Thursday, July 9, 2009

Failing my daughter

My daughter was so excited to become a big sis. She knows she is still a big sis even though her brother died. She takes so much pride in him, sharing him freely with anyone who lets her, she is her brothers keeper and i'm so thankful for that. She has always been my constant reminder of all of the wonderful times we had with her brother, how loved he was, how happy he made us, and how he will never be forgotten.

Still, she wants a living sibling so bad. Her father and I are separated and it is likely we will get divorced eventually, it just hasn't been urgent to file the paperwork at this point.

It seems like at least twice a week, she brings up having another baby or (because she's precocious and knows) she wants me to adopt.

How do I explain to her the complexities of the world? I don't know that I could ever handle a sub preg, i'm not ruling it out because i am 29 and you never know what the future will bring, but it is obvious that this will not happen anytime soon. I also can't explain to her that being a single mom, my options for adoption are limited. I don't have any money for adoption, and I don't know enough about the child welfare system to know if they would allow a single mom to be a foster parent, let alone an adoptive parent. Even if they did, could I handle a child in my current capacity? Could I afford it? Do I have the emotional resources to foster a child? And if we did take that route, that child may not be with us forever, so I would be creating an attachment that could inevitably end in another loss (not the same, but i see parallels).

My daughter is almost six, her brother and her would be four years apart. It feels like time is ticking away and i'm losing any chance i had at giving my daughter the experience of having a living sibling. I certainly can't tell her, well maybe when you're older or I get remarried (bah, never want to get remarried!) or whatever. That's too much for her to understand, and I would never ever want to ever promise her a sibling ever again. That's what happened the first time and here we are.

I usually just find myself, each time she asks, just disappointing her all over again. That's what it feels like anyway. All I can say is that I don't know. That it might just be me and her, and that I'm so happy I have her in my life. She is all I need, not all I ever wanted, but she makes up what remains of my heart.

I know that many only children (i hate saying that, she is not my only child!) would have liked to have a sibling, and they are fine being the only child. It just seems doubly unfair though that she SHOULDN'T be an only child. That she had and has a little brother, yet she has very few of the experiences most children have and she perhaps will never know the love (and all the other stuff) that is a part of having a living sibling.

This has been my biggest turmoil since the moment the nurse couldn't find the heartbeat. How could I tell my daughter? As my marriage eroded, i've still grasped at any conceivable chance that maybe, just maybe I could somehow be a mommy to a rainbow baby. I don't know that I'll ever be there. And that is okay for me I've accepted that, but I feel like I'm failing her everytime she asks for a sibling.

Anyway, I know there aren't any answers really. It just feels like I need to get this off of my chest. How could I fail both my children so fully? How can I keep failing her? How can I possibly just tell her, life isn't fair? 'I don't know' seems like such an inadequate answer to her pleas. She deserves so much more