When It Rains, It Pours
By: John Jericiau
When you’ve had as many adoption failures as we have, you start to become cynical and wary of the whole adoption process. Why should we pay a birthmother’s expenses for months and months, only to have her not only change her mind at the last minute, but get to keep every last dollar? Why should we open our hearts to someone who then has the power to bring us to our knees? How can we trust someone that we don’t know? How much stress can we take?
After our final adoption failure we immediately sent a letter to our adoption attorney, which in summary said that we do not wish to be introduced to or chosen by any birthmother who is less than 8 months pregnant. With money and confidence running low, this seemed like a perfectly reasonable solution: make the choice at the tail end of the pregnancy and save us from months of riding the emotional rollercoaster to the ATM. The attorney was not too keen on the idea – most birthmothers start searching for a match much earlier in the pregnancy – but we drew our line in the sand and we were sticking with that.
After we returned from a week in Mazatlan (the pity party location of choice after our final failure), we returned to our respective jobs which by chance were only 11 walking minutes away from each other. I had a great family to return to in my physical therapy clinic, and Alen had friends to lean on in his medical practice. We allowed them to cheer us up with lunches and consoling talks, but a fellow therapist friend of mine took cheering up to the next level! She pulled me aside one day and made these jaw-dropping statements: “Why wait for adoption? I can carry a child for you!”
Many many hours of discussion took place between Alen and me, and my friend and Alen, and me and my friend, and me and Alen and my friend, and me and Alen and the IVF doctor, and my friend and the IVF doctor, and the IVF doctor and our accountant. And then the process began! Still expensive (even more so than adoption), still heart-wrenching, still stressful, still a lot of waiting and hoping.
We were told that a lot of women take at least three rounds of IVF before achieving a successful pregnancy, and after several months we found ourselves at the beginning of round number 3. We were disappointed that the first two rounds did not work, but we had a strange confidence about round number 3, and we still had some great embryos left to implant. Both of us could kind of sense that a baby was on the way.
We had almost but not quite forgotten that our adoption attorney was still gallantly trying to find a birthmother for us. I literally had to pull over as I got the call on the drive home from work. An out of state woman was 7 ½ months pregnant, and could I call her right away? I jotted down the number and called Alen, who agreed that 7 ½ was very close to 8 (at least when you’re talking about months). I sat in my car on the phone with the birthmother for 30 minutes, realizing as the minutes passed that I was talking to the woman who would give birth to our son. I got a little nervous when, nearing the end of the call, she told me that the attorney had given her a list of five families to call and choose from (darn him!), and we were only the second call. She hoped to make her choice by the end of the day, eastern standard time.
It was a nerve-wracking dinner and a long evening, but the phone finally rang at 9:11pm, and the news on the other end was good. All three of us stayed on the phone for quite a while, chatting about the miracle that was about to happen in a matter of weeks! And when we finally ended that call, Alen and I kept talking late into the night about the amazing course of events. Not only did we feel that a baby would soon bless our life, but it seemed likely that we would be blessed twice!