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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

not ttc | infertility after loss > Adoption?

My husband and I battled infertility for 8 years before Evelyn's conception via IVF and had already made the decision prior to her conception after much thought to not pursue any further infertility treatments, no matter the outcome of our 4th and final IVF cycle. We had simply reached our limit. When that final cycle proved to be THE ONE, we thought our infertility nightmare was finally over and discussed pursing adoption in the future when we were ready to add another child to our family. But of course, the nightmare was just beginning, since our Evie passed away. We are resolved to our decision not to continue infertility treatments for a variety of reasons, both medical and financial, and have shifted our family building plan to adoption. It's been nearly 8 months since Evelyn's passing (which feels absolutely impossible...how has the world continued to spin?) and while we don't feel emotionally ready to begin walking down the adoption path (nor do we have the money saved to do so), we are at the gathering information stage.

Is anyone else considering adoption post-loss or has anyone adopted? It's definitely overwhelming already and we're feeling so many emotions but due to our age and how long we've already been on this journey to start/build our family, we feel it is nearing time to continue moving forward with our dream of parenting a living child, and adding a child to our family, a sibling for our Evie. We just have so much love in our hearts to share. Thanks in advance for your replies. Sending love and comfort to all.
March 29, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
My husband and I are pursing adoption after our twins (conceived through IVF) were stillborn last March. If you ever need to talk, have questions, or just need to rage at insanity of life (how did we get here?!), I'm here.

Good luck to you in your journey. I'm praying for your peace of mind in the days ahead.
March 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
Leah - thank you SO MUCH for posting a reply. I sincerely hope we can stay in touch as both of our journeys continue to unfold. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your twins and so sorry that you also know the sting of infertility, which only makes the deaths of our precious children all the more senseless and cruel. We endured so much to get them, for the chance to meet them, parent them, LOVE them and then they're taken away and we're just left here to pick up the pieces and try to find a path forward.

At present, we're really struggling with feelings of guilt: guilt that we're even thinking of pursuing adoption when Evelyn has only been gone for 7.5 months, guilt and fear that she's thinking we've forgotten about her (which of course could never, ever happen and couldn't be further from the truth), and guilt that our pursuit of adoption could be misconstrued by outsiders as "moving on" - too quickly? -- as opposed to what it really is, which is moving forward, however tentatively, and trying to find meaning and joy and hope again after suffering such a tragedy. And a different kind of sadness has set in, too, different from what we've "grown used to" in the months since Evie's passing. There is this deep sadness of knowing that whatever child is at the end of this journey, that it will never be a child that Evelyn will grow up right alongside. This sibling, this not-yet-born (or even conceived) child of ours, will never know her, and we'll never get to watch them grow up together as we should have, as THEY should have. It's just so overwhelming in so many ways. I feel like my mind is all muddled with emotion, and going in so many different directions.

If you feel you can, please share with me what you've experienced thus far. How are you feeling on this particular path? Are you happy with the agency you have chosen? What has been the most difficult part? What has surprised you? I'm anxious to hear it all. Thank you for extending your hand and I wish you all the best as you continue forward.
March 30, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Oh Melissa, you are so welcome!

The decision to move from where you are at is one that takes a lot of prayer and tears. When we decided to go the adoption route, it had only been a little less than 4 months since we lost Jonah and Emory. While I was still very much mourning my children, I also knew that the process of selecting an agency, and then finding the funds to actually adopt, would take some time. You are familiar with not only the awful cruelness of having your child die, but also, the financial strain of trying to even have that child(ren) in the first place. I honestly didn't know how we were going to make it happen, but felt in my heart that it was where God was leading us.

I actually really love the agency that we've chosen - American Adoptions. They are a national agency, so our profile will be shown around the country. They have a team of people that work with you and basically hold your hand through the process, so you never feel alone. We also have a Facebook group and in-person meet ups, so you can get to know people who are going through/have gone through what you are experiencing. The support is really awesome!

I'd say that the most difficult thing has been the waffling in my own brain. Are we doing the right thing? I miss my children....I don't WANT any other children! I DO want to be a mother! And a myriad of other thoughts that will run rampant if you let them. There are days when I think that this journey has taken so long, that maybe it's a sign that it's just not meant to be. But then I feel that longing to parent a living child, and I know that God placed that longing in my heart for a reason. My child is out there somewhere, and they will have an incredible story to tell--one where their birth mother did the most selfless thing possible and allowed me to parent her child. We really hope to have a good relationship with our child's birth parents, so that they will have a network of people who love them. It's not how I thought I'd ever parent, but I'm coming around to the idea.

