Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Not a last resort

At times I have been approached to be a spokeswoman for adoption. Not an official spokeswoman. But a resident expert. A friend of a friend who will answer questions and share advice.

Often, the pitch goes like this:

"My sister-in-law/cousin/coworker/niece's best friend has been trying to get pregnant for 2/3/5 years and has gone through 1/2/3 unsuccessful attempts at IVF and has gotten to the point where she's thinking about just adopting. Can I give her your email address?"

At which point I say sure with an exclamation point and hope the person never writes, while privately making finger-down-the-throat puking gestures.

Or, friends will say they are going to start trying to get pregnant. But, if God forbid - God forbid! - they can't have their own child, they won't have a problem adopting.

Wow, how big of you, I think, while smiling and thinking "God forbid" is for terminal cancer, a car crash, the death of your mate. God forbid you will do the greatest thing I've done with my life. And I'm doing the puking thing again.


1. Adoption is not a last resort.
2. Adoption was not my last resort.
3. No child should ever be a last resort.

Even if it is your last resort, don't say it. Don't tell people you tried everything else first. Don't tell people that the wait time is almost like a pregnancy, which it's clear you would prefer. Did you marry your husband because you couldn't find anyone better? I'm sure not, but if so, you probably don't say it.

Respect the parent you will be, the child you will have, and all the families made possible through adoption. Think about your life with this child, how others may consider your relationship lesser than theirs with their birth child, despite your not being able to imagine a deeper love or stronger bond than yours. Think of your teenager. Will you tell him you couldn't have your "own" child, so you settled for him?

And please don't say or think "just adopt." You are talking about me and Natalie and your child, who, once you hold her in your arms and she one day says Mama, won't ever be "just" anything to you.

My child was born half a world away, and I have God, Fate, or the Red Thread to thank for bringing us together, and for guiding me. I knew she was out there. Our hearts were connected, and always will be so.

She was never a last resort.

So if you want to adopt, commit to it. Forget everything else. Don't settle for this path.

Choose it.


  1. Amen!!!!!!!!!!!! Life is so so beautiful never reduce it to anything less than a miracle!!!!!!!!!!!1

  2. When I say I am pro-choice it covers so many things, this choice among them. I love the way you've highlighted that. Thank you.

  3. Thanks very much, Scottie, Kizz and Tina! And Kizz, I saw your comment on the WC, and thank you for that, too. You are very kind!

  4. Way. To. Go. Right on, Elizabeth, thank you for saying it like it is.

  5. Makes my heart sing. Thanks for sharing. Dad

  6. This is said so perfectly. I hate when I am forced to defend my choices. I don't ask anyone to defend their choice to become pregnant. Your blog is an endless source of inspiration to me, thank you!