** If you missed Part 1, click here. **
Sorry for the delay, got a little side tracked with surgery and what not this week.
Part 2 is definitely the harder part to get out in words. Really digging through our emotions, the grief (yes it's real grief) of letting go of the way we thought things would be, dealing with my guilt over my messed up body, anger over the all the "whys", envy over what we won't experience and searching our souls to see what was really most important to us.
I would like to say that all of the above feelings are still a definite work in progress, except what is really important to us. Please remember that they are our feelings and having them invalidated or minimized in anyway is extremely hurtful. They may be irrational or someday won't even be important, but they are now, and that's just the way it is. That does NOT mean that we aren't 100% confident and dedicated to the path we have chosen, quite the contrary we are over the moon excited.
The easiest part was figuring out what was most important to us. We decided that we just desperately want to be parents and it doesn't matter how we get there. We have an infinite amount of unconditional love and we KNOW that our home is a great place to grow a family.
Ok, I know you are clamoring, what did you decide, what options did you consider. Well I'll tell you, after a lot of research we considered two options -- gestational surrogacy and domestic infant adoption.
Originally we were full speed ahead that we would try gestational surrogacy first (one of my eggs fertilized by the hubs s.perm, would be implanted into another woman to carry our baby to term.)
Of course we were very concerned financially for both options, I mean just to get a baby into our home was going to cost more than a small sedan, that was before buying any baby stuff. And although we get by and live a very comfortable life, we by no means have an over flow of expendable income. The financial stress, only compounded our already fragile nature. Just another thing we would have to overcome that so many others don't have to consider. But we knew we'd figure it out and make it work, it just didn't matter what the cost.
With surrogacy, we would need to think of finding a woman that would be willing to carry our baby. An amazing gift that so many wonderful woman give each and every year. All this seemed a bit overwhelming but totally doable. What we were most concerned about with gestational surrogacy was my body's ability to handle it's part of the equation -- the egg retrieval. I bet you can see where this may be going.
After doing more research of what exactly egg retrieval entails and after enduring another six months of my incontinence and unknown of what would happen to my body, we came to another hard realization that going through the IVF process anytime in the near future was not going to be an option for my body. How would my body do with all the injectable hormones, what would happen in the pouch area when my ovaries grew to the size of tennis balls? What if we couldn't get any good quality eggs? It was just too unknown and uncertain, at least for the next few years.
So we moved in a different direction, again, being parents was the ultimate goal. Gestational surrogacy is not off the table forever, maybe someday after I've been well for a few years and our first baby is a few years old, it might be how we bring our second child into our family. It's just not how our first child will get here. And even then, I will need to think long and hard about the genetics part of things, what if I passed auto-immune issues on to our child. Again, I know this is a big what-if, but after how badly my body has betrayed me, I have a very hard time with this one. This is a whole other post. Man I'm getting lots of post ideas here.
Focus Al, Focus. And so after thinking ok, we aren't going to be pregnant ourselves but we'll have someone else carry our little bun for us and then accepting again that was probably not the best idea for us, we finally came to what ultimately is the best path for us -- Independent Domestic Infant Adoption.
Even before all of my health stuff, I have always been very open to the idea of adoption. I just feel connected to it somehow, maybe that was my subconscious way of opening my heart to what would be my path, I don't know but it made this transition for me so very easy.
I know just how much, I absolutely love with all of my heart all the special little munchkins in my life, and I know that love is unconditional and it just doesn't matter that they aren't related to me by blood, I love them like family, they are a part of my family. I am overwhelmed with pride when they learn new things or succeed in something, listening to their laughter warms my heart and when they are sad it breaks my heart. I also know with 100% of my being that it has nothing to do with the fact that these are the little people of some of my favorite big people.
I have never once questioned my ability to love a child who was not biologically mine the same as I would one that was. My concern was would the hubs feel the same way. Adoption forces you to confront some things that society says we should never think of. And being able to love any child that comes to our family whole heartedly is one of them.
Thankfully after some time thinking on his own and processing (this is how he does things) he also realized that blood just doesn't matter in this path for us. We realized that husbands and wives consider themselves family and obviously they aren't related (well hopefully they aren't,) so why should it be any different with children.
Honestly it was so comforting and relieving to know that we were both 100% on the same page. I have to say it brought us closer together and when we realized adoption was our path, things just seemed to feel right and settled and there was peace in that even though we didn't know when or how we would pursue it. It was just right and that's all we needed to keep us going, to get through my health stuff and know we had a plan when we were on the other side.
Since we made this decision last summer, I've done A LOT of research. I'm kind of a research freak, I love it, I'm obsessed with it and I can't get enough of it. I get this from my dad:) And since it's not really the way the hubs does things, he just lets me go and take the reigns and fill him in with what I think he wants to know.
So I started reading blogs of other adoptive couples, blogs of birthmothers, learning the language of adoption, reading articles, finding resources in our area. I wanted to know anything and everything, but talking to real people who've been through it was of key importance to me.
With my surgery in the fall, we decided that we'd turn our focus to my healing and get back on the adoption front January 1, 2010. But in December, when at the bottom of my recovery and dealing with some other issues, I just decided I couldn't wait any longer and I needed to at least get some things on the calendar. Ahh, a true Type-A always feels better when things are scheduled.
I signed us up for two adoption orientations at different agencies in February and also made an appt to meet with an independent adoption attorney we were referred to through my in-laws in February as well. It felt great, like hah see body we are going to move forward and get what we want. I scheduled one more meeting with a mother who adopted a little girl three years ago for January. We would get through the holiday season knowing we had these things on the horizon...
Wow, ok I still have a lot to say, so let me cliff-hanger you one more time and say that Part 3 will come by the end of the weekend. But hey at least you know now what we are doing, you just don't know where in the process we are;) I know, I know that's the most exciting part, but you'll just have to wait.