Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thoughts on adoption

I've been thinking to myself that if a newborn (or a birthmom) were presented to us, we'd say, "Absolutely!" without hesitation.

But on a bboard, I just saw someone post that she knows a birthmom who wants to find a family. My heart skipped a beat. Would we be open to this idea?

Turns out, the birth parents are mixed-race, and they want a mixed-race family. Clearly T and I do not fit that bill. It's not the situation for us.

But it got me thinking about a baby. I do want a baby. I do want a baby right now. But am I ready to adopt -- to say yes to an adopted baby right now? I don't know. I think I'm still attached to some sort of ART working. Even donor egg with donor sperm makes me feel less scared than adoption right now.

I feel so confused. I want to be able to let go, but I can't yet. We are going to an all day adoption seminar on Saturday. (Ironically, we'll have to miss my cousin's baby's bris because of this. This is the second cousin baby in about a month.) But something about adoption doesn't sit well with me. This is so weird because my niece L is so great and that adoption has worked so well so far at age 11. Why can't I shake my scared feelings?

I know a bunch of successful adoption stories that last until adulthood. But I also know scary adoption stories of children no longer talking to their parents. I don't want that. But then again, I know fully biological children that as adults don't really talk to their parents.

The thing is, I feel like the not talking thing is different for the biological families than for the adoptive families. Maybe that's me throwing my baggage onto it, but that's what I feel like. Of course, thinking on it, it's not 100% true. Mental illness is probably the #1 reason for the not talking thing. I can think of 2 mental illness not talking situations off the top of my head. One of them is an adoptive child and one of them is a biological one. I know that adoption agencies try their best to screen for a family history of mental illness. And honestly, I'm not sure if we know whether or not our donor has a family history of mental illness. We don't think so, but do we know for sure? Another not talking situation is just because the son, now an adult, just didn't quite keep up with his sister (biological to the parents) and the parents (both professors). I get the feeling that he didn't feel like he fit in, especially intellectually. That's the one that really scares me. I'm afraid of our kid not fitting in with T and me.

I know there is nothing certain in the world. Anything can go wrong in any situation. Things can go wrong, biology or no biology. So why am I so uncomfortable with this whole adoption thing? Why? I don't want to be anymore.

Maybe it's because I got pregnant with donor #2 and I know we have 3 more vials left. Maybe it's because I know there's a chance that I could get pregnant, and with that chance right there, I can't mentally move on yet. Maybe it's because T and I decided we would definitely do IVF one more time with my eggs and donor sperm (with insurance coverage) before moving on.

I want to be able to process more than one thing at a time, but I'm not sure I can.

We also want to think about donor eggs and donor sperm if I don't get pregnant with my eggs. Both T and I thought we we would never think about that route, but we're finding out that our feelings are changing. At least we feel like we can have a little input on our child's biology with donor gametes.

Of course, we need the results of my tests first. If there's nothing wrong with my eggs, then donor eggs won't solve our problem.

I guess I just want all the answers instantly, and that's not possible. Writing this down made me smile a little. T tells me that I am extremely impatient, and I know it's true. Well, infertility sure forces patience on a person.

In other news, the penicillin is definitely helping as my throat feels much better, but I'm still not feeling really well. Perhaps I caught a virus along with the evil throat thing. I haven't been this sick in a long, long time. Happily, though, I am slowly recovering.


Susan said...

I'm glad you are feeling better. I understand about the adoption route vs. the donor route. It would be so nice to be pregnant and experience that. Then again, like you, I thought about being given a baby right now and that would be a wonderful thing too. It's so much to think about. I go back and forth. I've actually thought about postponing my donor cycle for next month. With how the children turn out I believe nurture has more to do with that than nature. You do the best you can with what you have and hope for the best. I know good and not so good turnouts of children from the biological parents and adoptive parents. All you can do is research your options and go with what you feel is right. Maybe it's right for you now to pursue donor cycles. Maybe that's the course you are supposed to take now. I'm still up in the air. Part of me wants to experience pregnancy so badly and the other part just wants a baby right now. Good luck with your decision.

serenity said...

The choices are really hard; and there's no right or wrong answer. I think you and T need to go with your gut on this. And either way... you both will make wonderful parents.

I hope you're feeling better soon, hon.


My Reality said...

Adoption is a big, scary step. We are starting the process and it terrifies me. There are so many things to consider. There are so many options to think of. You have to be ready to move on to this step, and if you aren't ready, then you don't have to make these decisions yet. I think the adoption seminar is a good start, it will give you more information that may help you make a decision if this is even a possibility for you and T.

