Friday, April 30, 2010

I Got Tired of Waiting for the Phone to Ring

I couldn't wait for the phone to ring any longer, so yesterday I decided to call again.

This time they put me through to the person I work with at the agency. She said she had been planning on calling me to tell me we needed to send more profiles. (I guess that means she didn't get my messages?) Which is frustrating because almost all of the last bunch of profiles went to expectant mothers who disappeared with our profile never to be heard from again. Now we have to make more. As soon as she said we need more I was already dreading telling Adam. I knew he would be mad. We have to buy more books and then go to kinkos to make copies of the pages and it ends up costing a lot of money. He wants to send a postage paid envelope with every profile so we get them back. He doesn't understand why we can't do that. I just told him not think about it. It's another adoption expense that we just have to pay. It's part of the process. Although I totally get his frustration because I am frustrated too. Especially when it feels like it's all for nothing.

Then I asked her if she has heard anything from Indiana. She said no. She has a call into the agency there, but as far as she knows, nobody has heard from the expectant mother since she got the profiles. So, it looks like we will probably never hear from her again. Unless she is putting it off and ends up deciding after giving birth. She is scheduled for a C-section on May 10 so I guess there is still a chance we could hear something that day. I am not holding my breath. Looks like we will be going to see Pearl Jam after all.

I cried while on the phone with the agency...again. Getting teary eyed is an automatic response when I hear her voice. It's like Pavlov's Dog.

If we don't adopt by this summer, we have to renew our homestudy. I really, really don't want that to happen. It's pretty much all I can think about.

By the way....this is my 100th post. I randomly went back and read some old posts yesterday and that's when I realized my next one would be 100. This is a pretty pathetic 100th post, huh?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waiting for the Phone to Ring

It's been two weeks since we got the call from our adoption agency about the profiling opportunity in Indiana. The expectant mother is due May 10 so I thought we would have heard something by now.

We have tickets to see Pearl Jam May 10. I would be more than happy to not go to the concert if it meant we were traveling to Indiana to get our baby. I hate that if we aren't chosen, I know I will be sad that day when we go to the show. Everytime we get a call, the due date always sticks in my head and I think about it when that day comes.

In the past two weeks I have e-mailed three times and called twice trying to find out some information. Like whether or not she has seen the profiles yet. I have gotten no response, which just makes me more anxious. (I got the impression that the person we usually work with was on vacation last week.) Even if they haven't heard anything from Indiana, I would appreciate them saying that. Not hearing anything back from them makes me think someone else was chosen and they are working out the details with them before calling the rest of us.

Have I ever mentioned that I hate waiting?

Twenty one months of this has turned me into a crazy person.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

National Infertility Awareness Week Video

This morning I came across this video from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed. I was blown away by what an amazing job she did putting together this video of What IFs. Once I finally stopped crying, I posted it on Facebook. I decided to share it here as well.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

Today is 21 months that we have been homestudy approved and waiting.

Today is the one year anniversary of when I joined twitter. I had no idea when I joined how life changing it would be. I am thankful every day for my twitter friends.

Today is the day we are trying to make #infertility a trending topic on twitter to kick off National Infertility Awareness Week. If you are on twitter, join in by adding #infertility to all your tweets.

Today is Meatless Monday.

This week's meal is calzones. I'll be using pizza dough from a local bakery, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, garlic, spinach, and mushrooms.

I think the key to a really good calzone is using good pizza dough. Find a local place that sells dough that you like. Put some flour down and roll the dough out with a rolling pin. Add whatever veggie ingredients you prefer to one side of the dough. Fold the empty side of the dough over the full side so it's covering all your ingredients. Make sure you close it tight so the ingredients do not leak out while cooking. Before putting it in the oven, I like to add a little vegetable oil to the top and sprinkle parmesan cheese on it.

I usually cook it at 375 for about 25 minutes. It all depends on how big your calzone is. You should be able to tell when it's done. Keep checking on it.




One last thing...

I just want to say thank you for all the support on my last post. I still get very nervous when I pour my heart out and hit the "Publish Post" button. I feel so vulnerable and embarrassed that my secret feelings are all out there for everyone to see. Then the support comes pouring in and it's like a giant hug. A great big "everything is going to be okay" hug. I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Insensitive

We all know by now that when you are going through a tough time, there is nothing like the support of people who have been through it. Without blogging and twitter and support from adoption and infertility friends, I am not sure I would have made it through the past few months.

With so much great support, you begin to open up and trust that you can talk about your feelings and that it is safe. You may even start to think you can talk to people outside of your support system. Which is great. It's great to be able to open up and not hide what you are going through. Infertility can be so isolating.

