Today is a special and strange day for my family.
It was two years ago that our daughter began her journey to us, and we began the final leg of our IVF journey. I remember the day still, and how scared and excited we were. It was a miserably hard process for my wife – anyone who thinks that people choose IVF out of anything, but desperation is crazy – but she made it through. We had tried the ‘mini-IVF’, which isn’t the full procedure and is more cost effective, but the day my wife had it done was the same day her mother died so it was all but doomed from the outset. Going through the full IVF was a big, expensive, and scary leap because if it didn’t work, it left us with looking at adoption or foster care.
Both though keep the kids behind a flurry of red tape that can strangle any hope of a new home.
How adoption is so expensive when these are kids desperate to find new lives, I cannot say. I am sure there are ‘costs’ but so much of it feels as if it’s selling a kid. It’s gross.
Foster care is hard because the poor kid brings so much baggage with them that both sides must hope they can overcome it. That enough love and understanding and care will help to heal often deep wounds.
The journey to this day two years ago was a hard one for my wife, and the path forward was even harder.
I have talked about a lot of this in one of my earlier podcasts, but the process for IVF involves lots and lots of injections and a lot of self-care and hope. We had a scare where we thought we lost the baby, but it was thankfully just a scare.
It was grueling though as we waited to find out what the doctor said, my wife in the ER and me in my vehicle in the parking lot waiting due to Covid restrictions.
And then there’s that.
Our Lily-Mae is a Covid baby, ‘conceived’ at the eve of the lockdown and when the pandemic was declared.
We went through the pregnancy without seeing many of the people in our lives. My wife didn’t have a mother to lean on or even a mother-in-law.
We couldn’t really see many friends and rarely saw immediate family.
So little was known about Covid and the fear of her catching it while pregnant was looming large for us. Little did we know we’d all get it from the baby once she entered daycare.
Live and learn.
We did virtual baby showers.
We celebrated with people from afar.
We did the best we could.
All of it during the most turbulent eras in modern history.
I remember how excited I was to be able to make it to the grocery store to load up just before the lockdown was announced, not knowing that things like toilet paper would become rare items.
We had never lived through something like a pandemic, so people bought and overbought and the careful behavior that led the pandemic turned to careless and selfish behavior as people now demand a maskless society and claim tyranny when they don’t even recognize what real tyrants look like.
We forget so quickly that we were all in this together.
That we were all scared, all suffering, and all trying to do the best we could.
We quickly forget the lessons of the past disasters and tragedies that taught us that together we can overcome anything.
That’s all well and good but in a ‘Imma Get Mine’ society and a ‘I Deserve This’ world it truly becomes every person out for themselves.
It still boggles my mind how we had the perfect opportunity to reboot the education system and to fix some things that needed fixing but never did during the pandemic. They figured out how to move things online, but it was done begrudgingly, with so many adults complaining about it that it was definitely not the way to get students invigorated about this new opportunity or to quell their fears at what was going on.
It’s about the adults.
It’s about the parents.
WHO WILL THINK OF THE PARENTS?
What of sports?
Will no one think of the youth sports?
And I get it, that’s a way for kids to burn through energy, get exercise, to learn about themselves and adversity, to learn skills for the rest of their lives, and to just have fun.
Totally get it.
But there’s a weird My Kid Is A SuperStar mentality in youth sports that has infected it like a terminal virus. Yeah, you see kids fight at games but more often you see adults fighting.
Over a kid’s game.
Is it any wonder kids are so angry and violent?
Our culture has been a powder keg ready to blow for years.
We had generations of men told to ‘man up’ and to not show any feelings. To bury everything down and to deal with it.
We have had women who have lived with that pent up angst and aggression and have had to remain as supportive as possible because what else was there to do but leave?
People of color have clawed their way to the big kid’s table of society only to be told that there’s not enough food for them as the rest of us who were born white fill our hands with food and shove it down our throats.
Sure, we may make ourselves sick but at least we ate the food and not them!
And then there are all the LGBTQIA+ people who were finally feeling like humans had reached a point in America that hey, they can see us, we exist and that maybe, JUST MAYBE they’d be treated like real live members of society only to watch as the churches told everyone to hold their sacramental wine as they rattled the rafters about HELLFIRE and DAMNATION!
It isn’t even embarrassing what is being down in Florida, and Texas, and other states.
And is it any wonder why we’re on the eve of war?
We have been warring in the U.S. during a PANDEMIC, because people don’t want to wear masks, or get vaccines, or follow safety protocols, or do anything that keeps them from YOLOing their lives the best way they know, with a cheap beer in a cheaper coozie in their hands.
How are we here?
How are we, in 2022, at this place?
We can turn on the TV and watch people of color killed by the police time and again and listen as the storyline is painted as Black Man With Past Deserved It because someone acted in ways that white folks act all the time without fear of being killed, and yet, the tyranny is wearing a mask for protection?
I had Covid.
My wife had Covid.
My kid had Covid.
It was a nightmare.
Anyone that has had it and had it as more than ‘mild symptoms’ knows how awful it was for all of us.
I have never been sicker and am just now, MONTHS LATER, feeling as if I am almost fully recovered, though I still notice a loss of strength that never returned.
And we got off lucky.
So, hearing people talk of tyranny and complaining that they don’t believe in the virus and on and on when they barely even believe the planet is round or that people who don’t look like them have rights is beyond aggravating.
Like watching 1.6 insurrection and being unable to process that that is our country, and those are my fellow country people.
This is where we are.
And we wonder that we’re on the verge of a world war.
As some from our Republican party shrug and essentially say – eh, they were asking for it.
The same sort of thing they’d tell a raped woman when she wants justice from a wealthy white man with a future.
Well, you shouldn’t have asked for it.
It’s like we’re cultural incels and feel as if the world owes us because we’re America and our neighbors owe us because we’re white, and our loved ones owe us because we’re simply just, you know, us.
Maybe we’re already at war.
Just with ourselves.
A miracle happened two years ago today.
A miracle that has already changed lives, and who changes them by the day.
Maybe we need more miracles, in whatever shape they come, and less men with loud toys and violent hands.
Maybe we need more flowers and less bombs.
Maybe we just need hope.
An easy thing to take but a hard, hard thing to offer.
I will hope for hope, and for more miracles.
I hope you can do the same.