Adoption, Infertility, Our Infertility story

Opening our hearts to adoption

May 25, 2011

Right now, we feel like we will want to adopt.  We are in the middle of our final shot at having a baby – IVF#6 and obviously I don’t have much hope for it to be successful.  One minute I feel excited about adoption and the next I feel devastated.  The idea of adoption makes the hope of a biological child disappear.  It means it’s over.  This has been very hard to deal with and we’re experiencing loss in a very abstract way that is difficult to explain.  We’re mourning the loss of the child that will never be born. We’re losing our hopes and dreams.  We’re trying to cope with the loss of four babies from repeated miscarriages.  I’m struggling with the fact that some days I feel good about our decision to move on and other days I feel like a quitter and a failure.  That’s what comes with the decision to adopt.

We want our family and friends to know a few things about where we stand right now:

  • Right now, adoption is not equal to having our own biological child, nor is it easy or affordable.  So, please don’t pretend that is.  I think if we were to have a child placed, we might change our mind about that.  In fact, I’m sure we would.  But, for now, that’s not the case.
  • Adoption will not heal us.  Hopefully, finally becoming parents will make things better.  However, I will live with infertility forever.  It may get better and not going through treatments will help, but I will always live with this. There will always be triggers that cause me to cringe or crumple on the floor.  Even the women I know that have been through this, but have had their own babies, still deal with this on some levels.  Some people develop PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) after going through this. There are deep emotional scars that you can’t just erase away.
  • Adoption is no picnic.  Some would even say it was just as bad as going through fertility treatments. I don’t know yet, but I do know that it will not be easy and will be a long road. It’s many, many hoops to jump through, which will be exhausting, especially after all we’ve been through these last five and a half years.  Also, from what I’ve read, if you’re picked and then the birth mother changes her mind, it’s absolutely devastating.  It’s not guaranteed.
  • Adoption is expensive.  Very expensive.  Way more than we thought.   And, this is emotionally hard to deal with, feeling that you are “buying” a baby.  Rationally, I know that you are paying legal fees, medical expenses, etc.; however it seems that you pay more for a caucasian baby, so explain that one to me? That kind of makes me feel sick.  Also, we don’t have enough money for it right now, but we’re going to work hard and figure it out.  I’m even planning something right now that I hope will pan out that will be like a part-time job for me.  And, keep in mind, we’ve already paid close to $30,000, so add $30-40,000 to that and it’s BIG money.  This is also frustrating for me that most people just have sex and that’s it –it didn’t cost them one penny.
  • I’m glad that you might feel happy for us about the possibility of adoption, but please understand that we have very complicated mixed emotions right now.  We hope that we will continue to feel more and and more happy about the possibility as time goes on, but we will still have our bad days and we will still face many challenges in this process.

We are in the process of researching agencies, which is absolutely daunting.  What if we pick the wrong one?  What if they scam us?  What if they take our money and keep it even if the birthmother changes her mind?  What if it takes forever?  There are a million questions and tons I haven’t even thought of yet.  Should we pick a lawyer, a law center, a national agency, a local agency, etc.?  Once you choose, you’re pretty committed to that place, so this decision has major implications for the whole process.  It’s hard for me to find any I’m comfortable with because the fees are so much and so complicated, that I feel like I’m getting taken advantage of from the start.

I welcome any advice from those who have personally adopted or are going through the process, especially those local to southwest Virginia.

Thank you for your support of us along this journey.  We couldn’t do it without you all.

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  • Amen Sister! I’ve been through the same roller coaster. I’m actually grateful in a way for the time to be saving for the adoption so I can hopefully heal a bit more from my IF journey. Hubby and I had to have a long discussion about how adoption isn’t going to fix me. Hopefully time will. We have picked our agency and I’m slowing working on my portfolio while we stockpile the small fortune necessary. Good Luck! I hope the IVF works though.

  • C

    This post is so great, and so important. I wish we could, I dunno, wallpaper people’s brain with this information. The general public’s attitude towards adoption is so dismissive of everything about adoption that is not puppies and rainbows and sparkle parades. There’s never any acknowledgement of the very real devastation and loss felt by the birth parents, the adoptive parents, the children themselves. And that is offensive. It’s a child, not a new pair of shoes.

    My brothers are adopted (my parents were the cliche, which is why I’m here), so I’ve seen up close and personal that adoption is 100% perfection and sunshine. Is it a good thing? Of course. I’m glad to have my brothers, my parents are glad to have adopted them, and my brothers are happy they grew up in our family. (In fact, they are full blood brothers, and yet both of them are closer to me than they are to one another, which I think makes an important argument about bonding and biology) But there are things beneath the surface that will always be there. That’s just how it is. I will say I think that the recent move toward open adoption is a good one. I know that in my brothers’ case, a lot of angst comes from not knowing anything about their birth parents, as completely closed adoptions were the way things were done 30 years ago.

    Sorry for the ramble 🙂 And I’m always open if you want any more feedback from a daughter in a family that was completed via adoption (because I really can’t call my brothers my “adopted brothers” with a straight face.)

