Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Loving a child that is not genetically related

When we first discovered that we were infertile we decided to adopt. At the time it was an easy decision for us and we knew that we could love a child not biologically related to us (and we did). After 2 failed adoptions we set upon a different path and that was to have our own child, one genetically ours, so that we did not have to risk losing another child. It became very important to me to carry a baby and at that time I assumed that that meant one created from my eggs and hubby's swimmers. I had not yet learned of the miracle of embryo adoption. We tried to have a baby through IUI's and that did not work. So we had to go to Plan B, IVF. Well, Plan B was far out of our price range and we either had to give up or think about adoption again. My heart was still bruised and battered from previous experiences and I was not ready to try that again, nor was I ready to give up my dream of carrying a baby. Then I heard of Embryo Adoption, the best of both worlds! I could not only adopt, but I would be able to carry the baby as well. This meant that once I gave birth the baby was mine and no one could take her away from me. We were anxious to get started!!

We were very fortunate to have success on our first try. Once I was pregnant I began to think about the little miracle that I carried inside of me. What would she look like? What characteristics would she have? Would she have musical talent? Be athletic? Things that all moms-to-be think about, but for me it was different. I could not look at my baby pictures and imagine what my little one might look like. I began to feel some sadness that I would never look into my baby's eyes and see my hubby. She might now have curly hair which both hubby and I have. Then became concerned that maybe I couldn't love her the way that I would a biological child. I was not overly worried, but the thought was there.

Now that Maddie is here I can say with all honesty that none of that matters! Not at all!! She is 100% our baby regardless of what her DNA says. And ironically she has my nose (poor kid!) and looks a lot like hubby. People that know how she was conceived marvel at how much she actually looks like us. And in the morning I lay her in bed next to hubby while I take my shower and when I finish I walk over to pick her up and I will find the two of them laying in the same position, like mirror images. And to top it all off she is a chub chub like us! (again, poor kid!) So for anyone considering this family building option, I can tell you with complete certainty, you will love your little one completely.

16 comments:

  1. So happy to hear that you guys are doing well & loving your precious Maddie! Excited to say everything is proceeding smoothly with our embryo adoption and hopefully I too will soon be in a similar position!!! Thanks for all your guidance and support:)

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  2. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I worried about the same thing when I found out that AJ was on his way--because I wasn't going to be carrying him myself. I worried that by not being pregnant and having that time to bond, what if? But the minute I saw that little face being born, that thought never, ever crossed my mind again! I love him more than the air I breathe!

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  4. That is encouraging to hear. Starting out on this journey, you hope that's how you'll feel but you never know. I hope to be saying the same thing soon....

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  5. Love this post...as mommies we worry about everything. I never worried though about my ability to love a genetic vs. non-genetic child....and it mainly came from actually having a genetically related child. When my son was born (after years of fertility and lots of IVF and $$$$$)...I was actually suprised that I DIDN'T get that overwhelming feeling of love that everyone talked about. I loved him...no doubt...but he was born and I looked at him and he didn't look anything like I imagined a child of mine would look and essentially...he was a stranger....BUT...let me tell you....the love GROWS...and it grows so amazingly and while it is growing...not one time did I think...I only love this child this much because he is related to me...nope..not one time! So when it came time for a 2nd child...I KNEW I could love an adopted child just as much as my first child because you learn to love the person...not the genes. We didn't have another $35k and 2 years for IVF and an even smaller chance than before (I was 42 by then)...so we went to EA and we have a baby girl due in November...and strangely...I actually feel more connected and mushy lovey toward her than I ever did while pregnant with my son because now I KNOW what is to come...I KNOW how much that love grows and I am sooo looking forward to meeting her and knowing her and marvelling in the person that she is.... and..maybe, just maybe..this one will look like ME..ha ha (our son is a carbon copy of his father). So...thanks for writing this post...because I know this is what many people struggle with when it comes to adoption (of any kind)...I agree with you...it doesn't matter...you will love your baby no matter what!

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  6. The post helps. After 14 fresh IVF cycles, we're looking at an egg donor. It might sound silly to you, but I've been thinking of my dog. She's not genetically mine, she's not even the same species, but she's 100% a part of my family. She was frightened the other day when my husband started the lawn mower and ran over and jumped into my lap for comfort. I know dogs are sort of programmed to become part of a human family, but so are humans.

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  7. I'm so happy you are settling into your new family whole-heartedly! :) I have 2 bio babies and one adopted through foster care, and let me assure you, the love is the SAME, even having both. Never doubt that your bond and love for your sweet girl are REAL, because they are nothing less than that. I'm so happy for your family. Best of luck with your journey! :)

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  8. Thank you soooo much for posting this. I am sitting here sobbing. It's as if you took fears from inside my heart and posted them for all to see. As this journey keeps getting closer and closer, I am beginning to freak out a little more. This post makes me feel 1) normal and 2) even more sure embryo adoption is our path. Thanks so much Jessica, you don't know how much this post touched me. Thank you!
    xoxoxo

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  9. Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful baby girl! I have a dear friend whose daughter was born through embryo adoption and it is such a wonderful option to have.

    ~ICLW #18

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  10. How wonderful. As an adoptive mom, I can indeed vouch for the love isn't based on biology thing. I can't imagine loving any baby more than our amazing son. And yet--I do still ache at the thought that I will never see myself in our child. My best friend has offered to donate her eggs and so we are in process there, and I have been enjoying imagining which of her traits the baby might have. It is funny too how kids resemble their parents whether they are related or not. Everyone says our son looks just like my husband even though they are very ethnically different. I see both of our expressions on our little boy's face and it just melts me. They are our children however they come to us, and they are absolute miracles. Enjoy your baby girl!!

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  11. I'm so glad you wrote this post - thank you! I've had those worries, that's for sure. I'm just glad that is behind you now and you are enjoying your new daughter :) Can't wait to see more pictures!

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  12. Yeah I see a lady on here in her early 40's like me.Yes I thought about embryo adoption before.I am going to check out a few clinics and see if I can do this through them.I have had my own bio child and I have thought about adoption since age 27.It has been something I knew I could do.I just don't have 20k+ for domestic adoption etc.Thank God for all and this blog site.I still have hope to add just one more to our family.

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  13. Oh, thank you for this post!! Exactly what I needed to hear.

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