Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

So Nik and I spent most of last night just talking. And talking and talking and talking.

We're worried about the adoption world. We're worried about countries shutting down for US adoptions due to corruption. We're worried about the skyrocketing costs to adopt. We're worried about the flood of people "competing" for any child available.

We basically sat there and both just gushed out our individual thoughts and worries and found that, not too surprisingly, we're on the same page. We don't like the fact that any child we could afford to adopt is also going to be pursued by a dozen other families. Not because it means we're less likely to be chosen, but because we worry about the competition factor, and the ickiness factor of almost fighting it out for a baby instead of giving a home to one in need.

I don't know... I'm not against adoptions, but I'm wary of where they're going right now. I was looking at the average costs of adoption, as kept by Adoptive Families Magazine. In 2005 the average cost of a US domestic adoption was around $22K. Last year that average went up to $33K! In 5 years it jumped by over ten THOUSAND dollars! Not because of new regulations or procedures, no, but because the agencies simply COULD charge that much. Even the really "cheap" agencies have raised their prices significantly, and the odds of us adopting for less than $20K is looking slimmer and slimmer.

And on top of it, we've been hearing that NO ONE is getting their adoption tax refund. No one. We haven't heard anything about us yet but we're calling. That's $17K that we were counting on to help cover the extra expenses as well as general day to day care of three children.

So the choice now seems to be:
-Do we want to remain a family of 4 living a comfy life with money in the bank?
OR
-Do we want to become a family of 5 living paycheck to paycheck and desperately trying to stay out of debt?

Thing is, I don't think I'd be so worried about the cost if the fees were actually needed and not just what was being charged solely because an agency knows it's what they can get. And I don't think I'd have a huge issue with it if we were actually giving a child a home who really needed it. And really, it's hard anyway to scoff at fees when it comes to *your kid!*!!!

So yeah. Nik and I are getting really, really disenchanted with the adoption world. Again, not giving up on it just yet, but at the same time not as enamored.

Still keeping an eye out for (reasonable!) adoption situations though...

*****

On the other end of the spectrum, there are fertility treatments. IUI, ICSI, Clomid, Embryo Adoption, etc.

Reason #1 why were aren't pursuing this right now is easy: We already are actively trying to adopt AND I'm breastfeeding with no desire to wean right now.

Reason #2 is more complicated...

What if the boys don't feel like they're good enough? What if they think we went to fertility treatments because we decided that having a child through adoption just didn't cut it anymore? I know I would speak with them about this, many times, but still... once an idea is in there it could be hard to get out.

Even worse, what about the people around us? What about the family that would treat a child by birth as if they are better than a child by adoption? What about the all the "oh, finally having your own!" comments? What about the people who feel that we ourselves decided that adoption wasn't good enough and we finally wanted to spread out genes and have "real" children? Can I really say that these people don't matter at all when I know we'll encounter them throughout life?

And then there's us. Guilt feeling, attention loving us. I mean, c'mon, let's admit it: We're coooool. We're the young, geeky, counter culture couple that *adopted* our kids. And I'm even nursing one! And we're willing to talk about it! After so much positive attention for adopting, so much "wow, that's so awesome!" and especially so much "you're better than those people who do fertility treatments when they could just adopt", it kinda changes your perceptions.

See, as much as we try to not let people influence us, well, we're human. People do influence us, just as we influence others. And we openly admit it, which is probably the only way to really dispel it all and get down to your own gut feelings.

And I think that's what last night was all about.

What do WE want? What do WE feel is right for our family? Why have we chosen the paths that we have and do we always want to continue down them? How do we want to live our life? How do other people want us to live our life and how is that influencing us?

There's been a LOT of anti-fertility treatments talk in our past, a lot of "just adopt," a lot of "crazy infertiles."

And yet, when it all comes down to it, no, we aren't against it. Sure we'd have to set limits and expectations, and sure it could definitely fail, but even so it could still be the route that brings us our next child.

*****

And therein lies the problem...

We KNOW, or at least feel that we know, that there will be a next child. And we want to find that next child when or where or whoever he/she is. Will it be a baby born in FL in May? Or one I give birth to next December?

The biggest problem is that both options are so cost prohibitive that we really need to pick:
-Fertility Treatments
OR
-Adoption

And of course the easiest thing to say is just "if the adoption doesn't happen by the time the HS runs out in like Sept then we'll pursue another route." But, well.... I'm impatient! And also... if we have a failed adoption, we're out even more $$. And if we got our tests done now we could spend several months on supplements and such improving our bodies before IUI or any other treatment. But if we even go in for a few lab tests not covered by insurance, we won't meet a required "minimum" to adopt moneywise.

So our next baby could be either this way or that way and we kinda, sorta have to choose.

We're not ready to give up on adoption. It's worked twice and we're already active and waiting and it really, truly could work for us, like, tomorrow.

But we're also not totally sure we should completely table the fertility option. I mean, seriously, it could work and it could be the path we're meant to walk at this point.

I don't know.

I just don't know.

And I so wish I did...

But that's the beauty and fun of a crazy life like ours, right? Never knowing what's going to happen next on our adventure as a family :)

(And for the record, if this seemed jumbled that's because I had a very *helpful* toddler on my lap for most of it, shoving food down my shirt and screaming at the screen.)

2 comments:

radmama said...

well,

I just left adoptiskids.org. there are thousands of kids waiting there who could be adopted for almost no (financial) cost. the other costs are high, but perhaps if you're called to give a child a home, you could consider a child who is literally waiting for one. you won't get a healthy newborn, but you will be blessed beyond measure.

radmama (mama to more than twenty who've come and gone, and four-so far-who are staying forever)

Megan, aka LadyofMoonlight said...

Radmama,

It's far, far harder to adopt adopt a child from "the system" than they make it out to be. For the most part you can only really adopt a child from within your own county, even if there are children all over the nation (and even all over your state) available for adoption. This has to do with budgetary concerns and random politics. Our own county focuses heavily on reunification and I've only known of one couple who had less than a 2 year wait for their first placement (that same couple was the only one to finalize in less than 2 years as well). On top of that, our older child has suffered from attachment disorder, PTSD and SPD, and we are unwilling to bring in another traumatized child, both because this child would take most if not all of our emotional resources but also because it would likely trigger our older child to relapse.

Also please note that may of the children on that website are already spoken for (they're bad about taking pictures down) and most require that you have no younger children in the home. I don't doubt that we'll look into older child adoption someday, especially from the US foster care system, but right now I just don't think it would work out well for us, or them.