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1st choice, 2nd choice, 100th choice?


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I wanted to post on something that has been on my mind for a long time. Is adoption truly a second choice?

I have to agree that when most of us think of growing our family it does not include adoption. It includes having a child. Many of us think of being pregnant, trying to get pregnant (practice, practice, practice), delivery, bringing our little one home, and loving and raising him or her or them.

When I hear of friends trying to start a family I hear so many different stories. How many times do you hear that they are pregnant right off the bat?

Some of our friends were told by their doctor it would take some time to get pregnant once off the pill so they decided to get off and hopefully they would get pregnant in 6 months. They were pregnant immediately. Was that their second choice? They did not want to be pregnant then, well not prepared would be a better choice of words. The plan was in 6 months.

Others wanted to get pregnant and it took so long. How many disappointments did they have? Was it 6 months or a year? Did that make their child their 6th choice or their 12th choice?

Others knew exactally when they were to ovulate, had one encounter, and WHAM! Are they the only ones that truly have a first choice child?

I could go on and on with examples.

For our family having a child to love and raise was what our ONLY choice was. Yes we had to take many steps, twists, and turns to get there, but they were not second best. Our choice was to have a child and our journey got us there!

I am sure many of you feel differently. I know many books say differently. This is just how our family feels.

Lisa

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Lisa,

Thank you for your words of TRUTH. Marcelo and I new early on that being able to have a "normal" pregnancy would be challenging. I don't know if you would call it a second choice, but we immediately spoke of adoption. Not as a "second" choice, but of something we would love to be able to do. I don't think we thought of it as a second or third choice. We could have gone through invitro, but did not feel that was the right thing for us to do at the time. I can't imagine not going through this awesome adoption process. It's bittersweet but such a beautiful thing!

I guess it just depends on how you view life and what is really important. Is it bearing a child or raising and loving one!

Thanks again for raising such an interesting topic.

Claudia cool.gif

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DrMom, I love your analogy! That was beautiful!!!

Elaine

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from a birthparent perspective, from the day I found out I was pregnant, adoption was the 1st and ONLY thought on my mind!

-Loriahn

Great subject though!!

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Great topic, thanx Lisa

From March of 1989 until Nov. 26th 2002 my journey wasn't necessarily a rollercoaster ride. It was more like a ocean vogage, sometimes the waters were calm and the wind very still and other times the sea was rather rough. I realized, early on that parenthood was the journey on which I wanted to embark and that pregnancy was just the most natural means of getting out of the port.

So, of course, we were stuck in port for sometime!!! Our "psychological pregnancy" began in the spring of 2002 when we attended the Parents of Tomorrow orientation weekend. At that point I felt the wind and there was no looking back. The breeze kicked up and sailing since has been awesome.

I try not to overanalyze this matter of "choices". In life we learn to accept what is presented. It is natural and of no consequence to have sought the easiest and most natural route to parenthood. Unless we have a strong social conscience that urges us to help prevent the world's overpopulation by not adding any additional souls, or we have genetic predispositions that we do not want to pass on, or we have serious medical conditions that prohibit us from getting pregnant, most of us will opt for what, at first glance, appears to be the easiest route.

pkk

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I have posted this story in a different part of the forum - but I thought it good enough to repeat here.

Different Trips to the Same Place

Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guidebooks and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip. So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait—and wait--and wait. Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's not fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat." "By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat. It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than by air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not the way you get there, but in the place itself.

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Great story,

I too believe that there is wonderment in the friendships you develop along the way during your sea voyage. Somehow I expect these are more special that those developed by others who are "flying".

pkk

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I think that most of the people who adopt (or place a child with adoptive parents) don't feel adoption is a second choice. This is me just thinking aloud here. Or maybe it is that for many of us, adoption IS technically a second choice -since we tried to get pregnant first - but it is in NO WAY considerd second best. Going back to the travel analogy, we all wanted to get to parenthood, and some of us got there through our own biology and some of us got there with the help of someone else's biology - but what matters is that we got there.

Do y'all think the difficulty comes in when people outside adoption look at families created by adoption and say second choice, when what they are really thinking is that to them adoption seems second best?

Am I nutty to think that the difference in the meanings between the terms 'second choice' and 'second best' has any effect on the way people view anything, much less something as important as adoption?

Edited by DrMom
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You know, that is an interesting question...

I have an elderly aunt (85 years old) who one day said to me "I was always glad when my children got grown and moved out of my house. I just can't see why anyone would go buy a baby." Now, considering that she is my mother's oldest living sibling, I decided to swallow my disgust as best I could and explain to her my view on the subject with the hopes that my aunt might somehow reprogram her opinions (which I must say really hurt my feelings since I'd always felt that everyone in my family absolutely adored Trenton).

But that said, our journey into parenthood really opened my eyes to how wonderful God is. He brings us together is so many ways, by marriage, by birth, sometimes by tragedy, by faith, by friendships and yes, by adoption. And how we came together isn't quite as important as the fact that we are together and we're family. And for everything we've been through in becoming a family, I'd do again exactly the same way to see my son's face first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Jacquee

Edited by Travis and Jacquee
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Jacquee,

I love the the picture of Trenton. He is such a doll!

"But that said, our journey into parenthood really opened my eyes to how wonderful God is. He brings us together is so many ways, by marriage, by birth, sometimes by tragedy, by faith, by friendships and yes, by adoption. And how we came together isn't quite as important as the fact that we are together and we're family. And for everything we've been through in becoming a family, I'd do again exactly the same way to see my son's face first thing in the morning and last thing at night." Beautifully said!!!

