Why Don’t You Just Adopt?
Why don’t you just adopt?
These five words used to drive me crazy as people who knew of our miscarriages and losses would often make this suggestion. If you want kids, why don’t you just adopt? And now that we are adopting, it still drives me crazy when others who have never adopted make the suggestion, as it if it’s a simple solution.
When we were in the thick of recurrent pregnancy loss, this type of cavalier comment about adoption drove me crazy for a number of reasons:
SOME OF THE BIG FEARS:
- Adoption takes time, and lots of it. I don’t want to be an old parent.
- Adoption is hard work! Like crazy hard work.
- Adoption means social workers are going to scrutinize every aspect of your life – you job, your income, your extended family, your past, your sex life, etc.
- Adoption is expensive. First estimates were $15,000 for local open adoption and $25,000-$50,00 for international adoption.
- Adopted kids might be mentally unstable after spending time in a orphanage and will likely be “damaged” from neglect.
- What about my desire to have a biological child with my husband’s nose and my eyes?
- A mixed race family, that’s going to be hard work.
But you know, with time, a lot of these things became a better alternative for us. Thoughts started to turn to:
- RPL takes time – each pregnant/miscarriage cycle took months.
- Losing babies is hard work both physically and emotionally. Adoption might just be easier.
- RPL means doctors are scrutinizing every aspect of my body – my uterus, my blood flow, my exercise level, my diet, my sex life, etc.
- RPL is expensive when the only treatment available is out of country. Think $60,000US+ at a bare minimum, just for a chance without a guarantee that our child will be compatible with life. But yes, international adoption is expensive, there is no denying that as we are facing bills that make me want to cry on a regular basis.
- Mental health is no guarantee. Nor is physical health. Any child can be born with autism or a heart murmur. Simple, embracing adoption for us meant accepting that there are no guarantees in life. And with adoption we can select a lot of things about the birth mother’s medical history and lifestyle to control for some things.
- Biology isn’t everything. My child will not have my husband’s nose or my eyes, but they may have our work ethic and our sense of integrity.
- Being a mixed race family will be hard at times, but I’m confident the MPB’s can work through it.
And you know what, now that we are in the thick of adoption, now that our lives have turned fully to adoption to grow our family, I find myself often thinking to others, why don’t you just adopt? I try not to verbalize it because well, I get it. I get wanting to slap anyone who naively suggested we should adopt. But you know I kind of think it’s different for me to suggest adoption now because I get what adoption means better then the average person. First, I get the contemplation of living a childless life, we almost chose that. Heck, after spending so much time thinking about a childless life, some days I still think it’s the better open. That said, I am a believer that if you really want children there is always a way – surrogacy, gestational carrier and/or adoption. In my humble opinion, biology does not make you a parent, your choice to parent and love a child makes you a parent.
Also, today, I know that adoption is not an easy path, but I also know that our whole perspective on life changed once we stopped trying and stopped losing babies. I know that today, over a year since our 5th and final loss, we are both happier and healthier. Both of us agree that our physical and mental health is leaps and bounds better then it was. We are excited to be parents, and we know that it will happen now (yes a failed adoption is possible, but there are always risks in life and statistically a failed adoption is substantially less likely for us then another miscarriage). We have a sense of certainty and some level of control back in our lives and it’s made a big difference to our overall quality of life.
I know adoption is not for everyone, but at this point in time I know it’s the best decision for us. And some days I just wish I could see others get to this place, out of the cycle of loss and despair and back to a healthy life with hope for a family being real. Please know, I’m not trying to say everyone should adopt, but I guess what I’m saying is that I want others to know that their are options and finding a path that involves happiness has been a really good thing for us.
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