Sunday, December 19, 2010


So I found an unused breast pump online and have started to pump. I have scrounged the net to find out how to induce a milk supply. I'm already at a loss since I had a breast reduction about 10 years ago. There is limited info on the net. My basic understanding is that I can routinely pump until we get a match. At that point I need to pump every 2-3 hrs. I REALLy want to breastfeed and I'm worried um going to be disappointed.

On a side note during my internet search I read a site which basically equated an adoptive mother breast feeding to child molestation because the child is not biological... I was surprised but I guess I now am better prepaired for ignorance.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Our baby will only have one great grandparent which is my grandmother on my fathers side. When we first started ttc it was just prior to DH only surviving grandparent his grandfather was diagnosed w bone cancer. Unfortunately he passed quickly and never knew our good news. Tonight I was able to tell my grandmother we were waiting for a baby to adopt. She was happy and wished that it would happen quickly though due to her dementia she won't recall the next time I talk w her. Infact she asked me tonight if I already had any children. She always wanted greargrandchildren and never made this a secret it just makes me sad that she won't be able to enjoy her wish as she only lives in her present moment in her present truth.

Friday, December 3, 2010

life must go on

Another month is about to pass. Two months down who knows how many more to go, but life must go on. This month is a little easier. My menstrual cycle definitely brings up stronger emotions. Tuesday night I watched 16 & pregnant before going to sleep. I had a dream that night that I wad pregnant and had been for three months I felt really stupid because I had not realised I was. I then at some point realized that I had my period. My dream was vague as to if it was a miscarriage or just my period.

I was surprised thanksgiving wad much easier then I expected. Last year I cried because I wanted to be pregnant. This year I know I'm just waiting for my call. The day after thanksgiving my in-laws and D.H. went to a tag sale at the retirement center my mother-in-law works for. I initially did not see anything that caught my eye until D.H. and I sat in the balcony. I found our nursery rocking chair. Lucky for me its cover is ugly because it was over looked... w a little tlc ill have the chair that I'm going to rock my baby to sleep in.

Other life choices are challenging to make while life goes on. We NEED to remodel our bathroom as we have a mold problem. However in terrified to pay for the remodel since I'm worried that we will get a match but have to pass our baby acre because we we paid for the remodel. The other hand it doesn't make sense to put life on hold for something that could be years. I also would never bath my child in our current bathroom..... so life must go on until we get the gift we are waiting for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby stuff

So when is the right time to start getting baby stuff? It's not a pregnancy where you know how long before the baby is born. You also don't know the gender. So since there is probably no "right" time I have been browsing craigs list. Our first purchase was a snugli baby carrier. My only hesitation is that it's going to take a long time and the stash of things will be a reminder of how long it is taking.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

October came and went

October was a bitter sweet month. We were approved to adopt which is exciting happy news. We know our book has been shown at least once to a mother that won't likely choose to create an adoption plan. We know we are on our way to waiting an undetermined amount of time. We have taken the time to read. I have read Scott Simons Baby we were meant for eachother and a frank book by a woman that adopted a biracial baby.

The sad aspects of this past month was that the fertility doctor gave us the month of October as the month that if we were not pregnant by we wouldn't be able to conceive on our own. October was also the month we moved into our home. As well as the month another friend announced their pregnancy. October is also the month of two useless menstrual cycles.

I try to mitigate this disappointment by reading, keeping busy, and realizing that I will get more time off if our baby does not arrive until march or later as I recently changed jobs. I also took time last Sat night to write our Rep Peter Welch as his office provided us w incorrect info on tax credits. I also shared w him that there should be legislation that would allow me to be paid for my FMLA as my coworkers that birth their children. Since my employer pays their employees using short term disability for FMLA I don't qualify. While their insurance pays for all expended for the pregnancy and recovery I on the other hand will shell out 1/3 of our income prior to taxes in order to pay for the adoption and take my FMLA.

