Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are You unable to have children?

Uneducated woman: Are You unable to have children?

Me: Actually I can we are adopting.

Uneducated woman: No I mean children of your own.

Me: NO we cannot have children biologically but we are adopting.

(Good Lord thats rude!!  I should have just repeated my first response).

Uneducated woman: How much does it cost?

Me: It depends since its income contingent.

(she noticed I was getting irritated I think)

Uneducated woman: I was just asking because my daughter has been trying to have a baby for 12 years.

(yeah.... right...)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So I sent it... No turning back now.

I e-mailed the letter out.  One round to my Dads family at about 3PM and another one about 15 minutes ago to my Moms family, our friends and DH's family.  So far I received one response.  It was from my younger sister who is actually the one that prompted the letter in the first place.  It was a very positive response and she told me that she knows we will make great parents.  I'm not sure what to expect, but I will let you all know!

Monday, November 28, 2011


Last November I was debating when I should get baby stuff.  This November I have the crib.  Its all set up (and now needs to be taken down I just can't look at it).  I have a bag packed with a list of things that we would need to grab (cell phones, chargers, camera, clothes, pj's, money, credit card, car-seat, insurance cards, licenses, contacts, glasses, medications, and a gift for the birthmother).  I have all the diapers I need, a breast pump, tub, bottles, baby clothes, and sheets.  I think I have everything I need to hunker down for the first month.

DH will tell me its not ironic but just a fact... he never did like that song.

All joking aside- I'm seriously ready already!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adoption Friendly Language Letter

I have sent the letter out first to my cousins and aunts and uncles that grew their families with adoption.  The letter has not been sent and I'm open to comments/suggestions.

Dear Family and Friends,

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. During our last year of waiting we have had many wonderful conversations with family and friends. We also realize that adoption language is new to many of you. So we thought we would take the opportunity to talk about 'adoption friendly' language.

Each adoption is different and each family that grows with adoption is different. We also want to start to prepare you all for the arrival of our baby. Adoption is not something that we plan to keep a secret and we will openly discuss in our home. We hope that you can become comfortable discussing adoption as well to help reinforce that our baby will be special because s/he will have two sets of mothers and fathers that love them. Us and their birth parents (birth mother/birth father).

The birthparents will work with our agency to create an adoption plan. Parental rights will terminate 21 days after the birth. We will care for the baby during the 21 days during which the birthparents can decide not to continue with the adoption plan.  After termination of parental rights we become guardians and wait another five months approximately before we go to court to become parents. Birthparents do not “give up” their baby but rather “place” their child with us as it is a proactive choice they are making that is not easy.

The story of how the birth parents came to make an adoption plan as well as how our baby arrives in our arms is all part of our child’s adoption story. We want to share our child's story first with them which means that parts of the story will not be shared until our child is older. Each child's adoption story belongs to the child and is not ours to share.

We are excited that you will become aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends to our child on the day our baby is born. Our baby will be our son/daughter and your niece/nephew, cousin, grandchild, or friend. If you want to share our good news you can tell people we “have/had a baby” because kind of like a cookie you don't have to bake it to have it. Its a balance when sharing about adoption- the stranger in the grocery line doesn't need to know, but our close friends/family will know. The word adoption will never be a part of our introduction when introducing our baby to someone for the first time.  We ask that you use the same care when introducing our baby.  When in doubt leave it out (or ask us)!

If you are not sure how to ask a question or how to refer to something related to the adoption please ask. If you know other families that are touched by adoption ask them what language they would like you to use as this letter is what we feel is best for our family. Part of the reason we wanted to start the conversation now is we want everyone to be as comfortable and excited about our growing family as we are.

We continue to wait for our baby and are eager to become parents. We thank you all for supporting us through our wait.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How Adoption Has Changed Me... Part I

A few weeks ago a friend of mine informed me she had read my blog start to present.  She suggested that I should share the blog with more people because she gained so much from it.  So I decided to read my blog start to finish to reflect back and see how this process has changed me... for the positive and or negative as well as to help me determine if I should share my blog more openly. I call this Part I because I feel like I'll need to continue to reflect on how Adoption has changed me. Adoption will continue to change me, my family, and the people around me.

