Five years ago, I thought that trying to have a baby on my own meant giving up on finding my "person." What I've come to realize over these years is that I already have a "person" -- and my person comes in the form of many people. Lesley. Jill. Kris. Jenny.
Not exactly what I had in mind when I thought about that one person -- but I am so lucky and grateful that I don't get just one person.
Through my baby track -- whether IF or adoption -- they have been supportive, caring cheerleaders. And then things shifted. Door after door closed. And then finally a window opened.
I peaked through half-heartedly, and then finally all in. In February, when I was still getting through my Takisha turmoil, a friend and former colleague told me about a job opening at his college. I applied at the time because that was the only way I could change my mind. If I didn't want it, I could say no thanks. But if I didn't apply and I did want it, it would be too late.
And with each step along the way -- phone interview, on-campus interview, follow-up phone calls and emails, follow-up on-campus interview -- I got more and more excited.
While it's scary, it's also exciting. After eight years, I'm leaving Ithaca for Doylestown, PA. After three years of IF and 13 fertility treatments, after 24 months on the ETH wait list, after 12 months with my domestic adoption attorney, I'm moving on.
Not giving up.
I'm going to focus on my new job. My new life. I'm going to take tennis lessons. I'm going to paint pottery. I'm going to rebrand an amazing little college in a beautiful part of Pennsylvania. I'm going to force myself to eat out by myself and talk to people. And being only 40 minutes from Phillly, I'm going to baseball games.
We'll see where I am in six months. Nine months. Twelve months.
I get a do-over. I get a fresh start. Right now that excitement is over-riding any sadness for leaving my home of the last eight years, my campus family, my circle of friends.
The nervousness I feel over my new job -- that awesome combination of oh-so-excited and terror that makes you know your heart is still beating -- is over-riding any trepidation I have about packing up or giving away the baby stuff.
Anything I bought in the last year has gone to my expectant friend, to a garage sale, to Craigslist.
The things I've been buying and holding onto all these years, including the Derek Jeter t-shirt I bought in 1998, will stay with me. Packed away and hopefully to be pulled out someday.
I've done all I can to make my dream come true. And in that time, I've lived in limbo. No long-range plans because I might be pregnant, I might have to go to Africa, I might have a baby.
Now I get to make a new dream, a new life. I get to not worry about pinching pennies because I need to save for the adoption. I can plan a vacation/trip -- and not just driving to Richmond to visit my brother and his family. I can buy a house.
I'm going to work my ass off the next six to 12 months getting acclimated to my new job and all I have to accomplish, but I'll be in charge. I won't be at the mercy of my uterus, the Ethiopian government or some crazy bitch in New Jersey.
Here's to my new life, one step at a time.