We're getting in the car tomorrow morning to start our epic journey (which starts with a road trip to see family, then a plane trip to see more family, and then the trip to Korea). I'm excited, nervous, and worried, all at once. Excited because there should be some fun in many places along the way. Nervous because traveling with a toddler is always nerve-wracking. Worried because the trip is likely to end with some very bad news. But I think that I can handle it. I guess we'll see.
To follow up on my previous post, I think it's only fair that I give a little more info about why I am feeling so conflicted about adoption. It's quite complicated, of course, so I'm not sure I'll be able to articulate it, but I'm going to try to at least list some pros and cons so you can see what I'm thinking.
Adoption pro: Almost guarantees a child.
Adoption con: Not necessarily true of domestic private adoption--we may never get picked. What pregnant woman is dying to place her child with a family that a) already has a bio kid, b) isn't at all wealthy, and c) speaks an obscure 3rd world language at home?
Adoption pro: May result in an orphan getting a home
Adoption con: Some of those "orphans" aren't really orphans, or at least didn't have to be. International adoptions sometimes (I'm not saying always, or even often, but sometimes) involve baby-selling or worse. Domestic private adoptions are sometimes executed in a coercive way, with agencies (and sometimes friends and family) putting pressure on vulnerable women to surrender their children when it might have been possible for them to parent. I think I might always wonder if we did the right thing.
Adoption pro: People will approve
Adoption con: People will say stupid things that will hurt all of our feelings
Adoption pro: An adoption would add a wonderful new dimension to our family
Adoption con: The child might feel really left out, since being Mysterious is a big part of Mystery's identity, and will probably be a big part of Eggbert's as well. (She is a dual citizen, and is bilingual.) An adopted non-genetically-Mysterious child would never be accepted as a Mysterious tribe member. Ever. Even if we adopted a child that LOOKED Mysterious, they wouldn't really be accepted as Mysterious by people who knew. And adopting from the land of Mystery is complex and might not be possible for us.
Adoption pro: We don't care about genetics--we just love children
Adoption con: The child might care about genetics, and might have some issues about the fact that his/her older sister is our genetic offspring, whereas she/he isn't.
Adoption pro: If we did domestic adoption, we might be able to have some openness, which would be good for the child
Adoption con: There are no guarantees. The birth parents can always cut off contact and there is nothing we can do to stop them.
Adoption pro: Our hearts really lean toward international adoption
Adoption con: If we adopted internationally, we'd miss the first few months or even years of our child's life.
DE pro: The resulting child would be Mysterious, and would be genetically related to Mystery and Eggbert.
DE con: It might not work.
DE pro: I'd get to gestate and breastfeed (which for me is HUGE).
DE con: It's expensive and might not work.
DE pro: Nothing about the appearance of our family should draw attention from strangers beyond that which we already get (as long as we choose a white door so the child is the same mix as Eggbert)
DE con: Our friends and family might not understand.
DE pro: We'd be able to take the best possible care of the baby from the date of conception
DE con: The child might resent the circumstances of his/her conception
DE pro: The child would be genetically related to the two people that I love most on earth
DE con: The child might wonder if I love him/her less than Eggbert (but this is a con for adoption too)
DE pro: We could choose the donor
DE con: We might not be able to get a donor that we like
DE pro: There is no heartbroken birth mother in this picture.
DE con: An egg donor might be less likely to be willing to answer a child's questions when they grow up than a birth mother.
This isn't an exhaustive list, but at least you get the idea.