I don't expect to actually make a change however it keeps me busy.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Mixed reception to the email sent to family/friends. I was surprised by my mothers side responded quickly and w the exception of one aunt. My fathers side was relatively silent though this will be great-grandchild #2. Only one cousin responded and her response was sweet and excited. Our friends were excited as was DHs extended family. It's hard to figure out what to expect since I don't know anyone that has gone through this... I can only compare it to friends and family that have announced their pregnancys and it's hard not to compare. I guess I'll have to get better at letting things roll off and come up w better/more one liners. This experience though has really shown me that your expectations are often not met by those you have expectations of and those you had little expectation of often surprise you.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Family & Friends,

DH & I are excited to announce that we have been approved to be adoptive parents through the home study process.  As some of you already know we started the process in April and our final interview was tonight!  Our Dear Birth parent book is now available to be shown to birth parents.  We will be working with our agency as well as the birth parents to hopefully allow for an open adoption which will allow for an exchange of pictures, letters and possibly even visits after our baby arrives.

We want to thank all of our family and friends that have written letters of recommendation as well as wrote pages in our Dear Birth parents book.  Thank you for taking the time to listen when we complained about being finger printed and helping us write what our "parenting style" will be.

At this point in the process we wait until we are matched with a birth parent.  Unlike a pregnancy, our wait to be matched could be months or years but once matched we will only have a few months or possibly weeks to prep for the arrival of our first baby!  We hope we have big news soon!

Me & DH

This is it!

We were specifically directed NOT to clean.  It was challenging, I'll admit I cleaned two weeks ago, one of those deep cleans where I cleaned the stove, cars, under couches, dusted, got on hands and knees to wipe floors cleaned.  Last weekend I purposefully did not clean.  As the social worker was touring our house tonight though I started noticing ALL of the things that were SO dirty!!  Oh well.

The interview went well.   Our dear birth parent books were between the doors when I got home from work and I immediately opened the package and started to look at it sitting on the porch.  I was going to make dinner before she arrived but realized that though for once I remembered to defrost the meat before I left for work we didn't have any pasta.  Oh well.

She arrived a few minutes late, loved our cat, liked our dog and we sat down to answer questions.  Most of the questions were already answered in our written application (as in past interviews) but she wanted us to elaborate.  Its frustrating for me as I know she has the answers, and seriously what parent knows their exact parenting style before having kids.  We at least both agree on no spanking.  DH is better at answering questions I just felt like telling her to read our application (she did warn us that we may have this reaction). Oh well.

She walked through our house not saying much but writing.  Kinda odd.  Who knows what she was writing but the fact that she had few questions and little to say hopefully was a good thing.  She did mention the no fire extinguisher next to the fire place which during the first interview (the one where she told us everything we needed to do) that fire places didn't need extinguishers only wood burning stoves- while a fire place is not a wood burning stove.  oh well.

She left without our books because I wanted to hand write some things as well as sign our names at the end.  I made a mistake over one picture and wrote that it was our 2nd not 3rd anniversary trip that the picture was taken on.  They will never know so- oh well :)

All the hard work is behind us and now we wait....

Monday, September 27, 2010

Worth it!!

Our book is done!! Well a few minor edits and my parents need to paste in their text. It is really nice to see what our families have to say about us as well as their thoughtful introductions. I think we could have dine a few things to have made the process go a little smoother- the first calling vs email. Dh primarily communicated via email and well we all know that we don't really read carefully. Many members of our family only put captions to the pictures rather then telling about who they were. I also would have been more controlling from the start giving them bullet points to cover- relationship to us, likes/dislikes, and their feelings about being an aunt/uncle/grandparent. In the end it turned out and I'm hoping that the pages from our family will help us get picked faster :)

One week until our final interview I think we have everything done except putting up the railing on the stairs to the basement.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good idea/bad idea

So we thought it would be a fun idea to have our families write their own pages in our dear birth parent book.  In part to help them understand the hard work we have to do in order to get the the point of adopting.  Making the decision to move forward with adoption is a huge decision not because you are choosing to have a child (that decision was often made years before) but because of the financial stress, time stress, and loads of paper work required.  We also wanted them included and to be a part of the process.  The deadline is a week away and only one family member has completed their page (though a second e-mailed me tonight to let me know that theirs just needs to be reviewed).  I hope this added stress is worth it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Action packed week

This past week flew by.  When I have lots of things to do and can be productive I am very positive about the situation.  When I feel like I have nothing I can do thats when the sadness sets in.  I've always been someone that has needed the ability to act, to do something to make my situation change.  When I am in a holding pattern waiting for the next interview I feel helpless.

