We hope everyone’s holidays were lovely and that everyone is feeling positive about the year to come. For many of us this time of year is filled with resolutions, formal expressions of intentions, for the next 365 days or more. A common practice, these resolutions are wrapped up in our dreams about the future and the way we perceive who we are and who we want to be. While many of us would love to end the next 365 days as committed to those resolutions as we are today, most of will have altered these resolutions many times over, long fallen of the wagon, or have forgotten our resolutions completely. We might look back realizing that our altered resolutions were still positive– maybe even better and more realistic than the ones we made 364 days ago, we might be slightly disappointed but set new resolutions for the coming year with the experience and knowledge of the year past, or we might not look back at all.
While some take resolutions more seriously than others the majority of us see the making (and often subsequent breaking) of these resolutions as a natural ritual filled more with positive hope than any negative repercussion. Resolutions help us organize our hopes and dreams with the realization that only our own actions and reactions are within our control during the year to come. Similarly, Diane Ehrensaft, PhD, discusses what she refers to as the “family reverie” that occurs in families created through assisted conception techniques when a significant piece of the family’s creation may be unknown to some or all of the family members. The “reveries” are the shared thoughts of the family about the donor/surrogate. These may be fantasies about meeting the birth other, what they will be like, how they will be involved in the family’s future, and if they will be similar/different, etc. She encourages the allowance of these dreams about birth others while holding onto the gentle reminder for all engaging that they are just that, dreams, hopes at the most. She feels that this may be an important part of the family’s (and especially the child’s) understanding of who they are and how they came to be.
Much like resolutions for the coming year, hopes and planning can be positive so long as one understands that external factors cannot truly be controlled or predicted. Setting formal intentions and hopes can be our way of exploring what we truly want so that we can get to the important work of how to get there and the even MORE important work of why we want to head that direction. Remember fantasies surrounding the birth other in your family might be more about a springboard for open communication about identity and family roles than about the subject of the reverie itself.
So resolve to revel in the exploration of your resolutions this year while also being compassionate about the reality of keeping them. You may find that where you’re at is exactly where you’re supposed to be!
Third Party Reproduction LGBT Coordinator
Traci’s academic background is in Gender Studies with a focus in Sexuality and her career background is in counseling and diversity education. She believes in the strength of families of choice and is passionate about offering affirming options for egg donation and/or surrogacy to the LGBT community looking to grow their families.
Find more information about Diane Ehrensaft and her work here: www.dianeehrensaft.com