Monday, March 17, 2014

and, i'm done

I logged into Facebook this morning to see a post about being in the middle of adopting a child, yet still wanting a child of "my own." I'm not going to go into details about where this post was made. I'm sure many of you saw it or have seen it, and I also don't want to rail on the organization that posted it because it is one that supported me throughout my journey with infertility.

At the same time, I cannot ignore the post, the intervention on it that was possible from the hosting organization, or the conversations that took place because of it. It frustrated me. It angered me. Perhaps more than it should have, but perhaps rightfully so. Regardless, it made me think about many things, some of which have already been stewing in my brain for several months. And, as a result of this thinking, I've reached a conclusion:

I'm done. This is good-bye.

From this point forward, I will no longer be using this blog for infertility or adoption-related advocacy work. It will remain open, but I am moving on from this space.

The truth is that this has been a long time coming.

I think we can all agree that it is not and never will be okay to attach certain wordings and stigmas to those who are infertile and who seek certain medical interventions. I have fought these for years, even after I chose an alternate path to building my family. We have all fought for this. Word choice is as important, if not more so, than the intent behind it. We ask others to avoid saying certain words and phrases associated with infertility because they are hurtful and ignorant. Because they don't have truth or understanding behind them.

However, I have also stood back and watched as my path, and the other, alternate paths of my peers, have not been supported and/or advocated for with the same passion and intensity. I have watched as some of these same individuals who I've fought alongside to try and change the conversation about infertility have not fought to change the conversation about adoption. In fact, they have participated in these inappropriate dialogues and/or defended others who have, as well.

Today's Facebook post was a prime example of this. It pushed me over the edge that I was already standing on, that being: I cannot continue to advocate for a group of individuals and their decisions when, in many cases, those same individuals do not advocate for me and MY decisions. How am I supposed to reconcile fighting against stigmas associated with my path to family building with "outsiders" (non-ALI community members) when I can't even reconcile it with people in my own community or peer group?

The answer is that I can't.

I cannot change the conversation about adopting after infertility when there are people in my own support system who can't or aren't willing to change the conversation alongside of me. It makes any sort of progress next to impossible. And frankly, it makes me feel completely defeated. I feel, and have felt, defeated for quite some time now, and it's led to this choice. A choice I didn't make lightly. This decision to abandon my work and my blog hurts. It hurts to leave behind this space and everything that happened here, but it hurts far worse to stand for something and not have that something stand behind you, too.

I don't know what's next for me. As I said, I'd love to continue writing in some capacity. Blogging has been such an integral part of my life now for the last 5.5 years, and letting it go will be difficult. Yet, I also think a break is wise. If I do decide to continue writing in another space, I will post that information here.

The last thing I want to do is end this on a sad note or a note that implies that stopping is anyone's decision other than my own.

So, instead, I will end with "thank you." To those of you who have stood behind me all of these years... I love you and I cannot accurately express how much your support has meant to me. You were there for me when I felt completely alone in the world and didn't know if I would ever become a parent -- something that even some of our family members and closest friends weren't able to to. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for encouraging me to move forward for as long as I did, not only toward having a child but toward self advocacy and changes in the way our disease is treated. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journeys.

Most importantly, thank you for your friendship and for your courage. I have never met a more inspiring group of men and women than the friends I've met in this community. Keep fighting for as long as you can, and I don't mean that in a "keep fighting for kids" way. I mean that in a "keep fighting for yourselves" way. You are all powerful people. Your stories are important. Don't lose sight of this, regardless of where your journey takes you.

xo

22 comments:

Sabrina said...

THank you for all you have done to try to help what seems to be a helpless cause at times. I definitely know what you mean. I read that post this morning as well, and as a potential adoptive parent, it hurt my heart. I also tried to advocate in my home town by starting a support group and writing and sharing others experiences... but it was all pointless and fell apart. Just know that you can not fix society, but you can and have touched individuals with your advocating and support!

Kelly said...

I love you, my dear friend. Xo

~ Megz ~ said...

Many blessings as you embark on this new adventure in a NEW season...I share your frustrations as of late, and understand....xxx's

missohkay said...

Your blog has meant so much to me - I cannot count the number of times I've written here: "you took the words right out of my mouth!" Thank you for your advocacy and for making the path smoother for me. Thank you for saying again and again that everyone's choices are different and it's okay to "jump" to adoption without exhausting other options first. Thank you for using this platform to stand up to politicians, pro-lifers, and anti-adoption bullies. Thank you thank you thank you. I hope after a nice long break you decide to write somewhere else about something else. I have no doubt it will be amazing too.

*taking the torch from you*

It Is What It Is said...

You have fought and fought tirelessly and sometimes stopping IS the best thing toward preservation.

You so eloquently, once again, conveyed your thoughts and deep emotions.

I am frustrated and disappointed for you and with you.

I will follow you where ever you might go.

S said...

Katie, I have enjoyed reading about your journey to parenthood and your thoughts about both infertility and adoption. I will miss reading your writing and wish you the best.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Thank you is too small a set of words to convey how much it means to me that you let us into your brain and that we got to see the world from your point-of-view. As someone who had to part ways with an advocacy group because they weren't representing the whole community, I understand how hard it can be to take that step. But ultimately, you need to always do what makes you comfortable. It's how you live a life with no regrets.

