Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why adoption is not our last choice.

I often hear people talk about adoption like it's only the option after every other option has been exhausted.  Many go through painful rounds of infertility treatments only to be left with no possibility of every having biological children.  And then they begin thinking about adoption.

Having biological children is not impossible for us.  We would have to use a surrogate, but my one lonely little ovary is as fertile as they come (I find myself apologizing to it because it really tries so darn hard!).  But we decided before we were even married, that we would not pursue surrogacy even though we literally had people lining up volunteering their healthy uterus' to carry our baby.  (And I am incredibly humbled and touched by how people I love would be willing to do something like that for us!)  Our decision to adopt rather than try for biological babies was personal, and does not in any way judge those who have chosen to use extraordinary means to have biological children.  Families need to decide what to do in cases of challenged fertility and no one else should judge a couple's right to decide on how they will pursue a family. 

That said, this is why we are choosing adoption: there are too many children already out there who need us.  I am 100% sure that if getting pregnant was a natural option for us we would go that route.  The more research I do on adoption the more depressing it sounds.  Attachment issues, drug addiction, medical problems, behavioral problems, learning disabilities ... all of these are very often part of adoption - local or overseas.  I want our babies to trust us and be able to function well in life, I don't want them to be born addicted to drugs or malnourished or to have been abused or neglected early in life.  It crushes my heart to think of the trauma that they may have to recover from - when all babies should begin life in a safe womb welcomed by loving and trustworthy parents.  But no matter what type of adoption we end up pursuing our children will come to us from a painful circumstance.  I know that God can do amazing things and can heal and restore - but I hate to think of the pain they may endure.

Not only will our parenting be affected and probably more difficult in some ways, but the sheer amount of paperwork and invasive application process is daunting.  In reading over applications (we have put in a very preliminary application just to see where we might want to pursue) It's crummy how much information they need.  It feels like someone prying so deeply into our personal lives that it makes me want to scream.  Tax records, medical records, details on assets we have, details on where we live, what kind of discipline we will use, what schools we will send our children to ... details about our relatives.  It's all super invasive and annoying (I do know they are just trying to be careful because they want the children to go to good homes).  Over and over I keep thinking that NO ONE needs to have even the most simple interview to get pregnant.  It's a bummer and it feels unfair. And of course there is that feeling in the back of my mind that what if after all the paperwork they say we can't have the "job" - we could be turned down as parents.  So yes, if we could have children naturally we would probably do that instead.  NOT at all that we feel we could love biological children better - but just because adoption is such a roller coaster and so scary.  Not to mention expensive!   But adoption is not our last choice.  I have wanted to adopt since I was a child.  I hated the thought of children needing families and not having them.  But adoption is very hard, and that is probably why more people don't do it. 

Would I love to have a baby that looks like my sweet Farmer boy?  Definitely.  Sometimes when he doesn't know I'm watching him I imagine what a little boy with his hair and his hands and eyes would look like.  I think about how much fun a newborn would be - and the more I look into adoption the less likely I feel that I'll ever get a newborn.  And I hate that.  I want to be the first one to see my baby smile.  I want to nurse our babies.  I want to talk to them before they are born.  But even though all of these things could be part of our lives if we choose surrogacy, I just cannot go that route knowing that there are so many who need us.  God could have stepped in and stopped the destructive disease that took away my chance to naturally have children.  But He didn't.  And I can only believe that He didn't for a reason and that someday we'll see the beautiful redemption of the brokenness of our family.  He is the God who makes beautiful things from the dust of our lives and I trust Him with our Someday babies.

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