“This is our oldest son, Joey, I gave birth to him…” I begin to introduce my children to the curious lady at the check-out lane. She furrows her eyebrows as if this is an oxymoron. “This is Josh and Johnny, they joined our family through adoption. They were born in Ukraine, they’re the same age but not biological brothers. We brought them home when they were 16 months old.” I wrap my arm around my oldest daughter’s shoulder, bringing her forward, “This is Lexi, she joined our family through adoption as well, but we brought her home from the hospital a few days after she was born. She has an open adoption so we have an ongoing relationship with her birth mom.” The two youngest girls hanging on the side of the cart look up waiting to be acknowledged. “This is Cassie and Callie, they’re twins! Twins do run in our family but we had to do IVF and have a gestational carrier (or surrogate) carry them. They were born really premature but are doing well now.”
Probably TMI for a check-out lane inquiry but it’s the truth. I have become a mom by giving birth (3 times but we lost 2 of our sons), adopting internationally, adopting domestically and by doing IVF with a gestational carrier. There really are many ways to become a parent (OK…maybe not quite 101).
When my husband and I began our journey to build our family we had no idea about all the options. When we ran into infertility issues due to my biocrnuate uterus and incompetent cervix things changed. Over the course of a few years we had to learn about how to deal with our infertility and how to change what our idea of becoming a parent meant. After attending a Resolve conference I learned I had to:
1. Grieve the loss of the dream family/child
2. Change the dream
3. Learn about all the options and carefully consider your next step with your partner, respect each other’s considerations
4. Get support!! Find a Resolve support group in your area and talk to those who have been on this journey
For more information check-out these links:
Our family has come together in a very unique way. It’s not all Rainbows and Butterflies all the time, but all the ways we became parents are “real” ways to grow your family. Educate yourself and let yourself explore other ideas.
In reality, at the check-out lane, or wherever you are, introductions will simply become, “These are my children!”
Midwest Resolve Peer Support Group Co-Coordinator