Tuesday, August 30, 2011

going crazy

I feel like I'm going crazy just a little under 11 months of waiting. I don't think I can wait anymore. Coworkers this weekend were telling me how well I'm dealing with this all. Little do they know that I feel like I'm unraveling. I dont know how much longer I can keep up this act of normalcy when really I'm falling apart.

On a bright note my sister mailed me a door hook for the nursery with frogs which is our nursery theme.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Self Centered

My mother told me about a book today about a woman that used IVF to conceive- one twin died and the other ended up in the NICU. She described how this woman was self centered in her desperation to have a baby.

Now we did not try IVF for many reasons but I can relate to that desperate feeling of wanting a baby. I think its human nature whenever you can't have something you want, the more driven you are to have it. We did not choose to use IVF for many reasons primarily ethical reasons. IVF frequently results in multiples and humans are not dogs that have litters of children. On top of the fact that my back could never survive multiples. The hormones that induce ovulation and the the procedures to retrieve the eggs I feel have not been researched enough and there was potential harm to me. IVF is not guaranteed to result in a pregnancy and honestly I could not continue the month after month disappointment. Lastly I find adoption more appealing then IVF- I in a strange way feel like I was meant to adopt. With that said I can understand that deep desire to have a biological baby and the use of IVF even though I've always been against it is right for some people.

I think that my mothers comment is the root of my current frustration. Not her specifically but her comment about this woman's self centered nature. This desire for a baby rules my thoughts daily. It may appear self centered to some but until you have been in my shoes please dont judge me. I wanted to tell my mom this but I dont think she realizes that all women that I have spoken to as well as read about that are/have experienced infertility can relate to this desperate need for a child. I'm not sure where it comes from but its universal. So in essence she was calling me self centered. So some might call it self centered but I call it desperate.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

vows and frustration

For our first year wedding anniversary the traditional gift is paper. I had our vows framed and are hanging in our living room. The other night after DH was in bed I took a minute to read our vows. We wrote our vows together on the futon in our apartment.

Here is what we came up with:
I (Name), promise to respect you (name) for who you are and who you will grow to become, whether I am near or far away. I promise to be faithful, understanding, caring, to work together, and be creative in overcoming life's challenges. I promise to always find the best in you and laugh often and much. But most of all, I promise to love you unconditionally.

This process at times has really challenged me to take my vows to heart. I think the most relevant vow is being creative in overcoming life's challenges.

I've been on this wedding trend recently in my post in part likely because of our anniversary. In part I should be happy that I'm married and have found the one to spend my life with and enjoy each others company while we have peace and quiet. Honestly though I'm sick of waiting and I'm sick of pretending that its "OK" and that when "then times right" it will happen, I'm sick of being pleasant when asked if i've heard anything, and i'm sick of being happy for other people... and those my friend are my honest to goodness feelings. I think i've been focusing on the anniversary/wedding because I'm trying to convince myself that I should just be happy with where I am. I am happy with my marriage just not with our situation.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

blogging about waiting....

I've been thinking about how strange it is to blog about being is this limbo phase of adoption. We are approved to be adoptive parents we just dont have a birth mother that has chosen us yet. We could have a baby tomorrow we could have a baby two years from now. We just dont know. So often when people ask us if there are any updates we honestly can say "no." For something that is so stagnant at this point I do feel like I have a lot to say.

In some ways its like writing about watching paint dry. Not a whole lot is happening fast.

At the same time nothing is happening to us we still have feelings about our waiting. We also have positive (and unfortunately negative) interactions with family, friends and strangers. I just sometimes laugh at how much I have to say about nothing. At least it gives DH a short break from having to listen (which he is great at by the way).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dateline NBC Friday 8/19

Last night there was a story on Dateline NBC which discussed Paternal Birthparent rights. I was hesitant to watch it because I feared that it would make adoptive parents look like evil child snatchers. Unfortunately I think in this case the agency, the birth mother and or her family, and the adoptive parents acted poorly.

