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Letting go of a Dream

There’s a letter on my dining room table. A single page form letter that has arrived in January for the past six years. It’s sitting there, innocuously tucked amoung the bills, waiting for a response. Every year I reply in the same way, with a check and a groan and a dream. This year will be different.

The letter, so innocently sitting there, is a letter from a storage facility. A Reproductive Storage Facility that holds what we one day hoped, would allow us to have another child. We knew it wouldn’t be easy. That it would require multiple medical procedures, lots of luck and plenty of money – not to mention a surrogate – but paying that bill every year allowed us to hold onto our dream. The dream of being the family we envisioned. The dream of being parents to more than one. The dream of a time when my health and our finances would be strong enough that we could create another biological child and, every year when that letter arrives we weigh our options against those dreams.

The family talent show scene from Dan in Real Life. Man, I would have loved that.

The family talent show scene from Dan in Real Life. And, if you haven’t seen that film, do yourself a favor and see it.

I always wanted a big family. Being an only child I dreamed of belonging to something more inclusive than my tiny group of three. I imagined Thanksgiving family football games, boisterous Christmas dinners and annoying, yet charming, family singsongs. I wished for confidants that were more than friends, peers with features that mirrored my own. I wanted to be part of a team. To share a legacy with others. I stared wistfully at the extended family of Steve Carell’s character in Dan in Real Life and idealized a family like the one in Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. I knew it was impossible for my own childhood but I held on to the idea for the family I would create. I may not be able to have siblings or first cousins, but my children would. I would just have to recast the fantasy with myself as the matriarch.

I was told I couldn’t have more children at the same time I was told I was told I was dying. I didn’t have the opportunity to morn the lost possible future amidst the chaos of the immediate present. Because a pregnancy would almost definitely kill me, Sean – in the most final way possible – took care of our birth control issue, but not before storing what he’d lose in case what lay ahead wasn’t as dire as we were being led to believe. We prayed a future for me was possible and held on to the hope another child might be as well. We paid that storage fee every year feeding that possibility.

A letter amongst the bills.

A letter amongst the bills.

When the letter came this year it felt different to me. It no longer held the siren song of a family of four. It just looked like an incredibly expensive bill with no realistic purpose. My health is good but it fluctuates. I don’t have the strength or energy I’d like. I worry I’m not able to give enough to the child I do have, let alone to care for another. And if I’m being honest, no matter how much I’d like to, it would be impossible for me to keep up with two kids without full time help. I don’t want to take from the child I do have to give to one I think I should have. We hold our own with one. We manage. We’re happy. I’m stable. Why can’t I be satisfied with that?

There are times in life when you have to let go. Where holding too tightly to one thing makes it impossible to move on to another. Sometimes you have to close a door, no matter how much you wish it could stay open.

imagesI fixated on the idea of another child so clearly I manifested a person I felt was missing. I have a name, a face, a sense of who she’d be. I realize I could have easily had a pack of boys but, for some reason, I feel it’s a daugther that would have arrived. When I think about her my heart breaks. As if I’ve left her on a shelf somewhere. This person that belongs to me that I’ve neglected to claim. I know she’s not real but the idea of her found it’s way so deeply into my heart it got into my head. I realize now it’s unhealthy to keep holding on and the time has come to let go. Even if we could afford IVF, egg extraction, a full time night nurse/live in nanny AND keep up our current lifestyle with two children, would I even want to go back at this point? Do I want a newborn again? Could I handle six more years of diapers and potty training and mindless, random day filling? I’m just at the point where I can get excited about my career again. I want to reconnect with my ambition. I dream of a house of my own. I miss travelling. I want to show Loch the world. And, frankly, I need to be alive for all that to happen. Maybe I’ve spent too long dreaming of the “perfect” family I’ve been unable to see my family is already perfect.

IMG_2056I’ve been there, present and involved, for every aspect of of my son’s life. We’re incredibly close. What I’ve been able to do for him, the time I’m able to give him, has been a blessing to us both. I don’t want to keep thinking about what could have been, staring at my friend’s other children wistfully. I want to accept that as much as I would have loved another child, it’s not in the cards for me. My life – my current life – is amazing. It’s a wonderful, glorious gift and it’s time to embrace that and let go of the rest.

So, this year we will not be sending a check. This year we will sign the “cryopreserved disposition consent” form. I will say good bye to the chance of any more biological children, the hope of a sibling for Loch and my desire for a house filled with voices. I will accept I am an only child with an only child and relinquish my dreams of the past to better enjoy the reality of the present.

With two signatures, a notary and a stamp our tiny family will move forward.

The first thing we’ll do is start shopping for dogs.

With love,

Leigh

Mini-Goldendoodle-Photos-1300x975

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179 Comments Post a comment
  1. “Maybe I’ve spent too long dreaming of the “perfect” family that I’ve been unable to see my family is already perfect.” – Yup. Perfectly said. Peace and joy are about finding the best in the blessings you’ve been given, even if they’re not the blessings you wanted. It’s easy for me to forget that — I have a special-needs child and my marriage broke up seven years ago, so none of the idyllic scenes of which I had dreamed have ever come true. But as I moved through the process of letting go of that, I became increasingly able to find the joy in what I got.

    March 17, 2014
    • Jim, that’s a tough road you’ve walked. It’s inspiring to know you’ve found joy in your reality for better or worse. It’s not easy but it’s encouraging to know people are out there are trying. Letting go is easier said than done but, I think you’re right, that’s the key. Blessings to you and your “perfect” family. xo leigh

      March 17, 2014
    • MikeW #

      Jim, admiration here. Leigh, the same.

      March 21, 2014
  2. Loch is so blessed to be a part of your family Leigh, regardless of its size. A family where he is clearly so valued, loved & cherished. A family where he is surrounded by such strength of character & a desire to encourage him to be the most amazing person he can be. So many children walk this earth in search of nothing more than the simple gift of unconditional love. Loch will never ache for this as clearly he has found perfection in the parents he was given.

