Sunday, April 7, 2013

Controversy

It's taken me a few weeks to write again. For once, I wanted to get my thoughts together instead of just sitting down and writing what comes to mind, which is what I usually do. It's how I roll. :) A few months ago I had submitted my story to be part of a book about open adoption. Pridefully, I believed I had a strong hand to deal. With my book Altered Dreams, speaking out about gender disappointment, adopting for family balancing reasons, and our faith filled journey made me feel like I had a lot to offer. Never mind that I was featured in Elle, Parenting, Parents, the Associated Press, and on the Today show. Ah, but you know that saying..."Pride cometh before a fall." Yep. The guy told me that I was "too controversial" to be a part of his writing. You know, like open adoption, adoption in general, infertility treatments or anything else isn't controversial to some. But because there are boards and blogs out there that incorporated my book, or brought to the attention of others that *gasp!* people have a preference for the gender of their children and that they get pretty heated about it, I'm out.

At first I wanted to be really angry. I wanted to shoot back at him that not too many years ago infertility treatment was considered controversial but he and his wife tried it. Unsuccessfully. But that would be hurtful to people that I care about. And it would do no good. I could also bring up that many people find adoption controversial. But where would that get me? My family has benefited from both infertility treatments AND adoption. So, what really was he afraid of. A few of my friends laughed and said he was afraid to have me write with him because I was more successful with my book getting so much coverage. UGH..I did not want to go there. So, I sat on it. Hurt feelings and all. And I let some very close friends dry my tears and hold me close.

I see why gender disappointment is controversial. I've never said it wasn't. It's a highly charged, emotional battle that many women and men fight within themselves every day. Is it as serious as having a child with a terminal illness? No, not in my book. Is it as serious as not having any children at all? Not to me. But it is a serious issue. And people do adopt or do foster care, or go through PGD or microsort to expand their families, or continue to have their own biological children through low tech swaying ways to try to capture it; contain it. We adopted for family balancing reasons. We said we wanted a girl. If there had been twins that our expectant mom was having, we wanted one to be a girl. I was made to feel shame for that decision years ago. I will not feel that way again. And when that guy told me I was controversial, that is what came back. I felt less than. Because my family wasn't complete in MY eyes without both genders. Was I happy with just my boys. Yes. Was I lucky? Yes. Did I have anything to complain about? No. But I wanted a daughter too. Just like those who's houses are empty, I wanted something more. Guess that makes me the bad guy. I'll suck it up.

The thing is, those people on those blogs and most of those boards, they don't know me. They don't know me, really. The people who know me the most are those on BabyCenters Disappointed In Gender board. Those girls have been there and I told many of their stories. The people who know me are part of a Raising All Boys board as I celebrated my sons with them. Some people on my Adoption Support board are getting to know me post Elliana but will never understand where I was before. I hear the comments. "She wants a girl for the bows and clothes." Yep, they are fun but she will one day pick her own clothing out. "She wants a girl to play barbies and tea parties with." I hated barbies but played many a tea party with my boys. "She wants a girl and will forget all about her boys." Um, yeah morons....read my book. You will know that I wanted a boy first. I adore my sons. They aren't going anywhere. Mostly, I don't read the comments becase they aren't helpful. I feel defensive and I know that others that feel the way I did are going further underground as the topic of gender disappointment becomes taboo unless someone else brings it up. I'm the one who brought it up. I stand with a slew of people. Guess we are all controversial.
So, that said, being the receiver of nasty grams I guess I have broad shoulders. I will have gracious acceptance in knowing my thoughts and feelings bring to the forefront strong feelings and reactions. I've put a face to Gender Disappointment and Adoption for Family Balancing. I just want to reach people who feel alone in their thoughts and let them know they aren't alone. I have a story to tell, as do others. I want to hear theirs. I want mine heard. I believe I can be a positive voice for GD and open adoption. Or adoption in general. Or raising boys.

I'll find tolerance in a world that is full of intolerance. And I'll go along on my merry way with my controversy. Because if my story didn't illicit any feelings at all, then it wouldn't be worth telling. But obviously, there's more to tell. And to write about.

I'm thinking of titling it "Waiting.....A Walk of Faith"  Stay tuned!