Tuesday, November 16, 2010

16. Hand In Hand.

I know that my Pain post was really insensitive and I'm going to try to clarify everything I was trying to say.

I know that adoptive families don't lie awake at night and pray that someone will go through a crisis pregnancy, someone will die, someone will become a drug addict and have their baby taken from them. I know it's hard to realize that the cause of our grief and pain is in your arms. But we can't avoid that. Everything happens. It happens for a reason. It may not be the result that we like, but it's there.

We didn't pray at night hoping that we'd get ourselves in a situation and that we prayed that someone would be infertile and have to raise our baby. In a perfect world, everyone who wanted to be fertile could be. And everyone who didn't, didn't have to be until they wanted to be. But we don't live in a perfect world. We all have to experience pain, trials and tribulations. It's all part of a plan. It's all part of the learning experience here.

Being humble means recognizing that we are not on earth to see how important we can become, but to see how much difference we can make in the lives of others. -Gordon B. Hinckley

Dustinn and Val have made such a huge difference in my life that I wish I could explain it in words. They've shown me what it means to endure through hard times. That even though we may ask why things had to happen to us, that we are able to get through it. They are the happiest people that I've ever met and so optimistic. They are complimented all the time by complete strangers that their children are so happy. They went to the doctors and the doctor said to them, "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it. I wish all my patients looked like her." If I would've known that Olivia would not be that way because she was with me. I would go through the pain that I did at placement a milllllllllllion times over and over just to know that she'll be happy. Dustinn and Val have set the example for me to be the kind of parents they are. They are what I want to be. That's a lot of the reason why I placed with them because I knew that's what kind of parent I want to be. I know that makes them the most happiest in this world is having their children in their lives. I know it sucks that we can't have ours. But atleast we get to have a piece of that. I don't believe that I shared Olivia with them. They shared Olivia with me. She was meant to be with them. Like any other children that are supposed to be in their family through adoption or not.

Everything that we have done for our baby isn't for nothing. Our pain that we went through isn't the end for us. Knowing that our baby is cared for and loved is all that's worth it. Knowing that someday that little Spirit will thank us for our sacrifice. And I can't wait for that. I know it's worth it when I see her smile. When I hear her laugh. When she gives me hugs. Every single moment with her, is worth it.

I read a post a little after I posted my Pain post. And I think it goes hand in hand. It's a birthmom that commented on my blog and I had never read hers before and I linked over. And I love it.

The post is called, "Yes It Hurts, But It's A Good Hurt."

"I have to admit I've felt some of what she is describing. It is true that in order for an adoptive couple to fulfill their dreams- to bring a child into their family, to raise a son or a daughter, it does require that another woman feel pain. Not pain deliberately inflicted of course, but the grief and aftermath that comes with placing a child for adoption.

For adoptive parents to know the joy and rewards of becoming parents to that son or daughter, (and yes all the dirty diapers too), another woman must know the heartache of having her parenthood eliminated.

 I do not believe that any adoptive parent prays at night for a pregnant woman to consider adoption so that she can adopt her baby. I can't imagine any adoptive parent hoping that grief or sadness befalls another human being. However the very act of adoption- terminating parental rights and transferring them to another- does cause pain.

When I first met Bluebell's parents they let me know that they were Catholic and realized a few years into their marriage that they had trouble conceiving. That put them on the path to adoption. They are very traditional Catholics and while we didn't speak of it, I'm pretty sure that means that they followed the church's teachings about procreation and infertility. Basically, no assisted reproduction. No IVF. No artificial insemination. Their drug of choice?


I am sad that Mr. and Mrs. Wonderful can't have biological children. I wonder all the time, how is it, that these two amazing, loving, kind, patient, wonderful people, who are meant to be parents, can't have biological children? I am in awe at their faith, how they have been tested, and their brevity in the face of it all. Infertility is rough. It can put extreme stress on a marriage. (As can raising children in itself- no matter if they are adopted, biological, or fostered, or so I hear)

Yet if they had not gone through their struggles, they wouldn't have been able to be part of my answered prayer.
If The Wonderfuls had been able to have biological children, they never would have adopted. 

