Thursday, August 12, 2010

Getting it out.

OK. I have gone back and forth and back and forth about posting this but because it's still rattling around in my brain I figured,

When I read a blog I tend to read the other comments. Sometimes with great interest, as you can learn a lot about other people with their comments to other blogger's predicaments, etc. And of course there is a whole cohort of bloggers out there who tend to read the same blogs and so you get to know people this way and that.

A few weeks ago I read a comment on someone else's blog that really really hurt. It wasn't directed at me but it had something to do with me.

It was a comment that pointed out ways that 'other reproductive choices' (I'll keep it vague here) were better than adoption. Specifically, there was a point made about a partial genetic connection vs. NO genetic connection, and an adopted child having an 'other mother' vs. this blogger's child having only them as a mother. The commenter went on to say that the blogger's choice made them 'closer' than an adopted mother would be to the adopted child.


It hurt so badly to read that. Why does there have to be a comparison? My gut wanted to immediately post all the reasons I feel differently, that maybe I feel adoption is better than other options (it obviously is for me, or I wouldn't be making the choice). How dare they suppose that I will not be as close to my adopted child as anyone else is to their child?

We walk through this inferno of IF and hope beyond hope to somehow emerge on the other side semi-intact, scarred but not destroyed, and whatever choice we need to make to get us to that other side is so intensely personal that everyone else should support. Not compare. Not judge.

Hmmm, LastChance, why don't you tell us how you really feel?

I read and re-read that comment and tried to make it OK in my heart but it wasn't. It wasn't something I would have expected from that commenter and that probably made it hurt worse--it wasn't anonymous, it was someone I blogknew. Or thought I did.

I realize when you comment on someone's blog you can't comment for other readers, too...but as I stated above, I think of the IF blogging community as one that should support all choices because God knows we've all laid on our floors, sobbing, wondering why the world has to be so hard, wondering how the f' we're going to live through the pain, and it is those ties that bind us regardless of individual choices we make to cope, survive, and become mothers.


Got that off my chest.

In other news, the hard drive still hasn't gone to the data place..partially because I'm too scared they won't be able to salvage anything. Partially because all our money heads towards Ethiopia these days (in theory) and so spending $1,000 to recover data that should have been backed up pains me to no end.

The good news is that tomorrow we celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. As cheesy as it sounds I love Mr. LC more intensely than I ever have and I honestly cannot imagine my life without him. I am lucky. This I know. He took tomorrow off so we'll pal around all day, have our regular gig at the shelter, and then (though it feels weird to go from shelter meal-serving to eating out) go have a nice dinner together. We don't do gifts but we do make homemade cards and it's always a contest to see who can outdo the other...he always wins :)

PS T asked for my email:


  1. Happy anniversary! 16 years is a big accomplishment! Here's to 16 (and then some) more!

    As to the commenter and the dumb comment (wait, this wasn't me, was it? no, but when i started reading the post, i though, uh-oh, was i an idiot??) I just think "people are idiots. people cannot empathize at all. people often lash out when they have their own shit going on." It is hurtful, and I'm sorry you were hurt by such a thoughtless comment. But the fact is - and you know this - that person is flat wrong. Connection is not about genetics, it is about love, care, nurturing, and good parenting. Which you and the Mr have in spades.

  2. Wow, 16 years is amazing! No wonder you have strong a wonderful, strong bond. And will make such fabulous parents!

    I'm so sorry you were hurt by that comment. I don't think I read that blog, so am not sure of the context, but I can only think that the commenter wasn't really thinking about others who might read the comments, and was just trying to make the blogger feel better. But it was pretty thoughtless. And of course they are wrong - you are going to instantly bond with your gorgeous baby as soon as she is in your arms. And that's a fact.

  3. I'm so sorry you were hurt by someone's insensitive comments! Yet another reason I'm just not a huge fan of people in general I guess. It's amazing to me that some people think they know what's 'best' for everyone. Only you (and Mr. LC) know what the best decision is for you and you've definitely made it! You're going to be a fantastic mom!

    On a better note, Happy 16th Anniversary!! Congrats on a happy marriage!

