We celebrated my 40th birthday this week and I reflected on what’s happened and the what ifs.
T and I recently read a picture book adaptation of Robert Frost’s classic poem “The Road Not Taken,” beautifully illustrated by Vivian Mineker.
The poem presents the character, out for a walk in the woods, with a fork in the road. The character decides which road to take and the question is then, what if they took the other path?
There certainly were key points in my life where I had to make decisions about which path to take: which university, which career, which person to spend my life with, which home to live in.
As an enthusiast of science fiction, I amuse myself at the thought of parallel universes where multiple versions of my life live out based on different decisions I make.
One of the most important decisions the hubby and I made was to start a family.
We began this process in our late 20s, attending a wonderful workshop series called Papas and Daddies 2B.
Almost 7 years after we began the adoption journey with no progress, we were ready to call it quits, when we received a call out of the blue from Children’s Aid Society.
Not only were we presented with one match for a child, but we were presented with two matches!
The first child was a 14-month old boy whose birth mother had admitted to drinking during her first three months of pregnancy and consumed hard drugs throughout her pregnancy.
The second child was a 4-year-old Chinese and Iranian child, who had faced severe neglect. I still get haunted by the description of the child who’d often be left alone while his parents partied.
We were given very little time to decide which child to adopt. It was a hard decision, but we decided to adopt the younger child, our T.
I am a firm believer about life working out the way it should and that you are meant to meet the people that you are to meet and to have the opportunities and challenges that you face.
But I did think recently about the 4-year-old that could’ve been our son.
In a parallel universe, he would be 9 years old today. I wonder how our life would’ve been as we faced the direct effects of the neglect from his early life. I wonder about the memories we would’ve made with an older child.
I am not a person who dwells on the what ifs or to have regrets about the paths not taken, because it is a maddening and futile waste of time.
I am so thankful for the path we took in life that led us to our T.
This Saturday morning, T climbed into bed with me – bright and early, as a woodpecker pecked away at a tree in our backyard.
“My fart woke me up,” he said.
I didn’t want to wake up yet, so I shoved my phone in T’s face, hoping it would buy me a few more minutes.
T started scrolling through the hundreds of photos we’ve taken from the last five years.
He kept watching a video over and over of him walking down a set of stairs, while holding onto the railing, as the hubby stood by closely.
He was only 16 months old and still not familiar or comfortable with going up and down stairs.
T rested his head on my chest watching this video and I opened my sleepy eyes to watch it with him, marveling at how time has flown by.