Adoption

Two years ago, DH and I went to the 31st Annual Adoptive Parents Committee Conference 2011. It was on 11.20.11, to be exact–I know because I am looking at the journal in which I took a bunch of notes. I didn’t have this blog yet, then. I think I had recently gone to the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care in Manhattan for my first consultation and round of tests. It was a long and exhausting day of workshops on adoption, and I can’t say that we left feeling all that encouraged. But we did learn a great deal and felt like we had somewhat of a grasp on options. (And the highlight of the day was meeting adolescent adoptees during one of the presentations—amazing. But I’ll describe that in another post.)

In the first presentation, we learned that, for various reasons, including human trafficking (harrowing), countries were being shut down for international adoption–whereas 22,000 children a year were adopted internationally 8 years ago, 9,000/year were adopted now. We learned that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and developmental issues were a continual problem in both international and domestic adoption. We learned that the adoption tax credit of $12,000 was ending in 2012. That you have to keep a “consumer mindset” (oy) and be on the lookout for “too good to be true” situations. Then the parents who had already adopted children lit some candles and read a poem, and the first presentation was over.

So we stumbled out of that room and into many others. We split up and took notes separately so we could get the most out of the conference possible. Soon I am going to transcribe those notes into this blog, to solidify the information in my mind and put it out there for anyone who might find it useful.

We started talking about adoption again this past weekend. We were eating breakfast and I said to DH, “Do you think you could help me begin to research adoption again?”

He stopped chewing. He had a bunch of cereal and banana in his mouth, his cheeks full. “You mean, like–well, yeah,” he said, through his chipmunk cheeks.

I could tell that he was trying to gauge if there was any hidden message, but didn’t want to ask any upsetting questions.

“I don’t mean that I want to pull out of the RBA program,” I said. “I just want to begin to refamiliarize ourselves with adoption.”

“That sounds good,” he said, nodding, getting used to the idea. Smiling. “Okay.”

I’ve been inside of this for almost three years now (it’ll be three years in spring). It goes like this:

  • Spring 2011 -Summer 2012: Five pregnancy losses with my own eggs
  • Summer 2012 – January 2013: 6 month break.
  • January 2013: One IVF. Did not make it to transfer.
  • January 2013 – August 2013: 7 month break.
  • August 2013 – Nov/Dec 2013: Transfer, pregnancy, mc, recovery. DE IVF.

And now here I am. It helps me to look back on the chronology. I see that I have actually been somewhat conservative, when it comes to treatments, and I’ve allowed a lot of time off between efforts, many-months-long breaks. 14 months passed between my last loss with my own eggs and this current loss with donor eggs. If the embryonic test results show a Trisomy 16, as my three doctors seem to all think it is, and if they believe it is random, I think I will be able to try an FET of the remaining two embryos. Because those could really be our children. And although there has been a lot of loss over the past almost-three years, there has also been a lot of healing–I can look back on these bullet points and see it.

But if some other scenario crops up that makes me seriously doubt going forward in that direction, I want to begin to again peek down the direction of adoption.

A friend/former colleague of mine recently wrote a great article in Elle magazine with a line in that goes like this: “We researched it: Adoption is so grueling and ethically fraught that it makes fertility treatments look like a frolicsome dance in a wooded glen.” That is basically how DH and I felt after going to this conference and doing our own research, two years ago. But I don’t know enough yet. My research skills are pretty good, and maybe I can figure out where adoption has its own pockets of wooded glen?

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8 Comments

  1. We’ve had similar phases of investigating adoption then putting it on the back burner and picking it back up again. It helps to know it’s there and have lots of information even if I’m not ready to take that leap yet. We go to a local adoption support group sometimes, which has been super helpful. You can see people at all phases of the process and how they’re handling it, etc. Honestly it’s been the biggest help for me in wrapping my brain around the whole thing- the biggest thing I always notice is how happy they all seem. Nervous and anxious, yes, but happy.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for commenting—I had been steeling myself for being judged for even thinking about this right now. It’s good to know there are others out there like you doing the same, and more—that’s great that you go to an adoption support group and find it so helpful. I like the sound of those happy people.

      Reply
  2. Nyforlife

     /  November 14, 2013

    I have a background similar to yours – 5 mc w own eggs, ivf…but we stopped before donor eggs. We adopted a boy from South Korea and have never looked back. But…we took about 7 months to grieve the loss of what we thought our unborn children would be like and the loss of life the way we thought it would be. You can’t have any thoughts about continuing to conceive and adopting at the same time. But you are doing the right thing by info gathering so, when/if you want to make a decision, you have the facts. We actually started with Adoption for Dummies – great resource! Good luck with your FETs!!!!!

    Reply
    • Ah, if we do end up going this route eventually, I wish we would have the option of adopting from Korea. We found during this conference two years ago that we don’t meet their requirements (by the time we will have been married long enough for Korea, I will not meet their age requirement). My husband is 100% Korean (though born in Ohio) so that would be the perfect country for us to adopt from. It’s too bad they are so strict. Did you have any problems meeting Korea’s requirements? Adoption for Dummies sounds like a good place to get familiar, thanks for the rec! We’d already had ideas of adopting for a second child, so it’s always sort of been on the table, one way or another, but we haven’t done enough to really understand it. Thanks for the luck—IF we go the FET route. I hope we are not given reason not to.

      Reply
  3. Thank you for sharing this. I have done my own research but didn’t know all of that, as we haven’t ‘really’ looked into it yet.

    Reply
  4. This is so, so, so, how I feel about adoption. I have been totally reluctant to move into this realm for fear that I am stepping into another world of disappointment and grief, when I don’t feel like I can handle any more.

    But, we’re dipping our big toe in anyways. Starting the process and leaving the door open for a miracle, setting up a back up plan if our DE plan doesn’t work.

    Reply

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