Thursday, August 18, 2011

adoption

Erika asked these questions: "Do you think you will have more children? How would you feel about being pregnant or having a child born in Peru? Would you ever think of adopting? Would you adopt in Peru or in the US or elsewhere?"

(Warning: I ain't shy about talking about birth control, but I will keep it toned down for the blog.)

To answer this I have to start back when Brady (our third) had just turned one year old. We were undecided on if we wanted to have another biological child. We had always wanted to adopt, but selfishly I loved being pregnant, giving birth, and the newborn stage. Weird, I know. Since we didn't feel strongly one way or the other, we weren't using birth control (the pill makes me crazy). In March of 2007 I found out that I was pregnant. We were delighted.

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Easter 2007. We were so excited to be a family of six.

At 9 weeks pregnant, we had an ultrasound because my blood work wasn't indicating a healthy pregnancy. On the ultrasound we saw a sweet baby with a heartbeat, but the sac wasn't big enough to sustain her. Twenty four hours later I miscarried. My heart was broken and I grieved deeply. I still mourn the loss of our baby deeply. It will creep up on me as I watch our kids run around and I realize that she should be running around with them. I would love to see all five of my kids together.

After the miscarriage, I desperately wanted to become pregnant again. I felt like I needed that in order to heal. For seven months we tried to get pregnant. Every month, when I found out that I wasn't pregnant I felt like I was reliving my miscarriage all over again. I finally couldn't take it anymore. The drive to get pregnant again was only causing more pain. God really worked on my heart and I was eventually able to let go of the idea that I had to be pregnant again.

At this point, I couldn't figure out why we were pushing so hard to be pregnant when we had always wanted to adopt. So, we started the adoption process through the foster care system. After taking forty hours of the parenting classes required to be foster care/adoptive parents we found out that we were pregnant. We had been responsibly using birth control. I am not sharing these details to be insensitive to those struggling with infertility, but I don't want people to think that we weren't being wise or that adoption wasn't our first choice. I still don't have an explanation for why things happened the way they did.

The pregnancy did not change our desire to adopt, so we finished our parenting classes, turned in the very detailed adoption application, and got fingerprinted. Then we got the call. Our social worker informed me that policy was that couples who are pregnant or have a child under one in their home are ineligible to adopt. I was devastated. To be honest, I went through many of the same emotions as I did when I miscarried. It felt like I had lost a child. We had prepared our hearts and our home for this child and suddenly she was taken away from us.

Almost one year to the day after my due date for the baby I miscarried, Tyler was born. She did, in fact, bring much healing to our family and I can't put into words how much she means to us.
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When she was one we tried to start the adoption process again. This time our house was on the market because we were planning to move within our county, so we were again not eligible to adopt. Soon after that we made the decision to move to Peru.

As for where we stand now, Blake has had that wonderful surgery that should ensure no more pregnancies. To answer one of the questions, though, I know at least four women from the US and UK that have had babies here, so I would feel comfortable having a baby in Peru. We still desire to be foster parents (and adopt if reunification wasn't possible). What we know right now is that we are overwhelmed enough with adjusting to life in a foreign country that we need some time before we add to our family. I also only have a vague idea of how foster care works in Peru, so I need to become more educated and find out what steps we need to take as foreigners to be eligible. I do wholeheartedly believe that our family will grow one day through foster care, either in Peru or in the United States. I have spent a lot of time being angry and bitter that we have been unable to adopt and feeling that loss in our lives. Our move to Peru and all that we have been through in the past six months, though, has produced great contentedness with our family just as we are. (But if anyone has a newborn they want to let us borrow for a few days, we would be in heaven.)
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