Monday, March 28, 2016

Why Adoption Was Our First Option

  I think the number one question I hear after I tell someone that we adopted, is "why?"  It's an interesting thing, because while in so many ways we are just normal parents - this is part of our life that will always be utilized to educate and advocate.  I think if our child didn't look exactly like us, we would be living adoption more often- probably every day.  My husband and I both grew up saying, "I'd love to adopt one day!" I'm learning there's just a lot of people that say that and quite a few less who actually do.  Your heart and your life circumstances usually have to strongly connect in order to adopt, in my opinion.  

  Like most married couples, after awhile you start yearning for that "Baby in the Baby carriage" part. After 18 months of really trying to conceive, we had one false positive. They exist. It was devastating. You name it, I tried it; positions, foods, special diets, gels, lotions, vitamins, not stressing, chiropractor, oils, acupuncture, ovulation sticks, every night, every other night, etc. etc.  If there was a "right way" to get pregnant, we certainly tried it.  It was exhausting. Amidst our efforts, I suffered the tragic loss of my Father whom I was very close to.  Without a doubt that added stress to my body.

  I was honestly ready to throw in the towel for some time when we took it to a fertility specialist. The results showed that I have what's called Diminished Ovarian Reserve a known side-effect of Accutane (a serious acne medication) which I had taken. Do I think this is what did it? I'm not sure and truly I don't really care. It cannot be changed, so I don't stress it. 

  Hearing the news was difficult, especially while still mourning my Dad. To now be grieving this loss was almost too intense. I mustered up all the logic and strength I could, and I gave it 24 hours to feel completely sorry for myself. I cried the whole time. 

  Within that 24 hours we decided to cancel the next two appointments with the fertility clinic, and to not pursue other options with a biological child. Ultimately we thought, why spend X amount of money on an uncertainty - when there will be a guaranteed baby who will need a home. It was as simple as that. Like I said before, I was already wanting to throw in the towel, I couldn't imagine enduring more months of the "waiting game" torture. 

  Neither my husband or I can remember who brought up adoption first. I remember us being equally excited, we had restored hope! We had just bought our first home and we couldn't wait to bring a baby into it.  We met with our attorney about 2 weeks after the fertility results. We both were drawn to private domestic adoption. A week later I ordered the crib - Pottery Barn was having a sale, I had to! We began talking about our child again and dreaming of what life would be like.  I'm a naturally impulsive person, but I feel like something was pulling me to move quickly, like I couldn't prepare fast enough. 

  We got the call about 10 weeks later, we had a Match! This was CRAZY fast! I don't think I've ever been so nervous to meet someone (I'll elaborate on another day about all the emotions of the Adoption Process and how to best prepare yourself).  After meeting the Expecting Parents in July, we knew we had a baby girl due in September. We had always loved the name Finley, and prayed that they would choose that to be on her birth-certificate, as her given name (and they did).  We continued to best prepare for baby girls arrival, and she came two weeks later and was 9 weeks early! 

  Meeting our tiny miracle was unreal.  I was blinded with love and my husband was more aware of the complications that could potentially come with her being so premature. We went through all the emotions the next 5 weeks- signing adoption papers and gaining legal guardianship, seeing our daughter's birth-family every day, dealing with social workers & nurses being so confused with our open-adoption. 

  We learned right away that society doesn't instinctively understand open-adoption, and that not everyone supports it.  One of the hospital's social workers legitimately made me feel like we were trying to steal this young woman's child.  There's a whole world of adoptive-mom-guilt I've learned about, it just comes with the territory.   

  I'll never forget our first morning at home with her.  We sat on the couch sipped coffee and watched our daughter sleep in her little monkey bouncer, I obviously didn't sleep at all that first night- lol. We had 2 weeks knowing that she was coming, but spent months dreaming and preparing for her.  It has never felt foreign to us, we see her as ours and as theirs.  We continue to do visits and communicate with her birth-family, we view them as our extended family.  In our experience everything aligned perfectly.  

  A year later we finalized our adoption. This was the most amazing court experience ever, the state declared her our child. We became her legal parents. It was the most surreal of emotions signing that birth certificate. I'll never forget Her birth grandma telling me when Finley was first born, "this child is yours, she may have been created by these two- but she was always yours."  Talk about emotional. Words cannot describe what her words mean to me. 

  So when I meet people, and they ask me "why adoption?" I feel like it's a loaded question.  How can I possibly sum up this whole story into one quick response here in the grocery store? I can't. Instead I say, "because we were meant to."