Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"What about Adoption"

Today ended a little weird. It first started off when on my way home from work, I was going to stop by a scrap booking store before I headed to cash my check. Or so I thought it was a scrap booking store...well it was 10 years ago, when I went there last. It was now called "Pollywogs to Tadpoles", I thought they must have changed the name of the store. Oh no, I get it now. What I found was a BABY Boutique!!! How embarrassing. Of course I was the only one in there, so I was bombarded by questions...ugh! "I'm just looking." I said. I stayed long enough to see the baby bedding, and then bolted out of there. Hey, at least I know they carry some of the couture baby bedding brand that I like, you know, if that day ever comes...sigh. At least I can laugh at myself today. Two weeks ago, I would have been bawling in my car after such incident.

Then later on tonight, my TV show got interrupted by a telephone call. I hit pause. And after I took that phone call, I hit a pause in a different way. On my life...something that could change my life, but I wasn't expecting it at all. A friend of mine from my ward (church congregation), who knows about our little infertility struggle called. Her mother works for an adoption agency and they have a little boy who will be born around Christmas time, and the mother is looking to place him for adoption. She has two other children of her own that she has kept, but for some reason, she can't keep this little one. My friend gave me her mom's phone number, and if we wanted, we could send her some pictures of us and a letter...etc. I still have yet to tell Marc this, but I really don't know how I feel. I guess we could always send her the info, and say no if we don't feel it's right. But that's the thing. I don't want to adopt unless I know in my heart that it is right. I don't want to adopt if I don't feel ready to. And I don't know if I am. I guess it would be different if I knew my only way to have a child was through adoption. Say if had to have a hysterectomy, for whatever reason, and that was it, then making that decision to adopt might be easier. But I've been pregnant!!! I don't want to give up on that. And just because I adopt doesn't me I have to give up on that. But there is still more testing that needs to be done to find out what's wrong. Expensive testing, and paying for a $20,000 adoption would halt us in proceeding in finding out what is wrong. If the doctors know what is wrong, there are ways around things to fix the problem. If there isn't anything that can be done, well then maybe yes, adoption may be considered further.

So I know what most of you are thinking when you see someone struggle with infertility:"What about adoption?" Obviously we have considered adoption, anyone experiencing infertility will face this question. Not only face the question themselves, but from others as well. (We infertile's get asked this question a lot, by the way.) This is just the first time adoption has come up as an actual possibility for us. Honestly, I don't know how I feel about it yet. Adoption is a totally different step in a different direction. I consider adoption such a sacred process and whom ever goes into adoption has to be ready to face it head on. For both the mother and adoptive parents. I have the utmost respect for any couple who has decided to or has adopted, and likewise, any mother who places their child into another couples arms. I don't know how they do it. And I just don't know if I'm ready to head that direction right now. If you asked my husband, he would be ready to adopt the second I was ready.

There are a lot of issues surrounding adoption that I don't agree with or like. For instance: I know how much I want a child and how much it hurts me that I am experiencing difficulty in the fertility department. But I couldn't comprehend how hard and how much it would hurt to place your own child for adoption. I don't want to be apart of hurting someone else to get what I want. That poor mother will face a lifetime of pain every time that child's birthday comes up every year, or mother's day, etc...there will always be little reminders for that mother about the child she gave up. Second: I don't want any mother to feel as though she "HAS TO" give up her child. That child is first and for-most hers. I wish there were more help out there for teen moms to keep their babies. And I don't want to put myself in a situation of getting my hopes up for an adoptive child, and then have those dreams shattered again if they change their mind. (which they totally have the right to.) Third: I don't like how adoption agency's make perspective parents write up a synopsis of themselves and try to "sell" to the perspective mother their lifestyle. I don't want to have to feel as though I am selling myself and my husband to some poor, scared and confused teenage mom, and then turn around and pay money for a child. Fourth: Do you know how extensive they have to do background check on couples? My sister in-law, who is adopting again, showed me the fat paper work she was filling out for catholic family services. Did you know you need an FBI background check? And have Social Services come to your house and evaluate you and your spouse? It's like they are looking at you from under a microscope! Obviously they want to make sure those perspective couples are, well, you know, "with it" enough for a child. Fifth: there are emotional factors surrounding this subject. Too many to count. Not that every adopted child turns out this way, but I have four adopted cousins myself. Three out of the four had children very young and out of wedlock. Some were also heavily into drugs and alcohol. One of them even left his wife and kids, soon after he found out that his wife had a degenerative disease that caused her to go deaf and blind. No kidding. They all have a lot of issued between their adoptive parents. I have seen how much hurt my aunts and uncles have gone through with them. I know they do open adoptions now, which may have made all the difference in my cousin's cases. But then again, I don't want the mother too involved. I don't want to send pictures, letters, or updates. I think just making sure we always had an address and phone number so when the child was mature and ready, say 18 years old, then they can make the choice if they want to contact them. Sixth: How would I handle having an adoptive child? There is no doubt in my mind that I would love the child, but would I emotionally withdrawal myself? How do I explain to that child they are adopted so that it doesn't screw up their self worth? And what if I did finally get pregnant and have another child? Would I treat my own child any different than the adopted child because of that special bond formed in the womb?

Maybe the whole point of this blog is to talk myself out of adoption at this point. Or maybe reiterate to myself that I'm not ready yet. It's definitely something I will have to talk to Marc about, and pray about.