I invited guest author Lindsay Wilhelmi from One Baby, Two Moms to share a post this week – and I’m so glad I did. Lindsay and I met several years ago on an online message board when we were both trying to conceive our now two year olds. I really enjoyed reading this and I’m excited to share it here. I do find myself looking at my family and being so grateful that it takes my breath away – and I want to live in that place, but sometimes I lose sight of it in the daily shuffle. I should keep this bookmarked as a reminder. ~ Sandra
I approach parenting with intention and gratitude. I soak in the minutiae, with an acute awareness that I might never have another shot at this. Might never again feel my body grow vibrant and full with the promise of new life. Might never again hear the sweet mews and snuffles of my newborn, nor laugh over my infant’s face and fists full of avocado, nor watch my toddler bravely leap from the bottom step for the first time. Perhaps other parents enter into their unique adventures with similar mentalities. Maybe they, too, realize what a gift the blessing of a child is. But there is something that feels especially weighty when one can say so literally, “my child is nothing short of a living, breathing gift, and I strive not to take a moment of this child’s incredible presence in my life for granted.”
As lesbian women with dreams of a family but lacking necessary genetic material, my wife and I had several options to consider as we mapped out our future together. I’d like for us to be able to take full credit for the identification of the other half of our daughter’s biology, but the truth is this: The Answer came to us, not the other way around. It came to us, arms and heart open in love and selflessness and in the purest spirit of generosity. As if to say, “you deserve everything in life. I want to help you find the joy you seek. Here I am, unconditionally.”
Many couples in similar situations pursue different paths to parenthood, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in three decades of embracing this wild and precious life, it’s this: when the Universe speaks to you, listen. When The Answer falls into your lap, hold tight. I’ll freely admit there have been moments in life that have left me wondering, “have I been led astray by my intuition? Are these boots hiking in the right direction?” It is in these pivotal and often confusing moments that the nearly infallible words of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata remind me, “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.”
What followed was a mutual (and eternally grateful) opening of our own hearts to the multi-layered experience that is carefully calculated progeny. While we understood that there were some complex logistics to be considered, and a most awesome trust to be placed in everyone involved, we also realized with near clairvoyance that accepting The Answer was the right way for our family to expand. Nothing could have confirmed this “right” feeling more than taking a leap of faith and experiencing it for ourselves: understanding and flexibility during what sometimes seemed like a never-ending conception process; honesty and patience during the period following our daughter’s birth and leading up to her second-parent adoption by my wife; and the awe and amazement we feel when we see this miraculous person staring back at us, intelligent and kind, wide-eyed and wondering.
The Universe got this one right, Dear Readers. So very, impossibly right.
And so, I hold tight to each first as though it’s the last, for The Answer is sometimes different the second time around. This is – if we are honest with ourselves – understandable. The Question, after all, is ever-changing and complicated by Life. Until The Answer presents itself again, I continue to gobble up the oft-forgettable details; such seemingly insignificant moments that can be forgotten in an instant, with barely enough time to file them away before the next whizzes past. I appreciate with gratitude that will never be great enough, and hope with ferocity tempered by quiet patience.
I trust the Universe.
Lindsay Wilhelmi is part hippie-chick, part type-A career woman, and all mama. Her blog – One Baby, Two Moms – can be described as a “quiet form of activism.” Some same-sex couples march in parades, some wave flags, others hold signs in protest. But Lindsay’s most powerful contribution is striving to be the best citizen, partner, and mother possible. What’s chronicled on her blog is proof that families come in all shapes and sizes – and that there’s a lot of ways to create one. Numbers and genders do not a family make. Love does. And Lindsay has a surplus, these days.