I think the biggest thing that has changed is my awareness of adoption around me.  Birthmothers and adoptive families are all around us.  We might not know who they are but they are around.  I have become more open about our plans to adopt as our wait continues.  Why should I not share?  I'm not ashamed of it.  It will be obvious when I never was pregnant and now have a baby.  Its not a secret and it never will be.  Our agency urges families to be cautious with sharing that they are waiting; however I feel like it continues the history of secrecy.  I have a co-worker that has been talking to be about the adoption frequently (not in a have you heard yet sort of way).  Another coworker pulled her aside and told her that maybe she shouldn't talk about it because she could be hurting my feelings.  I actually appreciated her talking to me about it.  I've learned so much about cloth diapers from her.  Its nice to be treated like an expectant mother.  The quieter I am about the topic the more it will be treated like a secret that shouldn't be shared.

In the past few months in connecting with Adoption Bloggers I have gained a better grasp on understanding Birthmothers. I just read a post tonight in which a birthmother reflected on her feelings on infertility since creating an adoption plan for her daughter. Her sentiments about infertility are my exact sentiments about unplanned pregnancies. When I was in high school girls from my school would become pregnant and I'd think "that sucks." I'd also think of all that they would have to give up to raise their babies. When I watched Juno, and Teen Mom (we were still TTC) I thought that stinks but it so selfless. Now I realize that the heart break I have is not for the same reason but is still just as real for birthmoms. Birthmothers do not create adoption plans because they don't love their children, they create adoption plans BECAUSE they love their children.  Are their other reasons?  Like creating better opportunities for their future as well.  Yes, but from what I have read and seen its because where they are presently wont allow for their children to have all that they want them to have.  Due to my new understanding I am a stronger advocate of saying yes the waiting period sucks for me, but its heart breaking for the birthmother.  She deserves an opportunity to make sure she has made the best decision for her baby.  Will I be scared the adoption plan could fall apart- Yes.  However I also know that when my heartbreak ends their hearts are breaking.

Adoption friendly language.  I'm working on it (in fact I have a post I've been working on).  I struggle with the language.  I read another post by someone that spoke of the differences between the use of the past/present lingo.  Five years from now "My baby was/is adopted."  I feel like both are relavant and it depends on context.  I take pause when speaking still to make sure I'm using the correct phrases.  Its not easy for me.  In trying to formulate a letter to my family I think I've realize that what is most important to me is that my baby is first and fore most a baby, a son/daughter, cousin, grandchild, friend, etc.  Unless adoption is the topic the discriptor shouldn't be used anyway.  I also think to what I have learned in my professional life as whats called person first language.  When discussing a persons disability you state the discriptor then the diagnosis for example it would be "The boy with autism" not the "autistic boy."  We are all people first then there are atributes that describe us.  Same with disabilities unless the diagnosis adds to the conversation it shouldn't be used as a discriptor.  So rather "The boy with autism is playing on the computer" it is "the boy is playing on the computer.

In reading back- I've said a few things that made me cringe in re-reading them.  I've grown in this roller coaster called waiting.  I have not removed a single post because this blog is a reflection of my journey.  I struggle with the idea of sharing this roller coaster with more people.  If I shared this blog with more people there are a few posts I'd have to take down or edit to eliminate self identification as my goal never was to chastise people.  I'm learning as are the people around me.  I am not perfect and neither are they.  Maybe I will share my blog just not yet.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Tomorrow I'm going to get up early and go into work. None of my residents are thrilled to be at our facility for the holiday. I'm going in extra early to have time to do a few more morning routines w people. I'm looking forward to being busy and helping others make lemonade out of their lemons. I'm always better at helping others look at their situation with optimism.

