I NEVER in a million years thought this would be the first post I wrote about our adoption story. I always assumed it would be the story about how Cope came into our lives. But, that story isn’t quite ready to be put out into the world because while going through this journey we have learned that an adoption story has so many sides to it that it takes time and heart to get that out into the world. I have been having a lot of thoughts this week about women in my shoes who have struggled with infertility and miscarriage like me who either have adopted or who are wondering where my heart is as they are thinking about it. I didn’t feel quite ready to put those thoughts out there because I don’t have anything planned out, but I’ve always been open about every single part of our infertility and adoption process so I’m not going to stop here & so I wanted to ramble out what was in my head tonight & hopefully it helps someone out there in some way. This isn’t the post telling you about our adoption process and how we adopted Cope.. that will come later. This post is to chat about how adoption feels after years of infertility and miscarriage. It’s a weird place to be & I hope I’m able to give you a tiny glimpse into my thoughts three months after our son was born. Here is what it has been like for us to adopt after infertility and miscarriage…
Let’s talk about the good stuff first. It’s pure Euphoria being a mother after 6 years of trying to become a mom & saying goodbye to all of our kids 10 months into our pregnancies. There isn’t one part of motherhood I dislike. I love the late night feedings, the dirty diapers, the crying… ok. Maybe that’s too far, but it’s honestly the best feeling in the entire world & I think after so much time praying to be in this position it’s harder to be overwhelmed with the ” not so pretty” side of motherhood. To have a baby after years of struggling, hurting, being disappointed, & dealing with the anxiety and depression that comes along with it all is simply unreal. Becoming a parent after years of wondering what it would be like & hearing so many things that parents would say about parenting is quite shocking because I was scared to make the change from the two of us to three, but every complaint I had heard was something I had been looking forward to. Long hours snuggling my baby, a messy house with signs of a new life everywhere, time in with a baby because we can’t do all the things, & time to see my husband as a new dad and a husband to me… These were things that after years of infertility I had longed for. It is all so good. So So So So good. So dang good.
It was scary. I’m not going to sugar coat anything in this post… It was terrifying. I can’t speak to everyone’s adoption experience & like I said I’m not going to go into specific details of our adoption journey in this post, but I will say that it was life altering and terrifying to enter and go through the adoption process. From meeting the amazing birth mother who may or may not choose you to be babies parents to experiencing her pregnancy & birth with her while experiencing completely different emotions than her. From watching her so selflessly choose adoption for her baby & choose you to be the parents to entering the “legal risk period” where you watch over baby, but he’s not legally yours yet, but has taken over your whole heart and life so the fear of that being taken away looms over you daily. It’s terrifying. As I’m sure it’s terrifying and scary for all parties of the adoption process. But feeling these feelings after an infertility journey can be even more scary because of the loss and pain you have already felt amplifies the fear of more loss & heartache. After already knowing what years of waiting can feel like and than being offered hope… it’s so hard to imagine that being taken away again. The waiting is so hard after the wait you have already endured. It’s scary. But it’s beautiful at the same time. Those pending weeks really made me fall more in love with my husband, appreciate being a mom even more, & form a deeper love for the amazing birth mom who gave us the greatest gift we could ever ask for here on earth.. though those weeks were hard, I am thankful for what they did for me as a mom. Every journey to becoming a mom is scary. Pregnancy is scary just like adoption is scary.. things can happen, things can change, things can go wrong. It’s all so scary, but it’s all so worth it.
the not so good.
