As many other women in the United States, around 10% of women who are able to conceive, I am facing the reality that I might be infertile.
I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was around 16. I didn’t really understand it, but I was put on birth control and that helped. But due to a deep depression for about 7 years, I didn’t take care of myself and my health spiraled out of control.
Now, at age 29, I am trying to get back on track. While my overall physical health is good, with excellent blood pressure, sugar levels, etc. all in healthy ranges, my ovaries never got the message.
I have a wonderful OBGYN, but her solution to this is to put me on hormones like Clomid or medication like Metformin. While I think it’s great that these options are out there and any woman who wants/needs to take them should! But ever since I thought about having a family, I always thought I would adopt.
Admittedly, I never thought I would be married. I thought if I was wildly successful then I can save enough money to adopt a child as a single mother. However, I met my husband and things changed. Before we got married, I told my husband that I might not be able to conceive.
He immediately suggested we try adoption. He agreed that putting ourselves through the emotional ups and downs of IUI or IVF would be hard. He would be game if I would, but when I told him I felt it in my heart that adopting a child is the right choice, he agreed.
So we’ve been talking about it. We haven’t been trying for very long, just about 6 months (most doctors say only worry after 1 year) but my cycles have been irregular and I’ve only ovulated twice this year. Even after I got off of birth control in January (nexplanon was a nightmare), I only ovulated twice.
To put it simply, while the “average” woman has 12 cycles, so 12 ovulations/12 tries, I only had 2. Simply put, the numbers are against us. The chances of us conceiving are very low, and even then I am not sure if I am able to carry a child to term.
We were talking about adopting an older child. We both have a lot of experience with children, either through former jobs or with our nephews. I worked with foster children when I was in college and did a lot of volunteering through “Day of the Child.” I knew that while the majority of foster children return to their parents, a child that is staying in the foster system that reaches the age of 4 has little to no chance of adoption.
We were thinking we could adopt siblings, a boy and a girl. But we are hoping that the children are 7 and under. It isn’t a big range, but given that my husband and I have yet to reach 30 we weren’t sure if we could handle an older child that would mean the child was born when we were 20 or even 18.
We are thinking of a local adoption, possibly international if we can afford it. But most importantly we want to be able to provide the children the life that they deserve. We want to have the funds to afford their hobbies, send them to school, have the right medical care. In this day and age that means the child can’t have any serious, life-long illness that needs constant care. We have so much love for children, but love doesn’t put bread on the table.
Since my husband and I are a mixed race couple, we would want the child to be either of our races or also a mixed race couple (mixed like us). Not due to racism but because we know that there is so much beyond skin color when it comes to raising the child with an identity and a connection to their culture. Maybe when we’re 35 and older, we know how to handle it better. But right now, we want to be able to give the child some sense of identity where they can anchor their understanding of self.
But the vast majority of children in foster care looking to be adopted have serious medical conditions, behavioral issues, and are older than we are looking for. Some need to be only children. Some need to be adopted with their siblings (which can mean adopting 3 or 4 children at once). Some are older than we can handle. Some want to live close to their families and wouldn’t want to leave the area. Some want a particular religion in the household.
I hope we find our way through all of this. We would love the children as if we had them from their very first day in the world. We have no problem adoring, cherishing, and guiding them through life. I just hope we don’t have to wait long to meet our kids.