Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I think about stuff...a lot. I think about everything because I am Type A and have to have a plan for everything. It drives me crazy and it drives my mom and husband crazy, but unfortunately, it's me and I just have to get this out.

I've been thinking about our adoption stuff a lot lately. I've had a rough week. I've done pretty well since our failed cycle (well, not initially, but after a few weeks, maybe a month, I started feeling better) and just accepting that other people can have kids and we can't seem to, at least not the "easy" way and let's be honest, cheaper way. So I have a friend who I've "known" for at least about 4 years. I say known like that because I have friends on my forums who if we all lived closer, we'd be hanging out together all the time, but she lives in another state. The friend I am referring to, I've met her and her family, we had dinner and swam when we took Jack to see my grandmother 2 years ago. She is a person from one of my online forums who I met when I joined a group for people working night shift who were trying to conceive. All of the girls on the two groups I am still on (yes even though we're no longer trying to get pregnant, most of us have had at least one child and just remain on there because we like each other's company) are all close and if they needed something and I could, I'd be there to help them. Anyway, she had her little boy, and about a year later, I had mine. She's had struggles with infertility as well, and was doing some treatments this year to try to get pregnant again. She had just given up last week and said that she felt like God was calling her to adopt. It was everywhere she looked, us, another girl from that online forum who has adopted two little boys (and been so supportive of us in our journey), billboards, people at her church...and I thought, "Great, I have someone else to go down this road with!!!" Then Sunday night, she posted that she thought her last cycle was a bust, and low and behold it turns out she was pregnant. I'm happy for her, I truly am, but I just sat at work (yes, work unfortunately, you can never predict when these emotional things will happen) and cried. I think this was for more than one reason.

First is that while I am on adoption forums, I am frequently a lurker who just gives out congrats, or asks a little question here and there. They can be rather heated forums because you've got the prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents, first parents, and some adoptees on there and all of their experiences with adoption are different, and what each is going through is different. It's bound to be hostile at times, but also because we aren't actively in our homestudy or officially started the process yet (although I do consider choosing an agency part of the process), I just don't feel like I have much to say yet. So I sort of feel alone, and when she said she was going to adopt, I was excited. The other part of that is that I wish I could be the person who thinks about adoption and ends up being pregnant. I already know the reality of that is slim to none with our issues. That's fine. I thought I had accepted that and moved on, but I was actually quite surprised at my reaction of finding out she was pregnant. I didn't feel that way with my friend Alison when she found out she was pregnant, and heck, we were talking about what my due date would be if we got pregnant with our last cycle the day before we got our bad news with regards to our cycle. We were only going to be 6 weeks apart (with our last children, we were 10 weeks apart but Jack came two weeks early) and that was a really unique experience. No jealousy toward her. Another girl on one of my other forums (trying to conceive with IVF/ICSI) found out she was pregnant literally a week before our cycle went south, and no less, she was pregnant with twins. Maybe because she got pregnant before I finished my cycle it only bothered me initially when she posted that it was twins, but I was over it really quite quickly. There are people I know who I am very jealous of that they are pregnant or have had other babies and I haven't gotten over it, but those people I've had these feelings about long term. I don't know if it's that this friend was going to go the adoption route and then got pregnant that sparked some green in me or what the deal was. I felt awful that I felt that way. I am happy for her, seriously, I'm just sad for us. I really thought I was past this. And she says she still wants to adopt, which is great, but I don't know, I've just not been dealing with it well I guess.

Perhaps it is something we will always be aware of and feel sometimes given that this is what has happened to us. I don't know. It's just been a hard week. After the email from my friend announcing her pregnancy, I had the joy of admitting a preemie later that night. The mom was a drug user, and I was so irritated. It was like the icing on the cake that night. Why can they get pregnant so easily? Why can't people like us have babies so easily, and let the people who are using drugs be the ones to have to have help to conceive? If I asked myself this question that night, I've asked myself a million times since we started trying to have our first child. It's just frustrating.

