People are naturally curious. They just are. This curiosity increases tenfold when the subject matter relates to friends having or not having babies. In recent weeks Steve and I have been in the receiving end of many many questions regarding our plans for growing our family. Some of the questions were insensitive and borderline rude, but I truly feel that none of the people asking those questions had malicious intentions.
I decided that it might be helpful for me to write about some of these questions and answers here on the blog. If anyone reading this humble post in my small, non-publicized corner of the internet would like to ask a question I haven't answered here, I would be happy to provide an answer.
1. Why aren't you doing IVF/IUI/ISCI/ other artificial reproductive methods to get pregnant?
Short answer: It doesn't feel right for us.
Long answer: Before we became Catholic, before we were actively trying to conceive, before we were married, even before we were engaged, Steve and I had serious discussions about having children. I've always wanted to be a mother... more than I've ever wanted to be anything else. During those discussions we both agreed that we were uncomfortable with artificial reproductive technologies (ART) in general. As we became aware of our infertility we put some time into researching ART in more detail. We even looked into NaPro Technology (assisted reproductive services approved by the Catholic Church) and came to the same conclusion... it just doesn't feel right. At the end of the day, we feel that if we were meant to have biological children we would be able to conceive them without artificial assistance.
2. Why aren't you adopting a baby?
Not to sound repetitive, but it just doesn't feel right. We initially looked into domestic infant adoption and actually contacted a few agencies for information. We met adoptive families and even birth mothers who had been helped by DIA, but we were still hesitant. When I realized that there were so many children waiting for families, kids old enough to realize what was going on and desire a family, I felt a sort of kinship with those kids. Here we were wishing for kids to grow our family, and there they were wanting a family to help them grow and heal. Something just clicked and suddenly our path seemed quite clear.
3. Why did you choose U.S. Foster care over international adoption?
To put it simply, international adoption scares the poop out of me. I know people who have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars on waiting lists to adopt from various countries only to be told they can't bring their child home for political reasons. I also know that the travel requirements for international adoptions aren't something Steve and I can realistically accommodate. Not to mention the huge financial costs upfront. Any child, no matter how they join your family, is expensive. International adoption is by far one of the most expensive though. It's a fit for some people, but not for us.
4. You're young, why not wait and see if you get lucky and conceive naturally anyway?
Because Steve and I feel like this is the right time to expand our family. We would always be open to a little miracle if one should come our way, but we feel that adoption is the right choice for us no matter what the future holds.
5. Whose fault is it? (Meaning which one of us is causing our infertility)
This is the one question that truly gets under my skin. Probably because the answer accomplishes nothing positive. I'm willing to believe that the people asking this are simply trying to help, but the only answer I will give here is this: Nobody is at fault. Since we have chosen not to pursue medical intervention for our infertility, it truly doesn't matter which of us would require treatment.
6. Don't you worry that those kids from foster care will hurt you/your pets/your home? Don't you worry that they are too damaged to love you back?
No. I don't worry about those things.
I acknowledge that the harm to myself or our home is a minute possibility, but a risk I'm willing to take for a child who needs a safe, stable, loving home. We are taking all possible steps to protect our pets. We are not considering profiles of children with a history of violence toward animals.
Honestly, this adoption is not about finding a kid or group of kids who will love us. It's about finding a kid/kids we can love and care for. Of course we want their love in return, but that's not something that we get to decide about. It's not something even biological parents get to decide about their kids. All we can do is love these kids the best we can with what we have and hope for the best.