When I get home I'll make beds, a pie, and a salad. Then guests should arrive. I'll keep busy entertaining. At the end of the day I'll remind myself all that I am thankful for then go to bed praying that I don't have to do this again next year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surprising Out Comes

So I got to my In-Laws.  We had a nice dinner.  My MIL and I were chatting in the kitchen when she said "Come here I have to show you something."  She took me into the spare bedroom where there were four bags of baby stuff!

So you may think I got bought out of the conversation; however the excitement as she demonstrated while showing me all the stuff made me know that she is excited.  I think my idea I had the other day is accurate.  She needed to grieve our infertility- was she hurtful, yes; can I understand- I'll try.  She isn't all the way there yet.  When we had gotten home from shopping she interrupted a message being left of the answering machine.  She told the acquaintance that she had just been out shopping.  She stated that we were "shopping for my dtr-in-law thats waiting to adopt a baby."  *cough*  umm.... are we not shopping for your Grandchild?  At another point I said something about she could pick whichever outfit she wanted because she after all is the "Grandma to be"- comment was ignored.

At this point I think its more real to her then it ever was before.  Having been told by the agency that we were one of two families for a baby thats already been placed somehow made her realize that we are just a choice away from a baby.  I still feel she is distancing herself from the situation.

So on my way home I talked to my Mother telling her how everything went (she wasn't thrilled about me shopping with my MIL based on how wedding dress shopping had gone).  My Mom was impressed with her growth but also agreed with me that she seems to be not fully ready to accept her pending role as Grandma.  I then called my younger sister who also asked how the trip went.  When I described the above story my sister told me I was being too hard on her.  She also said I was too picky about adoption language.  When I told her for family I am because these are the people that need to make my child feel accepted.

In a nut shell I realize my MIL is not the only one that needs education.  So we are going to craft a letter to everyone (immediate and extended families) about adoption language.  I've tried the subtle approach and it doesn't seem to work so I'm going direct!

Just a little fun/depressing fact... the Linen's & Things (which is out of business) where DH and I registered is now the Babies R Us we went shopping at this weekend.

A truly fun fact- I have picked out a crib, bought a mattress, and have every item on the list you all helped me come up with!! (I got a baby tub as well).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Frank Conversations

So the weekend is finally here!  I'm going shopping with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and sister for the essentials.  I'm a little nervous. 

I am going down tonight alone (DH has to work today and tomorrow and I work Sunday).  I am staying with my in-laws and then tomorrow my sister and sister-in-law are going to come over and we are all going to go shopping in the morning.  My plan is to finally talk to my mother-in-law tonight.  I'm really glad that I did the interview project before this trip.

One idea that I was able to formulate as a result of the interview was that our extended family had to grieve our infertility.  We tried to keep them all in the loop as much as possible because DH and I saw where the plan was going from early on; however some information we wanted to keep between ourselves.  For those of you who have experienced infertility you can understand how invasive the process can be and there are things you probably chose never to share with family.  We are also all waiting and each of us dealing with the waiting in a different way.  I have to blog or I go crazy.  DH says little because thats my DH- he's not a talker.  My mother always is trying to DO something or FIX the problem.

So I still plan on talking to my Mother-In-Law tonight about her initial reaction to our adoption news.  I think my approach and some of the hurt has faded with my new perspective.  I don't think she was trying to be hurtful.  Intentional or not my feelings were hurt.  I hope this weekend can help re-establish our relationship back on a more positive note.  I'd like to think we are two very different people but I hate to admit that we both are very opinionated people.  Sometimes though its key to know when/where to share those opinions.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Interview Project

Open Adoption Bloggers is a group of bloggers that write about adoption from the many voices of adoption.  Heather of Production, Not Reproduction coordinated an interview project in which she connected these bloggers.  Each pair became familiar with the others blog and then interviewed the blogger.

