Thursday, March 13, 2008

Back to the adoption post.

Last week, I posed a question about adoption ("Why don't you just adopt?").

The response was outstanding. I can't thank you all enough - not just for commenting, but many of you took the time to really sit down and give me your thoughts. Thank you.

This isn't going to be a well put together post, as I want to just respond to a few of the comments and maybe ask a few questions. I'm simply going to go down the list of comments I received and throw out my return comments.

Pam - The "out of control" part is huge for me too. Prenatal, genetics, you name it. Do you happen to watch "House"? I don't peg you for an avid tv watcher though. They had an episode about the boss chick having IVF w/ donated sperm and how "genes matter" (not in a biological vs adoptive vs step way, but in a "what you are getting" way). How she couldn't pick a donor based on medical history alone - how genes really make a difference in the choice. I don't mean that donated sperm is a bad thing, just I'd want more to go on. I'd want to ~know~ more about what I'd be getting, instead of just looking as specific points to the medical history.

Joyous Melancholy - I talked to my husband more about this and in getting down to the nitty gritty, it looks more like he wasn't worried about loving the child more than he was worried about the child not feeling loved. He thinks that regardless of how much the child is actually loved, knowing she is not biological, like her sisters, she'd be hyper sensitive to it all. And anything negative would turn into a "they don't love me as much" type thing. Obviously your husband's situation was a bit different due to his father ~told~ him (how terrible. I'm so sorry), but I bet it's a natural occurrence when children know they are adopted and have siblings biological to the parents.

Christina - see the above comment. Now that he told me that, it makes me wonder. Will you worry about the same thing? Will you tell your adoptive child(ren) from the get-go?

Portraits in Sepia - Your talking of the judgments got my blood boiling. You are so absolutely right. And while it's definitely necessary to a point, it's unfair ANYONE can have a child of their own and only the ones with issues are the ones who are judged. Terrible.

Shayna - money is a bitch, eh? My very good friend adopted a caucasian child from a European country and it cost her $30,000 each time (she adopted two total, different times). I think she told me it was more expensive due to the caucasian child, which is ridiculous different children have different "costs" associated with it. Blech.

Chas - I'm selfish too. Although the aspect of a child is what it's all about, I really want to carry another child. Had I not carried a child before, adoption would be easier for me, but now that I know about how my body reacts to it, I'd miss it. And I find it horrible for me to even admit it, because I think adoption is such a noble thing to do, I would never want to say that I think adoptive mothers are missing out on anything. It just sucks.

Anon - I asked him and he said had we not been successful with #1, he'd be totally agreeable to adoption.

Denise - Yes. I knew what the picture of the tower was :)

I0 - I read your own post. I need to go back and talk to you on your blog about it. I don't think I actually answered it.

Spicy Sister - Okay, I think of the spice girls every time I see your name. :) Anywho, I think for any women who years to conceive and carry, it's perfectly okay to follow that path as long as you want to. I completely agree with your last statement "I guess ultimately - I see adoption as a different road, a different battle....a good one, a worthy one - but just not the one we are on right now." And if we didn't conceive, maybe it'd be a road we'd be on right now.

Anon - Nothing wrong with that. And I think it's very important to know this about yourself. Could you imagine going through it just because it's what some people "should" think you should do but it wasn't in your heart? Know yourself. It's so important.

Jenera - That's something else that would worry me - about the biological mom having anything to do with ~MY~ child. Especially with a SIL. Ack. Although I do have a friend who adopted her SIL's child without issue, you've already seen how she is. I don't blame you for the decision you made. What ended up happening? You know, I worry about this in the opposite way too - like it ~I~ donated my embryos to someone I knew or if I surrogated for someone I knew. I feel like I would feel like I should be involved in something this isn't mine anymore.

Katie - I think it's perfectly normal to be doing what you are doing right now. Right now, you are still young and still trying - no need to worry about things coming to an end too quickly. Take your time and when/if adoption is the answer for you, it will be. I want to note that I know it seems that I am saying adoption is last resort or only for people who don't have the time to ttc - that's definitely ~not~ what I am saying. I just know you and I know that you are trying to conceive and it's important to you. My opinion is not a blanket statement by any means.

