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A Family, is a Family… is a Family

family planning

This post is from Rhiannon from Rhi In Pink. Thank you, Rhi!

I’ve been thinking an awful lot about family the past six months or so. It’s not like I’ve never thought about family before. It’s just that, well…

My paternal grandmother passed away in February. She was my most favorite woman in the entire world. She was a woman who adopted my dad at 11 years old, after his parents died (his biological mother was a cousin). She was a woman who found delight in the little things but also really enjoyed the finer things in life.

She was a woman who taught me that a lemon tastes delightful in Coca-Cola. A woman who taught me how to play solitaire, but NEVER let me win. A woman who knew all the tricky two-letter words in Scrabble and who would exclaim, “You’re really trouncing me, Rhiannon!”

She was a woman whom I hope to be like. I think about her every day. And now I’m wondering about her family, too. You see, she adopted all 3 of her kids. And I wonder, why? Why did she choose to create her family that way?

I’m wondering about this because last week during surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, my doctor found something entirely different and diagnosed me with endometriosis.

Now, I know—I KNOW that many women suffer from this, and many women have perfectly healthy pregnancies and happy, healthy babies. But, she gave me a dreaded timeline.

I have to be completely done having kids in 4 years, by age 34. But guess what: I’m not married. I’ve only just begun dating someone (who, by the way, could possibly be The One, but that’s a lot of pressure to put on a guy)! If he’s not the one, will I do this on my own? Can I be a single parent?

I’ve really been so focused on my career—me, me, and also ME—for my entire life. It’s kind of hard to switch gears and begin thinking about slowing down the career stuff and the All Rhiannon, All The Time Show and focus on a family.

But I know this: my grandma made a perfect family, a family that I’m so happy and thankful to be a part of. Whichever way I choose to do it, I hope she’ll be proud of me.

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  • Gayle

    Don’t spend time worrying about this (I know, way easier said than done). However and whenever you make a family, it will be the perfect family.

  • bethany actually

    I know your grandmother will be proud of you no matter how you build your family, and she would be so happy to know that you’re thinking of her as you make these decisions. She sounds like she was a special lady.

  • Kim

    My maternal grandmother was my favorite person in the whole world. I loved her so much, I am grateful that she actually got to meet my girls but she never got to know them. It has been up to me to teach them what an amazing person she was.

    As for you, you young fertile will be okay. You will love a child whether you birth them or not, you are that kinda girl. The love oozes. Did your new beau just not tell you he loves you, at least one front looks good.

  • lynne

    My father was looked after by a large family after his natural family fell apart during WW2, I am forever indepted to that kind woman – who I never met. I knew she had 12 children already (not all of them living) and the accepted my 12 year old father into their crowded midst. The younger children as older adults I remember very well as being the jolliest, big hearted people I have ever met.

    Rhi – This must be a terrible shock to you, but on one count at least you know you have a given timelimit. I mean we all know we have a timelimit but there’s always a fudgy kind of thought we can have late babies (my mother had me at 41, the same age her mother had her). I can appreciate this must be especially difficult to deal with at the beginning of a relationship. And I can understand your need to slow your hectic, work filled life down and contemplate a family (as I sit here aged 34 – holy cow how did that happen – wearing a manga t-shirt and starting a work day that probably won’t finish until 10). Since I was a kid I always thought I might be a good foster mom. I believe famillies are made in very many ways. Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Nic

    Well, I’m kind of in the same boat. If my ovaries continue developing dermoid cysts the scar tissue will dramatically hinder my ability to have kids. I’m younger than you and not dating anyone, let alone settling down and getting married. I want to experience the birthing process and because of my family experiences, am really unsure about adoption. I’ve been told by two doctors that I should plan on being done by 30. Um… That’s four years from now and extremely unlikely. BUT different doctors have different opinions. I know I have to live life just as I would without knowing those things because for me, kids should be brought into a good life with existing stability, not the other way around. But when I say that it scares me to my core that it might ever, ever happen I’m not exaggerating. It really might not.

  • Clownfish

    Thanks for sharing about such a special person. Reading your words made me think, I wish I could have met her. A timeline does add preasure to your desires to have a family. But I’m sure you will be blessed no matter how you decide to go about it and I’m sure your Grandmother is looking down with approval and pride.
    (we do not have children but have 19 nephews and nieces – we love our family!)

  • Shelly

    Oh my goodness…..look at me all teary eyed at work. Thanks for sharing. I, myself was adopted and have the greatest life I could ever ask for. I recently met my biological mother and half sister, what an experience, this post got me all emotional!

    What a wonderful woman your grandmother must have been.

    I love my parents with all my heart. It does not even phase me that we are not blood related. I am so grateful with the way my life turned out.
    You are right, anyway you choose to start a family, it WILL be perfect.

  • mamalang

    What I am going to say is going to sound like blah blah blah…but I was diagnosed with endo after the first birth (I already had my stepdaughter.) I’d always thought there was something wrong with the parts and that I would probably struggle to get preggo. So when it happened really quickly, I was surprised. Then I had her, and not much later, things went downhill. When somone told me endo, I cried in relief. At least I knew what it was. I was put on meds to stop my cycles for 6 months, and told the chances of me ever being preggo again were slim to none. One year later, I was discovering that I was unexpectedly 3 months preggo. The point of this is that I truly believe that if God, or the Universe, or Destiny or whatever want it to happen for you, it will. And sometimes, that is the hardest part.

    Don’t stress…really, that will make it worse :) Good Luck, and I hope all works out for you.