We went to Africa childless and came home parents, and its every single thing I could have hoped for, and more. I have been blessed. Our new life together – as parents, as a family, it isn’t perfect, but it is wonderful, and happy, and there is at least as much laughter as their is poop, so it all balances out.
But the beginning of family life brings the end to the wait, and to The Longest Wait. It was a fun experiment (albeit, a 4 year experiment!), and I learned so much about the good in people in this virtual place. I am grateful for every kind comment, and for every visitor, who took the time to stop by and say hello. But I also learned that, in hiding behind an anonymous blog, I couldn’t reach out to the people whose blogs I read. It felt like lying, to introduce myself under a pseudonym. And “Jill Van Rensselaer” is a pseudonym – an amalgamation of the name we had picked for the daughter we would never get to adopt from China, and a distant family name from a forebearer on Mrs. Astor’s list of 400.
And so I didn’t, which over time I realized was a damned shame, because the women who came by here were so amazing, and it turns out that being anonymous doesn’t protect your identity, but rather holds you back from really connecting to the other women in your virtual community.The name was fake, but the story was real. But in trying to keep us anonymous, to protect my husband, and my family, I found myself walking an uneasy path – how much information can I give without giving us away? And finally, I realized, none.
Thank you for reading. I mean it sincerely – thank you for filling my life with kindness, compassion, and humour in my 4 year struggle to become a mother. I am grateful beyond measure.
Jill Van Rensselaer