Friday, February 15, 2013

To Anonymous--Yes! Exactly! (edited)

Ok so there were several anonymous comments but a couple of them were particularly spot on.

I should have chosen different words when I say biology isn't better.

Yes, in terms of adoption, biology is better. And I realize that sentence makes no sense at face value.

No one should ever have to be adopted. Adoption starts with loss. I get that completely. Not in the sense that I have been through it, but I understand the concept.

Please, please, please refer to my previous post where I talked about how the mister and I are the fourth choice for parenting our children. Biological parents are always the choice if that is possible.

But that "if" is a great big IF.

Second choice is other family members, again, IF that is possible.

Third choice is domestic adoption in ones own country and culture.

And then there's the fourth choice: us.

We get it that we weren't first, or second, or even third. But damnit we're doing the best we can and working every day to educate ourselves more on the ways we can help our children cope with their enormous, ENORMOUS losses.

I am not an adoptee so obviously I cannot speak from that position. All I can say--with great, great confidence--is that I know the opposite of losing your genetic past because I lost my genetic future.

I will never share details of my childrens' stories here but suffice it to say that they were in an orphanage and their options were to be adopted or to grow up in an orphanage, and then as tender teenagers, be on their own.

Then there was the anonymous commenter who talked about the guilt argument.

OK.

I suffer tremendously. Maybe it's just my personality but here's what swirls through my heart and head on many--most--days.

When you know better, you do better.

I have seen some horrors up close and personal. Horrors that no child should endure. Horrors that exist all the time all around us and it is so, so easy to simply just not think about them.

All of us--fertiles and infertiles alike--as human beings shouldn't tolerate the inequities that abound. But we do.

Because I have seen firsthand children suffering, going hungry, desperate to be held and loved, with little hope of a chance at a family--I can't help but contrast that to my own quest for a family.

It's like Schindler's List, at the end, when he kept thinking about how many more people he could have spared...I think about the money spent on fertility treatments. Yes, it's natural to desire a biological child. But--and let me say very clearly here that I speak only for myself and from my own heart--why did I think I had to have one so badly? There are lots of things I'd like that I don't get, simply because I'm not capable of them. I wish I could have accepted my fate sooner and simply moved on. And I don't get all squishy touchy feely and think that it is because H&H were the only children meant for me. While I cannot imagine any other children because they are the children I am entrusted to raise, I could have parented other children as well.

But really, if there was a way to have given that money and it would have somehow prevented H&H from needing to be adopted I would have, in a heartbeat. Which means I wouldn't have been able to be a parent, which then means I would still have been sad.

But maybe I just should have resolved to be childfree and moved on.

I don't know.

It's all complicated.

But reading the anonymous commenters from adoptees just breaks my heart, because I know how much my children will suffer and I can't spare them that. I know that love is not enough.

EDITED TO ADD: I almost hate having to add something BUT, let me be clear that I'm not condemning IVF, or anyone doing IVF. My God, I did it five times! I'm just saying that in perfect 20/20 hindsight I wish I hadn't done it so much. Everyone has their own path, but for what feels right to me, in my heart, now that I know what I know, I feel differently than I used to. Which is fairly normal for lots and lots of people and processes so it's not really surprising at all. OK, done.

10 comments:

  1. I spent a lot of money on fertility treatments, too, but I think I HAD to to have that closure. To move on. To grieve, and to be open to adoption. I have told someone the same thing about my daughter losing her genetic past, and me losing my genetic future. I think adoptive Moms experience that loss, so that we do get it. Don't ever feel guilty for adopting a child and giving them a better life than they would have had elsewhere. My daughter comes from an abuse history, and I will NEVER feel guilty that I get to parent her now. They didn't provide a safe haven for her and I can. Adoption is a loss for sure, but two broken hearts make a whole. :)

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  2. I love the comparison you made between Schindler's List and your IVF/fertility treatment money. My sister tried to get pregnant, but wasn't able to and so they adopted two boys (they had always planned to adopt, but had hoped for some bio kids, too)... When we also struggled to conceive, my sister could not understand why we would use money towards fertility treatments when we could adopt. As a momma and witness to adoption, she just couldn't see any other way! I think when you go through the process and understand just how big of a gift adoption is, it's hard to understand why more people don't do it. For me, being pregnant was something I wanted to try and achieve, my sister couldn't care less. Anyways...all this to say that I am so glad that adoption has been a wonderful conclusion for you and your family and I love that you are blogging about it and talking about it!