Tracers - I'm really sorry you had such a bad experience with adoption. All kinds of stories are out there, some good and some bad. It's unfortunate yours had to be one of the bad ones. Oh - and I've always wanted to read your invite only blog. If you are ever up for more readers, I would love for you to contact me!

Kaci - Firstly, don't worry about your other comments. I saw your second one and just deleted the first one before reading (comments come in sorted timestamp reverse). Secondly, I'm really glad you decided to tell me about it. My sister also put up a child for adoption when she was young. For her, it was also a timing issue and I've never thought too much past it. How old were you? Don't answer if you don't want, but if you do answer, I won't publish your comment.

Anon - I can't tell you how many times I've said the same thing - the fact that after so much time, the child can just be whisked away. (although Lori at Weebles Weblog told me some contrasting information to that). And all I can say is ~wow~ in regards to the qualifications! Medication that you use to be healthy? Money? (okay, I understand that one a bit). BMI??? Holy hell. Also, I don't think wanting a Caucasian baby is a bad thing. It's not racist, it's being able to bring up a child the way you know how. I know that the task of keeping a child of another's race ethnicity in tact would be a something that would be too hard for me. And I have read about how hard it is to be the adopted child to parents of another race. I wouldn't want anything to be overly hard for my children, so I also would opt for a Caucasian baby. It's got nothing to do with the child's race. It's got everything to do with my own.

Steph - I have said it above, but I talked to by husband and he agrees with your comment: "he'd rather adopt and have a child than never have one of his own."

Claire - "It's the enlightened thing to do". I think it is a noble thing, but I do think people should have their own opinions about it too. That sentence just struck me. I really hope your pregnancy is going well! I haven't checked in on you, I know, I'm super horrible and selfish, but hey, maybe this IVF will work and I can suddenly be okay with everyone's pregnancies again.

PJ - I read it. And all I can do is nod my head in agreement. I don't think adoption is the natural "cure" or end to infertility. It's unfortunate so many people think it is.

Shinejil - I've said it before and I'll say it again, knowing yourself and the reasons behind your actions is something I would never want to give up. And I'm glad you have it in you to do yourself.

Alice - Mel told me that same comment about the not being related to my spouse and still loving him. At first I giggled thinking of how backwoods it would be if we were related and I do the things I do with him :) Then I thought how different the love of a spouse and love of a child is. I don't think I could compare that. I do know I could love an adoptive child just as my biological child and I believe he could too. But I do find it completely okay that he has these feelings. Since we are not going to adopt, it's not anything I have to pursue to get him to understand any better. About adoption being a "guaranteed child", how I wish it was that easy.

Loribeth - Age sure is a crappy thing to deal with, eh? I'm ~only~ 35, fastly approaching my own cut off limit of 36. I bet you my limit wouldn't be cutoff so soon if I was ttc#1. I wish there wasn't so many things that a 40+ "shouldn't" do.

JCK - So you are the reason ppl say "adopt and you'll get pregnant!" :). Congrats on the births of BOTH your babies!


Anonymous said...

I just have to comment. When I read this post the other day I just didn't know what to say but now I just need to. As someone who is desperately wanting a baby but not in the infertile world (yes I am sorry) I tried to read it from your angle. But I am adopted and I have to say that I never felt unloved or loved less because of that. I felt chosen and almost like I was more special than my sisters (I have 3 and they are 10,13,and 16 years older than me). I felt more wanted then them because of what my parents had to go through to get me. I never felt "hyper-sensitive" or a "they don't love me as much". Exactly the opposite. I knew from the very beginning that I was adopted and in very many ways it made me feel very special and unique. I definately don't think that it is a natural occurance to feel that way. I think it is the responsibility of the parent to make you feel that special. It makes me sad to think that people who would love to have a child and should have children would put off adoption because of this reasoning (not you Nancy-obviously-or anyone reading this. Please don't take offense). I know it is costly, I know a lot of emotion goes into a decision like this but I feel it isn't a whole lot different than having a biological baby. You don't get the kicks in the belly but giving a home to a child that really really needs it and giving yourself that gift (because that is what it is) can be a kick of its own.

nancy said...

