"Donor eggs are an option. Adoption too."
Ah yes, "donor eggs" and "adoption too." I would have bet the farm that the story was going in that direction as soon as I read the headline: "Don't Put All Your (Frozen) Eggs in One Basket," on the Modern Love column in today's New York Times.
And indeed, the woman did want to have children early enough but her partner (and ultimately husband) kept
saying he did NOT want children. He was definite, she was sure she could change his mind. Nine months after they married, she froze 14 of her eggs in 2013. Everyone was doing it, right? Apple and Facebook made headlines when they announced they would offer egg freezing as a benefit! A few years later I would read about parties that women had that were related to freezing their eggs. A quick Google search today found this:
Back to our girl, Ruthie Ackerman, who wrote of her plight. While she has her eggs in the cooler and dreams of the first day of kindergarten for her offspring-- but still an uncooperative husband--he makes the decision she could not: he divorces her. Eventually she meets a man who wants both her, and a family. In 2018, she thaws thaws her eggs and they are fertilized with "Bob's sperm." I know this doesn't end well--the headline has foretold the end--but on I read. Only eight of the eggs are viable when defrosted; all are fertilized, but only three take.
"Come to an Egg Freezing Party and meet Dr. Aimee, the Egg Whisperer! You will learn about the egg freezing process and if it’s the right option for you. This is a great opportunity to ask questions in a comfortable relaxed setting with other like-minded women. Now is the time to explore your options."
Compelling essays from all
members of the triad, mother,
child, and adoptive mother
heart-breaking essays by
Then the couple try IVF--twice--at an out of pocket cost of close to $20,000 per shot. Both attempts fail. Now let's estimate her age at 42, 43. Her chances of conceiving via any means are continually going North.
I know I am writing with a kind of irritation in my brain and fingers, I can feel it, and I know this woman's pain is real, and the unknowing woman who is trying to have a child in her thirties and forties and not succeeding is going to be put off when she stumbles into this blog. Please take your comments elsewhere. This is a blog for the women who got pregnant when they did not have the resources to keep their babies, and their grown up children who were adopted and raised by someone who did not bear them. We are not all one happy bunch.
If mothers, we have struggled and wept and beat our breast in guilt, and wish we could take back time and have found a way to keep our children. We wait and pray and light candles and hope our children find their way back to us, and our families, their families who lost them, and we hope that our children can forgive us and understand how their adoption came to be, the last and desperate act we felt we had. After reunion, we are often walking on eggs, anxious that something we say will offend and disrupt this relationship. Our children, happy to be reunited in the first blush of connection, are likely to be unaware of the deep seated pain of abandonment that came before they were verbal. But unforgivingly it works its way to the surface as adoptees find innumerable reasons to dislike and distrust us--thus giving them a satisfying reason to walk away from us. And far too many of us are women who were told to forget, we had this pounded into their brains by the cultural norms of the time of our birth, and can't even find the heart to welcome our children back.
|Essays by adopted teens with photographs|
as told to an adoptive mother
From our perspective--whether the mother or the child--adoption is one unholy mess. You never get over it. You are either always a mother who gave up a child, or a child who was given up, no matter how many years pass and milestones met and other children borne.
So when we read the saga of failed maternity that ends with--hey! there's still adoption or donor eggs--please understand our disgust and irritation. My husband once described the attitude prevalent among many young women today: "They want to feel that adoption will always be available to them, should they need it."
Given all that Ruthie Ackerman went through, I could not imagine that she would be a woman who could let go of a child if a natural mother changed her mind, whether in the legal time frame or a day later. Nor could I imagine her as a good candidate for a fully open adoption.
Adoption is not an answer for failed fertility, should someone "need" it. Adoption can be a wonderful option for a child who truly needs a home--foster care is loaded with them, and there will always be babies who need a home--but don't expect us to sympathize with your plight when the story ends with the bright idea of getting someone else's eggs, or a live baby. No one ever grows up with the goal of having a baby to give up, and given their druthers, if a baby could think, being given up by his original mother would not be the first choice. Life is messy, there will always be adoption, but please stop promoting it as a "fail-safe" option for delayed conception. And if a man says he does not want children, believe him.--lorraine
The Adoption Reader: Birth Mothers, Adoptive Mothers, and Adopted Daughters Tell Their Stories
Edited by Susan Wadja-Ellis
This compilation of essays - beginning with birth mothers, then adoptive mothers, and finally the adopted daughters - goes above and beyond the usual "magazine style" articles on the quirks or perils of the adoption process. I was incredibly pleased and impressed by the diversity of Wadia-Ells' collection. Lesbian women, multi-racial families, and a variety of socio-economic backgrounds all lend to this book a wealth of perspectives. The contributors are thoughtful, often in emotional pain, honest about their experiences, and each one is a talented writer.
The one thing that did emerge most clearly from this work was the overall tone that adoption was an incredibly painful thing for all parties involved. The more positive essays were from the adoptive moms - birth moms and adopted daughters were obviously struggling to make sense out of their experiences.
The Adoptee Survival Guide: Adoptees Share Their Wisdom and Tools
Edited by Lynn Grubb
gayle h. swift
This collection opens a window into the actual experiences of adoptees who are now adults. Each shares their personal truth and offers insight into how we can support adoptees as their parents, partners and peers. Much of their message is painful to hear because it shines a light on the dark underbelly of adoption that is grounded in loss, grief and pain.
Hole In My Heart: memoir and report from the fault lines of adoption
As an adopted child I have met many other adoptees and we have shared our feelings and desires, but rarely have I ever met a mother so willing to open up and share this experience with me. I found this book to be SO important to me on many levels. I was gratified (as perhaps as shallow as that may sound) to hear about how difficult it was. I never wanted to think giving a child away was easy despite the 1960's era of "putting it all behind you" and I was so grateful she allowed us on this journey to connect with her daughter. Connecting isn't easy, even when you share DNA, but you DO connect on levels you never expected. The similar way your hair falls, the way you wrinkle your nose when you laugh together. What takes longer is the easy banter, that gets more difficult over time, not less.... now where do we go? Ms. Dusky handles this with honesty and compassion. I am forever grateful to hear the mother's side. This book opened my eyes and my heart.
How It Feels to Be Adopted
Essays as told to Jill Krementz