Dangling from the ledge by our fingernails: Infertility and tough decisions

“Gather all courage and take a jump. Even the dewdrop slipping from a lotus leaf trembles for a moment, tries to hang on a little more, because it can see the ocean below. Once it has fallen from the lotus leaf it is gone….but it is not a loss. It will become oceanic. The ocean of existence is unlimited.”


I thought that all of the difficult decisions would be over when my husband and I were finally in the same place–ready to open the path for our child to find us through adoption.

Ah, we’ve made the decision and now all will be well.

Yet, I now find myself once again dangling from the ledge by my fingernails. I’m slipping, I’m gripping the comfort of my fears with all of my might, and I’m dangling over the ocean of abyss named “decision” below me.

I suppose this dangling is something that we all do in life. We dangle above major life choices, holding on to the ledge with all of our might, terrified of what will happen when we take the leap and immerse ourselves in our decision. If we dangle there for long enough we find that only the very tips of our fingernails are still holding on.

So what do we do?

How do we emerge from such trembling, gut wrenching, and life changing forks in the road still in one piece?

We let go.

Perhaps I am unusual in that I have always felt I would adopt, even before IF. I think that in some strange way I was prepared all of my life to be here, in this place. And so, rather than feeling broken, I feel more whole than maybe I ever have. Yet, stepping into what was always meant to be, into our destiny, can be terrifying.

Will I let her down? Will I not understand what I need to understand because her biology is different than mine? What if I can’t comfort him when he cries because it was not my heart, which lulled him to sleep for the nine months of his making? What if someone makes fun of her because her skin is like honey caramel and mine more closely resembles Casper the friendly ghost? What if I fail him in my, some would say naive, belief that the way we look on the outside has so little to do with who we become on the inside? What if I can’t do this . . . right?

And, it is because of all of these doubts and fears that I know, without a doubt, that I am going down the right path for me. Fear, well actually terror, is a sure sign that we’re on to something.

You see, what’s easy, what we undertake without a second thought, is not what will make us grow, what will make us into better human beings. Without these fears, I would not be the mother my child needs for me to be. It is only because of these fears that I know the fall from the lotus leaf into the ocean will be the most magnificent, and life altering, plunge of my life.

And so, I let go and enter the free fall.


  1. Wishing you every courage as you take the next steps.

  2. Thanks so much Heather, it’s an exhilarating (and terrifying) free fall 🙂

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