Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turning the Corner

I went to my monthly IF support group last night. I hadn't been in about 4 months, so it was nice to be back and see so many friendly faces. I started by sharing my information, our past and that we are pursuing adoption. Then we went around the table and one by one with each story I heard...I was more and more at peace with our decision to adopt.

Please don't get me wrong. Each one of us has to choose our own paths, and what is right for me may not be right for all of you and vice versa. We all have our own set of limitations when it comes to Family Building. Ours just happened to be IVF.

As we went around the table each woman shared their stories. All of them except for me and one other woman is gearing up for an IVF cycle. The woman next to me just had her first consult with CC.RM for an IVF cycle with PGS (Basically, it is a test done on the embryos that will check all chromosomes for abnormalities before transfer.) I listened intently to her story and realized...I could never do that. The traveling back and forth to CO, the 4+ shots a day, the stress and anguish...I just couldn't do it. I applaud her for being able to and I hope more than anything that this works for her. Her strength and dedication are admirable, that just isn't right for me.

As I was sitting at the table, listening to each of these women's stories, the same thought came into my head...that isn't for me. This meeting solidified my belief and made me realize that my heart has turned the corner. Although I may have some rough days where I long for a child in my womb, (like this Sunday at my friend's baby shower for example) ultimately, I want a child in my arms and my heart has accepted that.

I had a couple of other "epiphany moments" last night that I would like to share with you.

One of the scariest things for me in regards to adoption is the fact that there will be two sets of parents involved and how do you establish the most healthy, productive relationship for everyone? Then I realized...families do this all the time. My sister started dating her husband when he had 2 young boys. My BIL, sister, the boys and the boy's mother all had to work together to establish a relationship where they could all flourish and function in the best way possible.

Don't get me wrong, I am not naive enough to think that the situations are exactly alike, but there are similarities. My sister loves her step sons just as much as she loves her biological children. They aren't "step" kids to her...they are her boys. Similar in a way to an adoptive couple. There may not be a genetic link...but the love is there all the same.
My sister has co-parented with the boy's mom and they have made it work. Just like we will communicate and have a relationship with the birth parents of our someday child.

Coming to this realization has helped me realize that we really can do this, it isn't that uncommon and couples do it all day long every day. It really helped me feel more secure in this decision.

The second "epiphany" I had was this. I haven't really told anyone about our choice to adopt. The main reason is that I am not prepared to hear lines like "Oh you will get pregnant!" This phrase (although people mean well) cuts me to the core. It makes every hair on my body stand at attention and makes me see red. However, until last night I didn't know how to explain to people (in a nice way) that saying that is the LAST thing I want to hear. Here is what I have come up with (and I actually used it last night on one of my friends - it works!)

Here is what I told her "Making the decision to adopt has not been an easy one. IF is a very long, torturous road and it has taken me time to be able to let go of carrying my own child, of having pictures of Pace lovingly placing his hands on my swollen pregnant belly, of seeing what the combination of our DNA looks like. That has been a long process to work through. However, I have. I have let all of that go, I have grieved it and I have prepared my heart to love a child that is not of my own flesh. So when I come to you and tell you that we are adopting and your first reaction is to tell me I am going to get pregnant, it is very hurtful. I have moved on, I have let that dream go and you constantly reminding me of that old dream isn't helpful to me, it is hurtful. I don't need you to try to keep bringing that dream back. Instead, join me on our new dream and our new desire and just be happy for us."

I am feeling very good about that response and she seemed to get it after that. I love my friend dearly, but in the past when I have talked to her about adoption, she hasn't been the most receptive, so I have shared very little with her about our choice to adopt, in fact I really haven't told anyone (other than you all). Which reminds me...if you are my friend, please don't post anything until I have "outed" myself!


Anna said...

I love the way you described your decision to adopt. I have been searching for the right words to tell people that their "optimism" doesn't help, but that it hurts. I failed miserably at saying it the right way to my mom. Maybe I will copy/paste this into an email when the time comes to close the IF door for good. The time is very near (2 more iuis and we're through!) and I'm so glad you shared!

Bec said...

I'm glad you are at peace with your decision hon. Your explanation for your friend made total sense :)

addingtothepack said...

I am so glad that you had this reconfirmation that you are on the right path!

Jeremy and Emily said...

I'm so happy for you Nichole, I'm glad you're at peace. For some reason I've felt for a while that adoption was the way you should go, but I would support you no matter WHAT decision you made. But this decision feels right. There must be a special child out there who needs you. I'll pray that the process goes smoothly for you. And you're SO right to tell people that it hurts you to bring up getting pregnant when you've already decided to adopt.

Hillary said...

So thankful you have had these confirmations and are experiencing such peace in the direction you're going!

Baby Wanted said...

I'm so happy to see you so happy! I know how hard 2008 was for you and 2009 sucked too but GREAT things are going to happen for you in 2010!

the misfit said...

I like your explanation. I think we do have to bridge this understanding gap for people. Though we're not currently pursuing adoption, I can totally see that my fingers would itch to strangle someone who said that to me. But what the heck do they know? They think they're being positive. Nobody can see into this world who's not here. So from another member of the IF community to you - thank you for spreading a little hard-to-come-by information about the reality of IF. It's good for everyone. And good for you, for explaining how you really feel!