If they had been able to concieve biological children, they wouldn't have built Bluebell's family. Bluebell would not have her parents. She would not even be Bluebell! I am thankful for that.

I honestly do not believe that Mrs. Wonderful laid in bed at night praying and wishing that an unmarried pregnant woman like myself would come along and "give" her a baby. She may have prayed for God to bring them more children to grow their family if it was his will. She may have prayed for the well being and guidance of pregnant women in difficult circumstances to consider adoption instead of abortion. She may have prayed for a little girl to join their family. Yet she most definitely did not pray for a birthmom to become a birthmom.

Yes, me becoming a birthmom made her the mother of Bluebell, but I know if she could take the pain and sorrow away from me, she would do it in a heartbeat.

I do agree with Cassi- as a birthmom there isn't a salve for giving up your child. Adoptive parents, who may have struggled with infertility and the grief and stress and sadness that goes along with that, do have the option of adopting to build a family. While it doesn't "take away" their pain, their chance to parent, the ultimate wish, does and will come along. They do find fulfillment in their prayers to parent.

As a birthmom we don't have that. We are comforted by updates and pictures, and the knowledge that we provided for our children. Yet comfort does not mean that the updates and pictures make it all ok.

We live with the unnatural feeling of not nurturing and raising our own children. We live with the grief of not being our own offspring's parent. That isn't something that can be soothed, talked away in therapy, forgotten by raising subsequent children.

Knowing that I will watch Bluebell grow up, and she will know me when she is older, that her parents have a very healthy and respectful attitude and approach towards adoption, the birthfamily, and ultimately just wants to do best by their children, makes my adoption experience a positive outcome for everybody.

It will change and develop over time, of course. I haven't even begun to navigate what this all means yet. However, I do not discount the fact that The Wonderfuls will have their own moments of sadness as well. 

When Bluebell asks why her toes are shaped that way, or where she got her poor vision from. When she wishes aloud that she had hair like her Mommy or wants to know if she is going to grow as tall as her Daddy. The fact of the matter is, she is not biologically "A Wonderful" and it is just a fact that her parents know and live with. Yet we are all connected to each other in our hearts, which is all that truly matters.

I didn't lie in bed at night hoping that a couple exactly like The Wonderfuls happened to have fertility problems and all the grief and sadness that went into them, existed, so that I could "solve" my problem of a baby coming in one month and not knowing how I could raise her on my own.  Just as The Wonderfuls didn't lie in bed at night hoping that an unmarried, single and pregnant woman just like me was going through the stress and uncertainty of an unplanned pregnancy so that they could "solve" their need for another child.

I truly believe we left our prayers in the hands of God, and through that grace found our way to one another.

I do not believe that MY PAIN = THEIR HAPPINESS."

I just practically copy and pasted the whole post but I love it ALL. I say, AMEN sista. It's beautifully put. A lot better than I said, obviously.

Wish me luck tomorrow, I am doing a high school presentation! At the high school that I attended, Oh boy!

“People who didn’t talk about their problems got to pretend they didn’t have any, People who discussed what was wrong… fought and ached and felt miserable.” -Jodi Picoult


  1. Stefanie, I'm so glad you re-posted about this! I so badly wanted to tell you that we (adoptive parents) do not pray for you to have pain. We DO pray for you to have peace. Everyday. Thinking about a birthmom praying for people to be infertile makes it sound even more absurd. It's easy to forget that it's satan's plan for us to be miserable living in this messed up world. Choose to be happy anyway.

  2. I read both this and your pain post, and I have to say, that it all makes sense. And your questions about changing things (on the pain post), and what not, I honestly wouldn't change a thing about placement, because I honestly don't think I would be married right now, and that he would be alive. I didn't know anything about raising a child, or the things they get, but the adoptive family did, because they had an older son, and because they were so persistent with my son's care, they saved his life. And besides, who to say that things would be better. Because we will never know. But I would definitely change how I handled it, and how I went about it, I would be more adament about what I wanted in our openness, and actually make an openness agreement, because I didn't feel it was necessary since they were friends of mine, but now I'm seeing that it was actually necessary, but that's for another post, lol ;)