By Lisa Manterfield
Following your response this Whiny Wednesday post, I decided to add my own two cents to the adoption discussion.
When I would tell people I didn’t have children and the topic of infertility came up, they would often ask if I’d considered adoption. Can I tell you how hard it was to keep my sarcasm at bay and to not answer, “Adoption? Really? No, I’d never thought about that. I’m so glad you brought it up.”
But now I’m in a better place I can answer that question easily and in a more friendly and helpful way. I’m doing it today, not for those people who want to make sure I’ve thought of every avenue, but for those of you on this site who might be thinking of adoption and wondering why I didn’t do it.
My answer could be very complex and I could talk about how our adoption options were limited by age and finances, about how much more complicated and heart-wrenching the process was than we’d expected, and about how we didn’t have the emotional strength to risk being matched with a child who could be snatched away again in an instant. But having some distance from that time in my life, I see it more simply now.
We didn’t follow through with adoption because we hadn’t yet dealt with the loss dealt by infertility.
During our adoption training we were warned about the importance of resolving our infertility before diving into this new avenue, but at that time, I didn’t want to hear that. Now I think it was perhaps the most important piece of advice we were given. Adoption isn’t the next logical step on an infertility journey; it’s a step off that road and onto another completely different path. But the infertility journey still needs to be brought to a resolution. You still have to work through that grief.
When we ventured into adoption, we didn’t fully understand this. Perhaps if we’d taken some time to heal first, we might have been better equipped to deal with that wild emotional rollercoaster, but we didn’t, and we weren’t, and that’s the way that story went.
I know that some of you are still weighing your options and making some big decisions. My story is unique to me and my opinion is based solely on my experience, but I hope hearing it helps you.