The story focused on one birth father who had made it clear prior to the birth of the child that he wanted to raise the child himself if the birth mother was unwilling/unable. He was 20 at the time his baby was born and he was not notified of the birth only that the birthmother had started working with an adoption agency. After several attempts to contact her he realized that she probably had the baby. He never had a chance to see his baby, he only has a few photos that the birthmother provided him. His baby was adopted by a family in Utah and the agency was from Utah.

On the paper work completed by the birthmother it indicates that she knew who the father was. She also indicated that she knew the father was not supportive of the adoption and wanted to maintain parental rights (not in so many words). The child however was moved quickly to Utah. My guess is because they knew the birthfather would fight it.

So I have a few problems with this story. The first is it seems to me that Utah is/or may become a magnet for birthmothers that want to ensure an adoption when there is a desire from a birthfather to be a single parent and raise the child. Second the adoptive family was aware of the birthfathers desires. The combination of the two sounds more like baby buying then adoption to me. What also concerns me is that there is a federal law called the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. This means if we adopt a baby out of state the baby will have to remain in the state until that state determines that baby can leave the state. It sounds like in this case that the baby should have remained in Virginia as the birthfather had expressed interest in raising the child and they knew his name just not his address. I'm sure a quick search of the DMV records they could have found an address/phone #. Also clearly the birthmother had this information. Once the baby is transfered from one state to the other even if fraud is committed (i.e. the birth mother claims she doesn't have an address for the birthfather) the transfer is final and the laws of the new state apply (which in Utah is heavily stacked against birthfathers).

Birthfathers do pose a "threat" to adoption because they are not physically attached to the adoption. It is clear without a doubt who the birthmother is. As for birthfathers I must trust that the birthmother is being honest in stating she does or does not know who the birthfather is. Its always "safest" when the birthfather is known and agreeable to the adoption.

This story bothered me because the adoptive parents clearly knew the desires of the birth father. There is no reason that the birthfather should not raise his child as he desires. The birth mother and or her family, as well as the agency she worked with worked hard to keep the father from being involved. As an adoptive parent to be, I dont want someones else's baby that the birthparent/s feel they can love and raise. I want my adoption to be an act of love in which both birth parents ideally feel that we would make good parents for their child. Stories like these make adoption scary and there does need to be a cut off in which parental rights are terminated and the adoptive family can move on knowing that their family has grown by one. In this case thought it was clear from the start that the birthfather did not ever agree to perental rights being terminated unfortunately he fought his battle in Virginia too long since as soon as the baby was transfered the new states laws took effect even thought fraud took place.

I dont want to buy, steal or cheat in order to have a baby. My marital status, educational level or career success does not make me a better parent. It does make things easier but it doesn't make me better.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

roses and rainbows

We celebrated DH promotion with the guys he graduated the academy with. One of the guys has a 2 year old who is cute as a button with curls and big brown eyes. She is smart and has spunk both of which she used in testing her parents at dinner. It was exhausting just watching the debate over how many pieces of brocoli needed to be eaten in order to get a cup cake after dinner. Its moments like those that remind me parenting isn't just roses and rainbows.

I think I've mentioned this before but a major difference between pregnancy and awaiting an adopted baby is adoptive parents get some control. This means that at any point we could take our selves out of the pool of waiting parents. I wouldn't dare to do this but its always an option. So when a pregnant lady starts to panic about if she can be a parent or not she is stuck (unless she places her baby for adoption), while I on the other hand can start thinking "oh my God what have I gotten myself into... I can't do this... I need off the list NOW." Then I start to dream of all the vacations and nice things I could buy with our adoption nest egg.

Lucky for us DH and I have yet to have these dreams on the same day so we always bring the other to our senses. I wanna be a parent because after the rain storms there has got to be roses and rainbows- right?!

Monday, August 15, 2011


My boss asked me today if I had any baby news. She said I looked different. I was wearing contacts and was a little tan/sun burned. She didn't think so... she said I had a glow about me. I honestly think it was the refreshing time away from the stress of life. We didn't do much of anything but wander, swim, lay around, read, enjoy each others company, eat good food (very good food), drink good wine and local beer, shop, talk, and were away from phones and computers (as best I could- I was worried about the dog alone in the house who was being checked on my a friend a few times a day).