  4. "Journey of the Adopted Self" B.J. Lifton

  5. Hope it wasn't me...if so...deeply sorry. But I don't think I would ever compare who's more of a mother "DE mommy" or "adoptive mommy". I believe that a higher power assigns us a child regardless how they got here on this planet and who ever RAISES that child is the "mommy". And our choices deserve respect and support from those who chose differently.

  6. Oh and I wanted to say that one of my IRL friends (a very good one) got her referral for a baby boy from Ethiopia in June after a two year wait (but I guess there were snags along the way to delay the referral). He was born in April 2010 and they hope they can bring him home around Christmas time. They worked through CAFAC out of Minnedosa, Manitoba in Canada. Good luck with your quest!!

  7. Congrats on 16 years!
    The one thing I've learned through this infertility journey is that there are very ignorant people out there. Even people that are in the infertility journey too. After telling my SIL that we were looking into adoption she actually said to me "I thought about adoption too at one point, but I just don't think I can love someone else's child." I was so hurt and upset I had to walk away. Some people will never understand but at least their stupid comments will help us know what is true to our own hearts.

  8. That comment is so insensitive. It makes me wonder what people are thinking. I really beleive that most people are scared of things that are not their typical vision of a family (or life in general) and that this fear keeps them from accepting that families are born so many ways. You will be close to your child no matter how they come to be your child, do not let anyone tell you differently.
    wishing you a happy anniversary.

  9. Sorry you had to read such a hurtful comment. Everyone I know who has adopted loves their child just as fiercely as any other parent. And their children end up picking up many of their personality quirks so you really can't imagine that things could have worked out any other way. If only the adoption process wasn't so brutal (and expensive).

  10. Happy Anniversary! Hope you guys have a great day!
    Ethiopia! Is that where your bundle of joy will be arriving from? My best friend was adopted from Ethiopia when she was 7, and I thank God all the time for her wonderful parents who went through all of the stress and money it took to get her here! Someday, your little one will have a best bud who will be very grateful to you guys:)
    I agree with you- here on this IF circuit we are all supporters of one another. No judgement- just support and well wishes. But, there's always someone...haha. Your child will be YOUR child. Period. A friend of mine whose 3 children died before their first birthday said she would never adopt because she is "so selfish" and can't fathom planning "someone else's" daughters wedding someday. Some people just don't get it....
    But YOU do!! :)

  11. Happy Anniversary!! 16 years is an achievement - twice as long as my husband and me - and all the better when you love them more after all that time ;-). As for the adoption comment, as someone who knows quite a few adoptees and adopters, as well as a couple of donor babies who resulted from both donor eggs and sperm (therefore no genetic connection), and as someone carrying a baby that has no genetic connection to me, can I just say that that commenter is talking c**p! It isn't our genes that make us bond with and love people. For a start - how on earth would we all manage with our other halves if genetic connections were needed for love!! How would we make lasting friendships with people who FEEL like our siblings? When you adopt, that child will be TOTALLY yours, no matter who else was physically involved in their birth.
    PS thanks for the encouraging comment on my blog re CPAP machines - I needed to hear that.

  12. Happy Anniversary! You beat me by six years.

    I can understand why that would be hurtful for you. Most of us are hurting too and say stupid things. That person may have been so hurt that they had to get it off their chest too. I think it is hard to accept that you will not have your own offspring and it can take some people a long time to get past it. Some people may never be able to get over it. Yet, you are lucky enough that you can move forward and see that adoption will give you what you want and need. I am still thinking about that too, or donor embryos. Your choice is what is best for you and we all support you.


  13. Happy Anniversary, I think I need to see wedding pics now!

    As for the comment (I hope it wasn't me?) I truly believe that we as an IF community to stand together. The pain olympics do not help us, but hurt us. We are all hurting and have different journeys and reasons for deciding what is right for each of us. No one can judge as what is right for one, may not be right for another. We all need to stand together and support each other.

    I hope you and Mr LC have a fabulous anniversary.

