Friday, July 14, 2006

Something to think about

As most of you already may be aware of, and was mentioned on a blog I frequent, a few families in the China adoption community who received their referrals last month were surprised by referrals for boys, instead of the requested girls. I read this on the Rumor Queens site also, but have yet to see who actually received this referral.

I decided not to write about this until I thought it over for a few days. When we began this process in November, we didn't even consider requesting a boy. We already had a daughter and felt that another girl would be a perfect addition to our family. We even picked out a name for her, Maya, and we regularly use her name when speaking about Leah's little sister. A referral for a boy would come as a shock to us and leave us with a lot of explaining to do to Leah.

Having said that, I had to really consider why we started this adoption in the first place. It is not due to infertility (my daughter Leah is biological) but more about what we have always believed a family is.

Before we were married, Joe and I talked about infertility issues. What if we were faced with the same upsetting circumstances as thousands of other couples? Both of us decided right then and there that if we couldn't have children on our own, we would opt for adoption right away, in other words skip all medical intervention. It was just something that neither of us was willing to do because we didn't have a strong NEED for biological children. I know that it sounds strange (and maybe you are saying to yourself "easy for her to say" since I did have a successful pregnancy) but the fact is that I always knew I didn't have to give birth to a child to actually love him or her.

Which brings us to the present time. When Leah was 3 1/2 I started thinking about having another child. Could I have gotten pregnant again? I guess so. But I didn't want to. We really truly felt that adoption could and should be the way to grow our family.

Having said that all of that, we decided that we wouldn't turn down a referral based on gender. Sure I have my heart set on a girl, but am I adopting because I really want a girl or am I doing it because I want to be a mother again?

P.S. I am sure that everyone has a strong opinion on this subject. I am just writing about how I feel. Each family has different circumstances, so if your opinion differs from mine, that's cool too.

P.P.S. When I was pregnant with Leah we didn't find out her sex we really enjoyed the element of surprise. My neice, Kira, found out she was having a girl and then gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Julian. Sure it was a shocker to us all (especially her), but she feels so lucky to have been truly blessed with a wonderful child. I guess nothing in this world is certain.

22 comments:

Connie said...

I though that issue over long and hard too. I decided I would be in total shock for a bit if referred a son but the shock would recede and all would be fine with that....except, of course, dressing him in drag for a while ;0)

I am assuming my odds of a surprise son are even less, however, because I am single. Time will tell...too much time!

jennster said...

i don't really understand how this all works, but i'm assuming a referral is them placing you with a child? you don't have to take them right? so what is it all based on?

Johnny said...

Same here. We asked specifically for a boy, and if the CCAA gives us a girl...so be it!

Jeanette said...

I actually saw your post on the "blog that you frequent" :) and was trying to email you to say how tactful I thought your response was. I then read this post and your story sounds amazingly similar to ours..as far as how natural adoption seemed as an option to grow our family. I think you've handled the subject matter admirably! :)
http://aquiverfull.blogspot.com/

Joannah said...

I agree with you completely. I guess as a single I just feel more comfortable with the idea of raising a daughter on my own than a son. But, if there's another outcome, I will accept it.

rubyiscoming said...

I guess nothing in this world is certain.

That line sums it up - I agree wholeheartedly with your post and think you put your thoughts and down beautifully and elegantly.

Nicole said...

I think you thought that through and wrote a beautiful post about your feelings. I guess adoption can be like being pregnant -- you just never know what you'll end up with.

I think Leah would do great with a little brother, too. She does great with Christopher!

Ann said...

Well we are one of those infertile people you spoke of and we are against the norm. We decided after trying for many years naturally that IVF just wasn't for us. We were actually right about to do IVF when we decided it was more important for us to be parents, and have a family, verses: a biological child. So I know exactly how you feel. And for Taiwan we did not specify gender so they(our agency) told us that we would probably get a boy. We will be in total shock if we get a girl, b/c when we talk of our child we always reference a boy. Haven't decorated yet, but when we look at stuff, clothes, toys, it's always boy stuff. Of course we don't care which gender we are referred, but will be totally shocked if we get a little girl.

jaj said...

I wouldn't be surprised if we get referred a boy...especially since I have a closet full of pink dresses...just means I'll have 4 sons instead of 3.

Christina said...

Oh My God! Doesn't this sound like something that would happen in our family? I guess it is the same as actually giving birth in this way. Just like you said Kira thought she was having a girl and then had a boy. So I guess the referral thing would be God's choice. What would you all name a boy? I think Leah would learn to be ok with it since you can tell her you don't get to pick the baby you are supposed to have, he or she is already chosen for you. Well good luck. I know you will be happy with whatever sex. You will probably get a boy and in 10 years you will wonder how you could of ever lived without him? Just a thought.

Viv said...

We are adopters by choice too, from the get-go. In fact, I belong to a wonderful Yahoo community of people who've chosen adoption over giving birth. I realize I'm not commenting on the main reason for your post but I wanted to let you know we share that in common.

Kim M. said...

I've thought about this also. What a shock it would be to have a boy referral. My son would be over the moon. We didn't get to pick when we got pregnant and I guess you could compare it to that. What boy name would you pick? Just wondering.....

Katie J said...

In our letter to China, we reqested a boy or a girl and one or two children. I was pretty certain we would be referred a daughter, but there was always this small possibility of a boy that made things interesting. I think when there is so much that is unknown in this process, having something to latch onto feels good. If we choose to adopt again I think we would make the same request, but it can be difficult not to know especially when the wait time is excrutiating right now. I agree with everyone that you've stated this very well.

Juliet said...

My hope is that, as long as there are children in need of loving families, they will be loved and accepted by a family regardless of gender. You have a good heart. I know the decision you make will be made over careful consideration.

asiangarden said...

I think that you made an awsome decision.

Tammy said...

great post.

BTW, you've been tagged, visit my blog to see the list if you're intersted.

Chow!

Aimee said...

You'll be in love with the picture of your new child, boy or girl.

Donna & Joe said...

Hi Stephanie,

This is such a difficult and personal decision, but I really admire you for knowing in your heart that you can accept either a boy or a girl referral. I do hope though, that we both get the girls we are dreaming of.

something blue said...

I admire people who choose to expand their family by adopting. Of course it would be hard to change your frame of mind when you are suddenly thrown a curve ball.

Thank goodness love knows no boundaries or limitations.

Shelli said...

We requested a girl. If we were referred a little boy, I would have a lot stuff to return to the stores. After getting over the shock, I would be thrilled just the same!

Stacy said...

We requested either on our paperwork. I have always thought that we will receive a girl, but nothing is certain. If it is a boy we will have a lot of scrambling around here, but it would work.

I sometimes think once CCAA sees how many uncles our child will have we will be referred a boy. Neither Ryan or I have a sister, there are five uncles though!

Joely's mom said...

I'd be a little bummed not to pull out all those cute little dresses again. But my husband would be thrilled. We'd be happy either way (especialy if they sped things up!!).