So I'd like to introduce you all to my interview partner Maru the author of the blog Adoption Journey  and the blogger that introduced me to the Open Adoption Bloggers.  I dont recall how I found her blog but I do recall reading her first post.  I even wrote a post about it.  Maru is the blogger that I quoted in my post I'm Not The Only One who brilliantly tells people the city and state her baby was born in when asked "Where does your baby come from?"  She has many more brilliant one liners for when "People Say the Darndest Things" about adoption.

Maru is the amazing mother of a two year old.  She also recently posted on her blog her plans to home school her daughter.  She is candid in her blogs as well as in life (follow the link to People Say the Darndes Things).  Not only does she chronicle her journey but she also gives me hope that all of us waiting will one day be Moms.  She also is a reminder that once the phone call happens so could motherhood- so be prepared!!

I hope you all enjoy her responses as much as I did!

1) Were you concerned about having a shower before your match?
I wasn't concerned about things like "What if we're never ever matched and I end up with a bunch of baby stuff?" I was more concerned about the people we invited - what they thought, whether they would show up and support us or not. One friend called me after she got our invitation, knowing we were waiting to adopt, and right after I answered the phone she screamed off the top of her lungs "You're pregnant!!!"  It's strange to have a baby shower when there's no belly, not really a baby on the way, you know? So it certainly felt awkward to have a shower before being matched. I was afraid people would think we were crazy... Even at the baby store when we were making our registry I felt like an impostor. My bigest concern, as you can see, was about what other people thought because they didn't understand adoption.
We had no idea of what kind of match we would have. We might meet the birthparents before birth and have a due date; or we could be matched after birth with a newborn, which is what happened to us, and in which case you just run and hop on a plane as soon as you get the call; or we could be matched with an older baby. We simply did not know. I'm a compulsive planner so I wanted to be ready for any scenario. So we decided to have the shower before being matched. 
It was a wonderful experience. We were surprised about the overwhelming amount of support we received. Almost everyone we invited showed up and brought us lots of presents. Everything in our baby registry, except for one baby night gown I bought myself after the event, everything made it to the gift table, and then some. But the most beautiful thing was the heartwarming messages everyone left along with their gift. Words filled with blessings, hope, and love for our daughter, a baby girl no one had yet met, not even us. Everyone was welcoming her into our family, into their lives.

2) I saw at one point you wrote about being torn as to who you should share your blog with. I struggle with the same problem. I find it easier to share with strangers than with people I know. Who do you share your blog with?
I used to share it with everyone while we were waiting, although I'm almost certain very few of my close friends and family members ever read any of it. Now I don't share it with anyone, not even on Facebook, as I used to.I have either run into someone who wants to adopt and doesn't know where to start, or friends, even clients, refer me to their friends who want to adopt. I share my experience with them and direct them to my blog. Everything is documented in there, every part of our journey. I only want to help. But my bog is here, in the world wide web, and anyone can find it. Go figure...  So yes, I also find it easier to share my blog with strangers than with people I know.

3) If you were stranded on an island with Fico and M what material item would you want with you? And why?
Stranded on an island? I hope they have power, because all I want is my computer with all of M's pictures. I guess I'd die if - God forbid - I ever lose them.

4) Do you feel torn between educating others about adoption and keeping M's story her own? How do you handle this?  
Oh, yes, all the time. At first we were so cautious we could be mistaken as secretive. M was 18 months old when my mom and dad saw pictures of M's birth parents and M's life book (adoption story) for the first time. In my parents' case it was an accident. I wasn't planning on showing them anything, but I took M's book to the hospital one time she was hospitalized with a bad case of bronchitis. M kept asking for it. One day my mom came to visit and found it when I was taking a nap with M. My in-laws quickly followed. This time M picked up the book herself and showed it to them. We've had to learn along the way to select the pieces of information that are fine to share and identify the ones that we should keep private. It's been a work in progress. Every situation is different, every person you are sharing with is different. I guess you have to cautiously choose your audience and decide what is private, even with close friends and relatives. Now, when it comes to strangers at the check out line at the grocery store, it's much easier: everything is private.

