It's been one of those weeks, the kind that scoops you up on Monday and spits you out at the other end with your head spinning. Many things going on with no real time to talk about them.
We had dinner yesterday with three other couples--high school friends of mine and their spouses. With two zillion kids between us, it was a task of monumental proportions to coordinate schedules and babysitting. But by some miracle we found ourselves gathered together child-free for the first time in four years.
Two of the women are pregnant, due in autumn. I sat with them over dessert and talk drifted to the stuff of pregnancy--obstetricians and ultrasounds and due dates. I listened for awhile, feeling the familiar loneliness of waiting to adopt. Thinking that I'm going to be a mom again, even if the world can't see it. I might have another child this year. Or I might not. Change is happening in my family, too, even if I don't know exactly when or how.
I realized awhile ago that when I'm feeling isolated by adoption or fertility, I can wallow in that or I can do something about it. People (usually) aren't trying to make me feel left out. Adoption is just not the norm. So I jumped in and asked them how they were preparing their older children for the sibling's arrival. (If anyone knows how to get a toddler ready for a baby due to arrive anytime between next month and two years from now, please let me know.) And soon we were talking about that and popular baby names and other things we had in common.
It was silly and small, but I was proud of myself for speaking up, for looking for commonality instead of splashing in self-pity.
(Not all my speaking up went well. I have been driven batty since moving here by being constantly referred to as a "girl" despite being a 32-year old woman with rapidly sagging breasts and a mortgage. When someone asked which of the "girls" wanted to join in a board game, I smilingly said I would play as long as I wasn't called a girl. My attempt at lightheartedly drawing attention to it completely failed. When the other women in the room immediately respond, "Well, he didn't mean anything by calling us girls," you know you picked the wrong moment. Awkward.)
So, speaking up. Not always effective. But worth it.