Why I post-poned Adopting a Child
Adoption is often viewed as a selfless act. Its a act of love and pain. No one escapes without a tear and a lifetime of constantly being reminded of what happened. As an infertile couple, Hubby and I were staring down two unfamiliar roads. We had tried infertility treatments 2 times, and we used a donor 4 times. We didn't know what to do. Should we continue infertility treatments or should we open our home to child that needs a home?
Choosing which road to take at the crossroad was a long and hard process for me. We viewed all of the pros and cons of our choices. From August 2014-May 2015, all I could think about were the cons of adoption. Outside of the costs, we were presented with other details that caused us to stop in our tracks.
There are four most common cons that make us and others pause are.
1. No control.
As an adoptive parent, I have no control on the type of food, medicines, drugs or even the environment in which the birth mother is in. We are subjected to deal with the consequences, rather good or bad, of someone's actions. Adoptive families also do not have any control over agency and governments timelines. Something that should take two weeks can actually take six weeks.
2. Difficult to have preferences.
Lots of money is poured into adopting a child and many agencies make it difficult to have preferences. We were allowed to specify the race and health of the child. We can not specify the gender, where the birth family lives, what they eat, rather the birth family is intelligent, etc. We just have the option to constantly turn down a child that does not meet our personal preferences. Easier said than done.... Trust me!
(Don't believe the hype, you do have to pay something for adopting from foster care. Its just not tens of thousands of dollars.)
3. Don't Celebrate!
When a woman becomes a mother, her family and friends often celebrate. A baby shower is thrown in her honor and women step up to help her prepare for the child. All 5 agencies that we visited advised that baby showers should happen after the birth mother signs over her rights. One agency specifically said "The first month is not the time to celebrate!"
4. Why dream of a name?
Hubby and I spent 5 years coming up with names we would love to name our child. We bounced from traditional to foreign to strange lists. We were floored to learn that agencies inform birth mothers to discuss the names they want for their child with the adoptive families. It is advised that we work together to come up with a name. It's hard to agree with my husband, and ignore the suggestions from family, let alone take a third person's idea into consideration.
" Through patience, education and time I was able to overcome the fear associated to the cons of adoption. The cons slowly transitioned into "inconveniences". There are always exceptions to the norm and just because an agency said to "look out", "don't do" or "not to expect" something doesn't mean that it will actually apply to each person's case. "
I challenge you to look at the cons of your situation and see all sides of the coin.
Hubby and I quickly got over the control piece. When I am pregnant one day, I might eat some crappy food or be in an environment that is out of my control. My attitude from the beginning was 'I ought to get whatever I want since I am paying for this!". But now, I realize that wanting to be a parent is a desire that wont change regardless of the actions of the birth-mother.
To Celebrate the adoption of a child is different than celebrating a pregnancy. This was the hardest for me to understand. I became selfish over the years. I did not want to be stripped of anything else when it came to be a parent. The baby shower was the last straw. I was able to come to terms with this shift in celebration because I realized that I still get a baby shower, its just a little later. My family and church friends want to throw a Meet and Greet Shower. Our future little bundle of joy will actually get to greet all those that stood by and cheered us on through this process. A shower ahead of the birth is focused on the mother as well as baby related games and guesses that wont apply to me. I rather play "Guess the weight and height" for a pregnant friend. My family is going to play "Pass the Baby, Please".
The naming of the child is perhaps the most touchy subject of adoption. I have two cousins that are currently under the age 10 that were adopted at birth. As far as I know, they do not know the name that their birth mother's gave them. Their names were changed upon the completion of their adoption. Before submitting my first piece of adoption paperwork, Hubby and I decided that the name of our children has to have a significant meaning to them. Its important to us to be able to tell our child why their name was chosen.
If you are scared to proceed with adoption like I was, take a look at the cons that you identify with. Think beyond yourself and your desires. Don't rush this process either. If you are confident that the decide to adopt can be made without regret, then open your heart and home.
You will never regret a well though out decision!