Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why Don't You Just Adopt?

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.


Ashley Jene said...

A very important point...I don't know how many times I came home and cried to my husband over something someone said while we were going through this journey!

Michelle Lasure said...

I COMPLETELY get where you are coming from on this topic. After years of questions from nosy people about when we were going to have kids, I finally just laid everything out on the table and told people we couldn't have our own. I had stage 4 endo, and ended up having a hyst. Now, at least, I can tell people I don't have the parts!

Now about adoption...we decided to go this route this year, but we are doing a local adoption. The agency we are working with is in upstate NY (Buffalo area) and works with mothers locally and regionally, advocating open adoption. When we do adopt, we will get to have a lifelong relationship with the birthmother. Even better, once we get "the call", we will be able to adopt the baby at 2 days old, so bonding can start immediately.

This agency works with people from other states as well...not sure where you are...but it may be an option for you.

We have been home study ready for 6 months now, and we're still waiting, but the average local adoption happens within a year. Check out their site: It may help you with a decision.

Take care!


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