What led you to adoption?
I think anyone who reads this blog can understand that the boys' situation is the reason we are looking to adoption as an option to grow our family. I have always been interested in adopting, but trying for biological children first was also very important to both of us.
Why don't you just try again (for a biological child)?
We have not given up on the idea of trying for a biological child. We are still researching information on HELLP syndrome as well as searching for an OB with whom we are both happy with the plan of care for a subsequent pregnancy. We are definitely not giving up hope on a rainbow baby. We are even considering IVF again if we need to, but I am working on getting healthier so that maybe we don't NEED IVF again. Either way, we still want two children, and we're pretty sure that even if we have one successful and beautiful pregnancy, we won't want to push our luck a third time. And if we have another pregnancy outcome like this one, we definitely won't be trying again.
You're young, don't you have time to make these decisions? Why don't you wait a bit longer?
Young has nothing to do with it. Our decision to grow our family in our 20s after getting married was made even before we got married. Waiting into our 30s is not an option for the two of us. Enough said.
You haven't given yourself enough time to grieve!
Adoption and pursuing an OB to help through a subsequent pregnancy are part of how we are grieving. Not a day goes by that the boys aren't brought up in conversation at least once. Not a day goes by that we don't miss them and wish that this situation were different. But we do need to move forward. Moving forward means filling the void and inherent need that the boys left in our hearts to be parents. It will always suck that we can't raise and parent Samuel and Andrew, but we will raise and parent our future children with the same love we would have Sammy and Andy. No child is replacing them, but they are replacing an emptiness in our hearts. Filling that need is part of our grieving process. It is how WE have chosen to grieve. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, this is our way.
What "type" of baby are you getting?
Firstly, this question is degrading, but you'd be surprised that people ask it! What "type" of human are you? It degrades the child that we will eventually adopt and implies that any child out there is less than human. Moving on - At this time we are not considering a transracial adoption in our adoption plan. Unfortunately the circumstances of our community and the area we live in are very homogenous. We both feel that another set of adoptive parents could provide a better life for a child of a different race than we could at this time. We aren't interested in moving somewhere else to accommodate getting a child of a different race. We aren't desperate to the extent that we will put our want to be parents above the needs of a child. Being adopted is hard enough, having it be obvious that you are adopted because of the color of your skin and in a community where different races are very misunderstood is just unfair to the child we would potentially adopt. It's a personal decision, yes, but I'm putting it out there. This is OUR decision and OUR life. Make all the judgements you like, but keep them to yourself.
Where are you adopting from?
In researching adoption, we found that adopting from other countries is very expensive. Additionally, you often don't get your child as a baby or newborn. Many times they are close to 1 or older before the child is brought to you or you are able to pick him/her up. This is due to the circumstances of whatever country they are in, but many times the children are in orphanages or that country's foster system. Domestic adoption is comparably expensive, but the chances of us being able to adopt a newborn baby are very high. We can specify that that's what we want, and we have. We won't know what state he/she is from until a match is made, but it could be anywhere. There are obviously different birth parent/adoptive parent rights in different states, so our choice for a match will be made taking this into consideration (ex. In FL, a birth parent can change his/her mind about parenting for the entire first YEAR of the child's life).
How much does it cost?
A lot. The specifics are not up for discussion.
How do you afford it?
How do you afford to live in your house? How do you afford to raise your children? How do you afford that new tv? We don't ask you these questions, so please respect that this is a private answer.
What do your families think?
We are very lucky. Our parents are supportive of the decision we have made to pursue adoption. Their loss of their grandsons is profound also, and I believe that they feel a void that would be nice to be filled, too. And neither set of grandparents are opposed to having a grandchild through adoption.
How do you plan to tell your child he/she is adopted?
The class we took yesterday talked a lot about this, about raising him/her from day one telling them the story of his/her adoption. Although we aren't quite sure whether we will do it exactly like that, we do plan to raise our child with the knowledge that he/she is adopted. We just haven't decided the path that works for us in doing that. It won't be a big sit down at a certain age telling him/her that "You are adopted," but rather giving him/her language over time to understand what adoption is and that all families look different. Some have two mommies, some have two daddies, and some have a mommy and a daddy. Some families have lots of children, some only have one. Some families have children that come from his/her mommy's belly, while others have babies that grew in mommy's heart. Some families have special angels and some have all their siblings here to play with. It's something I think we will learn the best method for us over time. BUT-It is not your responsibility as our family/friends to tell our children or treat them any differently because they are adopted. When we have signed the paperwork and brought that child home, he/she is OUR child and should be treated as if they are our blood. If you don't, be forewarned that the mama and papa bears will attack.
Any other questions? Feel free to ask! You may not like the answer, but hey, I'd like to put it all out there here and now.