Sometimes I see people rush into adoption without taking the time to grieve the loss of the biological child they did not have. They risk sabotaging an adoption or; worse, treating an adopted child as second-best to the son or daughter they might have had.
Before you can adopt with success, you must come to terms with your infertility. For some couples this may take years. Move at your own pace but realize that you are not getting any younger and the longer you wait, the more you delay the precious time you could have with your child.
For me, coming to terms with infertility meant accepting that there was a reason for everything. I don’t know why I was unable to have babies, but were it not for my infertility I would not have adopted my wonderful son. I would not have opened an adoption center which has brought hundreds of children and parents together; changing their lives.
I have known many couples who have faced infertility and moved on quite naturally to adoption. I have known others who have edged toward it uneasily, because their dream of having a biological child meant so much to them.
Before you are ready to adopt, you have to know the answer to this question: Do you want to be a parent or do you want to have a biological child?
Without resolving this issue, you run the risk that you will back out and break the heart of a birth mother. You may settle for adoption, but this you cannot do, because the child deserves to have parents who love and cherish him as the most precious thing on earth.
We recommend at our center that if you have unresolved issues about infertility you should seek counseling before you adopt. You may choose to put adoption aside and press on with treatment until you have exhausted all medical options. Then, when you return to take up adoption, you may find, as many people do, that the adoption process is less stressful than conceiving through medical technology.
If you are not sure that you can accept a child who will not inherit your genes, it may help you to talk with other adoptive parents or a counselor. We are still amazed by the traits and characteristics that parents pass on to their adopted children. Will science ever explain what we have seen? Like the adopted daughter whose hair and skin color change so she looks just like her mother. Or the son who has the same walk as his adoptive father; the same crinkling of his eyes when he laughs.
Families created through adoption are true families. After adoption you are a parent and your child will depend on you for his needs, both physical and emotional. All the joys and heartaches any parent experiences will be yours. You will be Mom and Dad.
This article was excerpted from Lifetime Adoption’s Founder Mardie Caldwell’s book, Adopting Online.