Tuesday, October 30, 2007

adoption vs. birthing

I've been forming a lot of thoughts since July. I've been scolded and comforted for being negative about pregnancy. As the date of ultrasound draws closer and the baby is becoming more "real" in the belly, I thought it time to express more thoughts.

The most obvious problem with growing a life is that it's all me. Doug has no idea what's going on, Doug's body isn't changing, and Doug isn't finding it challenging to do normal everyday things. He is a great support, but still - it's me. Many women like this, gives them a feeling of superiority I think - that's what I take out of their discussions. However, adoption was so much better. The ups and downs, the reactions to news, the celebrations and frustrations... experienced together. Equally. I'd still rather get on a plane to Moscow (twice!) than have to give birth.

The growth of a baby inside my belly is odd. It's at both times amazing in a miracle-from-God kind of way, and quite disgusting in an Alien-out-of-the-stomach kind of way. There is a living being (on a good day) or creature (on a bad day) growing inside my body. I'm still just not sure if that's really cool or not. Or maybe I just want it to be March.

For some reason I've been comparing myself in my brain to elephants. Baggy maternity clothes (along with other saggy body parts) led me to tell Doug in tears the other day that I felt like the saggy, baggy elephant. In some ways I think, this is no different than what all other kinds of mammals do. This is nothing special. I'm just like an elephant. I suppose I could compare myself to a lioness, but elephant seems to work.

I don't like it when people tell me about adoption, "it was wonderful that you did that." Well, we wanted a family and that was the way to do it. But there is a bit of "hero quality" to it, once you see the conditions the children are living in. Not only do I love Roman with all my heart & soul, I am also grateful every day that we were able to get him out of his situation and to a better quality life. When I watch him work or play and he's not bothering me for a few minutes, I think about the orphanage, and the village he was from, and what he'd be like if he had stayed in Russia. And I can't believe the beauty of adoption to not only lead us to him, but allow him to grow up with so many more opportunities.

What's so special about birthing? I was kind of happy to not be in that club. The outsider, I guess, but knowing that Doug and I experienced something so much more powerful through adoption. My sister-in-law assures me that birthing at the hospital, or taking home from an orphanage, is both great in its own way. I trust her, being that she had the same feelings I do about getting pregnant. I just... don't want it to be equal to adoption. I don't want to be a mammal like everyone else on earth. We had been planning our second adoption, and I'm kind of mad it's being denied. Now, I suppose God's plan is probably better than our own plan. Let's just hope everything is healthy and normal on Friday morning, and I'll work on getting okay with God's plan.


Cat Hoemke said...

I don't really have anything brilliant to comment. Thank you for writing this. I think you and Doug should have some role in advocate adoption in the future after all this is over, especially overseas adoption, even if you happen to be having a biological baby right now.

wmw said...

My comment is late in coming because I've been trying to think what to say. I guess all I can say is that I really really appreciate your honesty here. I am pretty sure I'd feel the same if in your shoes. Adoption IS wonderful--because it's wonderful, not because it's some horrible sacrifice to make. I am sorry being pregnant is maybe reminding you how much people still don't get that.