"Cheer up. Remember what the Monty Python boys say."
"Always look on the bright side of life?"
"No, 'Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.'"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Adoption, in all its glory may not be the answer.

After reading an article/response from the Washington Post I have been mulling and stewing in my thought juices. The article/response is so spot on and I appreciated the author for being so forthright.

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.

We have since come full circle.. oh the irony.


Jen said...

I saw Mel's post and your comment on it the other day. It is irritating when people throw adoption out there as the cure for IF as if its an easy thing to do. Adoption is great, but it is a long road just like ART and not for everybody. I think you bring a very interesting perspective to this.

Wen782 said...

Hey, miss. I love this post. Seriously, it's very heartfelt and well written. Smooches.

Guera! said...

I was scanning through all the Creme de La Creme blogs and had to read yours first. We are in the middle of looking for a match via the foster care system. I appreciate the honesty of your post so much. I struggle with the guilt I have each time I say "no, we aren't interested" when our caseworker suggests a particular child or children. It was good for me to read your post today. I noticed it was written last January so I hope to catch up and see how you are doing now.

itsazooaroundhere said...

Here from Creme de la Creme, and I really appreciate this post and your honesty.

Best of luck to you and whatever path you are on right now.


Erin said...

I am glad that a year later God has opened your heart, and doors for you and DH sis. I hope and pray you both get everything you desire in your child. Love ya sis