I've been debating writing about this for a couple of weeks and I finally decided to pull the plug because this is my blog and I can write about whatever I want. Back in February I wrote about why we didn't adopt and this post is sort of a follow up to that.
Infertility makes you see the world differently. A couple of weeks ago as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post from a woman who I've known for close to 25 years. Apparently when she was young she found herself unexpectedly pregnant. was unwilling to get an abortion, and knew that she was unable to care for a baby at that point of her life. So she made the courageous decision to place her baby boy up for adoption. At that point in time (1981) adoptions were completely closed in the state she gave birth in so she only knew vague information about the family who adopted the baby. Through the years she wondered about the little boy, celebrated his birthday, and was very open with her other two children born later that they had a brother that was placed for adoption, but through it all she was unwavering in her decision to place him for adoption.
I should pause here and say that I think that it takes one hell of a courageous woman to make that decision and this story is not meant to sound judgmental of her or her decisions.
Fast forward to 2015... Earlier this year the state she gave birth in changed the law so that birth parents or children could unseal adoption records as long as both parties (the birth parent and the child) agreed. The woman I know placed her name on the registry and apparently her son did as well. A couple of weeks ago they received each other's contact information. They began emailing and learning about each other and I believe they have plans to meet in person sometime soon. As it turns out he was raised as an only child by doting parents who lived less than 30 miles from where this woman lived.
I'm happy for this woman and I'm happy for her son. I'm sure they both always wondered about the other and now they have their answers. But I can't help but think about his parents, the parents who adopted him, cared for him, and raised him to be a fine young man. I wonder how they feel about this. Are they ok with it? Supportive? Resentful? Or do they feel like infertility is the gift that just keeps on giving? As for me, I think it would feel like a swift kick to the ovaries to raise a child for 34 years and then have to share him.
I don't know his parents or their feelings about this, everything I wrote is completely my hypothesis based on how I think I would feel in the situation. Also it is my assumption that the adoptive parents battled infertility since they did not have biological children; this may be incorrect.
All of the comments on the post were very supportive and talked about how wonderful they thought it was that they were reunited. As for me, I couldn't help but think about his parents. I couldn't help but think about how hard it must be to support your child in his quest to find his birth parents. I couldn't help but to think about how heartbreaking it must be for them. Why did I immediately focus on the heartbreak of his parents when everyone else was focusing on the joy of the reunion? Because infertility changes a person. It changes how you see things.
I know that the climate surrounding adoption has changed a good deal since 1981 and I know that in this day and age it's unlikely that a scenario like this would happen (largely due to open adoption). But I'd be lying if I didn't say that stories like this solidify our decision not to adopt. I still maintain that adoption is a wonderful thing and it's a great way for a lot of families to grow, but it's also a calling and you have to be comfortable accepting that something like the story above could happen. I know myself and my husband well enough to know that we couldn't handle our child seeking out his birth parents. I don't think this makes us selfish, I think that it means that we are mindful of our feelings.
I wish this woman and her son all the best. I hope they can have a meaningful relationship from this point forward. I also wish that I could give his parents a great big hug and tell them that they did a damn fine job raising their son. This has to be so difficult for them.