Even though Grant and Maria are nearly two years old, I still find myself struggling with how to answer certain questions about them. It’s not uncommon for someone who doesn’t know about their beginning to ask who they favor with regards to appearance. I find this a difficult question, not because I don’t want to share about embryo adoption, but because it’s not always convenient to explain our story, especially to someone who saw me pregnant. I’ll blow the question off with a shrug of my shoulders and just say something like “not really sure” or just never really answer the question. Because I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to hide something, I don’t like shrugging it off and I think I need an “elevator speech” for embryo adoption…something that can be done in 30 seconds or less. When I do explain I say “We actually adopted them when they were frozen embryos; they are not genetic to either Jeremy or me. It’s pretty awesome that I got to give birth to my adopted children.” This will generally garner one of two reactions: blank look followed by agreement, or lots of questions. Again, I don’t mind the questions, but sometimes it’s just more than I really care to get into at any given time.
Another thing that I’ve encountered with is people still don’t truly understand the concept of embryo adoption. I’ve found there’s a lot of people who think we used donor eggs or sperm. This came up recently when someone commented on Grant’s tan and I said he is one-quarter Lebanese. From there the look told me she didn’t quite understand I said they were not genetic to either one of us. She was surprised because “they both look like Jeremy” and assumed we just used donor eggs. So, I explained that no, they were actual embryos and spent 7 years frozen and the light bulb came on, “So they were already put together…that’s so cool!”
I assume this is normal in this “brave new world” of embryo adoption and donation. I just wonder if other adoptive parents have had the same experiences and how they respond to such questions and comments?