Over the last almost year at this point I’ve had time to reflect on why I desired to parent and what being a parent means to me. Believe it or not my wife and I made a decision this year for our never conceived child. I’ve shared info about my infertility, what I haven’t shared is that there was one chance we had to have a child and that was for me to have a biopsy done to see if any sperm extracted. We declined on that for two reasons, the first is that there has never been a reported case of any sperm being extracted from someone with my microdeletions and more importantly even if they found sperm I would pass along this condition to a male offspring. Pursuing that would have been selfish on our part. As much as I would love a little mini me running around (though I question whether my wife would) I couldn’t have lived with myself knowing that my selfish desire was the reason my son was infertile.
Which brings me to a blog post that was written by one of my favorite adoptee bloggers Kat Stanley. Her work is powerful and hits the reader with raw emotion making you think about how you would feel if you lived what she did. There are so many times reading her work where I am angry at the adults in her life and the things they said to her. Kat deserved so much more than what she got.
Today she wrote a piece that in my opinion should not only be a guide for adoptive parents but any parent for that matter. It’s about how parents at times when pursuing parenthood ignore the reality that there are going to be difficult times in a child’s life where a parent is going to need to step up check their ego at the door and be there for their child. Sure there are fun times when they are an infant and toddler but also challenging times as a child and teenager where you need to be there for them.
Was it only my childhood you wanted?
Do you have dreams of seeing me with my little friends at a slumber party? But when I get older, will you show me contempt when I get into trouble at school with friends because my issues with adoption have started to surface?
There are many parts of the piece that are powerful but this one stuck out to me. For me my parents probably didn’t imagine I was going to have the issues with ADD and social issues I did when they decided to have children. But when those problems came up they got me the help I needed and provided the support needed. My mother used to drive me to tutors and summer workshops to help with skills to help me in school. My dad used to drive me all over the state of NJ to drive me to swim practice and meets to help build my confidence as a person. That’s what being a parent means to me. Making sacrifices for your children and when things get tough for your child you step up and do everything in your power to be there for them. To answer Kat’s question, it’s not just a childhood I want to be there for them, I want to be there for the child until death due us part. Whether they want us in their lives as adults is up to them but our door will always be open no matter how good or bad things are. Being a good parent for me is how well they handle the difficult situations not just the happy ones.