But You Could Have...

The other day I got my face waxed for the first time since the pandemic started. Thanks to PCOS, if I don't get my upper lip and cheeks/chops waxed, I look like a cross between Frida Kahlo and Wolverine. 

I've missed my waxing lady; she's very understanding and personable and is as gentle as you can be whilst ripping hair from the follicles with something that looks like honey on gauze. 

But for some reason, the lapse in time left us a little off-kilter. 

"So, are you guys definitely not adopting anymore?" 

"Uh, yeah. It's been four years. It just became too much, unhealthy, we had to stop. We've moved forward, we've created a new life in our new house. Done-done-done-zo." Weird, because she's heard it all before, but maybe the pandemic induces some kind of amnesia. 

After a little more discussion on how and why we ended, she said, "But you could have adopted overseas, right?" 


I was patient and said "Well, yeah, but that's not what we chose and there's reasons for that. And, we were done." 

Adoption is not Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book, where if one storyline comes to a dead end then you just start over and pick a different option. People are so quick to offer up all the ways that you can adopt without truly understanding what it takes to go down any one of those roads. 

We were up for the challenges of domestic infant adoption because the positives for us outweighed the difficulties (until we couldn't feel any positives anymore and left). Of course we weighed other options, but they weren't right for us. And you can't just transfer one kind of adoption training and home study and paperwork to another -- they are all completely different processes. Even adding a second agency in the same process would have meant more money, more paperwork, more liaisons, different state laws. Even though society loves to say there's no limits and possibilities are endless, if you really want it, it's horseshit. There are limits. You can want something and no longer be able to pursue it. That should be respected. 

Thankfully, she let it go and didn't press, and I didn't actually share a ton of details because I AM TIRED OF FEELING LIKE I HAVE TO JUSTIFY OUR CHOICES AND EXPERIENCES. And I am getting way better at not verbal-vomiting out all rationales for all options because that is not something I should feel I need to do. Our decisions were our decisions and they were meticulously researched and weighed up until and including our decision to stop. 

Who knew I'd feel 25% frustrated and 75% empowered when leaving my appointment to de-fur my face? 

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  1. I'm sorry. People have no idea what they're talking about when they ask us these questions. I'm glad you've stopped going into details with people. Save your energy. I know you know this, but please let me remind you: you don't owe anyone any explanation. They never understand anyway.

  2. Ugh to the 25% frustrated. I can relate. I loved this though - "... I am getting way better at not verbal-vomiting out all rationales for all options because that is not something I should feel I need to do...."
    YES!!! I am so glad you feel that way.

  3. Um, "adoption is not Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book." Can you imagine if Infertility (not to mention adoption) WERE choose your own adventure -- if people could write their own plot lines? Lots of REs would be out of work.

    It must be very tiresome to keep having to justify your choices to people who don't fully understand the lay of the land.

  4. I think the amnesia is not so much pandemic-induced (although I'm sure not seeing you for a while didn't help), but not retaining a story she didn't want to hear, accept or try to empathize with. Phoenix is right -- you (we) don't owe anyone an explanation!

  5. That's really annoying. Why couldn't she just have moved on from the topic and asked about your hobbies or something?