    Oh and I also want to see pictures of the home made cards. :)

  14. Yay, happy anniversary! 16 years together is wonderful. I look forward to that day for me and my hubby.
    I wish people weren't so opinionated about IF treatments and adoption. Unfortunately, it seems to be one of those topics people feel strongly about. I'm sorry the commenter hurt your feelings ~ I hate it when that happens. Hang in there and hold on tight. You are the only one who will know the love and connection you have to your child. And your love is all that matters. Sending you hugs and love.

  15. A 16 year marriage that is stronger than it started guys are simply amazing people and more amazing together. Isn't there a word that means that the the whole is greater than the sum of its parts? That's you two. Enjoy your day.

    I am so, so sorry about how that comment really hurt you (I really hope it wasn't me and if so I'm really sorry). All I can say is that sometimes the fingers get going and then people hit "post comment" and then something insensitive or hurtful is out there. There are a lot of people out there with different beliefs out there that are so contrary to what we hold true to ourselves...don't give them the power to hurt you because in the end, they don't matter at all. Your child will be so lucky to have you two as parents. That commenter is wrong because they assume that having a genetic connection somehow guarantees closeness. It's something that needs to be worked on, nurtured and lovingly tended to, something that you two already know how to do in spades given what you've been through.

    Let go of the know what you can make your family into and genetics has nothing to do with it.

  16. It was a comment made out of ignorance. Ask any mother who has a genetic and adopted child which she feels closer to. The whole thing is just stupid and simple minded. And, frankly, that speaks more to that individual's capacity (or lack thereof) to love their child unconditionally.

  17. I'm sorry to post anonymously; I struggle with my google account and my others show my true name.
    I'm a birth mom, and I would be devastated to think that the couple that adopted my baby girl (16 years ago!) didn't love her as much as if they had conceived her themselves. I'm so lucky that I have regular updates on her and have phone conversations with her mom. I feel funny calling her my daughter, but she and I are Facebook friends now, and I can see more of her. The woman who will be giving her child up to you will always wonder about that child, I"m grateful I don't have to.

  18. Happy Anniversary my friend!!! Sweet 16!

    About that commentor, well, all I can say is that this a fine example of one of the many reasons why I've become very cynical -- the things people say hit me to the core and I spend a lot of time and energy trying to get what they said out of my head and off my chest. I don't even understand the comment that this person made. For those of you who know of me through Ashley, I am the woman who after IF and the loss of my twin girls now has a 14 month old girl, Katie. Though I am a mom now, my ties to my IF past are deep and strong and the hurt is still there. My experience with IF and my loss changed me and I can't and don't want to forget about it. I watch shows about IF and to this day feel the same awful feelings when I hear ignorant comments. One would think that with Katie in my life that I've left the past behind, but it is real, present and very much a part of my heart. Because I have a biological child I would like to say something from my experience and I hope that I can articulate it well enough and I certainly hope I don't upset anyone. What I want to say is this - Katie is her own person. While I certainly rememeber every moment of my pregnancy and delivery, my days today are about being a mother to a little person, who is very much her own person. She is not me or Bill, but Katie. What I hope I'm saying is that to me being a mother and father has little to do with sperm and egg and everything to do with kisses and hugs and bathtime and temper tantrums and fevers and double ear infections. That's the real part of being a mother. Genetic connection doesn't make you better at dealing with any of that. Sometimes I feel lost in two worlds - I'm in the fertile world yet don't connect with most moms who have no clue about IF or loss. Yet I was fertile for one moment in time, something that Bill and I still can't figure out how (yet everyone seems to have an opinion about why we conceived her - don't get me started). So Ashley, when you hold YOUR baby girl in YOUR arms and give her kisses and she smiles back at you and says Mama... you will know motherhood better than most mothers because of everthing that brought you to your little girl.

  19. I struggle with this too. If you have made one choice, then obviously you have rejected others as "not as good". It's hard not to compare and not to take it personally.

    I am personally leaning toward donor eggs right now (although I still don't know what the hell I'm going to do ultimately). That means that right now I have rejected another IVF with my own eggs, adoption, adopted embryos, or child free living. If I lay out all the reasons for my choice I will be inadvertently saying why all the other options don't work for me.

    When others have chosen a different path and lay out the reasons for their choice, then they are inadvertently saying why my choice is not the best.

