Infertility to Adoption :: A Fight for a Family

April 21–27 is National Infertility Awareness Week. We honor this movement that has set out to reduce stigma and educate the public about reproductive health and issues that make building a family so difficult for so many.

A few years ago I had to make one of the worst phone calls of my life. I had to tell my sister I was pregnant with my third child. I knew this news would hit her hard. She and her husband had been trying to have a baby for years. They were in their second year of infertility treatments and not having any success. Her response was exactly what I had expected — she took a deep breath and congratulated me. I am certain she cried after we hung up.

I’d never had issues with conception, so I knew I couldn’t truly understand. The pain and heartache, the hope and frustration, the doctor’s appointments and shots and the endless questions from family and friends must have felt so intrusive. My other sister and I felt so helpless. Neither of us was a candidate to be a surrogate for my sister. So all we could do was listen and support. We tried not to ask questions, instead letting my sister and her husband share what they wanted when they wanted.

After three years of infertility treatments that included IVF and surgery to help them conceive, the final answer was unbearable. No. No, they would not have a child together. My sister did have a daughter from a previous relationship who is now 13 years old. My niece has known her step-dad since she was 3 years old. They already were a family and were so grateful for my niece. But they wanted a baby together, and they wanted their daughter to have a sibling.

So after some soul searching and much discussion, they decided to pursue private domestic adoption. This choice was the right fit for them. They found a local adoption agency, A Full Circle Adoptions, which would match them with a birth mother. The birth mother would be choosing them to adopt her child.  

So after nine months of screenings, social worker home visits, lots of paperwork, and waiting, they got the most incredible news. They were in Disney World, with my niece and our mother, when they got the phone call announcing they had been chosen to be the parents of a precious little girl. Then, my sister got to make the best call of her life. She got to call her sisters and tell them they were going to be aunties again. I can tell you, when I hung up the phone with her that Sunday afternoon, I absolutely cried.

Three days later they met their daughter (and got to meet her birth mother, too) and took my new niece home. My sister and my brother-in-law said it was an amazing experience. To be handed the most perfect, beautiful, and loving gift anyone could ever give them. To be trusted with such a responsibility to care for, love, and raise this little girl with her older sister is a privilege and a blessing they do not take lightly.

All the heartache, moments of doubt and insecurity, all the waiting was for this child, this baby girl, this life and her future. They fought for this dream of this family. The road and decisions were not easy or simple. But the story of infertility to adoption — for them — matters. It matters because it brought them to this child. She is, and always has been, their daughter.

Sisters.
Leah is a Massachusetts native who grew up in the MetroWest area. She met her husband in 2006 and they bonded over all things Boston. After moving to North Carolina for 4 years, they realized they had to move back to New England. (love that dirty water!) In 2011 they welcomed a son into their family. Then 2014, 1 week before having their daughter, their son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The last but not least little guy came in 2017. With three kids and special needs in their life, they rely on an amazing support system of friends and family. Leah is a stay at home mom, who is also growing a small business, and enjoying the independence and freedom it has given her. Loves: Great food (mostly made by her talented husband), playing with the kids, the beach, date nights, The Pats, The Sox, The B’s, new socks and bras, and American history, and movies. Can’t stand: Cotton balls, weeds, broken crayons, pollen, and vacuuming up Cheerios every half hour.

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