I was not technically infertile; my husband and I never tried to get pregnant. At 45, after decades suffering endometriosis, I chose to have a hysterectomy. It was only after I became surgically infertile, that I decided I wanted to be a parent.
This is part of my story, and part of the reason I wanted to write a book about my experience of adoption. The irony of feeling compelled to become a mother only after I could not give birth, I felt, was a topic worthy of exploring. I researched and combed my memory, and ended up with, what I think, is a fairly interesting read, with some important insights and information.
On August 11, L.A. Parent online published an article I wrote that presents eight reasons why choosing adoption first is a good idea. Later that week, I posted the link on my Facebook page and thanked L.A. Parent. That night, I received the most cutting note of the entire process of writing my book, blog, or article relating to my book.
Dina- your article is insulting and hurtful. I can’t help but get mad. Your writing is so judgmental and shortsighted. My fertility challenges and choice to adopt was all the journey that brought us to our wonderful son. We had to do that to get to where we are today and I would not change a thing. After reading #6 in your article (and the other 7 points) it’s clear that you will never understand what it’s like and will instead judge people and aim to make those who are on a difficult journey feel guilty for their decisions. Just because we did fertility treatments before adopting does not make him a “last resort” child. Those words are so hurtful.
I felt very disturbed that my “friend” felt it more appropriate to publicly express herself than write or phone me personally. I was up till the wee hours going over and over in my mind how she could have taken a general article about choosing adoption before trying to become pregnant through medical intervention so personally. This was my public response:
I am sorry that my article hurt you. I hope you know that my intention with my book and my other writing and speaking is to inform and to guide, to shed light for those who have been/are in the dark. Changing consciousness begins early on. I hope to reach a generation who may be able to see into the future and be able to expand the way they define “family.” That adoption can be a part of dialog between parent and child, teacher and student, young lovers, and newlyweds alike. Again, I do not write to hurt; I write to heal. My apologies to anyone who has been hurt by my words. It takes courage to speak the truth, yours, and mine. I hope you can also respect my desire to encourage a change in global thought. This is not about one person, one story, one disappointment, one anything–this is about All.
I felt the need to share this here because certainly if one woman took my words as a personal attack, there must be others out there. I absolutely have no desire to condemn anybody for the choices they made that perhaps led them, in the end, to adopt as a way to become a parent. If I spoke about my personal experience with adoptive parents admitting to me that they still long to give birth, even after an exhausting medical process that eventually failed, and it is taken as a condemnation, I really do apologize.
Once upon a time, if a couple was not able to create a child the “natural” way, adoption was their only choice. Technology stepped in along the way to offer a possibility of another option: maybe, just maybe, with the right modality, this couple could actually create another human being, one that shares their DNA. The flaw in this picture is that statistically the odds are against the desiring couple. This is the stuff that the fertility business does not like to share.
Nonetheless, we are where we are, and as stated in the response above, my deepest desire on this mission of mine is to plant seeds of change. The reason that I have spent so much time, energy, and money trying to speak my truth is to reach a mind that may still be open enough to receive new thoughts. Maybe, just maybe, someday, instead of automatically picturing how fertility drugs can make an infertile woman pregnant, she will visualize a parentless child who is waiting for somebody to come along and create for her or him a forever family.
With an estimated 143 million orphans worldwide, and 30,000 foster children aging out in 2010, right here in the U.S.A., I believe that the time is actually right for making room in our hearts and minds for viewing “family” in a whole new way. I never set out on this journey to offend, insult, or hurt any person who adopted their child or children after failed attempts at giving birth to a healthy baby. Therefore, again, I hope that anyone who has been insulted and hurt by my words will forgive me.