    March 17, 2014
    • Lynn, thank you. What a lovely compliment. We do the best with what we have and I can only hope one day Loch feels that we have done right by him. Thank you for all your support. xoxo leigh

      March 17, 2014
  3. Mo #

    An enormous and heart wrenching decision but a very thoughtful and wise one. I’m proud of you my only. xo

    March 17, 2014
  4. Stacie Funk #

    This posting brought me to tears for so many reasons. What a decision you had to make….definitely difficult and painful. My heart is with you.

    March 17, 2014
    • Thank you Stacie. Your support and kindess means a lot. xoxo leigh

      March 17, 2014
  5. Wynn Everett #

    oh Leigh! I think this is my favorite post you’ve done so far. I am totally crying. It was so beautifully written with heart, no pity and is going to encourage so many women and families I can’t even tell you. You are SUCH a gifted writer and God is going to use your gift to bless and encourage so many others. As an only child too, it’s so funny because I ONLY saw myself with one child. I never wanted more siblings and never wanted more children but here we are a WEEK from giving birth. Of course I’m insanely grateful and blown away at God’s grace in it all and knowing that he gives us what we need and truly not what we want. I am so so excited but yes the thought of starting over again, diapers, sleepless nights is so daunting. Anyway, we love you guys and I was so so blessed by your post. I’m going to send it to some friends. Love you

    >________________________________ > From: in case i’m gone >To: wynneverett@yahoo.com >Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 10:31 AM >Subject: [New post] Letting go of a Dream > > > > >LeighMcG posted: “There’s a letter on my dining room table. A single page form letter that has arrived in January for the past six years. It’s sitting there, innocuously tucked amoung the bills, waiting for a response. Every year I reply in the same way, with a check and a” >

    March 18, 2014
    • Now I know who the brainy one is, I’ll keep lonoikg for your posts.

      August 28, 2014
  6. Meghan Baker CHERRY #

    Once again near tears….
    This topic could not have come at a better time for me. I have gone through so much loss over the past to years it would be unmanageable for most. I am overcoming the repercussions of that and learning to let go of things I thought would always be there and things that shockingly did not go the way one innocently would have expected. Life took a drastic left turn and I have had to suck it up most days while welcoming myself into middle age.

    Thank you Leigh for writing such poignant and beautifully expressed things.

    It is hard to let go, I know….

    Meg xoxo

    March 18, 2014
    • Meghan, I am so sorry the past few years have been so hard on you. It’s just not fair. I know no one said life would be fair but it’s still debilitating when you are blindsided with life altering situations. Sucking it up just doesn’t seem like a life philosophy any of us might have hoped to embrace but sometimes it’s all we can do. My heart and prayers are with you. I hope everything just gets easier every day. You deserve joy and I sincerely hope you get it. All my love. xoxo leigh

      March 18, 2014
  7. You have such a wonderful attitude about this decision, and believe me, I know it’s not easy to make. If you can gain any comfort from this, know that you had the chance to make this decision, and that is a gift. I faced a similar decision a few years ago, and I feel your pain. You have wondered and what if’d, and given that idea a face and a name, and I think that’s beautiful. You made this decision for all the right reasons, and that, too, is a gift you’ve given yourself and your family. This line was perfect, “Maybe I’ve spent too long dreaming of the “perfect” family I’ve been unable to see my family is already perfect.” May we all remember that one!

    March 18, 2014
    • You are right Daisy, I had the opportunity to make the decision and that, in itself, is a gift. Perhaps it was technically made for me and I was simply reading the writing on the wall but at least I chose to read it. I am so grateful for all I have. I must stop fixating on what I don’t. Despite the obvious setbacks I am a lucky girl and I hope I am able to move forward with that thought in the forefront of my mind. Thank you for all your support. xo leigh

      March 18, 2014
      • I think you are supremely grateful. 🙂

        March 29, 2014
  8. And sometimes the dream won’t let you enjoy any job you do just to make a living. The need is always there, taunting you, haunting you, waking you up in the middle of the night.

    March 20, 2014
  9. Reblogged this on victormiguelvelasquez.

    March 20, 2014
  10. I had to stop reading this for a minute so I could take a breath and not cry. This resonates with me right now. Thank you for sharing with us.

    March 20, 2014
    • Stephanie, I hope I didn’t make you too sad, and I prey that whatever you’re going through right now finds a resolution you can not only live with but find joy in. Life really is short and it’s nice to think we might have spent our time here being more happy than sad. All my love and very best wishes to you on your journey, xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  11. I’m so thankful for the WP team for freshly pressing this post as it lead me to your blog. Leigh, you are an amazing and brave soul, a wonderful writer and a caring and attentive mom to Lochlan. I wish you peace, love and joy.

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you Nancy. I too am grateful and so appreciate people like you reaching out. It really means the world to me. xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  12. What a lovely way you have with words. Very touching story.

    For myself, I was in my mid-forties when I experienced two-strokes and a heart attack, and was told I shouldn’t expect to survive another three months. My father died at age thirty-nine of a cerebral-hemorrhage, so the possibility of a short-life had always followed me like a shadow.

    Fortunately, I’d had three wonderful children, two of them already adults with families of their own, so there were no more considerations of children in my future.

    The dream that didn’t die when I was told to make certain my affairs were in order, was to be a singer-songwriter. Having played guitar since I’d crafted my first out of a peach-crate and rubber bands, it was my passion, but not career.

    Ten years have passed, and I just recently decided that I was sufficiently recovered to try, and I did. My first amateur recording was released about two weeks ago.

    Never say die. Thank you for the window into your life, and the opportunity to share. Best to you.

    March 20, 2014
    • Rick! What a wonderful and inspiring story! I hope you’ve taken the time to be significantly thrilled with yourself about your album. That’s wonderful. It really is never too late to try. I am sorry you lost your Dad so young. That kind of loss, not to mention the fear it understandably manifested in you about your own death, is life altering. I am so glad you went on to have three wonderful children and now are a healthy grandfather…with a record! Amazing. Thank you for connecting with me and sharing your life. You’ve really made me smile. xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
      • So very kind of you to say. Can’t believe I was so carried-away with the emotion of your post, that I ran-on and then neglected to congratulate you on not only being freshly pressed, but for connecting with so many, so deeply. Thank you.

