Open Adoption: The Road Less Traveled, But The Right One For Us

This guest post is by Shannon Guindin, a hopeful adoptive mother.

hopeful-adoptive-parentsI often think of our adoption story in terms of Robert Frost’s, “The Road not Taken.”

In this poem, Frost states that two roads diverge in a wood, yet he cannot travel both.

We, like Frost, came to a fork in the road when we faced infertility. My husband and I tried for three years to get pregnant and all attempts were unsuccessful.

After trying on our own for six months, my OBGYN prescribed Clomid, and when that failed to work, he referred us to a fertility center.

After extensive testing, they could not find any structural or biological reason we could not get pregnant, so we started Intrauterine Insemination (IUI.)

After three unsuccessful IUI’s, our doctor sat us down and told us that he thought In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) might be the only way we’d conceive. And just like that, our first road appeared.

My husband and I always talked about adoption.

We were both very open to the idea and even when dating, we said that if we couldn’t have children, we’d adopt.

So given this news from our doctor, we had to heavily weigh IVF over adoption. Without us even knowing, another road emerged.

We stood uncertain at the apex of the fork in the road. Like Frost, we could not travel both.

We didn’t have the financial resources to do both IVF and if that didn’t work, adoption. But, honestly, it wasn’t just about the money; we wanted to make the best choice.

We wanted to choose the road we thought would lead us to our child.

It was not a hard choice, and I don’t know if like Frost, we picked the one less traveled, but I think we knew from the moment our reproductive endocrinologist gave us our options, that we’d choose adoption.

It was the right choice for us, because it felt right in our hearts. Even though it was the right choice, it was not an easy one.

It was hard and extremely sad that we would not have a biological child.

We would not see the beautiful baby our genes created.

As a woman, it was even harder for me, because I felt that my body had failed me. I would not know what it’s like to be pregnant, deliver a baby, or breastfeed.

I grieved over this, as I lost part of myself choosing adopting; I gave up the chance to be a biological mom.

I don’t often give adoption advice, because each case is unique and potential parent’s wants and needs differ vastly. But, if you are hoping to adopt because of infertility, I strongly suggest you deal with that loss before pursuing adoption.

Sure, the desire may still surface once in a while — we are human after all — but make sure you’ve come to terms with it. If you don’t, it will always be there and you want to move forward with a clear heart.

We’ve been in circulation with our agency, Independent Adoption Center, for almost two months. It took us four months to complete the home study, paperwork, trainings, etc.

We haven’t had any contacts yet, and it gets frustrating. Whenever the phone rings, my heart skips a beat, but it hasn’t yet been a birthmother.

The road to adoption is an uncertain one, but I know that someday, we’ll hold a baby in our arms.

If we’d chosen the IVF road, there was no guarantee (in fact less than 20%) that we would conceive.

And no, I cannot say (nor can our agency) that our odds are 100% with adoption, but they are very good.

We try and take it one day at a time and appreciate each other and the amazing life we have together.

We cannot wait to be parents and each day brings renewed hope that it will happen soon.

For us, choosing adoption meant letting go of the life we had always talked about; letting go of life I’d envisioned as a little girl.

Although the life we had intended did not work out as planned, it’s in no way less of a life. In fact, since we decided to adopt, our life is even more beautiful, because it’s the life meant for us.

There’s beauty in the unknown and peace in having faith in your path. I have never regretted the road we took, nor do I look across to the other road with envy.

I think we’re special because we’ve been given this gift to adopt.

Not everyone is open to open adoption, and I’m so grateful that both my husband and I chose this route to build our family.

So, maybe Frost was right. Maybe we did take the road less traveled.

But, while adoption is a less traveled road, it’s still at its core, just a road. And that really does, make all the difference.

Shannon and Jonathan Guindin are hoping to start their family through open adoption. They live in Northern California and love reading, music, snow skiing, and traveling. To learn more about them, please visit their blog.

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