January 12, 2010

Opening the Closed Door

Filed under: Adoption, Birth mother, Infertility, Preparation — adoptation @ 8:38 pm

When my wife and I were stranded in some of the lowest depths of our infertility struggle, I used RESOLVE to find a local therapist who specialized in fertility issues. During one of our sessions, she used the term “The Closed-Door Room.” We both sat up bolt-straight when we heard it.

The therapist didn’t need to tell us what The Closed-Door Room was. We knew, because we had one.

It’s a room every infertile couple has, the one you’d started out calling The Nursery. But soon you stopped calling it that, then you stopped going into it, then tried not to look in when you walked by, and finally you closed the door and kept it closed.

We’d even had fights about it. TCDR had been one of the places that, during the move-in to our house (the one we’d bought for the baby we were sure was coming so, so soon…) we plopped a lot of boxes and stray furniture. Stuff that didn’t have a place and/or for which there was no hurry to put anywhere. Eventually, my wife wanted to clear out this moving day detritus from TCDR…but as much as it pained me to know that this was no longer The Nursery, I couldn’t quite cope with the idea of the room being completely and absolutely empty. Every few months she’d want to clean it up; every time, I’d get angry and despondent at the thought.

So the door stayed mainly closed for a couple of years. It’s near the top of the stairs, and there’s no getting around the fact that we both needed to walk by it several times a day. But we didn’t go in very often, and at least we didn’t have to look into this space that had not yet stopped—and after awhile felt like it may never stop—being TCDR.

Then we got The Call. And then we had contact with the baby’s birth mom. And then, fairly quickly, it started to seem real.

And then we opened the door.

My wife has almost finished painting the walls and touching up the trim. We’ve ordered some furniture, measured the spaces and laid out where the crib would go, where the changing table would be, how we would keep the diaper bin from being too terribly close to where the baby would sleep. We saw how it could be, and believed it. We even started calling it The Nursery again.

And even if, for some reason, this adoption is disrupted, this experience has made us both believe that it will happen for us, and sooner rather than later. I think we’ll be able to keep the door open, walk by it every day, look in, and feel good about our chances of closing it again with a baby asleep on the other side.



  1. It will happen, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. Our CDR still has the door closed, but it looks like a nursery, somewhat on the inside. While I can’t open the door and leave it open just yet, I do go in about once a day to just see…and look…and dream.

    It will happen!

    Comment by Nicole — January 13, 2010 @ 7:35 am

    • You are tougher than I am; there’s no way I could have made daily trips into TCDR. It was bad enough that I occasionally had to grab something out of the closet in there. (Now I have to move everything in that closet to somewhere else in the house!)

      Comment by adoptation — January 13, 2010 @ 10:41 am

  2. Wow, it was so nice to read we’re not alone with our CDR, thanks for this post & congratulations to you & your wife at reaching this point in your journey!

    Comment by Rebecca — January 16, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

    • Thanks Rebecca. I think the best side-effect of this whole blog thing is the “It’s not just me” part.

      Comment by adoptation — January 16, 2010 @ 6:07 pm

  3. I couldn’t agree more…I just started a blog myself & love looking at other peoples stories. It helps tremendously to not feel as alone with infertility.

    Comment by Rebecca — January 16, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

    • Indeedy – it can be very isolating. I can’t wait to close the book on this story and move onto the sequel…

      Comment by adoptation — January 16, 2010 @ 9:10 pm

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