        March 20, 2014
      • Thank you Rick! xo

        March 21, 2014
  13. panikikubik #

    Thank you for sharing this personal story. Wish you and your family all the best

    March 20, 2014
  14. Beautifully written. When you say you manifested something you felt was missing, that resonated with me. You had a relationship with a dream and to let go is a bereavement. Whether our dreams are realised or not, they were still here and they came through us.

    March 20, 2014
    • It’s amazing how true that is myimpossiblemind. It’s when the concepts of “The Secret” fall short. Sometimes you can believe and visualize with all your heart but still not be able to attain your dream. That’s not a shortcoming, it’s just a truth. Moving on after though is difficult. It’s like something that existed just doesn’t any more and that’s, as you said, a bereavement. Thank you for understanding that. Your support means a lot. Best wishes, xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  15. Reblogged this on Simply.Living.Life and commented:
    Such a moving story. It is a dream that many moms have to give up- i applaud her for telling her story.

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you for your support Nicole. As I said before, having a place to tell my stories is a real blessing to me. Connecting with others because of it, that just feels like the greatest bonus! All my very best, xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  16. Thank you for sharing your story. Reminder to be so thankful for what I have and so proud of where we are. x

    March 20, 2014
  17. Letting go can be hard, even under the best of circumstances. Thank you for sharing this and Godspeed.

    March 20, 2014
  18. Sometimes letting go of a long-held dream is the bravest, best thing one can do. Thank you for your story, and I hope nothing but the best for you, and with your acceptance of your current Realiy, I believe the best is yet to come!

    March 20, 2014
    • Oh justicelivesnot, may you be right! I so want the best to be yet to come!! xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  19. To “relinquish my dreams of the past to better enjoy the reality of the present”–a challenge for all of us. Thank you for this challenge. You write beautifully and thoughtfully . . . what a gift, for you and for those of us who read your story.

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you momocular. I’m just thrilled to have an outlet to put my emotions. I think I’d be wreck otherwise. 🙂 xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  20. Just a spectacular piece of writing. You know someone truly has a gift when you can be moved to tears by the sharing of their journey, even if you yourself, cannot technically relate. I have four children, and have not had to fave the challenges you have, but my dear, your heart has spoken to mine, mother to mother. What you say is so true. Especially about how sometimes we must close the door in order to move on, no matter how much we’d love to keep it open. Our children are our life. You may “only” have one, but you clearly cherish motherhood with a depth that is lost on some mothers with droves of children. Bless you and hold that boy and man of yours tight. What a beautiful, strong, perfectly sized family of three you are. ~Best, Julie

    March 20, 2014
    • Julie, what a kind and loving note. I am honored you took the time to reach out. I do cherish motherhood deeply. I am moved to be able to do something so wonderful. I am also thrilled to be able to connect with other kindrid souls such as yourself. Thank you for candor. I hope you’ll stick around for the journey. Blessings to you and your wonderful family. I bet you know the sound of noise in the house! 🙂 xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  21. Dreams can be hard to let go! Thanks for writing about this.

    March 20, 2014
  22. Some people who fail could have been a success if they didn’t give up soon. That is true. Never give up hope. But don’t think about it too much. Those who think about failure will fail.
    dailyquizquestion.wordpress.com

    March 20, 2014
  23. You are a brilliant writer. Not to mention a brave and kind soul. What a touching post.

    March 20, 2014
  24. It’s stunning the way life changes your dearest plans. My ‘family’ became just me and my son overnight – and lost in an instant was both my husband of 22 years – and our hoped-for next child. In spite of my reoccurring battles with self-pity, I’ve come to see that our family of just TWO is indeed a family – and it’s precisely because my husband left us that we two have such a rich relationship and full life. One MUST GO with what one has. Please move happily into your new life. Live free of those backward-pulling ‘what ifs’ and see what adventures now await you three…. xoxo

    March 20, 2014
    • Oh Wing Mother, your story is heartbreak beyond all possibilities. Saying I’m sorry for your loss seems trite and empty but I am truly sorry for your loss and for all you’ve had to move beyond. I know firsthand how difficult looking on the bright side of things can be, but I also know the incredible healing power of finding joy in the sadness. I’m humbled to see you’ve found that path. My heart is with your wonderful family of two. May blessings follow you both as you move beyond the ‘what ifs’ and into a bright future. Thank you for sharing with me. xoxo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  25. What’s meant to be is meant to be. I think, if God wanted you to have many children and create a big family he would’ve designed you that way. I am glad you came to the conclusion to be content and grateful for what you have. Great read.

    March 20, 2014
    • Ssychosomaticallyinlove, I’ve come to the same conclusion. This is my path. I can choose to enjoy it or stuggle with it. One of those options is infinitely more appealling, despite the pull to the other. Thank you for reading! xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  26. –This? This is just sweat coming out of my eyes. Sometimes they sweat when I read beautiful things. I swear. It’s only sweat.

    If you have that much love in you and you want to share it with more people there’s always adoption. There are many children in this world who wish they could have loving parents. And if adoption isn’t quite your thing loving that one child as much as you would love all the children you’ve dreamed of having can’t be bad either.

    PS: I’m really happy I somehow landed on this page. I must have miss-clicked somewhere by mistake and this opened and my eyes are sweating a little.

    March 20, 2014
    • Prosodist, I’m thrilled you took the time to read the blog dispite your obviously rigorous workout schedule. 🙂 Thank you for the support. You’re right, we could adopt but the same problems apply so we’re going to stick with “loving our one child as much as we would have loved all our children” for now and if a child presents itself to us later in life, we hope we are ready and able to accept that gift. For now, we are just going to be thankful for all the blessings we have. I’m very glad you somehow landed on my page. I hope you’ll stick with me for the journey!
      xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
      • Ah, it seems I wrote “one” instead of two. Sorry.
        Eye-sweat can impair reading 🙂

        Best Regards,
        Carlos

        March 20, 2014
      • By two I meant your husband too.
        Sleepy Carlos is sleepy and soon he will make no sense.

