ART of IF

The official blog of the traveling art exhibit and oral history project, ART of Infertility.

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An ART of IF Update - Two Perspectives on Adoption Part 2

In part two of our perspectives on adoption, Elizabeth shares her story. #whatiwantyoutoknow #NIAW2021


"The Best Nest"


There’s so much of my story that I want to tell. The truth is, like many stories, it’s not just mine. So I feel I need to be careful about how I tell it.


What I can tell you is that last spring, I learned I would become the mother of a baby girl through adoption. It was both completely unexpected and everything I ever wanted. For four and a half months, after 11 years of infertility, I was allowed to dream again.


I attended doctors appointments, shopped for a crib, and even picked out a name. Then, one day, it ended as quickly as it began. I was sitting on a park bench with a friend in Detroit when I got the news. The baby wasn’t to be mine after all.


There’s a children’s book from the 1960s, The Best Nest, by P.D. Eastman. The book begins with Mr. Bird singing, “I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world my nest is best.” But Mrs. Bird isn’t having it. She declares she hates it and convinces Mr. Bird to look for a new place to live. They search high and low, an old shoe, a mailbox, a church steeple, but there’s something wrong with each place.


At one point, the birds are separated from each other. Mr. Bird searches for Mrs. Bird everywhere but is unable to find her. In a rain storm, he crashes into his old house, where he decides to take refuge. Inside, he finds Mrs. Bird singing a familiar tune. “I love my house, I love my nest, in all the world, this nest is best.”


Surprised, Mr. Bird declares, “I thought you hated this old place!” But, Mrs. Bird smiles, saying, “I used to hate it, but a mother bird can change her mind.” She steps away to reveal a perfect blue egg. The book ends with their baby bird hatching.


I remember loving this book as a child. It wasn’t until I was an adult, when I curled up to read it with my niece, that I realized it could be interpreted as a book about infertility.


Many days I feel like Mrs. Bird. There’s something that is just a bit off and I’m consumed by the thought of it. It takes up so much of my energy. It distracts me from my work and keeps me from being fully present with those I love. The disrupted adoption has made me feel this more than ever and I’m sad and angry. Angry because, before this happened, I was really starting to feel at peace. Now, I feel as if I’m faced with even more decisions and I’m scared. What if I make the wrong one? What if I make the right one and I still don’t feel at peace? What if I’m never happy with my nest?

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