Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another Loss, of Sorts

Apparently infertility has struck yet again. Not recently, after all, it reared it's ugly head about a month ago. Its just been simmering in my soul since then. Of course, by the time I get done resurrecting the issue here it could turn out to be just plain old insensitivity and not infertility after all. Or maybe infertility induced insensitivity?

Here's what happened. . . Remember about a month ago when our agency presented our profile to a birthmom? Well, it was much sooner than we expected since our homestudy hadn't even been signed off by a judge yet. The situation didn't feel "right" for us due to a number of issues, but we decided to go ahead with our profile just to get some feedback and see what happened. Well, namely we were looking for feedback about our PROFILE, not our decisions. And we were looking for feedback from our agency and a real live birthmom. Instead, we got feedback from family.

A certain family member, who shall remain nameless, shared thoughts and concerns with us. Namely, after hearing details of the situation, concern was expressed that we are "desperate" and should be very careful about making decisions too quickly. And that, specifically, we can afford to be "choosy". Quite bluntly, we could afford to hold out and wait for a white baby. I'm not going to go into everything that was said, but these were the two specific comments that dug the deepest. When I heard this I was completely dumbstruck, and very hurt, on a number of levels. And the hurt lingers. We were totally unprepared for this type of "concern".

My immediate response to the "desperate" comment was anger. Anger that we would be judged like this after all we had been through. Anger at being labeled by someone who had never had to deal with infertility or miscarriage. From someone who doesn't know the depths of the despair that comes from these losses. And who doesn't know the peace that has come into our lives and our marriage since we have stopped fertility treatments and begun the adoption process. Anger because no effort was ever made to find out how we really feel.

While in the midst of treatments I will admit to feeling desperate. Desperate to have a child that would be loved and accepted by our families and friends. Truthfully I would have been happy to stop treatments lots sooner and start adoption proceedings much sooner. However, I was concerned that family members would be disappointed in us for not doing absolutely everything possible to have a biological child. And so we did. We desperately pursued every treatment possible (and took on lots of debt) in the effort to produce a child that our families would be able to feel connected to, and would be proud to claim. And after achieving nothing but failure we were able to pick ourselves up, dust off, and embrace our new reality. I can easily speak for both Brian and I that we are happier than we have been in years and we feel such peace now. We know we will be parents. There is no more guessing about the "how". And we can be patient waiting for the "when". For now. But I feel like crap for making such an effort to try to keep everyone happy, and now we are having our decisions questioned.

And now for the "choosy" comment. That just plain pisses me off! First of all, because there are much more important issues to us than ethnicity. Like, I don't know, how we relate with the birthfamily, health, disabilities, and history of mental illnesses, just to name a few. 'Nuff said.

And now for the aftermath. I'm hurt. I feel like our child will not be unconditionally accepted and loved by all of our family. I feel like I will wonder about true feelings, motives, and sincerity. And that hurts, and feels like a whole new loss on top of the other losses we've suffered. And it just sucks. I've been struggling with this and I'm just not sure what to do with all of these feelings.


  1. Your entire blog was very well said. I think you covered it all. I am sorry your family member has issues, but remember they are that persons issues, not your and not your child. But it also depends on who that family member is, if its closely related like a grandparent, that sucks, if its an aunt or uncle, you wont see them that often will you? The only thing you can do is give this child (when it comes) all the love you can to show "it" that he/she is really part of you and your husband. your a family and believe me we all have relatives we would like to lock in the closet. Even when some of our children are biological. I hope I am making sense. Stay strong, shake it off if you can. I know thats easier said than done. Hugs

  2. I wonder if the attitudes of your family members could change once there is a real live child for them to get to know and love.

    When people think about things in the abstract they often say stupid and hurtful things. Sometimes (not always, but sometimes) when they meet an individual adorable child, they can't help falling in love.

  3. I know what it's like to care about what family members think. But in the end, it is your life and you will be giving this child so much love-- that is what's most important in the end. Sending you hugs.

  4. Oh Chris, I'm sorry. Just when you need support the most, a family offers hurtful assvice. I'm glad you know where you stand on these things, you are not desperate, and only YOU guys will know when the right child is available. I'm sending you thousands of hugs today.

  5. I'm sorry! I know that you and Brian will love your child unconditionally and I suspect that your feelings will begin to spill over to your other family members too.

    Hang in there!

  6. I want to second Niobe--I think the abstract and the real provoke very different reactions. That said, I would have been crying and would be second-guessing a lot regardless of what I know intellectually.

    I think the only thing to keep in mind is that you are the only person who has to live your life and you are the only person who will be raising that child. Others can have all the opinions they want, but you need to live your life for you and for Brian and for your future child. You have made so many decisions in life (who you married, where you live, what you do) that you made without thinking about how they felt. And if they had expressed an opinion, you probably would have gone and snickered about them and still given them the figurative finger. The reason we don't do that in this case is because there are huge emotions involved--your emotions, your hopes, your fears.