        March 20, 2014
  27. You’re a very brave woman. Your eloquent use of words speak a truth not everyone sees. We all go through many struggles, and sometimes we don’t realize, there are others who go through the same. You’re not alone, and it is a Blessing that you can see it. Your life is indeed amazing, and you are inspiring people who know you and don’t know you.

    Thank you for sharing! I wish only best to you!

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you worldruler007. Your support is greatfully accepted. As you said, my life is indeed amazing. I’m just hoping I’m able to do something positive with something negative. Sometimes it’s not easy. Thank you sincerely for reaching out. xo leigh

      March 20, 2014
  28. This touched me deeply. For about two years I was trying to get pregnant with my boyfriend. Each time I took a test and it came back negative I couldn’t help but feel sad for a couple weeks. But then I got with my husband and two months after being married I found out I was pregnant and I had a healthy baby boy. Though you wanted a big family I wanted a somewhat small one (I was one of the oldest of four) I got what was intended for me (my husband had two children in prior relationships). The longing for a child was sometimes unbearable that I didn’t know what to do.

    March 20, 2014
  29. There comes a time when we all have to let go of something. Knowing it is what makes things easier to bear. The way you describe it, your decision seems to be right for you and for your family. Now you can concentrate on what comes next. I wish you joy.

    March 20, 2014
  30. Can I send you a HUG?

    March 20, 2014
    • Absolutely! I’ll take it! xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  31. Thank you so much for such a wonderful post. It’s kind of personal but I would like to tell you that before I read your post, I got an email from an American University I’d high hopes of getting in for higher studies. I got rejected, and my dream of studying in States – Crashed ! I’ve had spent a lot of time preparing for the admissions and living my dreams.

    I do now realize that I lost out an opportunity to be grateful and cherish an already beautiful like back home here in India.

    Best part of your post :

    There are times in life when you have to let go. Where holding too tightly to one thing makes it impossible to move on to another. Sometimes you have to close a door, no matter how much you wish it could stay open.

    March 20, 2014
    • Harsh, please don’t think all your dreams of studying in the States are crushed. You can always reapply or choose different schools or apply for higher education. I’m assuming you’re young, and if this is what you truly want, don’t give up too easily. Yes, I agree that holding on too tightly to something that isn’t going to happen can hold you back but, in my case, my body just can’t do it. It’s a finite fact. In your case, it’s timing and timing changes. Move forward by all means, and absolutely be grateful for what you have at home in India but if you want American schooling, if you want to move, if you desire that experience, find another way to get it. I would hazzard to say, your dream is not yet ready to be abandoned. Even if you do school in India, – one year, four years – let the admissions boards of the American schools know what you learned in that time, why you are different now than when you applied the first time. It’s not over till it’s over. For me, I must move on. For you…I’m not so sure. Just a thought. I’m sorry for the pain of rejection but I believe you still may be able to get what you want while you continue to enjoy what you have. Best of luck to you! xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
      • I really don’t know how do I thank you for such an inspiring reply. It is definitely imbibing fresh zeal and enthusiasm in me after reading your reply. Circumstances are such that it will absorb a lot more time now, but yes I’m working out and talking to my parents and see if I can circumvent the situation to its logical conclusion.

        Regards,

        Harsh

        March 21, 2014
      • I’m so glad you hear that Harsh. I wish you Godspeed and luck. Keep your dream alive. As my Dad says, it ain’t over till it’s over. I’ll be thinking good thoughts for you. xo leigh

        March 24, 2014
  32. As a childless woman by choice I will not comment on your dream and letting go of that. Just that sometimes we have to accept reality – like they say: Courage to face the things we can change, patience to bear those we cannot – and wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. You have shown wisdom. Now I wish you patience for your future.
    Concerning your future I do have a comment though:
    Please – do not go SHOPPING for a dog – dogs are no accessories – get one from a shelter! There are so many lovely dogs there that would be happy for a chance to prove they are the perfect familiy dog. And a good shelter will help you make a good decision. Besides – a dog from a good shelter has been checked, has been tested – and if things sadly do not work out fine, the shelter will help. (Well, I am talking about a GOOD shelter!)

    March 20, 2014
  33. Thank you for sharing your heart xxx

    March 20, 2014
  34. I just stumbled across your post and was captured from the moment I began reading. I don’t know you yet I actually have tears in my eyes. It sounds like you are a beautiful mother and I hope that this closure on the idea of more children allows you to move forward. Such a brave and open blog post.

    March 20, 2014
    • Thank you myscrapbookof style. I hope the decision allows me to move forward too. It’s been a long time coming and I appreciate the support. xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  35. Incredibly moving and dogs are a little like kids we have found! It’s a tough tough journey one you are doing well by the sounds of it. One of the challenges in life can be to be content with now when society so often pushes us to want more. Your in my prayers.

    March 21, 2014
    • So true isn’t it Andy? It’s hard to find contentment with what we have when society constantly encourages more. It doesn’t help that regular people often do the same thing. You don’t have children and people ask when you’re having them or you have one child and they ask when you’re having another. As if your choices were completely in your control…or frankly, any of their business. 🙂 Thanks for the support. I appreciate the prayers! xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  36. clarahulmes #

    Reblogged this on In my 16th year… and commented:
    This is an issue that I may never face. Being only 16 I can only imagine the heartbreak of such a decision. I can only hope that I will be this strong.

    March 21, 2014
  37. we still got a chance to cherished and love our family more than anything else in the world for home is where the heart is..

    March 21, 2014
  38. I hope your journey continues to be fruitful. For some of us who are still yearning for the first child, consider yourself blessed beyond belief

    March 21, 2014
    • I do lenimei001. I do. I know my child is the greatest blessing. My hope is to be around for as long as possible in his life and to show him how very much he is loved. I wish you great luck and blessings in your own journey. xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  39. Reblogged this on Smoking Love.

