Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Friends Lost...

"Just relax!"
"You need to take a vacation!"
"You must be doing it wrong."

I can't even count how many friends I lost along this road of IVF and adoption. It really hurts especially when you have known them forever. It's an eye opener to see who your true friends really are.

I still to this day remember all the pain that I had to deal with as I was trying to start a family. I remember dealing with every pregnant friend and family member. I remember all the tears I shed wondering why they couldn't take a few moments to try to understand what I was going through - that starting a family is just not as easy for some people as it is for others.

I knew K for years and she I were very close. We knew literally everything about each other and she meant the world to me. It even seemed like she understood what I was going through. So much so that one day we were talking and she offered to let me adopt her embryos (that were left over from her IVF cycles - IVF worked for her). I didn't expect that offer and needed some time to think it through and discuss with my husband. I knew it wouldn't be an easy decision and we were already started the adoption journey. After a year of making a pros and cons list, we decided to go forward with it. She was my closest friend and I loved her and she was offering us an incredible gift.

We called her to tell her we accepted her offer. I was scared and excited. I had the opportunity to adopt and possibly even carry a baby! WIN WIN!!

It is still painful for me to talk about to this day, but on that call she let us know she changed her mind. Why you might ask? Maybe she decided to have more kids? Maybe she thought about it more and now felt uncomfortable with the situation. Nope! She told me the reason was that it was because I didn't belive in God and read the bible. She told the that even though that would come in time for me, she and her husband didn't think it would be a "good fit". Wait what? Where was this coming from? We never even spoke about religion? Never! You see I have a rule that I try to adhere to at all time - the three no no's to discuss with people - abortion, politics and religion. It seems no matter what your opinion, it doesn't end well. So I know this was never discussed. We then just ended the phone call nicely and never spoke again.

The pain was horrible. I couldn't believe she judged me like that - without even having a discussion. She didn't know anything about my religious views; she never asked. I guess she felt that if I didn't share her religious views then I wasn't good enough for her embryos. It's her right, obviously, but the pain of how it all happened was hard to handle.

I lost countless other friends and co-workers during the IVF process since they couldn't understand why I was so unhappy about not being able to conceive. Mind you, they all had their own children. I was told some really insensitive things over the years - You are doing it wrong! The position is key! Maybe you should just adopt! There are so many kids in need of a family in those orphanages. Take a vacation, you're stressing too much. I want to believe they thought they were trying to help, but it all felt very accusatory. Why did they feel the need to say anything to me! All I wanted was a little compassion. I wasn't looking for a pity party, just some little sense of understanding. "Sorry to hear that" would have been great. I would get so mad that these were people I considered very close to me and realizing they didn't care the way I thought they would. The way I thought I would if the tables were turned.

Family was an entirely different story. I think I had this notion that family supports you unconditionally and will love you no matter what. Well that was far from the truth for me. I literally lost an entire side of the family through all this. One of my first cousins told me that IVF was f-ing with God, so thankfully I wasn't doing it again. My aunt told me to stop worrying and go on vacation. I felt I got more compassion from strangers than I did my own family.

I am sure one of the reasons I lost those "friends" was because I was changing and they weren't. You open up during this process and sometimes you don't realize it.

You have to open your heart with adoption even if it turns out to be open or closed. How can I expect for others to learn how to open up as well. 

Written By Chemene
Adoptive Mom
Support Group Co-Leader

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