Adam pointed out I wrote a post about loving my mom and even one about loving our cat Brinkley, but I have never written about him. I have thought about writing about him many times. Especially about how supportive he has been through everything. It just feels like such a big post that I kept putting it off.
I have been on a lot of different hormones through the years and it wasn't easy on him or me. I got sick from many of them and he always took care of me. When he had to give me shots, he did it like it was no big deal. He took off from work and sat in the hospital all day everytime I had to have surgery. He went to every single RE appointment we had. He went to countless OB/GYN and oncologist appointments, procedures, biopsies, etc.
The time I had an allergic reaction to the fertility meds and ended up hemorrhaging blood, he took me to the hospital and never flinched at all the blood. It was a lot and it was everywhere. (I ended up losing half of all the blood in my entire body.) He stayed with me the whole time and was calm about it. He acted like it wasn't embarrassing. (Trust me, it was.) I had to be hospitalized for 3 days and he stayed with me the entire time. He is 6' 6" and slept in a chair next to my bed.
When we got married, we laughed at the vows in sickness and health and for richer or poorer. We already knew all about sick and poor. (We actually made up our own vows that we said to each other right before walking down the aisle.) It takes some couples a lifetime to go through all the bad stuff we experienced before we were even married. It was enough to make any sane person want to run away, but he stuck by me. Always there for me and always taking care of me.
I can't wait to see Adam as a father. He had a rough childhood. He is going to be the kind of father his father never was. He has already been reading baby books and talking about all the things he wants to do with our children. I know it's not the same, but seeing the way he is with our cats really shows me what kind of father he is going to be. We took a baby care class together and watching him swaddle a baby doll and learn how to change a diaper made me fall in love with him even more.
I love that we have the same feelings on politics and religion. I know it works for some couples to be opposites, but for me it's important that we have the same basic beliefs. Our love for animals, taking care of the environment, gay rights, etc. There are a few basic things that I am very passionate about and he is just as passionate about it as I am. I love that.
The thing I love most about Adam is that I can completely be myself with him. We have so much fun together. We make up songs, dances, and jokes. Silly stuff that only the two of us would think is funny. We laugh a lot. I never have to worry about how I act. I am completely myself. He's seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. He has unconditional love for me.
When we found out I needed a hysterectomy, he immediately was fine with it. He made it clear I did not need to worry about him in the decision. He is completely happy with our decision to adopt. He said he honestly didn't even want to risk a pregnancy with me. Nothing is normal with my body and he was worried a pregnancy might end with me hemorrhaging and dying. He was always afraid of something happening to me. He was more than happy to say goodbye to the thing trying to kill me. It really helped me to know I didn't need to worry about how I was letting him down by not being able to give birth to our children. He continues to remind me of that.
Now don't get me wrong, we fight. Sometimes a lot. We are both very stubborn and have no problem finding things to fight about. We have been together 9 years and we have had plenty of bad fights.
But, he is absolutely the love of my life and I have no doubt we are meant to be together. I feel lucky to have found him. I know we are a team. Everything we have been through has just made us stronger.
Every once in a while, there will be a situation that fits our grids perfectly and there are no risks or anything to worry about so they will profile us without calling first. That has only happened a couple times. Most of the time, we will get a phone call from our agency and they will go over all the details of the situation with me. They give you a chance to grab a pen and paper and write down all the information. Depending on the risks, sometimes I know I can say yes right away after hearing it all, and sometimes I need to call Adam and then get back to them.
Yesterday I got a call from the agency about a case with a lot of risks. There was one risk in particular that scared me. I told them immediately that out of the long list of risks, that one thing in particular scared me and I would need time to think about it and talk it over with Adam. In our 19 months of waiting (Today makes 19 months that we have been home-study ready and waiting) we have never said no to being profiled.
