We are relieved to inform you that no, The Adoption League did not burst into our home and handcuff us to a baby. So no, we didn’t “have to” adopt.
OH!…….now I get it. You want to know about my uterus and Martin’s sperm! Okay, that’s a different question. You want the nitty gritty.
I am pretty adamant that our adoption story shouldn’t be our infertility story. The child we will have someday is not a Plan B. They are The Plan. That’s a very important fact for us.
That said there is a natural curiosity, and that’s okay. Here’s how we got to where we are now:
Yes, we had difficulties getting pregnant and were on fertility treatments for a few years. The highlights:
- I have run up Bay Street, in heels, in the winter, with a sample jar of Martin’s boys tucked into my bra, to make it to the fertility clinic in time for an IUI procedure.
- I’ve watched my uterus and fallopian tubes be inflated on ultrasound.
- Daily early morning blood tests and ultrasounds (at last count, over 130 times). Not as fun as you might think. Especially since the ultrasounds are of the “up-the-wazoo” variety.
- Injecting hormones into my abdomen which had the following effects:
- A bruised stomach that looked like I’d done a match with Mike Tyson
- A hormonal cyst on my face that had to be surgically removed. It was there for seven months. I called it Uncle Fester and charged rent.
- The moods*.
*For all those reading who were colleagues during this time, I am truly sorry for the number of fits, irrational decision, and ugly cries, you endured. I was a walking estrogen-fueled HR nightmare.
Oh, and I once grabbed a needle from a nervous fertility nurse, pulled off the cap with my teeth, alcohol swabbed the site, and did my own belly injection – all without putting down my handbag.
By this time, our doctor was strongly steering us towards IVF as the next step, should our third IUI fail. She felt I was a good candidate, given my age and excellent health.
So what happened? Martin and I have always been connected in a truly strong and unique way. I could not ask for a more supportive partner. When it came time to start the third IUI, well, we just looked at each other and, it was like, enough.
We choose to adopt.
To be clear, it wasn’t the side effects that changed our decision. Trust me; I would crawl over broken glass to get to our child. Nor do we see adoption as an act of charity, or saving a child. We aren’t the heroes in this and this journey is less about us than it is about our child.
It was a realization that this just wasn’t the way to grow our family. Nothing about it felt right. We needed a U-Turn. Yes, we could’ve continued with more advanced treatments. But that would’ve meant missing out on a chance to do what we felt was the best decision for us and our family.
Adoption can be a minefield, and this is just one post.
Still, I know the why question is always out there, so I wanted to face it head on. The needles, creams, calendars, and chemistry, have been shipped off.
As I like to think of it, we’ve changed gates at the airport.
This past spring I FaceBook posted a truly epic photo of me. I was in all of my glory – disheveled hair, buggy wild eyes, and a strained expression extending from collarbone to forehead. You can imagine the comments (I love you all, I really do).
The truth is that photo was one of the more important ones taken of me in my entire life.
That wintry and blustery day last spring, Martin and I had rushed during our lunch hour to get an RCMP clearance check. We handed over several pieces of ID, got fingerprinted, and then photographed. A few weeks later, we had another important piece of documentation in our hands – confirmation by Interpol that we are clear of any previous criminal activity. Another hurdle cleared.
We’ve been doing a lot of high jumping this past year……….because there’s a lot of paperwork to be done when you’re adopting.
Yep, you heard that right. Martin and I are in the amazing, insane, daunting, process of adoption. We are holding hands, and opening our hearts. We are sticking ourselves out there in the world hoping to be matched with our child.
This is the story of our family
So why write a blog? Well, we’re in the phase of what I like to refer to as the “never-ending departure lounge”. We’ve spent the past ten months doing all of the mandatory work (more about that grueling process to come), and we’ve been accepted into an adoption programme in Lithuania (and again, more about that decision to come!). Now, we are just dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s with the Province of Ontario. That means a very long wait.
Also, I suppose I needed something to keep me focused on the outcome. Believe me when I say, this adoption malarkey is tough.
I also hope this blog will answer some of the questions many of you have asked and maybe help others considering adoption.