Saturday, March 5, 2011

Is it luck?

Or do we make our own fate?

Why do some get what they want and need, while others spend their lives trying to attain the same things? Why do people starve while others throw away food? Why are there the fortunate and the unfortunate, in all things, when an objective mind sees that we could try to even most things out?

I've been thinking about this a lot in a broad sense -- why are people in Ethiopia starving even as I send a huge batch of compost to the heap every few nights? -- as well as a more focused sense. I've been pondering this in terms of family building. Who is lucky, or unlucky, in fertility and adoption, and why?

I'd like to believe that the reason we are happily raising two wonderful sons is because of us, and because of the choices we made. We could have pursued fertility treatments and we might still be TTC five years in. Wouldn't that be horrible? And yet... we could have pursued fertility treatments and we might have 3 much loved children right now thanks to that. Or we might have had both our adoptions fall through. Or perhaps our older child could have come to us with such immense special needs that we didn't feel comfortable bringing in a second child.

And how much of this could we really have controlled? Sure we "made our own fate" when we chose adoption, and chose the country and agency and program and criteria.... but even then, fate is fate and if this was fated to be our story then we were just doing our parts to get there, not changing the course of an otherwise unhappy life.

I follow blogs. Lots and lots and lots of blogs. Oh, sure, I have my faves that I actually have bookmarked and check daily (at least!), and if you're reading this and have a blog then yeah you're probably on that list :) But I also check out those blogs links and blogs referenced in articles, and sometimes I outright Google the type of blog I'm looking for.

And I *love* family building blogs! Babies! Kids! Adoption! Fertility! Someone, somewhere, getting double lines! Oooo, so fun!

But, sometimes not fun too...

Right now there are two blogs on my bookmark list that I added around the same time, probably an ICLW from Stirrup Queen. They're right beside each other on my list so as I go down my list, or up if I'm feeling wild, I always see one right after the other.

Both feature an infertile married couple. One adopted a child and is attempting a second through donor embryos. Another is still childless and was just accepted into an experimental IVF program, paying for her IVF cycle. They're procedures were within weeks of each other, and for both I was hoping and praying and clicking and reloading just to see of there was any news.

And there is.

The first is now pregnant. The second is not.

And I can't help but wonder... why?

What makes the first couple (the one with the child already) lucky enough to become pregnant, and yet the childless couple remains childless? And how easily could it have been the other way around? How easily could Blog A be upset about a missed possibility, while Blog B was celebrating a new phase in life?

And how easily could either of these scenarios been me?

I see this in adoption blogs too. Similar circumstances, people waiting at the same time for similar children, and then a country outright closes adoptions halting one family's adoption dream while the other brings their child home a month later. One family still mourns, another celebrates their beloved child. And how easily could the tables have turned? How easily could the one celebrating be the one mourning?

I suppose what I could take away from all this is that everyone, ever person and every family, has an individual story. It's not that there's a big overarching story that encompasses them all, not totally, but that each family has their own story, their own journey, their own timeline. We're loving ours but there was a time we were hating it, just as others are currently hating the hand they've been dealt.

As I ponder this more, I still also hope. I hope for the family with a child trapped overseas, and for the child promised a family. I hope for the married couple waiting and waiting and waiting for that next part of their life to come, waiting for the beginning. I hope that no matter what may come that they too find peace and happiness in their journey and embrace their story.

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