They said we only have an hour to think it over before they need an answer. I e-mailed the details to Adam at work and he immediately wrote back no. Which he has done before, but I have talked him into it. But this time a little voice inside me was telling me I needed to say no. No matter how desperate I am after a 19 month wait. No matter how heart broken I am after being told just the day before that we were not chosen by another expectant mother. No matter how much I thought about how it's a baby girl due next month. I just had to say no.
It felt devestating to me to make that phone call. To pass up any opportunity.
I almost didn't write about this, but I am writing about our journey to parenthood through domestic adoption and this is a part of the journey. Making the tough decisions. This is not an easy process.
I know it was the right decision for us, but I am sad about it.
I heard from our adoption agency about an hour ago. They said we weren't chosen. The expectant mother picked another couple. They didn't have any information about why the other family was chosen. Sometimes it helps to hear why, but I guess it doesn't matter. There was just something about them that she connected with.
My e-mail isn't working so I am going to wait to tell Adam. I don't want to call him. He's been working 7 days a week with long hours. He hasn't had a day off since the super bowl and just found out this morning that he has to work again this weekend. So, the last thing he needs is me calling him with bad news.
Anyway, I don't really have a lot to say about it. Just feeling heartbroken. Glad I have a couple hours until the kids get off the bus so I have time to cry by myself.
I survived another week of waiting for an answer about the case we are being profiled for. After racing all around to make our profile changes, I can't believe how long everything has taken. It took a week before they met with the expectant mother and showed her the profiles. Then she took them home to think about it and she still hasn't made a decision. The baby isn't due until April so she has time, but I am going crazy waiting!!
I am hoping for a call with an answer this week.
I am also waiting for an e-mail from the head of the agency. I e-mailed her at the end of last week to ask her for some of our statistics. How many times we have been profiled and how many of those cases ended in real placements for someone. Next month is two years since we started with the agency. They want us to re-register with them, which includes signing paperwork with their new (higher) prices. The new prices are a major problem for us since we took out a loan two years ago so we would be ready and the loan amount is for the old prices. Going forward would require taking out another loan. Before signing paperwork with them again, I feel like they should give us some information about where we are at two years later.
I love my Mom. She is my best friend. We talk every single day. She is always there for me and talking to her makes everything feel like it's going to be okay.
Today is her birthday and I wish more than anything in the world I could give her a grandchild for her birthday. I know this wait has been just as hard on her as it has been on me. I feel sad about that everyday. We have been waiting for a decision from an expectant mother for a couple weeks now and the whole time in the back of my head I have been thinking about how cool it would be if we were chosen and I could tell her in some fun way on her birthday. (That obviously never happened.) I know the day we are chosen will eventually come and when it does, she is going to be the best grandmother ever.
We got him around the time I started working from home so he is used to having me around all the time. He cries at the door if I leave. If I lie down, he is there to cuddle with me. He is sitting next to me right now as I type this. When I cook in the kitchen, he watches everything I do like he is learning to cook. If I call his name, he will always come running to see what I want. He is smart, funny, loving and cuddly. If I am having a hard day he will let me hold him for as long as I want. It always helps.
He is really good with the kids I work with. He loves when they are here. He always wants to be in the same room as them. He sits on the table and watches as they do crafts. He will sit in the middle of their village when they are building with blocks. The kids love it.
I love him, love him, love him.
But last night I had a dream that he said his first words and that I was writing about it in his baby book...
Our adoption agency always says that we should get out there and network as much as we can. The biggest thing they suggest doing is telling EVERYONE you know that you have a homestudy and want to adopt. That hasn't been something I ever felt comfortable doing, but after 18 months of waiting, I feel like I just need to get over feeling shy about it and do everything we can.
So, last night I did something brave. I sent out a private Facebook message to a bunch of friends telling them all about our situation. (I know it would have been a lot braver if I put it on Facebook for everyone to see, but for me the message was a big step.) I asked everyone to keep us in mind if they ever come across someone who is thinking of making an adoption plan. I even included the link to my blog in case anyone was interested in reading about our journey to parenthood.
