healing week: the afterwards

Being present in your own life movie

A concept that I love and that I really only just started actively participating in these past few months.

I had to stop blogging. And I had to put a firm boundary in place between the ALI community and my life. It is the absolute best thing I have done for myself in such a long time. I still read my friends blogs but I have to admit they are now parenting after ALI blogs and my reader has dwindled down to those people whom I have formed a really great connection with over the past few years. The reason for the distance – that’s my life now. Parenting after loss and living after loss.

Chandra mentioned in her post that “Society tells you, you got pregnant/you adopted/you had your baby after multiple losses – now move on” and I have to agree with this ideology to a degree. You do have to move on in and accept that whatever happened in your movie to the point you are at now can’t be undone in order for healing to happen. Living in the past kills the present and the healing process. It truly does. I’ll never forget what happened to us in 2010/2011. We went through trauma like no other, my husband and I turned into shells of our usual comedic selves. We lost and began resenting family & friends and we couldn’t see a way out of the hell that we were stuck in. There’s no way I could forget how my movie started but I do wish it hadn’t happened on a daily basis.

We got through the horrible beginning though and we have found a way to live happily again. I think that’s the most important part about the afterwards when you come from a past of loss.

Living.

Quite honestly, I forgot how to do that until our daughter was born.

Josey mentioned in her post that she was “sad people from an ALI background seem to feel that they are not allowed to have the hopes and dreams that your average pregnant woman takes for granted”. I really have to emphasis that for us – coming from loss – our hope never went away, our dreams never really died, they just got edited in our movie. Do I care now that my original script included a midwife, giving birth within months of all my friends, a joyous maternity leave filled with mommy and me classes with said girlfriends, a fat belly with no stretch marks and curly haired half-Italian baby? Nope, it got edited and the remnants of the original script that I wrote are on the cutting room floor.

The editors changed my script so drastically and what we got put in its place was 10 days to prepare for another woman to relinquish her child to me. Say what! I watched her give birth the most beautiful baby in the world out and have her placed in my arms. My family grew to include the most amazing people and my appreciation for life grew to include all those people.

Those editors…you hate them when they mess with the story until you get to the good part 😉

The good part: I became a mom. Just in a different way than I thought.

Occasionally though, like every good drama, there are references to the past in our movie.

We visit the daughter we lost often. We don’t make a point of doing it, but she just happens to be resting in a pond that is on our usual dog walk route. We wink, we kiss on her bridge, or throw some bread to the ducks and their babies and we remember her. However, once the dog sees the ducks and decides he wants to kill chase them or Ky starts screaming protesting in her stroller because WE STOPPED (OMG) for a second, we gotta move on.

And so the story of “us” keeps on moving.

Forward.

Now if you aren’t sick of my movie analogy yet here’s the scene at the end of the movie after the credits roll as you are walking out the theatre.

The girl (errrr me) stands up in front of a large group of people. She starts talking about things like – child loss, adoption, open adoption, grieving, and stillbirth. She opens her entire life/past up when people to who are in similar loss circumstances ask her questions about how she moved on through/after loss. She tells them that its okay if the story they thought was going to happen gets changed and they aren’t alone on the pages. She says

“scripts get changed all the time and you have to believe that the movie is going have a happy ending”

How do I heal? I talk about my story and I try my best to help people not feel alone when they arrive at the decision to adopt a child because their original script got messed with. I think my own personal healing is flourishing now because we are done with our family building.

So, I’m still here. I’m just waiting to see what else the editors have in store for me, not being scared of potential change to my movie, and trying my best to move forward despite the past.

Be sure to go back and read the healing posts written by: Josey, Chandra, Julie, and SRB if you haven’t already done so.

*****

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tpicTracy is a mother to a gorgeous girl whom her and her husband adopted at birth in January of 2012. She holds a Master’s degree in Guidance Counselling and is a high school counsellor by day, self-admitted know it all by night, and gate-keeper of three enormous families on the weekend. She formed her new family by way of an exceptional open adoption and now spends her weekends making sure her family, her husband’s family and her daughters birth family all get to shower her with as much love as she can get. She can be contacted at theyalllived@gmail.com

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Comments

  1. I live how everyone heals differently. And I love that you’re living fully in the moment! Good for you! I believe that all the crap we went through was necessary to get us to where we are today, and I’m grateful for it, in a way. It’s just part of our story!

  2. Amen sister!!! Fantastic post, Trace.

  3. I love your last point, about believing that you will get there. I think I need to focus on that more. It may not be what I thought it would look like, but my happily ever after will be there, as long as I can embrace it.

  4. I’m glad I’m not alone about acting my life like a movie 😉

  5. I love this post and especially your positive attitude and way of thinking of all of this.. the movies of our lives! 🙂

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