Element of acceptance #1: The willingness to live within the boundaries of life’s natural constraints
Brittany’s body has constraints that suggested to us adoption was the path towards parenthood. However, we have, as everyone does, financial constraints. Should those constraints prove too large, our new constraint would be life without children.
We weren’t happy about these constraints. We’re still not, in fact. We’re taking advantage of the resources we have available to us to process our various losses, including the loss of the way in which we thought life would go. Yet, when the going got tough we were lucky enough to have people around us who were able to guide us into making decisions based on the constraints we have. They did not encourage us to make decisions based on a denial of the constraints.
This was the first step in our journey towards acceptance, and I believe the first step in the journey for everyone struggling with new constraints. We see the constraints and we respond accordingly. We don’t pretend they aren’t there by continuing to sacrifice Brittany’s present and future physical well-being. We try to find a strategy that worked within the options available to us.
Sometimes, that is the best we can do in life. We recognize that we have limited options available and we choose from within those options. If we don’t do that, we’re either living in fantasy or setting ourselves up for even more disappointment.
And, sometimes, having constraints pushes us towards creative and satisfying solutions we would not have otherwise considered. I had not previously considered adoption and, as much as our losses hurt, I couldn’t be happier to be Norah’s dad.