Today’s Blogless post comes from Kat, who tweets as @on_the_edge.
One of the questions I get asked (frequently) when I choose to tell people my children are adopted is, “What made you decide to adopt?”
It used to be one of those questions I dreaded, but having developed more of a rhino hide, been to Bolshie Mum School and having discovered a confidence and assertiveness I never knew existed, I don’t mind so much now. I give the stock reply of, “We wanted to be parents and make a difference and it wasn’t happening for us in the usual way and nor was ivf successful,”
Many people’s thoughts (including mine and my husband’s) turn to adoption after many years of trying to conceive either with or without medical intervention and the route that leads many to adoption is far from straight-forward.
I often read tweets from people agonising over whether or not to have ‘one last cycle of IVF’; fretting that they accidentally ate some of the ‘wrong’ foods; in deep despair in case the elusive two lines on the test stick never appear and then if they do appear then it’s a whole new cycle (pun intended) of fear in case it all goes wrong.
The last two weeks of the month after I knew it wasn’t happening again, being reckless – caffeine and alcohol a-go-go, soft cheese, processed food and chocolate.
IT WAS MISERABLE.
After treatment started, the control intensified, as did the paranoia. So afraid to take even the mildest pain relief, I’d sit at work with killer migraines and drive home in a daze, not remembering how I’d got there; waking in the night worried in case I’d ruined it again because in desperation I’d downed a cup of tea. Notice the recurring theme of self-blame and guilt.
I’d log on to internet ‘support’ forums (long before the days of Twitter) starting at the top of the boards; blind optimism and excitement at a fever pitch ‘Starting Treatment’, ‘BFP at Last’ and slowly making my way down the boards, the fervour notably lessening the further down you get as the bitterness and anger builds, ‘Miscarriage Advice and Support’, ‘Second and Subsequent Cycles’, ‘When Should I Give Up?’ everyone seemingly feeding off everyone else’s disappointment, resentment and heartache so in the end you crash too, to a lonely place seeing only hopelessness.
And there, stuck at the bottom of the forum, the board nobody wants to join, the members of which everyone else on the top boards call ‘inspirational’ and ‘wonderful’ and ‘amazing’ but of whom they are all secretly afraid, lest they end up in a similar position: the members of the ‘What’s Next?’ community.
It takes a lot of strength to even make the first move to log on to that board (literally and metaphorically) and even more to decide that enough is enough and decide to either adopt or foster or to live child-free.
Whichever option is right for you, none of them are easy but with support, perseverance and strength you can make it work. There is hope. Deciding to move on isn’t an ending; it’s a different way of living. And do you know what? Being on that board, being a member of that community is a breath of fresh air. Even when times are hard there is laughter, support and safety. It really isn’t so bad.
“Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one” – Lisa Hammond
Did you come to adoption via infertility too? Or are you considering adoption as a route to fulfilling your family at the moment? Have you ever been asked *that question*? Welcome to a friendly bunch of people who’ve been there….