We visited my in-laws over Easter. E's family lives all within about 3 hours of us so we all congregate at my in-laws for Easter each year. My nieces and nephews were able to join as well which always makes it so much fun. We generally spend the weekend shopping, eating, drinking and just catching up. It's very relaxing and we love visiting.
On Easter Sunday, the topic of who's going to Easter Mass came up. I still haven't blogged about "our little run-in with the Catholic Church" as I've come to call it - but I will soon. I just haven't been able to put it all down in writing. Anyway, it looked like E and I would be the only ones going and even then I really had to persuade E to come along with me. After Mass, I'm not really sure how the conversation got started, but our issues with church came up and then I attempted to explain that we had a hiccup with the church due to our home study process.
Immediately all ears peaked up. We have a niece who was adopted internationally so my sister and brother in law are intimately aware of what we've been through with infertility as well as the adoption situation. I explained that we're almost home study approved, that we're looking into domestic adoption and we're very excited. Later, privately, I had a more thorough conversation with my sister-in-law (the adoptive mom) about our treatments and the road to adoption. Everyone couldn't have been more supportive. It was wonderful.
Perhaps the most unexpected part, was my adoptive niece's reaction. She's 9 years old and her parents have been excellent examples of adoptive parents. We don't talk about adoption too much, but we don't avoid the subject either. I overheard my niece say, "because I'm adopted" with a huge smile in her face. I didn't catch the first part of the sentence but it was immediately apparent that my niece was very interested in our conversations because, well, it's how she became part of our family.
I can't believe I never thought through my niece's feelings about all of this before but by her reaction, it was clear she was excited. I can imagine that seeing the beginning stages of a process you don't understand - a process that made you who you are in some sense - is very exciting to watch and hear about. I could tell the thought of her Aunt and Uncle adopting a child is very exciting, validating and so much more. I honestly never thought about these reactions, but they were wonderful. How amazing it would be for our niece to have an adopted cousin?! How amazing for our child to have an older adoptive cousin to help him or her through life!?
I can admit I had a change of heart that day. I thought, "what on Earth are we doing with IVF #2?" We should just move forward with adoption. After more deliberations with E, we are still moving forward but I am even more excited about the possibility of adoption if this IVF doesn't work out, or even at some point in our future, than I was before.
I did make sure my sister-in-law knew we were trying through IVF one last time in case she wanted to explain to my niece why Aunt J was pregnant and we weren't adopting just yet. I didn't want her to get her hopes up, but I can see that our child, no matter where he or she comes from, will be deeply loved by the whole fam.