Two weeks ago, my specialist sat me down.
She couldn’t look at me; and I knew.
Finally, her eyes met mine. She told me that we are at the end of the line. That, there is nothing left to try.
This last treatment is final, in every sense of the word.
I will continue to swallow these tablets. I will continue to haemorrhage.
And then I will say enough is enough.
And we will stop.
Some people will say that I am giving up.
When my best friend was dying of Cancer, she sobbed to me. ‘I just can’t keep doing treatment Jess. I need to stop. I don’t want people to think I am giving up’.
I still remember the night. She was sixteen, I was eighteen. We were too young to hold such conversations.
And I remember what I said to her.
Stopping treatment isn’t giving up; There are a million ways to fight, and they have nothing to do with treatment.
And she thanked me. I couldnt’ understand why. We were best friends; That’s what best friends do.
But now I understand.
Sometimes, we need permission. We need someone to tell us that it is okay, and that it is time to stop.
And I am nearly ready. Once I finish this packet of medication, I am going to stop all heroic efforts to save my fertility.
And silence will follow.
I will likely never hear the heart beat on a foetal monitor.
I will likely never hear the raw, angry first cry of a newborn, baby still attached to mother.
And I will never likely hear someone tell me “Congratulations. You have given birth to a boy/girl”.
Do you want to know the most tragic part of this?
I am not alone.
And yet everyone is so fucking silent.
The doctors do not talk, and the teachers do not explain.
The nurses do not warn, and the students turn their heads.
We are a society in which we bury our heads in the sands of infertility, and thank our stars that it is not us.
Can you imagine not being able to fall pregnant? There could be nothing worse!
And you continue on with your day, and our broken tragedies are forgotten amongst the chores of the day and the exam you must study for.
A few weeks ago, a specialist shattered my future into a million pieces.
And if it wasn’t enough, the Australian Government decided to follow.
Just twelve days later, on the 28th of June, 2012, the Australian Government announced that it was closing it’s Ethiopian Adoption program.
100 families were in this program, awaiting the approval to adopt a child when the program was closed.
And for the majority, the term ‘family’ was anything but. That is why these families were in this program in the first place.
100 families, who have been awaiting a child on this program for up to 10 years, have been told that they will now not be able to adopt a child.
They will no longer be able to have a family.
It is also against Australian Adoption Regulations to undergo fertility treatment whilst on the adoption program.
This means that, for these families, it is mostly too late for them to now try fertility treatments as another option.
Some people, and particularly the media, present the idea that adoption is an ‘easy way out’. That it is a simple process, without the ‘reality’ of birthing. In essence, a pre packaged child.
Here is the link to the Australian Inter-country Adoption requirements. It is 22, 353 words of requirements to be a parent. http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/documents-and-resources/reports-publications/intercountry-adoption-service-information-kit
These requirements assess every single aspect of an individuals life. Hopeful families are subjected to physical, emotional, mental, educational and financial scrutiny.
So, while paedophiles, abusers, alcoholics and heroin addicts can conceive a child with no government intervention, those of us who cannot conceive due to Serious Illness are subjected to being judged at every point and turn.
And we understand, these children are precious. A child cannot just be given to anyone; This can only happen when you can conceive naturally.
I have been told that to cover the financial costs of adopting a child later on in life, when I am married, I should begin a savings account now.
I am twenty years old, and in my first year of University. I do not even have a boyfriend.
So, while my friends pay for holidays, new cars and phones, I need to begin putting my money aside for a child that I may never even be approved to have.
The Australian Government, as usual, has provided a statement. Here is their statement as to the reasoning of ending the Ethiopian Adoption Program;
The Government has concluded that this uncertainty, combined with obstacles to operating the Program in a sustainable and ethical way into the future, means the program needs to be closed”
So why was the program closed?
“Ethiopian children in need increasingly have alternative long-term care options made available to them”.
This means, that rather than going to a loving family, where the child will receive individual care, love and support, they can languish in over crowded orphanages and “children’s homes”. The same homes that Australian’s raise fund for, because the orphanages are in such poor condition, without adequate shelter, food, medical or educational supplies.
“Arrangements with service provider”. The programs service provider ‘Wide horizons for children’ has decided to ‘partially relocate its resources and shift it’s focus to humanitarian activities’ rather than care for orphans within Ethiopia. And so, rather than find another suitable service provider, the Australian Government has chosen to simply end their affiliation, and not replace it. So now, the children of Ethiopia have lost both the work of ‘Wide horizons for children’ as well as the Australian Government.
“Changes regarding children in need of adoption and increasing costs”. The Australian Government has written that Non-government adoption agencies in Ethiopia has led to increased competition for referrals.
Yet, despite what the Government has tried to convey, the number of children requiring adoption has not changed.
The Government has also written “Rising costs for adoption program essentials (such as food and accommodation) mean that, if the program was to continue, prospective parents would also face increasing costs.”
I am sure that if the Government were to ask the 100 couples on the Ethiopian Adoption program if they would mind incurring some extra costs in their quest for a family, the families would not hesitate.
I dare say that many would sign over their homes, if that’s what it took.
So here are the facts;
More children are being placed in orphanages and “children’s homes” which cannot adequately care for a child, and this is seen as a greater alternative to a child having a family to love and cherish them.
Rising costs mean that the Australian Government no longer believes the program can continue, and that malnourished orphans cannot be placed into a loving family. This is the same Government which provides it’s workers with company cars which can be in excess of $80,000.
And if these words are not enough, they sat that pictures speak 1000 words.
My name is Jess. I am a young woman from Australia. I am facing never being able to have children due to Serious Illness.
This is Faith, a young orphan from Ethiopia. She is facing not having a future, due to poverty and malnutrition.
This is the belly of a pregnant woman.
This is my belly, which is riddled with reproductive disease.
This is the belly of a malnourished child in Ethiopia.
This is the home of the Australian Prime Minister.
This is the cribs in an Ethiopian Orphanage.
This is the home of an Australian family wanting to adopt.
Maybe I am over simplifying the situation.
But from where I stand, it really is simple.
I just want to know;
Does this make sense to you?
Because it doesn’t make sense to me.