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  3. I think you are very brave for writing this. I've been following your blog(s) for a long time and although I had no idea of your desire to adopt until this blog was started, it is amazing to see how much your heart has changed once you allowed yourself the grieving process for your biological children and then adopted. I love that you share your story for others to see another option, it doesn't feel like judgement at all, just your truth. And I understand your sentiments. Yes, we were able to conceive and I gave birth to my son, but after having him my heart was opened to adoption in ways that I never anticipated. Of course I have the privilege of experience now, and oftentimes something being denied makes us want it even more, but having our son and doting on him made it so much more real to me that there are children who by no fault of their own DON'T have loving, caring parents. And what a tragedy that is considering all of us who just long to parent and place our love somewhere! Again, thank you for sharing your story.

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  4. New to your blog. Your thoughts and feeling come through so clearly in your writing. As an Adoptive Mom I love reading others' thoughts on the complicated feeling surrounding our journey.

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  5. Interesting, very real insight into the process. I love how you can write about the real issues that come up without editing to make it all new-agey fabulous. It makes it easier for me to see how hard it can be even when it seems to be so lovely. (Which I suspect it actually is, by the way.)



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  6. As with anything, it's about perspective. My husband would tell you that biology was certainly not better in his case, and he often wished that someone would have stepped in and saved him from living with his abusive alcoholic mother. His childless great aunt and uncle did step in and took his adopted sister (6 months older) from the home when she was 2 years old but somehow rationalized that it was ok to leave the biological child there to fend for himself. I've seen him live a life of resenting everyone who left him there. Interestingly, he turned out to be a fantastic man with deep compassion despite not having any positive role models in the home. I guess I say all that to say, yes if a baby can stay with it's natural parents and have love and protection, that's ideal. But life is not ideal, or fair or whatever, so I think you and your babies are lucky to have found each other. You couldn't have biology and neither could they, and I think you're doing a great job of making the best of both of your situations. If I was a betting person, I would bet that they will come to appreciate that life may not be fair, but it can still be good.

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  7. Sorry I've been away so long - you write so beautifully. Although I finally have children after many years and many losses, I would do it all over again. However, I have learned so much and wish it didn't take so long. We all think about what if we did this or did that or took this or took that or went to this doctor instead of that doctor. It all looks so different later. You never lost your drive, you just took a different road. Your kids are loved and you love them. Love is all that is needed.

    T

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  8. MTL...sorry you carry around such guilt and burden. As you likely recall, I am a DE mom. I carry around guilt all the time. Before we made the choice to pursue DE vs. adoption, I read the tragic stories of adoptees, DE/DS children that are pissed off and angry they don't get to know their genetic past - I am very very familiar with the same guilt. I feel guilt when ppl perhaps judge that we didn't "just adopt" or "adopt the 2nd one" as they feel why create another human being via donor gametes/embryos when there are many children in this world who need homes and parents. I get that. None of our decisions and choices were easy ones and none better than others. For me, it was the path that felt the least painful emotionally is why I chose DE. Adoption was another level of grief and pain I just didn't have the energy to pursue. I wish I was stronger to make the choice you did. All I can say is - I think adoptee children or children of annonymous DS/DE/DEmb go through stages of anger and curiousity like we do and did about the loss of our "genetic future" (very poignant statement by the way - I find that your statement provides healing for me so thank you). All we can do is love our children and trust that despite their anger - whatever range or stage - we will understand. We have the same pain - albeit different yet so similar. Love will get us through those times of guilt, regret, fear of our children's feelings on the loss of genetic past, etc. And what else...oh connecting with those who understand. Stay strong. I get it. I am sorry WE have to bear these burdens.

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  9. Libby, your comment was absolutely beautiful - "If I was a betting person, I would bet that they will come to appreciate that life may not be fair, but it can still be good."

    I cannot say anymore that the emotionally smart folks on this board have not said already. Just know that this blog and the people here help me grow personally as I navigate the IF waters.

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  10. Libby, the opinion has been definitely lovely -- "If I had been a new betting individual, I'd guess that they may arrived at value in which living might not be reasonable, nevertheless it can nonetheless be great.WOW Gold Kaufen Billig buy rs gold

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