Monday, April 25, 2011

Adopt and you probably still won't get pregnant!

Infertility myth: Adopt and you'll get pregnant.

How many times have you heard someone say, "My friend's cousin's sister-in-law and her husband tried for years to get pregnant. They finally adopted a son, then a daughter. They never did conceive. Isn't that amazing?"

You say you’ve never heard that story? Why not? Because it's totally non-sensationalistic. It makes sense. A couple cannot conceive, so they decide to adopt. Some families with biological children do continue to grow by adoption, but other times a couple does not consider adoption until spending some time and effort conceiving children to no avail. That is how it was for us.

After three years of infertility my husband and I began the adoption process. We decided that we were more interested in being parents than we were in parenting a jointly conceived child. Four months after adopting our amazing son BB, I took a pregnancy test in a Bank of America bathroom and discovered that after four years of infertility, I was pregnant.

Soon the comments began. "You hear about this happening all the time," and "See, you relaxed about having a baby and then you got pregnant," and "I knew this would happen." I know people mean well, I really do. I always pray to respond from a place of grace.

I pick my battles. Sometimes I say, "Yes, it does happen," and sometimes I cite the statistics, "Actually, only 5-10% of parents who adopt due to infertility go on to conceive and bear children." And sometimes, perhaps not often enough, I present the answer I believe the strongest.

I believe that we were able to conceive after years of infertility and adoption because God meticulously planned it out just so.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."(Jeremiah 29:11)

If we had conceived when we desperately wanted to, we would not have BB as our son. If we had conceived when we desperately tried to, BB would not have us as his parents. God knew the plans He had for us and for our firstborn son.

God also planned for LB, born one year and four days after our first, to be his little brother. He needed our DNA to make LB. He needed another man and woman's DNA to make BB. BB was not means to an end to get LB - they were both meant for us.

When I tell people our story four years later, I almost always hear the same comment. “That happens all the time. Why do you think that is?”

I should always respond, “Because God said so.”


Mie said...

That's a great answer! I've heard a few of these things so far in our walk in infertility. I just smile. The one I love the most is the one about relaxing about it...seriously we've been able to conceive now for 4 years and we "tried" for all of 3-4 months in that time frame...I haven't seriously thought about becoming pregnant in 2 years.

Though I would LOVE to be blessed with another biological child so that I could experience all that goes with that again, sometimes I dread the day if/when I do have one because it will start the round of comments all over again, I'm guessing like you've expreienced.

I'm with you though - I know it was very unlikely for us to even consider adoption/foster care without having faced our infertility and God had a very specific role for us in being a licensed home. Some of that role has been revealed to us already and some of it is still not yet revealed - I don't know all of what he has planned. I hope through our story folks will see less of "my fault" in infertility (aka not relaxing) and more of God's devine purpose.

I suppose if I have to bite my tongue and learn more humility through the process that's ok too.

Heather said...


Jessica said...

You must have heard me talking to the 867 people who've told me "that always happens" when we announced we were pregnant and our son was only 6 months old.

Knowing our older son was only 4 months old when we conceived has ALWAYS convinced me that both my children were meant for us. If we'd gotten pregnant when we planned, we would never have C. We had to find him first, and then O was ready to come to us. And I would have NEVER planned to have 2 kids 14 months apart. Not one part of it was MY plan but the timing was so completely perfect in every way.

The number I read on various infertility reports is 8% of infertile couples go on to get pregnant following adoption. That's a tiny, tiny number and I pretty much tell everyone that when they say such silly things to me!

Raina said...

That's interesting to learn that it's only 5-10% that it happens to. I feel like I've known so many more than that who have experienced the adopt-then-conceive scenario. It's a good reminder to me to bite my tongue before making a comment about it--whether before or after the fact.

Flakymn said...

Love this! Was just contemplating the same post but you said it better than I could!

Amy T. S. said...

Wendi, how is that possible? Thanks!

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

Great job! Just linked to you from my book blog. :)

Becky said...

Well said! This is one of those things that drives me crazy when people say it to me (frankly, I don't know anyone who it's happened to, at least IRL). I think people just assume that I still am desparate to get pregnant, and that that's what I want to hear. But what it comes off sounding like - to me at least - is that adoption isn't good enough (at least in their eyes), that it is somehow second best.

Amy T. S. said...

Yes, Becky, that's how I feel as well. I know people don't mean to, it just sometimes feels like people are disregarding the miracle of BB having come to us the way he did - like the miracle of adoption is less than the miracle of pregnancy. Both result from a pregnancy, do they not? ;P

Rachel said...

Great job, Amy.

Jason and Traci said...


I found out we were pg. about a month prior to signing adopting papers, about a year into the process. And I hear that statment ALL THE TIME ... and it makes me mad. Praise Jesus it worked out that way for us, but we did not get pg. BECAUSE we adopted.

Christy said...

Great answer! Well written, and your boys are ADORABLE! :)

Jana said...

great post. great answers.

Martin and Wieska said...

Thank you for sharing this. I would love to link this post on my blog some day. May I?

Amy T. S. said...

You bet, M&W. I don't mind.

Allison said...

We wound up in a similar boat.

We were 6 months into the adoption process when I found out I was pregnant. We had been matched with bioparents expecting twins and they had changed their minds.

A lot of people gave me me "see? you relaxed" line, but I just think God was testing our patience and willingness to follow him where ever he led.

Thanks for sharing!

Amy T. S. said...

Oh yeah, because the adoption process is SO relaxing! LOL