Sunday, 31 March 2013

Not flesh of my flesh

Not flesh of my flesh
Not Bone of my bone
but still, miraculously, my own.
Never forget,
for even a minute
You didn't grow under my heart, but in it.
I love this poem.  It is the adoption creed.  It is beautiful.  I captures everything i feel about the special little boys and girls in my life: my nieces and nephews, the children of my friends, and cousins.  And yet, i know that I will love my own child even more than i love each one of these special children i have had the honour of watching grow up.
I need to say that we have not ruled out adoption.  In fact, in many ways, adoption appeals to me much more than the idea of pumping my body with hormones and having the conception of my child occur in a sterile dish in a lab.  I say this as a reformed scientist.  It isn't a fear of technology in any way.  But it is an awareness of the very clinical and impersonal start of a miraculous journey.  The idea that my husband and i could be at work while our gametes are being mixed is... depressing.  Baby making is supposed to be so much more fun.
Plus, there's the astronomical cost.  Paying someone to shove something up my hoo-ha which cost $5000 to $12,000 to produce and then having to wait two weeks to find out if it stuck or not is more pressure than i think i can stand.  And the likelihood of success is 1 in 3.  I mean I wish the actual lottery had such good odds, but for baby making i wish it were better. 
Adoption actual has a lot of pluses as far as I am concerned.  First of all, we're a bit older than most parents of an infant.  Imagine if we adopt a 2 or 3 or 7 year old.  I feel like we might actually  comfortably into the PTA for our children's classes.
Second, I think that my husband and I are uniquely equipped to deal with a child who needs extra love and assurance that comes from being adopted.  I don't know much about it,  I am willing to learn. My husband has gone through growing up without a parent as his mom moved away when he was three.  He was left with a lot of scars that we worked to heal.
My husband is not quite as convinced as I am.  He has this manly idea of passing his genes on to the next generation.  I love to quip when he says this that his genes aren't that good.  "They are! My jeans are Tommy Hilfiger"... sigh... 
My husband does have a lot of reservations.  What can we handle? What about special needs?  What age?  What sort of psychological scars will an adopted child bring?  We've had some very serious discussions.  He agrees with me that giving birth to a child is certainly no guarantee that our child won't have special needs of one sort or another.  And going over the list there are many special needs we are well equipped to deal with.  It makes him feel more confident about his ability to love this imaginary adoptive child.  He even flushed one day as we drove by a Toys-R-Us.  "I just imagined buying our child toys after we've adopted him" he confides. I grin with pleasure.  He is becoming more comfortable with all of the ways we can use to expand our family.
So, the question then is why we are rushing head long into IVF instead of starting to adopt?  In part because we don't yet qualify as adoptive parents.  In order to ensure that a child is brought into a stable home it looks like in our jurisdiction we must have been in a stable relationship for 2 years before we can apply.  My interpretation of this would be two years of living together, a date that is still more than a year away.
But there is certainly something else, something more that you get by going through the experience of pregnancy and childbirth.  

Adoption is not the last chance after we have exhausted IVF...  But we don't want to wait for another year before we try something else.  We have to strike while the ovarian reserve is hot!

Hope everyone has a happy Easter with their families.

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