So how did the individual interviews go?

Tuesday- DH's interview.  Dont know how it went except that when I spoke with him on the phone he reported that the social worker informed him that we had nothing to worry about and if we wanted to tell people about how we were adopting we didn't have to worry about not being approved.  DH has been on evenings these past few weeks and on top of the fact he has an officer he is training in the car with him he never is much of a talker but that has intensified the problem.  After my interview we had a chance to chat but i'll get to that after so... basically I went into the interview blind as DH did.

Wednesday- My interview.  Went well.  I hate to talk about myself.  I'm not overly sentimental nor is my family so questions like "what is your fondest memory growing up" was hard to answer.  A big portion of the interview was just describing the personalities and my relationships with my parents and sisters.  It always seems funny to me that things that I find important others don't necessarily and vice versa.  For example she really dwelled on my mothers back injury.  Yes it meant more responsibility growing up; however it also had positives- my mother didn't work and was home all through my high school.  They obviously asked about drugs, alcohol, etc which were non-issues for me.  I think the hardest questions were describing personalities, conflicts, and memories.  So my advice to anyone for the future is... become a little sentimental before you go in.  Of course after the interview I came up with lots of things (i.e. family traditions- Friday night treat night in which a daughter who's treat night it was got to go out with our father to the store to purchase a treat.)  eh well.

After my interview I talked to DH about his interview and learned "what he would change about me is" my back problems, "the hardest thing we have ever gone through" was infertility.  I felt like his responses were so much more caring then mine... "what I would change about DH is" the range of his emotional responses (he doesn't get excited, sad, angry- very mono emotional) and "the hardest thing we have ever gone through" was grad school as we lived apart for almost 2 years.

Pediatrician visit
We have a pediatrician.  I think we wanted to get a lot from the physician and as always they are a little standoffish when it comes to telling you what disabilities, drugs, etc are "OK."  I was a little irritated by his comment regarding that the "adoptive parent preference" sheet is bias towards the adoptive parents.  I dont think there is anything wrong with choosing which disabilities/drugs are acceptable or not.  Here is why- as adoptive parents we have NO control over what care, nutrition, etc is taken.  If I were to carry a child I would have risks for my child being born with a disability however if my tests results showed my baby may have Downs I would have the choice to carry to term or abort.  What would I do- I dont know but it would be a choice.  I also would not drink, smoke, take drugs, and would eat a healthy diet.  These are all factors that increase my chances for a healthy baby.  Its not an unfair bais towards the birth parents- its evening the playing field.  I do not think its fair to choose gender.

TTC (Trying to Conceive) site
I have been participating in a TTC site since February.  This week I ended my posting on the site.  Its too hard.  Since joining all the ladies that have joined prior to me already have conceived and now those who joined after me are starting to get their positive pregnancy tests.  I will have a baby - i'm TTA and am no longer TTC.  The ladies have been nothing but supportive in my transition to TTA and have helped me accept the change in course.  I wish them all positive pregnancy tests quickly!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


To start i'd like to say that i'm incredibly happy and lucky.  I have a great partner for life, a comfortable house, two loving goofy pets, a great job, and so much more.  I still find my self sad when watching other people that already have the chance to start a family.  Its not the ability to have children biologically that makes me sad its the wait.  A year ago we found this perfect house with intentions of getting a nursery ready and fence in the yard for a child to play.  At that point we already had been trying for long enough that for the "typical" couple to have already conceived.  DH is kind to remind me we are at the "guarantee" part of the process (adoption) because there IS a baby at the end of all of this... but a guarantee is not what I want.  What I want is a child to help nurture, love and watch grow up... in the mean time I wait and watch others have the opportunity to do just that.  

