I’ve put off writing about my personal life for many reasons, but the main one is the simple fact that I must come to terms with my reality versus what I’ve wanted my entire life. It is not easy, and sooner or later, choices must be made.
I never expected to be single and childless nearing 40. Anyone telling me that I should be happy to be so thoroughly unattached doesn’t know me at all. It never should have been this hard.
As a child, after I learned about Turner Syndrome and infertility, any conversation about infertility included phrases like “don’t worry, the technology will catch up to you” – my well-meaning mother referring to IVF – or some vague mention of adoption.
I’ve long known that adoption was what I wanted for myself. I couldn’t imagine putting myself through round after round of IVF only to have it not work. Physically, I might have been OK, but emotionally, I don’t know how I could knowingly do that to myself time and time again.
In a sense, Mom was right. IVF is more accessible and successful than ever. It still doesn’t change the fact that failure is the most common outcome. It doesn’t change the fact that I would need donor eggs. Most important of all, it doesn’t change the fact that there are so many children who need love and a home – now.
Then why am I so hesitant when it comes to adoption? That is a trickier question. I suppose it has a lot to do with the fact that I will be doing this alone. Somehow, I never thought I’d end up being single. Even though I barely dated in high school, I thought I’d meet the right man in college. In fact, I counted on it.
Oh, I could write a book on how I met all the wrong boys at Michigan State and across the world – or I should say, a handful of well-intentioned boys who never saw me as anything but a little sister. One actually said that to my face. I intentionally use the term boys here; I have yet to date a man.
Why am I always good enough for friendship and that’s it? During my time at MSU, I lost a lot of weight, and the resulting male attention still leaves me unspeakably angry. I was still the same smart, well-intentioned girl who can be fun and funny once you get to know her. Only my weight changed. One day I wasn’t worth knowing; the next, I didn’t know what to do. While I wasn’t exactly drowning in male attention, I noticed. It became all too clear.
Why should I have to change some arbitrary characteristic to be happy? That is an awful message to send to anyone – but as a society, we do it all day, every day.
I suppose I should worry about myself and pursue parenthood on my own. That is exactly what I intend to do. Yet, there is such a huge piece of my life missing. I never wanted it to be this way. Hopefully, I’ll be pleasantly surprised and finally meet the right man. Unfortunately, that takes an incredible leap of faith living in Arenac County.
What it comes down to is that I am tired. I am tired of being rejected before someone gets to truly know me. I am tired of being lied to repeatedly. I am tired of being alone. I am tired of watching everyone else find their person, knowing that it probably won’t happen for me.
Above all, I am tired of feeling not enough. I am enough. It is time I started acting like it.
The biggest obstacle I face, aside from all that comes with foster care and/or adoption (by the way, anyone who thinks it is easy knows nothing about either), is trust. Being on the receiving end of lying and cheating will do that to a person, particularly when that is your only experience in a relationship.
How can I bring myself to ever trust again? Yet, I must. I refuse to let one bad relationship, no matter how long or awful, have the last word on love.
By the way, if you are concerned about me after reading this, don’t be. I will be fine no matter what happens. I am just incredibly frustrated and see no easy fix. People may question why I share something so intensely personal. It is for this simple reason: I do not want anyone in a similar situation to feel alone. He or she is not alone.