Thursday, May 6, 2010

Guilty As Charged

Now that we've decided to fully work towards adopting, I don't feel as guilty about not yet being a mother. The guilt of not being able to become pregnant has haunted me since the day my OBGYN told me that she wanted to send me on to a special clinic for a more detailed evaluation.

I have been so weighed down with the fact that I have not be able to start a family with my husband. I have cried and cried with him, telling him that I wouldn't blame him if he left me for another girl that would be able to help him become a father. Of course, he thinks that's ridiculous and tells me that he wouldn't leave me for anything. I do secretly think though that if he were married to someone else, he would probably have had the chance to be a father years ago.

The fact that his parents are not grandparents yet haunts me too. I can't tell you how guilty I feel for not being able to give them the grandchild that they so deserve. My parents have other grandchildren, so it doesn't feel like I'm letting my dad down as much, but for my husband's parents, we were their first chance at a grandbaby. I'm sure they had huge dreams when we got married of lots of grandchildren in the future, but leave it to me to be the one to squash all of that!

I'm sure it has to be hard for them to see their friends and siblings have grandchildren and they are still just waiting patiently with nothing. I feel like such a failure in that department knowing that they are missing out on a huge part of parenting just like us. I can't change it, but I still am very critical of myself and how this whole situation has turned out. I know that it's not my fault, but it's still hard not to feel bad about it.

I think others feel bad for us too because we have had a few people offer to be surrogates for us. It's funny though because we don't need anyone to carry a baby for us because I can do that part. It's the getting pregnant part that we currently can't overcome. I still find it odd that anyone would care that much about us to even offer to make such a sacrifice, but it speaks to how special some of the people in our lives are. I will forever be grateful for how much support people have given us and frankly, somedays it gets overwhelming. It's just hard to imagine why people would care so much about little old me, but I'm sure glad that you all do. Someday maybe I will care as much for myself as everyone tells me I should, but until then, I'm just going to work on one thing at a time.

Sunshine After the Rain

In early April we finally decided to start exploring the idea of adopting a child. We had been talking about it for awhile, but hadn't really started to act on any of our discussions. I finally began to contact people that I knew would be helpful in gathering information.

We knew a few things going in, one being that we wanted to use a faith based agency or organization. I contacted our priest and he gave us some contact information for a Catholic agency based out of Des Moines. They emailed us back right away and told us that they currently were not doing any infant adoptions. Well, that was a disappointment, so then I started exploring some other options.

I read up on a few agencies and asked them to send us information. We got so many things to read from each agency in the mail and it was slightly overwhelming. We thought that maybe we should attend a few of the adoption workshops that different places offer and that might help answer some of our questions.

When you start thinking about adopting, so many things go through your head. Do we want an infant or an older child? Would be want to adopt a minority child or a child from another country? How would we feel about our child having any special needs or unknown issues that might show up in the future? What if we aren't given much information about the biological parents or there was no prenatal care?

I was very nervous to attend our first workshop because I just plain didn't know what to expect. We took the day off of work and drove all the way to Denison for the workshop. When we got there, there were a few other couples close to our age. We had to wear name tags of course and tell about ourselves and why we were there. That was the first time we had really publicly told our story to anyone that was not close to us. Telling our story to complete strangers was interesting, but after hearing their stories, I finally realized that we were not alone. Their stories almost matched ours to a tee and I felt normal for the first time in months! Being around people who had been through failed IFV's and were now faced with the choice of to adopt or not was a relief. One couple had even been using the same clinic at the U of I and is on the same donor list as us. They told us privately that they found out they can't have children at all. I felt so bad for them since we know we are able to have a biological child. Just when you think you have it bad, someone always is worse off than you.

The workshop was good. We gained a ton of knowledge about all of the aspects that go into adopting a child. We felt the agency would be a good fit for us, but still wanted to explore other options to be sure. In the meantime, we are attending other workshops with other agencies to gather as much information as we can. We have another meeting at the end of this month, which I'm really excited about.

One of the issues we discussed at the workshop was attachment problems that can happen for babies when adopted. It was so weird because the very next week at my night class, attachment disorders in early childhood was our topic. It just so happened that the story of the lady who sent her adopted son back to Russia on a plane by himself with some money had just been in the news. We got on the topic of attachment with adoption and everyone had an opinion about the mother on the news. The comments the college students were making were really interesting. After about 30 minutes of listening to them blab on and on, one of the older women in my class piped up and said that she had adopted all of her children, one of which has special needs. She told us her story of adopting her son from Korea and how many attachment issues they had to work through when he was a toddler. She was so brave for speaking up and verifying that yes, there can be issues with adoption, but contrary to what was happening in the news, adoption can end up being wonderful.

After she told her story, one of the quietest girls in the class spoke up and said that she and her brother were both adopted when they were babies. She told her whole story and it was so awesome to hear what an impact being adopted made on her life. She said that she doesn't know what her life would have been like if her parents hadn't adopted her and here she is now about to graduate from college. Such a sweet girl and the way she told her story really impacted me. I left class that night knowing in my heart that I truly would be okay with becoming a mom through adoption. Up until that day, I had not been fully sure if I would still have a yearning to carry a child and be pregnant. I wasn't sure if I would be able to give up the chance to experience all of that, but I figured out that I'm not giving up the chance at all. I'm giving a baby a chance at life, which is such a huge thing! Just because I'm not giving birth to a baby doesn't mean that I can't be its mother.