In the span of the last twenty years, I have been:
**A newly married person who freaked out the first time she missed her period --FREAKED OUT -- because I just knew we were having a baby and I wasn’t ready to have a baby!!
**A no-longer newly married person who was excited and ready to start her family and assumed that the first time I had sex after going off the pill would be the time that we conceived our baby. I even got a little misty-eyed after “The Act”, thinking about what a sacred moment it was …. The actual moment of con-cep-shu-on, and how different our lives would be nine months from now.
**Um, yeah. What a dork. An extremely naive dork. Suffice it to say, shortly after that, I was a beginner infertility patient.
**An experienced infertility patient.
**An extremely experienced infertility patient.
**A prospective adoptive parent.
**A foster parent.
**An adoptive parent.
**A pregnant, and very very very surprised person.
**A miserable cynic.
**A biological parent.
**A surrogate parent.
Several years ago, I decided I was going to write a book about my experiences and call it “Any Way I Can Get Them” … as in, any way your children come to you, and any way your family comes together, is a good way; the right way. No one way is better, or easier, or all-inclusive. I can speak from experience --- lots and lots of experience --- when I tell you that it doesn’t matter *how* you become a parent. Your kids, are your kids. Whether they came into your family through adoption, surrogacy, or the old-fashioned way. (You know, the storks and cabbage patches and all those scientific methods.)
Reproductive medicine and its related fields consumed my life for almost ten years. It was the most maddening, frustrating, joyful, infuriating, fantastic, blissful journey I could ever have imagined. The lows were the lowest I had ever experienced, the highs were the highest. We spent every penny we had, for years, either on fertility treatments, or legal and adoption expenses. They say people come through infertility either with a stronger marriage, or divorced. Thank goodness we fell in the former camp.
I can’t tell you about our adoption experience without telling you about our infertility experience, because one wouldn’t have happened without the other. But I’m not sure any of you want to hear about temperature charts and cervical mucous tests and Blaine and me stopping on I-35 at 10pm so he could give me a shot because it had to be done at that exact time in order for the latest egg retrieval to go off as planned. I’m pretty sure the employees at Braums that night saw the two of us going into the ladies’ room together with a needle and syringe and assumed we were drug addicts. I’m not sure you want to hear about those things, or a million other personal, messy details.
Brayden’s birth was the highlight of my first thirty years of life. But the path leading to it was long and difficult and frustrating.
For me to sit here and type “We adopted Brayden; it was great; the end” would be disrespectful to both her, and to us. To the hard-won battle we fought to get to that point. To the overwhelming elation we felt when she was placed in our arms. There are SO many things I want to say about it, I don’t think it’s possible to shrink it down to a single journal entry (even a journal entry from someone as long winded as I am!)
I want to pay my proper respects to all the parties involved, and am not sure this is the right forum. Then again, it’s my blog, what other forum could be better?
I’ll think about the best way to put the feelings into words, without boring you to tears. It’ll probably take a while, if you guys are up for it. And you might be bored to tears anyway. But we can give it a go, if you want.