Last night I was remembering the trip that Kirby and I took to the United States in June and July of 2009. It was fantastic – Connecticut and New York are amazing places. So different from each other and each with its own character.
It was a very long trip from Adelaide, Australia to New York. It was about seventeen hours in planes all up with a stopover of a couple of hours in Sydney and about a six hour stopover in LA. Needless to say we were extremely tired by the time we boarded the American Airlines plane to New York.
We collected our boarding passes in LA and I noticed that Kirby and I were not seated together for the next leg of our journey to New York. We went to the American Airlines counter and questioned this and we were told to talk to the steward as we boarded the plane.
So we did. And the response we got?
“We seat families together first.”
“We are a family too.”
It was clear that the steward wasn’t prepared to help us, and I was almost in tears. Fortunately a lovely woman swapped seats with me so that Kirby and I could sit together.
Before our IVF round in December, 2008, we had decided that if that round didn’t work we would take a holiday to the United States and then talk about IVF further when we got home. The wound of another IVF cycle which didn’t bring us our baby was still raw when we went to America – and being told we weren’t considered a family was like knitting needle being plunged into my heart.
It really hurt – and I was really angry and defensive. And I questioned whether Kirby and I were really a family if we didn’t have children.
Years have passed and I no longer have the same doubts. We are a family. There is no doubt in my mind about that now. But, it still hurts sometimes to think that other people might consider us as less of a family than those families which include children. That is their problem though.
I often take a moment to look at Kirby, and at our Felix, Frankie, Odi, and Ari, and I feel quite content with our little family.
You know the funny thing? We were seated separately on the way from New York back to LA as well. And, yet again, a kind person offered to swap with me.
Some airlines may not understand that Kirby and I are a family – but it seems there are people out there who do.