    March 21, 2014
  40. Everyone wanted perfect family *sweeping my tears.. But they more like to go in war rather than share..

    March 21, 2014
    • I guess finding useful, reliable initrmaofon on the internet isn’t hopeless after all.

      August 28, 2014
  41. Reblogged this on Jan Bam and commented:
    Amazing post. Sometimes I find myself fixated on a dream, my desire of perfection, when God has already blessed me with so much.

    March 21, 2014
  42. The dreams that are the basis of myths. All the tribulations of a family, from diapers to formula, from spats to conflict and do not forget the drama. Is it all worth it? Damn right. Good luck!

    March 21, 2014
  43. helenjain21 #

    Hello Leigh,

    I came across this on Freshly Pressed, and I find your courage amazing. I come from a big family, but we aren’t all biologically related. My dad adopted me when I was seven after he married my mom, and I am grateful for that every single day. In total, my dad adopted five children. Only one of my siblings is his biological child, but you would never know it to see our family.

    Letting go of a dream is always hard, but sometimes it allows you to open up to new possibilities.

    It is clear that your son is loved, and in the end, that is what matters in a family. My dad says that emotions come and go, but love is a decision you make every day. To me, that is what makes a family special.

    March 21, 2014
    • What a lovely sentiment that emotions come and go but love is a decision you make every day. I often feel that way about marriage, but of course it applies to love all around. Thank you for taking the time to connect with me Helen. I’m so glad you see the grace in your father’s decisions and that you like your life enough to be grateful for his choices. Blessings to you and yours! xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  44. chrispink #

    Leigh, this is a beautiful, eloquent, tender piece of writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly with us all — I have a feeling I won’t forget this blog in a hurry. Good luck with the future 🙂

    March 21, 2014
    • Thank you Chrispink. The very best luck to you as well. xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
      • chrispink #

        Leigh, thank you. It’s appreciated 😉

        March 25, 2014
  45. OMG this one touched so many chords.. I also always wonder if I would want a second child, Life is slowly and steadily going back to track and I am also not sure if I am ready to go through the roller coaster ride again.. I loved when you said, “I don’t want to take from the child I do have to give to one I think I should have”. Absolutely loved reading it. 🙂

    March 21, 2014
    • Thank you houseofthoughts1523. It is a struggle making that decision. I always thought I’d have more but, I can say from the first hand experience of growing up as an only, there are amazing perks to having no siblings too. So much of who I am, for the best mostly, is due to my upbringing as an only. I’m independent, self-motivated, good with people and make friends easily. I think you have to be when you don’t have built in friends at home. I’m also very close with my parents and had a top notch childhood and education. So, whichever road you choose, know it’ll be the right one. All my very best. Thank you for reading and taking the time to reach out with a response. It means a lot to me. xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  46. Beautiful and inspiring!

    March 21, 2014
  47. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I am happy that you have made peace with yourself so that you can fully embrace your life.

    March 21, 2014
  48. “Sometimes you have to close a door, no matter how much you wish it could stay open.”

    That’s it. It’s really hard. I don’t know why I kept reading this post because, half-way through it, I almost closed the browser because it felt too painful. Dreams are sometimes the hardest things to let go and it is a subject close to my heart.

    All I can tell you now is I’m sorry for your loss. This is a stage of grief, and it’s a wonderful, bittersweet thing to acknowledge it. Only good will come though.. smiles, as hard as it may be to see it. And you do seem to have a beautiful, amazing family life. Cherish it, celebrate it.

    You are beautiful, and by the way, your photography is stellar.
    Wishing you the best all the way from N.S.

    Lila

    March 21, 2014
    • Lila, thank you. I’m sorry you’re dealing with your own closing doors right now. Dreams keep us going but in certain occasions they start to hold us back. When we realize that, it’s time to move on. To accept and respect the blessings we have been given while taking the time to find new dreams to strive for. I hope you find that peace soon. God knows I’m still working on it. Wishing you the best right back! xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  49. SwaibaMohsin #

    Reblogged this on The Most Vivid Dream and commented:
    Best.Thing.Ever.

    March 21, 2014
    • Thank you SwaibaMohsin. That’s a lovely compliment. xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
      • SwaibaMohsin #

        You’re welcome 🙂

        March 21, 2014
  50. Reblogged this on Hannah VS Economic Doom.

    March 21, 2014
  51. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration

    March 21, 2014
  52. getting older
    is all about
    letting go
    of a
    dream

    thanks

    March 21, 2014
  53. Thank you for your courage in sharing this part of your story. I know all too well, paying that bill that didn’t result in your dream. We pay that IVF debt every month, without any children to show for it. But I can take some solace in my own recovery and in our redefinition of our family and our new dreams after failed IVF and surrogacy.

    March 21, 2014
    • Failed IVF and surrogacy?! You poor thing. I know we’re supposed to rise above it all but that’s a rough road you walked jibf4! So much hope and money poured into a dream that didn’t bear fruit. I’m so pleased you’ve found solace in your own recovery and, as you say, the redefinition of your family and the new dreams that come with the surrendering of old ones. Blessings to you and yours, xo leigh

      March 21, 2014
  54. This was beautifully written, and thanks for sharing your insight. I think as much joy can come out of a single child as a group of children because family is great, no matter the size.

    March 21, 2014
  55. You are beautiful! And so is your perfect family of 3.

    March 21, 2014
  56. We often get caught up with our “dreams’ and forget what we already have. I started blogging to share my story and get somewhat close to my dream, hoping I could get some help from others. I am still learning when is the right time to let go of dream and hope. It gets real tricky sometimes because I don’t want to admit that I am finally giving in to the reality. This was very inspiring story, made me think a lot. Thanks for Sharing 🙂

    March 21, 2014
  57. Reblogged this on A Day in the Life of Mia and commented:
    This is one of the most beautiful explanations I have ever read on having multiple children. It is heartbreaking and inspiring all at the same time.

    March 21, 2014
  58. This is absolutely beautiful and what you said about knowing when to close a door, it’s advice I really needed right now. Thank you

    March 21, 2014
  59. Wow thats so encouraging mum.

