Monday, November 20, 2006

Boat People

I have not been blogging long but in the 1+ months I have been around, I have had the distinct pleasure of *meeting* some amazing women - many like myself, who struggled with getting our families started and have finally reached our new Mom status via IVF, ART, adoption or sheer luck.

In the last few days I read through a passionate and rather harsh discussion about adoption vs. biological and all of the issues surrounding why people did what they did. I feel compelled to throw my two cents in even if I am the only one who ends up seeing this. Compelled both because a blogger who I have really grown quite fond of seems to have inadvertently kicked off a firestorm that leaves her looking like the bad seed that I know she isn't, and compelled by having been on both sides of this very delicate fence.

I have two bio kids that we fought hard for in a painful 3 yr struggle with infertility. We went through many phases of denial and acceptance and coping during those three years - times when all of our options, including domestic and foreign adoption and IVF were on the table, and very dark bitter times when NOTHING was on the table and we were ready to burn the table and the entire sad house surrounding it.

It hurt like hell, EVERY day to not be able to have what it looked like everyone around us was achieving so easily. We didn't chose IVF as the *better* or *preferred* choice over adoption - it was just a road in the middle of a huge mess that opened up to us. (I wont go into the how or why but it involves money and job changes, etc.)

I come from an adoptive family (brother adopted from Vietnam) and we raised 14+ foster babies in my family. I am pro-family, regardless of how it comes together. I am stunned at the anger expressed by both sides on this issue. Haven't quite a few of us come to our current situation (adoption, ART, IVF, whatever) via a more difficult road than all of the people who "weren't even trying and wham we got pregnant!" people? Don't we all know the pain of wanting something so badly you start avoiding those who have what you don't? Wasn't ANY option going to be harder, longer, more expensive than what we expected?

I went through a special hell in getting to what is now my dream state of motherhood. It hurts 1000 times more to be criticized or judged after what I went through. People who see my beautiful fraternal twins and immediately ask "In-vitro?" with absolutely no shame. As if I would ask them what sexual position they used to get their *natural* baby.

And yes, some people I know and love, who knew how hard the entire journey was for us still have said things like "I guess you wanted to really know where your kids came from, instead of adopting." If they could only understand that during my darkest days I understood why there was a black market for babies and children, and why people would do it, and wondered how much it would cost to get some baby, any baby, any child.

I know my journey was not unique or more painful than those of the many wonderful women I have met through blogging. So if we all know the struggle, cant we appreciate that we would all find our end states differently, and feel very different about why we did what we did and didn't do what we didn't do? We can be sensitive and we can not like the way someone says something, but do we all have to be so right all of the time? At the end of the day we are all just survivors who ended up on different life boats.

Now that's enough of the two cents from my boat. I am needed up on the Fiesta Deck.