I was never very secretive about the fact that I couldn't get pregnant. What was the point? Everyone always asks you when you're going to have kids?, why don't you have any kids?, how many kids do you want to have? At first I would give the lame excuse- "oh, I'm waiting for my older brother to have first crack at it, then I can get all the great handy-me-downs. Then when that excuse became over used, I would say, soon. Finally out of pure anger for all the probing questions, my husband and I would say, well, actually we've been trying for two years. We probably can't conceive a child without medical intervention. After a few of those comments and the questions stopped coming. Thankfully.
However, then there was an entire new line of questions and commenting.
My favorite is, "Why don't you just adopt?"
"Well, geeze Aunt Iris do you have two hours?" First of all, I am not over the fact that I will never be pregnant in my lifetime. I am dealing with the never ending grief of almost a dozen failed attempts at getting pregnant using medication and invasive procedures that have controlled my life for two years. I am dealing with the aftermath of an ectopic pregnancy. I am scared to death of where to begin to adopt a child. Oh, and that little problem of coming up with thirty thousand dollars when we had already spent over $20K to get pregnant.
Adoption is a great alternative for families that cannot have a biological child. But, this resolution does not come quickly, nor should it. There is so much to research and learn about. Which country, agency, age of child? The list goes on and on. And, then come the anxieties. Will we bond with the child? What kind of challenges will the child face after being in an orphanage or foster care for x months or years? I could go on an on.
I understand that people want to say something positive when confronted with a couple's reality. But, dismissing a decision to adopt as an easy alternative just proves that you really can't sympathize with their situation.
If someone mentions to you that they are having trouble conceiving and have gone through x-y-z with no luck, they obviously feel comfortable talking about their situation with you. Think before you speak and try to be comforting instead of offering solutions to the problem. Just know they want an open mind and heart to convey their feelings of sadness and frustration, not advice on what to do. If they do want advice because you know someone who has adopted or gone through IVF, either they will ask, or find a tactful way to work it into the conversation.
You could be someone who could ease some of the burden of a devastating predicament.
If you never had problems conceiving, think of how gut wrenching it must be to lose the ability to plan your own family. The dream of having a baby becomes a long lost vision for many couples. How would that make you feel?
Walk in someone elses shoes for a minute and your perspective will change; it will open your eyes.