Saturday, March 14, 2015

My NonAdopting Story

I love babies. I love children. I am good with them. And I've always wanted to be a mother one day. I just didn't want kids too early. I wanted to finish university first, and find a job. And find the love of my life.

In the beginning of our infertility journey my husband and me didn't discuss adoption. We were sure that one of the IVFs would work out.  As the years were passing by, we began realizing that IVF might not work for us, and we started to discuss adopting.

The result of each discussion was the same: we wanted to parent our child, not any child.

But if we didn't adopt, the other option was to remain childless forever and this seemed like  a horrible option at the time. So we kept looking into adoption further. 

We learned that in our country there are only 5 children adopted each year. And there are approximately 350 approved couples in line waiting for a child.  Our system prefers fostering to adoption, there are 1,300 children in foster families. Statistically this meant that the possibility of us ever getting a child for adoption was so low, that we just didn't want to waste any of our time on that.

So we started thinking about international adoption. We visited one couple that recently adopted internationally and they explained that they had to give a lawyer in that foreign country approximately  20,000 USD (in cash!). We just wondered, how much of that money was used for bribes. It would break our hearts if we found out later on, that we received a child only because some horrible injustice was made to a poor, uneducated woman. 

But the real reason why I never really wanted to adopt was because I was deeply hurt by a person that I once loved. 

When I was 12 years old, my cousin was born - a beautiful baby boy. His father was an alcoholic and his mother was a very low energy sad person, who did provide for her child's physical needs, but lacked energy for anything else. It was me who saw my cousin walk for the first time. It was me who read him fairy-tales, went for walks, to playgrounds, played with him, taught him reading. I spent time with him from the second I came back from school until he went to bed.

When he entered his teenage years, I was already finishing university, so in a way we lost contact. But whenever we met, we always talked. 

A few years ago, when he was in his mid twenties, he visited my husband and me  with his girlfriend. It was a nice afternoon and we were drinking coffee and eating apple pie.  My cousin's girlfriend mentioned her surname, so my husband asked her if her ancestors come from the country X (this is a country, lying south of our country. It is a country that my husband and I both love and  we spend many holidays there). 

My cousin replied in a very mocking and superior way: »Of course not. You can be very sure that I checked very carefully that my girl-friend is of a pure blood family from our country.«

I remained speechless for a while. Then I said: »I think it is now time you left. Your girl-friend is welcome to stay, but you are not.«

You see, my parents come from two different nationalities. I learned already as a young child that many people are nationalist. My skin got thicker. But how many times did I cry as a child when other children were calling me nasty names, just because I wasn't of »pure breed«.

With years I learned that not a lot of people have a heart of gold. A kind heart, that never hurts another person. 

I am sure, I areally am, that if my husband and I had our own child, a child with our genes, he would have a kind heart.

But if we adopted, the child could be easily the way my cousin is. And this is the risk I am not willing to take. 


  1. Dear Klara, thank you for sharing your story ! As far as I understood it was not easy for you to tell that story.....I think I understand everything. But I am not sure if I really got your last point and before I answer I must know which way it is meant..... "the child could be easily the way my cousin is. And this is the risk I am not willing to take." Why do you think that ? or In which way is it meant ? Please of course only answer my question if it is okay for you.....xoxo, Isa

    1. dear Isa Belle, I love the nick Wonderland that you added.
      I am more than happy to answer you. Since English is not my native language, sometimes it is hard to express myself.

      The way my cousin is: with unkind heart / nationalist / mean / selfish.


    2. Thank you Klara, for your answer.
      I am not sure, if I got your point is difficult if 2 not-native-speaker try to "discuss" such a difficile my English isn´t as good as yours....!!! But let´s give it a try...:-)
      You know that I know the history of your different countries very well - so I think that I can follow your story...on the one hand.
      On the other hand.....I am counfused, because what I understood (not sure if I understood right !!) - and with what I don´t agree - is this: a child, that is not of yours and your husbands genes "could be easily turn out the way your cousin is" (?) But isn´t this the same point of view like "my girl-friend is of a pure blood family from our country" ? !?
      Much more important than predisposition is the environment, isn´t it ?
      Why should any child that you would rear with all your love from the bottom of your heart not become an open-minded and open-hearted wonderful person ?

      I am really sorry....maybe I completely missunderstood you....and I really don´t want to hurt you and your feelings - knowing that this adoption-story is a really vulnerable story for you. So a big, big sorry, sorry sorry - if I am destructive now.....
      Big hugs, Isa

    3. p.s. you can also send me an email if you must not publish my comment if you don´t want ! xoxo, Isa

    4. dear Isa Belle,
      what I really believe that every person has 80 % already written in the genes and only 20 % is environment.

      The point of my story is that once in my life I already took care of an baby, really actively for 10 years. I gave him the best that I could at that young age. And all that I got in return later on, when this baby was already an adult, is a huge disappointment.

    5. Dear Klara, thank you for being so patient with my questions.
      Now I can understand you much better. I really didn´t get it before.
      It is not important if we have the same point of view. Important in this story are your feelings - because it is YOUR story. And I can completely accept your story, your emotions and your decision. Thank you for sharing.
      xoxo, Isa

  2. I am so glad that you shared your story too! There are a lot of similarities between my (and hubs') story and your (and DH's) story.

    I can't imagine how much it hurt to have your cousin say those words to you. You nurtured him and cared for him and then he said that. I definitely see how this could make you re-think adoption. Because sometimes no amount of love and nurturing can make a person not a jerk.

    And I know that had you and DH been able to have a child that s/he would have had a kind heart.

  3. Thank you for not only sharing your story, but encouraging others too as well. Each story is unique and personal in their own way. I can't beielve your country has so few adoptions! We looked briefly into international adoption. One lady flat out told us to be prepared to bribe officials in other countries! I find that so sad. And then everyone differs on their opinions. You have to embrace their culture and make it yours. Or no, don't embrace it or they won't turn out like you. I still believe adoption is a beautiful thing, but that doesn't mean it's the right answer for everyone. Each couple must do what they feel is best for them.

  4. I thought I'd commented on this - I'll blame my iPad! Again!

    Klara, it was very brave of you to share so openly why you didn't adopt. It shows too why each decision is so personal, and why people who say "why not just adopt?" have no idea of the thinking and heartbreak that goes into these decisions.

    It is very hard for some of us - perhaps here in New Zealand especially, where we don't have any near neighbours, and a country of immigrants, none of whom are "pure bred" - to understand what it can be like to face nationalism and racism at its worst extremes. Having visited you though, and heard some of your stories, I think I begin to understand. Hugs.

  5. Ah, nationalism is something I've been struggling with my entire life, especially when I still lived in Indonesia. I've never been a native anywhere. Not in Indo, not in Finland. Granted, I feel much safer in Finland compared to in Indo as there were riots back then in Indo.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Agree with Mali that the decision not to adopt is a very personal one. I haven't had time to write my story. Maybe later. :-)