In our experience there hasn’t been one bad part about becoming parents after infertility. If anything our infertility and miscarriages made becoming parents so much better, more euphoric, and more enjoyable. In our happy little bubble it’s perfect here. You know in that perfectly messy way that life is. The hard part about adoption after infertility for us? The stigma that surrounds adoption. You know how they say you become an advocate quickly for things that you are going through? It’s true. The second we entered this adoption journey my passion for it grew instantly. We started to assist others with their adoptions, we started talking about it in our daily discussions with others, & our hearts were opened to more than I ever thought it would be. The stigma enters our bubble quite often and our skin has had to grow thick and our hearts filled with grace for some of the things that our said to us upon finding out that we adopted our son. Some things we hear daily: “Are you still going to try to have your OWN kids?” “Now that you adopted you are going to get pregnant” “We were lucky to have our OWN kids” “Cope is so lucky that you saved him”…. & so on. Now I have to start out by saying that no grudge is ever held against anyone who has said these things.. not one. And anger? Nope. I think that God filled our hearts with grace just for this moment & he has for sure made us stronger through the whole adoption process. First of all Cope is our own… we do not think that DNA makes a child “your own” or “not your own”, but to each their own on that. See what I did there? & a stigma I want to talk about in a later post is that we did not “save” Cope. I know every situation is different, but I think the stigma around adoption is that birth mothers aren’t “fit” or they have a bad lifestyle. I’m not going to lie that when I used to think of adoption I would think of 16 & pregnant & other scenarios from TV, but that’s not the case in most scenarios. Birth Moms & dads are choosing adoption for their babies for their own reasons even when they are outstanding citizens who are more than capable of raising a baby. I can’t help but stick up for and brag about Cope’s birth mom when these things are said… I don’t care what others think of me, but I feel so protective and loving towards Cope’s birth mom and always will. I hope that she helps change the stigma of adoption with me. I hope you all get to know her soon as well… she’s an amazing human who I look up to & I would have never thought I would say that before we went through the adoption process, but here we are.
Adoption is unknown for everyone entering the journey that has not experienced it before not just for those who have struggled with infertility or miscarriage before. In my very humble opinion navigating the unknown can be particularly difficult though after years of emotional turmoil & wondering if this is the way that you want to grow your family or if this is the option for you. My advice here is to really pray about it with your spouse. One day I will talk about how we were lead to adoption, but God really just shoved us off a cliff into the whole adoption process when we weren’t even looking into it yet, but when it’s your time… it is your time. Thankfully adoption agencies offer classes on the adoption process which can help you decided if it is for you or not. You can read a post I did [HERE] on what to know before starting the adoption process. Every adoption journey looks so different so I can’t help you with all the unknowns because our journey won’t be like yours, but I hope I can help you see that the unknown is so worth exploring.
I never knew that becoming a mom through adoption would feel this “normal” I worried about bonding, mourning no experiencing birth, & so much more. But all of those worries never came true. The second Cope was born the love was so deep that I couldn’t describe it. The second I held him he felt like home & when I look at him I never think of how sad it was that I didn’t give birth to him, but I think of how beautiful his story is that I helped his birth mom while she gave birth to him & how lucky he is to have the two of us as wonderful friends and wonderful women in his life. Becoming a mom through adoption after infertility and miscarriage is the best. It’s worth the wait, it’s worth the struggle, it’s worth the pain, it’s worth it all because it truly is the best feeling in the world. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say that every worry you have about adoption isn’t worth worrying about. Is it hard? yes. Is it a lot? yes. Is it worth it? yes. yes. yes. yes. a million times yes. It’s worth the scary and the not so good because becoming a mom through adoption after infertility is simply just.. becoming a mom. and being a mom is one of the greatest things in the world and it’s worth the wait, the struggle, the pain, the longing, the mourning… in an instant you understand why that all happened & in an instant you are simply just mom and all is right in the world.
This all seems a little vague because there are parts I want to spill my heart out on, but that’s for another day. I hope these initial thoughts of entering adoption after such long journey make a little sense & help a little bit. Thank you all for being here for every part of our journey. From infertility to miscarriage to adoption & everything in between. It means the world to me. Feel free to send this post along to anyone considering adoption, going through miscarriage, struggling with infertility, or who has adopted.. I’m hoping me sharing my heart can help someone. Thank you for stopping by the blog today and every single day to see what we are up to… it means the world. xx