Saturday, 8 November 2008

Change

One common line of advice you hear with any grief situation is not to make any major decisions for at least one year. Don't change jobs, sell you house, or make any major financial changes. This advice is good for two reasons: one, grieving people are ill equipped to handle the stress of these major decisions, and two, grieving people are more likely to make a hasty decision they will regret later.

Unfortunately for us, we don't have the luxury of not changing jobs or not moving.

Originally I planned to finish my dissertation over the summer, have a baby, and job search in January. Since the first two didn't happen, the last one won't either. I simply didn't have the focus or the energy to complete my dissertation after we learned of Leah's diagnosis. Although things have vastly improved, the stress of meeting the deadlines for a January job search proved too much, and I had to give it up. My wonderful advisor has worked things out so I can turn in my dissertation when I feel up to it. Actually, I have turned in all of the chapters, I just need to do some revisions and work on the introduction and conclusion. Some days I am able to work with focus, others I'm not. I have learned to accept that...although "bad days" become harder to deal with as I continue to have more "good days," because I am often unprepared for them. I am thankful that I am in a position to grieve slowly, and to focus on my health instead of my work.

Jeff, as the bringer-home of most of our bacon, has not had that luxury. He will also finish his dissertation this year, and he is looking for a job. We are hoping to remain in the spirit of the "no big changes for a year" advice by finding a post-doc position at the place where he currently works. His present boss has a possible post opening up, if the money comes through. We continue to hope and pray that this will happen. Even though we long to return to California, we can’t overlook the benefits for Jeff from staying in a position similar to his present work and avoiding the stress of an extensive job search.

That brings us to our final decision, pursuing an adoption. Actually, we made that decision long ago, before we knew Leah wouldn't live, and that having biological children would carry such a high risk. We have always assumed we would adopt after we finished having biological children. Now we know that God has a different timeline and a different plan for us than the one we made. Although we continue to grieve the loss of our daughter, and of our incorrect belief that we had control over planning our family, we find joy which is greater than sorrow as we embark on this new adventure.

1 comment:

Amy Jo said...

Good luck with the job hunt for Jeff. I'm sure things will work out. It is amazing that we think we have a timeline for our future, but usually God has other plans for us. The child you receive will be blessed to have you both as parents.