Thursday, January 22, 2009

Adoption, thy name is 2YW

For quite some time now, I've been turning over in my mind the idea of adopting a child since we are nearing the end of our ART journey. Most of the time, I like to know what's coming next and I found that I needed to know that we had options if we walked away from IVF. I am the consummate planner although in this case, I have shied away from thinking about adoption for a long time because the thought terrified me. It was always my Plan B, you know, the one we would never have to seriously think about executing because Plan A was always going to work. I also felt that by considering adoption, I was jinxing any current cycle because I was not thinking positive enough thoughts and assuming failure.
Even if we finally have a child through IVF, I think a lot of the time now that I would still like to adopt a second child. I doubt I will have any totsicles left over, I will be older if we try IVF again and I'm sure I'll have an even dimmer prognosis than ever. Besides, the altrustic nature of adoption has always appealed to both my DH and I.

My DH was watching a program about adoption and the older children that are still in the system and he said that his heart was touched by what these kids were saying. They always tried really, really hard to be "cute" or "lovable" but couples always chose the younger children. These kids suffered disappointment after disappointment, much like how we have suffered disappointment after disappointment doing IVF. Wouldn't it be so wonderful to end that cycle of disappointment for one another? I wonder if I have the courage.

I also think to myself about how much I LOVE my fur-baby Daisy. She has provided me with so much comfort over the last few years as we have struggled along this road and I couldn't imagine our lives without her. I know that I can't give birth to a dog so I accept that the only way that we can have one is if we adopt one. I wish that I could just as easily accept, if this really the case, that I can't give birth to a child as well and embrace the idea of adopting. Of course, the big difference here is that humans do not give birth to dogs but history has proven, time and time again, that the human race can and does give birth to our own babies...just not us...yet. This idea of procreation is so deeply entrenched in every pore of my being and this makes it hard for me to accept any other truth.

Today, I summoned up the courage to investigate on the internet about adoption. The idea no longer terrifies me as much and I can think about it and consider it rationally. What I found was so disappointing and very disheartening, it almost makes me want to keep doing IVF! I always knew that the wait times were very long and getting longer by the minute and a "quick" adoption would be a minimum of 18 months. Again, like with IVF, the waiting never ends. So, after we finish with IVF #5 in June of 2009 and get the ball rolling immediately with an international adoption, we are looking at least as far out as the very end of 2010 or early in 2011. How depressing is that? And meanwhile, there are endless news reports about starving and abandoned children in the world who need homes...

I don't have a lot of details yet but my understanding is that, in Canada, you can only pursue international adoption with one country at a time. If you get on the waiting list for Thailand for example, and midway through your waiting period they change the rules and close their borders, you have to get in line for another country and your wait time begins AGAIN. No credit for time already spent waiting.

Anyway, this is what I read this morning that utterly depressed me:

China: "...will no longer accept files for the mainstream China program..."

Korea: "This program is only available to Ontario residents. This program now full for 2009. The Call Back is full for 2010."

Vietnam: "Please Note: Due to the backlog of files currently in this program...[we] will, regrettably, be unable to accept any new applications for this program until further notice."

Thailand: "Please Note: This program is now full for 2008, 2009 and 2010."

I'm discouraged. I feel beaten. Right now, it feels like we're going to be old and grey before we have our family. Before this, I couldn't imagine anything worse than the 2ww but now, there is something called the 2yw.

And here I thought things couldn't get worse...


I.M. Noone said...

Once again, you're writing my words. I hear you on all of these points. We, too, have always had adoption in the back of our minds and always felt if we had one biologically, we'd adopt the second. But the international adoption scene--as well as the domestic one--is more frightening in many ways than IVF. Country after country is either full or temporarily closed due to so frustrating!
Why does everything have to be so hard?
Big hugs, from someone who really, really gets it.

DAVs said...

That comment above is me, DAVS. For some reason google had me logged in as my DH's name. Weird.

Jill M. said...