    Sigh. It's tough.

    More and more as I progress on this journey I am understanding that everyone has their own way...their own path...and their own journey. I think as women we should support whatever reproductive path another woman chooses...even if that path is not to reproduce.

    I think that it is wonderful that you are adopting. I don't think that adoptive parenting is any "less". Everyone makes choices for different reasons. The longer I'm on this journey the more grey it gets. I don't think there is any right or wrong or best or worse anymore. It just is what it is.

  20. Happy anniversary! R and I take a similar approach - we spend the day together (take it off if it's a workday) and don't buy each other gifts. Though I have to admit we're not as creative, so purchased cards are involved rather than homemade ones. :-)

    I'm sorry the comment that you read hurt. I totally agree with you 1000% that all of us in this horrible IF world should be supporting each other, regardless of what our choices we make and regardless of what we feel about the choices others make for their own situations.

    That said, and without having read the comment or knowing which comment it was or who the blogger was, I had another thought about it. And maybe this is already totally obvious and you've thought of it, so forgive me if that's the case. But I'm wondering if what was written in the comment came out the way it did because it's really more a reflection of how the commenter feels about the partial genetic connection/no genetic connection for her own situation...that she has a fear that if she has to adopt she might not be able to feel as close to her child as she would a bio child, and it's that fear that was driving the comment.

    I may be completely off base with that, but I'm just trying to offer up another potential frame for that comment. I don't mean to excuse it in any way or be dismissive of the pain it caused though.

  21. I'm sorry that this blogger that you blogknew hurt you like that, however inadvertently.

    You're so right about the ties that bind us...your words "God knows we've all laid on our floors, sobbing, wondering why the world has to be so hard" really hit home. I do think for the most part that most of our IF Sisters walk away from all this (and at some point we all walk away, empty handed or not) with more sensitivity, more understanding, more compassion to any kind of hurt...or at least I hope so.

    I'm wondering if the blogger you read also reads you...and maybe this post will cause some food for thought for them.

    And Big Congrats on, wow, 16 years! I love the annual card contest -- how great is that! (May have to borrow this idea...)

  22. I am sorry that someone was so ignorant and self-serving - no matter where you read it. That may be their choice in terms of having a family but your choice (among the alternatives) is adoption. To be honest, it sounds like they are super-insecure. You know the people who ask you what kind of music you like and you say a band and they say "they suck" instead of something like, "oh, I'm not a big fan of theirs". The stupid insecure judgemental people who assume their decision and likes and disliikes are the right ones and all others are stupid or wrong? It just shows that this other person really is very small-minded and probably pretty insecure about their own decision because they've obviously had to rationalize it to death and then make their decision law.

    Each and every method of making a family is right to the person who makes it. I see some of my closest friends as more family to me than my genetic family that wrong? No, because it is my decision who is "family". I would have chosen adoption in a heartbeat if I thought we had a chance. Yes, I would totally mourn not being able to carry a baby myself, I am definitely not discounting that, but in my mind, genetics are absolutely unimportant (and I'm not just saying this because my daughter is half me - and I know not everyone feels that way), its just my own personal opinion that genetic connections are overrated and the real love comes from caring for that baby, loving that baby and providing for that baby/child. You are going to make a beautiful family.

    Happy Anniversary!!!

  23. Just like there is no winner in the pain olympics, we are all winners in the love olympics. Love is love. You love Mr. LC and he's not genetically related to you- you love him for who he is- it will be the same for your child(ren). Think of all the people in your life that you love & who love you- how many of them do you love MORE only because they are genetically related to you? It's not about the genetics- it's about being there, accepting them for who they are, and giving of yourself. Just like Mr. LC is "yours", your children will be "yours" because you love them. Not because of DNA.

  24. Echoing all the above. Try not to dwell on those insensitive people who haven't a clue ;) You will prove them wrong ... very wrong!

  25. I just think you are amazing!! I wanted to let you know that I changed my blog URL -

    I concur that we, of the IF community, should be supportive, through and through, regardless of what paths we choose.

