.november 21st.

Today is (the baby formerly known as) Saul Spencer’s first birthday. It’s also the expected due date for the pregnancy that we lost in April, the baby we call Love Child. R had surgery on Monday to remove the hardware from her left foot. And last week, we had a foster care placement fall through after five days of planning and hoping. So things have been emotional. But, I have to say, that despite all of this, we’re actually okay.

I miss Saul. I do. I still think about him every day. I suspect I always will. I wonder about him and worry about him. I wish there was a way to see a picture or video of him. I wish there was a way to know who he is in the world without having to interact with his birth mother.

And I am also deeply sad that Renee isn’t 40 weeks pregnant right now. I’m sad that her gestational experiences have been met with loss and disappointment. And I know that I’m missing so much in not actively being a non-gestational parent yet.

But over the years we’ve learned well how to take the hit and to press on regardless. Renee’s surgery went very well, and, I suspect, that she will have increased mobility once this incision site heals. Also, she was a completely adorable weepy stoner coming out of anesthesia this time, which was a welcome change from the agony she woke up in after this summer’s surgery. And this fierce Dragon baby is thriving at 21 weeks along. He’s beginning to move and kick more, making his presence in our family feel all the more real. He finally (stubborn boy) let his mama feel him move this past week!

Having the foster care placement fall through was, to be sure, a big disappointment. In practical terms, we canceled a longed-for trip to NYC with close friends in anticipation of his arrival. We also lost a bit of money in the process. But mostly we’re sad because our little family likely won’t be complete when we move next year, which was an exciting prospect given that we already feel we’ve welcomed four children into our lives over the last three years.

Still, we press. And we love. And we strive for better all the time. And we often come up short, but that’s so human that it’s comforting. I feel a nesting urge at the outset of this winter: to curl up together in our hollow log and dream about spring; to relish this fleeting time as a family of three; to appreciate the stillness and quiet to be found in the long, dark winter days.

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