AdoptAuthor said...

It makes to completely explore one option before you can wrap your head around another.

I would strongly advise you to try to think about the results of any decision you make in terms of the child and how he or she is going to feel about it. Are the donors you are working with anonymous?

You might want to do some reading about donor chidlren and how they feel. Children are human beings, not things that we create, buy, inherit, acquire because WE want that particular thing. Thy are human beings with feelings and rights of their own.

It's also kinds like thinking about being married - not just the wedding.

Pregnancy is a miraculous thing and a shame not to experience, but you need to separate out your feelings of wanted to PARENT a child...FOREVER, no matter what. Unlike marriage, you cannot divorce a child! You really need to be sure.

Rachel said...

Dear AdoptAuthor,

Your comment really struck me. From it, I'm not convinced that you have read that much of my blog. If you read the part of my blog where T and I start thinking about using donor sperm, you would know that how the children will feel is our number one priority. In fact, in many ways even this current post is about how the child will feel, though I agree it is through the lens of how we feel. We want our child to fit in with our family. Isn't that about how the child will feel?

I guess I am put off a bit on how you imply that my grappling with adoption issues is selfish. You are implying that we are not thinking about how all of these decisions will affect our children.

You say we need to separate out our feeling about wanting to parent and how we actually come to do that parenting. I'm not sure that this separation needs to occur. They are one and the same. In order to be the best parents we can be, we need to know the right way for us to make a family.

I simply don't like your implication that we don't give this much thought and haven't thought about it at every angle. Sure, we are just starting our journey, but both T and I know that how the child feels in our family is the most important thing, and that is why these decisions are so critical.

niobe said...

It sounds like you're carefully considering all the different options, collecting information and processing how you feel about them. I'm sure you'll make the right choice for your family.

Gumby said...

Yes, there is a lot to consider; many pros and cons. I think only you and your hubby will know what is right for you and you just have to go with your gut.
I totally understand your hesitancy re: adoption. It is a very big step; one that I don't think I am interested in taking myself - but that's just me, and maybe my feelings will change in the future. Right now I'm just at a place where I feel that I want our (hubby and mine) baby, not any baby. I don't think that feeling lends itself to adopting. I would constantly be afraid that an adopted kid would pick up on this vibe from me that adopting was second choice and would feel like a consolation prize or something.

Also, to be honest, I'm not much of a kid person. I like the really cute ones and the rest I can leave. I prefer babies to most kids. That also gives me pause. I know I would find our bio child adorable for obvious reasons (shared genes and all), but what if our adopted kid was not so cute (in my eyes)? That may sound horrible or irrational to some, but there it is. There's just too much uncertainty for me right now and maybe it has something to do with not being done with IVF treatments. I don't know. I just know that at this point I am considering living child-free before adopting (probably has a lot to do with what I have watched my sweet hubby go through - unsuccessful search for birth parents and related conflicts) and that is my choice, which will not be made lightly.

Just as this is your choice to be made, based on your comfort level; and nobody can tell either of us that we are wrong. We feel what we feel and are good enough people to do our best to honestly look at a situation and make the decision that will be best for all involved.

Best of luck to you. I hope everything works out for you.

Samantha said...

I can't supply any good words of wisdom. I feel like I'm basically in the same place as you, and just vacillate back and forth about what are the things that are most important to me and to the child. I wish I could find a clearer path, but like you, I seem to be better focusing one step at a time too. Sometimes the best thing I can tell myself is that there's more than one way to create a family, and just as there's more than one way to have things go well, there's more than one way to have them go poorly. I'm not trying to say this to be pessimistic, but instead to remind myself that decisions, while important, don't necessarily lead to the "right" or "wrong" path in life. If you feel more comfortable right now exploring other donor options, then maybe you should do that know. There's not really a "right" or "wrong" about it.

Samantha said...

I meant, maybe you should do that NOW (not KNOW). Oops.

Natalie said...

I've been thinking about this, and I know for me the big difference between the two is choice. With adoption, especially domestic adoption, it feels like you get an opportunity and have to jump on it. That baby, or no baby. With donor eggs and sperm you can take your time, select your donors from a huge list.

I'm sure whatever you end up deciding will be best for you. It's got to be such a heart-wrenching decision. :(

Almamay said...

I can't add much but I wanted to drop a note and support you. I am so glad that I've found your blog and appreciate your insightful, well thought out, emotionally raw and spectacularly honest posts. I agree that I don't think Adoptauthor has read much of your blog at all.