So you're trying to make a baby and it isn't working.
You're very sad each time it doesn't work and nobody understands. If you have a partner, perhaps he or she doesn't quite get it. It's hard to see pregnant women on the street, at work, on Facebook, or worse, at your cousin's baby shower (where you are asked "When are you going to have a baby?"). There are problems with your sperm so you'll need to use donor sperm. How is that landing with you? How to cope? How long to keep trying? How to sort through and process all of the options that come with modern assisted reproduction including the cost? When is it time to let go? How to heal and move into the next place -- whatever that next place is?
If you're Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans or Queer/Questioning, there are additional dimensions and layers.
Maybe the doctor isn't so nice or it's uncomfortable in the waiting room. Maybe the thought of pregnancy is messing with your differently-gendered body and sense of self. If you're in a female same-sex couple, how is it to peruse the online sperm store for a genetic "father" who will be participating in this pregnancy in a way that is hard to grasp? Whose body will carry the baby you're trying to have? Whose pregnancy is it then?
Adoption is complex.
Maybe you're thinking of adopting because you haven't been able to conceive, carry and birth a biological child, or maybe you just want to for whatever (deeply) personal reason. Maybe you are an adopted person trying to find your birth parent(s), make intimate connections with others, make sense of who you are and what it means. Maybe your partner is an adopted person and it's hard to grasp the way he or she responds to things. Maybe you birthed a child whom someone else adopted whether by kinship or other means and this lives on in you in ways that are uncomfortable or confusing. Wherever you fit (or don't fit) in this constellation, adoption brings intensely personal issues, thoughts and feelings. One's sense of self, other and family is called into question at different times throughout the life cycle as an adoptive parent, an adopted person, a birth mother or someone connected to adoption in another way.
Some issues are the same or similar across sexual orientation, gender and relationship status; some are really different.
Yet we intuitively know that "same" issues are lived differently by each person. I bring my perspective as an adopted person, intimately familiar with chronic pregnancy loss, to your situation in all its complexity. We can figure out how to be in relation to your unique challenges so that next steps become clear and come from a solid, alive and wise place.
jill edelstein is honored to be affiliated with the american fertility association, resolve, the new york state citizens' coalition for children, the adoption/foster care therapist network and the integrative trauma treatment program of the national institute for the psychotherapies.