Infertility Treatments and Adoption: Having a Foot in Both Avenues

Do you have to be 100% "over" infertility before pursuing adoption?

Michelle Barnes April 08, 2016
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I was told on many occasions, “You need to be 100% over your infertility before you pursue adoption.” It never sat well. I always told everyone I was over it, I didn’t care to be pregnant, I didn’t need it. I acted like my fertility was the last thing on my mind because I was told I was supposed to feel that way.

But here’s the truth: My desire to carry a child again has never left my mind. But guess what? I’ve learned that it’s completely acceptable, normal, and perfectly okay.

I conceived my daughter without any thought; I wasn’t even planning to get pregnant. I met my now husband when she was a few months old, he adopted her when she was 1, and we assumed baby number two would be in our very near future. Two years later, we were told that a surgery paired with IVF was our only possible avenue to biological parenthood. The total cost would be around $25,000, and at that point we moved on to thinking about adoption. I tried so hard to let go of my desire to be pregnant. It was such a strange mix of emotions because I wanted to adopt! I was thrilled with adoption and was very involved in groups and educating myself about the process. However, I still wanted to hold onto the idea that I could be pregnant again someday. I had reservations about adoption for a very long time because I couldn’t get over my options in fertility. I was told not to allow those two thoughts to occupy my mind at one time, and I felt bad for feeling bad for myself.

When we were matched with an expectant mom, I was completely focused on my son’s adoption and it was easily one of the happiest times of my life. I am so grateful that I was able to experience such a wonderful thing and I adore him beyond words. Oddly enough, I wasn’t jealous of her experience with pregnancy and I loved being involved. I didn’t resent her or her pregnancy and I didn’t have any negative emotions towards the adoption.

I realized then that it was okay to have a foot in both avenues. It was absolutely fine for me to want to experience pregnancy someday but to also be adopting. I gave birth to my daughter and another woman gave birth to my son but they are both my children and it all feels exactly as it’s supposed to be.

When we found out very recently that my husband’s company will pay for our huge surgery & IVF expenses, I was very excited, but I never felt an emotion of, “Finally! This is what I really wanted!” I instantly just felt grateful that we would be able to have another option of adding to our family. Our children will come, and how they come to us won’t matter. I LOVE adoption and I love being pregnant. One of those options will complete my family and it won’t matter which one it is. I’ll always just feel lucky that I get to be a mom.

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Michelle Barnes

Michelle is a mom to two beautiful children, one she gave birth to and one who was lovingly placed in her arms. She is an author, entrepreneur, maker, and baker. Adoption is her passion and she speaks at local high schools, attends panels, and does anything she can to share the beauty she's seen and experienced. Adoption gave her hope and gave her a son, she writes more about it at The Copper Collective.


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