I realized I had never written about how we came to decide to pursue adoption. I have always viewed adoption positively, meaning I liked the idea of it. But I was certainly not aware of all it entailed and probably had a bit of an idealist viewpoint of it. When we first got our diagnosis, I initially wanted to pursue adoption immediately. You can read about our infertility journey here. John felt we needed to give treatment a try before moving forward and he was absolutely right. At that time, I wanted to pursue adoption from a place of fear. Going through infertility treatment was so scary to me. Adoption seemed to me at the time like a guaranteed path to parenthood. We decided at the outset we would do no more than two cycles. By limiting the number of eggs, we allowed them to attempt to fertilize (contrary to popular opinion doctors can't fertilize an egg even with ICSI), we hoped to avoid having any that had to be frozen for future transfer. We were committed to transferring any we had, but we did not end up with any, so 2 cycles was all we did. In a way, it was the equivalent of doing 2 fresh and 2 frozen cycles which we felt was more than enough.
Part of me always expected to pursue adoption, so when I got pregnant after my first IVF it was quite a surprise. You all know how that ended. For whatever reason, I did not have high hopes for my second cycle. I am sure the news we received in the midst of it didn't help matters. I remember sitting at my friend Wendi's house in the midst of IVF #2 and spending almost the whole time talking about adoption. Even at that point I was mentally preparing myself for the next step. There was a part of me that just wanted to get through that second cycle so that we could move forward. I was actually afraid of getting a BFP because I felt like I couldn't handle another miscarriage. Of course it was difficult when the BFN officially came and the realization hit that it was the end of the road for us as far as biological children. Nothing about that cycle went well. God had given us a clear no. We took some time to mourn this loss and let go of this dream as God prepared us for the next step. What many people don't realize is that there are losses associated with infertility that adoption doesn't solve: creating a child together; announcing your pregnancy to your husband, friends, and family; the experience of pregnancy and childbirth; breastfeeding (I know adoptive breastfeeding is possible with hormones); and parenting a child from birth (possible only with domestic infant adoption). These are very real losses that must be dealt with and accepted before you can move forward with adoption with an open heart. What I realized is that for me the pain of seeing a pregnant women was less about the experience of pregnancy and more about the child that would come. I want to be a parent more than I want to be pregnant. I know also that the pregnancy I would want to experience is one I can now never experience - one not colored by infertility and the loss of Johannah. The pregnancy I would want is the one I could have experienced before infertility and pregnancy loss was something I knew way too much about. Even if it hasn't happened to me, it has probably happened to someone I know through blogging. For this reason it was easier for me to let pregnancy go. I still believe it is possible for God to do a miracle in my womb, but if He never does, I am at peace with that. What I want is to be a mom. I see adoption as an alternate path to parenthood, but one that is equally as good as parenting a biological child. It is not second best or Plan B. It is God's best for us. Going through treatment prepared us for God's perfect plan to unfold in our lives. I have been told and I believe it to be true that once we are holding our child in our arms, the time it took to get to that point will not seem as long and all we have been through will seem totally worth it. I am excited about watching God's plan unfold!