Today it was brought on by a lack of sleep, PMS, and a Baptism.  On other days its an cute toddler in the parking lot of the condo's down the street putting the facts of life together as they pass me by- "Daddy thats not my Mommy!!  She is someone else's mommy." As a result I find myself distancing myself and becoming abrupt as the last thing I want is to burst into tears on some unsuspecting person.  I'm nervous about my interview as I dont want this sadness to appear as if I'm morning our inability to have children.  Wednesday (my interview) will be here quickly and it will all be over soon :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dear Birth parents letter

A dear birth parent letter also frequently called a dear birth mom letter is now a portfolio or book more then a letter.  This book is shown to prospective birth parents (BP) that are seeking an adoption plan.  The book is shown to BP's that fit the adoptive parents requirements and vise versa.  So if a BP wants parents that are young and are active then adoptive parents that fit that criteria will be shown to them if the BP meet the requirements of the adoptive parents.   We will fill out a list of criteria including gender, age of baby, drugs BP use, and medical history of the baby/BP's.  The BP look at a few books and then decide which parents they want to meet.  The adoptive agency sets up a meeting for both sets of parents to meet.  If both sets of parents are in agreement the process continues and the adoptive parents and BP set up a plan for the openness of the adoption, as well as how the day of delivery will work.

A lot is riding on this book as this book is the first step to how the BP decides which adoptive parents they want to meet.  DH and I have begun working on the book.  We have set up pages using  The reason we are doing an electronic book is that we want our families to create their own pages.  I set up the pages on my own and got pictures organized (so I thought).  I dumped every digital picture we had as an option and then we were over whelmed (aka I was in tears).  We then removed ALL the pictures and started over.  We went through our digital albums and then only uploaded the one's we planned on using.  This helped and the process became fun.

Having our families do their own pages has its pluses and minuses.  Pluses- our family is involved and they now know how much work this process is taking, they also will be able to send messages to the BP of their grandchildren/niece/nephew, and they can provide us with feedback on our parts of the book.  Cons- hand holding is needed, frequent calls to keep people on track and remind them we have a deadline, and they can give us feedback on the book.

The picture part is about 50% done and we have started the writing part.  We have an outline started for the first two pages which is the letter itself (who we are, how did we get to this point, etc).  I will post our final letter on a future blog as we have found lots of sites telling us how to write a letter but no good examples.  We have written about our house, pets, and hobbies/fun activities.  We have created a new saying which is "thats too Geri Reiley, " or "ok Geri Reiley" (Geri Reiley is a local real estate agent that listed a house we looked at double dipping on space by listing the garage as a "room" as well as a garage).  Keeping things light and realizing you can always go back has helped... We still have a little over two weeks to get it done.

This week we both have our individual interviews as well as our meeting with the pediatrician.  Exciting week :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Interview 1- CHECK!

Dont worry about a thing...
Easy for our social worker to say! Today we were asked questions about our spiritual beliefs, our pets, what we did for fun, our typical routines, and vacations. Basically she learned we are boring (eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed), we don't go on vacations, our dog is nuts, and we dont agree on if there is a God or not.  She reviewed our financials a little.  We have since paid off DH's car and dont have debt with the exception of the house and student loans.  We dont have a lot in savings but we also dont have large amounts of debt either.

Homework before our final interview-

  • Read two books- I read 
    • "Nobody's Child"
    • "An Idiot's Guide to Adoption" (DH needs to read two books still)
  • Create an Emergency Contact list next to phone (We dont have a phone so we have to leave it on the fridge)
    • Neighbor's # (My aunt/uncle)
    • Identify an Emergency meeting place
    • Poison Control
    • Local police/fire dept
    • Pediatrician
    • I added (My parents, DH's parents, and both of our cell phones)
  • Complete preference sheet (what drugs, disabilities are acceptable)
  • Identify the company and the amount of our 401K/403B's
  • Make our home safe 
    • lock up guns (dont own any)
    • smoke detector (check)
    • carbon monoxide detector (check)
    • hand rails on all steps 
Individual Interviews
These are going to cover- History, Childhood, relationship with family/each other, high school, health reports, past/present drug use, etc.  My biggest worry is that DH and I are going to contradict each other.  Hopefully not on anything too big.

