I got tagged by my fellow KLB Hao Bao Bao to answer the million dollar question: Why China? It seems so easy to explain in our case... I went back to the very first entry on my very first blog, back when I was over at Diaryland, and here is what I wrote, back on March 1 2003.
first entry, first shot of bucerylin 2003-03-01 - 2:31 p.m.
First entry. First shot of Bucerelin this morning...
Chickened out as I was about to do it.... I knew it wouldn't hurt, I did the practice one with Saline at the hospital last week, but still, definitely hesitated before sticking myself with the needle....
Why is J. not giving me the shots? He's TERRIFIED of needles. So much so, that it would make me even more nervous if he had to do it.
Why are we doing in-vitro? J. has Cystic Fibrosis, which causes infertility in 98% of males. To make matters more complicated, I am a carrier of C.F. as well. So we are going for the whole shebang: sperm aspiration, hyper-ovulation and egg retrieval, in-vitro fertilization and pre-implantation screening.... Chances of success? Who knows, but at 32, we feel we gotta try a few times before we give up the idea of having biological children. We have begun the international adoption process in China as well, but C.F. plays a role in that too and we are not certain to be approved by the home-study worker.
See the mention of International Adoption? It's almost an after-thought, but that's because it actually wasn't. We had signed the contract with the adoption agency BEFORE the first round of in-vitro, and so the question begs, Why China?
It's a not very well kept secret that I live Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Not only do we speak French here, but also, we adopt more Chinese girls than anywhere else.... Quebec has always been very big on international adoption (our in-province adoption program is awful, people wait years and then have to stay foster parents forever, never completing adoption procedures). Also, I think the fact that people seem to get married later in life, or not married at all (we have a very very high right of common-law marriages here), so infertility seems to play a big role in those couple's lives. Anyway, it's very common here in Montreal to see a white family with an Asian girl. It's not an image that was foreign to me.
When I met Hubs, we knew right away we would have trouble conceiving because of his CF. Then, we had our first meeting with the fertility clinic and they insisted on genetic testing, where I found out that I was a carrier of CF. That was a big blow. I had sort of always seen my family with a combination of bio and adopted children, because I didn't relish the thought of several pregnancies in my late 30s, but both Hubs and I wanted several kids (more than 2, less than 5, we still haven't decided)
I don't remember a specific conversation about adoption. It was more like finding out about agencies and the possible countries, but not about adoption specifically, we sort of knew without discussing it. We agreed that we did not care if the child was white or not. Because we are Jewish, we immediately scratched out the programs that heavily involved any type of church organization (for example Haiti), not because we had anything against the Church, we just to stick to a program that was run by non-profits and governments. We never considered Eastern Europe. We talked about it once, but everything we had heard about those programs scared us: the health of the children, the potential bureaucratic problems, etc. So China came to the forefront. I mean, it seemed to be everywhere we looked, everyone knew someone, turns out Hubs even had a not-so-distant relative who had a now-teenage daughter who had been adopted from China.
So we called one agency and they told us they had a waiting list, but we could come meet them anyways in a few weeks. We called another agency and they invited us to their information session. The man who gave the session had 2 daughters from China and was waiting for a referral of a son. He was so nice, so matter of fact about adoption, attachment, China... We walked out that night and I believed we called them a week later and signed our contract. We read nothing about China, we didn't learn Mandarin, we weren't trying to save a poor heathen child, we just wanted kids. And we never wanted adoption to feel like a second choice.
PS: (If you ever go back and read some of those old entries, I must have been smoking some serious dope because I waxed poetic about the possibilities of traveling to China while pregnant or bringing our baby to China with us.... Delusion is a side effect of in-vitro drugs, right?)
Now, to end this on a spooky note, I would like to start by saying that I am a card-carrying member of the KLBs, I do not believe in red-threads and lady-bug sightings, but here is the entry I wrote on march 21 2003, a few weeks into our first of 3 in-vitro attempts. It was our first failure, I was beyond depressed and quoting Blue Rodeo:
Falling Down Blue 2003-03-21 - 10:36 a.m.
I had another ultra-sound this morning.... Not good news. The right ovary is definitely not participating in this effort.... The left one went from 7 follicles to 5 (where did the other 2 go???)
So we have 2 options: Scrap the whole thing and try again in a few months with stronger doses of hormones, or keep going, freeze the embryos, do the whole thing again in a few months and combine all the embryos before having them tested. Seems like a total waist to forget about these 5, so we will go ahead with the retrieval next week.
But I am totally, totally bummed out right now. I feel like the big guy in the sky is playing with my mind.... First, my husband has this nasty disease that will eventually take him away from me. Then, I'm a carrier of said disease which means we have a 50/50 chance of passing it on to our children (IF we can have any). The bureaucrats gave us a terrible time about our plan to adopt in China. And now we finally find a doctor that has the right technology to not only operate my husband, but also test the embryos for afore-mentioned disease and now MY BODY is not working..... Couldn't just one thing go our way for once....
I'm not kidding myself, I know that even if we had 10 perfect, grade A embryos, the chances of having 3 that are disease free are pretty low, and then implanting those 3 and getting pregnant is also a very long shot. But that exactly why I would hope that the Big Guy would cooperate and at least let us have the 10 embryos...If each of these things is a slap in the face, then I feel like I'm falling down blue...
That turned out to be the day our daughter was born...
Will Lulu's mommy come out and play with us on this one???