Thursday, February 02, 2006

Why don't you just adopt?

I read one of my fave blogs, The Naked Ovary ,and she inspired me to explore this topic. It's the question many struggling with infertility hear and despise. The thing is, when I was going through IVF and our 2 miscarriages, I wanted to have a baby but I was also looking to be pregnant. I wanted the "whole package", the common experience and yes, the pain. I was so focused on getting pregnant, that sometimes I wasn't always thinking about the ending. It's kind of like when you're planning your wedding, you aren't neccessarily thinking about who's going to write the mortgage check .

During this process, there was much advice (assvice) given to me such as "you should just relax", "you know, I bet you'd get pregnant if you guys just got drunk and f*#@ed" and the infamous "why don't you just adopt". Well, I'm pretty relaxed and I'm ok with having a few drinks and sex has never been a problem for me or him, so whatever. However, the people that told me to "just adopt" had not been blessed by adoption themselves, but were only able to have bio kids. What the hell do they know? Now, I do realize this sounds mean. I understand that people generally have good intentions, but I also want to educate people about the question "why don't you just adopt". I'm also not speaking of everyone who talked to us about adoption. I'm really not that mean, but I'm trying to be honest here.

Adoption is big. It's not something you "just" do. I had always had the thought in the back of my mind to adopt. In 7th grade I designed a house for myself and I thought there would either be a man in my life or a child brought into my life via adoption. I envisioned this child to have dark hair and darker skin than myself and come into my life when the child was older. I just remembered blogs ARE cool.

Of course after I married and we began trying to conceive, pregnancy became everything for a while and then it became too much. The waiting, the let down, the procedures, the drugs, the extreme (fleeting) highs and the lower lows. Why don't you just adopt? I hated that question because when I started thinking of it very seriously, I didn't want it to be my "second choice", I wanted it to be a different choice. I wanted it to be separate.

Here's the good is separate but comparable. The journey for Buttons was much like a pregnancy. Instead of OB appointments we had homestudies, INS fingerprinting, and many trips to the Notary Public. The wait? Oh yeah, we had that in spades. Baby showers? Many! The labor? I consider our trip to China and back to be our labor and delivery. We were all exhausted when we came home.

So now, I get to talk with other people who have adopted about this magical experience. I'm amazed with my daughter. I'm in love with my daughter, head over heels, giddy love. I want her to know I chose adoption, it wasn't my second choice. I came late to the party, but I'm so glad I finally made it since it's even better than I expected. (More work than I expected, too.)

In her blog Karen says it better than I can (entitled "Getting edumacated in adoption"), but I'll try and address something she wrote about...mourning pregnancy. It's a difficult issue for me. Would I know Buttons if I hadn't had 2 miscarriages? I can't be glad of the miscarriages, but I couldn't be happier about Buttons. So, I see them as different entities. I can be sad about the loss of those children and still be exhuberant about my sweet daughter. Those two feelings can survive together, which I wondered about when we were thinking about adoption.

I haven't completely given up the thought of trying to get pregnant again, but I mostly think about whether (or when) we'll go back to China for our second child. Pregnancy and adoption are separate to me, and while the thought of a successful pregnancy is very powerful, the reality of my daughter and my love for her is bigger than anything and for that I am truly thankful.


At February 2, 2006 at 9:48 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Very well said. Adoption and pregnancy have the same feelings attached to them - the physical symptoms during the "wait" are just different - both having the same prize at the end, a child...

At February 1, 2007 at 10:00 AM, Anonymous Robin said...

What a great post. People say the most thoughtless things to each other. The comments about "Just" adopting shows the lack of thought that went into what was being said. After all, how can anyone know what someone else's path is really like or how it feels to be in someone else's skin?

I get rude comments once in a while too, except about not having kids - people actually asking me "Why" I don't. It's such a personal question and it brings up so many personal issues and thoughts that I can't believe people who hardly know me would ask.

Suffice it to say that even though I don't have kids, I know it is the biggest deal and is something that changes your life forever, and because I take it that seriously, I would want to be 100% sure that's what I wanted before I took that plunge rather than jumping into it without thinking.

Even though we obviously haven't chosen the same path, I think that I can relate much better to people that have had infertility issues and/or went the adoption path, because they had to think long and hard about what they wanted. I think they end up being the best parents in the end because of all that thought and planning and sacrifice.


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