5) Did you have a hospital bag packed before you were matched with M- If you did- what was in it and if not do you think it would have been helpful?
Hahaha. Let me quote myself "I'm a compulsive planner." Well... I knew I needed a hospital bag packed. A few weeks before we were matched I read an article in Adoptive Families. Or was it before the shower...? I'm not sure... Anyway, the article had a list of things we should have ready and packed in a hospital bag in case we got the call about a baby who was just born. Well, guess what? I left it for later and never got to it. Nope, the compulsive planner forgot to pack a bag. And when we got the call I was so nervous I packed the worst bag in the world for me, but I'm proud to say I packed a pretty good one for baby. I got in there about 10 onesies, the night gown I wanted her to wear as her going home outfit (nothing fancy, it was just the first piece of baby clothing I ever bought, the one present left from our registry at the baby store), one bottle, one pacifier, 3 burp cloths, a swaddling blanket, a grooming kit, a first aid kit and a diaper bag. I managed to get in there two shirts for me, two cargo pants, two pairs of shoes, and three purses I never needed or used, of course, and that was it. 
We traveled by plane and checked in the car seat/stroller travel combo.
We thought we were picking up baby and flying back the next day, but we were wrong. She was a preemie and we had to take her back for checkups every 48 hours. We stayed for 10 days. 
She was so small nothing I brought in my bag fit her. So, we later went to Target and bought smaller onesies for baby, hooded towels, wash cloths, bibs, burp cloths, alcohol wipes (to clean umbilical cord), baby wipes, diapers, diaper ointment, more formula (they gave us lots at the hospital, though), Dr. Brown's bottles (M didn't like the ones we had), bottled water (for formula) and baby wash. 
We later had to go back to buy clothes for Mom and Dad too. ;o) 
So, the only thing missing in my hospital bag was a hooded towel, washcloths, bibs, more burp cloths (3 isn't enough) and alcohol wipes. If you are traveling by plane, water, formula, diapers and wipes are stuff you can always buy after you leave the hospital. If not, having these items with you would be even better. 
As for formula, wait and see what the baby is having at the hospital. They'll always send you home with formula and a few diapers. They did in our case, plus they also gave us a bag with all sorts of baby product samples and freebies. :o)

6) What is your favorite tradition you have started with M?
We don't have a "tradition" per se, but we have breakfast every day together as a family. And every night we put her together to bed. She drifts into dreamland with me, though. That's my department. ;o)
We take her once a week to her baby gym. She started when she was 3 months old. The three of us go together twice week - once for a class, and every friday afternoon for open gym.

7) I think the thing I look forward to most is reading with my baby. What is M's favorite book? You have many books you have recommended through out your blog about adoption.   What books about adoption have you gotten for M? What books do you recommend for waiting families to read?
She loved "Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes" by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury. Her favorite? "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale" by Mo Willems. Neither is adoption related. She also loves her lifebook. She calls it "M's story." She asks for it almost every night.
On books about adoption for M, "Tell Me Again About The Night I Was Born" by Jamie Lee Fox is absolutely adorable. We modeled M's life book around the style of that book. Another one I just got (stay tuned for a thorough review) is "I Don't Have Your Eyes", by Carrie A. Kitze. 
For waiting families I recommend "What I Want My Adopted Child to Know" by Sally Bachetta. It's a MUST read. "Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother" by Jana Wolff, is also very good. "Adoption Nation" by Adam Pertman is a MUST read too, but it's more like and encyclopedia of adoption.

