This episode of my favorite podcast has been convicting on so MANY levels!
I will probably do a few posts dissecting this episode b/c it struck me on several levels - the first was the issue of adopting after infertility. I tend to not include myself in this category - because ironically I am quite fertile, just not able to carry a child anymore. This portion of the podcast hit me and made me face the fact that I am indeed in this category.
Interesting resource used: Book: Adopting after Infertility by Pat Johnston
She comes up with six losses one must deal with when deciding to adopt when infertile:
1) control over many aspects of life
2) individual genetic continuity linking past and future
3) the joint conception of a child with one's life partner
4) the physical satisfactions of pregnancy and birth
5) the emotional gratifications of pregnancy and birth
6) the opportunity to parent
First - the loss of control of many aspects of life...
- I do admit part of dealing with the hysterectomy following B's birth was the fact that it couldn't be fixed. No matter what, no matter who I know, or how "good" I've been or promise to be, I'm not in control - HE is.
- also, now that we have decided to pursue adoption - specifically foster care adoption - I am in even less control with the birth process (and the pregnancy) even the early months, or years of life! We were so careful when preggy and when B was little to do everything "just right". i actually cried when watching "The Blind Side" when it came out that the bio-mom didn't read to him... that is what hit me - my future babies may not be being read to...
Second - the loss of individual genetic continuity linking past and future
- basically the fact that the child will not be a link from my genetic past to the future - IN OTHER WORDS (in my humble opinion), my future babies will not "look" like us most likely - seriously, they may even be different race!
Third - the joint conception of a child with one's life partner
- B is a combination of the best of my hubby and I, we see glimpses of each of us in him, we smile about little things that we see in him from each other - we "made" him together
Fourth - the physical satisfactions of pregnancy and birth
- this is where I differ from many infertile adoptive parents -I've had the experience, which is good and bad,
GOOD: I got to do it, I know first hand that portions of pregnancy and birth suck BAD: I know what I'm missing - the quickening - first movements of the lil' bun in the oven, etc.
Something that stands out for me is breastfeeding. I know that sounds odd, but breastfeeding is one of those things that is a mix between physical and emotional (which is why it's stuck in here awkwardly). Breastfeeding was (besides my faith) that seriously helped me following B's birth. It forced me to bond and spend time with him, it was a problem that I felt I could "solve", I loved the cuddle time and truly felt I was doing something good for him. - I promise I will eventually post my breastfeeding story (trying to find it saved on my old desktop). I know that in many adoptions this is possible, in foster care - not so much.
Fifth - the emotional gratifications of pregnancy and birth
- this is my biggest hurdle. The excitement and expectation of being pregnant, the belly rubbing (NOT by others - I loved rubbing my belly), how excited OTHER people are for you, the parties, registering for tiny little baby stuff, ultrasounds, hearing the heartbeat for the first time
- there are the things that i missed out with B and don't get a second chance at - holding him first... heck holding him and remembering it within the first 24 hours, the whole having the baby born and put on your belly, giving birth and being able to immediately focus on joy - NOT be thrown into life change of infertility. I was so excited to have B, but had to deal with deep grief at the same time
Sixth - the opportunity to parent
- while adoption will give us the opportunity to parent, depending on the age of our child, we will miss some of the early opportunities - first words, first foods, first walk, first tooth, baptism(?), if a boy what if they DON'T circumcise - how do you make that decision later on... it's kinda mean, etc. etc. etc.
What I loved about Wendy's comment on this was that these were not things to "get over" but things to think over and pray over and figure how to cope with!