Saturday, March 12, 2011

Jealousy

I am not usually a very jealous person. My life is imperfect, but I am all too aware that everyone else's life is imperfect as well. The more I learn about other people, the happier I am that I'm myself.

I know of several couples who have had babies placed with them recently. I am so happy for them! One couple in particular were my unofficial favorites (I love you all, but sometimes I was hoping they'd be matched with before anyone else). I cried happy tears when I saw pictures of their beautiful new daughter.

But I was surprised that I also felt a little twinge of jealousy. I was confused at this emotion. I know plenty of women who are pregnant or who have newborns, and I don't feel any particular sense of envy there. Maybe it's because I've been pregnant, and I've had a baby. For some reason it's different with most adoptive couples. I've been thinking about it, and I have a theory as to why it is. I'm probably going to repeat myself because I think I've blogged about this before, so bear with me.

When I was pregnant, no one was happy for me. I can count on one hand how many times congratulations were offered. I can count on one hand the number of people who came to visit me and Roo at the hospital. What I heard most were judgments, of both my character and my fitness as a mother. These judgments weren't rendered by strangers, either. They were given by friends and family, the people who know me best. They had considered my maternity and found me lacking. The people who knew me better than anyone else felt that I had no business being a mother.

Consider now the course trajectory of the adoptive couple. People hope and pray for them to become parents. A caseworker, someone who was a stranger a few months ago, signs a sheet of paper that says they would be amazing parents, that any child would be lucky to be in their home. They may never be parents in this life, but they have been found worthy of that task if they are ever blessed with it. When it's announced that they've become parents, there is jubilation. There will be multiple baby showers, more gifts than triplet babies could ever need or use, professional photography. A wonderful couple has finally received the blessing they wanted most!

Twenty months ago, I received the blessing I wanted most, too. Where was the jubilation on my behalf?

I feel like a petulant child for writing that. Really, the world wasn't awful to me. There were people who were kind and loving and supportive. I guess I just wish there had been more than a few. I wish that it were easier for me to see myself as a mother again in a few years. Being very much single certainly doesn't help. And I suppose that's another part of the jealousy, isn't it? These couples who are certified to adopt - they may never be chosen by a birth mother, but they've at least got each other.

Don't mistake me. I really don't sit around and cry about being single. It happens on occasion, as I referenced in a previous post, but not too often. In the words of a bumper sticker, "I feel so much better since I gave up hope." It's just that my apartment is very quiet, and I get lonely sometimes, and if I'm honest this isn't the life I pictured for myself a decade ago when I started planning for my future. I thought I'd be married by now. I'm not.

So I find myself jealous of adoptive couples here and there. It's nothing I'm proud of, and I hate it when I'm this petty and self-centered. I'm happy for these people, all of them, I really am. I just wish I had a bit of what they have - a bit of any of what they have.

I'm working on it. This counts as official notice to my friends and family that when the time comes that I adopt either a highway or a zoo animal, congratulations are both expected and in order :)

8 comments:

Amy said...

Jill, this is my favorite post of yours ever. I feel like I have just had my entire view about the adoption world turned on its head. Thank you so much for sharing your life and sharing this experience.

You are amazing.

Stacey said...

If you were able to search the hearts and minds of many of us infertiles, you may see that we also have jealous thoughts of our own. You see, you could get pregnant and carry a child. Our bodies wouldn't cooperate. So here's where we meet, in the middle of our needs. We have what you long for, and you had what we longed for! Congratulations on being such an amazing young woman, and giving birth to Roo. HUGS and FLOWERS, albeit a little late. : )

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing these honest feelings!! What a great post! I agree with Amy...one of the best posts yet.

AubreyMo said...

"I feel so much better since I gave up hope." I really, REALLY want that.

Jealousy is an evil thing, isn't it? It always makes you look over that fence and think, "how would it be?". Some day we'll be on the other side of that fence and look back longingly at our familiar yard. Such is life.

(I can tell you how marriage is and it's nothing like how I'd pictured it - instead of getting flowers and being adored and getting footrubs you're perpetually stuck telling someone "put your clothes in the basket rather than on the floor next to it, don't bite your nails, can you please put your shoes by the door. . ." This is why my sister says she has three kids rather than just her two daughters.)

I'm still sad that I didn't know you when you had Roo. I would have been happy for you. Life is meant to be celebrated, and a new life even more! You are so amazing Jill. Don't you forget that. Love you, as always.

A Life Being Lived said...

Oh I LOVE this post! I do not love that you feel this way and am so sorry that your pregnancy wasn't a celebrated, joyful time or occasion. Mine wasn't either. Yes there were a handful of well meaning friends and family but not enough to offset the pain of the adoption and unplanned pregnancy. I love your honesty and sharing your true feelings without being spiteful or mean. You are so wise and choose your words and sentiments carefully! I completely relate to this post. I am so sorry that you were not as supported as every pregnant woman should be during her pregnancy; unplanned or not. xoxo

Karin Katherine said...

This was so honest. I just loved it. Who among us hasn't felt this? Maybe not in your EXACT circumstance, but being envious, wondering when it was going to be our turn. I know I have.

Jonnessa Haylei said...

the paragraph, "When I was pregnant, no one was happy for me. I can count on one hand how many times congratulations were offered. I can count on one hand the number of people who came to visit me and Roo at the hospital. What I heard most were judgments, of both my character and my fitness as a mother. These judgments weren't rendered by strangers, either. They were given by friends and family, the people who know me best. They had considered my maternity and found me lacking. The people who knew me better than anyone else felt that I had no business being a mother."

this was my situation. it resulted in an abortion for me and 'im so happy that it didn't result in an abortion for you jill. even thou i'm only a fellow blogger and a fan, i'm very proud of you :)<3

Cassie said...

Every baby should be celebrated, regardless of the circumstances.