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.