I will never be pregnant again. I never will hope and wish and pray for the health of my unborn child. I will never have to face the measuring and dating of another lifeless fetal sac. I will never have to hear that the baby's heart stopped beating 5 days ago. But I will also never again know the joy of a watching a healthy baby doing somersaults in my belly at a 16 week ultrasound.
I realize that this is old news to anyone that has read my blog for any length of time. My husband told me 16 months ago that he would never, ever, not in a million years, attempt to conceive another child with me. It was too painful and anxiety ridden. He could not take one more miscarriage, one more lost dream.
After briefly contemplating divorce (seriously, I didn't know if I could forgive him.) I realized it was stupid to give up ten years of marriage for something that I could probably never attain anyways. So I said "Fine. Done. I will not ask you again. I will give up my dreams of another child, if that is what needs to be done to preserve what we have."
And it was a good decision. We needed to stop. We needed to rest. We needed to become unpolarized and remember that we were a team, not adversaries.
But the thing is, even though I agreed to stop trying, I really wasn't willing to give up my dream. I was agreeing to give in. An important difference.
A couple does not try halfway to get pregnant, especially after four plus miscarriages and having recently reached the ripe old age of 40. You either are trying to conceive or not. Black or white. So I landed on the side of not trying. I still wished, but at that point my husband would have rather given up sex (at least until I was in menopause) than risk the heartache of another miscarriage. It was so much harder on him than I realized at the time.
But I hoped that he would change his mind, I hoped that with time maybe he could try one more time or that he would embrace adoption. Earlier this year, right before I turned 42, I broke my promise to him and asked him if he would ever consider trying again. He told me that he "just. couldn't imagine. it. " Last month he told me that he didn't want any part of miscarriage, ever again. Nothing has changed since last year, there is no going back.
We take what we can bear each day, and at that time I couldn't bear more than just "not trying." I knew that eventually I probably would have to face this reality, but as I creep ever closer to acceptance, it is still hard. I have given away a lot of baby things, but there are more things that I have not given away. I can't quite do it.
And I think it is because I still have hopes for adoption. Lately my husband has mentioned adoption on his own, without my prompting. But don't misinterpret that fact. He brings it up not out of any burning desire he has to adopt, but because he hopes it will heal the hole that my pregnancy losses have indeliby left on my psyche. It's not that he dislikes the idea of adoption, quite the contrary. But it's expensive, it's a hassle, it's almost as scary has having a biological baby, and, in some ways, even scarier. There are the financial implications of paying for two kids educations, and piano lessons, and soccer, and dance, and blah, blah, blah. Life is easier with one child. If someone handed my husband and me a healthy child, he would be delighted. He would love the child deeply and not regret its arrival. But for him, seeking a child out seems like more trouble than it's worth.
So it speaks to his kindness and heart that he is willing to bring up the subject of adoption up on his own. If I was going to put a percentage chance on our moving ahead with adoption (and my husband knows I like to do this kind of thing, don't ask me why.) I would place it at about 25%, up from about .5% fifteen months ago. It's not going to happen now. While my Mother-in-law was ill my husband was, for the most part, unemployed. We feel lucky that he was able to spend the time with her. But now we have to build up the bank account again. We need to get back on solid ground, if there is such a thing.
But, as I give up my hope of giving birth to a live child, I will cling to this dream for a while longer. And in the event that it does happen I thought I could use this time to do some anecdotal research. I have read several adoption books, and for chrissakes, am adopted myself, so I have a few ideas about what it is like. But I would love some advice.
I'd like to hear from friends and/or readers that have adopted internationally. I would love to receive personal emails about what agencies they used, how they came to their decisions to adopt internationally, and how they decided on a country. I would like to hear about outcomes. At what age did their children come to them, and how was attachment? I love the idea of adopting a 8 month to 15 month old (I never did like the newborn phase), but I worry about problems with attaching. How long did it take to bond? If you are a multiracial family - how is that going? Do you have biological and adopted children? I would love to hear from you especially.
Personally, I am very drawn to adopting from Vietnam. My husband and I travelled there together, and were extremely touched by the children living on the streets there. We wanted to take them home well before we were trying to have a child. My brother-in-law is married to a Japanese woman, and they live in Japan, so an asian child makes some sense. I am just past the age deadline for Korea, and China seems a little stopped up right now. So anyone that has adopted from Vietnam, or is currently adopting I would love to hear from. What was your agency? How did things go? Any information on the orphanages fostering systems there? I am particularly drawn to northern Vietnam for sentimental reasons. Please email any personal experience that you think may be valuable. Guatemala is also of interest to me, being geographically closer and with a native language that I have some knowledge of, and could certainly could become more proficient at speaking. Thanks in advance for anything you have to share. I am hopeful that it will become useful to me.