One of the things that has surprised me most about this journey, are the number of people who have surrounded us in prayer and support. We started a GoFundMe as part of our fundraising efforts (we also did a Bonfire shirt sale, a Lularoe party, and coffee shop singing gigs), and so, SO many people have supported us, including perfect strangers. The amount of other people who also want us to be parents is pretty incredible and we know that we wouldn't be able to do this (without a massive loan), without them. So some advice? Find support, be it your friends, family or a group. You will NEED them.

So tell me this--are you guys dipping your toe in the waters? If you are interested in knowing more about our agency, I can give you the name and number of our contact because he was amazing. Adoption brings a LOT of emotion, so don't be surprised if you feel overwhelmed. Just like infertility treatments, you never really know what's going to happen, but you put yourself our there and pray for the best.

You and Evie are on my heart this afternoon. Sometimes, it just helps to know that someone else is thinking about your child too. Let me know what other questions you have!
March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLeah
Hi Leah,

Thank you so much for sharing about your adoption journey thus far. You are so right, the waffling is really so hard, and is what we're struggling with now, even in the very early stages. Is this what we're supposed to do? Is this even going to work out and is it worth it to be so vulnerable again? To spend so much money again? What if this, what if that. But I also absolutely agree that the desire to parent a living child is so strong which leads us to believe that this is indeed the right path for us now.

We have actually looked in to three agencies thus far, and American Adoptions is one of them. I've talked to a guy there and he sent us the information packet and unfortunately, their fee schedule is above what we can afford. Over the past 9 yrs, we've spend $50,000+ on infertility treatments and their $42,000+ fee schedule is beyond what we can commit to. At least, that's our thinking for the time being. Right now, I think we're leaning more towards a local agency and have a consultation appointment next month to talk to them a bit more in depth about our specific situation. We'll see how it goes but there is a level of hope that has found us again which is unexpected and welcome. We know it will be a long, difficult journey but it feels right, even though we are already overwhelmed and filled with so many conflicting emotions.

By the time of our appointment, it will be just shy of 9 months since Evelyn's passing -- there will always be an Evelyn shaped hole in our hearts that will never (and should never) be filled, so even though it will difficult and emotional to take these steps forward, we know deep down that it is the right step to take because, as you said, it will likely be a few years before we actually have another child in our arms, with how long the process can take and the unforeseen situations and the task of actually coming up with the funding. But you know all of this. I just so fervently hope, for all of our sakes, that the process is as smooth as possible.

Where are you in the process now? Have you completed your home study and officially waiting to be matched? How did your home study go? Have you made your profile book yet and if so, how did you integrate talking about your children? When talking to the agency, how did they "react and respond" to your infertility history and the deaths of your children? (Also, may I know your twins' names? I'd like to think of them more specifically but if you'd rather not share, I understand.) Sending hugs your way...
April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I wanted to chime in to say we looked into adoption after the passing of our daughter. Actually, she was only gone a few months when we had our first meeting. We didn't become approved as a waiting family until after a year. I guess I needed that time, emotionally. But, we did all the rest (home study & all else) prior to this, because although we were grieving heavily, we knew many people who adopt are grieving, be it infertility or multiple miscarriages. Infant loss is different, but I made it clear that we will never be done grieving, and still want to start the process knowing we will continue to do our "work" while we wait. Our counselor with our agency was understanding of that and encouraged us. Some wouldn't be, and I would steer clear of them. Everyone is hurting in adoption, on both sides & the baby. It's tragically beautiful.

That said, we waited about 1.5 years and were recently placed with a newborn. It is indescribable, amazing, and yet layered with grief and sadness. I'm okay never being okay again- I know it's impossible to go back. I expect this child will bring us a lot of joy (has already), and life and love. But there is complexity in it, and a heaviness, and I am okay with that. I kind of belong here.

There isn't enough talk about adoption on here, but it's a reality for many. I was so happy to see someone else on here inquiring about it. The expenses are outrageous, but if you "go public" with your plans to adopt (we didn't and paid ourselves- not wanting the pressure of anyone's opinions or questions) you can do a go fund me. If you don't, you can do some grants. Borrow against 401k. Borrow from parents. I think lifetime adoptions may be less money, but I'm not sure how much legal costs.

Anyway, both of you lovely women are not alone. I'm walking (walked??) this path, too. And it is an emotional roller coaster, but in the end it is so worth it. If either of you want to talk, contact Glow and give your email addresses & we can talk that way, privately?
April 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterElaina