Week 24 - August 29, 2006
~ Complicated Issues
I had a troublesome conversation with one of my in-laws a few weeks ago, and though I have tried to let it all slide, I have been having a hard time forgetting about it. It has very much been bothering me, and I thought that maybe, if I try to write my feelings here in this journal, I will be better able to sort it all out and deal with it.
I was initially reluctant to write any of this down, since I really didn't think I would want a permanent record of it. And I didn't think I would want any of my children to hear about this conversation. But as it has been so much on my mind, and I think it is something important, I felt the time had come to try to make some comments about it.
The short version is that this particular relative called to talk about my pregnancy, and to say how excited she was that we were having a boy so that Paul could "have a son." Of course my immediate response was that he already had a son. This person was unfazed: "you know what I mean, a real son." I tried to remain calm as I felt my blood begin to boil. I explained to her once again that our adopted children were our real children by every definition, and that if she ever made any of my children feel less because of the way they came into our family, I would be extremely upset. "Oh, of course I would never do that," she said, "I'm just telling you." Ouch.
The conversation never really got any better. She persisted in dredging up long ago discussions about Paul's and my decision to adopt rather than pursuing IVF or other medical options. She felt that because of my strong personality, Paul just "went along" with me all these years on adoption, but he really would have rather had his "own" children. I could not believe that she would make such accusations. It means that not only does she not know her own relative, she has never understood me, nor believed anything we have said over the years. She probably still didn't believe anything I told her in this conversation.
But I want to make it clear for myself and my children. I always wanted to be a mother. Of course I never calculated on having infertility issues. And although I never had any great longing to go through pregnancy, I just assumed it was a natural part of life, and a necessary element in the road to parenthood. When the doctors told us we had such a small chance of ever getting pregnant naturally, Paul and I carefully, prayerfully, and thoughtfully considered all our options. We counseled with our doctors and even with our religious leader to make sure we were not only well informed, but to assure each other that we were hearing both our points of view. It was not an easy decision to adopt, but once made, it was clearly the right choice for us. We have never looked back. I was even somewhat relieved to be able to bypass the pregnancy part. Certainly, adoption has its own set of challenges and difficult issues, but we couldn't be happier with our two children who came to us in this most marvelous of ways.
Now, after all these years, I have turned up pregnant after all, and it has been harder for me to come to terms with this new development than it ever was for me to accept the road of adoption. I love my adopted children beyond measure. I love the stories of how they came to us, and I treasure them incomprehensibly. I hope they will always know how extremely blessed we feel to have had them come into our lives and family in this special way. I cannot even begin to imagine a scenario where this baby growing in my belly will be any more valuable to me. Going through this challenge of pregnancy has only made me appreciate birth mothers more, and to recognize how truly miraculous and wonderful it is to adopt.