Laurel - I shouldn't say that I think it's a natural occurance, instead I should say that I think it CAN be a natural occurance. Like putting someone on the edge of a high building could bring out their fear of heights. Just the conditions itself ~could~ bring out those feelings.

Obviously you've had a wonderful adoptive experience, as I have already known about you. However, I have read stories about it not being so wonderful for everyone, and it all comes into consideration when thinking about my opinions on it. Not just the fabulous stories of adoptive children, like yourself, or the perfect stories of adopting a child, like Lori.

I really liked your last comment "You don't get the kicks in the belly but giving a home to a child that really really needs it and giving yourself that gift (because that is what it is) can be a kick of its own."

I'm glad that there are all sorts of people in the world - those who WILL do something like adoption and those who know it's not for them. Everything is relative. Just because I had a great childhood, I can't convince my friend W, who is terrified of being a bad mother like her own mother was. I think it's a natural occurance for W to feel the way she does - growing up with an unloving mother could definitely be why she doesn't want children. Doesn't mean that all children of unloving parents would feel that way, but being in those conditions, could naturally make her feel that way. Not something out of the blue.

I wish everyone had such a wonderful feeling about being an adopted child, as yourself. Unfortunately, not everyone has such awesome parents like you did. Your parents should definitely be some sort of adoptive counsellors! :) ~wink~

Lori said...

Nancy, thanks for asking such a provocative question. I have enjoyed reading the responses.

Laurel, as an adoptive mom, I very much appreciate what you have to say. If you blog, I would love to follow your blog more. My email addy is in my profile.

There is some misinformation out there about adoption, some in the comments on your previous post. If any of your readers, Nancy, have fear holding them back from adopting (fear of reclamation, fear of openness, fear of the process, etc) I invite them to contact me and I'll clarify what I can.

To everyone who participated, great dialog.

nancy said...

Thanks for your help Lori. I am obviously not working as fact checker. Just taking in and responding to comments. I did say that there was one thing that you did tell me about reclamation, I just obviously don't know enough to begin to be the one with answers. :)

Tammy's Thought Pattern said...

Laurel, I do agree that cost should matter when you want to be a parent.

I too am adopted. I was also the only child and my parents loved me very deeply and I never lacked for affection. I was loved beyond belief.

BUT… My grandmother was so happy that my mother finally had a child that I became the “favored” grandchild. It was so important that I “fit in as a ‘real’ child” that I was actually more alienated. I didn’t realize it until I was older just how much I was resented. Unique and special was shoved down my throat when all I wanted was to fit in. It didn’t make me feel any more loved. I just wanted to be like them in some way.

I also contended with looking nothing like my family. Literally, nothing like anyone. I was the only one with brown hair, brown eyes, over 5’ 5” (one dad’s side), full figured, and very Italian looking. This was against short or very tall, thin, light haired blue eyed, and very European (German, English, Dutch, etc) family.

I am not trying to stir up controversy. I just wanted to give another side to the adult adoptee.

I am very happy that you had such a great story to share and I know that there are many more out there like you.

I for one... long for a child that I am biological attached to at this point. Maybe it is selfish.

Chas said...

I agree with everything you said in your response to me. I would also never, ever want to say that an adoptive mom is missing out on something that a biological mother experiences...but at the same time, I've carried a baby myself, and I want to do it it's almost like I'm saying just that through my actions (ie. shelling out a lot more money and going through unpredictable IVF instead of just adopting). It's such a touchy subject! This is an interesting post!

Anonymous said...

