Sunday, January 31, 2010

Profile Changes

I got it in my head on Thursday that I wanted to take new pictures for our adoption profile. The pictures of our house that are in there have always bugged me.

So, I began cleaning and moving things around. I made my Mom come over after work to help me. We changed the living room all around and took some good pictures. I also took a bunch of random pictures around the house so I had choices when it came time to make the new pages.

I actually got so obsessive that I took some pictures of the living room, uploaded them on to the computer, stared at them to pick out what I didn't like, then went back to the living room to change the angle I was taking the picture, or to move something in the room, or change the lighting. I am finally happy with how the pages about our house look.

I even decided to change a couple other pages while I was at it. I spent hours working on our profile. I even had a mini meltdown about how badly I want these changes to make a difference.

I worked on it all night on Friday and then got up early Saturday morning to finish. Adam took the new pages to Kinkos to make copies and then brought them to the post office to send to our adoption agency.

Hopefully they will get it Monday morning and be able to take out the old pages and add the new ones before the expectant mother looks at them this week. I don't know what day she will be looking at all the profiles, but I know I am going to be jumping up everytime the phone rings this week.

After 18 months of waiting, could this be the week we get THE call?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Hope

This morning we received an e-mail from our adoption agency about an expectant mother who is due in April. It was a mass e-mail sent out to everyone, so it was a little different than the times the agency has called us specifically about a situation.

It took a couple hours of e-mails back and forth between Adam and I before I convinced him to let me call for more information. There were a few risks involved that made Adam nervous. Sometimes I think seeing them all listed together in one e-mail can be more overwhelming to him.

I called for more information about the new case, but first they said they had an update about the Indiana case we were being profiled for. I think it's safe to say we are never going to hear an answer about that one. The expectant mother seems to have disappeared. It was obviously a big disappointment...

BUT, I had a great conversation with our family advocate about the new case. After talking about it for a long time, I let her know we want to be profiled.

The more and more I think about this situation, the more I think it's a really good fit for us.

I have been happy about it all afternoon.

The expectant mother will be looking at our profile next week.
Until then I will be here with my fingers and toes crossed hoping, hoping, hoping she picks us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

18 Months

Today makes 18 months that we have been "home study ready" and waiting to adopt.

A full year and a half.

I never thought we would still be waiting at this point.

I have been sick with some sort of stomach virus this week. It's really hard to have a job you can never call in sick to.

I am still not sleeping well. Ever since the surgery I have had problems with insomnia. I bet if I could afford therapy they would find I have a lot of unresolved feelings about my surgery.

It's just been a really hard week and it's only Tuesday.

We are still waiting to hear what happened with our profile being sent to an expectant mother in Indiana. It's been two weeks so I am not feeling very hopeful about it at this point. Although sometimes it does take this long.

Have I mentioned lately how much I hate waiting?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Wished for You by Marianne Richmond

This is my third post in a series of posts about adoption themed children's books. If you would like to know more about why I am writing about this topic, go here.

My first post was about A Mother for Choco.
My second post was about Horace.

I received I Wished for You as a gift last May. I have to admit I never read the whole thing until doing this review. When I got it, I opened it and started to read, but could not get very far without crying because it talks a lot about waiting for him. Wishing for him during her everyday activities and through all the phone calls and paperwork. The little boy in the story loves to hear that he was his Mom's wish come true.

This time around I was a little more prepared for it being a tear jerker, but still cried when it came to the part where the mom found out her wish was coming true. She said, " I told all my friends...and they hugged me and cried, too....Everyone knew how much I had been wishing for you." I have dreamed of that day for a very long time. I want nothing more than to be able to call my Mom and tell her she is going to be a Grandma. I know so many people that will be celebrating with us the day we get THE call. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it.

Before you decide whether this book is right for your family, you should know that it does talk about God. For example it says, "Of all the children in the whole wide world, God picked you for me."

You should also know that some questions that adopted children may ask are answered in this book. These questions may or may not be answered the way you would like them to be, so I am including a couple of them in this post so you can decide for yourself:
Question: "What about the mama who grew me in her tummy?...Didn't she wish for me too?"

Answer: "Sometimes a mama will grow a baby in her belly, and for all kinds of reasons, she'll decide she cannot be the very best mama she wants to be. The mama who grew you loved you enough to make a different wish- a wish for a family who would love her little one with a total and adoring love. The kind of love I have for you."

Question: "Me and you are in the same family, but we don't look the same. You have dark fur, and I have light fut with brown ears. Is this okay?"

Answer: "Some families look alike, and others don't. All families are different. What makes a family is their love for each other."
I think I Wished for You is a great adoption book. It really captures a lot of the emotions I have felt during my wait in a way that is appropriate for sharing with your child. I think this story would work for both international and domestic adoption.

Horace by Holly Keller

This is my second post in a series of posts about adoption themed children's books. If you would like to know more about why I am writing about this topic, go here.

Like A Mother for Choco, Horace is a good book for young children. 

