IVF VS. ADOPTION, WHY WE CHOSE ADOPTION-A MULTIRACIAL FAMILY’S JOURNEY TO TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION

IVF VS. ADOPTION, WHY WE CHOSE ADOPTION-A MULTIRACIAL FAMILY’S JOURNEY TO TRANSRACIAL ADOPTION

Tell Us About Your Family?

Hi, I’m Alexis.  I’m a stay at home mom who works harder than she ever did in the private sector but, that’s just parenthood, right?!?!  I’m married to a great man who also happens to be a pediatrician.  As it turns out, we ended up really needing his physician connections.  We have a 4.5 year old son, who was born with a very rare kidney condition.  He’s strong, confident, and keeping him healthy is a full time job. When he was a baby we couldn’t imagine having more children.  I couldn’t see past the day to day struggles of keeping him healthy.  As the years went by and the hospitalizations started happening less frequently we started daydreaming of more children.  I am one of three children, and the oldest of my sisters, who are twins.  And my husband is also one of three as well.

A Difficult Pregnancy

Additionally, I had a difficult pregnancy and we knew there was a chance that it could happen again.  Therefore, we consulted with a fertility specialist to see what our options were.  IVF was a possibility but couldn’t guarantee a smooth pregnancy.  We wanted to expand our family so decided we would give it a try.  Insurance denied coverage of the IVF.  Hence, we appealed and waited for their response…

IVF And Adoption-Making A Choice

One night, while we were out with some mom friends, one mom, Rose, shared a story of a birth mom who had contacted her about finding a family for her unborn twins.  Rose is a surrogacy attorney and doesn’t handle adoptions, but something about the story resonated with her. She shared the story at dinner on Nov 3, 2016.  I said “Rose, maybe these are meant to be my babies,” and I texted my husband, right then and there,“ do you want to adopt 28 week old twins”?  To which, he promptly replied, “sure”.  The table had a good laugh and that subject was dropped.  The next morning we received two messages.  1st, insurance approved our first set of IVF tests and 2nd was a text from Rose that read, “I don’t know if you were serious last night but, I contacted the birth mom and she would like to speak with you, are you available in 30 minutes?”.  On November 4, 2016 we responded to only one of those two messages and, 30 minutes later I was speaking to Sarah, our daughters birth mom.

Welcoming Our Twin Daughters Into The World

On Nov 7, 2016 we met Sarah in person and on Nov 9, 2016 we entered into a contract through an open adoption agency.  On Nov 10, 2016 we met with our daughters birthfather, and two months later on Jan 12th, 2017 we welcomed our daughters into this world at around 4am.  I held Sarah’s head in the delivery room while she pushed Lennox first, and then Lincoln.  It was truly a miracle to be present for the birth of our daughters.  And an honor to cut both umbilical cords, transitioning our daughters from the woman who gave them life, to the woman who would teach them how to live, learn and love.

When You Were Starting The Adoption Process, What Shaped Your Views On Transracial Adoption, And If It Was Right For Your Family? 

The open adoption process, we went through, required us to answer many questions around our comfort level with transracial adoption. Being biracial myself I didn’t think twice about entering into a transracial adoption.  I grew up with a Black dad, and a Caucasian/Jewish Mom.  So learning that our daughters racial background was an Indian birthfather and Caucasian birthmother seemed like a perfect match to us.  We ourselves are a biracial family, I am mixed and my husband is Caucasian.  We are already raising a multiracial child.  Again, the pieces just seemed to fit and we started to educate ourselves.

How Did You Educate Yourself Before Adopting Your Twins?

We talked extensively about how we would honor our daughters Indian culture, and expose them to “people who looked like them”.  We reached out to our friends and friends of friends, and started to build a community of Indian contacts whom we could call on when the time came.  We read books and watched programs and learned about the different Indian holidays, and talked about which ones we would want to incorporate into our family.  After our girls were born social media became a huge support for me.  I’ve made friends across the globe who have been a huge source of guidance and information.

What Was Your First Thought When You Held Your Twins For The First Time?

My first thought was “a miracle happened, and she is in my arms, and my goodness is she beautiful!”  I know it sounds corny but I knew they were conceived for us.  God’s plan had worked, and on January 12th, 2017 we went from a family of 3 to a family of 5.

Have You Had Any Offensive Or Strange Comments? If So, What Are Some Examples?

Interestingly enough, the only strange comment we have got so far was from a woman who was looking at all three of my children, and remarked “is he (my bio son) yours?”  Since my girls complexion is identical to mine, whereas my son is fairer.  I actually had more offensive comments made when my son was a baby about “is he yours”, than I’ve had about the girls.

This is not offensive or strange but, I have had Indian people ask me if my husband was Indian after looking at the girls.  I say no, and usually explain.  As a family, we are very open about our adoption and speak freely about it inside and outside the home.

How Do You Plan To Approach Heritage, Cultural History, Or Cultural Celebrations?

We will continue to educate ourselves and be open to our daughters desires as they grow.  We may think celebrating Holi is important but, as they get older they will find other cultural events that’s resonate with them.  We want to be remain open to where their hearts lead them.  Like much of life, we will all learn as we go but, creating an environment conducive to cultural research and exploration is key for us.

Do You Have Any Tips For Other Families Considering Transracial Adoption?

Be honest with yourself about what it means to raise child from a different culture than your own.  Love is important but it’s not the only thing a child needs. We all want to belong or fit somewhere, make sure you are open, and able to create a space where your child can feel like they “fit” socially, culturally and emotionally.

 

What did you think of Alexis and her family’s phenomenal and transformative journey to transracial adoption? Has this dynamic story helped you to believe in miracles?  Thanks again, Alexis for sharing your story! You have such a gorgeous family!  Feel free to write a comment below!
Have a question for us?  Write us at growingupgupta@gmail.com
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