    I know this sounds impossible, but set aside the emotions for a moment. Just put them next to you on the sofa. Then look at the person's words and see her a busybody who doesn't know what you know in your heart that you are using to make your decisions. It is like someone else trying to order for you on a menu without knowing what you're craving or even simply needing. Look at how absurd she is and how she has overstepped into a realm she knows nothing about since you are the only person in this world who has full access to your heart and mind. Give her the figurative finger. And then pick back up your emotions and keep them with you. They are still yours and huge and real and impossible to deny, but no matter how much this person loves you, no matter how much they want to "help" you, no matter how much they think they have your best interests at heart, the only person who needs to be you is You.

  7. I am really sorry about those hurtful comments made by a member of your family. They could never understand what you've been through and what brought you to where you are today. A comment like that would hurt me and piss me off a whole lot.

    My husband and I also have found that peace lately and it's wonderful. You don't expect something like that to be said and disturb it. I hope you find some resolution.

  8. My Dear Friend -

    I find myself feeling offended and hurt right along side you.

    Not really knowing if these are going to be the right words to say – but wanting desperately to express my feelings towards the individual who said these things to you – I’m sending this message in hopes that they read these words and are moved to ask you to forgive their insensitive behavior.

    First, I couldn’t even imagine thinking that there could possibly be individuals in my family that would have "judged" me for having the title "Adopted". My family always made me feel welcomed, loved and ONE OF THEIR OWN.

    Personally, if I had the opportunity to love a child unconditionally and that child happened to be of a different ethnicity – would that matter? NO! That would be like saying God loves some of us more than others. How ridiculous is that? God created us all (something vital to remember).

    My mind feels like screaming at this person - Your Ignorance is NOT BLISS! But my heart shouts at this person - I Forgive you for saying these hurtful things to my dear friend.

    Chris - you have always been the type of person that "wants to please others". To always do “the right thing.”

    News Flash - It's okay to put your husband and your new family first! I truly believe you are finding a balance and doing just that. It’s obvious when you speak about the peace you and Brian both are feeling now.

    What you must not lose sight of, you now must focus on building a family; with God as the foundation; Love as the motivation; and Hope and Faith that this little person who WILL be brought to you (someday soon) will truly be a part of you. And this loving environment you will be providing will overshadow any ill feelings this family member may continue to have or not have.

    You may also have to turn a blind eye to those around you that may not understand or accept this process; and find a way to forgive them. But try not to pity them.

    Look at it this way. We are ALL God's children. We are adopted into His family. And though we don’t have the same DNA we are all Christian brothers and sisters.

    Nuf said!

    Please know that I am sending heartfelt prayers.

  9. Chris,

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with these negative comments. I had a lot of these concerns about some of my DH's extended family...but as soon as they laid eyes on our little girl and held her, they couldn't help but fall in love. I have always worried about Addie being slighted in some way in favor of the "biological" family. Being adoptive parents it is only natural to have that concern, however I have found it not to be an issue in the least. Sending lots of love and hugs your way!!!

  10. I know we talked a little bit about this by email, and Im sorry its continued to weigh heavy on your heart and mind. I just wish you didn't have this extra set of issues to worry about.
    Big hug...

  11. Anonymous1:38 PM


    I think it was a good idea to share this on your blog. It is good to be open with your feelings. Hopefully the family member will come around, but remember that it will be your child and as long as you love it unconditionally then it doesn't matter what any one else thinks. Unfortunatly there will always be some prejudice in this world. It stinks that it comes from within your family aimed at your future child. But remember that that relationship can be optional and they don't have to be a part of his or her life. It will be their loss and very sad, but your baby will thrive with the love you and Brian give to it and it won't miss what it doesn't know. I'm sure that there are plenty of other members of your family that will love being a part of their life. Don't stress too much. Hopefully they will see what they are missing but also remember that you can't change people. So go into it without expectations and take the good from them if they offer it. If not they will be the ones suffering the most.

    Love Laurie D.

  12. I am so sorry you have to go through that insensitivity. My mom is also concerned about having a black grandchild, but I am sure that she will come around once the baby is here... It took us a lot of time to come to these conclusions. Our family members need also time to adjust. It is your personal decision how you build your family and you can and should tell your family member exactly that. There is a book called "Adoption is a Family Affair" which we have given to my MIL and my BIL. Maybe that can help...

  13. Chris, I am so glad you're back without the password protection! I clicked on your blog last week and about flipped out and had no way to get in touch with you. This post I could've written word for word during our wait. We had multiple family members express concerns...well, more than concerns, about us adoption "outside our race." Like you said, we did feel desperate in some ways, but adopting a healthy baby regardless of the color of it's skin does not make you desperate. It makes you open, tolerant, and thoughtful. It proves you have a heart full of love to share with a baby who needs a mom. I'm so sorry for what you've gone through, but I am so glad you're back! And if you protect again, comment on my blog so I can join:)

  14. So sorry to hear this. I have 3 bio boys and we are in the process of adopting from South Korea. We have had many negative comments too - what is wrong with babies in the US? and you should just be happy with what you have. etc. I get so angry. Having gone through years of treatments, 6 early m/c and losing a twin at 18 weeks I can say that I would love another baby and don't care if it is blue with pink spots and green stripes. I wish more people could see people for who they are in the inside and babies for babies and nothing more! Good Luck!