May 13, 2024

The Infertility Rollercoaster & Adoption Options: Finding Hope and Healing on the Path to Parenthood

Written by Guest Author

Posted in Parenting & Family and with tags: infertility

Couple fighting infertility

The journey to parenthood isn’t always a straight line. For many couples, it can be a winding road filled with unexpected challenges and heartbreaking detours. Infertility is one such hurdle, affecting an estimated 1 in 8 couples in the United States.

Christi’s story, shared with honesty and vulnerability, offers a glimpse into the emotional rollercoaster of infertility.  In her own words:

“After 14 years of being a mom, my infertility struggles seem minute in the grand scheme of life. But at the time when I was struggling with infertility, it felt all-consuming.  For about 4 years, my life revolved around tracking my cycle, doctor’s appointments, medical tests, taking infertility medicines, and riding the roller coaster of hoping for a positive pregnancy test, then having spotting, then another miscarriage (5 in total).  It was time-consuming, derailed my regular activities in life, and made socializing difficult.  It seemed like everyone in my life got pregnant just looking at their husband, while I had to go to six different doctors to try to figure out why I couldn’t conceive.

On top of that, I was attending baby showers and sip-and-sees to meet my friends’ new babies.  It was hard to be happy for my friends when I was so miserable on my journey to parenthood.  Meanwhile, my sweet husband was supportive through it all, putting up with my hormone-induced mood swings.  It wasn’t until after I got off the hormones that I realized how unpleasant I had probably been to him.

About 3 years into our fertility struggles, we explored adoption and happened upon an adoption consultant. 

She educated us about adoption and the different options to consider if we pursued this avenue to parenthood:

  • infant vs. older child,
  • domestic vs. international,
  • same race vs. different race, and more. 

She also educated us about raising an adopted child.  That babies are not a blank slate but come with inherited characteristics from their birth families.  She also taught us about the beauty of open adoption and the benefits it provides to all parties involved: adopted children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.

While we were not quite finished with our infertility treatment, this new information about adoption provided a “light at the end of the tunnel” that we could still achieve growing our family even if my body wouldn’t carry a baby. 

A year later, we decided we were ready to get off the infertility-out-of-control train and take the path toward adoption

The adoption consultant acted as a guide throughout the adoption process:

  • recommending agencies that matched our family’s values and budget,
  • answering questions about the application process,
  • advising us on how to create an adoption profile,
  • and supporting us emotionally during the wait. 

Once we decided to pursue adoption, our daughter was placed in our arms in about 4 months time!  She is truly a blessing! Today, I’m happy to report that my experience with my daughter’s adoption inspired me to become an adoption consultant myself and help other families like ours who struggle to get pregnant and carry a child to term. 

The adoption world is complex and difficult to navigate on your own, so it’s wonderful to have a copilot in the seat next to you during this journey with adoption experience. 

If you have any questions about adoption check out www.babyloveadoption.com or contact me at [email protected].  

Many blessings to you on your journey to parenthood!” 

Christi Megow (like Lego), Adoption Consultant

Understanding the Emotional Impact of Infertility

Christi’s words capture the all-encompassing nature of infertility. The constant cycle of appointments, tests, and infertility treatments like IVF or IUI can leave little room for anything else in your life. Socializing becomes fraught, a constant reminder of the path that seems frustratingly blocked. Even celebrating friends’ pregnancies can be a bittersweet experience, tinged with a deep longing for your own journey to begin.

Coping with the Ups and Downs

Does your journey mirror Christi’s story in some ways? Infertility can feel like a never-ending rollercoaster ride, filled with crushing lows and moments of hope that leave you breathless. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed by this experience.

Here’s the thing: bottling up your emotions won’t make them go away. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated, or even lost.  Allow yourself to grieve what you might have envisioned your path to parenthood to look like.

Tips for coping with the emotional challenges of infertility

But remember, you don’t have to navigate this alone. Here are a few tips for coping with the emotional challenges of infertility:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: Give yourself permission to feel whatever comes up. Talk to your partner, a trusted friend, or a therapist. There’s no shame in crying, yelling into a pillow, or taking a long walk to clear your head.
  • Practice self-care: This isn’t selfish, it’s essential. Make time for activities that nourish your mind, body, and spirit. Take a relaxing bath, get a massage, spend time in nature, or curl up with a good book.
  • Find your crew: Connecting with others who understand your struggles can be incredibly validating. Consider joining an infertility support group, either online or in person. Sharing your experiences with others who “get it” can be a huge source of strength.
  • Talk to a therapist: A therapist can provide a safe and confidential space to process your emotions, develop coping mechanisms, and explore your options for building a family.

Protecting Your Relationships

It’s important to acknowledge the toll infertility takes on relationships.  Christi beautifully highlights the unwavering support of her husband. But, infertility can put a strain on even the strongest relationships. Open communication, empathy, and seeking professional infertility counseling can be crucial for couples navigating this challenge together.  A therapist can provide a safe and supportive space to process your feelings, explore your options for building a family, and strengthen your relationship.

