Thursday, September 5, 2013

Childless by chance and by choice

People often ask if we have children. When I tell them no, they usually have questions as to why not.  It's a fair question. I am not upset by having to answer it.  Not at all.

chalk painted fence

Well, not any more.

Almost 2 years ago, The Guy and I learned we couldn't have children.  This was after months and month of doctor's visits, needles, probings, stadiums filled with spectators of my lady bits, and finally the ultimate disappointment.

I stopped writing around that time and I realized most people don't know how things have changed for us since then.

We aren't going to have children and I'm okay with that.

tired tire swing

We considered our options - adoption, rental, kidnapping.

Just kidding.  You can't rent kids.

What we decided was that adoption was too expensive for us.  We couldn't adopt (or even foster) locally because of my job (I do emergency child protection as a crisis worker) and, if we went internationally, it would be upwards of $60,000.  As much as I love children, that was just not feasible for us.

We even talked about older adoptions such as my friend, Violet, has done and my cousin, B. However, my heart was set on babies.  Finally, we settled our hearts and our minds.

Children weren't going to be for us.

bench

Despite our initial hope we would be parents, we did become quite settled with the fact it was not to be. I think it took me a long time. My friends were all having babies by the droves.  My office was full of new babies. Even my job took me to baby after baby.

But I realized something.  I love babies.  I also love kids, but in much smaller doses.  What I did love was being an aunt.  Not that my siblings have kids.

I have copious amounts of first and second and third cousins with whom I am close. We have many, many friends.  We have coworkers.  They have kids. I would have the best of both worlds. I could spend time with kids I liked, avoid the ones I didn't, and have lots of cuddles or pirate searches or trips to the movies.

And then, I could send them home.

We would still be able to be important in the lives of children we love.  We would also be able to travel. We will have a fulfilling life even if it isn't the one I had planned when I was 12. (Thank God. I had 8 children in that plan. Lord, help us all.)

I'm pretty lucky to have a husband I love who is so much better for me than anything I could have dreamed up.  I also have my dog.

Monty is happy

Who couldn't be happy with that?

33 comments:

  1. This is a wonderful post. Your relationship with The Guy sounds like such a strong one.

    I'm sure that a decision like this was a difficult one; life is so bittersweet. But your nieces and nephews are truly lucky to have an Auntie like you to spoil the living crap out of them.

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    1. Thanks, Tara. I am so thankful for The Guy. We have both been so lucky to have found each other. He also supports my need to cuddle babies and play with kids, so it's great!

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    2. I loved this post Bron. I know, or I think I know how you both felt and feel. It is what it is and it is what you make it. I love being an aunt and who knows what kind of Mother I would have been!!
      Treasure the blessing that you can be in so many lives because you want to be there and they want you to be there too! Love Aunty Coral

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    1. Thanks, Kate. It's a good thing we have a day care across the street!

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  3. Well, i have seen you with teenagers and you are amazing...you could have a house full of them soon! To be exact in 4 and 5 years.... hope your new house has extra bedrooms Uncle Bronwyn!!
    I put anonymous as you know who i am and i cant for the life of me figure this out.... argh

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    1. I know exactly who you are, J. I will look forward to you dumping your kids on my doorstep!

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  4. I am impressed with your ability to answer people who ask. I am still amazed that people feel free to ask why you are not having kids. All sorts of evil answers pop to mind, very evolved that you are ok with just answering.

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    1. It took me awhile, but I figure no one is doing it meanly, they are simply curious. If they are being dicks about it, I answer thusly.

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  5. Reading this, gives me hope.

    We found out a few months ago, after many miscarriages and many years of trying, that we probably won't ever have kids. We are very open about our fertility troubles, and are honest when people ask why we don't have kids, which I am comfortable with now. We also decided that adoption was out of the question because of the costs involved and doing the work I do, foster care just feels like it would be work, having to deal with the Ministry and such. (on a side note, if one more person says "Why don't you just adopt?", like it's the easiest thing in the world, I might get punchy.)
    I love kids - through marriage I have tons of nieces and nephews, I have many cousins who have children, I work with children, and pretty much all of my friends are parents now - I love being the fun "auntie" to all of them - I just hope that one day I'll be at peace with the fact that I won't have one of my own.
    Thank you for sharing your story - this post has totally made my day, and made me think in a more positive way.