    March 21, 2014
  60. Good for you! It probably sounds strange, but to me it sounds like you’ve made the right decision for your family. Maybe someday adoption will be an option, or a bunch of four legged, furry friends for you all. 🙂

    March 21, 2014
  61. jmatk #

    I feel for you. I’m in a similar boat although it’s just me and the kids… 2 of them. I long for another baby but know going from 2-3 is a whole new ball game. Raising two alone is do-able. I’m unsure about three.

    March 21, 2014
  62. I admire your bravery in being able to talk about this. It has been years since I signed that paperwork and I still struggle talking about it with people and I haven’t been able to blog about it either.
    Making that decision and being able to share it is an incredibly difficult thing to do.
    Wishing you and your family many blessings for the future.

    March 21, 2014
    • Thank you monaro10. I’m sorry you had to go through the same thing but I know we’re both going to be fine. Better than fine. Thank you for your blessings. I wish them back to you in spades.
      xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  63. sjw333 #

    Reblogged this on .

    March 21, 2014
  64. Ash #

    This is beautiful. I, too, dreamed of having lots of siblings and having a lot of kids. Sometimes our dreams change, for many different reasons, whether to circumstances or health reasons. 🙂 Kudos to you. Thanks for sharing.

    March 21, 2014
  65. equinoxio21 #

    Hi Leigh. A very moving post (and decision).
    It reminded me of a long long time ago when a few friends and I set off to climb Mont-Blanc (the highest mountain in Europe) and nearly died in the attempt.
    One my fellow mountaineers, just before he left the office, was approached by his secretary who told him: “Be careful Pete, take it one step at a time”!
    It was a laugh of course: how else can you climb a mountain, but “one step at a time”?
    But after we came back down from the mountain alive – barely – it has stayed with us as a motto: “take Life one step at a time”.
    Enjoy your son. And dogs. And get cats too. One step at a time. 🙂
    Take care
    Brian

    March 21, 2014
    • That’s an amazing story Brian and an incredible way to find your mantra. I’m very relieved you didn’t have to learn any harsher lessons on that mountain. One step at a time. It’s easy to say but more difficult to do. It’s all about living in the present and feeling each moment of your life as it happens rather than looking to something ahead or being stuck in what’s past, isn’t it? I’m all for it, I’m just working hard to be able to do it. Thank you for reminding me. xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
      • equinoxio21 #

        hi Leigh. Thanks for your reply. ‘Glad you liked the story. If you haven’t yet you can check it in my blog “White mountain” I & II. And thank you for your blog. Very inspiring.
        Take care
        Brian

        March 25, 2014
  66. nerdycanuck #

    I loved this..that was tough decision. I have no kids and can totally relate to your post . I have confidence in the simplicity of what is, that allows me to build on positivity and in the end I ‘am content with what I do have.. that gives me peace of mind. I enjoyed your post.

    ” The only truly affluent are those who do not want more than they have.”
    ― Erich Fromm

    March 21, 2014
  67. At one point of time , we all have to give up something or the other. The idea of having to give up that very comfortable spot (read people/events/relationships/decisions) is an agonizing journey . I am happy that you have been able to overcome that jouney and reached your serene destination ie – Your peace of mind!!

    March 21, 2014
    • Still working on the serenity anita11bh, but every day is a little bit easier. Thank you for reaching out. xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  68. You are a wonderful writer and very brave! I’m sure lochlan is lucky to have a mother like you.

    March 21, 2014
  69. yorkvillexpress #

    Great post!

    March 21, 2014
  70. Rayray #

    it really bites when we want something so badly but deter by so many reasons… reasons only to those affected can truly understand the pain

    March 22, 2014
  71. Jeremy amrith lay #

    http://www.jeremyamrithlay.wordpress.com

    March 22, 2014
  72. Thanks for sharing this. I also experienced letting certain dreams go. “Let go and let God,” my friends said. Of course the words sounded hollow. Until I did let go — and God surprised me with the little beautiful things that were there all along! Now I find that painful experience a thing to be grateful for, if only for the discovery of the numberless other gifts I was surrounded with, even without my making an effort to have them! 🙂

    March 22, 2014
  73. Reblogged this on Milieu de la Moda.

    March 22, 2014
  74. You are really strong….

    March 22, 2014
  75. Wanting what you have is and has always been more important than having what you want. Beautiful post. thank you for sharing

    March 22, 2014
  76. I also was an only child and I now have five kids. I had that same drive as you so to have that perfect family fast forward 19 years and a teenage pregnancy and two donor sperm babies and that perfect family I so sought was a slap in the face. I am happy to hear that your child is gonna be surrounded by love and family I grew up with an emotionally broken woman I would have rather have what your son had than what I had . But I have happy kids and a husband who loves me so I reconsider them my perfect family after all:

    March 22, 2014
    • Aren’t we both so lucky 4trying6? That no matter how different our families are, they are both sources of strength and love that keep us upright. I feel very blessed. I’m sure you do too. Thank you for reaching out! xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  77. Beautifully written. With a three – year – old only son I think about many of the things you have when it comes to expanding your family. I’m still undecided but content. I guess if I ever don’t feel content then I may have my answer. Best wishes to you as you move forward. Your son is just beautiful too.

    March 22, 2014
  78. Letting go is so very hard, and you write about it beautifully. Congratulations of being Freshly Pressed 🙂

    March 22, 2014
  79. Oh! You are so lucky to be so loved! Of course your family is perfect. The very fact that you have one, that works as a team, and is so patently ‘there for you’, says it all.
    I do hope you got yourselves a nice dog too. They are the best friend that you and your child could have and are definitely a big part of the family. Love the dog as just that, teach what you want him or her with kindness and reap great rewards.

    March 23, 2014
    • I couldn’t agreee more ekphrasia. We don’t have the dog yet, but it’s in the works! We’re all very excited! xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  80. This is so beautifully written. It brought tears to my eyes. I hope you get everything you want from life and the fact that you have analyzed your thoughts and feelings speaks volumes about you as a person. Take care and god bless.

