I've been thinking lately about adoption. I went to the Resolve Infertility and Adoption Conference on Saturday. It was, for the most part, really good. The only session that was not good was one called "Wellness During Infertility." It was taught by a crazy woman who basically talked about "The Secret" the whole time. She said that if we're out driving in the rain and imagine ourselves finding a great parking spot, it will happen. I asked her if she thought it was more important to be optimistic than realistic. She did not answer my question. One of the worst things you can tell an infertile person is, "You just need to think more positively and it will happen!" No amount of positive thinking is going to bring my fallopian tubes back or get me a parking space. (As a side note: I consider myself a pretty optimistic person. But I also know that there is a time for being realistic - a time for looking at hard facts and making decisions accordingly.)
Okay, anyway, I mostly went to the seminars on adoption and they were very good. I also just finished reading a book called "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other," by Scott Simon from NPR. He and his wife adopted two daughters from China. It was a sometimes funny, sometimes cloyingly sentimental read. I'm making Dan read it.
Here are some things I've been thinking about:
1) Adoption, although difficult, makes me feel hopeful. Infertility is such a hopeless process. One of the hardest parts about it is that it causes you to grieve over and over again for years. There are many losses and many reminders every day of what you lack. There is no end in sight. Adoption can be rocky, but there is a baby at the end of the road if you stick with it.
2) Infertility is expensive, but adoption is more expensive. If insurance will cover the costs to deliver a baby, why won't it pay for the costs of adopting a baby (or toddler, or child)? The current cost of adoption - domestic or international - is $20,000-$50,000.
3) I want to adopt from Africa: The Congo or Ethiopia or Burundi. All of these countries are currently open for adoption.
4) An adoptive dad said this at the conference: "It's about having a family - not how you put it together."