  • Kelly

    I’m sorry I don’t have any advice but I still wanted to show my support.

    The list is a great one, too.

  • I’m so sorry, I know intimately the loss you described. When we made the decision to let go of having a biological child there was absolutely a period of grief and mixed emotions that my husband & I experienced as well. We were also disgusted at the extremely high cost of adoption and as you mentioned the large difference in cost related to a baby’s race. Just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you and wishing you strength and clarity for the journey ahead ((hugs))

  • What a great post! I think it would be a very difficult transition from infertility treatments to adoption. You have to give it time and talk to as many people about it as possible. And take all the time you need to grieve this loss – it’s a big one. But I still have hope for this IVF!

  • Jess

    I completely understand Whitney, your post covered it all. I’ve been there, and I will continue to be there for you. I think it’s a wise idea to explore local options as my state was prohibitive in unexpected ways.

    I can say a lot of the pressure has been taken off by moving to adoption. It’s a different kind of stress, but there is relief too. I don’t know, it’s a mixed bag. And it’s a mixed bag on top of the years of infertility. I think moving ahead with this mindset is a very positive thing. Not expecting puppies and rainbows is a good first step.

    Also- I’d like to share something I read that was of benefit to me. I will try to summarize as best I can.

    A child going through adoption has had a loss that the adoptive parents can never fill. And the adoptive parents are going through the loss that the adoptive child will never fill. But, knowing this, adoptive parents and children are made for each other. We can help to fill the hold left in each others’ hearts. And the remaining pains and aches that are left will have nothing to do with our feelings towards each other. But, by understanding this at its core, we are truly the best supports for each other. We are meant for each other as we have a unique way of understanding each others’ pain.

    Thinking of you, and call me or talk with me any time you need.

  • Hi Stopping by from ICLW. I really hope this IVF is the one for you. If not, I hope adoption works out. I know it is not the same as a biological child but I heard something once that has kept my mind open to adoption – You love your husband as much as any family member and he is not blood related, so once you get placed with that special baby, you will love him or her just like your own. It has really stuck with me because it is so true. Good luck.

  • Here from ICLW. I hope things work out for you, whether thought your last IVF or through adoption. Good luck!

  • A tough topic. Moving on to the next stage is difficult and people who haven’t gone through don’t/can’t really understand. Yes, it’s exciting to have a potential solution, but it’s also giving up on whichever step you were on before.

    Here with you on your journey. *hugs*

  • I’m in the middle of adopting and so glad I made the transition. I still get jealous and resentful and I grieve my losses every day. But I feel assured that I am on a path to somewhere now, which is so comforting and exciting. One of the reasons we chose int’l adoption was that the birth mother changing her mind isn’t part of the picture by the time we adopt. There are other risks of course, but after RPL, I just couldn’t handle another “loss” like that. Good luck with your decisions.

  • Thanks for such an honest post. I’m a little behind you in the whole process (we’re trying an FET in July, and may try a little more after that, although I feel like I’m getting to the end of what I can bear with IVF)…adoption is in the back of our minds but it just seems so scary. I feel like I will start to feel better once I have more information about it…I hope that is the case for you.
    You’re absolutely right, adoption doesn’t make things all better and it’s not a quick and easy answer. I get so mad at people (and there are a lot of them) that say, why don’t you just adopt? As though that is an easy solution. A lot of people have been at me to work on the adoption process while doing IVF, as well, and I just don’t have the capacity to do that…
    You’re so brave and so strong. Saying lots of prayers for you…
    XO

  • Connie

    Thank you for sharing your heart. After reading the other responses, the one that really speaks to me is the response from Jess. That was so beautiful and I believe it to be true. I pray that this last “try” will be successful, but if not, I know God has other plans for your family. While you are transitioning and looking at other options please take this to heart. There is healing with time and with the Lord.
    “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18
    I agree with the other ladies that you are very brave and strong!
    With Love.

  • Hi Whitney,

    Thank you for that post. After going through male sterility, my husband and I are moving into adoption and have just started the process. We are blogging it out too at http://www.anadoptedlife.com. Everything you said is dead on and I am fearful and aware of all those things. So far in our two classes we learned all that stuff too, that adoption doesn’t “fix” your infertility/sterility, that once you get placed and bring home a baby that the journey ends there. Anyway, I’m nervous and excited and scared. And there are days when I learn something new about adoption, and I freak out and say to my husband “no way, let’s go back to medical treatments.” But I just try to stay focus and work through my fear. That is what all the adoptive forever moms and dads have told me. That it is scary, but at the end of the day, it will bring you peace.

    -Rebecca

  • Wow, you totally nailed it. I’d like to print this out on business cards and hand them out to each and every person who asks me, “have you thought about adoption?”

    I’d say, “yes I have, and THIS sums up what I think about it.”

    I have one IVF left in my shared-risk plan, so I’m just one failed cycle away from having to seriously think about adoption and it’s so daunting. Jess’ comment above is completely wonderful, though, and I will keep it in mind, should I end up going down that road.

    Hugs to you. Hope you’re well.