Friday, April 24, 2015

Infertility: When Adoption is NOT an Option

My friend Sarah posted this link to Facebook, and I really loved this article: Infertility: When Adoption is NOT an option. 

I especially liked the quote by Sarah's friend Justine. She speaks directly to the question that so many people ask of infertile couples. "Why don't you adopt?"

"And I know that question, for the most part, comes from a place of love and they know I would be a great mother. They want to take care of my pain. They sure as heck don't want to sit in pain with me because it's so uncomfortable, so they'd rather have sympathy for me and fix it," she said during a phone interview.

I have often echoed these sentiments and encourage people, under NO circumstances, to bring adoption to an infertile couple unless THEY bring it up first. Adoption does not fix infertility. It is wrought with its own emotional and financial issues. And for some couples, adoption is just not something they feel comfortable with either for emotional or financial reasons.

Infertility is not cured by anything. In fact, even having a child (like I did) doesn't cure what it does to your heart. It changes you. It hurts you. It grows you. It moves you.

Another contributor the article was Christy Harris -- who was unable to think about adoption due to the financial side. She says:

"Letting go of the concept that you won't be able to carry your own child is really hard. It's really emotional, and I don't think there's anything wrong with adoption. If I could afford it, I would absolutely be all over it, but it's one of those things where I don't think it's fair that people assume that just because you can't have kids you are now responsible to go and adopt.
"People consider you selfish if that's not what you're looking at, and it's not that you're selfish. You just want a chance to have a family and kind of be like everybody else,"
Newlyn Lulan, who faced secondary infertility (the inability to get pregnant after a previous pregnancy) discussed what it feels like to face an empty womb:

"There's a drive in you that you ... feel like you just have to keep trying," she said during a phone interview. "It's just a nagging feeling. The feeling is overwhelming at times with a sense of urgency knowing that after age 35 fertility begins to significantly decline.
"It's not the stereotypical feeling of being incomplete that some have heard over and over," said Luman, who created a Facebook page for people to share their experience with infertility, pregnancy loss, stillbirth and infant loss. "Suddenly your growing baby and dreams filled with your every ounce of being are taken from you and you feel completely helpless."
Another infertile woman made a fantastic conclusion statement that truly summed up what women living with infertility need:

"Knowing the difference between empathy and sympathy" is crucial, she said.
"I don't need you to feel sorry that I am a 35-year-old woman who wanted to be a mother but doesn't get to be a mother in your traditional sense of the word. When you feel sorry for me, that leaves me feeling more alone ... but for you to look at me, and say, 'That sucks. I'm sorry. You would have been a great mother. What do you do now?' That's different.
"That difference between feeling with me and feeling for me, I think that's a big part of it."

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