I took this photo one day last year when we visited the London Women’s Clinic. At the time, the graffiti struck me as out of place in white-washed Harley Street. Looking back now, it seems strangely appropriate.
Let me just take a moment here to bring you bang-up-to-date. It’s been a while since the last blog but we haven’t been slacking. Oh no. We’ve been painstakingly putting a plan into action. So I got the new job, tick. It’s going great. Creatively more fulfilled, I know I’ll be a better parent leading by a better example.
Next up, we needed our house to play ball. We live in the worst catchment area in the whole of Berkshire – and we knew we’d thank ourselves for going through the trauma of a move, pre-child. We’ve spent the last few months trawling over maps to pin-point our ideal place to live. We found somewhere and, fingers crossed, it’s going through.
But we couldn’t feel smug about our plans coming together for too long. Because then came that fateful afternoon at Starbucks. We were sat in the sun and working through the math of moving. We agreed, for the millionth time, “We can’t touch the baby money,” a reference to the sacred pool of money we’ve saved and saved for our treatment at the clinic.
And then I realised, I don’t feel good.
I’ve never felt right about turning our backs on adoption. Having a child biologically always seemed like the easier option – there’s nobody judging our right to be parents in this scenario. Provided we stump up the cash, we’re fully reliant on our own biology and a unhealthy dose of chemicals to see us through. But deep down, as much as my partner likes the idea of carrying a child, we know it’s not the right option for us.
You see, I feel like our adoptive children are out there, right now. I don’t feel good about putting our bodies through a traumatic experience – not to mention exposing us to the increased risk of cancer that fertility treatment can cause. I don’t feel good about bringing another child into the world when there’s one or two out there already who need a brilliant family like ours. I don’t feel good about spending a load of cash on having a baby, when we could use it to give another child a great start in life. And I don’t feel good about the clinic.
If you’ve ever been to the Riverside in Reading, you’ll know it’s an unlikely setting for an epiphany. Nevertheless, on that afternoon, we both had the same flash of realisation. Adoption was back on the table. The more we talked, the more it seemed like the right thing to do. It seems like we had to go all around the houses, just to arrive back home. Yes, it’s the scary option. Yes, it’s completely out of our control. But the decision is made. And I feel good.