Friday, May 16, 2008

Family Matters

Before I get to my topic I want to give everyone an update on my recovery. I'm still feeling low on energy but I am back to work now, albeit part time. I found driving the morning runs are better than the afternoon ones, which left me feeling exhausted and sick. Some have suggested I needed more time at home but my spirits have lifted since I got back behind the wheel again. One’s emotional health is just as important as your physical health, and I’d like to think that this will actually speed up my recovery. Anyhow, let’s go on to the main event...

I get asked quite a bit if I have any children. It’s only natural to ask this considering my age and the number of years Angel & I have been married. The answer is no, and it’s not for a lack of trying. You see about 13 years ago we had our fertility tested, as we had been trying to get pregnant but had no success. The tests came back ok for Angel, but there was a problem in the results of my test. My “swimmers” were low in numbers, and what I did have weren’t swimming straight. Just picture that episode of the Simpsons where Homer’s little guys were being watched under the microscope, butting heads all the time and going “D’OH!”

The sad truth is I have a 1% chance of getting my wife pregnant. Actually I have a 1% chance of getting anyone’s wife pregnant. Not that I go around trying mind you… It’s good to joke about it now because there was nothing funny about it in the beginning. I’m not sure who took it harder, me or Angel. She had hoped to me a mommy in her mid 20s or early 30s, but as the years went by the hope of having a miracle child seemed to fade. We had heard stories of people with similar problems finally getting pregnant, or infertile couples receiving prayer and getting pregnant (we were such a couple, having been prayed for on several occasions to no avail). It didn’t help that one day I read that the “best before date” for male sperm is age 35. I’m a little past that now, but there are men in their 40s, 50s and even 60s who have fathered children.

We did consider adoption at one point and even had a file with Alberta Family Services. For various reasons we shelved that plan and decided that we would some day either have an oops or remain a couple for the rest of our lives. But lately we have been thinking about revisiting the adoption issue again. I guess what triggered it for me was an e-mail sent a while ago by my nephew Konour’s mom. It was a picture of an 11 year old boy on the Family Services adoption site, and Konour was trying to talk his mom into adopting a brother for him. I think it was at that moment that I felt some long repressed paternal instincts. They would stir occasionally over the years but this time I keenly felt the “tic-toc-tic-toc” that I imagine women feel as they get older. I felt the emptiness of not having a little girl or boy call me “dad.” At first Angel was reluctant to revisit the issue, but now we're talking about it again.

At this stage we are just batting the idea around, but it’s being batted kinda hard. We figure an older child would be where we’re at considering our age & all. Angel would consider 4-8 years old but I’m thinking more 8-12 years old. Older children are harder to place, not because there’s anything “wrong” with them but because everyone wants a baby. In the meantime there are older children in the system that are starved for love and in need of a good home. I once met a brother & sister who were put up for adoption not once but twice; the sister, a beautiful blonde girl of seven years just stared at me. Her younger brother wrapped himself around my leg. If we could have we would have taken them in a heartbeat. We may have wanted our own biological children (I would have loved to have a little girl who looks like Angel – she would be so adorable), but maybe God is keeping us from having children so that someone in the world who has no parents can be placed in a loving home. Angel would make a great mom, and I hope I’d be a good father. Maybe in a couple of years we will know for sure.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Isolation 101

The light’s finally at the end of the tunnel. This week I got the green light from my doctor to go back towork; glands, liver & spleen are not so swollen now and my energy is slowly coming back. It’ll be part time to start, but I’m already looking forward to just the few hours a day that I’ll get out of the house and actually be around people. After three weeks of resting at home I have been driven absolutely nuts. Even with the odd outing here & there, with a few offers to come get me & go for coffee, I’ve felt a keen sense of isolation. One of the things that I have heard people say to me is, “Take the time to be with God and ask Him what He’s saying to you in your current circumstance.” Well the only thing I’ve heard from God (or maybe it’s the Mono) is GET SOME SLEEP!

Actually if there’s one lesson that I’ve learned in Isolation 101 is my need for people. I live with a strange paradox, where on the one hand I shield myself from people but on the other hand I’m a people person. I used to have this pipe dream where I’d live in a cabin out in the woods. I’d live off the land & have all the comforts of home, but I would have complete solitude. I don’t have that pipe dream anymore and any chance of it coming back has been blasted out of the water. I definitely could not live without human contact. They say that the worst thing you could do to a prisoner is put him in solitary confinement. I don’t know what it would be like to be left in complete isolation but the little taste of it this past 3 weeks is quite bitter thank you very much. It’ll be so good to get back to normal and actually blog about something interesting for a change. The only problem is that I need to live a more interesting life in order to do that…