Sharing my blog made me feel very vulnerable. Not many people from my "real life" have read it. But, Jenn from The Road To Happily Ever After was the one who gave me the courage to share. She said she "came out" about her infertility on Facebook and received a lot of support. She said once you open up about it, you find other people who have experienced infertility and people that are just genuinely interested in reading your blog, following your story, and offering support.
So, I opened up and shared and feel really good about it. The responses so far have been amazing. I am truly touched by everyone's stories and kind words. And you never know, maybe reaching out to people will lead us to our baby.
PCOSChick from His and Her Infertility asked me to be a guest blogger to write about domestic adoption. She is on vacation and is having a series of guest bloggers write about adoption. You should check it out.
I was thinking that I should post it here too in case anyone that reads my blog would like more information about domestic adoption. I write a lot about my feelings and a little bit about the process, but this is a more detailed story about how we got to where we are now.
I have to give fair warning that I am writing about *my* experience with domestic adoption. Our agency may do things differently than other agencies. And some people don't use an agency at all and just do private advertising and work with a lawyer.
We started on our adoption journey by requesting materials from a couple different agencies. There was one in particular that is a little over an hour away from where we live and they were having an orientation meeting so we called them and said we would be there. My mom came along with my husband and I. They talked with us, gave us brochures and an application, showed us a video, and then we got to meet real families that worked with their agency. All three of us loved the orientation. We felt very comfortable working with this agency. We went home and filled out the application and wrote our very first adoption check.
A couple weeks later we had an appointment at the agency to meet our family advocate that we would be working with, go over how the adoption process works, fill out paperwork, and be fingerprinted. We also had to pay our homestudy fee at this appointment. Then we were sent home with a lot more paperwork.
Our agency requires that we earn education credits as part of our homestudy. We need to have 40 credits, 20 of which come from mandatory adoption classes at the agency. We earn the other 20 by doing things like reading books, taking online classes, taking a baby care class, watching an adoption video, taking infant and child CPR, etc.
The mandatory classes took place at the agency over five weeks. In the classes we went over drug exposure, medical issues, transracial adoption, open adoption, what it will be like to receive a call about a baby, adoption law, how to talk with your child about their adoption, etc. We had a chance to meet other families who have already adopted and we really learned a lot from them. I think the best opportunity we had was to meet a birth mother. Speaking with her completely changed how we looked at open adoption. It was a great experience.
After we finished with the classes and completed all the paperwork, we were assigned a social worker. She came to our house for three visits. One time she just met with me, another time she met with Adam, and the third time she met with both of us and looked all around our house. She was mostly just checking for safety, but of course we cleaned nonstop for days in order to prepare. My best advice for people is to not worry about the home visits!! Your home doesn't need to look like a museum. She isn't going to put on a white glove and be sure you dusted. Just make sure you have things like smoke detectors and that you fix any broken things around the house that may be unsafe.
A few weeks after meeting with our social worker, we received a call from the agency letting us know our homestudy was complete and we were ready to be profiled the next time an opportunity came up.
We had filled in three grids. One about medical issues- things the baby may have been exposed to, things that are in the birth family's medical history. The second grid was about race, age, and gender. The third grid was about how open the adoption would be.
We spent hours working on those grids. I received advice from a pediatrician to do the medical grid. We obsessed over every question. We've made changes to all our grids over time. Becoming more open to things the more we talked with people, did research, and thought about it over time.
Birth parents have things that they are looking for in adoptive parents. So, if both things match up- they are looking for things that fit you and you are looking for things that fit their situation, then you are profiled.
We had to make a profile. It's like a scrapbook all about us. When we are "profiled", our profile is sent to the expectant mother, along with other profiles, and she then chooses one.
At the time, I thought the paperwork was the stressful part. Boy was I wrong. The paperwork is actually the best part. It keeps you busy and moving forward and you are so full of hope during that time. It's the waiting that is hard. Especially when you know you are being profiled and you are waiting to hear an answer. It's such an emotional rollercoaster.
