I’m back. We did our two weeks in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. We did some really fun things and saw some beautiful things. And I’m so glad to be back and able to sleep in my own bed.
For some reason the trip brought up thoughts of adoption. I don’t know if it’s because Angelina Jolie’s first child, Maddox, was adopted from Cambodia (I didn’t know that until we were there), or because the children we saw were so adorable, or something else. DH and I had always talked about adoption, you know, before we found out we couldn’t procreate naturally, in the naive, after we’re done having pregnancies, maybe we’ll adopt some more kids kind of way. And I looked into it briefly when we first found out we were dealing with infertility. But when I really think about adopting, I find it frightens me. What if our kids never feel like they’re ours? Does adoption mean I’ll always feel infertile?
We had the opportunity a while ago to see Mark Schultz in concert in our neighborhood. I enjoy his music and we stood in the rain to watch him play. It was great, until he started talking about his life. He was adopted. And he clearly loves his adoptive parents. But he was talking about how he had always wanted to meet a blood relative. He always wanted to meet someone who was physically related to him. And then he and his wife had their first child. And when that child smiled for the first time, it was his smile. And he was so excited because he had finally met a blood relative.
It’s supposed to be a happy story. And I think I may have been able to share his joy a little better if I heard it today, or last week. But I was very weak then. We were in so much pain and it was all right there on the surface. Just the mention of a baby would make me feel sad and small and not whole. That feeling isn’t totally gone, of course. It still resurfaces from time to time. But I’m a little less sensitive to it today than I was a few months ago.
All I could think of when he was telling this story was that if we adopted we would always be infertile. And that our children would always feel like they missed out on something.
Of course, the case for adopting isn’t helped when you look at the uncertainty and the expense compared with doing IVF. And I still don’t really feel like adoption is a way to replace having children naturally or even through ART. I think some people are called to adopt. And some people have a heart for orphans and will adopt and thereby add to their families. And I think it’s wonderful to adopt a child. A truly wonderful calling. But I wouldn’t want that to be a second-choice plan–I wouldn’t want my children to feel like they were a second-choice plan.
Our hearts could change tomorrow; we could find one day that adopting is the right step for us, the first choice. And maybe a seed has been planted for adoption in our hearts, though it has not yet matured. Right now, choosing adoption would be some kind of compromise. It wouldn’t be right for the child or for us. And I know that.
But I looked at the children around us on our trip and started to wonder . . .