Today, a friend shared a status on Facebook from a group called "The Infertily Voice." Since I haven't thought much about our infertility lately, I decided to respond to it. The question was, "How did you know when to stop trying?" My answer can be summed up in a few words, but really, I think it deserves a well thought out response. The quick answer, we just knew. The long answer? I think I could write an essay.
First, for any new comers, or someone just stumbling onto this post, here is a quick history lesson.
Hubs and I were married in 2001.
After years of struggling to get pregnant, we started the adoption process in 2008.
That profile went unnoticed for nearly 2 years, until October 2009. I still get a case of butterflies when I think of our first email from C. I knew that day it would change my life, I just didn't know how.
We were the proud, expectant parents of a precious baby girl for roughly 5 months. It was amazing. Then C met another couple and decided to go with them.
After that, our profile stayed active for another 14 months. In May 2011, we officially closed our profile. It had been active for 3-1/2 years. In that time, we only had on real contact from a birth mom. We had had a few others, but they were all scams.
So how did we get to that point? There was a few things that happened.
When we started the process (back in 2008), we knew it could take months, even years. But we were ok with that. At one point, right at the beginning of the process, I remember Josh and I trying to decide how long to try. I said 5 years, he said 3. But after getting approved, that conversation was pretty much forgotten.
We bought a few things for the nursery. And waited. Bought a few more things. And waited. Went online with Parent Profiles. And waited. Had a new nephew born. And waited. And waited. When we met C, we thought our waiting had come to an end.
C, I still think she is amazing. After being unchosen, we pretty much stopped contact with each other. We were mourning our own loss and within a few months, she too was mourning her loss (which was by far greater then ours). But just over the last few months, we have become facebook buddies again. I've realized just how much I've missed her. I never stopped thinking about her. Was she ok? Was she happy? Had she found peace? Was she getting enough contact with her adoptive family? I never once stopped loving her.
I don't think being unchosen had anything to do with our decision. Going into adoption, we knew we could never be chosen. We knew if we were chosen, things could change. At first, I think we just became set in our ways. We started to realize just how free were were as a couple. We could go do what we wanted, when we wanted. We became comfortable with that lifestyle.
I think we both realized we were ready to pull our file a few months before we actually did. But we weren't sure how the other felt, so we didn't dare say anything. What if I was ready to stop trying, but Josh still had his hopes set on being a daddy? I think he had the same thought towards me. I think if one of us had voiced the decision to close our profile and the other hadn't been ready, well, I'm not sure, but I'm sure it would have been very stressful on our marriage.
Finally, after months of feeling ready to close our profile, I mentioned it to Josh. I was pleasantly surprised when he agreed. He told me that he had been feeling the same way for a long time, but didn't want to crush any dreams I might still have of becoming a mother.
Not once have we regretted that decision. Every now and then it will come up again. We'll hesitantly ask the other if they are still ok with how things are. The other will agree that life is perfect the way it is.
I try to not judge other couples decision. But sometimes I will admit wondering why they keep trying. I know couples who have been married longer then us and also have an active adoption profile older then ours, but they no results. Why do they keep trying? I once tried to tell a friend, "maybe its time to accept your family as it is and move on with your life." Immediately after I said that, I realized how incentive it was of me. Just because I had reached that point in my life doesn't make it the right answer for someone else. Each family must reach this decision on their own.
I've had several things show me that I'm ok with how things are.
1) I have finally been able to find joy beyond words as an aunt. That is something I struggled with for years. It took 4 nephews before I could love the with all my heart. Before then, it was too much of a competition. I just kept waiting for my turn to be a mom and that made each pregnancy announcement almost unbearable.
2) A while back, I was with a group of women. Getting pregnant and having your body change came up in the conversation. One girl was kind of insentient that she wasn't sure she wanted to get pregnant because she didn't want her body to go to pot. I thought she was being a little vain, but didn't think beyond it that much. A few minutes later, one of the ladies said "You know T, someone here would die to have her body go to pot just for the chance to be a mom." I felt about 6 inches tall. That someone is one of my best friends and I had forgotten that she just lost a baby. How could I?! I still feel horrid for how I reacted that day, but also, it made me realize the topic of babies and pregnancy can come up and I don't feel even a tiny twinge of sadness.
3) Our marriage has always been pretty good. But since closing our profile, our marriage has flourished. We have taken full advantage of living a child free life. We come and go as we please, follow our whims where ever they take us and we LOVE it!
When I got married, I did not see my life taking this path. I always thought I would be a mom. For a while, I thought I would never be happy unless I was a mom. But life has shown me differently and now, I wouldn't have it any other way.
1 day ago