Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My child

Welcome ICLWers! I don't participate in ICLW every month, but boy did I pick a good month to do so. We have a lot going on right now and I will need much support to help get through it.

Here's our story: After several years of trying to conceive, my husband and I decided to stop fertility treatments and focus on growing our family through adoption. We completed our homestudy a little over a month ago. Since then we've just been trying to get our profile out to as many places as possible. What's going on is that we had a phone call with a potential birthmother yesterday and are hoping to hear in the next few days what decision she will make. She is talking to another family tonight.

With the intros out of the way, here's what I've been thinking about today. Somehow I did manage to get a good deal of work done today! But still I had some moments from our phone call yesterday swirling around. Throughout our conversation last night, I kept using the phrase "the child" and a few times even referred to the child as "it." At one point the caseworker interrupted me and said, "we do know the child is a girl." I had actually already known that and so today I was thinking about why I have a hard time figuring out how to refer to the child. I have two hypotheses.

One, the child does still seem a little abstract to me. Even with the knowledge that this baby girl is real and we spoke to a real potential birthmother, I am finding it hard to think this could actually happen and this girl could turn into our daughter.

But the other explanation is that I am struggling with knowing whether I should use the term "your child" or "my child." I don't want to offend the birthmother by saying "my child." At the same time, when someone asks me about future activities, it is hard to say I see myself reading to your child. I see myself reading to my child. In theory I know that children don't belong to anyone. I can repeat the idea that just because she is my child does not make her any less her child. But I have to admit that bothers me. I do like to think I am making progress in this area. For example, I just finished reading State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. While not about adoption (it's about doctors in the Amazon studying a tribe and local trees to develop a new drug-actually a fertility drug), there is a side story about the relationship between some of the doctors and a young deaf boy in the tribe. Since they are away from their families, the doctors tend to take on parental relationships with the boy. At one point they are talking about this relationship and the main doctor tells a new doctor, you can't have him, he is not available. It made me think of the "claiming" of children in a very unflattering way.


  1. I can totally see how awkward that is - the child is HER child right now, but you are answering questions as if the child were YOUR child....oy!

  2. Wow! What a fine line to walk. I can totally see what you are nervous about. But maybe you can ask the birth mom for a suggestion? Anything to make her more comfortable. That way, you aren't being presumptuous (as this is such a fragile situation)...perhaps a nickname?

    Happy ICLW and I can't wait to see how this turns out! How amazing!

  3. Hi, popping over from ICLW (#39).

    I need to catch up on your back story and current possible match (thrilling)...A LOT going on it seems.

    We are in month 8 of our adoption wait (full disclosure we have a 4 yr old son thru IVF/PGD and have been trying for a sibling in myriad ways for the last 4 yrs).


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