Horace is a leopard being raised by tiger parents. The book starts off talking about his life with his parents- their house, the bedtime story he goes to sleep to every night, playing checkers with his Dad, his Mom making him slippers...and even the things he doesn't like, like eating oatmeal and brushing his teeth.

Then at his birthday party, when he was surrounded by his tiger relatives, he started wondering why he looked different from everyone else.

He tried drawing on himself to turn his spots into stripes. (The school-age kids I read this book to loved that part because it looks like he is doing a dot-to-dot picture on himself.) He cut pictures of leopards out of magazines and hung them up, and he even had a dream about being with animals that looked like him.

He decided to try and go out in the world and find animals like him. He found a family of leopards at a park and he had a great time playing with them, but then he got homesick. He realized that his family was not the group who looked like him, but the parents back at his house that he loved.

He left to go home and ran into his parents who were looking for him.

His Mom told him the same bedtime story she always tells him, but this time he stays awake through the whole things and hears: "We chose you when you were a tiny baby because you had lost your first family and needed a new one. We liked your spots, and we wanted you to be our child."

He then decides he wants to choose them too.

Horace is an adoption themed children's book that does not use the word adoption. It is geared towards young children. This book may be a good way to begin a discussion about differences in appearance between you and your child.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thank You

As I promised in a previous post, here is the picture of the awesome gift basket from some of my twitter gals:

Adam took this picture the night it came.

I was in the worst pain of my life, but when this gift basket came, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I was amazed by the generousity of people who only knew me through twitter. They are the best support system in the world. Having them to talk to as I went through all of this made a huge difference. I don't know if I could have emotionally handled having a hysterectomy if it weren't for their daily support.

This gift basket came at the perfect time and meant so much to me.

Thank you to Jenn (@Amaprincess), Daneen (@PCOSChick), Holly (@ready2bmom), Carrie (@Caretta74), Becca (@TTC_Queen), Kate (@BustedKate), Roxanne (@Quest4BabyHang), Kaitlin (@ahmymarriedlife), and Heather (@FertilityChick).

I appreciate it more than you'll ever know!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Being Profiled

We got a call during the day on Tuesday from our adoption agency about a profiling opportunity in Indiana.

After being told all the details about the opportunity, I found out the price and had a complete meltdown. Apparently the price for out of state has gone up. Up from an amount we already could not afford.

For the first few months of being "homestudy ready," we were not profiled for out of state cases because we told them we could not afford it. But, after a while I realized that out of state cases make up about a third of all cases and we just could not close ourselves off to that many opportunities. So, we agreed to be profiled for those cases, knowing that if we were chosen we would need to take out ANOTHER loan.

So, the price going up even more was a huge deal. I actually cried on the phone. I could not help it. I had to tell them I would call back after talking to Adam about it.

I was a total chicken and e-mailed the case details to Adam at work and told him about the price change. I didn't have the guts to call him because I didn't want to hear him say no. He completely shocked me and wrote back to say yes. He said after all this time he doesn't even care about money anymore. He pointed out that there is a big chance we won't be chosen anyway, so we should just say yes and find out. Which is what I had hoped he would say.

I just have to know we did everything we could. I don't want to keep wondering what if this was the time we would have been chosen.

And ever since we said yes to being profiled, all I can think is......


I don't care about the cost.  Please, please, please pick us!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cancer Free

I had my post-op appointment today and I am officially cancer free!!!

In typical Dr. House fashion, my oncologist stood in the doorway the entire time and the appointment was over in less than ten minutes.

But, it was all good news!

The cancer was definitely only stage one and they got it all during surgery. In fact, there was very little left in there after my D&C in November.

I require no further treatment.

I don't even have to have my follow-up appointments with my oncologist. I will be going to my gynocologist to be checked every six months for the first two years and then once a year after that.

I could not have made it through the past month and a half without all the love and support I have received. If you are reading this, then YOU are who I am talking about! Thank you so much!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post-Op Appointment

I have my post-op appointment tomorrow at 11.

If you don't know why I am dreading seeing my oncologist, click here.

I would have thought if it were good news, he would have called me by now to let me know.

This is how my mind works. I start to think that if it were good news, he would have called me by now to tell me everything is fine and not to worry. But the fact that he is waiting until my appointment must mean it is bad news and he is waiting to tell me in person with Adam there.

When my gynocologist first told me of my diagnosis, she apologized for doing it over the phone. She said usually this sort of thing is done in person in an appointment. So, that has been in the back of my mind.

BUT, I know how I am. I know I worry too much about everything and that a lot of the time, it is a whole lot of worrying for nothing.

So, I am going to keep reminding myself that my oncologist is an ass. He isn't sitting there thinking, "Oh, I bet Lisa would feel a lot better if I called her and told her the pathology results were fine." Instead, my results came in and they probably went right into my chart and will be dealt with when I have my appointment. He probably hasn't even seen them or cared about them. He will probably look at them in the hall before he walks into the exam room I am in.