Jill

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In the book "Adopting for Good, A Guide for People Considering Adoption" by Jorie Kincaid, there is an entire chapter devoted to this topic! The third chapter of the book is titled "Is Adoption Second Best?"

Ms Kincaid writes "Do you struggle with the idea of adoption as a way to create a family? You may want to adopt, but fears lurk in your mind and you wonder if you will be doing the right thing. You may fear the timing, the unknowns, the choice of a child. In all of these situations, only you can decide if adoption is right for you. "

The author then discusses some of the issues that one would want to consider before embarking on the adoption path. (I'll just highlight the main points here.....this chapter is 17 pages long!)

Making Peace with the Past

"First of all, everyone considering adoption needs to make peace with his or her past. If there are unresolved issues in your life or in the life of your spouse, it is important to resolve them before entering into the new relationships created by adoption. Once a new child or children enter into your home, personal issues are compounded because there are more people who are affected by them. A child will also bring into your family relationship personal issues that will demand your attention. He or she deserves to have parents who are anchored and ready to devote time to the child's needs instead of their own. It is essential to ask ourselves the questions "What has brought me to this place of considering adoption?" and "What is my motivation?"

Motivations Can Differ

"A decision to adopt cannot be based on a desire to be humanitarian or to fulfill a void in our own lives or even to please a husband or wife -- it must be based on a desire to love a child without any expectation from him or her in return. This is an important distinction. In order to have a successful parenting experience, a couple needs to be united in their decision to adopt, and that decision must be based on a desire to love a child. This unity of decision and the desire to give love to a child is the glue that binds a couple together in their adoption journey."

Making Peace with Your Past

"For many who choose to adopt, the motivation is infertility. And adoption is a wonderful way to create a family for people in this situation. But if you feel that adoption is a disappointing second-best alternative to biological parenting, it is important to resolve these feelings before an adopted child joins your family.

You may be grieving over the inability to bear children, still carrying the pain and anger of that disappointment, when an adopted child comes into your home. Maybe you are a single woman who has had a great desire to be married and have a family, yet as the years have unfolded that dream simply has never materialized. Adoption can be a happy way for many single women to experience the joys of parenthood. But...it is important for a single woman to make peace with her singleness before pursing adoptive motherhood.

Children feel their parents' emotion. For a successful parenting relationship, parents need to make peace with their past."

Cultivate an Eternal Perspective

"What is an eternal prespective? I see only a very small portion of my life. In contrast, God sees our circumstances with the big picture in mind. Cultivating an eternal perspective is the exercise of trying to look at the events in our lives in the way that God may look at them, realizing that he will use everything, both good and bad, together for good.

Our vision is very limited compared to what God sees. Sometimes the very circumstance that seems so very devastating, like a failed in vitro attempt or an adoption that falls through, can eventually be viewed as a blessing as we see it in a larger context. Just as we see only our immediate circumstances, sometimes we see only immediate disappointment."

The author then gives an illustration of what an "eternal perspective" has meant in her life:

"On a Sunday afternoon many years ago, an unmarried young woman faced life-threatening emergency surgery for ovarian tumors. She survived the surgery but was left with the uncomfortable effects of menopause in her very early 20's and the devastating knowledge that she would never bear children. Her immediate circumstances had to leave her discouraged, wondering if she would every become a wife or experience the joy of motherhood. No one could say these circumstances were good ones!

But many years later, looking at her situation through the perspective of eternity, the very circumstance which was the hardest for her to face, her infertility, has become a blessing in her life. That woman is my mother, and though unrelated biologically because I am adopted , we are as close friends as any mother and daughter can be. We are very grateful to God for bringing us into each other's lives. I attribute the passion I feel for orphan children and the adoption work I do around the world today to my mother. (Ms Kincaid is the founder and director of Orphans Overseas in Portland, Oregon.) If she had not experienced the pain of infertility in her young life, we would not have experienced the joy of which I am one of the recipients.

Adoption is an outpouring of God's grace on all of the persons involved. Birthparents are recipients of a loving home for the child for whom they are not able to care. Adopted children are recipients of parents to love them and tell them they are special. Adoptive parents are recipients of a child to love and nurture. Adoption is clearly God's design.

God can take our disappointments and fears and turn them into good if we give him that chance. Adoption as second-best? Not in God's eyes. "

All quotes taken from Adopting for Good, A Guide for People Considering Adoption by Jorie Kincaid, 1997, Inter-Varsity Press

Edited by marthaj
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  • 2 years later...

From the "Uh, Gee, Thanks... I think?" file:

Bus Driver Offers to Adopt Baby After Killing Child's Father.

Understandably, it seems the baby's uncle has declined the adoption offer, however well-intentioned it might have been. :rolleyes:

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I thought this article in today's New York Times gave an interesting perspective on why it can be SO HARD to leave behind the options of infertility treatments or international adoption.

The Advantages of Closing a Few Doors by John Tierney

Best, Kay

Very interesting article Kay. I did the test too!

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From the "Uh, Gee, Thanks... I think?" file:

Bus Driver Offers to Adopt Baby After Killing Child's Father.

Understandably, it seems the baby's uncle has declined the adoption offer, however well-intentioned it might have been. :rolleyes:

Ever feel like we need a thread titled- expect the unexpected???

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