Infertility sucks. That’s the long and short of it, really. Anyone who has been through the heartache of infertility and tells you that it was just a “bump in the road” isn’t being completely honest. Let me put it bluntly: getting knocked-up and having a baby the old-fashioned way is totally easier.
The pain of placing 312 inquiries on waiting children only to be turned down 312 times? That’s excructiating! Really. That is pain that has lasts much longer than a 24-hour labor.
This is the pain that my husband and I have been dealing with for 4 years. And to think, I’ve been dealing with my own personal “infertility dilemma” for much longer than this. It all started about 17 years ago…
But let’s go back a little further. I was placed on birth control at 14 years of age due to my “irregularity”. By this time, I knew all about the human body and how a female’s cycle works in regards to pregnancy. I realized that this could present a problem when I did become old enough to start thinking about children. Irregularity is a little something that runs in my mother’s family. Little did I know that I’d have a couple of “something extras” thrown in for kicks.
I married young and knew that I wanted to try to start having children right away–just in case it was hard for me. By this time, I had started having “problems”. I’ll spare you the details. I postponed the doctor’s appointment for as long as I possibly could. I knew that there would be news that I didn’t want to hear. My body decided that it needed to send me a message. It sent it to me loud and clear.
The morning of my 19th birthday I awoke in excruciating pain. I couldn’t uncurl myself and I couldn’t stand up or sit down. This sort of forced me into an emergency trip to the hospital. I’d end up walking out of the ER that day with an answer that I didn’t want to hear. Endometriosis.
I devoured countless books at the library–I just knew that I’d be able to find a way to “beat this”. My yearly exam rolled around and I was placed on fertility drugs and hormone blockers. (Yes, I should have gone earlier, but I was young and thought I had plenty of time. I don’t know that it would have helped, but I often wonder.) The fertility treatments didn’t work. Eventually, we just gave up. It seemed to go away, but in my heart, I still wanted a child more than anything.
Fast-forward to several years and one divorce later, (the divorce had nothing to do with the infertility issues, to clarify) I moved from Ohio. I met Corey and started dating him shortly after I had settled into my new life in South Carolina. We were engaged in 2005 and I moved to Georgia and in with his parents one month before we were married in June of 2006.
Corey knew about the endometriosis early-on in our relationship. We decided that we would TRY to have a child after one year of marriage. We knew the chances were slim, but we also had more options. There had been many more new discoveries in the world of infertility, after all. We tried a couple of things after that first year but nothing worked. The doctors now began to wonder about PCOS. I was officially diagnosed in 2007. This was the second wall in my struggle with trying to have a child.
We decided on adoption.
The doctors seem to be convinced that we still had options. We could have tried hormone treatments and IVF, but all of those things are so costly, with no guarantee in the end. We were older now, and for us it became a matter of either trying so very hard to bring another life into this world, or loving one that is already here or on his/her way. Our consciences led us to adoption and we felt very comfortable in this decision. We haven’t regretted that decision for one day.
We have had three failed placements. The first was for two older girls that ended up living with their grandparents, the second was for an unborn infant (his bio mom decided on an agency adoption), and the third was for another unborn infant. This time, the father was the son of one of our friends.
The parents were getting ready to have a child and were tossing around the idea of adoption. The father was sure in his decision for adoption. The mother was not. We began going through the process of screening through the state as a foster home. At the time, it was our understanding that the infant would be placed through the state and we would probably need to become certified to be eligible for his adoption.
We attended IMPACT classes and completed the 30,000 pieces of paperwork (okay, so it’s an exaggeration, albeit not far from the truth) needed for certification. In the meantime, the baby was born and the mother decided in the last month to keep him. It was heartbreaking. It was the closest we had been to having a child of our own to love. We learned a lot through this experience. We learned that we have to build thicker walls and not to get too attached to the idea because you never know what may happen.
A few months later, we decided to continue on with the foster care route. It took forever to get everything completed and certified (the state is VERY SLOW). We started placing inquiries on waiting children but were still listed as “foster”. 117 inquires were placed all-in-all and 117 “no’s” were received in return. It’s been exhausting and infuriating. There are SO many children waiting. It seems insane that here we are…a family waiting for a child and these children are waiting for families. Yet three years had come and gone and we had not had a single placement. We changed from foster to foster/adopt in July of 2010 but have yet to have a one call for placement. Currently, we are still listed as a state approved foster/adopt home.
Last month, we had another couple that we know contact us in regards to adoption. They knew that we were still awaiting a child. The bio father explained that the mother had her tubes tied after their last baby and it didn’t work. They are pregnant again. They can’t provide for another child and they wanted to know if we’d be willing to consider adopting the baby.
We said “yes” without hesitation, of course. We are a little older now (36 and 39) and if we are going to have a newborn, this is the time to do it! At the same time, we’ve been through so much in this journey…we knew to put up our walls right away.
Two weeks ago we found out that the baby was a boy. Two weeks ago the biological mother sat in our living room on our sofa, tears rolling down her cheeks. It was so hard to see the pain in her face. She talked about him as if he were already ours. She said she’s known she couldn’t keep him so she’s trying to not get emotionally attached (as much as possible). She hates the situation and it is breaking her heart. But she knows it’s what is best for him in the long run.
She hasn’t talked to us since the day she left our home. She texts me occasionally to keep me posted on what is going on with the baby. She hasn’t really made up her mind–she still waffling between parenting and placing. Next week we find out the date of the scheduled c-section. If she does decide on adoption, she’s choosing complete anesthesia so that she doesn’t hear or see anything at his birth. She doesn’t want to be in an emotional state and make an irrational decision. I respect that.
It’s promising that she is still in contact with us. I wish she’d talk to me a little more, but I know that she’s trying to stay as emotionally detached as possible. Talking to me about the baby will make him more “real” to her. It will make her closer to the idea and she doesn’t want that. I have to respect her wishes, but I worry for her. I hope she is okay with everything in the end. We knew coming into this that we may not know for sure about our child until the last moment. It doesn’t make it any “less scary”.
We have a little more than four more weeks until this little one arrives. We are ready for him, just in case. We have what we absolutely need, we have a name for him, and we have tons of family and friends sitting on “ready”. Hopefully everything will work out in the end–whatever it is, we can’t be upset. We’ve been through so much, but how can you be upset that someone chooses to keep their child. It’s such an emotional roller coaster.
Adoption is a beautiful thing. I didn’t expect the guilt. As of late, that’s my greatest struggle. I keep telling myself that this is her decision and she knows what she’s doing. She’s my age. She does know. She’s a smart girl and she is making an educated decision. It’s just hard…I can’t imagine what she is going through right now.
In four weeks we could very well be parents. Time flies by so quickly, yet the last two weeks have seemed to gone on forever. We’ll just keep preparing our hearts for either decision. There will be lots and lots of prayers for us by friends and family. We are sending up countless prayers ourselves. Our prayers are that the best decision for the baby is the one that is made.
For now…we wait.