8) What is the biggest thing that has changed in your house since the arrival of M (besides of course the presence of M!)?
We've learned to eat well! I used to cook maybe once a week and eat out every day. Now I cook almost every day, we don't eat out, unless it's an occasional date night. And when we go out as a family we still bring her her own food. We eat a more balanced diet because we feed her a balanced diet. We try to buy everything organic. Lots of DHA and Omega-3. Vitamins for all the family every day. She always has a home cooked meal. No fast-food, potato chips, or highly processed foods. When we started her on solids we tried baby food first, but quickly changed to home made baby food. I never imagined I'd be cooking so much! 
Another thing that has changed is that we have less time for ourselves and with each other. But we do enjoy time together as a family every day.

9) I often feel like an ambassador to adoption (one without a guide book).  How do you decide when to put on your adoption educator's hat and when do you just let things go?
If a stranger is just being nosy I try to let it go. It's not easy, but I'm getting better at it. If it's someone I know, or even someone I've just met, that really needs adoption education because of a misconception, for example, then I try to address the issue as gracefully as I can. Not easy either. It sometimes depends on my mood. ;o)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Unsolicited Advice

I get lots of unsolicited advice about adoption but I dont get much about babies.

So I'm asking for it!  I want the BASICS.  The plan is to have a baby shower after the baby arrives.

I'm going shopping this Saturday on my list so far:

Things I have or can borrow:
Going home outfit
Cloth Diapers (check?? I have 32 prefold plus about 10 inserts with 7 newborn fuzzie bunz and lots of wipes)
Breast Pump
Pack N Play (on stand by)
Baby Swing (on stand by)
Car Seat
Blankets 5 (thanks to wonderful friends/family!!)
The Day you were born book and a Baby Book special for babies that are adopted (Thank you again friends and family :) )
Baby carrier
bottles (I think I have four I dont recall and I can't find them at the moment)
lots of books :)

Things I Plan on getting or may need more of:
I need a Lactaid
Formula?  (how much to get me started?)
Onesies (how many?)
Receiving blankets (I have 3 plus one swaddler)
burp clothes (I have three- I also am not opposed to using whatever is close to me i.e. diaper or receiving blanket)
Sleeping gown (how many?)
Crib mattress
Crib sheets
Crib cover

Things I plan to use in the mean time:
Pack N play
sponge baths

Have I over looked anything that is a MUST have?

Too Much Overtime!!

So this past week DH got held over every day this week.  Which means over time, which means more money.  This may sound like a good thing to most people but we are going to be close to falling into the next higher income bracket for the adoption if we keep making extra money this year.

I normally would think its a bad thing to try to surpress income to try not to fall into a higher bracket.  In our case though this is a fluke.  I worked a school contract last school year to help an OT assistant that needed an OT to supervise her in order for her to work.  I gave her one year to find someone new.  So I was going to be done with schools until another friend needed her district covered while she took a maternity leave.  If she couldn't find someone to cover her case load, the district would have established a contract with someone that could cover the entire school year.  Had I not covered she would have had to either be out of a job or not take a maternity leave.  So I agreed to cover for three months.

So next year I wont have these contracts.  I wont be working 6 days per week so as a general rule our income will be much lower so it wont matter how much over time DH accumulates.  This year though the over time has to stop!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Times a Ticking

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish by different ages.  To name a few... I wanted to be married by 27.  I wanted at least one child and a house by 30.

So I'm married and have a house... but I have one month from today to have a baby.

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"  John Lennon

(Side note- we got two onesies for our hospital bag... we also plan on creating a list of things to bring to the hospital with us).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter Blues

I got the winter blues real bad last winter.  I dont know if it was the adoption or the quantities of snow that we got.  So I'm trying to think ahead.

I know when I'm busy I'm stressed but happy.  So I have myself covered unti December 16th when I'm done covering my friends maternity leave in the schools.  Then there is my birthday, Christmas, New Years.  We have a weekend trip planned for the first week in January... but then its bleak and cold until who knows when.

I thought about running a full marathon in the spring but I also recently remembered my immense displeasure with running in the cold (my lungs burn!).  So I may do a half marathon again in the spring with the hubby.  It made me realize though that really what I was looking for was something to keep me busy and my mind active.

