Adoption is NOT just second-best

My husband and I started trying for a baby on our honeymoon, September 2010.  We wanted a blended family, babies through pregnancy as well as adoption, but with my age already in the mid-30s, trying to conceive first was ideal. We would adopt our second child.

Two failed pregnancies and over a year later, I’m ready to start looking into adoption in earnest.  I really wanted to experience pregnancy and childbirth, but my priority has always been to start a family. Adoption will take a long time; I’m ready to start next month.

In general, the response to my desire to move on to the adoption process has been somewhat negative.  Not negative as in “don’t adopt,” but negative as in “don’t stop trying to conceive yet,” or “don’t adopt yet.” There’s this pervasive notion that adoption is a sad, last-resort option that people should only explore is they have to. (There is an upsetting photo making its viral way around Facebook that has two babies, one laughing and one crying, with the caption, “Dude, I was just joking, you’re not adopted.”  Getting a lot of LOL’s and such.  I hate that!)  My goodness!  Conceiving vs adoption was solely a question of which to do first for me, not which to do at all.

I knew from the very beginning that I would not want to go down the technology route for pregnancy. Taking fertility drugs, batteries of tests, IVF – absolutely not for me.  The emotional toll and general feeling that there’s something “wrong” with me is what I want to avoid. Also – and this is weird for some people to hear from me – who cares?  Who cares why I can’t get beyond the first trimester?  I don’t need to be diagnosed, because I don’t feel as though there is anything wrong with me.  I’m healthy, happy, doing ok financially, and am surrounded by loving family and friends. I like my job, like the people I work with, cook at home 3-4 nights a week, my parents are still around and doing well, I have a wonderful husband… I can’t discount all of that and center dissatisfaction on what isn’t there.

But apparently, other people do.  It enrages me when my talk about adoption is not received with congratulations and excitement but rather sorrow and pity – and even worse – suggestions about what I can and should do to optimize my pregnancy options so maybe I don’t have to “give up.” They are the ever-annoying “Have you tried…” responses.  Ugh!

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After my miscarriage last year, I did not ovulate for 6 months.  I went through tests then, and it was terrible! All the tests came back negative – nothing seemed wrong.  Well, what good did that do, except put me into a tizzy? My body re-set itself and came back on its own time.

What would a battery of tests do for me now, except put me back onto an emotional roller coaster, waiting for test results, then interpreting test results, then discussing options… meanwhile, time is ticking on bringing a lovely child into my home to love and care for through adoption!  This is ridiculous.

What if I did go down the path of taking this drug or that, acupuncture, or whatever else they have?  And what if I spent another 6 to 12 months anxiously waiting month after month for a missed period or positive HPT, and it never happens?  What a nightmare! Then what does that say about me, what does that mean?

I would much rather pursue the more positive path.

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My husband is concerned that I might regret my decision later, that I will look back and wish I had done one more thing, explored one additional opportunity, or pursued one extra process, before walking away from pregnancy and childbirth.

But I’m not. I’ve always been focused on the family aspect of this journey, not the pregnancy aspect.  Maybe it’s not in the stars for me – I’m ok with that.  I just don’t understand why everyone else is not ok with that!