Over the last month or so that we have come together and started sharing our stories, I have began my journey of thinking of all the things that I went through over the years from Endometriosis and the surgeries to IVF and losses and then adoption and failures to then success. It is strange and therapeutic to an extent to bring up the past for me. But in the end I am trying to help others and show them how we all understand the pain of what this journey to become a parent is like for some.
One of the hardest parts of the adoption process for me wasn't the adoption part, it was the transition. The transition is when you make the decision that the IVF route is over or the trying is done and the adoption route is to begin. It can be a really hard thing for some. I know it was for me. How could I decide when the shots, transfers and embryos were a dead end and not going to work? When should I "give up". I had to go through what I would call the grieving process. For me it was an easy decision to stop IVF treatments and move on BUT the one thing I wasn't prepared for was the grief I would feel daily that I wouldn't have a child that looked like me. It was overwhelming. I would cry as I brushed my teeth and saw my long blonde hair in the mirror and know I wouldn't have a daughter to pass that on to. I always wanted to name my daughter after me. My name translated is Faith and I thought that would be a great thing to pass along. I didn't know about this grieving process. The books I read didn't tell me I would cry every day and that I would tell my husband he should move on and get a divorced so he could get a younger and prettier set of "eggs". I would dream of the day I would be pregnant and my belly would stretch and the kicking. And now that dream was gone. The miscarriages were too severe and I couldn't do that to my body anymore.
I wanted to be able to move forward with a smile and a positive attitude but it wasn't happening. But I knew one thing no matter what, I wanted to be a mom. So my head and my heart needed to communicate better and stop this depression. I waited for the day that I would wake up and feel better or stop the stupid divorce conversation, but that day never came. When I went through my adoption journey, I received call after call that were scammers. Not even real EMs - just people who needed to talk and use me for whatever reason. This journey didn't help me "get" more positive at all. It made it worse. I was doing all the right things and I worked my ass off to get all the newspapers in each state and did my ads and research! I kept myself busy! But still couldn't shake the grief.
The pain got worse when my best friend and co-leader, Josette, adopted her son in March of 2009. My life line was now a mom and couldn't listen to my crap as much as she used to. I became angry and mad at the world. I even got to such a bad place that I stopped going to my support group meetings since I was saying not very nice things about the process of adoption. I never ever thought becoming a mom was going to happen.
In June 2009 we had a failed adoption and I was devastated. Why wouldn't I be. Months and months of talking and then visiting her in Chicago and meeting her family and then she just stopped all communication one day. It was her absolute right to decide to parent but it didn't mean I couldn't be hurt. But I will say that this failure was a god send to our family. It changed me, it made me realize I needed a change! So I decided to get certified with an agency and just breath... no more calls and no more emotional scammers. I made it clear to myself that once I went to an agency I would just sit and wait and "relax". In September 2010 we got certified with Catholic Home Bureau and within 4 months I was a mom! WHAT!!! This is not normal but god must have seen I needed it!!
My grief slowly started to go away when I brought my son home. The sleepless nights were hard but I could finally start to feel like myself again. I could reach out to friends again; I could see what everyone was telling me about adoption. Who cared if my child had blonde hair or not. Who cared about anything. I was a mom! I didn’t have a daughter – I had a son! A bi-racial son! A son with special needs! He was my son! I didn’t have time to be depressed. My son needed me and I needed him. All the time I spent crying and yelling at my husband wasn’t a waste of time – it was my journey.
I do things differently now! I reach out more and ask for help. If I feel I am getting to a point of sadness about anything in my life I do something about it now! I am not perfect by all means but I felt writing this down would be helpful to those who are just starting the journey of deciding to adopt. It was a different kind of journey than IVF for me; but there was a light at the end of a long tunnel that I never saw while going through the process – I only realized it after. I promised myself that I would never let anyone I meet to become this sad like I did. I try every day to do my best and help those who need it! I may not succeed all the time but I try!
Written by Chemene
Support Group Co-Leader