Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pondering the other side

When you adopt through Nightlight's Snowflake Embryo Adoption program, the adoptive family receives three generations of medical history on the genetic family.  While I don't know the exact age of Cora and Mac's genetic siblings, my hypothesis is they (the triplets) were about fifteen months old.  I'm using Cora and Mac's height and weight records as comparisons.

Cora and Mac will be eighteen months old tomorrow.  Everyday I marvel at their progress, their physical growth, their developing language skills, their ever expanding interest in the world around them...  I cannot imagine life without them.

I'm sure every adoptive parent wonders what prompted the placing parents' decision.  Was it financial?  Emotional?  Mental?  Did physical limitations push the placing parents in one direction?

I used to think it would be harder for birth parents to give up their infant through regular infant adoption than genetic parents through embryo adoption.  I guess I always thought that nine months would build such a deep connection that severing it, even for the most noble of reason, would hurt bitterly.  And I'm sure it does.

However, now I wonder if the genetic parents might suffer just as deeply too.  Every day they stare into the face of their children, little beings that bring them so much joy, and know that there are more out there.  Children who look just like their own kids, yet call another woman "Momma" and another man "Daddy".  Do their children even know they have more siblings?

In mid-November we heard from the genetic parents for the first time since the twins were born, a polite request for an update.  We sent a brief update and some pictures.  We haven't heard back.  I have to wonder, do the pictures hurt?  Do they remind the genetic parents of what might have been?  Cora is the splitting image of one of her genetic sisters.  Mac and his genetic brother have the same chin, the same "Winston Churchill" protruding bottom lip.  Do the genetic parents see this too?

I can't pretend to understand the "other side".  I've never been there.  I have no frame of reference.  All I know is the two little beings whom I love so very much would not be here if someone else had not made that infinitely hard decision.  And I pray that God may soothe their hurts and calm their fears.