Well, I think this will be a brutally honest post. Probably not very PC, and I apologize in advance. But this is the place where I put down all my feelings, albeit anonymously, so my safe place to vent, muse, and say all the things "out loud" that I can't really say out loud. So here we go.
L and I had a talk with my inlaws (his parents) on Saturday night. We've been feeling very badly about them and their lack of apparent caring or reaching out to us (see this post for a brief mention) over the last year or so. So we decided to talk to them about it.
It was sort of ridiculous in one way...here we are telling them how alone and hurt we feel having lost so many babies and not a phone call, card, visit, and then my MIL having to make it all about herself and telling her she's really upset and pissed about us because we didn't take a picture of the whole family together at her 60th surprise birthday party (that WE threw for her!) a year and a half ago.
No kidding. All of us kids and her husband threw a surprise party at a restaurant (complete with bakery cakes and food) for about 40 people for her 60th b-day in April 2010. It was a NICE party and we all had a good time. And Saturday she takes the opportunity to tell us she's pissed because the pictures we took, there's a picture of my family altogether (um, they were sitting at one table) but there's not one "family" picture of her family together. Well us kids were running around the whole night, with the cake, with the speeches, taking pictures, and while there's pictures of us separately, not together. And she's PISSED and HURT about that? I've never heard such a thing. Totally took my respect for her down a notch or two.
Anyway, I think my FIL got it at least, and that's good. He actually surprised me, he's been researching infertility or something because he started reciting some facts to me and I was like, "Whoa!" I don't think I will have the relationship with my MIL I thought I would when we got married though...
Well, whatever. She was telling us how it's all our fault because we don't come out and tell them EVERYTHING that's going on in our lives (we said, "you could ask" because it's hard to repeat everything shitty thing that's happening to everyone we know, you know? So she asked, and we told her.
I never even wrote it here (but my MIL apparently thinks I'm on some grand conspiracy to keep her in the dark about my life) but we saw another RE in Boston at the end of August for a second opinion as to why I keep miscarrying. Of course, she had no better understanding of why this keeps happening to us either. Yay, us. Of course, she told us to continue on with the FET and everything else in the event it really is just horrible luck. But she recommended using a gestational surrogate (in MA this is legal, where I live in NY it is not...well, a contract is not legal) as our best chance of having genetically-linked kids.
Guess how much she said it is? $80,000.
So you can understand how we said, thank for your second opinion and marched on our way to adoption. Which is so expensive in itself, but we're looking at $30K here, not $80K, so much more feasible. Not to mention there's a tax credit, so we would get $13K back. So really "only" $17K out of pocket (not that that's anything to sneeze at, of course.
So I was telling my ILs about this after they asked what was going on, when my MIL says out of the blue, "What if we give you the money?" My FIL just nods in agreement.
Um...what? That was the last thing I expected to hear (especially after how upset she is with us about some stupid PICTURES).
She goes onto say, if we're putting $30K towards adoption they could give us the remaining $50K to do surrogacy. If we want we can treat it as a loan "wink wink" that we could take forever to pay back when we're 93. (Which is a way of saying it's really a gift since they will be long gone by the time we're 93. Hell, with my heart, I'm not going to MAKE it to 93.)
Dumbfounded. that's what I was. And on the way home I was so excited. It's like being handed a winning lottery ticket. L's parents are considerably more well off than my own. So I guess they must have that much money to just give us? (although with tax implications, I'm guessing they would just make the payments for us instead of giving us the money).
But then, you know, as you think about things more and more, all the negatives start popping out to you, and more and more, that winning lottery ticket is slowly getting ripped to pieces.
Listen, I don't know about the psychological processes regarding adoption, and whether I would pass any tests if I needed to. It's an evolving thing for me. There's a certain amount of guilt, grief and acceptance that goes into adoption, grief that you will never have your own child, guilt that you are comparing having your own biological child to your own adopted child, and worry that you will feel differently even though everyone tells you you won't, and the acceptance that finally comes to it. I had finally come around to the point that this was meant to be, that it was fate, and that there was a child out there meant for me and L. That this was supposed to be this way, and my numerous attempts at trying to have my own were just my misguided way of fighting the truth, that I wasn't meant to have a biological child. I mean, how many clues do I really need? Heart condition, told by multiple doctors originally not to get pregnant, multiple heart surgeries, infertility, miscarriages - I mean, get a clue, Ducky, you are just not meant to be a biological mother!
But the desire, innate desire, natural desire, I believe is so strong. In a perfect world with all the money and resources at my disposal, I would love two biological and two adopted. But, obviously, this is not a perfect world, and I had just begun to accept it.
But what do you do if you're given the choice, just like that? If I got even a little excited, did that mean I shouldn't adopt? Am I a horrible person because the thought of having a little one that is the product of me and L gives me shivers of anticipation? Or is that just nature? Does it mean I wouldn't love my adopted child?
I don't know. I want to think that the answer to all those questions are no, but I'm afraid.
One thing that gave me a little reasurrance, after mere minutes of thinking about it, was that I still wanted to go through with adoption. Why? Because we're so close to being out there to be profiled Because the odds are that we could have a child this point quicker through adoption than through surrogacy. And if all I really cared about was a genetic link with my child, then I would be happy to wait for surrogacy, right? But I'm not. So I can't possibly be that bad, right?
Is the most innate desire of all just to have a child of one's own then? By whatever means possible?
I don't know. I don't know anything about anything. I don't know if everyone thinks about these things or if I'm the only one and that makes me a bad person who shouldn't adopt, or what. I don't know anything.
Except that I really want both. I want to proceed with adoption and now I want to proceed with surrogacy and in the end I want both of those babies. Maybe it's just a natural thing to happen after all these years of imagining and picturing MY child. It's so easy to conjure one up in my mind - my adopted baby, and my surrogate baby (note how I've completely dismissed every notion that I could possibly get pregnant on my own and carry to term, which hasn't been ruled out by any doctor, they just don't know what's going on) and I couldn't possibly choose between them. because even though they don't even exist, they are both MINE.
Now, talking about it with L in the hours and days since then, I really don't think it's possible. We don't want to take on that amount of debt. But even if it were a gift, we would still feel obligated to pay it back. I mean, L has siblings - how can you justify giving us all that money? It's not really fair.
And then, who knows what kind of strings there may be from a mother who's pissed we didn't take a family picture? We would feel obligated to them for the rest of our lives. It just doesn't make sense.
And it sucks. Because I never would have thought of this possibility before Saturday, so it's like a million dollars was waved in front of me, and then taken away. If I hadn't known it was a possibility, I probably never would have missed it. But now that I know it is, no matter how much it really isn't, it opens up those freshly scabbed over wounds. Things I thought I had put behind me.
But I called the Boston hospital's infertility clinic, just to ask about gestational surrogacy and how it works with them. See, now that stupid little flame of hope has been rekindled. It's like life is just fucking with you.