Turns out I’m not the first person to have strong aversions to these things even while pursuing them, but there usually are reasons.
I know of one infertile woman who became pregnant with a donor egg baby, only to immediately regret doing it because she didn’t feel bonded with the pregnancy. The root of her story was that she was physically abused by her father as a child, and her way of coping with the beatings was to tell herself, “at least we look alike, so I know he still loves me.” She’d subconsciously learned that children must look like their parents for there to be love between them, and that’s something she had to un-learn before she could bond with the baby she was carrying, which took some work, but she eventually did.
Then there’s this other woman whose husband wanted to adopt even though she hated the idea. Turned out that it was her mother’s recent passing that was the issue. Her sadness wasn’t so much that the kid wouldn’t have a genetic connection to her (although that was a part of it), but rather than the kid wouldn’t have a genetic connection to her mom, and that loss was more than she’d prepared for. What she discovered was that she needed to grieve some more before being able to fill out adoption paperwork. She now has 2 adopted children, and she adores them both.
I have a story like this. In fact, I have two of them, but I’m not going to write about them here. There’s a part of me that feels like I should because I want to justify things I’ve written in the past by sharing the traumas and vulnerabilities that made me into a person who would feel that way, but I can’t do that here.
The point of all this is to say that I know I’m as messed up as anyone, and possibly more so. At best, I’m a work in progress. The good news, however, is that a part of this progress involves therapy to help me overcome the traumas that made it difficult for me to want to raise a child that I’m not genetically related to.
The other good news is that I’m getting there.