November is National Adoption Month - A Choice
National Adoption Month
November is National Adoption Month.
For today, I’ll start with my story about adoption.
Although I believe that my life and family ended up being just what they were supposed to be, one of the few profound, resounding regrets that I have is how I looked at adoption while I was in the midst of chaos of understanding infertility.
Common Adoption Fears
I’ve shared before on this blog about my fears about adoption but I’m going to do it again. These were the most common ones, the ones I was willing to admit:
- That I wouldn’t love the baby as much as I would had it been “mine”
- That my family wouldn’t accept the baby
- That the birthmother/father would take the baby away from me
- That my child wouldn’t truly love me as his/her mother
- That I would have to accept another family when my child grew up and searched for their “real” (biological) family
- That it would cost $100,000 and take three years to get a child
- That the mother had done awful things during the pregnancy and the child would be permanently damaged
- That the genetic background would be a nightmare in terms of disease
- That the baby would look nothing like me and we wouldn’t feel a connection with one another
- That I would still feel the hurt and pain from infertility
I’m going to ask a few of my fabulous adoption friends, professionals in the field and parents of adopted children to “debunk” the fears that I listed above. Or, if not debunk, then at least address. I’m fairly certain that I am neither the first nor the last person to have had those fears.
Looking back, seeing my list with new eyes, I see the common denominator.
This child wouldn’t truly be mine. I’d be a glorified babysitter until the child could grow up enough to find his/her real parents. Underneath everything else, my fears were based on lack of connection.
I see now that I underestimated myself. What I didn’t see then was my own strength and emotional depth. I didn’t recognize those things then.
I do now.
I am strong and resilient.
And infertility and fertility treatment forged those things into my very soul.
Adoption wasn’t a door that I felt I could open because of my perception of myself. That I wasn’t enough. Infertility and fertility treatment contributed to those feelings as well. That I was damaged. That I wasn’t able to do what women were created to do. That there was something wrong with me.
Infertility made me feel broken.
And ultimately, infertility made me feel whole.
Recognizing A Family Building Possibility
Let's talk more about adoption this month and year-round. It’s a family building possibility that could be an option for you.
You may not know that you are strong enough.
But I’ve met you. Every time I look in the mirror, I see a reflection back of you.
You’re strong enough, brave enough, and whole enough.
Thanks for reflecting those things back to me.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.