The topic of babies as well as more babies came up but for the most part we didn't stress. We laughed that 7 years ago when we met 7 years seemed so far away (7 years is when DH would auto corporal meaning a promotion). Our wedding 4 years ago seems almost as long ago as 7 years. Sometimes I wish I had been more insistent that we try having children sooner; however I also know the outcome of how we would create our family wouldn't be different. I know though that trying sooner would have made decisions harder - save for a house or a baby, stay in a job I hate and have a baby or change jobs and have no baby. We also are in a place financially as well as with greater life experience have greater maturity which all will make parenting easier. Knowing this does not make me wish any less that we already had a baby it makes me hope that things happen a certain way for a reason. 7 years from now hopefully I'll two babies one in school and it will seem like 7 years wasn't that far away and time will have flown past. 7 years from now I will also likely day dream of carefree vacations.

I'd like to think that my glow was more then a vacation but I know better then that. Maybe adoptive mom's glow before "the phone call"?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 years ago

4 years ago I was days away from being married. I was having the typical pre wedding jitters. We were getting the final details together and getting ready to cook up a storm. DH and I had an intimate wedding with immediate family. With the help of family I cooked everything we ate with the exception of the cake.

We had been engaged 8 months and had moved our wedding to prior to my start of grad school from our original plan for after I graduated. The primary reason was my grad school required all students to have health insurance and paying for two years of health insurance was going to be as much as grad school. We had to forgo a "real wedding" primarily for financial responsibility. We also had to forgo the traditional honeymoon.

In hind sight I am happy with how things turned out. Waiting two years to get married would have been torture. Also a big wedding would have not been fun for me. There are people I wish we could have invited but the more exceptions we made the more feelings would have been hurt. We didn't have an exotic honeymoon but we have made a nice tradition of taking a short trip each year. This year is lake placid where the Olympics were held in 1980.

Things have not always been easy or perfect but we always make the best of the situation. I also think things turn out the way they should. An extravagant wedding just wasn't possible for us when I was about to quit my job for grad school nor was a fancy honeymoon. What we got was a wedding that was perfect for us and fit our personalities. I know when our baby arrives I'll feel the same way. Whoever this kiddo is that we have waited not so patiently for is going to be perfect for us.

So I'm taking a few days to enjoy DHs undivided attention in the mountains of NY. Happy 4th anniversary love!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

60 years from now....

Sixty years from now if I have dementia how will I speak of my children? Working with older adults many of them with dementia you are given an opportunity to hear about peoples true feelings. This evident even in my own family with my Grandmother starting to identify one of my cousins that was adopted as their (my aunt and uncles) adopted child. As in her days when she had a social filter never would have brought up the fact he was adopted unless the topic was adoption.

I have had one patient that was unable to have children and once her husband passed away she became more depressed and devastated about this. It made me realize that I had no choice but to have children even if we couldn't create children. It clearly is a regret she had that she was unable to undo and her only choice was to continue to greave it or make peace.

Another resident I had adopted two children. It was interesting that she never mentioned their origins until one day she thought they had come to visit but left without saying hello. In reality her children had not visited that day, but when working with people that have dementia you dont argue with them. That is their reality and you have to work WITH their reality not against it. It was at that very angry point that she told me that she adopted them. When I shared with her that we were awaiting to adopt a baby she did calm down. I hope for her sake that she doesn't demonstrate that anger towards her children because I can tell by how they care for her that she loved/s them. I am near positive that the anger comes more from the inability to have children then the fact that her children were adopted.

It got me thinking. When my guard is down and my ability to filter my feelings is gone; will I be angry that I wasn't able to have children or will I be at peace that I did have children I just didn't create them.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Looking Back

Every now and then I like to look back to last year this time and see my thoughts and what was happening. As we approach one year of waiting I hope that it means we are one year closer to our baby. Last August we were partaking in our first interviews, we climbed mt. Washington for our third anniversary, and we were eager to wait as we knew it meant we would have been approved. Now we have been waiting 10 months and we feel no closer today then we did 10 months ago.

