View Full Version : Adoption as first choice and dealing with family resistance

12-28-2004, 09:37 PM
I have known since I was 22 that I was someday going to China to bring my DD home. I never really discussed this with my family because I didn't want to deal with any resistance (due to ignorance) and it was a non-issue since I was so far away from 30. Well, fast forward 5 years. I'm married to a wonderful man who is in 100% agreement that international adoption is a way we will be adding to our family. I'm also 10 weeks pregnant right now. It was a bit of a surprise, and it still doesn't seem real to me. I'm totally miserable and not sure I EVER want to do this again! I get so annoyed with people/family saying dumb things like, "It'll all be worth it, " and "You'll forget all about this when the baby comes." I laugh but say that I'm pretty sure it's "one and done" for me! They always then argue about how I couldn't possibly just want one kid - how selfish and how lonely etc. I mention that adoption is always a possibility and then I get "the look." Which translates into how weird adoption is, or how bad I am for not feeling any need to pass my genetic code on, or how bad of a pregnant person I am. And when we do announce someday that we are gong to China, I don't want people to think it's because I couldn't hack it as a pregnant person. I'm going to China because that's where my daughter is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled I'm pregnant (when I'm not puking beside the road, that is...) But I am wondering how to make adoption not seem like a second choice. Am I worrying about this too much? Should I say something different? Should I lie and act like I love being pregnant?

What worked for you?


12-29-2004, 02:15 AM
No advice really, other then to hang in there! Those first few months can be rough. If the puking is really bad and you are miserable dont be afraid to talk to your dr. He can perscribe something that might make the world of difference. No one likes feeling sick and yucky, let alone with another being taking over your body. I would give it all a chance. It might pass and the rest of your pregnancy might be a breeze and very enjoyable and you might feel differently about having more, and even adopting as well. Nothing wrong with adopting and having them naturally. If they say you couldnt "hack it" tell them you wanted to give a homeless child a home rather then bringing another one into the world when there are some many out there for you to choose from! I think you are worrying too much. You are in the early rough stages of pregnancy and not thinking clearly. Time will tell how you really feel and there is nothing wrong with it. Heck if they say anything....tell them its none of their business how you put your family together.

12-29-2004, 11:00 AM
I think it's wonderful that a) you're expecting and b) that you are committed to adding to your family through adoption. It seems that you are secure in your beliefs + in what you want for your family. Some people will understand. Some people will never understand. Try to be yourself without worrying about what people will think now + later on down the road - complain now if you want, be thrilled about the baby, excited about adoption, etc. This is just the start of people saying LOTS and LOTS of annoying things. It will get much worse when the baby arrives!

Wishing you lots of luck. Keep us posted.

DS 6/03


12-29-2004, 05:16 PM
We plan to add to our family one day via adoption, but because of age issues and such, decided to go with having biological children first. A few thoughts that come to my mind:

1. Some people don't love being pregnant. I sure didn't. No morning sickness here, but I had a lot of pain for the last third of my pregnancy (sciatia). But you know what? Believe it or not, you tend to forget this stuff down the road. That doesn't mean that you'll necessarily want to be pregnant again, but it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're spending so much time staring into a toilet bowl, ya know?

2. Some people don't understand adoption at all. From a technical standpoint, I'm one of them, but I do understand love. And I understand perfectly how someone could feel the same love for any child - regardless of genetics. I have a friend who couldn't have children despite years of infertility treatment, and her DH would never agree to adoption because he couldn't see how he could ever love a child that wasn't "his".

3. I think that you are just giving people too much information and worrying too much with how to deal with their responses. Learn how to smile and nod when you get ridiculous comments or nonsense advice - it will come in handy more than you know once baby is here (you think that the comments are dumb now - just wait, they get worse)!! You don't have to act like you love being pregnant, but you don't have to tell people that you don't plan to do it again either. Nor do you need to always share your plans to adopt from China one day. Share with people who you are comfortable with and who you know will support you, but limit the details to everyone else.

You're having a tough time in your pregnancy with a little parasite who has taken over your body, but this too shall pass. It seems like it never will, I know, but the baby WILL come out some day - they all do!

Kimberly H
12-29-2004, 09:56 PM
Jenn, 3 families in our travel group of 16 chose to begin their families through adoption rather than birth and none were aware of any fertility issues. I think it's not as odd as you think, though certainly not as common as other circumstances.

I have a friend locally who was physically filling out her application to adopt from China when she got the call from her doctor that her "fatigue" was actually a pregnancy! She's been terribly ill and bedridden for most of her pregnancy and they know this is it for them. We're just waiting for the 36-week mark and then they'll take her off the medicine keeping her from going into labor. As soon as she's back on her feet and all's well with their baby, they're sending in that application!

