 months mark - yippee!!!!!! And I'm all for the peace mantra - it helps me so much as well!!!
So excited for your news in the coming months!! But - I've come to appreciate you for the person you were before the news too - don't ever forget that! Sherri

Sandra Knight said...

You will get thru this. we all will. There is no way of making it better, just know that you are not alone. (unless you want to be alone, in which case we can leave you alone). hang in there, sk

Rhonda and Kristin said...

It's a big milestone the old one year point. I did it...therefore you shall and you shall survive and the memories of this disgusting time in your life will soon be vanishing.

I can't even imagine hearing the comments from "the girl"...youch. We think we hide everything so well, but in fact a lot of the time, it's right out there, but whether people choose to acknowledge it is another!

I'm so excited for the 30th so I can give you a HUGE happy 1 year hug and pass on whatever strength I have inside me...just for you to keep.


Carolyn said...

I am very impressed with your new attitude- I could learn a lesson from you I think! Well my friend we are getting so close- 12 months of waiting means that we are 12 months closer to seeing our babies! I am hoping for good news soon and that we get to be travel buddies!



Gaunt Family said...

If each day on the calendar is one baby step towards your child, you have already made 365 of them. That is progress my friend. There's a light at the end of this tunnel and trust me that when you see it the many months in darkness will quickly fade.

If only there were a place (I'm thinking resort) that adoptive parents could go in the waiting. Nobody else, just us. It would have resident counsellors and massage therapists and yoga and drinks in coconut shells.

I digress. That was a nice thought though. ;-)

This too shal pass. I know it doesn't help much but there is truth in the statement.

Littleone said...

I am right there with you Rana and I truly hope that I can be as strong and positive as you. This is a long journey and unfortnately those not on it don't really understand it. Luckily you have a wonderful adoption support group. Heres to makin it 365 days and being that much closer to our little ones.


Janice said...

Love the attitude Rana and that's one scary image you attached...I hope you don't ever feel like that again.

Natalie and Chris said...

Rana, i'm sad that you had to feel that way and even worse had to explain AGAIN to people why you were feeling that way, but i'm SO HAPPY that you have turned over a new leaf, no matter how long it last and that you are looking at the 12mths as a milestone. I have definitely learnt strenght from you. Natalie

D Dae said...

Excellent mantra!! It sounds to me like you have learned an invaluable lesson that will make you an even better mum! Its hard, but you can do it, you can make it through this, you will be a family. Sending lots of hugs!

haze said...

Yeah. That 1st picture? I've seen you look better, Rana.

Phew, you've jumped the 12-month hurdle. It's a biggie, but you didn't trip so you'll be fine. That mini break obviously did you some good (I love the idea of a resort too - I would pay extra agency $$ for such a set up).

So - you, me, Ramona, Carolyn, and everyone else at the 1-year anniversary - we are so much closer now. It's so exciting!!

Ricki said...

You've made it to the one year mark, yahoo!! My theory is that if you can make it this far with most of your sanity in tact, you will make it all the way.
I used to get to the point where I couldn't fake it anymore and I would just tell people I'm having a really hard day, the wait is long and shitty and so I feel like crap and no amount of nice words are going to change's not anybody's fault, it's just the way it is.
So yes I hope you can find peace and calmness but don't deny yourself your shit days's how we let out our emotions (much to our husbands dismay!).
My fingers are crossed that there is an extra special Christmas present on it's way to you :)
I am looking forward to seeing you on the 30th!

Anonymous said...

Ok, so I almost started to cry reading your question about if you were stressed out....says something about how well I've been holding up the last week or so (ok, I'll be honest- the last 13 months!! Ok so, the first while it was exciting to finally be waiting... finally waiting...we'll leave that one alone now!). I can't even remember what adoption swear words to avoid, because all I can say is hang in there. On some odd positive note, you are technically over 1 year closer because it was a leap year... One day we (you, Rhonda, Ricki, Sherri, Hazel, Jodi, Carolyn, Donna and on goes the list)will all look back on our blogs and smile because our little ones WILL BE HOME.
And as for the adoptive parent retreat- I'm in. Maybe I should suck it up part of the time and get hired as one of the counsellors- the funding could help! And I should have some understanding.. Or let's just all do some crazy get-together once our kids are home!
PS I won't be leaving you alone even if you want me to (like Sandra mentioned)- we're all in this journey together!

Ramona said...

Ooops! That was me who wrote the long entry above- I had used my sisters account for something and forgot to sign out...

Julie said...

So close Rana.

Rana said...

Just so you all know I in no way want you to leave me alone! I seriously wouldn't make it thru this without all your love and support!

Chad, Laura and Sara said...

Add one for supporter to your list...we all need to stick together. Hope you don't mind if I check in from time to time?


Shannon and Dan said...

Hey Rana,
I was really hoping that you wouldn't have to make it to the one year mark but alas, it has come.
That is so true about what you put out is what you get back.
Here is to being one year closer to your wee one and hopefully an extra surprise for Christmas.

Rana said...

Hi Laura!

Welcome! I don't mind if you check in at all - I am always thankful for the support :) You are right we all need each other.

I will check in on you too :)

Dianne said...

I am a bad, bad blogging friend. I was so sure I'd left you some one-year hugs, and I actually hadn't.



I know what you mean about losing your Sunshine Face. Usually I just hide from people when I can't find it. Your approach of finding it again sounds much more reasonable :)