Cheap Bottles of Wine
Some adoption agencies require the couple to state the reason why they wish to adopt. This is because most couples who pursue it, are turning to this option because they attempted infertility treatments and are unable to conceive. With this being said, they will only accept couples who they believe have exited the “mourning and grieving stage”. You see, once a couple decides to move on from infertility treatments, there is a stage of grief that settles in; the moment you realize your child will never look like their grandmother, the moment you realize you won’t ever be able to see your husbands eyes in your son, and the moment you realize your heirloom ends here: because you are unable to conceive a child. Then during this stage of mourning, you begin to ask yourself these questions…..
Will we be able to afford adoption?
Will a birth mother ever pick us? And if so, how long till we are “matched”?
Will this child one day resent us for adopting them?
Will they love us the same way we will love them?
Will our parents look at them any different than their other grandchildren?
And somewhere during this mourning and grieving stage, you realize maybe your dream of parenthood really isn’t that far away. Adoption agencies want to know that your no longer in the grievance stage and that your ready and emotionally prepared to pursue adoption.
And so, our new journey began. You see, we all grieve differently. Even husbands and wives. In reality, our attempt to conceive through IVF with a surrogate was the last straw for me. But Joel was ready to start trying another IVF again.. for the fourth time. We were on two different pages. For the first time ever, we could not see eye to eye.
I got angry with Joel. Here I am – mind made up – that I will never do IVF again. I knew in my heart I just couldn’t face another miscarriage – I just couldn’t put the physical stress on my body again – the up’s, the downs, the heat flashes, bruising, the injections sights being sore, the hormones making me feel depressed, the headaches from the lupron, the weight gain, the emotional roller coaster of it all… Will it work? Will I stay pregnant the entire 9 months? Will I loose the pregnancy? Will I be okay if I loose a pregnancy, again? No! That’s it – I can’t do it – I won’t do it – I’m moving on from the thought of it – and if I ever decide to go down that road again – it won’t be for a very, very long time. So here I am mind made up – and Joel couldn’t walk away that easily. He began to talk about trying again, this time only transferring one embryo, or doing another fresh cycle but doing PGD testing this time (to find out if there is a chromosomal problem), or trying with a different medication protocol … and than he began talking about how he will take on more fights to pay for it, or we could charge it to a different credit card and the lists of hopes in his voice would go on! Wait – What the hell is happening? I’m googling “adoption agencies in Lehigh Valley, PA” and he’s googling “how to increase your success with IVF”. He knew what I wanted. I wasn’t shy about telling him. And I knew what he wanted – he wasn’t shy about it either. And so the war began.
We love each other – faithfully. Through every obstacle. Infertility was once something that brought us together as one. When the world couldn’t understand why or what it was we were trying to do, or what it was we were financially dealing with, or the emptiness in my eyes when I lost the pregnancy – when nobody else, even family – could not feel what we were feeling – We had each other! And this brought us closer together, we were in our own world. And nobody else had to “get it” or understand us. And now, infertility began to cause a difference in our marriage. We both want the same thing .. Parenthood .. But we have different ideas of how to get there.
I didn’t realize than, as I can clearly see it now, we were mourning differently. It took the end of fall and all of winter to “get back on the same page”, if you will. It took sleepless nights, a couple bottles of wine, a lot of conversations about the fears and the wants, and the “will nots” and “we’ll see’s”. It took us pouring our hearts out to each other, it took staying up all night just laughing and remembering what it is we truly want. It took honesty, courage and optimism to get back on track.
But we’re finally here. I realized it when we spent a couple of weeks no longer talking about or planning anything infertility/adoption related. And then one day it just happened… Joel looked at me out of the blue and said, “Maybe we could do foster care”. And so I knew, he was finally ready to move on too.
We picked 3 adoption agencies and attempted to adopt privately without the help of any agency. I spent months researching them. Keeping quiet on my blog. If we were going to do this, we had 4 very important decisions to make: Private adoption or with an agency? Domestic adoption or international? I had put an ad out in our local paper, “loving couple looking to adopt” but no responds. I did countless internet searches hoping to match ourselves with a birth mother but no luck. Private adoptions seemed impossible unless you already had a birth mother lined up and willing to sign over legal rights to the both of us. But we didn’t know any pregnant women pursuing adoption, nor could we find one on our own. I began applying at different adoption agencies. And what we were learning was disturbing.
The first agency was a Christian based agency. We spent 2 hours on the phone with us asking endless questions. And then what felt like 300 questions later he said to us, “And Mrs. Roberts how long have you been married?” And I said almost three, but we been together for five years. “Well our agency has a 10 year marriage policy, unless one of you are the age of 35 or older?” …. Wow. Don’t you think this should had been one of your first questions before wasting 2 hours of my life. Next….
The next agency was a very well known agency in our area, and we were excited and intrigued by there professionalism. Most importantly – we qualified as candidates. But than they gave us an expense sheet breaking down the costs… this agency was far more expensive than we could afford. They told us we could adopt internationally for $33,000 and domestically would be $50,000, depending on how much we were willing to help with the birth mother expenses. Next….
Next agency was another type of agency, they were a law firm based in California that only did domestic adoptions. I stumbled across their page on a search engine during the month of November, “National Adoption Awareness Month”. And in honor of the month, they were giving away free legal adoption services to one lucky couple who could write a one page essay as to why they wish to adopt. Well, could we possibly strike gold twice?! We were awe-struck when we received a phone call saying we were not the lucky couple, however they were so touched by our story, they were going to provide us with $10,000 off their services. It brought us down to a $17,000 price tag. They sent out the paperwork, we had a couple of phone conferences we sat through, and so it felt like it was really about to happen. $17,000 was still a lot! It was better than most agencies, but it was still out of the ball park for us. We spent most of our money this year on infertility treatments and medications. It was a long shot in the dark. But we applied for a personal loan through the agency. And we’re denied.
I would wake up in the middle of the night and just cry. Because my dreams were so perfect, and because I was realizing they were only ever going to be dreams. Between the both of us, we were working five jobs. We were both angry and upset. I wasn’t even mad at him – I was mad at God. I was so, so, so angry with him!!! Why was God leading us to it – but not seeing us through it? I couldn’t sit in our church without feeling some type of resentment. I couldn’t fathom what was going on. There were too many nights I felt lost and scared to death. Infertility does things to you… I couldn’t feel like a women. I feel broken. My anger with God was growing. We keep fighting to find a way, because we know where there is a will – there is a way.
Had I not lost the pregnancy last April, my due date would had been early December. I found myself a wreck that day. I kept thinking, this should have been the day we brought our baby home from the hospital. And I cried, from the time I woke up, to the time I went to sleep, all I could do was curse and cry. I remember texting my father in law, the pastor in our church, telling him how angry I was at God for doing this to us. And I remember his exact words that he texted back….. “Tell God how you feel, tell him your angry with him and tell him why”. I finally made my way back to church last Sunday. It was peaceful and it felt good. I’m not as angry with God any more, these times are hard and I’m still filled with questions and despair, but we have hope.