Look at our Neve - in Ukraine right now pregnant, with a toddler, and they just adopted 2 little boys.

I actually had someone ask me yesterday if my Chinese daughter was a "surprise" since my fair-haired/skinned Caucasian biological boys are teenagers. Uh... yeah. The whole application, dossier process, referral, travel and expenses were a total shock. This cute little almond-eyed, brunette just showed up and we decided to keep her.

Here's your sign...

12-29-2004, 10:28 PM
Hi Jenn,

I saw your post in the lounge and wanted to respond and now I see you here and definitely want to respond!

I know how you feel in a lot of ways. We were actually in the adoption process for two years. It was our first choice. We had never pursued a pregancy (for a variety of reasons, but mainly, having a biological child wasn't as important to us as having a child). As other posters said, a lot of people will NEVER understand, but who cares. There were many times throughout the process where it seemed like no one had ever looked at adoption as a first choice. Even our adoption agency had us read all this material about depression over infertility, etc. But many people choose adoption first and for many, maybe it wasn't the first choice, but it becomes the best choice. Many people choose adoption and it's no one's business why you choose adoption or if you have one biological child and then adopt or vice versa.

As you can see from my signature--I'm in the same boat as you now! I'm feeling okay physically, but there are some iffy health things that would probably make this the only time I'll be pregnant.

We were in actually in the process of signing with a new agency when I discovered that what I thought was depression over an adoption failure was actually symptoms of pregnancy!

In a way, I hate contributing to the myth that people who are adopting will get pregnant. But I know that that totally wasn't what happened, and again, I can't let what other people think concern me. I also don't like having to explain that this wasn't exactly planned. I'm 34...I know what makes a baby! And we never intended pregnancy until it seemed that adoption, at least right now, was actually not meant to be. I still think adoption for me is meant to be for the future and I think we will probably only have the one biological child and I'd like at least two children. Of course I didn't think we'd be having ANY biological children, so I'm beyond predicting the future.

But I'm a strong believer in fate and a huge worrier myself. But looking at it from someone else's view...the people who understand will understand and the people who don't, never will. You don't need to explain why you're going to China...just do what you need to do for you...and for your daughter out there somewhere.

Good luck! And if you ever need commiserating, know there are others in similar boats.

http://lilypie.com/days/050619/0/8/1/-5/.png (http://lilypie.com)

12-29-2004, 10:29 PM
I always wanted to adopt, I was never sure i wanted to be married. When I met my DH, I got the urge to have one biological child. We had Erik and our next child will be adopted. People have a hard time with this, but I don't feel the need to explain either.

12-30-2004, 03:53 AM
I think the best thing to do is to just not give people more information than they need...no need to give them things to stress you out with. When you are asked about your plans, just say "oh, I don't know we will see....I do hope to adopt someday". Take the odd looks and forget about it----your daughter is in China for you and you will get ther regardless of others biases.

12-30-2004, 03:59 AM
I think there are two different issues here, although they are linked. The not loving pregnancy issue, and the adoption issue. I did not love being pregnant, and was/is fairly open about it. I tried to be sensitive, I mean you never know if you are bitching to someone about pregancy that is trying to get pregnant and can't. I just come up with this explanation. "You know those woman who love being pregnant because it makes them feel connected to the universe, and close to their baby, and beautiful and everything? Well, I apparently my body doesn't make those happy pregnancy hormones, just the, is this over yet hormones. Loved the baby, could have lived without the pregnancy."

As far as adoption goes, I just mention in appropriate conversation, "Oh, we are considereing adoption, it is something my husband and I would like to do. If we do, we want to adopt from Africa, probably Ethiopia." Just say it in that blissful voice one would use to announce, "Oh, we are planning to start a family next year." I think I just work it into conversation so naturally with a positive sound to my voice if they are at all inclined to say something negative about adoption in general, or transracial adoption specifically, they are too confused to say anything.

I think the previous poster is right, we do worry to much about what other people think sometimes. I'm turning 40 next year and everyone thinks I'm supposed to depressed about it. But in reality I'm like, "Yahoo! I'm really an adult now! Can't teach an old dog new tricks, so I'm going to say and do what I want with no apologies." I'm really looking forward to being old and eccentric when I hit 70. Then I will really have a chance to say everything I want!

