“Are you an optimist or a pessimist?” I asked my son and my husband on our drive to the house we rented for the last two weeks of August on Lake Canandaigua, one of New York’s Finger Lakes.

Like many who sheltered in place in New York City during the pandemic, I was travelling by car to a longed-for retreat in nature. And like many, facing uncertainty about the future, I was wondering how to hold onto hope.

As an attorney dedicated to helping my clients become parents through adoption, surrogacy, and donation, I am a die-hard optimist. Yet the pandemic makes everything harder, from adoptive parents’ access to care for a newborn in the hospital to scheduling IVF.

Hold onto hope…and memorize the image of your baby-to-be.

Looking out on the magnificent, ever-changing view of the lake, I am trying to take lessons from nature. The dark night makes the lake invisible, yet, no matter what, the morning reveals a renewed blue-green vista.  The clouds release an unwanted passing shower, then roll past leaving shifting images of the crystal water and vast sky. I swat annoying insects from around me, lean back in my Adirondack chair, and feel the breeze shift, imparting delicate bird chirps.

My homework will be the same as my advice to adoptive and intended parents. Hold onto hope and know that the pandemic will pass, just as nature renews itself constantly.  And memorize the image of your baby-to-be, just as I am memorizing the breathtaking lake view to bring back with me on my return.