This past weekend, Ryan and I attending the RESOLVE Midwest Infertility and Adoption Summit. I was filled with emotions even before the day began. I was excited about learning new things and so thankful that Ryan was excited to attend. Ryan has been so supportive through this journey. I honestly could not think of one more thing he could do for me. He always goes above and beyond the call of "husband duty." I could go on! Anyway. The morning started early and we listened to the keynote speaker, a husband and wife who had experienced loss, infertility and finally - babies. Their story was real and brought up a lot of emotions for me.
After the speaker, the breakout sessions began. The first one both Ryan and I went to was titled "Bonding and Attachment in Adoption." The biggest thing that we took away from this session was most of the adoptive mothers recommended a "cocoon" time once you bring your baby home. For some, this consisted of 3-6 weeks of literally staying at home with the baby and your spouse and not allowing anyone else in your home or to see the baby. The reasoning? The baby hasn't heard you for 9 months and doesn't know you yet. This was eye opening. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what we were going to do. Once baby is here, we thought - come one, come all! I couldn't help but wonder what my parents, Ryan's parents, our siblings, our friends would think of this. Of course I think that they'd all respect our wishes but...I don't know. This is the first time I've felt like my journey with a newborn will be different than anyone else. No one else has to do this - why do I? Ok ok, I get it. I don't have to do anything. But - I want to bond with my baby. I want them to know I will love them like no one else in the world will. Hmm. Lots to think about.
For the second session, Ryan and I split up. I talked Ryan into going to the session called "Guy Talk" which was for just men, to discuss their role and thoughts about the infertility journey. I went to Domestic Adoption 101 but didn't have a lot of take aways since I have already done so much research on the process. After this session, we had lunch. Ryan raved about his time in the session. I held in my excitement so I didn't embarrass him but I was overjoyed that he got a lot out of it! Then....he hit me with "do you think we've explored every option of treatments?" Whew. I felt like something smacked me in the face. I had a pit in my stomach. I thought...WHAT? Are you kidding me? We've made the decision to adopt and NOW you ask me this? I tried to hold it in but I started crying. Of course Ryan felt bad, but I couldn't help but feel so guilty. I'm the reason we can't get pregnant. Not Ryan, not anyone else. Me. Another part of my brain instantly went to our future adopted child. I felt guilty for "cheating" on them. In my heart, I was ready for adoption. I just want to be a mommy and to love a child with all of me. I told Ryan all of this and he agreed, quickly moving the thought of "other options" out of our mind.
Our third session was about keeping a strong relationship and communication through infertility. Kinda perfect, huh? This session was fantastic. Both Ryan and I got some tools and resources to use as we work through all of these emotions. The last session of the day was the most special to both of us. This session included both Birth Mother's and Adoptive Mothers. Each woman told their story. Each - happy, sad, heartbreaking, funny, and the list goes on. They Birth Mother's spoke specifically about their relationship with their birth child and adoptive family. The Adoptive Mother's spoke about how special it was to have a relationship with the birth mother and how the relationship worked. Both Ryan and I walked out of there in awe of these women and more comfortable than ever with an open adoption.
All in all, the day hit every emotion in my body. That night, I had a dream about a little girl. The little girl looked up and me, stretched out her arms and exclaimed - "MOMMY!" Mommy. That's what I'll be. And I can't freakin wait.
Next steps: On December 9th, we will meet with one last agency. After that, we hope to pick an agency and start the application process. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!