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    1. I'm so glad it helps, Anna. It's such a hard thing to go through and even harder to come to terms with. I'm in complete agreement about the adoption question. Like we can just go to the store and put our order in!!

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  6. Well written, Sweetheart, and well accepted by all who know and love you.

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  7. Ben and I could REALLY use a holiday. Ya wanna come stay with mine for a week or so? The teenager is a blast and the 12 year old is the "best" of both worlds ... the fluctuating hormones of puberty with 2-3 year old mood management skills. Okay, so that wasn't such a good sell job!

    Seriously, I admire your honesty and forthrightness. I would be honored to have you be part of my kids' lives. They would benefit from your influence. I wish we lived closer!

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    1. Thanks so much, Marvel! That means a lot.

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  8. Your friend Violet will loan you her children ANY TIME YOU WANT. In fact, she might just be putting them in a box right now to send over to you. She can neither confirm nor deny that. :)

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    1. You are hilarious. I am not opening any of my mail! It will be like Schrodinger's Box!!

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  9. Hi B! I came upon your blog just by chance. Something my hubs and I are struggling with at the moment... to be volun'tI don't want to sway you. Hubs and I are on a waiting list in AB at the moment, and the expense of DOMESTIC adoption is quite similar to what IVF would be. Less than $15,000. I guess it is still quite a lot, but considering INTERNATIONAL adoption of $30,000+, we felt ok with the domestic fees. Keep in mind, this is not through family and child services, or foster care, it's domestic adoption through and agency.
    But still- a kid is supposed to cost AFTER birth... we always joke, that we are spending our kid's inheritence before he/she even joins our fam! HA!

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    1. Isn't that the truth! It's bizarre how expensive it is. But worth it for the right family/baby. Good for you!

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  10. What a great post. It is awesome that you have a great relationships with your cousins and your friend's kids. They are lucky to have you!

    By the way, your dog is SO cute! What kind is he?

    Becky :)

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    1. Thanks Becky! Monty is a cocker/poodle/shitzu cross. Sweet as can be, but dumb as a stick. We like him!

      I'm very lucky to have many great relationships with my cousins and all that. It makes a huge difference! Thanks for commenting!!

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  11. Great post! I never had kids (by choice) and I haven't regretted my decision even once. But at least I had a choice...

    Good for you finding the silver lining.

    and I love your dog too :)

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    1. Thanks, Anne! He is a pretty great dog. I like him.

      I don't regret our decision at all. We all have different paths and we won't all choose the same one, nor should we!

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  12. What a wonderful attitude you have. I was not able to have successful pregnancies, but my attitude was not nearly as positive as yours. Thank you for sharing this post. We eventually adopted domestically 3X. We are blessed.

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    1. Tanya, I'm so glad you were able to adopt. I come from a long line of family members who are and/or have adopted. I think it's an amazing thing to do.

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  13. Very thought provoking post. I admire your ability to accept the life you were handed and recognize that it is still awesome. Not everyone can do that!

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    1. Thank you, Monica. It took me a long time, but I'm glad I can share with people how our struggle came out for the best.

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  14. I really admire your perspective. Life is complicated, and sometimes it doesn't go where we want it do. Your gratitude is inspiring.

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    1. Isn't that the truth, Dani? Life rarely works out as we had planned. I'm thankful for where it has gone though, so I guess that's a good thing.

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  15. Auntie Coral, I hope you check these comments again and see this. When we came to this decision, I thought a lot about you and Uncle. You showed me there is a good life without children and you can give love to so many others because of that. You were who I thought of when I decided to be the "auntie". You may not have children of the body, but I'm definitely one of your heart. Love you. B

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  16. What a brave and beautiful post. How generous of you to share your story. I am sure some people read this and felt comfort in not being alone. Others' might have read this and realized that they maybe should be more tactful in inquiring about if someone has children or not...you seem to be very much an open book, but I am sure that's not the case for many. I read this and just saw how positive you have chosen to be.

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    1. I think people needed to know there is a way to the other side of that pain.

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  17. Thank you!! This post is just want I needed to see, and I appreciate your genuine outlook.

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