Thursday, November 20, 2008

57 - Adoption Consultation...I had to take a shower.

Why? Because of how gross I felt after the conversation. I will leave the adoption firm nameless as to not offend...they are a national firm, not an agency, they are averaging about a four month match time for domestic infant adoptions (that's matched with the birth mother), and they come with price tag of about $40,000. We had about a half hour phone consultation with them on Tuesday.

I felt like I was at a car dealership. The first nail in their coffin was our consultant's oh-so-sensitive comment near the very beginning of our conversation: "Just think - you could have a baby in your home in 9 months...and you won't even get fat or have stretch marks!". Oh, how amazing, because THOSE are the real reasons we are headed on the adoption road. THOSE are the reasons that 90% of your potential clients are on the adoption road. It's because we all care deeply about our looks and would preserve them at the expense of a biological child. Idiot. Bitch. Sorry for the obnoxious venting...I just hate that lady and her ignorance of infertility. She's supposedly an adoption professional - there is no excuse for her lack of sensitivity.

But here's the thing that really hit me to the core. Over and over and over she just kept repeating "We guarantee a healthy baby. We guarantee a healthy baby. If the baby's not healthy, you are under no requirement to take it. We will match you again. You are guaranteed a healthy baby.". And I certainly don't judge those who would find comfort in this reassurance - I'm not even going to claim that Alex and I won't say "no" to a large number of physical and mental issues on our application...but there was something about that conversation that chilled me to the bone. It felt like the human dignity of babies - all babies - was removed. Aren't the babies who have some issues the ones that need really good homes? I don't understand it - intellectually and at a heart level.

I think I might be a little sensitive to this issue for a couple of reasons First, because of Aaron (see my Halloween post - my best friend's youngest son). I remember seeing him for the first time in the nicu - not knowing what kind of physical or mental issues he may have one day. And I knew the minute I saw him, my love for him would never be affected by those issues. If I can bond with someone else's child in that way, I can only imagine that bond would even be stronger with my own. I think of him and his highly functioning four-year old brother and realize that if those two were the two kids I could adopt and I could only chose one of them - I could never chose. I am equally bonded. There is something so much greater than a perfectly health baby - there is that bond of love between parents and child that is present regardless of circumstance. The other situation that makes us more sensitive to all this is that Alex's sister, Emily, has Down's. And you know what? She loves life and contributes SO much to the world - often much more than many "normal" functioning adults. Her family and friends love her, and she gives abundant love back to them. It's that bond of love that appeared to be removed from the equation at this firm and that made me nauseous.

And then, of course, there was the evasion of the truth about cost. Over and over..."you can have a baby in your house for $20,000". I got her in her attempted deception - I asked very firmly and several times about if the other costs we had discussed earlier were included in the $20,000. She avoided and avoided and avoided. I finally said "Does this adoption cost $20,000 or $40,000?". $40,000. Buh Bye.

We felt discouraged and...just plain yucky. But then we pulled ourselves up and came up with a game plan. I have a pretty light schedule in the next week and Alex is home between now and Thanksgiving. We are going to look at five agencies. That's it. No spending 40 hours a week for the next several know, obsessively combing through tons information so we don't feel like we've missed anything. We are going to pick five, do our homework on those five, and then pick the agency we are going with by the second week in December. It's perhaps the healthiest approach we have taken to anything in a long time.

Although we have just started, I get the distinct feeling that the adoption road is another long one.


MamaSoon said...

Wow! That IS yucky. It sounds like they used to work as call girls. 'Imagine, you could take this girl home, use her, and not have anyone like a Wife bossing you around or getting old on you.' It was very base and yucky. Avoid indeed.

DAVs said...

Oh I'm so sorry this left you with a yucky feeling. It does me, too.
But you have a good plan in place and I'll anxiously be following your posts--should you choose to share :)

I'm sorry about the rubber ducky. What is it about the I heart NY stuff??

Anniep said...

YAY for a plan!!! We got the same feeling from each of the domestic agencies we looked at. Then for other reasons decided to go w/ Russian adoption. A totally different ballgame. I just couldn't bear the 72h birthmother could change her mind bit. OMG.
We'll still be adopting for #2. I'm NOT going through this IF crap again. Hell No.

Lisa said...

Sorry you left with an icky feeling. And you're right, it's a long hard road. We started our adoption papers 2 years ago, and have dropped out of the program once during that time. We are all signed up again now, in preparation for if our last IVF fails, but it has not been an easy road. It's long, filled with questions and paperwork and invasive interviews. And the one thing that really really bothers me, is that we have to lie and say that our feelings toward our infertility are resolved. WTF????!!! How could they ever be resolved after all we've gone through? I just don't think it's possible. But if you say you aren't resolved, you risk being not accepted. It's insane really. And it gives me the same icky feeling.

Greg, Jessy, Grace, Jack, Nora, and Lexi said...

Just passing through~we just adopted a baby...what a journey it has been. We flew out to WA this past weekend to reconnect with the Birthmom. Entering into adoption is a whole new world, a whole new language, and a whole new set of issues (not too far off from ttc in a way). Good for you for having a plan. Definately do your research. The best advice I could give would be to find a great social worker first. We were so clueless about it all when we began, but luckily our social worker helped steer us in a great new direction! Best wishes!
ps~I found the community forums at very helpful.