I hope I get to follow you to wherever you write next. Much love.

Prairie Anonymous said...

The title of your blog alone was inspiring to me. I have appreciated and enjoyed your words and stories. Be well.

Geochick said...

Thanks for all you've done to advocate for our community. I've always enjoyed reading your blog and echo missohkay - there were lots of times that I read and thought "I could have written this!"

Rebecca said...

Thank you, too, Katie. I don't know what to say except that I have loved following your journey and have nothing but happiness and support for you and the choices you have made. I'm always here and hope that I can continue to be there for you as you have always been there for me. Much love.

Whitney Anderson said...

So sad to see you go. You have done amazing things for all of us and I'm grateful to have friends like you in this community. I have loved reading your blog and think you are a great writer with a great mix of intellect and wit. I am looking forward to following your new blog. <3

Mic said...

Love you.

Foxy said...

Dear Katie, What a long journey it has been. over Five years? I've been with you for a portion of that and hope that you know how significant your words have been to me, and I know to so many others. You showed me that is was possible to be strong and brave and self-assured while navigating the confusion and sadness that comes with infertility. I celebrated the arrival of your daughter with you, and have loved sharing stories as our children grow. You are an incredible writer, and I hope that you will continue writing, if not as a blogger, then in some other capacity. Thank you for sharing your experience with me, I feel like, well, that you are a friend, and I will miss you... Can we be facebook friends :) ?
much love to you and you and your family continue to grow, xoxo always your friend, Foxy

Becky said...

Your blog was one of the first blogs I started to follow when we were going through problems. It's so sad to see you go, but you've done good no great things for a lot of people. I hope you find your writing voice in another place.

Mellow MW Mama said...

Katie, you and I have been following each other a long time - we started TTC at the same time. Your blog has always been there for me, as have you, and I hope that I've been able to support you in some capacity as well, though I've admittedly not been around in the same way as I once was when I was posting multiple times a week.

I've always found your blog and point of view and advocacy inspiring and important in this community. Thank you for your bravery and sharing your journey with so many and tirelessly advocating for IF for so long.

Your writing is beautiful and eloquent and I'm sure you will succeed in any future writing endeavors.I hope to follow you along there.

Michaela said...

Dear Katie,

You were one of the first blogs I came across when my journey started.

I have cried with you, rallied with you, been angry with you and celebrated with you.

You made me feel like I could move on at times when I didn't think I could.

Thank you for all your support, your courage and your grace!

Sincerity and friendship,
Michaela

someday-soon said...

Thank you!!!! You have put a lot of time and effort into your advocacy work for adoption and IF. I hope this next season of life allows you to put your energy into enjoying your family that you have worked hard for. Maybe you could have a blog just to share that journey, I'd love to follow along if you do =) Take care friend!

Anonymous said...

I think that comment and dialogue was fair game. That is a very common and very real feeling and thought process that was shared. Adoption and parenting after adoption are not the same as creating a life and raising your flesh your blood. Why pretend they are the same or even equal?

Glass Case of Emotion said...

Dearest Anonymous- Two points, though, I know it is worthless.

1) You have a right to your feelings and desire to have biological children. No will argue that here or anywhere. That's not what this about, people are entitled to their feelings and desires. However, hurtful language must be corrected, as in this case it is hurting children/ adoptees. Who also have a right to their feelings.

2) Raising ANY given two children (adopted or not) is not equal as we are all unique and we are not the same parents we were the second, third, fourth, etc time. If you had 2 or more children, or had ever spoken to anyone who has, they would tell you that...

3) Unless you are someone who has raised both biological and adoptive children, I don't think that your opinion is valid on this matter. If you'd like to speak to such people, I'd be happy to put you in contact with several dozen.

4) If you feel that way, I sincerely hope that are no adoptive children in your family.

Or to rephrase it back to you in a way you could understand, "Why even pretend that you know what you are talking about when clearly you do not?"

I would say this to you directly, but alas, you are hiding your opinion behind anonymity. I feel sorry for people like you who have such hatred and fear in your heart. Fear that maybe, just maybe your prejudices are incorrect. Otherwise you would not lash out in such a way. Do take care of yourself, as it sounds like you are in need of it.

And for Katie- Please ignore Anonymous's comments. If they were of any real value, he or she would announce who they were. You get to live on without that kind of anger and hatred in your heart, which is why so many people follow your blog. Keep on trucking. Haters gonna hate, but karma is a bitch, let her take care of it.

missohkay said...

Anonymous,
You're right. Parenting after adoption is NOT the same as raising a child you "created." I'd venture to say it's harder. Not a day goes by when I don't think about my child's future and how I'll help her feel secure and loved and self-confident as an adoptee (and a transracial adoptee at that). Sorry, but using language in the public sphere that undermines any of things deserves to be called out. Politely, but emphatically.

My child, who so far is not old enough to really understand these things (thank goodness), has been witness to numerous offensive and upsetting remarks and questions. Public awareness is the only way this will stop.

No one questioned the very valid FEELING of wanting a biological child, only her expression of it.

Anonymous said...

Glass case... Wow! Filled with hatred, fear and anger? That's what you get from that comment. Hate to have an opinion around you. Retread anon comment and then your reply.... Who is filled with fear and anger?

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing so much over the years. I understand why you have to go.