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IOH Founder Lahle successfully adopted three children after years of failed infertility treatment.

Lahle has PCOS, type 2 diabetes and Hashimoto's thyroiditis -- all of which contributed to her infertility problems.

Do you have an adoption story that you want to share with others?

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Adoption Information - Editorial
Adoption Advice From the Heart of an Adoptive Mother

Article disclaimer

There are many reasons to consider adoption.  Couples who are infertile or have had trouble either conceiving a first child, or complications with a prior pregnancy, may wish to consider building a family through adoption.  For some women, getting pregnant may not be the issue, but she may have a medical condition that makes pregnancy a concern (such as with diabetes) for the mother and/or baby.  Sometimes, the issue is related to an existing condition in either a man or woman that could be genetically transmitted to a biological child (see genetic transmission of diabetes).  Or, a couple/family may simply wish to open their heart and home to a child.  My reason was because I suffered from primary infertility from   (PCOS).  No matter what the reason is for considering adoption, it is a wonderful way to create families and well worth researching. 

Having adopted three beautiful, amazing, fabulous children myself, I am a strong advocate of creating families through adoption. Families are created through biology, marriage, and adoption, and no particular way is better than the other;  families are about relationships.  At first, I did not consider adoption, instead wanting to believe all the well-meaning folk who simply told me to "relax, you are trying too hard, and it will happen," I kept hoping and trying. 

Years went by, and even infertility treatments did not produce a baby. I felt like a failure;  an incomplete women, unable to do something that even snails can do with ease – procreate.  After 8 years of trying to “relax” I resigned to my fate – to be childless.  I cried every time I saw a baby, whether in a mother’s arms in the grocery store, or on a TV commercial.  I avoided every possible social function where there would be children and never went to baby showers.  I rubbed my tummy, grieving a loss for the child not yet conceived.

I had prepared a nursery at the beginning of my infertility treatments, thoroughly convinced that simply wanting something this badly was enough to eventually, magically get me pregnant:  The room that sat empty for three years.  One day, I sat in the rocking chair intended for me and the baby that wasn’t and just cried for hours.  I shook, and wailed, and shouted out all the pent-up years of anger, sadness and longing until I was so hoarse I could not even speak.  I never bought into the “it’s God’s will you be childless” so many had “comforted” me with and now I demanded an answer as to why my steadfast faith had not produced a child.

When I was all sobbed out, a stillness in my heart settled in, and peace swept over me.  God finally answered my prayers for children (I was greedy and always wanted more than one) but not in the manner I expected.  Instead of healing my body so I could become pregnant, He instead imparted wisdom to me.  Pressed quietly, deeply, into my heart a simple question was born that changed my life forever.

“Do you really want a baby, or do you just want to get pregnant?”

 For me, the answer was easy.  I don’t know why this simple introspection had never occurred to me.  But the sudden, spontaneous realization came, that children last a lifetime; pregnancy only nine months.  I was so focused on conception that I never realized the really important thing to me was simply becoming a mommy.

I did a lot of research (you should too) and talked with other parents who had built their own family through adoption and came to the decision to adopt domestically.  I laboriously chose an agency, and filled out the application.  The social worker called immediately and invited my then-husband and I to an intake meeting only two weeks away.  I was delighted!  Later, the social worker told me the reason we were invited so quickly was not because I had filled out an application better than other families, but because of the way I had not filled out the application.  At the top of the long list of preferences for a child, including sex, ethnicity, physical description, and objections to medical problems, and in-utero exposure, I ignored everything and simply wrote:  “Criteria: human child to hold and to love.”

Six months from the day I mailed that application I was holding a beautiful, six-month-old baby boy in my arms.  A few years later, a baby girl joined our family; a sweet, angelic baby, easy to care for, and easy to love.  The entire process from application to placement was four months.  Thirteen months later, a baby boy was placed in my arms in less than 5 months.

All three of my adopted children were classified as “hard to place” for reasons even harder for me to understand -- babies that other families, who could have been blessed with, would not even consider hearing about.  There is no lecture intended here – not every child is suited for every family and I did not set out to save the world, only to adopt a child, species: human, but everything else would be considered secondary. 

No decent social worker will try to convince a couple to take just any child so it is critical that you be honest with yourself and your social worker as to what you are comfortable with.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with knowing your own limitations and desires and you should not be hesitant to tell the truth.  But do try to remember that each child is unique and problems come in varying degrees. 

My children deserve their privacy so I will not share details of their personal stories here on the Internet but will say that if I had checked “no” to substance abuse, pregnancy complications, or limited a child by race, I would not have any one of my children. My willingness to consider many possibilities (consideration is not the same thing as blindly saying “yes” to a child you know nothing about) on a case-by-case basis came from the heart and was not a ploy to get a child faster.  Even I had one restriction:  no “open” adoptions and made it known up front.  If some situation is just not right for you, say so and say so without guilt.  But talk with your social worker and suggest that your ideal preference is may be one way, but you might be open to considering other possibilities on a case-by-case basis.  For example, not all babies exposed to drugs have problems and not all “drug-free” babies are problem-free.

There are two important things to consider for all couples who may be battling infertility:

  1. If your goal is pregnancy – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this – adoption is probably not a choice you are ready to consider now, if at all.
  2. If simply building a family is your goal, even if you are still trying to conceive, then start looking into adoption as possible because the process can often take years to complete (just don't tell your social worker that you are still actively trying to concieve, this will be considered a "strike" against you).

If you are interested in learning more about the adoption process, the following links offer information and resources.

To see pictures of Lahle’s “Miracle Four” children, visit “Meet the Founder.”

I wish you all the best and blessings for however you choose to create your family....

                 Lahle Wolfe
                 Islets of Hope Founder


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Page Updated 05/16/2006