Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Infertile Wound

I was adopted by infertile parents. I grew up knowing my mother felt threatened by things that she could not provide to me (my birth, my DNA, my health history, my facial features, my heritage). It was something that she might have tried to hide but I noticed. I was a joy to her but I did not ease her pain.

Later on, I discovered my own struggles with fertility as it took me 18 months to get pregnant with my son--a pregnancy I experienced pre-reunion and with no family health history, no idea of what to expect. I was terrified.

It took me 16 months to get pregnant again after he was born.  I lost this pregnancy I lost a just few days ago.

Growing up and even now, individuals in my life who know that I have struggled with fertility frustrations with a successful pregnancy in addition to being adopted have come to me looking for hope. They think that maybe what worked for me will work for them.  If it doesn't work, they I can tell them something that will make them feel good about the possible prospect of adopting.

I cannot talk about adoption with those that I love without talking about all of it.  The loss.  The lifelong processing of the meaning of adoption.  The policy issues that need to be changed.  Sometimes these things are very hard for people in the midst of grief to hear.

My original mother, my adoptive mother, and I, we all lost something, didn't we.  We all gained each other. It is hard to hear about loss--but it is how we gain empathy for each other.


Third Mom said...

"adoption does not "cure" infertility or the struggles that come along with it"

That is absolutely 100% true. And I think adoptive parents do a huge disservice to adoption dialog when they continually try to make the point that adoption is a treatment for infertility, just as the pro-life movement does a similar disservice when it trys to make the case that adoption is an alternative to abortion.

Infertility, pregnancy and adoption are at their core three unrelated experiences. It is time we separate them, and look at them on their own.

Re the things you say about infants experiencing loss: yes, definitely. It didn't take me long to realize that our son wasn't smiling much when he joined our family. It took about three months for him to get to the point that that he was comfortable enough with us to do so. When I look at our early photos of him, his eyes always seem to looking through us, looking somewhere else.

The Improper Adoptee said...

Because it is supposed to be a two way street according to them. The Adoption Industry. And Catholic/LDS Clergy. They lie to the Adoptive Parents and they lie about us. But the underlying motivation is obvious. The love of money. Greed. Wanting to be rich by hurting other people. On one side of the gold coin you have people spending hundreds of thousands trying to conceive through vetro and on the other hand for those who tried and had that method fail (or did not have vetro as an option because it wasn't invented yet) there is the Adoption System that tells insecure infertile women what they want to hear. That the baby they Adopt will never want to know the woman that gave birth to them. It is bought sympathy. Bought reassurance. A con. So they won't be afraid to go through with it and pay Adoption Agencies massive amounts of dollars in fees and make social losers happy when they get their commissions for taking a baby away from a single Mother who wanted her child. All of Corporate America does the same Amanda. Animal resarchers continue to torture animals when they know damn well computers work better because they are too cheap to pay for them. Drug companies push toxic products brainwashing soceity that their miracle drug is the answer to all of their problems, when in fact the pill or shot causes NEW problems while not even taking care of the first one at all or for very long. The Adoption Industry that has coiencided with the Churches from the very begginning had two goals. Punish fornicating women and bastards and get rich doing it. Hence the Closed Adoption System. The medical industry also wanted their peice of the pie, hence infertility drugs/egg & sperm donorship and creating human beings in test tubes. Some people will say anything to make a buck. It is, and always has been as simple and as complicated as that.

Von said...

Thank you for a well researched and thought provoking, thoroughly well explored post, as always, so many points to ponder..
Firstly so very sorry for the loss, only another can really grasp how that feels, another empty space, rather similar to the loss of a mother, the nearest thing anyway, perhaps with more dreams and hopes vanished.Take care.
All stories about human beings have common themes we can relate to.I sincerely hope that some of those of The Old Testament have not appeared in your life! Good wishes, as always....

Kris said...

"...the adoptive person is asked to forsake the nature and embrace only the nurture..."

This is an excellent point. I have never heard it put this way but it makes a lot of sense.
I am one of the 20% of APs with bio kids and there is no doubt that nature and nurture are both at work in children. It makes me sad to realize my daughter is not with those who share her "nature".

She is most definitely affected by missing out on the early intimacies of mother-infant bonding. Although she is a generally happy child, her loss is apparent in some of her behaviors and reactions to things. It is a true and definite loss.

Real Daughter said...

So sorry for your loss, Amanda. As always, I learn so much from you, and always agree with you.

Amanda Woolston said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words and comments :-)

Anonymous said...

Adoptee's aren't supposed to feel anything or express any feelings. Just like we mother's were supposed to "get over it" it doesn't happen.

as far as the industry goes it about making money,nothing else. Greed and need!

I do remember looking for my son in faces, for 26 years. Finally, his face came home and I saw his face for the first time in my life. I never got to touch, hold, or see him. In my own privately paid hospital delivery room. My rights weren't there the minute he took his first breath although we were mother and baby unit, social wrecker arrived early next morning to get me to sign without parent present. I was a minor, no matter. She knew what she could do to add me and my baby to a life time of pain. Scummmmmm.

Triona Guidry said...

Another excellent and well-written post. There seems to be a one-upmanship where some kinds of loss are more acknowledged or socially acceptable than others. It's a shame because pain is pain however it comes about. I'm sorry for your losses and appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with others.