Monday, June 30, 2008

Mama Bear

I think I've had my first Mama Bear instincts this week. This post will probably be very rambling, so be warned! =)

It started last week with some google alerts and yahoo group posts termed "Embryo Adoption." The links and discussions took me to various places around the web, where various discussions about embryos and their placement were taking place. But in all of the cases, what was being discussed was embryo donation or worse, embryo sale! It made me so frustrated. It made me realize how protective I am over true Embryo Adoption and our little babies.

It made me angry that they were lumped in to the same category as black market body parts for sale, and anonymous bank donations. We made the choice to do an actual adoption and make the sacrifices required therein, because of our love for our children and our desire to do right by them. In our world view, this way was the only way to go. I understand that others make different choices, but it should be discussed and named differently because it is different.

I am part of a self-enrolled blog roll of IF women. I had been categorized as "Donor Egg/Sperm/Embryo." I wrote to the list owner and asked to be moved to the Adoption roll and she wouldn't place me there. But in every functional sense, this IS an adoption. I won't apologize for or downplay that.

Now both of these things are pretty minor. But I feel like it takes away from the honor we're trying to give our children when we're lumped in to some anonymous process. I want our children to know that they were wanted and loved and sacrificed for before we ever knew them. I want the dignity of this process protected by refusing to mingle it with anonymous donation and with people who sell their children, both of whom I've seen claim the same term of "adoption." I want to insist that they call their processes by their own names. Better--I wish that this was the only way to transfer embryos but I digress.

Then I finally got up the nerve to listen to my Pastor's Mother's Day Message. I'm so glad I didn't stay in the service that day. His message was on Moses. He came to a point in the message where he said that because of Moses' first 5 years with his birth mother, he knew he was a Hebrew. He praised Moses' mother for risking her life to keep Moses safe.

Then he said "Moms, we just stand in awe of you, what God has done and is doing in you and through you for the purpose of giving children a powerful powerful excellent foundation in their life."

Then he transitioned to a story about his own daughter, pregnant with twins and he related this: (transcribed word for word)

"[Daughter's name] there's nobody else in the world, no one in the world, who can do what you have been called to do. No one else in the world can take these babies and give them what you're giving them. And that's true of every mother, every mother who conceives a child--there's no one else the world who can replace you in that process."

That really hit me. I love my pastor dearly. I know him to be a sincere, godly man who has expressed his support for what we're doing. But I almost felt like his words betrayed a certain bias and it struck me that the bias is probably fairly common and our children will probably encounter that their whole lives. And it made me mad for them.

True. I am not involved in the children's conception. So in the very technical sense, I cannot be that person. But I will be their mother. DH will be their father. We will be the ones who provide that "powerful powerful excellent foundation in their life." Meaning no disrespect to genetic and birth parents everywhere, we will be the ones they spend their days with, who tuck them in to bed at night, who take them to school and soccer practice, who provide those "first 5 years" (and more!) and who teach them the ways of the Lord. The same can be said of adoptive families everywhere. I don't really see what biology has to do with any of the true elements of parenting. To be clear-I don't trivialize the roll of birth or genetic parents at all. But I do wish that ours wasn't minimized simply because we lack a certain biological component and it's my fear that general populous bias DOES participate in that, at least subconsciously.

The mama-bear in me was animated as I pictured people pitying our children. Thinking they missed out on something. Thinking they have a second-best existence and second-best parents, and that they are our second-best children. I want to scream that we're doing everything we can to give them the best of everything! And they should feel loved because of that-not ashamed or as though or offerings were mere concessions to make up for shortcomings of biology. I never want them to feel like they're missing out on something. I want everything for them and I want them to KNOW that we want everything for them.

Thoughts like these always make me try to remember what I though in my pre-adoption days. I honestly can't remember (another testament to God--He has filled our hearts so full of this that it's hard to remember a time when they weren't), but it does make me want to get inside people's heads and learn what they're really thinking. It impassions me for adoption advocacy. And that's good, I think.

Speaking of (how's that for a transition?), I really want to become more active in infertility, adoption and embryo adoption awareness and advocacy. I'd love to read and speak, presuming of course that anyone wanted to hear what I have to say. But I don't really know where to start. Am I totally out in left field with this idea? It's a little nerve wracking and feels a little egotistical to think that what you have to say is novel and important enough that others should listen. And it's not even that I think that about me. I just know that I have a heart for these issues and I want, for the issues' sakes, to see their messages furthered and I think that I am willing to do it and at least have a modest talent for it. Any thoughts?

This week is important in terms of checklist steps. Theoretically, our homestudy is being sent in to the court today. I really really hope it goes in this week and I really hope the court's calendar moves quickly! Tomorrow we go to the doctor to talk about all those tests and hopefully he can do them at the same time. On Wednesday, we meet the genetic parents. On Thursday, I go to my OB for a few more tests. So it will be a busy week!

Gotta scoot for now! I hope you all are well!