Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strange Week

I wish I had more to post, something adoption-related and exciting. But there isn't much happening right now on the family front, nor will there be for a while. We do have a call with USCIS on Friday regarding "The First Year Home"--I don't really know what the content will be, but am interested in what they have to say. Assuming it's paperwork-related, and while we are pretty far from worrying about that, it's good to start mentally preparing for it.

It's been a strange week in the infertility/adoption/Horn of Africa world. Between a new surrogacy scandal, exceedlingly difficult international adoption issues, and the famine that has a good likelihood of directly affecting our future child and their first family, I have found myself defending the infertile and the adopting over and over again. And while the greed of the few who prey on folks who want children is unacceptable, vicious and cruel to all involved, it does not represent all of us. In fact, the adoptive/infertile parents have not been charged with wrongdoing in any of the cases. I thought the "" situation was bad enough, as we were IVF-ing when her story broke, but I was wrong. The perception the public has about those of us who build our families in alternative ways is changing, and (I believe) not for the better. Infertile families are often seen as depraved, desiring to steal babies, which is simply not the case. Yet it is the perception, and I make that statement after reading comments following several news stories regarding recent cases--yikes! Infertility is a medical condition, not a mental health condition (hence why IFers really hate being told to "relax"--who would say that to a cancer patient, or even someone with allergies?? "Just relax" = patronizing and dismissive, but that's a post for another time) and one that needs advancement in areas like medical coverage, and that will be largely dependent on advocation from IF families, friends and medical professionals. And while the cases in the media are not the norm, they are the focus. It's hard to stop thinking about those affected, and what they must be going through right now. It's equally hard to comprehend how the actions of those who caused these problems will affect the futures of children and families alike.

So anyway, it's been a strange week for us in our little bubble of a world. Here's hoping the book will be thrown at those who endangered the lives of children for nothing more than simple greed, and that those families dealing with the aftermath have ample support.

Oh, and if any PAPs want info on the call on Fri, let me know in comments! I don't think it's just for the Ethiopia program...


  1. Can you PM me the call info? Our agency hand't passed that along.
    And yes, the stories out there just don't help at all.

  2. I've been having awkward conversations with folks about international adoption as well. It's hard to explain and defend sometimes. And awful for the families involved with fraud. Feeling for them right now.

  3. I know, things have been crummy everywhere!
    And it seems that the infertile who ARE adopting are the ones who are supposed to bear the burden to fix all the problems in international adoption. Sigh.

    And yes! Please let us know abou tthe conference--there is no way I could listen in!

  4. It's just so. very. complicated. It ties me up in knots.

  5. Hey there, Molly. Your blog post has really struck a cord with me. I can almost feel the frustration you are feeling in the words you write. Or maybe it's the frustration that I feel, too. I've had lots of people tell me, after they learned of my infertility, "Well, at least you can still adopt!" As if that's an easier road. At times adoption feels like a double punishment. As if infertility wasn't hard enough, let's add some background checks, home studies, mounds of paperwork, dozens of hours of parenting classes, invasive inquiries into my life, and on top of it, about $30,000 into the mix!! And then let's get some really messed up people to child-traffic so that my whole adoption can be jeopardized... Do you ever start to wonder if this is worth all the trouble? I know I do. Hang in there. This is so very hard, but you are not alone.

  6. I agree with Erin. It's infuriating that this stuff happens at all. I feel just awful for the families involved, it's my worst nightmare for sure.
    -Traci (from class)

  7. I also agree with Erin. What gets me is the whole process is so demoralizing. The loss of privacy - explaining the intricate details of your upbringing, your family, your relationships, your finances - to total strangers. Then it is long frustrating wait that leaves you feeling powerless and all the while there is so much uncertainty. Is it going to happen? You have no idea if at the end you will in fact become parents. And all the while some well meaning - and some not so well meaning - people make thoughtless or just plain rude comments. It is a process that beats you down every day and sometimes I wonder if I am strong enough to make it through - But the alternative - walking away or never becoming a parent - is even more devastating to contemplate. So I am - to use a cliche - damned if I do and damned if I don't.

  8. Hi hun,
    I also agree with the posters above (and you, of course!)--it is just the worst to be waiting and waiting and waiting and knowing that our future families depend on the dingdongs in the world making terrible choices. Enough to drive you to drink.