Listen, believe me I realize this is a very touchy subject and just because I am tied to it on the adoptee side does NOT mean I have any idea what it feels like to really consider the option of adoption. The reasoning for my response was because I guess I was nieve enough to not even think that people thought in the ways that were brought up by this post. Especially someone so close to me. That is a problem with me-I am somewhat nieve and always want to think the best of people(just noting my problem- not that I think any less of anyone with this opinion). And not that that means that I don't think the best of you all because I do. So much! You are all so courageous and the things that each and every one of you has had to endure....Ugh! Anyway, to make a long story longer.... I know it isn't wonderful for everyone and I am not saying my adopted life was perfect. FAR from it. I was made to feel special about being adopted but my parents are far far far from perfect (I know as most are). I have other issues because I know exactly who my bio parents are. One kept in touch (which I loved--whoa does that start another whole subject/post) and the other (mother) didn't. My mother lives in the same town I grew up in and my father lives in the town I live in now. I still to this day have no desire to see her. Again... anyway, I think that everyone (except maybe those 15 year olds that seem to pop them out at the drop of a hat) who wants a child biologically should be able to have one. Unfortunatley, it is a huge unjustice that it isn't possible for everyone. Oh how I wish it was. But I don't want anyone to take away the wonderfullness(word? hrm) that can come from adopting. I also have 3 cousins that are adopted. One from Bogota Columbia (who looks nothing like his white German family), another from Denver who is aware that she was a rape baby, and another who looks like she came straight out of my aunts womb. Noone in my family (that I know of remember - nieve) has ever looked at any one of us any differently. Every situation and every persons perseption is different. And that is o.k! Thanks for making me think differently and for listening and appreciating my point of view.

Pamela Jeanne said...

Thanks for opening such an open and thought-provoking discussion on this topic. I think if we had managed to conceive somewhere along the line we would have moved to adoption to expand our family. As it was we were so emotionally spent following so many years TTC and at 40 outside the window of "desirable" adoptive parents, it just seemed more than we could surmount to start the meat-grinder that is today's adoption qualification process. As it is, I'm doing my best to win the "best aunt on the planet" recognition.

Tammy's Thought Pattern said...


I think you and I could trade 'war stories'. :o)

I loved your second post. It actually fit perfectly with what I had ~tired~ to say.

I didn't recognize the offness (is that even a word?) until I actually meant my biological family. That is when the pieces fell into place.

I have the opposite of you once more...:o) I know my mother, sisters, and father (the man on my adoption papers, I am a rape baby) but I do not know the "sperm donor". I really have no desire to.

It would be interesting to find out how many adopted adults are torn on the idea of adoption themselves, kwim? Even though, my daddy (adoptive) was adopted, DH'd father was adopted, and my biological (by osmosis, lol) father were all adopted. Maybe I am just warped... :o)

Jenera said...

My SIL will be having her baby in the July. As far as I'm aware, she will be going through a normal adoptive process (though I'm not sure what that means) which I assume is through an agency of some sort. I know she talked to her brother about also taking the baby but he didn't want to because his girlfriend just had a baby. I also know that her mom will not take the child because she is already raising SIL's first two kids.

I hope that someone adopts this baby and moves far away. I know that sounds awful but this girl is a burden to everyone. I was hard to turn away from her unborn child but it's the best situation for everyone involved. I know there are plenty of families that will love that child as much as I would have.

joyous melancholy said...

Well that certainly makes sense. And you've gotten some great feedback from both sides of the coin here.

I think, for myself, before we ever started down the adoptive path, we'd make sure to talk to other couples who've adopted, to people who've been adopted themselves. On the one hand, I don't want to make someone else's life more difficult because *I* want another child, and *I* want to do that by adopting. Sure, it will fill a void in my life and make me feel good, but what is really best for the child? On the other hand, there are children out there who need loving homes, and who better to take them in and love them than someone who desperately wants them?

I haven't done the research, so I'm just talking out of the air here, but I would *guess* that many adopted children, who end up being raised in good homes (however imperfect), end up knowing they are loved. I would *imagine* that the feelings of being unwanted would stem more from the fact that someone gave them up for adoption, rather than the fact that someone chose them specifically.

But like I said, I'd want to talk to lots of people in the same situation before making a decision. As well as after, so that I don't cause more problems for my child out of ignorance.

I saw that you're starting your new cycle now. Good luck to you! I, too, believe in "jinxing," but I came at it from the other side - if I assumed *this* IUI was going to be The One, I thought that would jinx it and make it not work. So maybe you're just jinxing yourself into it working! Of course now that I've said that, it won't work like that... Oh bother. I'm just not helping at all. ;-) Break a leg! Or whatever it is you're supposed to break when TTC...