Here are some practical tips for keeping the communication lines open and supporting each other through this challenging time:

  • Talk openly and honestly: Bottled-up emotions can fester. Communicate your feelings, fears, and hopes with your partner.
  • Manage expectations: Have open conversations about your expectations for treatment and parenthood. Understanding each other’s viewpoints can help avoid misunderstandings down the line.
  • Be there for each other: This is a marathon, not a sprint. Offer emotional support, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on.
  • Maintain intimacy: Infertility can take a toll on physical intimacy. Make an effort to stay connected, both physically and emotionally. Plan special date nights, prioritize cuddling on the couch, and focus on non-procreational intimacy.

Building a Family Through Adoption

Couple with their adoptive child

For some couples struggling with infertility, like Christi and her partner, adoption is the chosen path to parenthood.  Adoption is the legal process of taking a child into your home and becoming their permanent parent(s), and there are many different types of adoption to consider:

  • Infant adoption: Involves adopting a newborn baby directly from the birth parents.
  • Adoption of older children: Provides a loving home for children who are currently in foster care.
  • Domestic adoption: Involves adopting a child born within the United States.
  • International adoption: Involves adopting a child born in another country.
  • Open adoption: Allows some degree of contact between the adoptive parents, birth parents, and the adopted child.

Benefits of Adoption

Adoption can offer a beautiful path to parenthood, creating loving families and providing permanent homes for children in need. Over 118,000 children wait in foster care in the United States alone, hoping for a permanent and loving family. Adoption provides a stable and nurturing environment where these children can blossom.

Studies have consistently shown that adopted children raised in supportive adoptive families experience positive social and emotional development. Research from Child Trends indicates that these children form strong attachments to their adoptive parents and achieve similar academic success rates as their biological peers.

Open adoption can be a particularly enriching experience for all parties involved. It allows the adopted child to understand their own story and heritage, fostering a sense of identity and belonging.  The Donaldson Adoption Institute highlights research suggesting that open adoption can also lead to positive relationships between adoptive and birth families, creating a larger support system for the adopted child. This can be especially beneficial for children who have experienced trauma or loss prior to adoption. Open adoption allows them to maintain a connection to their birth families, which can contribute to their overall well-being.

The benefits of adoption extend far beyond the formation of a family unit. Adoptive parents experience immense joy and fulfillment in raising a child and witnessing their growth. Studies have shown that adoptive parents report high levels of satisfaction and strong family bonds.  Adoption allows them to share their love and create a lasting legacy while providing a nurturing environment for a child in need.

Ultimately, adoption is an act of love, compassion, and selflessness. It allows hopeful parents to build the family they’ve always dreamed of while providing a safe and nurturing home for a child who may not have had that opportunity otherwise.

Working with an Adoption Consultant

An adoption consultant can help you:

  • Navigate the adoption decision-making process
  • Identify good-fit adoption agencies to work with
  • Clarify which path of adoption is right for you
  • Help you create your adoption profile
  • Complete your home study

Finding Your Path to Parenthood

Alternatives to adoption

 

Christi’s story beautifully illustrates how adoption can create a loving family. But we know the path to parenthood can look different for everyone. Here at Eddins Counseling Group, we believe in supporting you in exploring all the options that feel right for you and your partner.

If you’re considering alternatives to adoption, here are a few paths you might choose to explore:

  • Surrogacy: Surrogacy involves a gestational carrier who carries a pregnancy for the intended parents, using either the intended parents’ eggs and sperm or donated genetic material.
  • Donor Egg or Sperm: This option can be a path to parenthood for individuals or couples with certain fertility challenges. Donated eggs or sperm can be used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create an embryo for implantation.
  • Embryo Donation: This involves using donated embryos that have already been created through IVF for implantation.

Each of these choices comes with its own unique considerations and processes. We understand that navigating these options can feel overwhelming.  That’s why we’re here to support you every step of the way.

If you are looking for help specifically with the adoption journey, consider contacting Christi. Here is her contact information:

Christi Megow (like Lego), Adoption Consultant

[email protected]

www.babyloveadoption.com

713-724-2926

At Eddins Counseling Group, we can connect you with qualified professionals who can help support your emotional journey through the process of infertility and adoption. These professionals can provide you with detailed information, answer your questions openly and honestly, and help you explore the best path forward for your family-building journey.

How Eddins Counseling Group Can Help

At Eddins Counseling Group, we understand the emotional and practical challenges associated with infertility.  Our team of specialized therapists can provide a safe and supportive space to process your feelings, explore all your options, and make informed decisions about building your family.

We offer individual and couples therapy to help you navigate the emotional rollercoaster of infertility. For those considering adoption, we can connect you with qualified adoption consultants and resources to help you on your path to parenthood.

Remember, you are not alone.  At Eddins Counseling Group, we are here to walk with you every step of the way.

If you are struggling with infertility and would like to explore your options for building a family,  please contact Eddins Counseling Group today at 832-559-2622 or visit our website at https://eddinscounseling.com/ to schedule a consultation.

Blog Categories