news item – adoption. never easy, but worth the fight.

This week’s news article is getting a bit of double team action!  Check out both Chandra, a mom and foster parent who has tried to adopt through foster care,  and Traathy, an adoptive mom in an open adoption, reactions’ below to the article Adoption After Infertility.  We hope you’ll read the article and weigh in with your thoughts and opinions.

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Chandra

When I first glanced at this week’s news article, Adoption After Infertility,  my stomach immediately clenched.  I get that way every time I read an adoption article from a mass media outlet.  Adoption is such a complex topic, that rarely does an article do the subject justice.  So let me state right away, I am not of a fan of this news article, fact-wise.  It is misleading if not incorrect.  However, I am a fan of this article, emotion-wise.

The article begins by the author stating that she and her husband,

“have talked at great length about embryo adoption and domestic and international adoption.”

And then her very next sentence is,

“Next month is National Adoption Awareness month…”

Sigh.  Three sentences in, and I’m shaking my head.  The author correlates embryo adoption, and domestic and international adoption, with National Adoption Awareness month.  And that is patently misleading, here is a quote from adoption.com about National Adoption Awareness month:

“the particular focus of this month is the adoption of children currently in foster care.”

And no where in the article does the author mention the actual focus of this month.  I am a supporter of all types of adoption, but given my experience with foster care I am quick to correct people on the true meaning of this month.  My DH and I are foster parents.  We have detoxed a preemie, we have gotten a two-month old who had never been bathed or been put in clothes, we have taken a toddler with enough emotional trauma that the child will be in therapy for years.  This month is not about dropping twenty to forty grand on an international adoption. I have no problem with international adoption, if money wasn’t an issue I would want to adopt internationally as well.  But this month NEEDS to be represented accurately, because 104,000 kids are counting on it.  That’s how many kids are currently available, ready to go, to be adopted right now in the foster care system.  And they are available at little to no cost in adoption fees.

That aside, the rest of this article really spoke to me on an emotional level.  The author really gets at the sense of confusion and overwhelming prospect that adoption seems to have when you are also in the throes of infertility.  Infertility is so hard to navigate, getting the right tests, diagnoses, picking what method of ART is best for you.  To then try to figure out where to even begin with adoption, it can feel hopeless.

The author writes of their time trying to have a child through infertility treatments and discussing the adoption option:

“We would talk about adoption at the time, but being overwhelmed already, we kept concluding, let’s just get through these fertility treatments first.”

She gets right to the heart of it.  Lost. Overwhelmed.  Confused.  I admit, I am still all those things.  My husband and I want to pursue adoption, if we’re not able through foster care, then another way, but we feel SO lost on how to start, where to begin.

I will be posting in the comments a link to a post I wrote about National Adoption Awareness month and a link to a post I wrote near the year anniverary of having our foster daughter in our life.

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Traathy

So, straight up I’m just going to say that a lot of this news article bugged me.

For many, many reasons.  Chandra touched on a bunch above.

For the most part because the majority of the time that adoption is featured in “big name” publications it is sensationalized, generalized, and inaccurate.  As Chandra mentioned above, it’s the emotions of this news article that struck me the most.  It’s the emotional part that the couple featured talks about that had me questioning and thinking.  I like thinking about adoption and I really like that it makes me want to question the way it is presented in the media.

I think the main concept that I took from this article was that the author talked about trying to decide if adopting would be the right decision after she’s been through infertility and has had a biological child already.  If the effort and energy it takes to start the adoption process would be consuming and with a child already at home.

From someone who’s in an open domestic adoption.  Yes, it is all-consuming and yes it is a huge process.

The author, who has thought about it for so long, never made the steps to start the adoption process before she had her daughter.  So she’d been through years of struggling to try to get pregnant again and those years take a toll on your mind, body and spirit.  Adoption is not easy.  I am lucky to have my daughter but I am extremely aware of her being in my life because of the loss another woman went through.  Domestic adoption & Open Adoption bring an entire complexity of emotions (and people) in your life that not a lot of couples are comfortable dealing with.  After speaking with many pre-adoptive families I’ve discovered that there are a lot of couples who wind up thinking that International adoption would be easier for them because the chances of having familial ties with birth families would be minimal if not none.  I can’t tell you how many times we were asked if we would have rather adopted from Africa because we wouldn’t have to worry about somebody stealing our baby back.  Sigh…

Which brings me onto this,

“Why are you putting your body through all of those hormones and procedures when there are children who are already born and in need of homes?”

Seriously?  Did she just used the “save children” stereotype. UGH!!!

I think anyone who has had any bit of struggle with infertility or recurrent loss will tell you that when you and your partner get into the mindset that you ARE going to have a baby – all bets are off. Crazy sneaks in and you wind up in a daze of cycle after cycle planning even though you KNOW that, you could foster to adopt the children who are out there without homes. However, we put our bodies through hell, hormones, injections, IUI, IVF, miscarriages, infant loss, and it’s only when most of us hit the end of the road and we accept that there are just some things our bodies can not do that most wind up seriously considering adoption.  It’s a rare population of people (err..only 1 couple that I know of) have only ever just wanted to adopt.  

And that’s why I questioned when she said,

“Honestly, I believe in high school I myself said, “If I can’t have children, I would just adopt. I would never do fertility treatments.”

I never felt that way. In fact, it wasn’t until I met my husband and we had the big talk about children that we discussed adoption. It wasn’t until we were ready to have a baby that we thought about it seriously.

My husband has a medical condition that has a 50/50 chance of being pass on to any biological children that we have. We decided early on that we didn’t want that to happen to any children we had and that is how adoption came forth for us. I never hesitated, I didn’t think about if the baby would look like me, I just knew instinctively that I would love my baby.  Then, for those of you who know me, life led us down a different path that would only put adoption back in our focus two years after originally talking about it.

Advice for all the peeps out there thinking about adoption:  Always go with your gut!!

I always wondered how people came up with the conclusion that if you can’t have children you would just adopt. Just adopting…good grief, as if!!! It baffles me how people can just say it so flippantly. I now wonder if it is because of the celebrity spotlight on high-profile people adopting and the way they just *magically* have a baby one day. There is often little to no back story as to how much time, effort ENERGY is involved in the process.  It is so beyond life consuming and to do it after RPL or Infertility you pretty much are moving on fumes only.  That’s why I wonder if the author is really done with pursuing another child because she does have a daughter after having already endured so much in her life with Infertility.

When it came to wanting to be a mother, we did everything we felt we were capable of.  For us, we never considered fostering.  I don’t know if that is because we lost our daughter first and were scared to death of losing another baby or if we really weren’t educated in it, or if we walked the path we were just meant to.

All I know is I feel like I’m the luckiest girl in the world right now.  Would I want start the process again?  Right now, I don’t think so.  But, as most of us know, when you feel that maternal string being pulled.  All bets are off.  You’ll fight.

I know I’ll fight…when and if that time comes.

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Have you adopted or pursued adoption?  Tell us your story or link it back to here.

What do you wish people knew about adoption?  

Have you written a post about adoption? Link up in the comments.

What are your thoughts on people’s’ perceptions of International vs Domestic Adoption?

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featured post: “Philosophizing” by Ms Future PharmD

Words are powerful, and whether it’s the lyrics to your favorite song or the memorized passage from a well worn book, words have the power to inspire us and to bring us to tears. Recently, I’ve been reading through the archives of Mom PharmD, and I am continually impressed by the abundance of powerful, defining passages in the writings of its author, Ms Future PharmD.

Once post that struck me in particular last week was her post entitled Philosophizing. In it, she writes about how she has realized that she loves certain authors and artists because their words reflect her own philosophy of life. I love that thought, and I had never connected it to my own reality until I read the idea in her post. 

It’s about now, and making the most of now, and loving those in our lives who need it, and telling them so.  Life is about dreams and being surprised at where you end up and enjoying it anyway.  Life is about making mistakes and learning from yours and others’.

Right on. 🙂 She goes on to talk about her parenting philosophy:

We are not here to confine and define the world for our children. We are here to remind them to put on a coat in the winter before they go play outside, and what to do if a stranger grabs them, and to drink orange juice if they have a cold.  We’re here to hug them after they fall down and then remind them to dust themselves off and get back to playing, not to put on so many protective pads that they never skin their knees.

What do you think? Are there certain authors and artists whose words help to define who you desire to be as a person and as a parent? Who? Why? Hop on over to Mom PharmD and share who inspires you in your parenting and life choices!

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Ms Future Pharm D in her own words: Mom plus student pharmacist = me. Musings on life, pharmacy, momming, and secondary infertility

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book club update

Hey PAIL bloggers, just a quick note– by popular demand, we have decided to extend the deadline for book club entries to Friday, November 2nd. Normally posts are due by midnight, but since we are trying to give everyone as much time as we can, I’m going to accept entry links on a rolling submission basis starting now, and then I’ll post the list as-is Friday morning and add to it in segments as more post links are sent in. And hey, if you write a post on one chapter topic and then write another over the weekend, I just might accept your second submission late, so charitable am I!

the monday snapshot – rain

This week, Rain is going to open up the week for us with her contribution to the 8th edition of The Monday Snapshot – an evolution of the MMM feature, meant to bring the PAIL blogroll to life by giving its members a chance to feature themselves and make new connections. If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

I’m betting there are going to be a ton of pics of everyone’s cuties this week.  We’d love to see your little ones (and you!!) decked out in your costumes 🙂

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Good morning!

I am thrilled that I get to post this Monday Snapshot! On Friday, we took Cadet to a “Downtown Trick or Treat”. He was a bit ambivalent about the whole thing, he’s not used to crowds. But, in the end, he had a great time.

Rain

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Now, get to know a little more about Rain with her answers to the Monday Snapshot “5 Questions”:

1) How long have you been blogging and how did you get started?

I’ve been blogging for over three years. It all started after my husband and I couldn’t get pregnant. From there, I found the wonderful/supportive ALI community. I’ve met some wonderful friends through my blog, both IRL and in the bloggy-world.

2) Tell us a little about your ALI journey and your family (3-4 sentences):

McRuger and I started TTCing in early 2009, and I just knew from the beginning it would be challenging to get pregnant. While I have no official diagnosis, the consensus seems to be “atypical PCOS”. McRuger has low testosterone levels and a low sperm count. After several Clomid cycles and several more IUIs with injectables, we moved on to adoption. We brought our son, Cadet, home in October 2011.

3) What makes you unique in the blogging world? (e.g. special talent, rare diagnosis, life experience)?

Great question. I honestly don’t know. I will say that love being honest with my readers about my life and soliciting their opinions about everything from parenting, family situations, or cookbook recommendations.

4) One word to describe yourself: 

Stormy

5) What blog or website (IF or not) would you recommend to others? Why?

My current favorite blog is Pinfuriating!  I love reading about the wacky things on pinterest!

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As always, we want to see your Monday Snapshot as well, so please comment below with a link to your post– and of course, go visit Rain at Weathering Storms.

If you would like to be featured on The Monday Snapshot, please sign-up here!

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featured post: “fears” by Amanda

While reading through posts in the PAIL Blogroll reader last week, I came across My life in a nutshell.  In it, Amanda had written a post named Fears.

For the past 2 nights, I have woken up at 3 am and all I can do is worry.  I am terrified that the baby will die before I go into labour or worse, it will die during labour.  I’ve researched the data, and almost 1800 cases of still-births happen each year in Ontario – the national average being 6.4 for every 1000.  For some reason, I thought researching the likely-hood will give me comfort – instead it has made me worry even more.

She is 40 weeks pregnant and full of fear right now, and she could really use some advice and support from all of you! In her most recent post from today, she wrote this:

For myself, I am in a weird place.  I am so close to having ‘everything I have ever wanted’ as many of my co-workers have pointed out time and time again.  However, I’m also still so far away.  My baby isn’t here yet so anything is possible.  Also, my body is once again not co-operating by having high blood pressure and not starting to dilate etc to bring the baby to me.  Both of my miscarriages were missed.  In neither situation, did I experience the cramping, bleeding or any other symptom associated with miscarriage.  I found out my babies had died through an ultrasound and needed medical intervention to rid my body of the dead fetus.  Now, sitting her waiting for my baby, I wonder if my body once again will hold onto this pregnancy for dear life.  Does my body want to stay pregnant forever?  Does it even know what it is supposed to do naturally?  If not, does this mean I wont be able to deliver my child?

If you have a minute to share a reassuring story or give words of advice, please go visit Amanda at My life in a nutshell to answer some of her questions.

Did anyone else have these irrational fears?  If so, how did you cope?  How did you move on and enjoy the experience.  Why does this pregnancy have to be so filled with worry and anxiety?

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Amanda in her own words: 30 years old married to my best friend. Expecting our first baby after two losses and struggling with being able to get pregnant.

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