Anyone who reads this little blog regularly knows that JR and I want, more than anything, to add another child to our family. You also know that the only options available for us to do that are adoption and surrogacy.
For JR and me, surrogacy has never held any real appeal. In the naive early days of our relationship, when we discussed our future family, we agreed that adoption was definitely going to be a part of how we grew our family as was pregnancy. I really wanted to experience life growing inside me, breast feeding, and even labor and delivery. When it became clear that that dream was not going to become our reality it was relatively easy for us to turn our attention to adoption.
We honestly never really thought about surrogacy at that time, and I don't know if I would be thinking about it right now, if a friend hadn't brought it up.
"You know," she said as I was bemoaning (again) the loss of the money in our failed adoption attempts, which is keeping us from adopting again, "you still have your ovaries. You and JR were able to conceive repeatedly. I'll bet you could have a successful pregnancy via a surrogate."
She is probably correct about that, I realize. But that doesn't mean that surrogacy is the right choice for our family. First of all, the surrogacy would be just as expensive if not MORE expensive than adopting again. If we had a friend or family member ready, willing, and able to carry a child for us (which we do not) we would still have to pay for my eggs to be harvested, for those eggs to be fertilized with JR's sperm, and then for at least one IVF cycle for the surrogate. If we had to pay a surrogate, well then the costs would go up even more. In theory, this would all be worth it because, in the end, the baby would be pretty much guaranteed to come home with us, and that is worth an awful lot.
But that just isn't enough to make it worth doing. The reason that JR and I embarked on a quest for a viable pregnancy was so that I could experience the miracle of carrying a child and giving birth. Having a child linked to us through DNA was just never a factor for us. It still isn't. We often joke about the fact that we are "genetic cul de sacs" and honestly feel that there is NO WAY we could have produced a child as absolutely perfect for us as Grasshopper is.
So while the idea of a child whom no one else has a claim to is appealing, it just doesn't speak to my heart the way welcoming another child via adoption does. JR and I have spoken at length in the wake of that conversation with my friend, and he feels the same way I do (thank heaven).
I am grateful to my friend for raising the issue of surrogacy, because it caused me to take a step back, and to really think about what it is that I want for my family. And what I want has come shining through to me in bright, bold, neon letters so real that I can hear the buzz, "A Child of my Heart, Not of my Body."
When God, the Universe or just your own conscience tell you something with such force, then in my opinion, you would be a fool not to listen. So we are going to adopt again. Whatever it takes, whatever we have to do to make that dream a reality, we're going to do it. We feel called to walk that path one more time, and I hope that you all will walk it with us. Adoption is a journey, often a long, hard journey filled with paperwork, fingerprints, doctor's visits and social worker calls. It is never glamorous, often tedious, invariably frustrating and in the end, so, so, worth it.
These are uncertain times for so many of us, JR and me included, but we are committed to taking this leap. We are talking to agencies, we are researching programs, and we are scraping together every penny that we have. We will make this happen.
I no longer have any doubts.