But, beware that when you open up to people who have no idea what you are going through, they can say awful things. Awful things that make you fight back tears until you can be alone and cry.

This past week was one of the hardest weeks I have had during our adoption wait. The children had off from school for spring break so I was working long hours and I was exhausted from the roller coaster of emotions that came from being profiled. Someone mentioned that I looked tired. I told her that it was a tough week for our adoption wait. I told her we were being profiled and it didn't work out. For about a second it felt good to talk about it. She then starts telling me a story about how one of her cousins just found out she is pregnant. That she didn't think it was possible to get pregnant because she did fertility meds to get pregnant the first time and they weren't even trying now. I couldn't figure out why she was telling me this story. She went on and on and then basically ended it by saying, "So, I've been praying for both of you." What?? What was the point of telling me that? Clearly I am never going to accidentally get pregnant. She is well aware of my lack of uterus. So, her story was to tell me how other people have it rough too? And her "rough time" story is someone getting pregnant accidentally when she didn't want to?

There was also a person who when I told her I had endometrial cancer, told me about her friend who really had cancer. Unlike my fake kind. I know how lucky I am that it was caught early and that all I needed was surgery. But, it doesn't change the fact that I lost my uterus to cancer. I honestly lost count of the number of times leading up to my surgery that she told me I was fine and acted like I was making a big deal out of nothing. All I had said was that I was scared of the surgery. Even my oncologist said he didn't know how advanced the cancer was until he went in. I was scared. But, I had to endure multiple conversations about how there were people in hospitals with real cancer.

I told one of the parents about it all over the phone. I needed to give everyone notice because I would be closing for two weeks to have the surgery and recover. The very next time I saw her after telling her I was having a hysterectomy, she told me she was pregnant. She went on and on about it and told me about how they bought onesies to decorate to give to their parents as a fun way to tell them they were pregnant. They hadn't even told their parents yet, but she had to tell me then? I barely held it together while she talked and then cried so hard as soon as she left. It wasn't that she was pregnant that bothered me. It was that she decided to tell me then and go on and on without any regard for what I was going through. She really thought I wanted to listen to her talk about her morning sickness?

You know what another person said to me when I told them? "I don't get it. What's the big deal? You couldn't have kids anyway, right? I mean, no offense."

Do you have any idea how many people have told me their abortion stories? Just in the past year two people have told me that they've had multiple abortions and that they were on birth control each time they got pregnant. I am not in any way judging their choices, but for pete's sake, why do people feel the need to tell me these things? Both times the women ended the conversation by saying something like, "Fertility is wasted on someone like me."

After seven years of trying to start our family, I've heard it all. I wish I had realized a long time ago that all my feelings are normal. That there are other people out there feeling the same way. That I didn't have to be alone for so many years.



National Infertility Awareness Week is April 24-May 1, 2010.


If you would like more information about making #infertility a trending topic on twitter, please visit The Long and Winding Road.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!

I've been meaning to write about reusable bags for a long time now. I figured Earth Day would be the perfect time. Using reusable bags takes very little effort and has a big impact.

Not only is it easy to do, but I actually like using them better. They hold more, which means less bags to carry in the house after grocery shopping.


Here are the facts:

•Approx. 380 billion plastic bags are used in the United States every year. That’s more than 1,200 bags per US resident, per year.


•Approx. 100 billion of the 380 billion are plastic shopping bags.


•Thousands of marine animals and more than 1 million birds die each year as a result of plastic pollution.


•Only 1 to 2% of plastic bags in the USA end up getting recycled.

•An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many plastic bags.

 •The United Nations Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean.

•Plastic bags are often mistakenly ingested by animals, clogging their intestines which results in death by starvation. Other animals or birds become entangled in plastic bags and drown or can’t fly as a result.

•Even when they photo-degrade in landfill, the plastic from single-use bags never goes away, and toxic particles can enter the food chain when they are ingested by unsuspecting animals.

•Greenpeace says that at least 267 marine species are known to have suffered from getting entangled in or ingesting marine debris. Nearly 90% of that debris is plastic.

•Americans consume more than 10 billion paper bags per year. Approximately 14 million trees are cut down every year for paper bag production.



•Most of the pulp used for paper shopping bags is virgin pulp, as it is considered stronger.

 •Paper production requires hundreds of thousands of gallons of water as well as toxic chemicals like sulphurous acid, which can lead to acid rain and water pollution.
(Source: http://www.envirosax.com/plastic_bag_facts)


The first step to using reusable bags is to find ones you love. If you love them, you will remember to use them. Here are a few of my favorite bags:










Lilly wanted to be a reusable bag model :)






Brinkley can never resist a comfy bag.