Or at least that is what I am telling myself.

As he said in my pre-op appointment, they have no way of knowing what stage the cancer is until they go in and take it all out. So, I know there is a chance bad news is coming tomorrow. He could tell me I need radiation or some other further treatment. But for now I am trying to remind myself that the chances of this all being over with are very good. I am especially telling myself over and over again not to read into him not calling me about results. Even though I am sure the results were in by last week at the latest.

No matter what the results are, Adam will be there and we will deal with whatever it is. Who knows, maybe my oncologist will even be nice this time. (Or at least put his phone down long enough to give me the results.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Giving Myself Permission To Be Sad Today

I know I am in the middle of my staying positive and writing about children's books series....

but, I am sad today.

I made the mistake of going on the message boards for our adoption agency.

There are so many new people. One post after another of more new people introducing themselves.

I can't help but feel left behind. They are finding babies for all these new people...what about me?? I'm still here waiting!

Luckily there was someone else who has been waiting two years that wrote something in the middle of all the new people posts. She mentioned that around the 18 month wait time that her heart sunk to a new level and she lost a lot of hope. That hit home with me because January 26th will be 18 months of waiting for us. I figured it was a combination of the holidays and my surgery recovery that was making me feel so sad about the wait, but it was nice to hear someone else say this new waiting milestone is a hard one. Especially when combined with all the years of trying to conceive before that.

Another person wrote about making changes to your profile if you have been waiting a long time. Everytime the topic of changing your profile comes up, I have this awful feeling of shame and guilt. Like there is something horribly wrong with me that makes expectant mothers not want to choose me when they see our profile. I made some changes to it at the one year mark and I don't really see a point in paying to make changes again until the copies they have run out. When I made my profile, I was really proud of it. I thought someone would choose us for sure. I will be a stay at home mom, I have worked with children my whole life, our hobbies and things we enjoy doing are all children friendly things. I worked hard on a nursery for the baby and I am already in love with that baby, even if the baby is imaginary at this point. But, all those nice and positive things have turned into feelings of embarrassment and shame. I now hate our profile. I keep it hidden away so I don't have to think about it.

I know logically that it is a matter of the expectant mother finding something in the profile that she connects with and that you really have no idea what that thing will end up being. It seems to often be something very random that is impossible to predict. But, all of that is contained in the logical side of my brain. I am not using the logical side today. I am covered in a heavy blanket of sadness today.

We have only been profiled twice since July. I am really hoping things pick up soon. Last year it was January-April that we were profiled the most. I was actually hopeful during that time. I need to have hope again.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

This is my first post in a series of posts about adoption themed children's books. If you would like to know more about why I am writing about this topic, go here.

I am starting with A Mother for Choco because I think it is a great starter book when it comes to adoption themed children's books. My copy is a board book so it's perfect for toddler age.

This is a story about a small bird named Choco who is looking for a mother. He begins asking animals that have a physical similarity to him if they could be his mother. Like a giraffe because she is yellow, a penguin because she has wings, a walrus because she has round cheeks. He is sad because he can't find a mother and eventually he runs into Mrs. Bear who does motherly things and makes him feel better. When she asks if she can be his mother, he is surprised because she does not look at all like him.

She invites him to come home with her for some apple pie and to meet her other children. When he arrives, he sees that her children are an alligator, hippo, and pig. They all play together and have apple pie. In the end he says he is happy his mother looks just the way she does.

A Mother for Choco is an adoption themed children's book that does not use the word adoption. Although when I read it to the children I work with, an 8 year old said, "She adopted them!" after seeing the picture of Mrs. Bear's other children.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Adoption Themed Children's Books

I want to move away from posts about my hysterectomy and focus more on adoption.

Believe it or not, I have had periods of time during the adoption wait where I was very zen about it. Right now is not one of those times. I know it's a combination of the holidays and the recovery from surgery that are making the anxiety worse. After 17 months of waiting, I am afraid nobody will ever choose us.

So, rather than focus on the wait, I decided to do a series of posts reviewing the adoption themed children's books that I have bought for our future child.

I have been collecting children's books since college and the baby already has a bookshelf full of books in his/her nursery. Over the past 17 months I have also added some that are adoption themed. I was not able to find very many in our local bookstores, so I ended up buying them online. It was hard to make decisions on them based on a cover picture and brief description. I figured other people may have run into the same problem, so some more information from me about the books I have already purchased may be helpful.

I feel like this is a great way to move my writing in a positive direction and may be helpful to others as well as healthy for me.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back To Work

Children will be arriving at my house at 5:45 tomorrow morning.

I don't know what I was thinking returning to work already. Both my mom and my husband have been trying to talk me out of it. But, instead, I called all the parents and confirmed I am ready for them to come back tomorrow.

I don't know if I am up to this.

I guess we will see tomorrow.

For the past week, I have been staying up until 2 AM every night and sleeping in until 10.

My body is going to hate me tomorrow.