So things I'd like to do this winter:
- find a routine volunteer engagement
- Join a gym
- Visit my sister a few times in Boston
- Visit my in-laws (we really have not done this much and I know we should be better)
- Ski at least once
- Swing Dance more (practice sessions once a week plus dances)
- Keep going to church on Sundays
- Visit my aunt in MA for cross country skiing
- Visit my cousin in NY?  Maybe make it a cousins weekend?
- Hike
- Learn to knit something other then a scarf
- Go to AOTA conference
- become better connected with our friends here
- have a baby?  God knows that would keep me busy.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Breast-feeding and knitting

So a year ago I got a breast pump.  I started following a protocol which did not require hormones.  I had minimal success but because it meant I had to pump three times a day it was challenging with work.  As I became more discouraged with the waiting this past year the pumping faded away.

This past weekend when I was at the grocery store I peeked the the formulas available.  It just felt wrong and I found something wrong with every one of them.  My mother breast fed all three of us.  She comfort fed us until we could talk.  She worked as a lactation consultant as part of her job as a social worker working with first time teen moms.  So I feel immense guilt that I've stopped trying.  So I e-mailed my neighbor that I know breast fed her son that was adopted.  She provided me with a protocol that uses hormones.  Its one that I've run across a few times but have been hesitant to try.  She has the name of a lactation consultant she used (which wont be coved by insurance) as well as I asked where she got her drugs from.

Today I made an appointment with my primary care physician.  I doubt that she will give me a prescription (since its not FDA approved use) but I at least want to have some blood tests to make sure my hormones are at an appropriate level prior to starting the protocol.  I also want to make her aware of what I'm doing even if she can't support me legally.  I will then go from there.

I know it will be hard as well as frustrating to pump again with no baby.  I know though that if I give up know I will kick myself later.  This isn't about saving money (the drug is expensive and insurance wont cover it).  Its about doing what any parents would do which is at least try to do what they believe is best for their child.

On a side note.  A coworker of mine is knitting soakers for cloth diapers.  I have not knit since I was 11. She keeps wanting to teach me.  So I've started a scarf.  Once I can knit consistently I'm going to sit down with her and learn how to knit soakers.  Its going to be a long winter so I guess I now have two new hobbies to keep me busy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday is church day

I debated back and forth if I was going to leave work today to go to church.  My case load was light and I could have gotten out early and enjoyed some time at home with DH.  I had forgotten my lunch so I called to ask DH if he would meet me at church and bring my lunch.  So it was settled I'd go.

During the joys and concerns a grandparent had written that they were joyful to have their adopted grandchild with them that day.  I didn't think much of it.  Then about thirty minutes in I noticed a small note at the bottom of the order of worship which stated:

"The flowers today are in celebration of this congregation's adoption-expanded families, in gratitude to birthparents who made adoption plans, and in honor of children waiting for forever families."

Then as the offering plate went around a little boy caught my eye- I knew him!  He was the baby that one of the couples in our support group had adopted- he was with Grandma!

Todays service reminded me how integrated adoption is a part of our church community.  Its everywhere.  LIkely the flowers were because of adoption awareness month but I look around and spot family after family which has grown because of adoption.  My child will not be different because of the way s/he joined our family.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fiscal Responsibility

So I'd like to think that we are fiscally responsible.  We have minimal credit card balances which ebb and flow but primarily stick near the 0 mark.  We have student loans up the wazoo- but who doesn't?  We pay our car loan weekly and are starting this month paying our mortgage bimonthly (1/2 at a time) to decrease the interest we pay.  ALL of DH's salary goes into savings and we dip in as needed.

We saved for a good down payment for our home, which was excellent practice for what we didn't know what was to come.  We save for major purchases like the reno in the bathroom or the dishwasher.  Nothing has been more challenging then saving for the adoption.  To become a parent from adoption requires financial discipline like no other.  We have a pot full and ready knowing that hopefully soon it will be depleted possibly all in one day if we have an out of state placement.  I will then be on unpaid maternity leave for 3 months.