  26. that would have bothered me, too. it's weird because the poster has no relevance to your daily life, is not an IRL friend or family, but still impacts you. we IF-ers struggle with so much in our decision making and we are weak and vulnerable at times, and comments like this can set us off. we do the best we can at predicting how things will be and make the best decison we can, but won't know the outcome until we try. there are so many ways to look at things. there are pros and cons to both. i'm sorry that person's post made you feel bad. it was an ignorant remark considering she was in an open forum. she obviously isn't a thoughtful person.

    i know of a woman who adopted her daughter from china when she was almost 50. she had a bio son around 40, then had no luck after that. this woman is so loving and nurturing, you can just tell when you meet her. when i was talking to her about adoption a few years ago she could tell that i was leary about it....she told me right out, "the love is the same" (between her bio and adopted child). if you have the capacity to love and nurture, it won't matter. i believe that over time, maybe not immediately, your daughter or son will feel every bit yours and no one will be able to tell you otherwise!

    i try to think of this for myself in my struggles,'s you and DH against the world and you'll shine through as you have for 16 years!!!

  27. Happy 16! That is so awesome.

    And I'm sorry people are ignorant. I, too, have read other comments on other blogs that I knew referred directly to me at one point. It was so hurtful, but knowing it came from a place of total ignorance helped me deal. Because seriously, if you haven't been could you know? Sad that anyone would make a judgement like that...

  28. Wow 16 years! That is so wonderful! Happy Anniversary to you both. ((Hugs))

    As for that commenter, it really seems like she was trying to make that blogger feel better by debasing another option rather than celebrating the positives of DE. It is probably mostly a reflection of where they are in the process with making peace with their own choice. We all know that each option has its up-sides and down-sides. I've chosen DE but I clearly see all of the positives adoption has offer over DE. In the end, all that matters is that your choice brings you the family you so desire and that you have love in your heart. Love has nothing to do with genetics. Neither does parenting. I am sorry you were disappointed by your blogfriend.

  29. Happy Anniversary!

    I would have been stung by that comment in your situation, too. I'm glad you were able to get out that frustration. I completely disagree with the commenter. COMPLETELY. I'm so excited for you and your adoption!

  30. Happy, happy anniversary!! 16 years is amazing!! I hope you had a wonderful celebration :)

    I agree with all above and hope you can let the ignorant comment just fade into the distance. It is sad that all choices can't be supported. A mother's love is not dependent on genetic link. Your journey will define you as a mother and that is where the love for your child will root, grow, and thrive. I know that your baby will feel that love exponentially!

  31. Just stumbled on your blog.

    First of all, belated Happy Anniversary!!

    Second, biology doesn't determine how much you love your child any more than IF makes us better parents. It's just who you are and how you are wired. I can't comment on how you will connect with your child or how you will love them because the only person that knows is you. What I will say is I love my daughter to death and I can't imagine loving her more, regardless of whether or not her DNA was part mine.

    Some people just need to justify doubts within their own minds by down-playing the alternatives.

  32. Happy anniversary (a little late)!

    I asked my wife how she felt about this as she will be a mother who will have no genetic ties to our baby.

    Her reply:
    "The only thing that's lacking a connection are the synapses in that bloggers brain."

    Adoption itself is almost a biological thing... look at dogs who raise and nurture abandoned kittens.... it's what living things do... they connect and nobody questions how beautiful it is.

  33. Happy Anniversary!

    It sounds that while that blogger's comment hit your losses on the head, it also shows how open you are to adoption. I wish for a speedy adoption for you and Mr. LC!! I can tell you are already in love with your future baby!

  34. Hope you had a great anniversary and wish you many more to come!

    I don't know what to say about the commenter. The important thing is that you know there is no truth to what the person said. That said, if they feel that way, it's just as well they aren't adopting. I wouldn't want to see a child placed with a mother who couldn't give him/her the proper closeness and love.


  35. The infertility problem doesn’t only affect you mentally but it somewhere affects your social life too. In such situation, many people get confused whether to adopt child or take IVF treatment. Well everyone has their own opinion about it; however I got benefitted of IVF in having my own child. Adopting a child is also a good option if people don’t believe to have child of their own genes. Whatever you might choose, always take a decision from heart!!!