“I’m healthy!” That’s what I said when I ran into Val, one of my oncology nurses, today. After last year, it’s nice to run into people from the hospital and be able to tell and show them that you made it through. Of course, while completely true, there is a little more to it than that.
We’ve been preoccupied the past few weeks, so this update comes after a delay, but we recently made the trek back to Mayo to make sure I’m still cancer-free, and in that regard, everything looks great. The dream of having children wasn’t as happy.
I think we’ve always known we would end up in this place, but have (or at least I have) been able to shove it aside. The doctors reviewed my history, my current state, and likely outcomes. If everything from this point went as well as anyone could possibly expect, we might have a 10% chance of having biological children via IVF. I would also go through more (minor) surgeries. And if successful, it would be $25,000 per kid.
The more this all goes on, the more aware I am of how badly I want my own biological children. I can’t imagine any parent not wanting their own mini-me, for better or worse. Driving the point home for me, we celebrated my nephew’s first birthday this weekend. Watching him and my niece bouncing around the house, full of life and joy and wonder, is a vivid picture of things I may come close to, but never quite fully have. I love kids and share any parent’s joy, but there’s a piece of me that will still be sad, and that’s ok.
The logical piece of the picture is that $25,000 number for a process that only might work. Private adoption agencies in ND could charge between $5,000 to $11,0000 (or more) for an adoption (plus even more fees I don’t know about). The Adoption Network indicates 428,000 children in America are in foster care, with 135,000 children being adopted each year. There is clearly a need for kids to be taken care of, and at some point, my desire for biological children seems to become very selfish.
Where does that leave us? I’m not really sure. Adoption and foster care are both on the table, and it seems, pending medical breakthroughs, irresponsible to push for our own kids with such a great need to help children without a home. I also don’t want to deny Tiah the opportunity to experience pregnancy, so IUI is also a possibility.
There is much to pray about and patiently listen for God’s direction. I don’t expect anything about this to be easy, but God has seen fit to keep me alive this long, so there are more ways for me to be an impact.
We’d love to hear your stories and experiences! Use the comments here on the blog to share anything you want about adoption, foster care, and more.