I left feeling even more nervous then I did going in but thats just my personality.  She informed us she felt good about the process so far and as long as we continued we would have no problems.  I have no big skeletons in my closet. 


This weekend DH's brother married his fiance of 2 years! We were able to tell him and his wife about our interview today in person and how we want them to complete a page in our dear birth mom book. As DH's family is significantly smaller then my family we also told his aunt and uncle about the impending interview. His other aunt and uncle already knew of the adoption as they have helped us learn about the process since they went through it themselves when they adopted their son 18 years ago. DH's uncle was so excited and bought him a beer.

Everyone knows someone-

Everyone knows someone who has gone through the adoption process then ended up pregnant. Our own minister had this very "problem" and has two children 6 months apart. Who am I to say this wont happen? If this were to happen it would be a little overwhelming but just as exciting as the process we are in now. DH thinks i'm being sensitive and taking it the wrong way. I interpret it as people saying "You may luck out and get a real child of your own." I'm really OK and excited about adopting... this child will be my real child as we will really be raising it from day 1, getting up in the middle of the night, nursing, and enjoying the happy tears, and wiping away the sad tears. I guess I have to get thicker skin or come up with a better response then "yes that could happen."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Joys of the Process

DH and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary this weekend and are doing so by staying at a B&B in NH in the shadows of Mount Washington. We will climb up the mountain together Saturday and cheat by taking the tram down. Its kind of a good metaphor of marriage and this process. The climb up is hard but the view is worth it and the ride after will be a breeze.

DH read my blog for the first time this past week and informed me that it was "depressing." I think its important though for me to write about the depressing, frustrating, scary, hard, unenjoyable, etc aspects of the process as once we arrive at the view and enjoy the ride after the memory of the trek to the goal will be easily forgotten. There will be joys (the day we got our appointment and finding a pediatrician) and those things will highlight in our mind looking back but there also were important struggles that are integral to the process.

I think another important aspect of this process is remembering to work together. I've been the detailed oriented person (making sure forms are filled out, filled out correctly, appointments made). DH has been grate at taking on tasks as well. DH talked to a trusted co-worker/friend about who they use as a pediatrician and took upon himself to call to make an appointment. The office called back tonight and asked him to call back during the day to set up a time for a "prenatal" visit.

I'm excited about this process... and I'm glad I have a good friend, partner, and confidant with me :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

appointment set!

Our first appointment is August 23rd! Can't wait!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ups and downs

Quite a bit continues to happen despite having the application in. Two of the people that provided letters of recommendations e-mailed them to us so we could read them. Both of them were touching and more then I could have written. DH's best friend growing up wrote one that had me in tears and the other was written by DH's aunt who had adopted a child 18 years ago. Its amazing what great family/friends we have and this process really has brought out the best in people.

I am reading a book entitled Nobody's Child written about the history of adoption in Europe. The book has been interesting though I will admit to skipping large chunks as much of the book focuses on "Foundlings" which are defined as children that are left to be found. This practice has greatly reduced due to a dramatic change in the systems for adoption. It is still interesting to read adult's perspectives on their adoption, wanting to know their birth parents, ect. One story particularly got me was a woman that grew up in an orphanage cried when she had her first child because she just wanted her mother. This particular woman was never adopted so never had foster or adoptive parents but it got me thinking. If we adopt a girl when it comes time for her to have her own children I will not have any experience to offer her. Its little things like this that make me sad. Its not the loss of being pregnant or even the lack of having a biological child; however it is the loss of not being able to relate to my child's experiences due to missing out on the pregnancy.

