Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lost in Transition

"Lost in Transition"
5 x 8 Strathmore Visual Journal

It's that time of week again! And I'm eager to show you the final results of my (journaling) labour over the last couple of months. I also promised to tell you the story behind this journal, a story which is literally ten years in the making . . . .

{I must warn you that this was hard to write, pretty personal - and perhaps a bit too long - but I've decided to share my entire journey anyway. So, yeah, here goes:}

This book, this journal which I am titling, “Lost in Transition,” is very special to me. I didn’t know when I started it that it would become such an important tool in helping me get over a hard time - or transition - in my life, but as it progressed, it seemed to take on a life of it’s own, whispering words of encouragement that I desperately needed to hear. 
Please allow me to explain. Most of you know by now that I’m an adoptive Mother. Because of this, my art tends to focus on the world of mothering and adoption. I collect everything babies: from vintage cabinet cards to tattered and torn report cards and all the good stuff in between. It’s fair to say that I’m a tiny bit obsessed with babies, children and the desire to have more of my own. In my personal life, I’m the girl that throws every baby shower and helps to design and decorate every new baby’s nursery that comes along. 
And yet, I struggle to build a family of my own. I long for children to “complete” our family and to provide a sibling for our daughter, who is now six. It’s been ten years from infertility to now - with one successful (dreamy, perfect ;) adoption - and several disappointments since. And this to be honest, has been my greatest life struggle. To be a woman who can not give birth, and yet want children so badly. So, being a person who believes that I can have everything I want as long as I work hard enough, I have dedicated my adult life to getting that family. It’s the reason I started my blog, to get the word out about our hope to adopt again. It’s the reason I create the art that I do, to get the word out about our hope to adopt again. And it’s the reason I have not really “moved on” in my life, because I felt that my work - completing my family - was not finished.
But the thing is, I have been drowning in my determination. And it’s getting old. It is so hard to be in a position of having no control over something that you want so desperately while at the same time, trying to live a life content with what you do have. In other words, at some point I began to realize that I was spending my time, energy and focus trying to get a new baby, when my baby was already sitting beside me. And I was missing out. Missing out on every part of her, missing out on celebrating the family of three that we are, and missing out on being happy in the moment. So, after many years, we have decided to stop pursuing a goal that has eluded us and start living the life that is before us. 





And that is where this journal comes in. When I cracked open this new book, it was to participate in an e-course that my friend Leslie was hosting, Mind. Body. Soul. An e-course of art and life. The crux of the event was to create journal pages based upon six separate and motivational words or phrases. 
I began the first pages just as I would any other, longing for a baby. By the time I got onto page two, my husband and I were questioning wether or not we should stop trying, hence the second entry which suggests that I “just sit with it for a while.” By page four, I was feeling desperate and therefore, “But I feel like giving up” came out. The middle of the book (“O.ver.come”) is just black and depressing, but a couple of pages later, a conversation that I had with my Mother-in-law started to change my perspective. The quote from her is highlighted in my purple spread, “who among you are willing to be dark so that the others can shine?” Symbolically, this page also includes a vintage crystal hanging from it, which I used to represent my art and blog. It's the page that changes the feel and mode of the book. “Renew” comes immediately thereafter - the only page I actually drew in - which also seemed symbolic to me at the time. The rest of the book, from a page in which I use pieces of Kendra’s baby clothes (immediately after I gave most of them away) as my collage materials, to a page in which I celebrate life as it is with a beautiful Rumi quote, all just seemed to come together. 
And as I finished the journal, I noticed that there may have been some hidden secrets along the way. Perhaps, the first page in which I question, “you ARE enough,” was really telling the story in a different way. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t about wether or not I could handle another child as I originally thought, but rather, it was about being enough as we are. “YOU are enough.” And although this decision is new and it still hurts, I am now in a place where I can actually believe that. 



Kristin xo

33 comments:

Debbie said...

Your journal is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your personal journey. I think this journal is so special, because it records your growth over time in a completely unique and personal, and beautiful way. Just wonderful!

Tracey Fletcher KIng said...

Thanks for sharing such a personal journey with us... as a mother of one precious girl I know it can be so devastating to watch other families grow as yours stays as it is and as you struggle, but it is as it is and like you I came to terms with it and made the decision to enjoy every moment I can... they grow up so quick and bring such joy... and we are just perfect as we are... have an amazing week...xx

craftattack said...

Wonderful journal, and thanks for sharing your story. I know you will have the strength to tackle life, whatever comes your way! Be happy with your little family! Hugs, Valerie

Carolyn Phillips said...

Thank you for your openness in sharing your story.

missy k said...

Your journal is beautiful and precious like you.

What a terribly hard decision for you to make (and brave to share it with us) but it seems (to me) by making your journal you have 'grieved' for your dream and now you are ready to fully embrace every single moment of the perfect family you already have.

Enjoy every moment....

