Adoption and Fostering > Adoption Diaries

Just two people wanting a family - is adoption our new path

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Two months ago I got my 3rd BFN in our 3rd round of IVF/ICSI.  I didn't cry much to be honest, I'd become horribly used to poor results and then BFN's.  Two days after my latest BFN my beloved Granddad died.  He was 95 and had lived such full life.  Together with my Grandma (who passed 14 years ago) they travelled to Istanbul and Greece in the 1970's, which at the time was really unheard of.  They loved to travel.  My Grandma had all the latest mod cons, they were the first on the street to have a carpet and a colour tv.  All of these items were on the "tick" and no other luxuries could be bought until something was paid off.  They did all of this whilst living in a very modest council house before moving onto a council bungalow.  When they didn't have a lot of money they would just make a picnic and head to the local park and play cricket for the afternoon.

My Granddad passing caused a major shift in my thinking.  I was one of 5 Grandchildren - and the only one without a family of my own.  As well as 5 Grandchildren he had 6 Great Grandchildren and 2 Great Great Grandchildren.  He was always affectionately known as Granddad The Great.

To have been the only Grandchild not to have children hurt so much, but the pain was unbearable once he passed knowing that he would never see me with a family.  It was at this point that my thinking started to change.  I started to think really irrationally, even saying to my husband, "what if we reach our 90's and we're in a care home and nobody comes to see us as we never had a family"  I know that sounds so irrational but at the time it was a very real fear.

It became more about the family and not about how we got there.  Adoption had always been in the back of my mind.  I'm still not sure whether I'm 100% ready but who is?  We had a review appointment with the clinic last week.  They have basically advised that we go onto donor egg as in 3 rounds of IVF/ICSI I've produced 24 mature eggs, only 6 have fertilised - just 20% when the levels should be up at 60-70%.  DH sperm has been tested numerous times and come back as tip top every time, so we've definitely got a very poor egg quality problem.

The consultant mentioned Donor Eggs, these are the success rates, these are the costs  ??? ???  We came away with our heads spinning.  We have looked into Donor Eggs abroad, but the thing that bothers me most is that there are still no guarantees!  Once again it's one big gamble, one big experiment with our emotions and finances.  I'm sick of gambling and want to get off this treadmill.  It's not just the costs its that our lives are totally on hold.

So last week I picked up the phone and spoke to a VA, spoke to a lady who was very lovely and suggested we go to their next opening evening which is in about 2 weeks.  She did change her tone slightly and was a little dismissive when I told her that our last IVF was in April.  I'm fully aware that we have to wait for 6 months but I'm a girl who likes a plan, and once our 6 months up I want a clear idea of what we are doing.

I then decided to give our LA a call.  Oh my goodness the lady I spoke to could not have been nicer.  I had a really long chat with her and she has sent out a pack of information.  They are currently looking to recruit adopters and Foster to Adopters for Babies & Toddlers.  The info that she has sent out was so informative. 

We're still working through our emotions and decisions.  We know that adoption isn't easy and there are a lot of fears that I've not spoken about to anyone yet - maybe that's for another post.


Barbados Girl:
Good luck!  This is the right place to ask questions.  Only you can know what is right for you both so ask away if you need any information to help.  We had the opposite issue to you- female fertility tip top, male factor zero.  We went straight to adoption and it made our dreams come true.  Our pixie is the most perfect boy in the world (TM) and we are about to go in again for no. 2.

We had secondary infertility and like you came from a large family. Female fertility here was not even thoroughly tested because male was so poor they wouldn't even have recommended us for standard ivf. Have to be honest and say that was enough for us and we didn't even look into it and went straight to adoption. Never regretted it - it's a tough path but then I doubt your fertility journey has been easy so far anyway.

Most of my kids cousins have completely forgotten they are adopted now and they are as much a part of the family as any of the other grandkids

Thank you ladies for your lovely replies. 

I'm going to see my cousin tonight who has been a foster carer for over 10 years.  She exclusively fosters Babies and has twin boys with her at the moment (who are due to be placed in 2 weeks).  She is a no nonsense (ex RAF) woman so I know she'll not sugar coat anything  ;D

I've still got so many fears.  My main fear is regarding my dog.  He is my baby and has 100% kept me sane throughout our infertility years.  The thought of having to give him up due to a child having an allergy to him or indeed a potential match being aggressive towards him is awful.  I know that an allergy could occur with a birth child.  I should point out that our dog is a non shedding dog so the chances of an allergy are slim, but I'm a born worrier  ^idiot^

I went to see my cousin last night and it was so beneficial, I'd got virtually every detail wrong about the 2 little ones that my cousin has  ;D

She's actually got 2 girls but they aren't twins they are aged 4 & 3.  I was absolutely right about my cousin not sugar coating things, she absolutely told me how it was.

I was so lucky & grateful that she allowed me to go up and see her whilst the children were there.  The girls had come from a home where the mothers partner was violent.  I'm sure there were more to their story but I didn't ask and it wasn't offered which was totally the correct thing.

The girls were adorable and straight away the 4 year old told me that she'd just had a big poo  ;D  she was ever so proud.  The girls are leaving my cousin in about 10 days and they'd been shopping that day to buy 2 x build a bear which my cousin had recorded a message in, saying Goodnight, sleep tight & love you lots.  It was such a special thing for them.

What I was struck by was how normal they were.  They had absolutely no developmental issues.  The 4 year old came with quite severe behaviour to start with which included extreme tantrums, but now she is doing great and has very few outbursts.  It also made me realise how important a good foster carer is.  My cousin is a stickler for routine, boundaries & consequences.  I've often thought that she was too tough and strict but I now realise that the children she has absolutely thrive on routine and stability.

The 3 year old girl had a beautiful bond with my cousin given that they've only been with her 6 months.  It made me change my opinion slightly on the age range we could consider.

Overall it was the right thing to do, we've now also pretty much decided that if we do go down the adoption route we will go for straight adoption and not foster to adopt. 

We still have a little while to go before we can apply but its given us a much better insight into things.  I have a feeling my cousin is going to get a bit sick of me in the months to come  ;D


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