Loving Your Friend Through Infertility – About Adoption

(Here are the previous posts in this series)

This series has primarily been dealing with the emotions of infertility. In infertility there are a few options – wait and see/ use treatment/ choose adoption/ remain childfree.  Although I am not going to go fully into adoption, I wanted to write a quick note.

Please use discernment in bringing up adoption with your friend dealing with infertility. People’s hearts are in different places. Some people may decide to pursue adoption after trying for 6 months. Some others may spend 10 years and 3 rounds of IVF before they are ready to take that step.

Adoption is a beautiful, beautiful thing. It blesses families deeply and meets the desire for children!! However, there is a very real process that includes grieving the loss of a biological child. This may seem strange to some. Sometimes people who have never walked through infertility know that adoption is amazing and don’t understand why people don’t quickly take that journey. They can heap judgement on people using treatment “when there are lots of kids who need good homes.” Just know – it’s a lot more complicated than “just adopt.” When you desire children so deeply and have tried so long to get pregnant, you often need to process through thoughts like:

  • I’ll never have a baby that looks like me or my husband
  • I’ll never get to be pregnant, go through labor or breastfeed
  • Our baby will look very different than everyone else in our extended family
  • What if we meet a baby and then the adoption falls through?
  • What if we get a child who has experienced significant trauma? Are we able to and prepared to deal with that?
  • What do we tell them when they’re older?
  • What if they want to meet their biological parents?

Adopting does not cure infertility.  Adoption meets the desire of having a family, shows a picture of redemption, of how God brought us who were not in a family into HIS family. And so, it’s definitely good to bring adoption up! Just be sensitive in how and when. Life is messy! Infertility is messy! Adoption is messy! So love your friends…. bring up options, process through with them and pray for them!

– Photo Credit: Nick Galifianakis for The Washington Post

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About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Infertility, Loving Your Friend Series, Sanctification and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Loving Your Friend Through Infertility – About Adoption

  1. excogitatingengineer says:

    Nice post. Adoption is awesome but it is not for everyone. Infertility is a grieving process and is always painful.

  2. Jacquelyn says:

    Great stuff, once again :) I had a tangent question just because I’m a hardcore breastfeeding advocate and I know you’ve been doing LC classes- have you learned about breastfeeding an adopted child? I have been reading about that lately (I want to be an LC once my kiddos are a bit older) and find it fascinating. Obviously it might not work for everyone, but I think it’s pretty cool!

    • jackielopina says:

      I am a CLC! And I am OBSESSED with breastfeeding! :) It is quite amazing that it is even possible to breastfeed an adopted child. For a woman who has delivered a placenta (sounds weird, but as you probably know, that’s what begins the hormones to produce mature milk) beginning breasfeeding again with an adopted child should be fairly easy in theory. In our class they were discussing techniques and although they didn’t get much into it, they discussed how a woman who has never given birth might be able to breastfeed, but would probably not be able to exclusively breastfeed (and would get no colostrum). It would be for more of the bonding aspects of it (which are still HUGE!) Also, I would think that for someone who has struggled with infertility or has a hormonal imbalance, it might not work at all, but that’s said without much research. I’d love to know what all you’ve been reading about it!

  3. Jacquelyn says:

    I’ve read a few stories of adoptive mothers who were able to BF (after taking a cocktail of different hormonal therapies) but like you said it was with supplementation as well. Still, so amazing. I’ve even heard some amazing stories of nannies who’ve never had children who’s bodies were so in tune with the crying and needs of the infants that they were babysitting that they spontaneously produced milk (not that they BF the babies, but still). So crazy.

    I am looking forward to learning more about it. I’d love to hear more about your classes and the process to become certified- are you an IBCLC? I don’t know if there is a difference between that and a CLC. I think your route will be much different from mine because you used your work experience, yes? I won’t have that so I’ll have to take college courses to complete the first part of it before I can take the lactation courses. Either way, I’m so excited!

    • jackielopina says:

      So cool!! I’m only a CLC- Certified Lactation Counselor. It’s actually really easy to become one!! Just a 40 hour training and you have to pass a test! Cake! (Although I think the class is $800… Yikes) An IBCLC- International Board Certified Lactation Consultant- as you know, is a LOT more work! As far as I know, everyone goes through the CLC class but to becoming an IBCLC requires A LOT (800? 1000?) of clinic hours in the hospital. Even though I work with pregnant and breastfeeding moms, since I’m not in the hospital setting, unfortunately it doesn’t count for my hours (and I’m not really willing to have two full-time jobs right now! Ha!) CLCs are much more common than IBCLCs so that is often what “lactation consultants” are in hospitals, WIC, etc. But IBCLCs are AMAZING and know so much! So exciting!

      • Jacquelyn says:

        Agh, I didn’t know there were two different types of certifications. Oye! I had no idea that CLCs are more common, perhaps that’s a better route for me to take?! So glad we had this discussion, haha! I don’t love the idea of working in a hospital and thought my dream job would be working in a small birth center, peds office, or perhaps teaching classes so from what you’re saying it seems like CLC might be much more do-able! Wow I’m even more excited now :-) :-) :-)

  4. I really appreciate this series! It was beautifully written and has been so gospel centered!

    I love how you separate adoption from infertility. They are SO different and I WISH more families who were not struggling with infertility adopted so that Christians wouldn’t be so quick to think of it as an option only for people who can’t get pregnant. I wonder if we lovingly encouraged all the families in our church to grow their family through adoption if it would lessen the sting when this is brought up as an option for families battling infertility? I really appreciate your thoughts on the need to do this with sensitivity.

    just an encouragement to those considering adoption… I adopted 2 and had 1 biological child, we just decided to adopt our 4th because adoption has been such an amazing thing…we knew if we could only do 1 more (get pregnant or adopt) that adoption was something we really wanted to do one more time.

    True, adoption isn’t for everyone, but then again, either is having children… It is true that adoption won’t cure infertility, but what it can do (if you feel burdened to adopt) is take something that is a result of our sinful world (infertility) and turn it into a beautiful purpose.

    • jackielopina says:

      Thanks for your comment Dennae!! I completely agree that instead of adoption being an “infertility” thing it SHOULD be a gospel thing! I loved reading about your experience with adoption and how much it has changed your family! Praise God!

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