Did that just happen?

So…I have to attend a mandatory 3-4 hour “assessment” through my company’s employee assistance plan provider to “validate” the assessment of my medical doctor and registered psychologist. This is standard for anyone “claiming” mental illness as a reason to be off work. 

I understand process and I accept that it’s a requirement. But the choice of wording and language is poor. 

But it gets better. 

When I called my assigned nurse to inquire about the length of the assessment (seems excessive to me), she gave me the explanation and then…(she is aware of the background of how I ended up on leave)…

Her: You know, I just wanted to tell you a story about a former colleague of mine that wasn’t able to have children…

Me: [mentally preparing myself for the inevitable “just relax” story]

Her:…and they ended up adopting two children and they were so happy and they were able to help out another family. 

Me: I see. [in my head: did you honestly just go there?! Did you honestly think that we haven’t thought about adoption?! FML]

The conversation ended quickly after that. 

Why do so many people think adoption is a substitution for biological children? What’s even more baffling to me is that it  is almost always people with children who bring it up. Don’t they love having a connection to their kids? Seeing their eyes and their husband’s hair? His temper and her sass? If it’s so much the same – why didn’t they adopt? Did they not have the deep rooted animal desire to have their own offspring? And if so, why can’t they understand?!

The decision to grow your family through adoption is a very serious one. It’s a choice not easily made, it involves a lot of soul searching and introspection. It’s not as simple as replacing one desire for another. The wonderful My Perfect Breakdown has illustrated this journey so beautifully – it’s a must-read for anyone wanting to understand what adoption really means to a family. 

Not only is mental illness poorly understood, so is infertility.  We need to start a dialogue on both. 



4 thoughts on “Did that just happen?

  1. I cannot believe a paid professional would suggest such that someone just adopt!! Completely unacceptable. I’m appalled, and yet sadly not surprised.
    I think all the paid professionals in my life never once suggested adoption as if it were an easy “fix” to have children. I think some even actually cautioned us we began investigating adoption. There is nothing easy about adoption and as a mother who adopted, I can assure you it doesn’t “fix” everything. Yes, I love my son with everything in me, but I still grieve our lost babies, the lack of his daddies smile, my inability to breastfeed, etc. And, I also grieve for a mother who is not holding her son every single day that I am. Adoption is beyond complicated and as you say, adoption is not an easy decision. And I’d add that it’s not for everyone and that’s okay!
    Also, thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. I’m honoured!


  2. I couldn’t agree more! And I’ve just been through a similar situation at work (I need to register every absence due to appointment and then fill out some forms every time, so my company can be reimbursed for my absent hours). I had to contact someone in the financial dept because there was something wrong with my forms.. Anyways, this lady was very rude and I lost it and started crying (yes, always fun crying at work like a lunatic), so she started telling me, ‘don’t worry, I promise you will have a baby!! I PROMISE you!! It worked for me, so it will work for you. Just relax!’ I wanted to slap her in the face!!! How can people assume it’s appropriate for a stranger to promise me something not even the best doctors can??!! Of course, what is written in the paper is infertility, so she doesn’t know the details of my case (and she shouldn’t assume it’s all the same)! Just as with you, why people just assume what worked for one person is the solution to all?? And I really understand your concerns with adoption, I have many myself. Sorry for the long rant. Hope you feel a bit better soon. Hugs


  3. I’m sorry that nurse forgot her role and treated you with no compassion. Totally unacceptable. People need to just do their job and not stick their nose in someone else’s business. I’m so sorry.


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