Tuesday, April 26, 2011

MYTH: Adopt, and you'll get pregnant

My friend Amy participated in the "Bust a Myth" Infertility Challenge sponsored by RESOLVE just like I did a few days ago. It's funny, but I was just contemplating the wording to write nearly the exact same post when I hopped over to Amy's blog and realized what I was thinking had already been said.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

It's funny hearing this coming from Amy and then from me since we both have two little boys one year and less than one year apart. I met Amy online (In fact, it was through Amy that my friend Stebbs and I met each other before either of us relocated to Turkey) while we were knee-deep and needles and doctor's appointments. Failed IUI's. Failed IVF's. A turn to adoption. For both of us.

And then, pregnancy.

But the truth of the matter is, while it may seem like women who adopt get pregnant all the time, it is actually the exception. I've written about this before. How many times have you told my story to someone else? Now how many times have you told the story of another friend you have that adopted and never did go on to have other children? My story passes quickly. Stories of adoptions that do not result in pregnancy do not generate as much "buzz." That's really what it boils down to.

I especially liked when Amy wrote the following:

Soon the comments began. "You hear about this happening all the time," and "See, you relaxed about having a baby and then you got pregnant," and "I knew this would happen." I know people mean well, I really do. I always pray to respond from a place of grace.

I pick my battles. Sometimes I say, "Yes, it does happen," and sometimes I cite the statistics, "
Actually, only 5-10% of parents who adopt due to infertility go on to conceive and bear children." And sometimes, perhaps not often enough, I present the answer I believe the strongest.

I believe that we were able to conceive after years of infertility and adoption because God meticulously planned it out just so.


Amy, I totally agree. You completely echoed my heart. I hesitate to tell our story because I know what is coming next. JB corrects these people all the time. I correct them most of the time. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. Sometimes they are Turkish, and I know the language barrier will prohibit me from saying what I am thinking.

But either way, the truth is as follows:
  • Adoption is awesome in and of itself.
  • There is no proof to indicate that adopting results in pregnancy.
  • The 5-10% statistic is actually a lower success rate than what a woman who tries on their own faces during any given month.
  • No one can say for certain whether a woman who gets pregnant post-adoption would have conceived anyway.
  • Telling your friend who is adopting "Watch and you will get pregnant" is NOT recommended. In fact, it can be hurtful (even though that is not your intention). It implies that adoption is not good enough and the "good enough" will come after the adoption.
  • Repeating my story or Amy's story to people is great. It shows the Lord's blessings. But please help educate people when you tell it. Please inform people that this is the exception not the rule.
For more information on infertility, please click here. This blog post is part of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association's National Infertility Awareness Week® (NIAW). Click here for more information on this organization, the largest nationwide non-profit improving the lives of people diagnosed with infertility. This post is part of RESOLVE'S"Bust an Infertility Myth Blog Challenge."


Angie said...

I LOVE this post! I too have faced ALL of those comments at some time and have vowed NEVER to say those to anyone else. Once you've been there, you get it. I'm a pediatric nurse and one day I was telling my story to a patients mom who was from another country. She gave me the best response ever. She smiled and said, "you know, it is our belief that our children choose one another in heaven and they decide how and when they will join the family. What a blessing that your girls chose you the way they did". I love, love, loved her response! My life wouldn't be full without BOTH of my children. And it didn't happen because I relaxed... the times table doesn't add up. We were apparently 6 weeks along when we found out we were matched with Holly's birthparents. But explaining that to a stranger is sometimes grueling so I usually do as you do and keep it to myself. But like JB, sometimes I give the statistics, etc... Curious what your plan is for school... will you place them in the same grade or not? That's my next hill to climb!

Flakymn said...

Angie we are still debating the school obstacle. In our case, they technically could be in separate grades. (Isaac is a May and Elijah the following January) but we always felt boys should start late. So we are currently planning to see "who they are" when that time comes along and maybe homeschool a year or two (or more?) to see what would be best for them. With you on that one!

Faith said...

Love it! Can I link to your post on my blog?!

cbrueggie said...

ha! let me tell ya, almost 4 years after adopting i have gotten pregnant, multiple times. i have miscarried each time. the comments haven't stopped, but they've slowed down.

Amy T. S. said...

Thx for the plug! Next I think we should tackle "Open adoption is like co-parenting."

Flakymn said...

Faith, you are ALWAYS welcome to share anything I write -- it's free!!! :)

Jess Heimer said...

AMEN!! We adopted 8 months ago and could not be happier. I've been searching for a response to the well-meaning, "I can't believe you're not pregnant yet." or "You'll be pregnant any day now-wait and see." Thanks for the tips and for being someone who understands! Your family is beautiful.

women fertility said...

I read your articles and get a lot of info that I never know before. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! I love, love, loved her response! My life wouldn't be full without BOTH of my children. The information about fertility were really helpful. Thanks for posting a blog like this.