Monday, May 31, 2010

Hard Weekend

Long holiday weekends have been the hardest part of our wait.

They are a huge reminder of what we don't have.

Families are out having picnics, going on camping trips, having pool parties, and all sorts of other fun family things. It feels so lonely to sit at home not doing anything while you know everyone else is having fun spending time with their family. It is also a reminder of how much I hate that my sister and brother live so far away.

My Mom came over yesterday morning to help me with our garden and she mentioned that there is going to be a big family reunion this summer. I got teary just thinking about having to go to that reunion childless.

Then as the day went on yesterday, I got more and more upset about it. We haven't all been together in years. I can't go to it childless. I just can't do it. Parties like this are big check-ins where we are all supposed to share what has happened with us since we last got together.

I have nothing. The only thing that has changed is that I'm missing organs. Oh, and I gained weight. Maybe we can talk about how fat I am.

We have been trying to start a family for seven years and everybody knows it.

Everybody will be talking about their kids and their awesome lives and then they will ask Adam and I how work is. Nobody will bring the adoption up. That's the big thing I have noticed in the last year. Once you have been waiting a long time, people stop bringing your adoption up. Like it's this shameful thing they don't want to remind you of.

I had a complete breakdown about this last night and pretty much cried myself to sleep.

I feel no better today. Adam is on his way to my parents' house right now to watch a movie with my Dad. I really didn't want to go over. I am hot, sad, and grumpy.

The family reunion is July 17th. It's not going to be a happy time in my life. We will be in the middle of renewing our homestudy AGAIN.

Please...if there is any justice in the world...can our baby find his/her way to us soon? I have tried being patient. I have tried being zen. I have even tried being thankful for the things our long wait has taught us. But, seriously, I don't know how much more I can take. Haven't I waited long enough?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Great Night in our Adoption Journey

I am really glad we went to the hair care class last night.

When we got there, I recognized the head of the agency and was completely caught off guard by her being there. She came right up to us, introduced herself to us, and said she wasn't sure if we have ever met before, but she recognized us as soon as we came in because she was looking at our profile earlier that day. My head was swimming with questions, but all I managed to do was say hello and that we had never met before, but I recognized her from pictures.

We sat down with everyone else and watched as the cutest little kids came in. As more and more mothers and babies came in, I started to get tears in my eyes that I could not stop. It was completely out of nowhere. Sometimes I am fine. I can spend a whole day around babies and be perfectly fine. Then other times I can see a baby and BAM, tears come. I went to the bathroom to talk myself out of being the crazy person crying in class.

Only at an adoption event can you go into the bathroom with tears in your eyes and end up getting a long hug from a complete stranger. She got it. She knew. She told me she just brought her baby home in March and she promised me it's worth the long wait. She told me my baby just hasn't been born yet.

The class was interesting and overwhelming at the same time. A lot of it was geared towards parents who have been working with African American hair for years now. They even went around and gave individual advice to parents and children. It was all new to me and I was trying to soak in as much information as I could. This is a class we will definitely be attending every year.

Watching Adam concentrate so hard on how they were doing one of the little girl's hair made me fall even more in love with him. He was so cute watching so carefully, trying not to miss anything.

One thing that was great about this class was that it was just as much about a community of people getting together as it was about the hair care information. It was great for the kids to run around together and the parents to talk.

The biggest thing I learned was the importance of finding a good salon that is willing to work with you and teach you things. Every person's hair is different and the advice varies for each child. I really loved the speakers at the class. I wish we lived close enough to go to their salon. I gave them my name and phone number and they are going to find a good local salon for us. They gave us free samples of products made by Enjoy.

Once the class broke up into smaller groups, I saw an opportunity to speak with the director of the agency. I asked her about why she had been looking at our profile. She said there was an expectant mother who was looking for a couple without cats. She said we fit everything the expectant mother was looking for, but when she looked through our profile and saw we have cats she knew she couldn't send our profile along.

Then I did something very brave. I asked her what she thought of our profile in general. I had heard from other people that she can be brutally honest when it comes to giving profile advice so I was very nervous. To my surprise, she said she really likes our profile. She even admitted she is brutally honest with people when they ask about their profiles. She said sometimes people don't want to hear it, but she always says it. She said we are what a lot of expectant mothers are looking for and we have a good profile. I said we have been waiting for 22 months. She admitted that is a long time, but she said sometimes that just happens. Sometimes couples end up waiting a very long time for no real reason. She said we fall into that category.

She acknowledged that there have been couples who did not successfully adopt through the agency. She said that's not us. She promised me that if we stick with it, we will adopt. It really meant a lot to receive that reassurance.

Overall, it was an amazing night and we were both so glad we went.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hair Care Class

Tonight Adam and I are going to an African American hair care class.