After a year of waiting without a match, we had to renew our homestudy. I was so mad about having to fill out all the paperwork again. Have another physical. Write another big check.
It may sound crazy, but the one thing I didn't mind doing again was our home visit. I like our social worker. I was looking forward to seeing her again. I was really depressed about a whole year going by without adopting and having to renew, but her visit really made me feel a lot better. She gave me hope that it would happen for us and that we just needed to hang in there a little longer.
It's been 18 months and we are still waiting. It's been hard, but blogging has been a huge help in getting through the wait!
I miss the excitement of the beginning of the adoption wait.
I miss going to baby stores with my Mom.
I miss believing that at any second the phone could ring and we could find out our baby is waiting for us.
I miss doing research on the best things to buy for the baby. We have a complete nursery now. All that is left to get are cloth diapers and baby bottles. I am waiting until the last minute to get those in case they come out with new and improved versions by that time.
We were so full of hope and excitement in the beginning. It really felt like a pregnancy. I miss that feeling.
The same thing happens everytime I am profiled. The same exact roller coaster of emotions. You would think I would be able to recognize this cycle and make changes.
First I get the call. I obsess over the details. I write every single thing they say down on a piece of a paper. I call Adam and talk about it, I do internet research, I talk to my mom, I talk to friends. I think, think, think....overthink everything. I worry about the risks. I worry about the money.
Then by that night, I am full of hope and excitement. And no matter how serious the risks are, I am completely done worrying about them. All I am thinking about by that point is how much I want that baby. I am so happy about the possibility.
Then a few days go by and I start to tell myself that if we were chosen, we would have heard by now. I start preparing myself for the disappointment. Even if it's based on nothing reasonable. I still convince myself we weren't chosen. I guess it's my way of protecting myself. I feel a knot in my stomach everytime the phone rings.
I need to find a way to get off this roller coaster ride.
I was hoping we would hear something yesterday. I was so emotional last night because we didn't. My friend who already adopted from our agency talked me off the ledge. She reminded me it takes time for an expectant mother to make her decision.
It's hard to wait over the weekend, but I am trying to relax and remind myself to be patient and stay hopeful.
I got a call from the adoption agency yesterday. I actually missed the phone call and when I returned their phone call, the person who called me wasn't available so I had to wait for them to call me back. It took about a half hour and in that half hour I convinced myself they were calling to let me know the answer was no. That the expectant mother looked at our profile and did not choose us. All the signs were there. I was actually to the point of tears by the time the phone rang.
Turns out they were only calling to give me an update. Probably because I have been bugging my family advocate this week. They were calling to let me know the expectant mother in Indiana hadn't been heard from at all (which we already knew) and that the newest expectant mother would be looking at our profile the next day.
I was so happy to hear that she hadn't looked at profiles yet. I had started to feel down about it being Thursday and still no word. It was a huge relief. I felt so much hope and excitement.
I took that opportunity to make sure the profile changes were made. It's a good thing I asked because they never put my new profile pages into my old profiles! The person I talked to said she would take care of it before the expectant mother looked at them. Good thing I asked!!!
So, TODAY is the day. I don't know when I will hear an answer, but it is driving me crazy to know that she may be looking at my profile this very moment!
It has been 6 weeks since my surgery and Adam and I began our swimming membership last night.
We still haven't heard anything from the agency. I have been really anxious. I just want to know!! So, last night as I was swimming I had Finding Nemo in my head. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...."
It's a good motto for me this week. Not just to keep swimming in the pool, but to keep going with my life this week. To try and not become consumed by the anxiety of waiting for the agency to call.
My name is Lisa and I live with my husband, our three cats, two guinea pigs, and our baby boy.
After almost 8 years of trying to start a family- surgeries, infertility treatments, endometrial cancer, a radical hysterectomy, and a two year adoption wait- we finally brought Jay home in 2010.
I used to run a before and after school program for school-age children, but now I work from home so I can be with Jayden. I watch kids part time in our home and have an Etsy shop- So Much To Celebrate - that keeps me busy.