Thursday, May 20, 2010

All because two people fell in love...and found themselves infertile

On this date in 1950, my parents were married.  My dad was 23 and my mom 22.  They met at Mt. Ida Junior College, where my mom was a student and my dad was visiting a friend from high school. Both were the youngest of three children. A lot younger. My mom by 12 years and my dad by 10.  It is safe to say they came to their parents unexpectedly and yet they made their families complete.

Once married, they were anxious to start a family.  They were patient when it didn't happen right away.  After several years with no pregnancy, they were discouraged, but still felt it would happen eventually. They visited their doctor, and then specialists, none of whom could find any physical reason that my mother could not get pregnant.

It was after celebrating 10 years of marriage that they finally and reluctantly accepted the fact that they were not going to be able to begin a family in the way that they had planned.  Infertility is a loss and I am sad that my parents had to go through those years of trying and then being disappointed month after month, year after year.  And yet....I am grateful too.  Grateful that their love for each other remained strong and their desire to become parents lead them to adoption. Grateful that in February of 1962 they became parents of a 6 month old boy, my brother, Bradley.  Grateful that they loved being parents so much that in November of 1963 they welcomed a two month old daughter, me, into their family.  Grateful that 2 years later, after 15 years of infertility my mother found herself pregnant at long last, with my sister Candace.

The circumstances that lead to adoption usually involve loss.  I feel for the loss my parents felt when they were unable to conceive.  I also feel for the loss my birthparents, who were teenagers, felt when I was relinquished for adoption.  I know my birthmother loved me and was not given the choice to raise me.  My brother's birthmother was not a teenager but his birthfather was a married man. Imagine all the circumstances, most of them involving loss, that needed to line up  in order for my family to become my family.

I guess the full title of this post could be 'All because two people fell in love, found themselves infertile, two other woman had unexpected pregnancies and had to say goodbye to their babies at the same time the infertile couple finished their home studies and were approved to become adoptive parents and and finally the infertile couple found they weren't infertile after all.'


  1. Great job Alison. Losses related to infertility are so hard. You always do such a great job of finding the gain in any situation!

  2. Beautiful example of the 'universe unfolding as it should'...xoxo Jeanne

  3. are 'the perfect storm' (in a good way) of adoption -- you have the life experience to see it from all sides and your insight is spot-on, but also full of love... thanks again. - Brenda B.

  4. We still have that tandem bike :) Such memories...XOXO Carole

  5. Aaahh... this post says so much to me. I always feel ashamed, or embarrassed, or uncomfortable, or some such thing, that infertility led me to adoption. Because I really regret that I wasted about two years trying to have a biological baby before it even occurred to me. Having lost a baby at 5 mos pregnant, and then had 2 years of "unexplained infertility", I am always afraid that my daughters will feel like the backup plan. I hate that I didn't know enough to have skipped the whole pregnancy thing from the outset. I understand, and grieved, a loss in not being able to see my & my husbands genes reflected back at us. Not because I think our genes are particularly cool - our kids are definitely lucky to miss out on quite a few potential genetic issues - but because I think that would be fascinating to watch unfold. But I firmly believe that the positive experiences and discoveries to be found only in adoption are things that non-adoptive families are missing out on. And while the actual experience of bringing a new kid home are different - I feel like the joys and wonder have to be equal. I know that if I had not taken the exact path that I did, then I would not have the daughters that I do. And that everything happened just the way it was supposed to - for me anyway. I just hate what other people think. And I never really cared what people thought until this. It's not what they might think about me. I can't stand the thought of anyone looking at my kids as a second choice. Somebody told me one day that their sister "had to adopt" too, and I felt violent. There is no way for me to explain to the world how much love and peace and lack of desire for anything different I feel. I know I shouldn't feel the need to. I just envy families like yours, who came to adoption through a route that people don't seem to have such pre-conceived notions about. Reading this post encourages me in my hope that my children can grow up to understand that the facts/history are what they are, and that they are the most loved, desired, cherished, perfect-for-me kids that could ever be.