While I was at my pity party I also cried about how I'm always the one that has to be understanding as others do not understand. I'm tired of having to take the high road when people are insensitive but I also realize that its not beneficial not to. For example in telling a family friend about the reaction of a family member he responded by saying "maybe both sides were unreasonable" when I expressed that I was disappointed in the reaction. Although I had opinions about the birth of their child never have I said a word because its not my role... I just wish others would just be supportive and did not try to offer unsolicited advice.

Last but not least my pity party touched on how I dont get the female benefits of pregnancy- the extra attention, the excitement of being able to give the good news to DH when I got my positive pregnancy test, the late night trips for ice cream. I know it sounds silly but its honest. One benefit to my pity part was DH agreed to provide me with 9 months of treating me like i'm pregnant after we are approved... that means back rubs, foot rubs, ice cream on demand, toe nail painting, and well whatever else I demand ;)

We also were assigned a case manager today which was not a surprise since there is only one infant adoption social worker. I am excited to work with her as she was very open and helpful in our initial meeting with her. We also learned that we neglected to pay $80 for finger prints and DMV records to be requested. I think i'm going to have to get used to how expensive this process is going to be... its only money

Friday, July 23, 2010

Adoption application in!

I was up late last night working w my godmother on making edits to the application. When it came time to edit the application we started to read through it however as we began to edit we began to doubt our responces. I highly recommend having someone you trust edit the document for you.

After getting off of the phone I accepted the edits and printed the document I never fully read through the document start to finish. I then began to review the list if items required for the application. I had to hook up our old computer in order to get our 2009 tax 1090 forms. I also had to hunt down our birth certificates and wedding certificate. I debated updating the finacial page as we have increased our savings but decided not to as it's a constant flux which primarily goes up. Had it not been 11 pm I may have made the changes but 5:30am was fast approaching and decided to go to bed.

Today DH made copies of our birth certificates and got a copy of our marriage certificate so we didn't have to send our only copies. I deposit my pay check and DH skipped his after work run. We organized everything and drove the two blocks to the office as 4:30 pm was fast approaching and it's friday so we were worried everyone would already be fine home. I spent a few min explaining what was "missing" ie the finger prints since we don't get anything back when we went so I wasn't sure what we were supposed to include.

I'm so excited that we are on our way to have a baby!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The application is DONE! Well we are waiting for a family friend to return the document with edits but the questions are answered, the finger prints done, the financial information collected, and the references asked. I plan on making a few edits once we get the edits back but dont want to second guess our answers. We answered truthfully and with heart- its like a multiple choice test the first answer you settle on is usually the right one. Hopefully we have the application in by the end of the week! The next step is the home study and getting our portfolio started. We have started shopping for cameras.

The references we used are my Godmother as she knows both of us well and is an eloquent writer. DH aunt and uncle who had their son by adoption so can provide insight into our character as well as how they feel we will do with the adoption process. My aunt and uncle who live down the street were our final choice as they will know our baby well and will naturally be a large part of his or her life. I feel trust for all of these people my only concern is that the agency will not accept references from family members. Although we have mutual friends we could ask we felt that as we are in our late twenties references with greater maturity would be better for this process. If we have to select non family members we have a few people in mind but we hope to still use our aunts/uncles.

I can't believe its almost time to send off the packet!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

What and when to tell

It is common practice to not announce a pending birth until the end of the first trimester. The risk of miscarriage greatly reduces at this point and many health problems have been identified. Well with adoption there are so many layers. Birth parents begin looking at portfolios during their 6th month which means that if we wait to "announce" our pregnancy it is only 3 quick months away. With that said if we announce we are starting the adoption process its 1-5 years before a birth mom may pick us. I think we are going to have to pick a happy medium as we have already started to share with people individually and dont want anyone left out. We have already told our parents and will likely tell our siblings our definite commitment to the process in the next few weeks. I think an announcement to extended family once we have been approved for adoption will likely be the most ideal time to share the big news :) As the process proceeds I may have regrets or better advice on this one.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Time off...

