One of the joys of having ADD is that your mind is always racing and you are always thinking ahead. It makes it hard to live in the present without thinking ahead. As I’ve closed the door on parenthood to protect myself I’ve begun to wonder what I can do with my life to fill the void that being childless has left me. At this time I don’t think I could volunteer with something that had to do with children. It’s too much of a reminder of what isn’t. Maybe I would get involved more so in the Greyhound rescue we adopted Lila from (how could you not love that cute face below). But none of those things will fill the void left by being childless.
The thing is long term can I continue to let what isn’t consume my life and keep me down? Or do I make the best of what’s been handed to me and turn it into fuel to make the future for others better. Which brings me to a piece from one of my favorite people (and I have many of them) in the adoption community, Claudia D’Arcy of Musings of the Lame. A little background on Claudia, she is a mother who at the age of 19 was forced to relinquish her son due to societal pressures that existed in the baby scoop era. When I first found her site I was angry (still am) at a lot of the things I read on adoption. I know that I pissed off a lot of her readers and most likely pissed her off a few times. I admit I was a dick. The truth is I was ignorant on adoption and had a lot of grief that I took out on pieces that stirred up a lot of emotions in me. Being the strong determined to get her message out type of person she is, Claudia put up with a lot of my antics and allowed me to engage and learn about adoption. I highly recommend reading her site if you are someone considering adoption. I caution though to read it with an open mind and get to know her story before judging her. This is someone who is as tough as nails. She has been through a lot, been shit on a lot and has turned something negative in her life into a mission in her life to make the world a better place. That is what I admire about her the most (along with being Italian like me).
Earlier today she wrote a piece on “Finding Happiness in spite of Adoption Reunion Issues”. In the middle of the piece she discusses people control their own happiness despite what circumstances they are handed that are out of their control. She was referring to adoptees an birth/first/natural parents in a reunion where one side may not be on the same page as the other. While being childless due to infertility is a loss that is due to medical reasons whereas adoption is human made, she does being up a good point that can be applied to many aspects in life.
Claudia then takes a turn to say something that really hit home for me:
There comes a time where I think we have to almost give up on the things that we have decided will make us feel happy and content and begin to accept the reality of life and be happy in spite of it.
It’s not so much that I feel only being a parent will make me feel happy but it will make me content. I already have a great wife, nice house, a good stable job, we’ve traveled as well the only thing missing is being a parent and starting a family. It’s all I ever set out to do in life and now that I am not able to have children I am at a loss of what to do next that will fill that void. Claudia has chosen to live her life in spite of the pain adoption has brought her and has done a damn good job of it. Is what I should do is live my life in spite if being infertile and take my loss using it as fuel to make things better for the future? Will knowing that I’ve educated others on the realities of infertility (specifically male infertility) and how the childless are outcasted fill that void? I don’t know if it will. Right now I’m not at the point to make that next move. But it’s hard to not think about the next move when I’m someone who has a hard time staying in the present.