I too looked into adoption and found it to be brutal. It's very expensive, stressful and takes forever. A friend of mine adopted a Chinese baby girl and it took 1.5 yrs before China released her to them. So she was a newborn when they adopted her and toddler when they received her. And that was after waiting forever on a waiting list.

Taking in an older child is very honorable and takes someone with a big heart, especially someone with no children and going through infertility. That is so sad about the older children getting looked over.

For me, another IVF looked like a piece of cake after looking into adoption. Seems there is absolutely no easy/inexpensive path for us infertiles.

I wish we could have several options all going at once, IVF with multiple adoption applications in process, but who can afford all that at once? Then if IVF works, many of the adoption fees are non-refundable. Ok, I'm going to stop now, this is making me sad.

I wish you the absolute best, you deserve it!

Sue said...

I did the same exact thing. And then decided that we would keep doing IVF. To be honest, even when I was pregnant, DH and I were talking that maybe we would still put in for adoption since we've always wanted a big family and, as we get older, our chances get smaller and smaller. But, truthfully, I researched it, made a few calls, and, painfully, decided that we an't afford it. Then I miscarried. And I still feel that adoption is just unreachable. It is so expensive and hard to do and stressful! It is actually causing avoidance on my part...and it is something we'd really really love to do! I really hate that. And, after all of this, I want to scream when someone says to me about IVF and IF, "well, no one would fault you if you gave up now. Why don't you just adopt". Yeah, like it is so freakin' easy! (I probably hear someone suggesting adoption to me at least 2x a week). Oh and please don't suggest foster care either. I couldn't give a puppy away to a loving home and you want to put me in a position where I probably will have to return a CHILD to a family that abused/neglected it and promises to do better next time? I am so happy there are strong people in this world, and I know from IF that I am strong...but not THAT strong.

Anonymous said...

I have been really discouraged by adoption as well. It is a really scary and expensive option that takes forever, which is so unfair after dealing with IF. I am so afraid that my husband and I will never be parents to a living child, we are just going to run out of time and money. It is so sad.

Linda said...

I just wanted to stop by and give you a great big cyber hug. I've thought about adoption before we did our first IVF. But I don't think my heart was into it - just did it because I thought that's what we *should* do. I even went as far as contacting a lawyer and had the info packet mailed to me. This was back in 1999 when I was 25. Anyway... I have no "back-up" plan per se. I wish I had one.

To answer your question to your comment on my post (FET #4), our ET is scheduled for Feb. 16th and we are planning on staying there until beta. So we *might* cross paths when I go in for my beta!

Sky said...

I could write a scathing post about adoption, because I feel so passionately angry about the entire system (domestic and international) and what an abuse it is to the children even more than adoptive parents - but I'll spare you; looks like you've gotten a taste already.

So forgive me for posing this question before I've had a chance to read your blog thoroughly (where you may have already addressed). Have you considered a donor egg cycle with CCRM (I'm on their wait list)? You could think of it as a less expensive, leaps-and-bounds faster adoption whereby you come home with an infant that you've carried.

Just wondering.

At any rate, so much luck to you - truly. This entire process is so difficult.

Kris said...

We have also looked into adoption and it is a very scary world. There was an advertisement in my state that said that 600 children were waiting to be adopted in my state alone. I did a search and many of these children have siblings and they all want to be adopted together. I agree so much with what you and the OP commenters have said. It is so sad and frustrating!

Rebecca said...

I relate so much to everything you've written in this post and the next one after it. I started looking into international adoption after our November cycle and found pretty much the same thing you did, except that in addition to the countries that are closed, R and I are knocked out of a few others because of his defibrillator and our anti-depressant use.

Like you and your DH, I've been toying with the idea of adopting older kids. I haven't blogged about this yet, but I found a sibling group in our state that I'd be interested in. My mom (who lives with us and who I thought would be totally against the idea) was possibly even more open to it than I am, which was a shock. But R isn't there yet, more because of some painful issues that relate to his childhood than because of their ages.

It's just so tough to decide which way to go, what options to pursue. I hope you are able to find peace as you make your decisions.