This is the story of our family and how we made it grow through fertility treatments and adoption. These are my opinions and feelings and I felt the need to share our family experience, so that others might find some comfort that there is someone else out there dealing with the same things.
This journey has been long, emotionally draining, and at times stressful on our marriage. After several years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, we decided to proceed with the adoption of a little boy from Korea. We contracted with a well known agency from our area and were quite excited about our future family. At one point during the paperwork process you need to have a physical exam. It was then stated on my report that I was still undergoing fertility treatments. We were told this was not allowed. Children adopted from Korea would not be allowed in a home were a birth child was within the same year. We were understanding of the governments policy, but felt that we would not eliminate our chances of having a biological child. After arriving at this decision, we discontinued our pursuit for our little boy and continue on with treatments.
Anyone undergoing fertility treatments, understands the process of medication, shots, ultrasounds, “schedules” to follow, and endless disappointments. Not to mention all the “great advice” everyone and their mother would give you. How many times did I hear “So, when are you having a baby?” or “You two would have beautiful babies.” In the begining, I just quietly nodded and quickly tried to change the subject. Later, I would give them an evil eye and say “I’ll have a baby when you give me your ovaires!” Of course, I didn’t say this. I wish I did! I learned from this experience not to ask those personal questions of people. Who knows what situation they are in. These comments would put me into tears and would leave me in such a depression I could not get out of bed. My beloved husband just didn’t know what to do anymore. I remember him holding me in his arms, many a nights, while I cried myself to sleep asking “what did I do to deserve this pain.” It didn’t help that I was a teacher in a large inner-city school and it seemed like everywhere I looked, I saw a teenager who was pregnant.
We continue on. Every month, following our schedule and doing what we needed to do. Then it happened, we were blessed with a pregnancy. It was difficult, but we found out nothing comes easy to us and we solidiered on. The birth of our healthy little girl was much celebrated. I stopped working and thought this is it. I have my family. I am happy and we are complete. That didn’t last long. I didn’t want to have an only child. The fertility treatment started up again. This time at a higher dosages. No playing around. Three years later with no success and me going crazy with all the hormones, we came to the sad conclusion to stop. We had been blessed with one biological child and we were meant to expand our family through adoption.
China is the path we took. We wanted another little girl and felt that these little girls needed a family as much as we needed them. The paperwork started and the clock started ticking. Since I was at home, I was in charge of all the forms, documents, reports, and money. When I finished (after five months and the start of several thousands of dollars) our agency (Living Hope ) sent it in. We logged in September 22, 2006. For those of you new to adoption, this is called your LID (log in date) and your whole life revolves around it.
That October, I went for my annual visit to my OBGYN. Do to all my issues, they always check my levels and I thought nothing of it. My doctor came into the room and said congratulations. I thought she was talking about the adoption. Oh no, after a few minutes of confusion on both parts, she said your pregnant. I couldn’t believe my ears. All these years of trying and no success and here I am, pregnant. A call to my husband at work, who thought I was being hilarious and to knock it off. Only did he take it seriously when I said “come home and I’ll show you the picture.” Boy did we have fun telling the news to everyone.
Now, we had to worry about the adoption. China also has a policy were they do not allow an adoption to occur in a family with a birth child within the same year. What to do??? We decided to see how the time line would work out. When we started, they said there was a wait of nine months. However, each month instead of getting closer they tagged on a few months. At one point we thought we would have “twins”. Timed kept passing by and the adoption date kept being pushed back. At that point in time, this was good for us. It put time in between each child. Our son was born and all was good. Each month passed by and we were no closer in the adoption. It was said that China was slowing the output of international adoptions. There was an earthquake which stopped adoptions from occurring for a few months. Bird Flu, the Olympics, you name it and it stopped any child from being matched for that month.
This is when the comments started. “Are you guys still adopting?”, “Aren’t you happy with two?”, “Why not adopt domestic?”, and many more. It had NEVER crossed our mind to stop our adoption. When we logged in, I became a mommy and my husband a daddy to a little girl born in China. Why would I terminate her. That would be like terminating a pregnancy in my mind. I just smiled and nodded and tried to explain. Once again, I felt that everyone and their mother had an opinion on our family. Would I ever question them on their family growth. Never, yet people assume that since your are adopting they have a right to voice their opinion. We no longer talk about our adoption. There are to many people who just don’t understand and I feel no need to explain. Our daughter is almost 10 and our son almost 5. We have been waiting for over five years. We have decided to put a time limit on our waiting. This was the most painful thing we as a couple had to do. Both of us are getting older and we did not want to bring a child into this family and be so old that it detracted from our ability to parent her. Our deadline is the summer of 2013. That would be our fourth 1-800 renewal.
Our current status is being matched November 2012. I pray every night that this stays true and we will bring our little girl home.
Here she is!
*** matched on September 19th 2012 (Birthday – March 18, 2012)
*** I-800 approval November 7th 2012
*** article 5 processed November 30th 2012
*** travel approval December 12th 2012
*** travel to China December 26th 2012
*** Gotcha Day December 31st 2012
*** Medical appointment January 5th 2013
*** Consulate appointment January 8th 2013
*** return home January 10th 2013