This is a happy post. With good news!
Two days before Christmas, Trey and I received an email. It was in response to this amazing opportunity we had applied for back in November.
It was a difficult application. A lot of it was the usual demographic information. I had to get a letter from my fertility doctor, which was a little more difficult than I planned; there was some miscommunication in the office and then I don't think I explained what I needed from him very well. And then, the hardest part: explain our story to a handful of strangers. Trey seemed to make it very easy; throughout this whole process he has been very light-hearted, very hopeful and optimistic; it's usually the reverse in our relationship.
But how to explain everything to these people who didn't know me? Who may not understand that I try and hide my pain so that I don't inconvenience anyone, including my husband? How do I explain that I often use sarcasm to mask the words that I really want to say?
The answer: Just put everything out on the line. Put your heartache, your pain, your feelings out in the open, for everyone.
And that's exactly what we did.
The opportunity is called The Race to Parenthood 5K, which is the main event of the non-profit The Road to Parenthood. This is a non-profit organization that helps couples going through infertility treatments fund their pathways to parenthood. 100% of the donations and race proceeds go to five Featured Couples.
And we were chosen. We were chosen as a 2017 Race to Parenthood Featured Couple.
And I cried, which shouldn't really be surprising at this point, but this time it was a happy cry. It was a relief cry, it was a hopeful cry. Because after all the failures, all of the disappointments, we had hope. We were given hope. And that was such a wonderful Christmas present.
Immediately, all of the past Featured Couples and race organizers welcomed us "to the race family." And that phrase really struck me.
We are a family. True, we're not related by blood; but we are related by experience. A life-changing experience. The people in this family already know us, because they've been where we've been, they've had the same ups and downs. And while several of them have their little miracles, that doesn't take away from the fact that they had to go down the same road we're on right now. And that makes us a family.
The Featured Couples are divided into teams based on colors (green, red, yellow, orange and purple). We were chosen for Team Green and we met our awesome mentors, who were 2016's Featured Couple. They have been so nice and so wonderful; they have opened their arms to us and we actually haven't officially met yet!
I am so excited about what's to come in the next several months as we plan our 2017 race. I am so excited to meet the other 2017 Featured Couples and know that we are going to be lifelong friends; that our kids will be friends for the rest of their lives because of what their parents went through.
I have been thinking about My Monster lately, though. There has been so much good stuff happening to us lately, that I almost feel back to my normal self. Of course, she is still there. She will always be there, though hopefully she'll be dormant for a good long while. My Monster will never go away; she is forever a part of me. You can't erase her just like you can't erase our experiences, our troubles, our bumps and obstacles. Infertility is a life-changing experience; at the end of the road, whatever we decide our end to be, we will be different. Hopefully stronger different, but different. No matter how much I want to, I will never be the Lara of 2012 or 2013 or even 2014 when our journey began. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Our journey is not a bad thing; we have met the most amazing people, we have become stronger as a couple, I've learned a whole lotta medical stuff and I know how to inject myself (which could come in handy, you never know), and in the end we'll be able to live and love the choices we've made.
As I said during art therapy: I only want to be proud of myself when all this is over. I want to look back, no matter the outcome, and know that I have no regrets, that I made decisions for me and not because of someone else, and that I did the best I could. And that's all anyone can ask of us, really.
SO. I hope you all will follow along on Facebook or here on the blog for all of our updates on the race and on our journey. Once the race planning gets into gear I'll post "newsletters" on our blog so that those who are interested have the information.
You'll see this a lot and I'm not even sorry:
Go Team Green!!!