This is a difficult subject for me. I want children. I want to be a mother. I am willing to do every test under the sun and if I win the lotto (that I never play), I would jump at doing IVF. But cost and red tape aside, adoption scares me. The more I contemplate it, the worse I feel.
Mel talks about our lives being defined by one certain experiences. All of our life experience mold us, but usually, only one, becomes the lens for our life's focus.
At first, I would say that my adoption is my lens. I had a hard life growing up. I was different from everyone in my family in height, weight, eye and hair color, pigment, etc. I had an adopted mother with bi-polar manic depression - rapid cycling, a family that enabled (still does) destructive behaviors (across the board), and the missing childhood I will never get back. Yet, it doesn't color my waking life or even my everyday life. Therapy is a wonderful thing. I look at my past as just that, a past that molded me but didn't define me.
Then I thought, was it my marriage to DH? Did meeting him create my life lens? No. If life was a cake, he is that protective covering that keeps me from drying up and wasting away.
By Webster's standards, DH and I are not a family:
- 1. parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not.
- 2. the children of one person or one couple collectively
- 3. the spouse and children of one person
- 4. a group of persons who form a household under one head, including parents, children, and servants.
We are a couple:
- 1. two persons considered as joined together, as a married or engaged pair, lovers, or dance partners
- 2. any two persons considered together
- 3. to unite in marriage or in sexual union
By living with infertility, DH and I are a summed up differently even in an average dictionary. Infertility is my life lens. It is the event or happening that I see the entire world through. (Before anyone tells me God should be my lens, I need to stop you.***) There are dividing lines that define family, marriage, etc. Our mere lack of progeny, sets us apart from the majority of married couples and single parents. We don't even share a small blurb in a reference book.
You may be asking, "What does this have to do with fear of adoption?"
If we adopt, yes, we become a family. A perfect solution to our IF problem, right? Not necessarily. If we get an infant, we have 6 months for the mother to decide she wants the baby back. If we foster to adopt, we have a high chance of bonding issues, children who have been abused, having that child never really feel part of the family, etc. Do I have the strength to deal with a child that has emotional, physical, or spiritual scars? I can barely get past my own some days, so I am not sure. Will I resent that child for not being what I had dreamed of?
Are some of those reason selfish? Yes. But it comes down to wanting a child that is biologically linked to DH and I. I know what it is like to not fit in, to feel like an outsider. My own family did it without even realizing it. I grew up being the "favorite fat cousin". How do I guarantee that my adopted child would not be treated the same way? How could I set them up to be treated differently from the start? At the same time, would I have a leg up on my mom because I saw it happen first hand and can stop it?
Maybe it doesn't matter now that my mom is gone. She was the glue for our family and once she died, within months, my family was gone, for one reason or another. I do have a few members I still talk with occasionally but I don't think I can open up just to be crushed again (whole other story that I am not getting into right now). So my worries my be a moot point.
I may be borrowing trouble but these are real concerns to me. I know I would love the child as if I gave birth to him/her and that our family would be complete, but I am not sure I am emotionally ready to take that leap.
Someday I could be at one with the idea of adoption, but until then, I am still running scared.
***If life were a pair of glasses, my Christian beliefs are the frames that hold the lens. But I make decisions based on what I can see in my heart, mind and soul.