And then their eyes glazed over . . .

I had a thought today that might explain some of why adoption has felt “harder” to me than ART did.*

Even though the average person doesn’t “get” how painful infertility is, they can “get” that going through IVF sucks (or IUI or what have you.) Everyone can gasp at the horror of having a foot long needle stuck through your vagina into your pelvic cavity (egg retrieval in case anyone reading hasn’t reached that point.) Nobody likes injections, much less giving yourself three of them a day. People can “get” some of that.

With adoption, this capacity to put themselves in your shoes is a bit different. What little empathy and or sympathy I was getting for enduring ART went away . . . only to be replaced by excitement.



It really threw me. People were no longer sorry for us they were excited for us. Trouble is, from where I stand there is nothing tangible to be excited about. There are still no guarantees. My arms are still empty and my heart still aches. But now, my aching heart has to face excited faces instead of sympathetic ones . . . and my look of exhaustion and my lack of giddy joy really seems to puzzle them.

I find it hard to face people these days. I dread the questions, the eager inquiries about “any news??!!” . . . “have you heard??” . . .

I just want to say: “Do you SEE a (freak’in) baby?? Huh? Do you?”

(can you imagnie the reaction??)

Don’t people realize that if/when we get that baby, we’ll announce it.


But I don’t want to lose the few IRL friends I have left, nor do I want to get myself locked up in one of those big hospitals surrounded by a huge green lawn. (AKA the nut house.)

I’ve actually avoided social situations in order not to have to deal with this whole aspect. And it’s getting lonely. I’ve tried going anyway, and answering their questions honestly, (and sanely) with explanations of how we are hopeful but it’s still really hard right now. That there are no guarantees and a lot of anxiety involved in the process. Etc., etc., blah . . . blah . . . blah.

Their eyes glaze over and the conversation drifts to a safer topic.

I just don’t have the patience for it. Or the stomach.

So I stay home or at least stay quite when I go out. I nod and smile and scream inside. Their ignorance pains me. I feel envy. I want to be that ignorant again too. I want my reasons for knowing better to have just been a bad dream.

I want to wake up to my baby’s cries instead of my own tears.

*In addition to the (as perceived by me) differences between infertility treatment and adoption as family building “options,” there is the factor of time and age added to my story. I’ve been at this TOO long no matter what order you want to put the efforts in and I am nearing an age when doors to motherhood slam shut. Both those factors seriously color my views. So, theses are only my views from my perspective. Writing is not really my strong suite, so I may not always express what I mean in ways people can understand.

I can promise you that I never mean to say that my journey through hell trumps anyone else’s. We all measure out pain with a very unique and individual yardstick.


13 Responses to “And then their eyes glazed over . . .”

  1. Pamela Jeanne Says:

    I can only imagine what you’re experiencing since we took a different path, but the isolation and sense of WTF you describe is familiar in its own way. I feel for you…

  2. sassy Says:

    I get it. We recently went from the shpts and the treatments to the adoption path. I’m still shaky, don’t know if I”‘m ready to set oot on another long road to God knows where. It’s hard when everyone is so happy and excited for something that is heavy and difficult, when all you want is for it too be over and the little kidlet to be in your arms…

  3. Says:

    send me your email address. I have something for you.

  4. Says:

    sorry. That was kind of abrupt, I guess. I used to blog, and have been occasionally reading your blog. I wanted to give you some info about how I got in contact with a ton of birthmothers while we were waiting to adopt.

  5. loribeth Says:

    Here from Mel’s blog. You make an excellent point. In their eyes, your problem has been “fixed” (well, as good as, in their eyes, anyway), so they don’t have to worry about you anymore. If they only knew…!

  6. Barb Says:

    yes yes yes. I haven’t even STARTED the adoption process yet and am already feeling what you’ve described even from the little we’ve said and done. It shocked me some.

    In a way, I’ve noticed that people seem almost grateful that you’re done with all that other “tragic” stuff and that they can forget about it and stop being uncomfortable with you.

  7. Vivien Says:

    yep, hard to get excited when there is STILL no sign of the actual [childless] situation actually CHANGING. I definitely get it.

  8. tubeless Says:

    I don’t have a way with words, but wanted to let you know this was a great post.

  9. Kate Says:

    Interesting. I guess I never thought of it that way, but DUH. Of course you still hurt and you still mourn and you still have all the crap that goes along with attempting IVF, only now you’ve ADDED the emotional strain of adoption. And the taking away of the needles doesn’t necessarily remove that much strain. Physical sucks, but I’d take it over emotional ANY day.

    I think my reaction to anyone experiencing IF is blanket excitement with whatever current option is giving them hope. And I hope that my excitement can be seen by others as the best kind of support I can give. At least I hope so…

  10. Julie Says:

    WOW, I TOTALLY felt like I was reading my own words a year or so ago. I understand. Sometimes you HAVE to avoid those situations for a while that are too painful. It sounds like you are experiencing a lot of loss right now. Hang in there. I can tell you Really want to be a mom, and I have to believe you will be!! Adoption IS a wonderful miracle, but it doesn’t cure infertility. Best to you.. Thank you for sharing. Julie

  11. Io Says:

    Aw! I less than three you!

  12. Lisa Says:

    I actually had the opposite feeling… I got mad when people weren’t excited for us that we were adopting! Some people seemed sad for us and asked “oh, but won’t you still keep trying to have your own?”

    Infertility and adoption are a tough because people don’t always know how to react and it can be disappointing when others express sentiments that seem so foreign to you. It’s a difficult journey, but as you move closer to bringing a child into your family, you gradually feel more excitement and anticipation. It’s frustrating in these early stages though.

  13. deannamarie Says:

    Isolation and avoiding people/events is so hard. I feel like I have to do it though to avoid bursting into tears all the time.

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