12-31-2004, 11:35 AM
>I actually had someone ask me yesterday if my Chinese
>daughter was a "surprise" since my fair-haired/skinned
>Caucasian biological boys are teenagers. Uh... yeah. The
>whole application, dossier process, referral, travel and
>expenses were a total shock. This cute little almond-eyed,
>brunette just showed up and we decided to keep her.

LOL...you're so funny!

Anyway, I think practicing the "nod & smile" and "don't give out more info that you need to" techniques will really help prepare you early for parenthood. ;-)

12-31-2004, 02:00 PM
I didn't have time to read everyone's answers but in the end adoption is never second choice it's just a different choice :)

If you are not happy, then you are not happy (you don't have to act like you love being pregnant, I'm sure that your caring enough that you don't complain about it 24/7 especially if you don't know the fertility status of someone around you but heck your a pregnant woman you are allowed to be grumpy aren't you, I mean as someone who will never be pregnant I certainly always felt that someone should be able to complain about morning sickness :) ).

I think you are probably at a very hard part in pregnancy and maybe if someone makes one of those comments now you can say something like well it might all be worth it but it still doesn't make puking at the side of the road anymore enjoyable. In other words just skip the talk about future children until the future.

I know I'm not helping very much but you know when you finally bring your daughter home from China all this junk you have to deal with now will have been worth it (I'm ducking now as you throw your key board at me and whatever else you can get your hands on I'm sure :) )

Hang in there okay. And remember that you have friends online you can complain to who will give you a shoulder or a hug and who understand the fact that a child in a distant land (or one right here in the USA if you have thought about adopting domestically) is calling to you and some day when the time is right she will be a part of your life

01-02-2005, 11:29 AM
I'm going to be annoying and tell you, "They'll forget all about it when the baby comes." No, not when the one you're pregnant with comes, when your daughter in China comes. As I've posted before, some of DH's family were reluctant regarding our adoption. When they see your love for your child, and how wonderful your child is bound to be, unless they are really bad people, they will love her. I think the people who don't understand it in theory, usually understand it in practice. Or as a PP said, they understand love.

Hope your pregnancy gets better,

01-04-2005, 05:26 PM
I personally don't think it is anyone's business on how you have more children. So if they ask, just say "Oh, we will probably have another child later on." This is truthful, just because the child is of your heart not your body doesn't make the connection any less valid. Why volunteer any extra info to people, it just confuses them. Most first time pregnant women are very focused on the impending baby. So it is very hard for people to wrap their heads around the fact you are pregnant and talking about adoption at the same time. In a couple of years when you have your children, most people won't blink an eye.

Good luck with the puking, I hope it ends soon!

Karin and Katie 10/24/02

01-11-2005, 12:30 AM
I too knew before I was married that I would one day adopt. I discussed this with my DH before we got married, and he agreed. We got married when I was 22...right out of college...and by the time I was 28...I had 3 kids and then had a tubal. The year before last, we adopted our son from Guatemala, and 3 months ago, we brought our daughter home from Guatemala. We had family members who thought we were crazy, but we didn't care!! :) I can't imagine my life without my little Guatemalan Angels!!
Don't worry about what others say...you and your DH know what is right for your family!

I hope your morning sickness gets better soon! I had it, and it's the worst feeling in the world.

01-20-2005, 08:56 PM
How you choose to create your family is YOUR choice...and it doesnt matter what other people's opinions are. You and your DH have to do what's right for you. People will question everything (whether you do a "natural" birth/drugs, the name you choose, how many children you want.....etc). We got loads of questions (some from good-meaning family members) about why on earth would we want to have another child, let alone adopt one (we had 5 already...Maki is our 6th). I just stood firm and told them that my daughter was in China and I knew in my heart we were doing what we had to do.

01-23-2005, 04:19 PM
Like you I never tried for a bio child. We had a scare of pregnancy at one point and it seemed like such a shock, I have an image in my head of what our family will look like and it includes a Chinese daughter. When I thought I was pregnant I knew I'd love any child who was mine but that does not mean I would not and should not mourn my original hopes. It is natral for a woman (and man) to mourn the idea/hope of a bio child when they deside to adopt. Well for those of us who were ready to build a family through adoption first, I think it makes sense to mourn the original hope. This does not mean you will not adopt later, it just means that for now, maybe you need to let yourself be sad about the change of plans. Being sad about the one thing does not mean you can not be happy about the other.

I am like you, the looks and the assumptions can really get on my nerves. When it is family, I know they will love daughter once she is home. It is the people who find a need to console me or give me looks of pitty when I say we are adopting. Why can't people just say congratualtions and be happy for me? But I think that is true no matter when or how you came to adopt. Or maybe I am just easily annoyed. :)