    March 23, 2014
    • Thank you snehanarayan. I sincerely appreciate that. May God bless you as well. xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  81. bonnie #

    Some years ago. I was a parent-volunteer at the local public school. i asked a little girl if all her family would be celebrating Christmas together. She replied, “no, my family is small , but there is a lot of love”. Her exact words. Grade three! She taught me what was important. Then she ran off happy as a clam, excited about the coming holidays.
    I have never forgotten that moment.

    Thank you for a wonderful post.
    Bonnie Easterbrook

    March 23, 2014
    • Bonnie, I’m teaching Loch that! What a wonderful sentiment. For a long time Loch and I have been quoting a line from “Lilo and Stitch” about family. We’re little and different but still good, still good. I love that little girl’s acceptance and joy for her family. I hope my family will always feel the same way about us! Thank you for letting me know! xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  82. Hugs and many blessings to you and your already-perfect family. Beautiful post!

    March 23, 2014
  83. Incredible story. Thank you for sharing!

    March 23, 2014
  84. Leigh,
    I know that, beyond this post, I know nothing about you. While I was reading your post though, I had a thought that I felt I should share. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to make a choice like that so I say this knowing that you have likely only shared the tip of your iceberg of feelings so please forgive me if this doesn’t come across quite like I intend it to. You said that you have longed for a daughter and it’s as if you’ve “left her on a shelf somewhere”, but I don’t think you did. What if you have already dreamed her into being? What if, for the six years that you have held the possibility of her in your heart, you were aiding in your own healing as you shared that light and love with the world? What if the daughter that you were meant to have was the young girl inside of you, whom you have learned to nurture and love along the way? It sounds as if the dream of her may have been a force to keep you going and now you are strong enough to follow a new dream and to discover a new force. Or, this could all sound like nonsense. Either way, there was strength in your decision and I hope that strength continues to serve you well. Peace be with you.

    March 23, 2014
    • What an incredible thought atlaslaughing. Wow. I’ll have to think further on that, but thank you for taking the time to share your insight and feelings with. I sincerely appreciate your reaching out. Peace also be with you. xo leigh

      March 24, 2014
  85. No-name #

    Reblogged this on Ek Boond Ishq Unofficial.

    March 23, 2014
  86. Lovely article. Very touching. i know its been tough. but seems like you have made the right decision. Stay strong, everything happens for a reason!! you should be proud of yourself!!

    This is a very inspirational blog!!

    Shoaib Hassan
    http://www.shoaibhassan.co.uk

    March 24, 2014
  87. I understand where you are coming from. I myself am part of a family of 3 and want another, preferably 2 more little ones. It’s currently on hold for me to finish my education which will take a few more years than I would like. Thank you for writing courageously and honestly about your situation.

    March 24, 2014
  88. You write with so much passion and sincerity. You have inspired me to stick to a decision I have made to Let go.

    March 25, 2014
    • I’m so touched to hear I could have helped you with anything vdecarlis. Thank you for the kindness of letting me know. My very best to you as you “Let go”. xo leigh

      March 25, 2014
  89. New to this site and loved your post. So inspirational!! Can’t imagine the pain and grief you’ve felt but so happy you have found inner peace!!

    chasenchanceranch.wordpress.com Tina

    March 25, 2014
    • Still working on that inner peace but I am trying to breathe and let things go. Thank you for reading and taking the time to respond isteen0440! xo leigh

      March 25, 2014
  90. Moving forward and changing is very difficult, but I have to say that I respect you and all of your decisions. I can’t begin to say I understand what you’ve went through, and I know another child is what you’ve always wanted, but, as we all know, sometimes life doesn’t always go our way.

    What does go our way is what we have. As you’ve said, you have a beautiful son who seems to be so full of life. You have an opportunity to get your career back on track and live life as you see fit. It’s all about appreciating the moment and taking it all in stride.

    I have no doubts that many more good things will come their way, for you deserve them and seem like a wonderful person. Just keep moving forward and keep hope alive, it may just be around the corner.

    March 25, 2014
    • Adam, thank you. You know it’s funny, I also feel confident that good things are ahead. I’m hopeful. Even amongst all the mishigas that is my life, I feel incredibly lucky. My child is amazing. My husband is fantastic. I have more than so many and I grateful for all my blessings. That doesn’t mean I’m not mad as hell sometimes. That there aren’t days I curse my lot and feel angry and unappreciative for the lessons I’m learning. But, I’m aware. I’m trying. I’m changing and hopefully, I’m doing it all for the better. As you said, sometimes life doesn’t go our way. I know this all too well and I try daily to focus on, and hope for, the moments when it does. Thank you for reaching out. xo leigh

      March 25, 2014
  91. You have an amazing ability to bring your reader on the journey you’ve taken. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Life is so wonderful. Sometimes the wonder is in the desire and sometimes it is in the acceptance, sometimes it is in both.

    March 26, 2014
    • Thank you ruddyruminations. You’re right, life is so wonderful and I’m working on finding the beauty in acceptance every day. Tahnk you for reaching out. xo leigh

      March 26, 2014
  92. Letting go of dreams has significance to me as well. It is so important to weigh all the factors in one’s life and be thankful for the immediate blessings. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    March 26, 2014
  93. Never let go of your dreams . They’re all we have to keep us driven towards something good

    March 26, 2014
  94. Reblogged this on Tarek Elbakry's Blog and commented:
    Its all about family!

    March 27, 2014
  95. i read, and i pray for my sister’s family, both of them are hoping the last chance in near future, they failed two times with lot of money, they will do the last, they hope only one child in their life now.
    i wish they could success soon!

    March 27, 2014
    • I wish your sister’s family nothing but success. I hope they get all they dream of and more. What they’ve been though is exhausting and you’re a wonderful sister to recognize the burden of that. Best to all! xo leigh

      March 27, 2014
  96. My Mother had a Child ,…… That child died at 14 weeks ,…. Then almost 2 years later , I was born ,….. But My Mother couldn’t see me , because she already had a Child , and he died , so I didn’t exist .
    The Child you have is in need of 100 percent of your attention .
    Believe me when I say this .

