It is strange how random things throughout our lives end up becoming something significant; a smell that harbours treasured memories, or a sight that sparks up visions of the most prized of personal events. When we sat down in a Wagamama restaurant recently for an early family tea, we had not realised the importance of what we were doing as adoptive parents.
September 2009 saw my wife and I reach a particularly low point in our lives having just undergone horrendous IVF treatment, that failed in remarkable fashion.
The pain of infertility treatment failure is immeasurable, and cannot be communicated by the written word. Of course many of you know that, so I shall spare you the tiresome lecture.
It was following the IVF failure that we decided to eat at a favourite restaurant of ours nearby – the Wagamama in the centre of town.
Here we sat consoling ourselves for an hour or two, trying our best not to have our glum aura rub off on the couple sitting next to us. It is amazing how heavy your face feels when the weight of childlessness is your burden, but my wife and I could not crack a smile despite doing our best to enjoy the fine Japanese cuisine.
Now we are adoptive parents
It came as somewhat of a shock when this feeling returned at the weekend; or the memory of it anyway.
The three of us went into the restaurant for an early dinner, and for whatever reason were seated in the exact same spot as we had been three years prior.
As a man, I had not originally noticed, but my wife was quick to point out the significance.
How things have changed since we were last here?
She wasn’t wrong.
It was a poignant moment for the pair of us, but at the same time, an incredibly happy one. Our East-Asian banquet represented the completion of our particular ‘pilgrimage to parenthood’; to quote the Walt Disney Company and Elton John – the circle of life.
For what seemed like hours, we both sat and stared at our son, playing with the crayons, spilling his drink, and generally having a good time.
The feelings we had experienced before shot through us like a lightning bolt, and we could do nothing but respect them. We had shared a journey that had seen us empty our souls of happiness, and bounce back to fulfil our mutual and long yearned for dream…
…A dream that has been realised, now we are adoptive parents.
So with a sense of pride, we both snapped out of our trance, and quickly started playing with our son, immersing ourselves in our communal world. We can look back at the past, and remember it, learn from it, but we can’t let it distract from the now.
We are parents, now. We have reached our goal… now.
I don’t want to stop and stare, I want to jump right in.