This time last year, we were somewhat rudderless. Matt was working an awful lot, often away, I was deep in the throes of raising a three and a one year old, a bit different to the two year old and baby phase, but in a lot of ways more juggling than ever before. We were by no means unhappy with our lot in life: two healthy and happy girls, a fulfilling career for Matt offering opportunity and challenge, a village of friends and family around us.
Yet something was missing.
We reassessed. It was time for the next step, inevitable and ever-looming. The time was nigh. We decided that the change which we could feel a’brewing was for Matt to leave his off-farm job and return to the family farming business by the end of the year. Always the plan, but now it was really The Plan, reality versus pipe-dream-on-the-horizon are two very different things. We moved forward, optimistic and buoyed by the goals which lay ahead, and planned to travel around Australia for four months before the next chapter for our little family began.
We set off on our big trip, bumping along the Oodandatta track, exploring Uluru, walking through Kings Canyon and rolling through the dusty Tanami desert towards the far reaches of the north-west Kimberley. Our two girls were tucked safely under our wings, on our backs on hikes and into our camper trailer at night while we chatted around the campfire under the outback skies. It was quite simply the best time of our lives as a family. We had nowhere to be, yet somewhere to return to when the time came, we were very much looking forward to this new time in our family’s story, but savouring this ‘limbo’ time together just the four of us.
Yet something was missing.
On our around-Australia year long honeymoon adventure in 2012 I also had this feeling, this twinge, a pang of ‘the missing’. I vividly remember sitting at Burke and Will’s last campsite in the remoteness of the Gulf country, halfway between Cairns and Darwin: I want to have a baby. We need to have a baby. I cried. And prayed. That baby was still two years away, her name would be Eleanor Joy.
I realised with a jolt that something wasn’t missing… it was someone.
Someone was missing from our family. We weren’t complete. As much as an amputee can still feel their missing limb, as a Mother I could feel there was another little light twinkling… somewhere. An imagining for now, but there.
There was a little person waiting somewhere to join us. Somewhere in the thousands and thousands of kilometres we travelled through deserts and gorges and outback vastness… somewhere, they were waiting. Patiently and quietly.
We spent an incredible week traversing the Tanami desert, circumnavigating Lake Gregory and it’s vast remoteness. Just us and our thoughts and our small people. And the Richmond preliminary final loss.
And the waiting other little person. Somewhere.
Trundling into Kununurra we set up camp next to another family with two little girls, on a similar voyage to us in a little camper. Their youngest blonde sprite had the name which would always be what we would call another little girl. Our girls played beautifully with the other travellers for a few days. I watched them and felt the pangs, the ‘what-if’s’…
I knew there was a little person waiting. Patiently.
Someone was missing.
In November, the little waiting person will join us. Our family will be complete, and I can stop crying at outback campsites about yet-to-be babies.
We are feeling incredibly grateful to be on this ride again, how lucky are we that this little person has chosen us. They are so loved already, they wanted to join our family so much (persistent already!) We can’t wait to meet you to find our missing piece of the puzzle.
You were waiting and we were waiting too, thank you for being patient with us. You’re not missing anymore.
Beautiful images by Lisa Hayman Photography.