Monday, May 2, 2011

Innocent Ignorance

I've been waiting years to post this post. Brace yourselves - it's about adoption: the process, the woes/heartache, the joys, and myths.

I decided on the title 'Innocent Ignorance,' for a few reasons -
1- it is cute and catchy- don't ya think?
2- I really think most comments about adoption come from ignorance
3- Maybe I can help educate others, so that comments - which are meant innocently, that hurt us infertile couples, can be better put.

(Disclaimer: I do not by any means proclaim to have had the longest, roughest, and toughest infertility experience, is what is. )

April was infertility awareness month. I struggled with many emotions - many surrounding the myths and comments associated with infertility.
After much thought, I decided - writing would be therapeutic. I stared at blank paper, and a blank computer screen - for many hours - hoping my words would be put how I want them, and not to offend any - but to make aware. . .

I decided to dispel a few 'myths' regarding adoption -

1. Relax - it'll happen:
Let me just say - who knows us? Are we not the king and queen of vacation - and relaxation - if this myth were true - we'd have a bazillion kiddos - 'nuff said there.

2. Keeping Secrets is better for the infertile folks:
I'm young. Nick is young. We are super popular - and we have lots of friends starting and adding to their families. remember - out of innocent ignorance - and concern for feelings - many of our friends choose to 'hide' their joys from us, because of concern for us. I promise you - I get where they are coming from - but - - it makes it worse. Lots worse. I've felt many a times - that then I'm not 'allowed' to participate in their joys - Now honestly - some of those pregnancy moments were big blows - sad days - and hard. But was I ever upset or mad at the couple for their happiness - NO WAY JOSE' - I was thrilled for them, I was upset at myself - and the inability for me to provide that 'biological' family for us.

3. Whos Fault is it?
Fault - essential means to place blame. I read another adoption blog - somewhere - many moons ago - that infertility is not an active choice - it was more of a curse. True that. We didn't do anything to cause the infertility - it just is. Innocently asked - but comes across full of hurt - again pointing blame at a very obvious imperfection, that we can't control. There are easier ways to word this; however, rule of thumb - - at least from my point of view - don't ask. Is it really a need to know for you anyway... If your infertile friends feel like sharing, they will, in their time.

4. This ... Worked for them!
Great! I love success stories - but for every 5 stories you tell me, I can tell you 156984 stories that didn't work. I really don't want to hear about a new treatment, or medication, or this or that. .. even though I recognize it is out of concern for me, that loved ones share these stories.

5. If you adopt, you'll get pregnant...
Seriously - who knew that was how it worked?
This could quite possibly be the most frustrating comment ever. I've heard the stories as well - and yeah yeah yeah for them! It is wonderful - but again - refer to myth #4 - I can tell you more experiences, when this miracle didn't happen. This comment can make adoptive couples feel like their sweet adopted child is 'second best' - that perhaps now that you've gotten 'that out of the way' you can have 'one of your own.' ... Oh - one of your own... that is real real mean too. But if I want to keep any friends - I better not go into that comment. . . but rest assured - I've heard it - more than once.

6. Adoption Cures the Heartache of Infertility:
Um nope. It sure doesn't. Any infertile couple will tell you - that pain of infertility ... it is always there - just like a nagging old friend- it comes and goes - and some days are much worse than others - and some days you don't even think of it - but I promise you - no matter the love and abundance of adopted children - and joy - nothing cures that heartache - and unless you've experienced it - it is a heartache that cannot be empathized with.

I'd like to share an experience to tie up my novel!

All LDS couples wanting to adopt through LDS Family Services - must go through a series of courses - one course involves a very powerful video.

I'd like to share the correlation made in the video with you - this movie is based on LDS doctrine - if you are interested in finding out more - visit this site.

There was a very worthy young boy. Who was approaching his 12th birthday - he was very excited to receive the Priesthood, and begin to participate in the sacrament ordinance. He met with his Bishop. The Bishop was very proud of the young man, and found him very worthy and ready for this new responsibility in the Church. However, for unknown reasons to the young boy, or the Bishop - the Bishop was unable to extend that responsibility to the boy. The boy left heartbroken, and confused, as he'd prepared so well for this exciting day.

The boy continued to be worthy, and choose the right - hoping one day he'd be able to receive the Priesthood. Once again, on his 14th birthday, the day of Priesthood advancement in our Church, the boy met with the Bishop. Again the Bishop was very pleased with the boy - he was ready, very ready for this responsibility. However, again, for unknown reasons, the Bishop was unable to extend the Priesthood to the boy.

