(If you missed Part 1, click here … )
While I’ve pretty much begun to resolve those particular grief issues, there’s still that lack of strength that I feel I need in order to go through the entire adoption process. Because it takes someone who really has enough strength to climb over the proverbial brick wall getting in the way of having a child. And specifically, I’m talking about all the rules and regulations and investigations into your private lives just to raise a child that is not biologically your own. Quite frankly, I know that I don’t have what it takes to go through that.
Why do I say that? (And Kelly … hopefully, this will help answer the question you posed to me at one time … ) Well first of all, I just know what I’m capable of handling emotionally, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive any further disappointment or heartache. Or as my new favorite quote from Pam says:
It got to the point where the potential for more heartbreak was more overwhelming than the glimmer of very small hope.
The second reason I feel as if I have little strength is because I have little confidence that things will come relatively straightforward and simple to us.
Not that I expect adoption to be an easy path. If we did decide to adopt, I have this very strong suspicion that we’d have so many more walls to climb. Give me a chance to explain … and I’d absolutely love to hear what others have to say to contribute to this discussion.
Let’s start off with Domestic Adoption:
- Hubby & I both Asian American; Filipino American, to be specific.
- How often do you suppose any Potential Birth Moms (PBM) would look at our dossier and — just by looks alone — think that we’d make great parents when their child will (most likely) not look at all similar to the adoptive couple that they’d hope to raise their child?
- Or that the PBM might worry that their child would face more barriers having Asian American parents?
- How often are Asian American babies given up for adoption; especially if the PBM is also Asian or Asian American? Culture dictates that family is important. If the child is not wanted in the immediate family; chances are that there is another family member (aunt, cousin, third uncle twice removed) that is willing to raise the child. Unfortunately, that’s a situation that’s likely never going to happen to us.
Moving onto International Adoption:
- There are stricter laws and regulations from various countries in effect.
- Some specific countries, like Russia and Guatemala, have either suspended or have placed holds on any adoptions to the US.
- Wait time. Even for Filipino adoptions there are certain stipulations on how and when a child can be adopted; when the child can come back to the US with the adopted parents. And quite frankly, I don’t think I can afford the three-year wait in order to adopt a child from my native country.
And finally other, all-encompassing barriers:
- Age: Let’s face it. Hubby & I are currently pushing 40. And yes, I know that there are couples out there that are raising babies that are much older than us. But there was a reason why Hubby & I started trying to conceive within a year of marriage: I had always seen me as a younger mother; one that wanted to finish having babies before the age of 30. There was a specific reason behind that: my mother and I are exactly 3o years apart in age (sorry Mom!). Growing up (particularly in high school), not only did I deal with a cultural barrier, but I also dealt with a huge generational gap. Both my parents were pre-baby boomer, while I was most definitely a Gen-Xer. Even though after I turned 30, I knew that this was something beyond my control, adopting now — especially as the rules and regs of adoption have gotten more strict — well, it no longer seems prudent for both Hubby & my sake.
- Energy: Along with age, this is the second biggest concern that I have. And, if I was honest with myself, the flimsiest barrier of all. Because, really this has to do with energy and stamina. It’s one thing to raise a child with the thought in mind that you’ll be young enough to (somewhat) keep up with their needs. It’s quite another thing knowing that I can no longer wake myself up in the morning without hitting the snooze button a dozen times. Would I be able to care for another life if I can barely care for my own? Like I said, flimsy … but I’m just being honest.
I don’t bring up these points to be negative in any way, shape or form. I’m simply stating facts that appear to be the most obvious barriers for our individual case when it comes to adopting a child. And that’s assuming that we would ever go down that route. And, as I said above, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I perceive as barriers.
As it is, I feel that we’ve already played our game of Infertility Roulette. We’ve already placed all the bets we wanted to at this time in our lives. And we lost that bet. With adoption (or h*ll, even if we ever decided to go through IVF again), I want something I can be sure of … something I can count on.
I hesitate using the word “guarantee” … since nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but after more than ten years of fighting the odds and now facing even greater odds against us (age, finances, etc), Hubby & I opted to get out of the betting pool.
And this is why, at least in my eyes, it’s never as simple to “just adopt.” It’s never easy to go through another round of IVF.
This is why Hubby & I have decided to “cut our loss” … or in this case, “cut the strings” … and live child-free after infertility.
Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 1
Information on Filipino Adoptions
Wiki Info on the Pre-Baby Boom Generation
Wiki Info on Generation X
4 Replies to “Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 2”
Thank you for the direct and honest thought process. It’s so important to understand where the hurdles stand and what we’re each comfortable taking on. Adoption is not a to be taken lightly either as a “suggestion,” which society offers up as though it’s as easy as buying a car, or as a quick “fix” for infertility. In open adoptions, there’s the added complexity of the birth family’s role. Finally, I’ve read many comments from adoptees who were uncomfortable and at times, saddened, by the idea that they were consolation prizes. (Clearly they were adopted by couples who hadn’t resolved their grief over infertility losses) That’s so *not* how we’d ever want a child to feel.
We shared many of the reservations you’ve outlined here. We also realized it was time move forward with our lives — a decade of trying to be parents was enough. After we mourned what could have been, we began to celebrate a life that is uniquely ours. We treasure the children in our lives and know that we’ll always be the cool Aunt and Uncle, the adults in their lives who offer a different experience, a different view of the world.
I’m always amazed at the strength of all the commenters. It’s always a joy to read. And I’ll assume that most comments are from a female point of view, I want to chime in from time to time to offer the male perspective (as Mr. ApronStrings).
I’m in full support of my wife’s blog. It’s an incredible journey. One that I’m lucky to be a part of. I can look back and analyze now what I was feeling and experiencing. I’ll try to brief. Part of what I’m going to say is just part of who I am – how I was raised and my belief system in how I live my life. Frankly, I can share this now because of the clarity of time. When you’re going through the infertility issues it’s hard to think beyond what you’re feeling. As a creative person, I understand the emotion part and readily access that part of me. As a male who was a Mathlete I’m also a logical thinker who looks to be everything to the woman he loves – this, above all, is the role of protector. We fix things. But how do you fight against something that is beyond your reach? How do you make better something that you can’t fix? I’ve heard that being there is enough. That being supportive is what we can do.
I’m going to assume that this is difficult for many of your husbands. Maybe it isn’t. It was for me. I couldn’t fix the hurt. So I took on the supporter role head on. I wasn’t taking the shots (though I gave them). I wasn’t experiencing the mood swings (though I was there through them). Through all this, I tried not to cry, to show any weakness, or slowing in my step. To be a man. Most of all, I didn’t let myself grieve because I felt we would lose everything. I had to be the strong one with the broad shoulders, the one carrying the torch through our darkness, in the hopes that in this incredibly long black tunnel there was a light at the end. I was a soldier, putting one foot in front of the other. A distance runner that didn’t know the distance. What I knew was to stop going forward meant to fail my wife and I couldn’t do that. I owed her too much for all this.
Today is brighter, though it’s often just a different shade of gray. We’ve made it through the rough patch I hope. And are stronger for it.
That’s the wisdom of a decade gained in only what seems like yesterday for us.
Those are valid and interesting points you listed. Thanks for being honest with your reasons for not choosing to adopt. I know for us after the last IUI ended in an early miscarriage we were done with treatment. Even when we had to have the follow-up appt where the RE talked to us about “further options” a.k.a IVF, my body was done with IF treatment. It drained us financially and emotionally.
We didn’t jump into the adoption. I knew if the IUI didn’t work, or if it did work and I miscarried, which I did, I would need counselling. Not only to help me deal with the loss of a baby, but to help me move on, and redirect my focus. I needed to resolve my IF issues before I was to pursue adoption. Michael was already okay with adoption way before I was, but he had some IF issues of his own to resolve.
Moving onto adoption was a gradual process for us. Mostly because Michael was waiting for me to be on the same level with him. I didn’t want to adopt just for the sake of adopting. I wanted to be sure that adoption was the right thing for us. So far it feels like the right thing to do.
We’ve only just sent in our application two weeks ago and already the waiting to see if we’ve even been approved is killing me. *sigh* So this journey will be interesting for us.
Can I just say that I want to hug you, Em and Mr ApronStrings. Thank you both for providing such great insight.
I really appreciate your honest and direct assessment of your decision so far. I have found that with my own infertility, it’s hard to avoid the tunnel vision of “I must have a baby no matter what” – especially when so many people around me are pushing me to get more aggressive with treatment or do adoption. Of course I want a baby – but I don’t want to be so financially/emotionally depleted and changed by the experience of trying to get one that I can’t be a proper parent – so that would just defeat the point, wouldn’t it?
Your take on the racial issues is something I hadn’t given much thought about. DH is white, and I’m Asian, and we figure the chances of adopting a child with our racial makeup is so low we don’t really care about that aspect. But after reading your post, I’m beginning to wonder how big a difference on the birth parents’ side our race would make. It’s a totally valid point.