Hello, Sarah here. This is one of the most personal posts that will be shared, please bear with my sensitive emotions. This foster to adopt process has brought out some of the best and some of the most ignorant in people. This post is here to shed some light into why it’s not OK to ask every question that comes to your mind without thinking about how it may impact others around you…
People love asking about the foster to adopt process. “Where are you at in the process?” “What is the age range you are looking to take placement of?” “What did you have to go through to get approved?” “Didn’t you want to have your OWN kids?” Hold up on the last one! You just touched on a very sensitive topic. My fertility and what I want to do with it is none of your business. Most days I’m too sensitive to tell you to mind your own damn business. Today, I’m going to tell you why.
People start out on the foster care journey for a number of reasons. They want to help kids that need a home and they have the room in their home and hearts. They want to expand their already started family. They want to start a family and are unable to do so conventionally due to various reasons, infertility on one or both partners being most common. They are a same sex couple and do not want to go the donor route. Whatever the reason is, it is up to THEM if they want to share it. When you ask if they wanted to have their OWN kids, as innocently as you think it is, you are possibly reminding them of painful things.
I can’t speak for all the other foster parents in the world, but I can speak for myself. I was told a few years ago that I would not be able to have children without multiple treatments/procedures/all around horribleness that I couldn’t even stomach the idea of putting myself and my partner through. Some people are much stronger than I am and are willing to take on that journey. I even thought about it for awhile, up until the Dr. told me that even with all the advances in medical technology, it probably wouldn’t happen for me. It wouldn’t be safe for me, or the baby based on everything I would have to do to get, and stay pregnant. OK, cool. Babies of “my own” were out…
I don’t know about you, but it took me YEARS to process that pain. So much so, that when Alex and I got together and talked about babies, I got sick to my stomach with pain. Knowing that I couldn’t give birth to our future children. I still feel that pain whenever I see tiny babies, when I think about being pregnant, when I think about the special bond I’ll be missing out with our children. That pain will never go away. And that’s ok. It’s part of my story.
After awhile, I opened up to Alex and let her know what’s been going on in my mind every time babies came up in conversation. She had already picked up on the pained facial expressions I got… thinking that I just didn’t want kids at all! Hardest and most embarrassing conversation. I’m broken and nothing I can do can fix it.
Cue a year later and I brought up foster to adopt. Maybe we could do that, and then if Alex were interested she could get pregnant after we got married. We mulled the idea over for quite awhile and decided to move forward. You know the rest to date.
I share this story, so you know not to ask such a question, as innocent as you think it may be. People’s fertility is at the CORE of who they are and asking them to explain their decisions can be painful. Does it hurt to think about the fact that I will never be pregnant? Sure does. Do I want to talk about that pain when we are talking about fostering to adopt? Nope. Let’s keep the conversation out of my ovaries and on to the task at hand. How in the world do you prepare for a child you don’t know the age, gender, or ethnicity of?! We could talk about that for hours!