Its not to say things have not changed. Our house has a nursery that just needs the word and it will be set up. Our dog has settled down so I wont feel like I'm going mad caring for a baby and a puppy. DH got a promotion at work which along with the tile change from officer to corporal also is accompanied by a pay increase. Which translates into faster savings towards the adoption. We have achieved the magic number when you consider my business account and our savings account (though I'd prefer it to all come from our savings because I want to start a business with my business account).

A year ago tomorrow DH had just read my blog for the first time. In the past week I have invited two of my closest friends from Wisconsin to join in the following of my blog. Unlike DH told me a year ago they informed me it wasn't depressing, but reality.

This week I also have started to read a few other adoptive mom to be, adoptive mom and birth mothers (aka first moms) blogs. A few of the adoptive moms started their blogs prior to adopting and now have babies!! My favorite one is actually a first mom and adoptive mom who both were blogging prior to deciding to adopt. I believe they connected through the blog and resulted in a very very successful open adoption. Its stories like these that give me hope. It also made me realize how important an open adoption is to me.

So as we prepare for our fourth anniversary I'm hopeful that next year when I look back to this date I will be a Mom. If not I'll still be the luckies lady in the world with an amazing husband that loves me and would do anything for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

dog "adoption"

The definition of adoption is: "the act of accepting with approval." Since begingin our adoption journey the use of the word adoption when referring to getting a dog from the pound or rescuing a dog from a kill shelter bothers me. I'll freely admit that I had used the term prior when we rescued our lab mutt from a Tennessee kill shelter. I'll also freely admit that the word "adopt" or "adoption" when looking at the definition fit this description.

What prompted this post was a Facebook post by a college friend who must be involved with a rescue. She was requesting help transporting there "helpless babies" from Ohio to Wisconsin. The are NOT babies they are puppies!! She then was looking for adoptive homes for the babies.

In all honesty I think it was the combination of the words babies and adoption in the same sentence referring to dog rescue. Had she used babies and rescue or puppies and adoption I dont think I would have been so irritated.

Again I'll admit I'll at times refer or my cat or dog as my babies. I feel conflicted on this topic but her post really got to me. So rather then venting on her facebook page... instead I thought this would be more appropriate.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fingers Prints

Support group was tonight. It was our social workers last night and I really had to fight back tears. She gets us and knows us and its scary to think there wont be anyone left at the agency that knows us personally. We will be just another book. Although I never did I always knew that I could call her or e-mail her with any questions or concerns and she would validate me and answer my question no matter how stupid. She is amazing and will be missed.

I did get a chance to ask her if we were late on our finger printing because I had gotten mine done last year just prior to starting my new job. Lucky that we asked because we in fact were a month late on our finger prints.

Just found this unposted post from May.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


TTA on many family planning "communities" ironically stands for Trying to Avoid (pregnancy). TTA on these other blogs or "online communities" this system uses many of the same strategies as TTC (trying to conceive) charting body temperature, cervical mucus, and days of the month to predict ovulation in hopes to use "natural family planning." I just thought it was ironic and a little funny that while my TTA stands for desperately awaiting my bundle of joy for others they are praying for an opps not to happen. I can't imagine spending the amount of time and energy that we spent trying to have a baby on trying NOT to have a baby. Just a little fun fact of the day.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Living Life

Wednesday I had my performance swing dance class. I had to tell my dance teacher we are expecting. I was happy with her response which was positive. Not sure she got what I was trying to tell her which was performance night I MIGHT be in PA or DC or possibly right her in VT with out a baby I dont know. It's hard to continue to live life knowing it could be turned upside down (in the most positive of ways). I didn't book our tickets to WI until less then a month prior to our trip, I was nervous when we paid for our anniversary trip, and this performance class has me nervous to. My day to day life is less concerning to me I'm just always in the back of my head making big commitments with just a little extra consideration. I just wish I knew WHEN.