We had many canceled appointments with our adoption agency. This was frustrating however provided us an opportunity to take some time off from the process. Since my last post we have answered all of the questions in our packet, we both have been finger printed, and we have finally met with the adoption agency social worker that will work with us through the process.

Part of our decision to move forward is we have worked out financing. Adoption financing is a huge problem and you need a degree in tax law in order to understand what your tax credit will be and when you will get it. I spent an hour at the IRS office waiting and then reviewing the tax forms associated with adoption. The hardest part is that you don't get the rebate until one year after your adoption expenses or the year your adoption is finalized. If you start to adopt but the adoption falls through and you start again, well that counts as "one baby." My parents have agreed to loan us any money we need to finalize the adoption. It was a challenging decision because once the baby arrives babies are expensive so spending the amount of money just prior to having a baby seems crazy! We are lucky to have this support. It was difficult to make the call and ask for the loan as my parents are not privately wealthy and my parents are nearing retirement.

One hard part about this process has been peoples responses to adoption. Although we have not made a big announcement however we have told a few people. Peoples reactions to our adoption have been mixed. My mother wanted to know when she could start telling people she was going to be a grandmother. A co worker when she found out we started the adoption process proceeded to tell me how a little fat girl who ate a whole bag of chip, was two years old and adopted and had come into work the day before. Although DH's nonchalant broaching of the subject may have prompted the response another family member proceeded to tell us about alternative medical procedures we could try for a biological child. No response is "normal" or "better" its just that often people appear to be unprepared and feel they need to respond with information while if I had announced I was pregnant people would just exclaim how happy they are. Often those with less then ideal responses come around to being excited and happy and appear just not to have known how to initially response or even realize that when we telling them we are adopting its our way of saying "We are having a baby!"

Our meeting with the social worker went well. She explained the process as well as how an open adoption would work. One point she made that we had not yet considered was that open adoptions typically attract more educated birth parents as although they realize they are not ready to be parents they still want a connection with their baby. She gave us an idea of how long it would take to have a baby (1-5 years) and supported our idea to contact a pediatrician. We had a chance to look over other adoptive parents dear birth mom books. It was interesting to see the many different styles and put to rest that there is no "right way" to make the book.

We still have some paper work to do before our home study can begin. We need to have a few forms filled out by our doctors, finalize financial information, and fill out DMV information. Although I feel done with paper work I'm revealed to be getting close. I think one concern was that our finances would make it appear we were not ready. Once we put it down on paper we actually look really good especially considering that I just changed jobs. After the application is done we need to start our adoption portfolio to show birth parents.... I think i'm going to have to buy a new camera.. and its going to have to be a good one because its likely the same one thats going to be taking pictures of our baby! :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Application Stress

So when was the last time you contemplated your parents parenting style, described your family life growing up, or your physical description? I started the application in March and DH and I worked on it again this weekend. How detailed is too detailed are we hitting the points they are looking for? Do they think we are just telling them what they want or is this who we really are? As a tip, if you are filling out one of these applications- dont call your parents to ask about their parenting style because they dont know. I read it to them after and they both seemed to agree. The funny part is now we have to write our parenting plan.

Marriage weaknesses? I try not to dwell and can't think of many... maybe we spend too much time together? Maybe DH takes too good of care of me? What about the spat we had last night when he came home from work at 11PM and I'd was sound asleep when he turned the light on?

I have been very short with people since sitting down to work on the application Sunday morning with DH. I'd like to think it has more to do with the impending presentation at a national conference but if I'm honest I think it the pressure each of these questions come with. I can only be honest. Who does not present themselves in a positive light but who is good all the time? 23 pages of self reflection is a lot which does not include the 5 pages of type written answers we have started but not completed. Some pages are easier then others like the child support page since neither of us have child support i'm not worried about the impact of these pages.

We plan on getting finger printed this week which should be interesting. I think we can add this to the song "I'd Do Anything" (Oliver the musical) as DH is clearly not looking forward to this step as he is a police officer at a local municipality. I am to the point though that these are the steps that need to be taken and I'm willing to do anything it takes.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How Frequently Baby's Come up...

