Nesting: The emotional, psychological, physiological, relational, spiritual, and practical process of preparing for parenthood. -K. Fields
My appreciation for my own nesting process feels close to me these days in light of the the 1st anniversary of our adoption finalization (known around my house as “Joshua Day”). 12-12-12. That was the day when we stood in front of a judge and swore to be Josh’s parents for the rest of our lives. By that point, we had already been living with our son in our home for almost 2 months, but there was something significant about that act; the formality of it. The permanence. The symbolism of raising my hand and swearing to love, support and take care of my son no matter what. (Hmm, do you think we could initiate this type of symbolic commitment in hospitals before parents bring their babies home? Or better yet, prior to the moment of conception? That was a joke. Kind of.)
On January 1, 2012, my husband and I both believed that we would be parents that year. We didn’t know how or when, but we felt confident that we were supposed to move toward it with openness and determination. So you can imagine my astonishment and awe when I realized on the drive back up to South Carolina to finalize our son’s adoption on December 12, 2012 that our vision had been fulfilled. Everything we went through to get to that point- every disappointment, fear, negative experience, blessing, struggle, connection- was all worth it. We were parents. And we would never not be parents again.
Although we tried to become parents biologically prior to the start of 2012, I mark that day on January 1st as the official start of our nesting process; the beginning of our gestational period where 9 months later we would bring our child home (even though we had no idea at the time what our journey would look like).
So this other part of my life creeps in every now and then. I am a doctoral student, and occasionally I have to do “student” things. It was difficult for me to stay invested in school during my process of becoming a parent, especially when Josh came home to live with us. Thankfully, I had kind and understanding professors and I discovered my love for qualitative research. Through this vessel, I found a way to connect my personal journey to my professional endeavors, and I found a renewed passion for research and my academic pursuits.
I became fascinated with the concept of nesting, and I was curious about how the nesting process for adoptive parents compares to the nesting process for biological parents. I had to conduct research and complete a project in my qualitative data collection class, and after struggling with where to start for several weeks, I eventually decided to begin the research with my own journey of preparing for parenthood. I interviewed myself and made a video comparing the nesting process of biological parents to my own journey toward parenthood.
I wrestled with whether or not to put this on my blog, but in the end, I decided that leaning on the side of vulnerability has been meaningful and worthwhile. So, why not?
I will refrain from inserting my own commentary here because I have already done that in the video. However, I do feel the need to include a disclaimer that, despite my attempt to be “artsy”, I realize that my production quality is below that of most 5th graders. Next time, I hope to enlist the help of a middle schooler to teach me more about video production. Okay, enough disclaiming. Enjoy. *Vulnerability Hangover commence.*
*The term Vulnerability Hangover is borrowed from an amazing therapist/researcher/writer/speaker Brene Brown. If you aren’t familiar with her work on vulnerability, I urge you to become familiar with it.