The class is about an hour and a half away and it starts at 6. My Mom is coming here to watch the kids until their parents come to pick them up and Adam got someone to cover for him at work so we could leave on time. I am grateful to have an amazing Mom who is willing to come here after a long day of work so we can go. They only have the class once a year so we didn't want to miss the opportunity.

I am a little nervous to go because I get nervous going into any new situation, but I know we will learn a lot. It will also give us a chance to spend some time with other people who are waiting to adopt as well as people who already have adopted.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meatless Monday Buffalo Nuggets

If you are vegetarian and miss the taste of Buffalo wings, this is a great alternative.

I add Frank's Red Hot Sauce to a little bit of melted butter.
(Adjust the hot sauce/butter ratio depending on how hot you like it.)
Then pour the Red Hot mixture over the chik'n nuggets.
Add some blue cheese on top.
Cook following the nugget package directions.
Serve with celery sticks.

This is a great Meatless Monday article, if you are interested:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Letter I was Hoping to Never Receive

It came.

The letter from the adoption agency asking us to send them a huge check to start the process of renewing our homestudy again.

We send the check, then they send us the paperwork. We fill out all the paperwork, get our physicals (yikes), ask people to be our references again (so embarrassing to ask for a third time), and then when it's all done, we can make an appointment to have our social worker come for another home visit.

Getting that letter is like opening the mailbox and having someone reach out and punch you in the stomach.

I will be waiting at least another month before I send the check in. I figure I have a little time before it's absolutely necessary. Especially if I move quick on the paperwork when it comes.

I will be spending the next month hoping for a miracle.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments about my wedding pictures.

I have to admit, I have never looked fondly at my wedding pictures before. I only ever had one picture developed and that was the pinky promise photo. I still have it in an 5x7 frame on a table with a bunch of other pictures. I don't have a wedding album.

There was a lot of drama surrounding our wedding and still 7 years later when the subject of our wedding comes up, I get a knot in my stomach.

Adam's parents hated everything about our wedding. Their biggest complaint was that our ceremony was so small. We had it on a Friday night with less than 15 people there. That's how we wanted it. We were both in agreement. We are not the kind of people who would enjoy standing in front of 100 people and saying our vows into a microphone. Adam's parents kept saying it was weird and that nobody would want to come to our reception if they couldn't come to our ceremony.

They said many, many other negative things and there were ongoing fights leading up to the wedding and they did their best to have a bad time the whole weekend. You can read more about that, here.

As much as I disagree with everything they said and I am glad we did it the way we wanted, I always have a bad feeling when I think about our wedding. A feeling of shame or embarrassment. I was actually enjoying my wedding and having a good time and then found out they were actively doing things to try and ruin it. I was humiliated by that. The joke was on me. I was blindly having fun while people were mocking me. After our wedding, one person after another told me stories of things Adam's parents did. Rude and awful things. Things I didn't notice, but my guests did.

Then the next day after our wedding, they called and told us it was the worst wedding they have ever been to. Ouch. That is the kind of thing that sticks with you.

The other thing is that everytime I look at the pictures, I remember how sick I was then.

I had my first D&C surgery six months before our wedding. I needed to have polyps removed and they were getting me ready to start trying to conceive immediately after getting married. There were already clues that it was going to be complicated. I was on a lot of hormones between the surgery and the wedding. I was so sick. My Mom actually did almost all the wedding planning because I was so sick. I remember when we were supposed to be doing cake tasting, I couldn't even take a bite. I was so nauseous.

I was really pale at my wedding. I had been tanning leading up to it but still looked as white as a ghost. In fact, I looked so bad that at my sister's wedding everyone kept telling me how great I looked. That I had so much color in my face.

When it came time to choose photos to go into our adoption profile, even my Mom suggested less wedding pictures because I look sick in them. I cried my eyes out when she said that, but she was right. I look pale and puffy. Every little girl's dream, right?

So, yesterday it was nice to post wedding pictures and smile about them. Then to receive so many sweet comments was really amazing. I was actually able to look at them in a positive way.

Of course anyone who has been trying to conceive or waiting to adopt for a long time knows that holidays and anniversaries are hard. They serve as reminders of how long you have been waiting. My wedding anniversary is also my anniversary of trying to conceive.

Seven years of waiting to start our family.

But, I did okay with that this weekend. I thought about it a little, but overall it was a really great weekend. We had a lot of fun.

And since we got married Friday night and had our reception Saturday afternoon, we consider it still our anniversary so we are continuing to celebrate today. :)

Thanks again for all the love in blog comments and tweets yesterday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

7 years ago...

