To Love a Rose: An Ethiopian Adoption Journal

Friday, May 27, 2011


Image courtesy of Quotable Cards

At the end of TS Eliot's poem The Waste Land,  he repeats one word three times "shantih, shantih, shantih" or "peace, peace, peace".  When I was in college, one of my English professors translated "shantih" (or "shanti") as "the peace that passes all understanding, pax, and shalom", making a sort of Biblical reference from the Hindi word.  I have it tattooed on my right wrist to remind myself to slow down, calm down, and let go.

I've been asked several times lately how I can be so peaceful when I'm battling something like infertility.  This makes me laugh, because most of these people have obviously not been witness to the "not-so-peaceful" times of recent past.  Peace has not been an innate personality trait for me, but rather a that I'm nowhere near close to completing; and honestly, I'm fine with that.

Since the adoption and infertility conferences, I haven't really had a chance to write a personal update on where Mr. C and I are emotionally and beyond.  In short, we've decided that if this medicated cycle didn't/doesn't work; then, we're done with TTC.  I know to a lot of people that may seem strange.  While we've only been TTC with meds for 6 months, we've been dealing with infertility and PCOS since we were married.  In October, we will be married 3 years.  That's a long time to be struggling with something as emotionally and financially draining as IF.  Physically, I'm exhausted.  My body is so tired of the injections, pills, suppositories, and constant ultrasounds.  I've endured muscle twitches/spasms, night sweats, cramps galore, timed sex (yes, very romantic), IUI, an HSG, biopsies, nausea, and more...all of this and I haven't even gotten pregnant!  Mr. C and I have just come to the conclusion that it's not worth it anymore.

With all the money we've spent thus far this year alone, we could be more than half-way through an adoption.  It's a sobering thought.  Which is why we've decided that adoption is the way to go.  We're wary to get back into adoption after our past experiences, but the new agency we're looking into seems to be very stable; and the program(s) we're thinking about are Hague accredited, which has set our minds (and hearts) at ease.

If you read my blog, you know that I recently started going to Dr. L for acupuncture.  He had warned me that many times when he treats women for IF that their cycles reset.  After Thursday's session, I had slight spotting; luckily that's all it was, so this cycle isn't totally lost.  I've decided, though, to stick with Dr. L and continue acupuncture to get my PCOS under control no matter what (TTC or not TTC).  I'm sad about leaving Dr. S's care, I really feel like we've become friends through this process; but I know that the next step for us is IVF anyway; which Dr. S's office doesn't offer to begin with.

It's hard to say exactly what has caused all of the stress and desperation to leave my heart, but it has.  I think maybe a lot of it has to do with the many brave women who shared their battles with IF at the adoption conference last Friday.  Sitting in a room with all of these lovely couples just like us reminded me that there is so much more to life than TTC and having children.  My infertility is a part of me, but it doesn't define me.  PCOS has changed me, but it hasn't distorted my soul.  Only I can allow it to affect me in these ways, and I simply cannot allow that to happen.  Sometimes the strongest action is inaction or letting go.  So, I'm letting go of trying to have a biological child.

Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that I'm not sad.  It doesn't mean I have to like the fact that I have PCOS and IF.  It doesn't mean that I'm going to forget everything and suddenly live in a state of constant bliss.  That's simply not the case at all.  I'm still upset.  I'm still angry at times.  I still feel a slight bitter twinge when I see pregnant women pass me in the store or on the street.  I still question God every now and then.  Like the quote above says, peace isn't about the absence of chaos (or chaotic emotions); but to somehow remain calm deep in your heart.  No matter what the future holds, I feel that God has truly set me on a course for fulfillment and peace.

Shanti, shanti, shanti...


  1. Hi Mandie. Your post made me think of the song "Forever and ever" by DavidCrowder*Band.

    "Love so incredible to know
    It's never gonna go
    Never gonna go

    Love too impossible and true
    For anyone but You
    For anyone but You

    I think I'm on the brink
    of something large
    Maybe like the breaking of a dawn
    Or maybe like a match being lit
    Or the sinking of a ship
    Letting go gives a better grip

    I'm finding everything I'll ever need
    By giving up gaining everything
    Falling for You for eternity
    Right here at Your feet
    Where I wanna be
    I am Yours "

    I've always liked the "Letting go gives a better grip", but I haven't had to live it as outright as you and Mr C.

    I will continue to pray for both of you and the future Baby C. Blessings!!!

  2. i love your peace quote. that definition is so poignant. like a mantra; that tiny quiet or sane spot within the chaos of the mind. i feel the need to blow that up and make art design of it in every room of my home.

    i am very interested in hearing about your adoption journey and am very excited for you both :)

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