Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A is for Acceptance

Three years ago I wrote a series of posts about what the letters of adoption stand for to me. They're posted on the sidebar to the right.

Now three years and one adoption later I thought I'd revisit that.

Today, A is for Acceptance.

Probably the biggest part of infertility is acceptance. Accepting the diagnosis, or even the lack thereof. Accepting that things aren't working out like you'd planned. Acceptance that your family will be different than you imagined. And acceptance that God has a better plan for you and your spouse.

I personally feel like I've been through acceptance several times. The first time was the acceptance of my own infertility. That was hard. To say the least. I felt like such a failure of a woman. I had to accept that the one automatic, natural thing a woman's body is supposed to do, I couldn't. I was heart broken. I still am.

The second time was when my husband's infertility was diagnosed. Not only were we both in shock but we both started to feel the finality of our reality. That time was very difficult for both of us. We grieved. Oh how we grieved. I went through the process of mentally saying goodbye to the beautiful biological children I had dreamed of. It really felt like someone had died. We felt our loss keenly.

The third time was when we prayerfully decided to adopt. Through that decision, we felt hope. And peace. Our dream to become parents seemed like a possibility again. But with adoption comes strings attached. And that's where acceptance comes into play again. Your privacy is taken away. Everything about you is examined to pass approval to become a parent. It's both invasive and exhausting. You lose knowing how much time you'll have to prepare. No 9 months to get ready. It could happen at any time. You accept that someone else has control over whether you become a parent or not. You accept that your children will probably not look anything like you. With time, we were okay with all of that.

Trying to adopt a second time has brought new things for me to accept. Even old things revisited. And it's probable that I'll feel these things each time we adopt. You never "get over" infertility. You learn to accept the new plan your life has been given and more importantly you learn to love the life you live.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Huge Adoption Myth

November is National Adoption Awareness month!

Our family has been hugely blessed by adoption and we're very grateful for it. We're also so grateful for our open relationship with our son's birth mother. What a true blessing open adoption is! I am grateful our son will know where he comes from and have his own relationship with his biological family. 

However, there are still a lot of misconceptions about adoption. I wanted to clear up a big one. 

Myth: Adoption takes babies from poor girls and takes advantage of their situation. 

Our blog recently received a comment from someone we don't know expressing their disgust with us and with adoption. 

I wanted to clear up one of their accusations. Which is that: adoptive couples take babies from poor girls who have no support and then leave them on their own, alone. 

I cannot speak for every adoptive couple out there. I don't know them all. And if I'm honest I'm sure there are some who have become a little mercenary in their desperation to become parents. 

But I can speak for my husband and I. And I feel like I can speak for the many adoptive couples I do know. 

We do not look for pregnant women to ask them to give us their baby. 
We would never dream of doing such a thing. The thought is sick. 

Adoption is not the only path to parenthood that infertile couples can pursue. Modern medicine and foster care are also great choices. For us, we felt led to adoption through our prayers. So that is the path we are taking. 

We would never dream of manipulating anyone into giving us their baby.  

Instead we look for those who have already decided to place their baby for adoption and are now searching for a family. We invite those women to look at us. To get to know us. To see if we are what they're looking for. 

Deciding to place your child for adoption must be one of the most heart wrenching and hardest decisions to make that I know of. Each woman is led to this decision for different reasons. 

We admire them. 
We applaud their courage. 
We respect them. 
And we would never dream of taking advantage of their emotions or situation. 

To our family, adoption is about love. God loves the birth mother. He loves the baby. He loves our family. He knows each of his children. He knows each of us. I truly believe He helps these brave women and leads them to the right adoptive family for their child. I also believe that God brings the right woman and child into our lives. Our life has been so enriched by knowing our son's birth mother. I can only hope that will continue as we grow our family.

When we ask our family and friends to help spread the word, we mean that we are seeking for the birth mother out there who has decided to place and is also seeking us. 

To learn more about how open adoption works, here is a list of some of my favorite adoptive parents:
Jewls and her family

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