Sometimes I tell people like my employer or my dance teacher. Other times I hold it back when scheduling meetings but its always in the back of my mind. I'm always someone that is dependable and try to be prepared this experience is driving me crazy! There are some things I hope not to miss or even experience with my baby such as my performance class or our trip to WI. While other things I'm not going to give a second thought to like well my maternity leave.

As my profession indicates I need to keep Living Life to its Fullest, because while it makes me crazy making comitments i'm not positive I can keep those same things like my dance class are also the things that keep me sane.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

everything looks perfect from far away

Last week I heard the song "such great heights" by the postal service. It made me think about how jealous I get of other families who have babies.  We all have things others want and vise versa.  We desire things that we see others have may it be a owning a house, a car, marriage, a job, family close by and in our case a baby.  Those things we desire look so easy and desirable when others have them.  In reality all of these things we lust after require hard work and are far from easy.  Although I'm ready for the responsibility and my intellectual self knows how challenging a baby will be my emotional self says it looks so easy and other families are so perfect.  In reality all things look perfect from far away and nothing is perfect.

This train of thought then brings me to think about how our society views perfectionism and the American Dream and how it relates to adoption.  I can't be perfect from this vantage point as we can't produce the 2.5 children.  From my experience thus far there is a perception that children that are adopted are defective and are destined for devient behavior.  Far more frequently then I wish I the initial response to the fact that I'm expecting a baby is positive then followed up by a adoption horror story.  Frequently these "horror" stories are stories of babies, children or teens that happen to be adopted acting like typical babies, children or teens.

Everyone wants their children to be successful but I feel an added pressure to make sure my child isn't held back by a perception that they are destined to be bad.  I also dont want the burden of knowing that when my child makes mistakes, or throws a temper tantrum like all children do that someone in the room will be thinking about the fact they are adopted.  I wish everyone around me was better then that but unfortunately its my reality.  My child will not be perfect, I'm not perfect but I'd love to at least be perceived that way.

It took a few days to publish this post... I'm still not sure that I have this right.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The amazing women in my life

I just spent a week in Wisconsin/Minnesota where my family lives. Which made me realize how many amazing women I have in my life. While in Milwaukee I got to spend time with my grandmother who is one of the most amazing women along with my mother. Both of them take challenges in life and make them look easy. My grandmother had 12 children and 29 grand children and she has always made it look easy. She always took great pleasure in sharing stories about her family. Family was extremely important to her and even though her family is large she kept us together with family gatherings. While she now only knows me if I ask her "Do you know Megan?" she then responds yes then when I told her "I'm megan" she was delighted to see me each and every time she re-met me. While she clearly loved each and every one of us she was not overly affectionate but there was no doubt that she wanted the best for all of us. My Grandmother is also part of the reason we are growing our family with adoption. Her brother adopted two children and two of her sons adopted children. I never realized that there was a difference in her eyes between her biological and adopted grandchildren or nieces. It wasn't until her dementia started to set in and her filter fell that she did made indications that there were differences but while we were growing up I had not a clue. I used to tell my mother that I wanted to adopted 13 children 7 girls and 6 boys so that I could have more children then my Grandmother I also realized her ability to split gender 6 boys 6 girls was pure luck for her and I'd have better chances with adoption.

During my travels I got to visit with my mother that is thrilled to be a Grandmother herself soon. She also has been encouraging us to go on a vacation she keeps telling us to keep the checks for the adoption and spend our savings on a REAL vacation.

In addition to my family I saw my Godmother who's unconditional love makes me feel unworthy. I also saw my best friend from high school as well as my best friend from college both of whom if they had their way would have me return to Wisconsin in a heart best.

All of them have been supportive and amazing and I know when our baby (girl? :) ) arrives they will be the most amazing extended family but just too far away.

In my time in Wisconsin though it made me realize that I have to start working harder at creating a group of amazing women here in Vermont because reality is this is my home.