As you can see from this picture, you can store all your bags within one bag and it won't take up much room at all. You can keep one of these bundles of bags in each of your cars. Every time you go shopping, you will have them ready to grab and bring into a store.

We've been using reusable bags for about four years now and all of the original bags we bought are still good. None of them have broken or gotten too worn down. We use them for all shopping: grocery store, Target, shoe store, clothing store, pharmacy, etc. Once you get in the habit, it's easy to remember to grab them.


 

One last thing...



The kids and I watched Sesame Street's Being Green today.
It's a great DVD. I bought it for them to watch on Earth Day last year. I highly recommend it.

I know Sesame Street is usually geared towards young children, but I work with school-age children and they learned a lot from it.

They explain what it means to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
They show how a woman in Africa makes really nice bags out of old plastic bags.
A group of kids make paper out of old jeans.
Another group of children in NYC grow a vegetable garden.

And it has Paul Rudd in an earth costume. How can you pass that up? :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crushed

The birth mother changed her mind.

Some relative far away will be taking the baby.

I guess it was the birth mother's mother who was pushing for a local open adoption so they could still see her.

I have kids here all day so I am just waiting for 5:30 when I can finally curl up into a ball and cry.

I really thought this was it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Profiled Again!!!

I just got a call from our adoption agency and we are being profiled again. It's for a baby girl that is already born!

The person that works with us at the agency said she thought of us as soon as she heard what the birth mother is looking for in an adoptive couple. She said everything the birth mother said describes us.

She said she already sent our profile because she knew I would say yes and was just calling to tell me about it. She was excited, which got me excited.

Since she is already born, we should know very soon.

Too late to try and give myself the "Don't get your hopes up" speech. They're up.

Meatless Monday: Bean Quesadilla


It's Meatless Monday!!!

Click these links for more information:

This week's Meatless Monday meal is an easy bean quesadilla. The kids have off from school this week, which means I will be working long hours, so I won't have a lot of time for cooking.

There are a lot of choices for what you can put into your quesadilla. What I usually do is put beans, green chiles, and cheese between two tortillas. Then I heat a pan with some olive oil. Then put the quesadilla in the pan and cook each side until the tortillas are crispy and the cheese inside is melted.

You can use any kind of bean you like. I usually use Ortega Refried Fat Free Beans.


Of course you could cook your own pinto beans and mash them, but I am going for easy here. I sometimes make it with black beans instead.

I usually use the ortega fire roasted green chiles and cheddar or pepper jack cheese.

I use the MexAmerica flour tortillas. Although the wheat or corn ones are healthier.

Once it is cooked, cut it up into slices and serve it with salsa, rotel, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, gaucamole, hot sauce...whatever you like.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Hope

Dentist appointments and calls from the adoption agency are two things that cause my heart to race. Wednesday morning I had both.

I have a huge fear of the dentist. When I turned 21 I didn't have dental insurance from my parents anymore, so I stopped going. Even after I got married, I continued to not go out of fear. Eventually Adam got a job with good dental insurance and forced me to go. I was a wreck. I still am a wreck every 6 months when he makes me go. Actually, I usually find a reason to cancel our appointment and put it off an extra month or two, so it's more like every 7-8 months that we go. And when Adam calls to move our appointment, they often comment on what a chicken I am. But, guess what, this time they told Adam he needs to brush and floss more and the dentist even told him that my teeth were very clean!!! That put a huge smile on my face. Adam is always the one who gets praised for having perfect teeth. He has never had a cavity before. So, I finally had a chance to brag to him about my super clean and wonderful teeth. haha.

We decided to go get lunch together to celebrate me surviving another dentist appointment. While we were there, the adoption agency called. I was expecting the call because she had called the night before while we were swimming and left a message saying she had a profiling opportunity and would talk to me about it the next morning. So, all morning, even at the dentist, I was carrying around paper and pen so I would be ready to write down all the details of the situation.

Adam has never been there when I have received one of these calls before. I don't think he realized how long they can take and how much information there is to go over.

There was a lot to think about in a short amount of time, but we decided to say yes and be profiled.

On Thursday our profile was sent, along with others, to Indiana for the expectant mother to look at. I am hoping to hear something soon. It usually takes a little longer to hear an answer when the expectant mother lives out of state, but the baby is due May 10, so she can't take too long to decide!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Franklin Park Zoo

You've already met my friend the stork.

Here are some more of the animals I saw at the Franklin Park Zoo.




















Monday, April 12, 2010

Meatless Monday: Tacos


This week's meal is tacos.

You can start by mixing together some of your favorite taco seasonings, or use a packet like this:


Mix the seasonings with about a cup of water in your skillet. I know the packet says less water than that, but I think at least a cup is better when working with meatless veggie crumbles. You can add more as you go if it looks like it needs more.

