“Any news on the adoption?”
Nope, just waiting. That's pretty much it right now. Waiting, and more waiting.Things seem to be speeding up for some families but we are likely still on target to be matched with baby Eva in the fall, Oct/Nov.. and travel in the winter, Dec/Jan.
It is hard, and some days are harder than others. But I still feel incredibly blessed and lucky to be here at all.
I once had an acquaintance with whom I was sharing infertility war stories with say to me, with no bad intentions I'm sure, “well, I tell ya with everything we went through WE almost had to adopt too”. I said nothing in response to this because of the situation we were in, a quick exchange during school pick up or drop off....but this would become one of those moments that in hindsight I thought of all kinds of great retorts long after the fact. One of those Things I Should've Said moments. Mostly I just wanted to say that if you did “have to” adopt it probably would've been the most amazing experience of your life. That you wouldn't believe the love that can bloom when that tiny person born of another's flesh becomes your own. That you've given hope, love, family, to someone who had none, and the feeling that gives you is something indescribable but that I wish more could experience! To travel to your child's place of birth and fall in love with their culture and learn of a whole other world you never knew existed. That you would feel pride, honor and reverence for a country you knew little about. That you will love in a way you never knew was possible.
I wanted to say all of this and more, but I didn't. I nodded and let her finish her story and said “talk to you soon” and crossed the parking lot to my car.
Not surprisingly, this same person's son, who is in Bek's grade; recently (as in about 3 days ago) said a very hurtful negative comment to my son regarding his pending baby sister's arrival and about adoption in general. The comment went something like this:
“when your baby sister gets here she won't even be a real part of your family because she will be adopted just like you are”.
That little cracking sound? Yeah, that's the echo of my heart still breaking.
Ok...I knew we'd deal with these kinds of comments one day. ONE day. I didn't really think it would come out of the mouth of a second grader. That a 7 year old could be so cold and need the ego boost of tearing someone else down to make themselves feel better! That our culture's negative connotation of adoption has somehow already been ingrained in someone who's only been alive for 7 years??
This mother-son dynamic duo of social disgraces really got me thinking. One thinks that adoption is at best a second choice or a last resort when the preferred biological method doesn't work. The other thinks it's “not real” and it doesn't mean you are a family. Where do these ideas come from?
To an extent, some of it is normal. Typically when you want a family you do it the old fashioned way; maybe you have some wine, get busy, and if all planets are aligned 9 months later you have offspring. This is the common, most socially acceptable way. And for most, the preferred way, as genetics and ego play such a huge role in the desire to create a small version of yourselves (but that is a whole other blog post). And let's be honest, it's also the cheapest, easiest and funnest way to create a child. When this doesn't work, many turn to other options; fertility treatments, donor eggs, surrogacy. Then if that doesn't work they look at their next options, which for most means adoption. These latter options are costly, stressful, un-organic, and did I mention costly.
This is not unlike how it played out for us. I only wish I knew how amazing adoption was before the hell of fertility treatments! I wish it was our first choice, we could've started sooner and adopted more.
But, as is usually the case, you need to take a specific road to get exactly where you need to be.Wow deep thoughts huh.
So I guess how I can see how adoption gets it's “second choice” rating.
But I've decided to take this opportunity to let people know that it doesn't have to be and shouldn't be. Of course we all need to follow our own paths and come to our own destinations in life in our own ways (ok this is starting to sound a little too Dust In The Wind), but if you know someone who is struggling with infertility, tell them about adoption! If you know someone who is pregnant and doesn't want to be, tell them about adoption! Or refer them to this blog post and tell them to read all those things I wish I would said to That Acquaintance in the exchange I told you about.
As for the antagonist son in our story. I'm not sure where he would've heard such a thing. Movies? Parents? But I thought maybe in spite of him being a mean spirited little bleep, maybe he, and others too, just needs some education? I spoke with his teachers about coming in and talking to the class about what adoption means. Nothing too big or heavy, just a quick normalization and factual presentation.
As for Bek, the recipient of the verbal assault, he was fortunately a little confused by what this kid said, so it didn't hit too hard. It didn't ring true with anything we'd ever taught him or said to him, so it was almost like it just didn't compute. But he was hurt, and it began the wheels turning; this I know. I told him that not everyone knows about adoption, and that it's our job to teach them. To tell them that adoption is just another way that families are built and they make forever families just like others. But that also if they are being mean spirited, you have the choice to just walk away or tell them they don't know what they are talking about, or to just clock them in the pie hole. Ok I didn't say this last part, but I wanted to.