Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I Love Being A Fertile Woman

For over a decade now, my wonderful husband and I – and sometimes our wonderful kids – make a yearly visit to New Orleans.  The only year we missed was the year of Katrina.  But we were back the very next year, loving our favorite place even during its struggle to come back to life after such horror and heart ache.

This year, our trip isn’t planned till October.  And after coming across a post on the I Love Adoption / Adoption.com Facebook page, I am so thankful we planned for later this year.

Apparently, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys held their conference just a week or so ago in my beloved New Orleans.  Just knowing that, I would have been fine if our yearly trip had coincided with their conference.  I have, after all, become very good at knowing who and what to avoid.  And New Orleans, the French Quarter, is a busy place, with lots going on, so I could have easily enjoyed myself without much thought to what else was happening within the city I loved so much.

But, the post I came across, proudly boasted how those in attendance of the conference were roaming the streets in the French Quarter wearing their “I Love Adoption” t-shirts for all to see.

Yeah . . . that would have done it.  To be away, in my favorite place, relaxing with my wonderful husband, and seeing those shirts, over and over again, within the French Quarter, would have taken one of my favorite getaways and turned it into pure hell.  As I told my husband, at that point, I likely would have hidden away in our hotel room with my favorite Po-Boys and Hurricanes, never daring to venture out again.

And, yeah, I know, there is this whole large group of individuals who do love adoption and can’t, for the life of them, understand how simply wearing such t-shirts could affect me, or anyone, for that matter. 

I mean, really, adoption is wonderful, isn’t it.  Just look at how many infertile couples were given the chance at a family because of it.

How could anyone even suggest that seeing such shirts would have any kind of negative affect on them?  Hurt them in any way?

And, really, why should they care anyhow, if wearing such shirts causes any kind of pain for anyone.  For them, they love adoption and should have every right to let the world know that they do and just how wonderfully they have benefited because of it.

But, I can’t help but wonder, these same people who would wear such shirts without even thinking a second about the affect it would have on the many who have suffered such a terrible loss because of adoption, how would they feel if a large group went out and about wearing shirts with our own proud statement . . .

“I Love Being A Fertile Woman.”

I mean, after all, fertility has been absolutely wonderful to me, and so many others.  It has provided me with four, amazing children.  Given me an incredible family that I am so proud of and know I wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the fact that I was able to conceive, be pregnant with and give birth to three terrific sons and one loving daughter.  All my own.  All a part of me in every way.

So why should I care or have any kind of concern if others have suffered any kind of pain because of their struggles with fertility.  Why should I be aware that to flagrantly boast about how wonderful fertility has been to me and my family without giving a thought to those who have been hurt by it, can cause so much pain and grief that I can never possibly understand within my own experience.

It’s not my concern.  It’s not my fault if there are a bunch of angry, bitter women out there who had bad experiences and just want to make everyone miserable for what they went through.   Who can’t just understand and get over their little problems so that I can brag as much as I want about how wonderful it is to be fertile and give birth to my own children.

I mean . . . really.  I, and every other fertile woman, has every right to flaunt and boast about how wonderful fertility is.  And how much our lives have been blessed because of it.  Why should any of us give a damn about how our actions might further hurt those who are already struggling.

And if I wanted to go around wearing an “I Love Being A Fertile Woman” shirt, I should be respected and applauded for doing so.  I should not have to worry about or even be concerned about how my “simple” shirt, stating my own personal happiness, could hurt anyone else.

I mean, really . . . they can just get over it!

It is, isn’t it, self-entitlement at its best . . .

I gained, I profited, so I have every right to boast and carry on about it.  Why should I have to be concerned about how my actions might affect those who have been hurt by the very same action.  That’s not fair.  It’s not right . . .

Damnit!  I love adoption and I shouldn't have to care about the feelings of anyone else.

And you know, there are very few realities, outside adoption, where such a selfish sentiment is not only accepted but encouraged.

If I were to actually wear such a shirt, boast and brag about how wonderful fertility was and how much I had gained from it, while quickly shoving aside and dismissing the feelings of those who had spent so much time struggling with fertility and had suffered terrible loss because of it, I would definitely have a backlash to face.

I’d be labeled insensitive, uncaring.  I would face a lot of opposition.  An army of angry voices letting me know to flaunt such a thing that has caused so many others such terrible harm is wrong . . . cruel.

Ahhh . . . but when it comes to adoption, there’s no thought of that.   Go out, wear those t-shirts, create that pain for those who have lost.  Who really cares.  Who gives a damn.

Adoption gave you a family.  Adoption fulfilled your desires.  Celebrate it.  Flaunt it.  Brag about it.

I mean, really . . . what harm can it do?

Except remind so many, reopen so many wounds, of those who have suffered such terrible losses because of adoption.  Who see such shirts and feel sick to their stomach.   Experience that sharp pain, that grief, that only a select few can ever understand.  Reminding them, in such a horrid way, that others are out there, celebrating, boasting about how much they gained at the terrible loss of others.

I understand, completely, loving our children and forever being thankful for them coming into our lives.

But I don’t get, and I will never understand, how so many . . . who have already suffered the terrible grief of infertility . . . can so boldly, without a damn care, believe they have some magical right.  Some special justification that insures that they can shove how much they love adoption in everyone’s face without ever having to be bothered about caring how such actions hurts so many others who are suffering their own terrible grief as well.

As much as I brought up the suggestion of the “I Love Being A Fertile Woman” shirts, I would never wear such a thing, never think to say such a thing with the awareness of how much pain it could possibly cause those who have suffered through infertility.  Who have lived through that grief and know a pain unlike what I know because I have never experienced it.

And part of my understanding such a loss is my own experience with living through the hell that was my own loss I experienced through giving my oldest son up for adoption.  No, I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with infertility.  But I sure as hell understand that there are some losses that affect us, hurt us, on a level deeper than anyone can imagine.

But I will never understand . . . will never be able to come to terms with . . . how so many who have suffered the terrible loss of infertility really just don’t give a damn about the losses caused through adoption.  How some can be so accepting of being a part of causing those very losses in so many situations.

I don’t care if you are fertile or infertile. I don’t care if society views you as better than or less than.  Pain and loss is pain and loss.  And nobody, ABSOLUTELY NOBODY, has the right to so callously flaunt their gain without giving a damn to how such a gain has caused so many others such a terrible loss.

Especially those who have already survived through their own personal loss.  How do you dare?  How do you find the right to so blatantly, so heartlessly, carry on about your gain while not giving a damn about the loss of others.

How do you go through such hell and come out so self-entitled that you see nothing wrong with your absolute ignorance and dismissal to another’s terrible loss?

How do you live with that?

How do you justify it?