I heat up the water and seasonings and then add the meatless crumbles. Don't cook the crumbles too long. Just heat them up. You can use any brand of veggie crumbles you like.

These are my favorite:


We also often use these:


There are many brands to choose from. They're all great.

I recommend breaking it up with your hands while it's still in the package, then dumping it all in the pan with the water and seasonings. It's frozen so you just want to break up the big frozen pieces.

I also like to add green chiles at this stage. If you like it hotter, you can add jalapenos or whatever hot pepper you like.

This is what it looks like when it's cooked:


You can use any kind of taco shells that you like. Scoop the cooked veggie crumbles into the shells and add cheese on top. This time I added a mix of cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. The pepper jack cheese is a great way to add extra flavor.  


I cook them in our toaster oven. It saves electricity and they come out great.

Cook them until the cheese melts:


Then add whatever taco toppings you like. Lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, gaucamole, etc.


I really hope you try these tacos. Even if you are not vegetarian, I think you may make the switch to these after trying them. Many of my meat eating family members have.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Todd Parr

This is my fifth 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.


I love Todd Parr's children's books.


Do's and Don'ts is so funny. The pictures are the best part.
Some of my favorite lines are:

Do change your socks every day. Don't make anyone smell them.
Do have lunch with a monkey. Don't eat his bananas.
Do wear clean underwear. Don't wear it on your head.
Do brush your teeth after every meal. Don't brush with peanut butter.


The kids and I love Zoo Do's and Don'ts.
Some of our favorite lines:

Do take a nap with a hippo. Don't let him steal all the covers.
Do go to the movies with a skunk. Don't make her mad.
Do take dance lessons with a porcupine. Don't slow dance with him.
Do brush your hair with a lion. Don't braid his mane.
Do wash your clothes with a rhino. Don't hang them on his horns to dry.
Do take a drive with a giraffe. Don't drive under a bridge.



The Peace Book is my favorite.

Peace is making new friends.
Peace is keeping the water blue for all the fish.
Peace is listening to different kinds of music.
Peace is saying you're sorry when you hurt someone.
Peace is helping your neighbor.
Peace is reading all different kinds of books.
Peace is thinking about someone you love.
Peace is giving shoes to someone who needs them.
Peace is planting a tree.
Peace is sharing a meal.
Peace is wearing different clothes.
Peace is watching it snow.
Peace is keeping the streets clean.
Peace is offering a hug to a friend.
Peace is everyone having a home.
Peace is growing a garden.
Peace is taking a nap.
Peace is learning another language.
Peace is having enough pizza in the world for everyone.
Peace is keeping someone warm.
Peace is new babies being born.
Peace is being free.
Peace is traveling different places.
Peace is wishing on a star.
Peace is being who you are.


Todd Parr wrote a book specifically about adoption. A few of the lines are:

We belong together because...you needed a home and I had one to share.
We belong together because...you needed someone to kiss your boo-boos and we had kisses to give.
We belong together because...you needed someone to read to you and we had stories to share.
We belong together because you needed someone to say, "I love you" and we had love to give.
Now we all have someone to kiss good-night.


The way it is written, it can sort of come across like you are doing the child a favor by adopting them. Obviously that is not at all how I feel about adoption and not the idea you want to express to your child, so I recommend skipping this book and using his book The Family Book instead.



The Family Book does a great job talking about all different kinds of families. It uses human and animal families in the pictures. It talks about how some families look like each other and others do not. Some are small, some are big, some are noisy, some are quiet, some eat the same food, some eat different food, etc.

It even speficially mentions that some families adopt children. It also says that some families have step parents and step sisters and brothers. Some families have one parent instead of two. Some families have two moms or two dads.

This is a book that works for any child or family and is great because it not only make them feel good to read about a family like their own, but it helps them to understand other types of families.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This Weekend

Thank you for all the comments on my last post. I really appreciate the support. It honestly makes a difference. I don't know what I would do without you guys.

Don't worry, I won't be jumping off a bridge this weekend. I am actually looking forward to what we have planned. 

After work we are dropping my car off to be inspected. We're going to leave it there tonight and pick it up whenever it's done tomorrow. We've been putting it off because we know they're going to find something and it's going to cost money we don't have. Adam gets his overtime pay today, so it will finally be taken care of.  (No, that's not the part of the weekend I am excited about.)

After dropping my car off, we are going to my parents' house for dinner and probably some RockBand.

Saturday morning we are going to the public market.

And then Saturday night we are going to the drive-in!!!
It has been closed since early fall and this weekend it opens again!

We will be seeing Date Night and Crazy Heart.





I love the drive-in!