    March 27, 2014
    • Oh strungup66, I am so sorry. I am sorry for you, who obviously felt the lack of focus and appreciation from her own mother, and I’m sorry for your mother whose loss devastated her so completely she was unable to see the joy and need of the new person she’d created in you. It’s heartbreaking, and I’m sorry that is the history you share. My child has all of me. I say this with full conviction, but I thank you for the honest and heartfelt reminder. All my very best wishes. xo leigh

      March 27, 2014
      • I am a lurker , I like reading your blog , and appreciate someone who takes life as it comes . It isn’t easy .but that is what makes it worth it .

        July 11, 2014
  97. I found out I couldn’t have anymore kids after I survived death. When I was 18 and had just birthed a perfect little boy. Like you, I have come to accept my little family. I used to be tired of being the last child in the house. Growing up, I was jealous of the giant families. I want to cry when my husband holds newborns because I know how much he loves babies and I can’t give him another. But I love how much time, energy and love my little one gets. I am still in college so a career doesn’t soak away my time from him. He is a handful so it’s like I have ten kids with him. My dream growing up was to make a difference in the world. We don’t have 10 kids to soak up our time. That means there will be space in our home to adopt, or time on our hands to go help. It is great to find someone that I can relate to.

    March 28, 2014
    • Oh Jackie, I know how it feels when you see your husband with a baby and feeling heartbroken. I also know what it’s like to have a child with the energy of 10. 🙂 I have no doubt you will make a great difference in this world if that’s what you desire. You’re obviously young and ambitious and filled with, not only, love and commitment to your family but to the bigger picture. I wish you infinite luck and success. I’m so glad you are around to share this world with us. We need more people like you. xo leigh

      March 31, 2014
  98. I too have always envisioned having a large family, and although I have already been blessed with two amazing little boys, I have this feeling that there is a little girl “out there” just waiting to be conceived. For a while my husband did not want to have any more children and I felt this sense of loss for a child that I had imagined… the child that I just knew should be part of our family. He has since changed his mind, but we’ve experienced two miscarriages in our efforts to make my dream a reality. It’s amazing how you can mourn a dream. Thank you for sharing your story.

    March 29, 2014
    • Thank you for sharing yours biscuitsncrazy. I wish you great luck moving forward with your dream of another child. xo leigh

      March 31, 2014
  99. authorwin622 #

    Reblogged this on Women of wisdom A personal journey.

    March 30, 2014
  100. Reblogged this on Itching for a Lesson and commented:
    “There are times in life when you have to let go. Where holding too tightly to one thing makes it impossible to move on to another. Sometimes you have to close a door, no matter how much you wish it could stay open.”

    March 30, 2014
  101. robertjhonathamsmith #

    Reblogged this on Robert Jhonatham Smith.

    March 31, 2014
  102. Heather Fritzley #

    Beautiful post by a beautiful (inside and out) woman. This one hit me pretty hard for my own reasons, but it also helped change my life. When it’s time, I will let you know how. Thanks for being courageous enough to share your most personal battles with people who need to hear them.

    March 31, 2014
    • xo Heather. I wish you nothing but joy on your journey. Thank you for reaching out with your kindness.

      March 31, 2014
  103. heavenlyinspirationtoday #

    Heart touching life story, all the best from here on:)

    March 31, 2014
  104. Jeremy amrith lay #

    since i followed your blog please follow mine at
    http://www.jeremyamrithlay.wordpress.com
    as i have entered to a blogging competition and i desperately need followers.

    April 5, 2014
  105. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

    April 7, 2014
  106. Reblogged this on mortqareoqee.

    April 7, 2014
  107. Reblogged this on rckdacosta.

    April 13, 2014
  108. Reblogged this on kitchenofheathensandartists.

    April 14, 2014
  109. First of all I’m stunned by how many times I had to hit the screen to scroll down through the comments. Wow.

    God’s plans are a mystery. After trying for children for seven years I was diagnosed as premenopausal in my late thirties. After grieving the loss of my little girl yet to arrive we moved to adopt. My little girl was never lost. She showed up almost two years later and then God brought her sister to us four years after that.

    April 17, 2014
  110. Sometimes we have to let go yes, and this is the toughest thing ever :/

    April 20, 2014
  111. Reblogged this on intergenerationalsig.

    April 30, 2014
  112. As an only child myself, I’ve yearned for the big family. Your posting really hit the emotions. Thank you for helping me inch a bit closer to acceptance.

    May 2, 2014
  113. I found you on the freshly pressed page, way down near the bottom, yet oh so glad I did. This is a poignant and touching story. We all have hopes and dreams, yet at times, they hold us back. Sometimes, it is what we are ready to release that opens us up to the possibilities of so much more.

    As we open to possibility, the angels will show us the way… your next step is right there, now that you are ready to take it, you will see it. This step will be such a blessing to you and to others.

    May your heart remain open to all that is waiting for you and your perfect family of three.

    Families have a way of growing. I have three natural children, I lost one child to a miscarriage, I also assisted in raising so many more during my years of running a day care, doing foster care, and through teaching.

    Today, I have added a step-son, a son-in-law, a grandson, and there is more to come. You too have more to come. May you be blessed beyond measure.

    Juju
    http://www.whisperofangels.wordpress.com

    May 12, 2014
    • Juju, thank you. I really appreciate your taking the time to craft such a lovely response to my story. Thank you for your kindness and blessings. I’m very glad you came across me all the way down near the bottom!! xo leigh

      May 20, 2014
  114. This is so beautiful. I’m so sorry that things didn’t turn out as you planned. You write so beautifully I feel as if we are friends. Thank you.

    May 26, 2014
    • I think the finest compliment I could receive is for you to say my writing makes you “feel as if we are friends”. I can’t thank you enough. I so appreciate your taking the time to reach out. All my very best, xo leigh

      May 27, 2014
  115. You’ve no idea how many people in the world has similar situation. Bravo!👏

    June 11, 2014

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