 Small ceremony Friday night:
May 16, 2003

We said our own private vows to each other before walking down the aisle to where everyone else was.
Sealed with a pinky promise. :)

The reception the next day:
Saturday, May 17, 2003

My sister and brother

My Dad

 My Mom trying on Adam's coat

Finally out of that dress and into some comfy clothes!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

I have had many thoughts in my head the last few days, but haven't been able to put them together to write a blog post since last Friday.

I was going to write about Mother's Day, but there really aren't words for how hard it is to still be childless on Mother's Day...all these years later. Honestly I spent a lot of time on Facebook that day. It was like watching a train wreck. All the sappy status updates from mom friends writing about how their children are the greatest thing in the world and their life wasn't worth living before their children. I could not stop reading it all.

Luckily my Mom is awesome and instead of some corny Mother's Day brunch we had a belated cinco de mayo party Saturday night. Tacos, margaritas, and no mention of who is or isn't a mother.

Our new profile books are made and mailed. It took trips to three different places to find the kind of books we need. Oh, remember how I was mad at Adam because he wanted me to go with him to buy the books because he was afraid he would get the wrong ones? Well, I made him go alone anyway and he got the wrong ones. I had to return them and get new ones. Lesson learned.

Making the books was a total hassle and I really hope that is the last time we have to do that.

I missed Meatless Monday this week because we went to see Pearl Jam Monday night. I ate a peanut butter and banana sandwich in the car on the way there. At the stadium they were charging $4 for a pretzel and Adam said he would rather starve than pay those prices so he didn't get anything.

I woke up this morning with a huge amount of anxiety. I have a problem with anxiety. I used to take meds for it. I am now pretty good at talking myself through it. Part of what I do is make a list in my head of every single thing that is bothering me. Everything that could be contributing to what I am feeling. Then I think about the worst case scenerio for each thing. Then I come up with a plan if that were to happen. I know it is weird that thinking about the worst things that could happen calms me. But, once I know I have a way to deal with everything, I can relax.

The biggest thing freaking me out right now is that we keep getting closer and closer to when our homestudy expires. I am not ready to really think about that. My worst case scenerio for that whole situation ends in us never getting a baby. (Things would have to go really wrong.) So, that's not one I like to think through too much. For now I am just telling myself it can happen any day now.

We are having a little party at our house Saturday night so it's helping me to have that to look forward to. I am hoping the weather is okay so we can have a fire in the backyard and make S'mores. I already bought a lot of chocolate. So, rain or shine, we are having S'mores... even if I have to make them in the toaster oven.

It's 10 PM and I have a pile of laundry on the bed bigger than me, so I better go take care of it so we have a place to sleep tonight. I feel better after blogging. Maybe my anxiety attack this morning came from not blogging since last week. Maybe I need this more than I realized.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Another No

The adoption agency just called.

We were not chosen.

The expectant mother chose the adoptive couple because they are hispanic and the baby is hispanic.

It's something completely out of our control. Nothing personally against us. Which I guess helps.

I called Adam to tell him and we had a stupid fight about the books we need to buy from Staples to make up more profiles to send to the agency. I wanted him to get them on the way home and he said he didn't want to get the wrong thing so he wanted me to go with him. I exploded because I didn't know how he could not know after all this time exactly what they look like.

I am just so tired of this whole process.

I only have about ten minutes before the kids get off the bus so I better get my crying out of the way now and then go make them snack.

Thanks for the support everyone.

Best Day Ever or Sad Friday?

Today is either going to be the best day of my entire life or just another sad Friday.

When we were first starting this adoption journey someone told me that when you have been waiting a long time, you no longer get excited when you are profiled. That it is just a casual thing you mention to your husband hours later like you are telling him you stopped at the store that day. I have not found that to be true at all. Everytime we are profiled is a big deal. I call Adam at work immediately and I obsess about the details all day.

If we are chosen today, that means we will have a baby in just a few days. (The due date is Tuesday.) How can I just casually go about my day and not think about it?

I could not fall asleep last night. I was lying in bed making lists in my head. Lists of all the things we would need to do this weekend to prepare. All the wonderful things I have been waiting years to do.

When I woke up this morning, I obsessively looked through our profile over and over again. Deciding whether I would choose us. Crazy, huh?

I keep reminding myself that there are probably a lot of people being profiled for this case. People with awesome jobs, huge houses, and amazing vacation pictures. People way cooler than us. I am trying so hard to guard my heart.

Today would have been my Grandma's 80th birthday. We had a very close relationship and I miss her everday. Each time I saw her near the end of her life she would whisper in my ear that she wants me to have a baby. She had a stroke and wasn't doing well so it was hard for her to understand that we were trying our best. I wanted nothing more than to have her meet our baby. If she was here now, we would probably be having a celebration at her favorite Chinese restaurant tonight.

