Big Papa and I try to tread lightly on the earth. We have one car and it’s not an SUV by a long shot. Big Papa walks to and from work. I buy most of my clothes second-hand from consignment shops. Our house, the Urban Cabin, has a small footprint. With our recent remodel, we now have planter beds for raising veggies.
Still, when it comes to raising children, the drive to leave one’s DNA behind is fierce. So while I couldn’t be prouder that our adoption is one small contribution to population control, I can’t say the path to this point was a straight line.
Let me be clear that we’re not adopting just so we can be hip and trendy. What I will tell you is that being respectful of our increasingly fragile environment and overpopulated planet, is one of the many reasons Big Papa and I decided that adoption was the way we wanted to create our family.
It’s true that getting pregnant the old-fashioned way was not in the cards for us. My egg making days were long since over and, even if they weren’t, Big Papa had his own fertility challenges. But in these modern times, adoption was one of several ways we could become parents.
We seriously considered pregnancy using a donor egg. We’d finding a nice 20-something gal to be a donor; she might even look like me with brown curly hair and a penchant for creative arts. Then we’d inject Big Papa’s sperm into her egg, implant it in me and voila. If we got lucky, nine months later we’d be changing diapers.
I went through all the tests (one, in particular, that was insanely painful), got myself all hopped up on hormones for a trial run to see if my uterus could get “fluffy” enough to host a fertilized egg and, for a few months, even thought we had the support of our insurance company for infertility expenses.
If I didn’t get knocked up, we were told that another option available to us was “egg adoption,” where folks purchase eggs that were IVF “rejects” (e.g. never got used). What this would mean is that we’d get someone’s egg, already fertilized with someone else’s sperm, implant it in me and I’d grow the baby. I’d get to experience being pregnant and giving birth and then we’d have….well, frankly we’d have the equivalent of an adopted kid because there would be no genetic link to either of us.
Egg adoption is fairly cost effective, but it just didn’t feel right to us. There are so many kids in the world already who need homes. How could we put ourselves in a position where we’d be creating yet one more?
Of course, while we were weighing the pros and cons of fertility treatments, we also investigated adoption. My niece is adopted and both of Big Papa’s siblings are adopted. Big Papa was an “only” biological child and Big Papa’s papa was an only child, so as an extended family we’re pretty darn green, in terms of doing our bit not to overpopulate the earth.
We weren’t in a financial position to try in vitro and then, if it didn’t “take” or if I had a miscarriage move forward with adoption. It was one or the other. That’s a pretty heavy decision. But even if we had been in the position to bet the farm, I’m not sure we would have.
To some degree the decision was made for us. In the eleventh hour, our insurance company bailed out on financial support and the fertility clinic reassigned the donor we’d selected. We’d already drawn the line at egg adoption. Going that route was out of the question.
We chose adoption. Or maybe adoption chose us.
Some days I worry. Will our kid be able to love us and us him? Is it fair to raise an Armenian kid on American soil? Did we make the right decision?
But then there are just as many days when I feel tremendous pride in our choice. We have created a nest right here in the Urban Cabin for our adopted child. We can’t solve all the world’s problems with environmental shortages or find a home for the hundreds of thousands of orphaned kids around the world, but we can exert a bit of greenness right here on our own soil by making a place at our table and in our hearts for one little kiddo who needs a home. It’s one way we can offer up some lovin’ for the big home we call planet earth and the folks who share it with us. Maybe that’s what adoption and Earth Day is all about. Starting right here, at home, with us.