It is amazing how frequently the topic of baby's come up. Some of it is really unexpected because there are a handful of people know we were TTC or know we are now TTA however others inadvertently make incentive comments. On Monday when a para at one of the schools I work at found out I was 28 and had no children told me my clock was ticking. I wanted to tell her "Actually my clock already stopped as did my husbands." Unfortunately the values of politeness my parents raise me with kept my tongue at bay. Some of it is misinformed like my co-worker that knew we were having trouble TTC apologized when I told her we had contacted Lund (the local adoption agency). I got teary not because I felt sorry that we could not conceive but because I've had baby's on my mind for 3 years at this point and we are not almost officially to the 1 year of TTC mark. Some of it is helpful and thoughtful. We talked to our Aunt this week as she has a son that was adopted at birth.

The conversation was very helpful. She told us about their home study (when the social worker comes in to check everything out), their adoption process, and things that have come up as her son has grown up. She made the home study process sound more manageable then I've anticipated it to be. They are not out to prevent you from having a child they just need to ensure a healthy home environment. She told us her one regret when she met her sons birth mom before he was born was she wishes she had taken a picture. She did say that her son at points in his life told her when he was upset that "He wishes he was with his real mom." She told me she responded by telling him that when he turned 18 that they would be happy to help him find his birth mom which is genesis because it instantly defuses the argument. She also talked a little about the Dear birth mom letter and how her birth mom picked her because they had talked about how they had been athletic and wanted her baby to go to an active home. I guess we can only be ourselves when we write our letter and we will see who picks us. She felt like she wasn't helpful but I'm glad we have her. I think this process is going to require aligning our selves with strong, positive people that will help us through the process.

I also contacted a local pediatrician to help us go through the drugs that we agree are "OK" for the birth mom to have exposed the baby to during the pregnancy. I was so angry the first time I opened the packet and read those questions. It took a few weeks but I am ready to complete that section of the paper work. I think it still disappoints me because not one of those things is "OK" for any baby to be exposed to, however its the reality of the situation. Many birth mom's don't know they are pregnant until weeks if not months after conception. I also have the right and the control to select that none are ok.... however I dont think thats realistic.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trying to Adopt (TTA)

This blog is in part a response to the lack of quality information on the internet and in bookstores about adoption but also as a tribute to our future son/daughter. I am sad to miss the first kicks and hiccups inside. I'm not going to have the same pregnancy stories as my childs peers. Rather our journey will be one of paper work, and waiting. I will have years to bond while my childs biological mother will only have 9 months. This is a journey in which my life and the life of a women I don't know yet will intertwine forever over the love of a child.

Our journey to begin the adoption process is one that was expected yet unexpected. Dear husband (DH) and I had planned to have a child biologically and adopt and subsequent children. When medical complications put an end to our trying to conceive (TTC) I was happy to put an end to the monthly waiting only to be disappointed. I think I was most saddened by missing out on the first 9 months of my child's life. I was sad that I would never be able to commiserate with another women about the joys/burdens of pregnancy/child birth. I wont have stories for my child about how they somersaulted inside my tummy.

I also have come to the realization that DH is an equal player in our TTA. There will be no late night demands for ice cream. I can change the litter box now. We both will equally get a hand in painting/prepping a nursery. This is strikingly odd that I am concerned with this as I'm a self described feminist; however at the root of it there is a piece of my feminist self lost here. Pregnancy is the one thing women can do that men cannot no matter how hard they try. Although this fact still remains true in being unable to conceive, pregnancy is now something else I have in common with men.

Through this blog I hope to document the journey. I want to be able to share with other women my joys and sorrows through this process. I also want to be able to share with my child this journey as well. Although I wont have any funny stories about how they moved so much in my tummy that I thought they may crawl out I will have stories about our journey that will be relevant to their joining our family. I'll have stories about how hard we had to work to get them and I'm sure there will be funny stories during this process- I just can't imagine what they are- yet.