The boy, was discouraged, but he kept doing all of the right things, and again, on his 16th birthday, he met with the Bishop - again the Bishop was proud of the boy, but sadly, again, was unable to bestow the Priesthood to him.

The boy was distraught and again, found comfort from our Heavenly Father, as he'd done all he could -and did not understand why he was not allowed to have the responsibility and blessing of the Priesthood.

The young man was nearly 19 years old, preparing fully to serve a mission. He met with the Bishop - to prepare the paperwork for this great responsibility and opportunity. He was prepared. He was knowledgeable. He was responsible. The Bishop could see he was ready. However, again, the Bishop was unable to allow the boy to receive the Priesthood, and go on a mission.

The young man, devastated, as he'd waited his whole life for this opportunity - decided to take the council of the Bishop - and move forward, obeying the commandments.

The young man met and fell in love with a beautiful girl. They had planned to be married. They went to meet with the Bishop - for their interviews to be able to enter the Temple, to be sealed. The couple was prepared, they were clean and ready, they were worthy. However, the Bishop was again, for unknown reasons unable to allow this ready, willing, worthy young man into the Temple.

As I was watching this movie, how could I not be moved with emotion. This was me.

I was ready. Nick was ready. We would be good, no great parents, but for an unknown reason, we were not permitted to participate.

I hope that story helps paint a picture of where infertile couples come from.

Now, I hope this isn't too much of soap box or lecture - that was and is not my intent. I would be lying if it wasn't some sort of a vent - as we've experienced all of the above situations - many times.

There isn't a day that goes by that I am not thankful for Josh - he is the most important thing to Nick and I - he makes us complete - this is purely just for the infertility side of my heart...


The Capitans said...

You are amazing! Josh is beautiful and he is yours. I have no idea what you have been through emotionaly or physically I can only imagine. I do know that you are both incredible people, and amazing parents. I am sure that I could possibly be one of those that made a comment, if so I am sorry. Love ya Paige!

Julie said...

I heart you Paige. I heart your beautiful family. I want to go have a talk on the slide again - we need those slides - they need us!! Such a good thing to post - you are super courageous and I'm proud of you :) Especially cuz I was a loser friend but i'm glad we have friends to straighten us up!! Is it time for a Charlies chocolate peanut butter banana shake yet? too bad charlies changed booo... love you girl!

heidi said...

(julie and paige, there is still charilies in logan, you can come visit and have a shake anytime)

I think that it is awesome that you posted this. Just becuase you might not have the "longest, roughest, and thoughest infertility experience" doesn't mean it hasn't been hard. These are fantastic points to be made. And there are a lot of people who need to read them, and more (these we very nicly put/could have been a lot meaner-emotional).
i love you!

The Webb Kids said...

All I can say is I love both you and Nick! It has been such a hard road for you both and heart breaking for us to watch you go down this road. It takes a lot to post what you did, and really I'm sure I've done and said some innocently ignorant things too, so forgive me and Troy! We love Josh, he is our #5 and we too, are so glad you 'bought him, and are so glad he didn't come in a box with water and 2 breathing holes' as so eloquently put by my innocently ignorant child!!! :) Great post love ya girl!

Derek and Lisa Larson said...

I am so glad you posted this and I totally think you should write a book about it. If nothing else it would be a great help to the friends of those struggling with infertility, to help them not to make some of the unintended blunders you mentioned.
I hope the writing was therapeutic for you because reading it was very enlightening.
You guys are the best.

Lindsay said...

Infertility sucks. Well-meaning people can be unbelievably rude--after awhile you just have to laugh, don't you? I really admire and respect your decision to adopt. Josh is such a gorgeous boy. I love the pictures of your family. And I'm glad you wrote this post.

Watson Quartet said...

Your words are so inspiring! I'm glad to know such a strong and wonderful daughter of our Heavenly Father. This some how reminds me of my sister Jessica and her struggle with getting pregnant. And when they finally did, they lost the baby in the 2nd term. It was devastating to her and her husband. When I tried to make sense of it I kept coming back to the understanding that our Heavenly Father can see what's best for us - even if we can't see it! I remembered one of my favorite scriptures and want to send it to you Paige and your sweet family with love... Proverbs 3:5-6

jfishmag said...

I think there is room for a part 2. I have been writing a post entitled "Adoption Ignorance" in my head.

syerke said...

Hi! I am a little embarrased to think I probably said most of those things on your list. Of course you are so sweet cuz you never slapped me for it, or got mad at me...even though I think you know you could get real mad at me if you wanted to. Sometimes it is hard to know what questions to ask, so I'm real real glad you wrote this post to answer the questions we don't know how to ask!