Friday, 13 June 2014
D has always been more onside with pursuing adoption instead of fertility treatments. He sees and hears about families with adopted children more regularly than I do. When he does, he feels like it could have been us, if we had jumped on the adoption band wagon sooner. We could be parenting right now instead of gearing up for our 9th transfer, and just beginning our to wait to be matched with a child.
Who knows what would have happened? But now, I feel like I think he may be right. While we made all of our decisions on how to proceed jointly, I can't help but feel responsible for the weight of this sadness. I am the one who has pushed for fertility treatments more than adoption.
If it was up to him, we would have ditched the fertility treatments long ago. He even said recently that he wished our embryos would have all been abnormal because it would have ended our fertility journey. Ouch. He may have said that out of stress and anger, but I think it shows just how finished he is with all of our fertility stuff.
Another reason why D has been struggling is because of news regarding our friends recent adoption plans. Lainey and Paul are our closest infertile friends who we love spending time with. They registered with the same adoption agencies as us, at the same time, and we share the same social worker.
As you may remember, at the agency's request, we pulled our application when we learned that I was pregnant. During that time, they got the call that they were being considered for a match! It seemed like a great situation. The risks to the newborn were low, and something neat was that the birth mother is Asian and the father is Eastern European, and Lainey and Paul are too.
Right around the same time, we were having a meeting with our social worker and a birth mother counsellor. They told us anonymous stories about recent matches that happened. We knew they could be talking about our friends. They mentioned after a long lull in birth parents coming forward, that they were now dealing with five (!!) new situations.
D and I both bit our lips. We were keenly aware that if things had worked out differently with our last cycle, that we may have been considered for one of those babies. That there might not be any more babies for a while now.
They told us a story about one of those matches. It was a couple who looked at several profiles and weren't feeling connected with anyone, only to see the next batch of profiles and realize right away that the had found the couple for them. They viewed the couple as easy going, older, more mature, versions of themselves. I felt like they were talking about our friends.
Shortly after, we got news that Lainey and Paul were matched! After hearing the news, I felt happy in a way that I never have for anyone else who announced they were expecting before. So genuinely over the moon happy and excited. I didn't honestly even know I had that level of excitement in me after all of this infertility crap. It was all I could think about. It gave me such hope that adoption just might work out for us too.
I think that thought - that this could actually work out for us - is the one piece of the adoption puzzle that's been missing for me throughout this journey. I heard so many horror stories through the adoption process that I felt scared to even begin opening ourselves up to the potential of that kind of pain, after all we have already been through on the fertility front. Hearing their news really changed my perspective and motivated me to continue to pursue our adoption plans.
Lainey and Paul began to quickly put together all of the supplies they would need for their baby. A nursery, a car seat, you name it. They were also trying to prepare their careers for their absences from work, especially her parental leave. They met with the birth family and had a nice visit. They jointly decided that the birth parents would choose the second name, and our friends would choose the first name. Things went from moving slowly to lightening speed.
Lainey is also a part time photographer, and got the opportunity to photograph childbirth. I know she was in awe at the birth and I'm sure it had extra meaning knowing what was going on in their lives. The day after watching the birth, they got the call that their daughter had arrived three and a half weeks early! They rushed to go see her soon after her birth. One of the names chosen for her was Julia!
I got the text with the news while my friends were visiting a couple of weekends ago. I burst into tears. Everyone were all worried that something bad had happened. I don't think I've ever cried in front of them. I all I could say at first was "It's good news!". They were excited also to hear about the news. It wasn't really my place to share, but after all of the tears, I had to tell them what was happening. I also thought it was okay to do so because none of them know them or live in the same cities. We talked about our adoption process after and it was really nice.
When Lainey and Paul got to the hospital to meet their daughter, they also met with members of the birth parent's extended family. (Interestingly, the birth father was also adopted.) Paul and Lainey introduced themselves to everyone and Paul gave his contact information to everyone that was there. The family gave them gifts for the baby. Everything was going well. It was probably a picture perfect example of an open adoption.
The day after the baby arrived, a relative stepped forward and said that he was not aware of the pregnancy and he was going to make his own adoption plan. While the birth father wanted to proceed with Lainey and Paul as parents, the mother was now put in a very difficult position with her relatives and said she would not decide. Where I live, when a parent won't decide on an adoption plan, it means that the family may have some rights in deciding the fate of the baby.
Paul and Lainey were asked to leave by the social workers. I received a text saying that after 3 days with her, that they were going home with an empty car seat. Our friend's hearts were shattered, and ours were too. The social workers scrambled to figure out what was happening.
A day later, they got a call from the social workers, saying not to give up hope yet. That there was still a chance that the match could be made. They were going to have more meetings with the birth parents, and the relatives to sort out everyone's thoughts and feelings.
We waited from afar in horror. This was one of my worst adoption nightmares coming true. It put D in an even darker place. "Why was this happening? Why didn't that relative step forward earlier in the process?" we asked. "Why does this have to be so hard?" Lainey asked us, as we wondered the same thing.
The day after the meetings, they got word that the birth parents decided to proceed with Lainey and Paul as parents! What a tremendous relief.
They are now in the waiting period to bring home their daughter. Because of the tumultuous start, the child is in foster care, to give everyone some time to cool off. Apparently they may get to bring her home before the waiting period is over. They still aren't out of the woods yet, but things are looking positive.
I am so glad that things are still progressing with their adoption. Lainey and Paul have been under such stress. And when I imagine what it must be like for the birth mother and father, and relatives, I know it's not easy for them either. Adoption can be so complicated. It's a reminder to me of all that can go right with adoption, but also of all that can go terribly wrong.