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This was an originally published post over at Pink Shoes, my personal blog. The response was so good however, that I thought I should share it here with all of you too. Just in case……….just in case you’re struggling with taking that last amazing step away from infertility treatments to adoption.
I don’t write a lot about infertility here on Mom Colored Glasses and my experience with it. No particular reason really, it’s just not a part of my life now, and hasn’t been since we started the site.
I mean sure…….it’s a part of my life in that I was never able to get pregnant and I’m assuming I still can’t–but it’s not a part of my life in the way that it used to be when I was running back and forth to the fertility specialists, shooting up in the bathroom, popping pills that reduced me to panic attacks on the highway if someone passed me or honked at me, and writing one check after another that I now feel was the equivalent of burning $100 bills one after another.
Can I get an “Amen” that that is over? For good.
But it’s true, I did all those things. I spent more hours with my legs in stir-ups than Sea Biscuits jockey and gave myself shots and went under the knife all in the name of “trying one more thing” in our attempts to get pregnant even though no one could ever tell us why we weren’t getting pregnant.
It’s easy for me to tell you now why I couldn’t get pregnant, however. It’s a one word answer.
And I am so thankful.
I mean that with everything in me.
Georgia would not be mine had I gotten pregnant. And sure, it’s easy to say, “but you would still have a baby–and you wouldn’t even know the difference–you’d have a baby.”
But it wouldn’t be Georgia. Not my Georgia.
Had I known what I would experience with adoption and knew what it would really feel like during the five years we tried to get pregnant I believe I would have flushed those Clomid pills down the toilet, and sold my left over Valium from the little slice of hell, known as a hysterosalpingogram, on the corner.
But I know that there is no way to know what you learn through a situation ahead of time. Sure, you can read other people’s accounts, you can talk to friends you know that have gone through it, you can talk to specialists, and you can try and force yourself to believe it’s okay. But…….most of the time it’s just a matter of experience. Like everything else in life.
The funny thing though is that most girls I know who are working their way through infertility treatments don’t really want to talk to us adoptive moms. We’re kind of like public enemy #1 when you’re traveling down the road of conception.
We’re this beaming light of failed fertility treatments, drugs that don’t work, and the ultimate last resort……..adoption. We represent this heavy decision of, “should we keep trying or give up?,” we make people face that gut wrenching internal conflict that poses the question, “can I really be okay with raising a child that is not biologically mine?” We are the end of the road. And really we’re the end of a fork in the road that people don’t really want to veer down when they first start trying to have a baby. No one really wants to hear from us; how Clomid didn’t work, how ovulation shots did nothing, that an exploratory surgery only resulted in losing five pounds during recovery, that IUI’s were a bust, and that IVF was just too much to bite off (at least it was for me).
And I get it. I one hundred and fifty percent get it.
I’m pretty sure I probably felt like this too–even though now–hindsight has convinced me that I didn’t. Whatever, it’s a liar.
I write a lot about adoption and I know it comes across like butterflies and rainbows and fairy dust. And now……four years into it…..most days I honestly feel like that. But, I can be honest…….it wasn’t like that from the very beginning.
It was a big step. It was scary to make that first phone call. I wasn’t even convinced that I wanted to go through with the adoption until the night we got a phone call from our social worker telling us that a set of birth parents wanted to meet us (eight weeks before Georgia was born). I cried after every single one of our adoption education classes at the agency we’d chosen–I hated those classes and they made me angry that we were even in this position; it wasn’t fair. I remember almost becoming physically angry when I heard a story about someone letting their daughter be a flower girl in her birth mom’s wedding; it smacked of irresponsibility and unhealthy boundaries. I got to a place that I was honestly okay if Chris and I never had children. The idea of adoption was too hard. It felt……as I said above………like a last resort.
And like a light switch, when we met Georgia’s birth parents, everything settled into place. It was a like a rush of fresh air that allowed me to breath evenly……for the first time in six months…….and really in five years. I finally understood why all those adoptive moms talked so irritatingly incessantly about adoption and how “great” it was. I knew that I’d never have to feel that bitter taste of failure again every month when I knew we weren’t pregnant. I knew I’d never again have to chart my temperature, mix a magical fertility concoction and give myself a shot, take drugs that made me feel crazy, wake up every night with hot flashes, cry when someone else announced they were pregnant or complain about morning sickness, and mostly……I was relieved that I could stop driving myself crazy wondering if we were really doing enough to get pregnant.
Overnight I stepped quietly across that invisible line. Where on one side you’re trying to get pregnant with all that you have (literally) and you share a deep camaraderie with every other woman doing it with you, and on the other side you’ve become a symbol of last resorts, lost hopes, broken dreams, and the fleeting thoughts you had when you first started trying to get pregnant, “adoption’s not for me.”
And that’s okay with me. I know it’s not how I feel today. In fact I couldn’t be more thrilled to be on the adoptive mom side of the line. I wish more people in this world had the chance to experience it. It’s been more fulfilling, heart wrenching in a good, good way, eye opening, life changing, worldview expanding, and just plain more amazing than I ever imagined the road to parenthood could be nine years ago when my husband and I started trying to become parents.
I don’t write this because I am bothered that women who are struggling to conceive kind of look at adoptive moms like a sort of force field. I write it because I understand the feeling. I’ve had it. I believed it. And I was terrified of getting there.
But I’m here now. I’m way here. And it’s kind of like another pair of pink shoes. I didn’t know it was the route my map would take me. But baby……..I am over the moon that it did. It’s like discovering the best little local place to eat along the scenic route that I never would have found otherwise….but once you’ve been there it gets under your skin and you just can’t shake it…..you crave it.
And if you’re like I was four years ago……….and you end up getting to adopt a child I’d bet you a million bucks, pretty soon, you won’t ever remember feeling like choosing to adopt a child was a hard decision. You’ll feel like it was what you were made to do. And anything else……..wouldn’t even feel like……..you.
Visit my other online home at apairofpinkshoes.com