Adam and I have a rule that if we don't get chosen for a profiling, then we get Chinese food for dinner. We got Chinese take-out on our first date and it has become a comforting tradition to get us through this process. I don't have to cook while I am sad and we get to have a nice dinner together.

I hope we don't have Chinese tonight. Or, if we do, it's because of a celebration. It would be a pretty fun surprise to show up at my parents' house tonight with Chinese take-out and the best news ever.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

We're Being Profiled!!!

I just got a call from the adoption agency about a profiling opportunity!!

The details all sound great. The baby is due May 11.

The expectant mother will be looking at profiles TODAY!

They said we should hear an answer either late today or tomorrow.

I am so nervous!!!

I am trying not to get my hopes up because there are probably a lot of people being profiled for this one.

But, you never know...this could be THE one!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Upside of a Long Wait

There are many positive things that have come from having a long adoption wait.

(Yeah, I am just as surprised as the rest of you that I am writing this post.)

The first thing is blogging. I would never have started blogging without this wait. Blogging has given me a healthy outlet for my feelings that I used to keep bottled up. Not only has it allowed me to express myself, but it has given me an amazing support system as well. I have met friends I never would have met and I am so thankful to have them. It also lead to blog reading.

I have learned a lot from blog reading. I almost feel as though two years is the amount of time everyone should take to really read and think about adoption before actually adopting. I have come so far from the start of my journey. I have learned so much and my feelings and attitudes have changed so much over time. Just looking at our grids shows how far we have come. Things we would have never been open to in the beginning are not even factors anymore.

This time has strengthened our marriage. I know that if we can get through this, we can get through anything. Many difficult decisions have needed to be made over the last two years and I think we are better prepared to parent as a team because of them.

This wait has also given me time to grieve my infertility. I thought I was "over it" when I began the adoption process. We hadn't done any kind of fertility treatment for a long time and things were kind of in a numb holding pattern. We eventually came to the conclusion that we should begin the adoption process. But in between there wasn't any dealing with the fact that I had those fertility issues. The hysterectomy surgery forced those fertility issues back into my reality. I could no longer think that maybe we would try again after adopting once. If it weren't for the long wait, I don't think I would have grieved the loss of my fertility as thoroughly as I have. I had more issues leftover than I realized.

The wait has also allowed us to buy baby things over time. Buying all new baby stuff is for suckers, haha. There are so many garage sale and craigslist deals that you can get if you look over time. The only new things we have bought are the crib, the pack-n-play, and the car seat. Everything else is used and we have a very full nursery. Baby swing, jumperoo, bouncy seat, toy box, play mat, baby bath, bumbo's all used, but looks new. We even have a whole dresser full of clothes that look new, but came from garage sales. Most of them were $1. Some of them still have tags on them.

I am definitely not saying I would like my wait to last any longer, but I can admit there are things I have gained from a long wait.

And in case the universe is listening to me right now...... I AM READY TO BE A MOM NOW!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

This week's recipe is Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

This is a Cooking Light recipe that my sister made while we were visiting her in Boston last month.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 burger)


2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided3/4 cup (3 ounces)

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

2 large egg whites

Cooking spray

1 1/4 cups chopped peeled mango (about 1 medium)

3 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice1 avocado, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

6 (2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted

6 green leaf lettuce leaves


1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Place black beans in a medium bowl; mash with a fork. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro and the next 7 ingredients (through egg whites). Shape bean mixture into 6 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Arrange patties on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, carefully turning once.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 cup cilantro, mango, and the next 4 ingredients (through minced garlic) in a medium bowl. Place a patty on bottom half of each hamburger bun; top each with 1 lettuce leaf, 1/3 cup salsa, and top half of bun.

Lisa's Notes:
*Use a potato masher instead of fork to mash the beans.
*Definitely toast the rolls. It makes a difference. The burgers are soft, so it's a nice contrast to have a toasted roll. It's also why a big crisp leaf of lettuce is nice.
*Personally I would rather have the garlic cooked in the burger than raw in the salsa.
*I would use parsley in the burgers instead of cilantro, but that's because I don't really like cilantro.
*We left the shallots out because I hate them. I hate anything in the onion family. I don't think hate is a strong enough word. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Day We Met You by Phoebe Koehler

This is my sixth 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.
My third post was about I Wished For You.
My fourth post was about How I was Adopted.
My fifth post was about Todd Parr.

The Day We Met is the story of a couple telling their child about the day they got THE phone call. Every page is another preparation they made. Each thing they did was another expression of love for their baby they hadn't even met yet.

The story ends by saying: "The minute we saw you we knew that we loved you. You felt like the sun shining inside us."

The Day We Met includes an afterword about talking to your child about adoption.