Not a lot of people know about our situation (read: almost no one except our immediate family), so there aren’t a lot of chances that people will ask us why we don’t just adopt. In fact I’ve actually never been asked, until now; and it was especially sucky because it was my mom who asked. My mom has a way of saying things that are sort of rude, without necessarily realising it, or putting her foot in her mouth without meaning to (I inherited this unbecoming trait from her, unfortunately).
She called me Saturday to confirm our plans for Mother’s day, and we got chatting about other things, such as my friend’s bridal shower/stagette. The maid of honor for said friend just recently got a boob job and my mom remarked how good she looked in a picture on Facebook, of her and her little 6 month old daughter. I agreed, and told my mom that she gets dirty looks all of the time because she has a slammin’ body and a young baby.
Now, I have to give you a little back story on the maid of honor for this all to make sense. The baby is adopted and this woman went through all forms of IF treatment, and hell, over several years before turning to adoption. She went to Mexico and did IVF, had OHSS but got a shitload of eggs, one successful embryo implanted but ended up as an ectopic. She had to have emergency surgery back home when they realised it was implanted in her tube (didn’t lose her tube but at that point she didn’t care), then proceeded to go back to Mexico for a hail mary where she put in all the rest of her frozen embabies (I don’t remember how many there were but looking back it was way more than is safe). None of them took. They then applied for adoption, and from the time they applied to the time they got their baby (brand new, as in they were at the hospital when she was born) was 14 months. A blink of an eye in adoption time frames.
I don’t think my mom knows the full detail of this back story, but the gist of it at least. She does know the baby is adopted (and the reason they chose adoption) and how seemingly quickly and easily it happened for them. When I told my mom about the jealous looks maid of honor gets, my mom replied with “Oh yeah, I always forget their baby is adopted”. The next thing she said was where things got dicey;
Mom: They got a nice white baby. Would you guys do that [adoption]?
Me (rather sharply): No! (In my head WTF! My mom is not racist, per se but I think in her mind if we were to adopt we would want a baby that looks like us. Also I’m not against adoption, but want to exhaust other options first).
Mom: Well, are you guys still trying?
Me: Yes. Well, not at the moment.
Mom: Oh, ok but no giving up?
Me: Um, no.
She then proceeded to tell me that people ask her all the time when we are having kids and she just tells them oh, I don’t know. My grandma apparently also asks a lot, which breaks my heart because I want her to meet our future baby(ies). She has early onset dementia and she is already very forgetful and repetitive, it is hard to watch happen. The way my mom was talking, it was almost like she felt bad for herself that she had to answer to my lack of children and it pissed me off. She is always very sneaky too, in the way that she tries to ask about our TTC situation, just casually slipping it into conversation because she knows I don’t want to talk about it. Cue awkward segue into next topic…
After this encounter I was upset, but at the same time it made me want to explain to her what is going on, and what she should and shouldn’t be saying to me. It’s partially my fault because I keep her in the dark. My mom and I are practically polar opposites so it is hard for me to talk to her. Then I started thinking maybe I should send her an email, putting it all out there, that way I can gather my thoughts, say exactly what I want to say without getting emotional or interrupted. In my head that seems really callous, to do it by email but I am seriously thinking it might be the best way.
But then today I’ve been thinking, I still don’t really want to tell her anything. I don’t want to tell her (or anyone else for that matter) when we are having IVF just because then there is that expectation afterwards of…so did it work? I fear J may have already told his parents when we are planning for IVF, and then we are sort of forced to tell them because they would be waiting with bated breath. I’d rather just speak to everyone in vague terms, so no one can get up in my business about the actual goings on of our process. Again, it’s all very complicated.
This got me thinking, if I drafted a “letter” to my mom, that I might be brave enough to send a private message to my Facebook friends (those whom I care to tell). Again, it seems impersonal using social media, but that way I can tell a lot of people at once, say exactly what I want to say, provide them with information, and resources of how to help (and what not to do). Then I’d just be done with it. I would still probably keep it pretty vague on the treatment side of things, but just to have it out there would feel like a burden lifted (I would hope, more than it would create more issues).
I know I can’t count on everyone to be understanding, empathetic or even to get it, but I’m getting closer to the point where I am thinking about sharing. Anyone out there have any insight for me; how did you “come out” to your friends and family? At what point in your struggle did you tell them (if not right from the beginning when you first started TTC)? Do you regret it, or feel relieved by it? I know overall it is a personal choice, different for everyone but I need outside input!