I'd love to be having this 'conversation' over a cup of tea....

but instead virtual hugs (( ))and much love Karenxxxxx

Netty said...

Thank you Kristin for sharing your very special journal and story. Kendra is such a very special little girl and you can feel your love pouring out of her whenever you see her in photographs. Hugs Annette x

Diane said...

The progression of this journal and journey is beautiful--thank you for sharing it all.

Carin said...

**hugs**

So glad you're coming to peace with it all my friend, and started living in the now again. And you know I think your journal is stunning.

WrightStuff said...

What a truly moving post Kristin. I'm glad that feel in the right place now. Love to you and yours. xx

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Thank you for sharing this magical post that is showing your life blossoming and you being happy with the results ~ You are blessed ~ lots of hugs to you and your family ~thanks, namaste, ^_^

Faye said...

I loved looking at each page of your beautiful journal. Your post is from the heart. I hope all your dreams come true.

NatashaMay said...

That is a heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing the words and the art. :)

Daniele Valois said...

xoxo

Lynn said...

fun journal pages...nicely done. HPPF!

Marji {RainCityGirl} said...

Beautiful journal. Inspiring words. Happy PPF

Cameron said...

I felt this post down to my core...thank you for sharing your journey with us....

The journal is beautiful...as is every emotion contained within :)

Much love to you,
Cam

minnemie said...

thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story with us... the process, the pain and the hope...beautiful!

Terri Neggers said...

Not only is your journal a beautiful work of art, but it sounds like it was very healing too, and you can't ask for much more than that. It was very brave of you to share your story, and I hope that now you'll be able to enjoy what you have and be more at peace...

Renee! said...

Absolutely fabulous!!!! I love your journal...
Happy PPF...
Renee
xoxo
www.fussitup.blogspot.com

Mandy said...

Just beautiful Kristin ...i have had a similar somewhat process like yours...not in adoption but a health matter with Jacob..and certainly not a significant as yours...but what a wonderful way to express your feelings...each and every page is so amazing....reaching the decision is the hardest part..and you've done that...happy happy times ahead for you my friend...xxxxxxxx

carlarey said...

You are so brave to share something so personal. It's beautiful.

It can so be so easy to miss the joy that is right in front of you when you are focused on a distant dream.

Georgie Horn said...

thank you for sharing this personal story. Even though it was a tough journey, the journal is wonderful.

Scarlett Clay said...

**tears***

Kristin, I grew up in a family of three and our family was whole and happy and I never felt like anything was missing. You already know this but I just want to affirm that a loving mom and dad are all K. needs. Your family is perfect. :) :) :) and btw, I loved being an only child!! It has really made me who I am today in so many ways and I wouldn't change a thing.
I absolutely adore your journal..so much heart in it, I'm amazed at how it's all come together, so rich with meaning for your and your precious family. Much love~Scarlett

kristin maynes said...

I love your journal! Each page is so pretty and meaningful. Your story is very touching. Happy PPF!

peggy gatto said...

I understand and I wish you happiness and content and bless you for your motherhood!!!

Lenna Young Andrews said...

Kristi, I came here from Fiddlesnips, my friend Jo's blog and must say I am very impressed with your openness. I imagine it must have felt good to write that piece and I, not really knowing anything about you, appreciated the background you gave us. It help me look at your amazing completed journal and understand it more... fabulous work!

Ella said...

I can relate a bit to your journey. I struggled to have a family. My first attempt, I almost died, gave birth to a chronic disease.
Your journal is vibrant, beautiful and filled with so much heart, touching sentiments and the struggle of the journey! You have a beautiful family! I am happy you kept on journaling and discovered the true gift. The gift of allowing yourself to embrace what you had~ What a touching story! You open a door, when you share~ I wish I could hug you (((hugs)) Your story makes me sad and fills me with joy! Thank you for being brave, being YOU and releasing your story! It is a treasure! xox

Anne said...

Thank you for sharing your story! Beautiful journal!

EVA said...

What a beautiful and powerful post and journal. It sounds like creating it has brought you so much... thank you for sharing it and your story.

Jenny said...

Oh Kristin... what a beautiful and passionate post... stunning journal and heartfelt journey... I hear exactly what you are saying... and admire you immensely... what a decision to make... you are an inspiration my friend...

Hugs
Jenny x

JessiVille said...

Oh my Dear, Thank you for sharing your soul with us. You are an exceptional human being and wonderful Mother! May you grow happier with each day with your family decisions!
Kenda is so cute and I want a pair of those adorable glasses!
Happy Mother's Day

Hugs, Jessi xox

Gloria said...

A beautiful personal art therapy journal. YOU ARE ENOUGH! and so are the other two members of your family. Live in the Holy Instant, the now...it is all we really have! Love from your artist friends

Melinda Cornish said...

it is wonderful and knowing the story behind it really lets you see the progression of the stages you went through. When we first met thru blogging, you were frustrated and still hoping for a new baby to love...I am glad you are healing and enjoying your family now....you deserve it.