Then my mom, well meaning, sent me an email suggesting that perhaps we could try the ovulation predictor kits again and do the deed when it said I was ovulating. She really was well meaning, but again, we know the reality of our situation, and while it's not entirely impossible, but highly unlikely we would conceive on our own, I just can't put the energy and emotion into trying to conceive actively. I just don't have it in me. We've made the decision to adopt, and that is what I need to focus on. I can't be on both roller coasters, I just can't. If we did happen to get pregnant on our own, we'd be ecstatic, but I just refuse to put all that energy into it when it's unlikely and we've decided to go a different route. My mom truly understands where I am coming from, and has been our biggest supporter and cheerleader since we decided on adoption. It was just an idea she had was all. I've had other friends when we began talking about adoption suggest doing a shared risk cycle at Shady Grove where you pay something like $20K and you can do 3 fresh IVF cycles, and 3 frozen embryo transfers, and I remember feeling so annoyed that they would suggest that after I just finished saying how bad our last cycle went and that we were moving on to adoption. I think people mean well, it just doesn't always feel the way it should on the other end.

When I think about the adoption stuff, I think I most think about what I want our relationship to be like with our child's first parents, and what I want life to be like for our child. Ginger, whose blog I follow posted yesterday about what they don't tell you and this is written from her perspective as a first mom. She talks about what you're told by the agency or the aparents, and what actually happens, either in her case or her friend's whose sort of sparked her post. Her first comment is this: "They tell you can send letters and cards but don't tell you that they'll be upset if you sign them 'mom' or how strange it will feel to simply write your first name." I can see both sides of that. Would I want our child's first mom to send a card signed "Mom"? No, it would upset me because I want my child to know me as Mom, and I want my child to know that she is their first mom, but I am "Mom". Seems normal enough right. But how does that make the first mom feel to sign just her name? I imagine it makes them feel awful and unimportant, and they are very important. Their story is important and their child is important. While I can definitely see both sides, I know I would be bothered if she signed a card to our child "Mom". So what do you do, and how does one bring this up with their child's first mom? I have no idea. Maybe I'll ask Ginger. A lot of what she talks about in that post is basically rules and how do you know when you are close to that line unless everyone is communicating, and how messed up things can get with misunderstandings and breaking of rules that you didn't know existed. This was one of the biggest things I posted that I was hoping for with whoever ends up being our child's first mom. Communication in both directions so we can talk about what we are and are not comfortable with. She says, "They promise visits but they don't warn you how much it will hurt to listen to your child cry for "Mommy" and not mean you." How gut wrenching. This is something I can say I truly dread when we do have visits with our child's first mom. I am going to feel so bad that their feelings are hurt, and they will be no doubt. I hope that once she's had time to reflect on it that she thinks at least her child loves us and is loved and know that she is still thought of as a our child's first mom and is important to us and our child because of that. It still doesn't make it any easier and I know that. Unfortunately that one is one that we will never be able to work around.

I just love reading Ginger's blog because she is so honest and I want to know the other perspective, and I want to be able to put myself in their shoes so that when we are placed we can keep that in mind and have some compassion and understanding (however limited that may be without being in their shoes for real) for what they are feeling and going through.

I have learned so much since we made the decision to adopt. I knew that it was hard for a first parent of course, but never realized some of the things that they think and go through. I never realized that some things are downright unethical. I've learned a ton about open adoptions. And how I want our adoption to work out has changed so much since I started reading other's blogs, getting onto adoption will probably continue to change and be different still when we do finally get placed. I just never realized how much misinformation I had until I started, or how the way you said things made such a big difference.

Thank you if you've read this far. It is our adoption blog, and I know I put a lot in this post about my feelings relating to my infertility, but that is how we ended up on this adoption journey and I feel it's still relevant. It's a part of who we are, and has shaped quite a bit of how we feel about things. Shoot, the week isn't even over, but I'm hoping that getting this off of my chest will allow me to refocus on our adoption plans, our next fundraiser, and put this behind me so I can just be truly happy for my friend and jealous in the least.


  1. sounds like you have been thinking alot on things and I think you are thinking about some really important issues, good for you!

  2. I typed a really long response and then realized it would be better as a blog post. Here ya go...

  3. I want to apoligize for being one of the people that suggested the possibility of Shady Grove. I definitely support your decision to adopt. I'm sorry if I made it harder on you.

  4. Actually Leah I don't really recall you making the suggestion. It was someone else who suggested it, and I just thought that with her having gone through some trouble to get pregnant with her first that she would understand. That said, she never had to do what we did as far as treatments. So no hard feelings ok?