Infertility followed by the financial stress of saving for adoption (and then paying for an adoption) sounds like a recipe for marital disaster.  So far we have weathered the storm with minimal rough waters.  I credit DH's even disposition that likely keeps him employed.  I wonder at times how other couples survive or don't survive.  It makes me sad our society does not support families like mine more.  Not because we are saving the children of the world but because adopting a child should not be a greater financial risk then conceiving a child.

The other day my uncle in England posted a picture of his four year old girl they adopted at no expense to them.  On top of it my aunt was paid for her maternity leave and although I dont recall the specific length of time she had off it was far greater then my 3 months.  Her time off and benefits were the same as had she had conceived her daughter.  My uncle was also eligible for time off but since he is self employed from home chose to continue to work to ensure his business continued to thrive.  Oh I can only dream....

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Babies and Birthdays!

So my boss told me she needed to talk to me in the hall.  I got scared.  Some people entered the hall we were in and she said she needed to wait.  AM I IN TROUBLE?!!  She is expecting!!  I already knew.  I knew she was trying.  She also just bought a bigger house.  As well as she made some comment about knowing she would have a c-section this next time.  She pulled me aside to tell me before the staff meeting because she was worried my feelings would be hurt.  Of course I wish I was in her same boat but I'm not and I'm not sinking hers because mine wont float.

I also got an invitation to a 1 year old birthday party!  Its the weekend that I was going to go shopping with my mother-in-law.  Now I'm torn.  Shopping with MIL, SIL and Sister or birthday party?  ahhh!!

Can I just also say we just looked at our account and even with just having paid DH's LAST grad school tuition payment we are still at our savings goal for an instate adoption?  There are so many things in that last statement that make me SO happy!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Profession/ My Love

Tonight I signed a release allowing a project that I worked on in grad school to be peer reviewed.  When I opened the final manuscript I felt sick to my stomach.  I'm so nervous and excited all at the same time.  My career and starting a family are very intertwined.

When I met DH I had just finished my BS in Management Information Systems (AKA computer programming).  I got a job as a help desk technician as I already had figured out during my senior year that I didn't want to be a programmer.  I dabbled in the idea of a technical writer since my minor was English but during my senior project found out about this cool thing called Assistive Technology (AT) which helps people with disabilities become more independent.  Once I found AT I knew I had found my match.

When I came to New England I wasn't exactly looking to settle down.  I wanted to live here for a few years then go back to the midwest.  I also wasn't big on the idea of having children.  I thought I might some day but I couldn't have told you much more then that.  When I met DH I knew I had my match.  I also knew I wanted children.  Dont worry I didn't tell him the two were hand in hand otherwise I think he would have been history long ago.  Soon after DH and I met I also realized that the way I could work with AT was by becoming and Occupational Therapist (OT).  The day I told DH that I was going to get my Masters in OT he refused to talk to me for about 45 miles (we were on the road back from meeting his parents for the first time).

So needless to say DH supported me in my decision to go back to school.  It was a long two years but we made it work.  My last semester of school was when we started TTC.  It was frustrating to work with children and not be able to conceive.  It was also frustrating to not be able to fix the problem.  My schooling taught me how to problem solve and troubleshoot.  I used my knowledge of the cycle to try to get everything just right and it didn't work.  I couldn't fix the problem.

So a year after graduating from Grad School the project was to a point where we could present the data. DH and I also had made the decision the move away from TTC and transition to trying to adopt.  I associate my trip down to FL to present the paper (that has just been submitted) with working on the application for adoption since that was when we started to work on our application.  I recall sitting in the lobby of the hotel, having coffee and explaining to my professor just an hour before we presented the stress of filling out the adoption application as well as wanting a baby.  I recall at that moment that I felt more anxiety and stress about the  application then my impending presentation.

So now 19 months later the research paper is completed and ready for submission.  I can only hope that maybe these two worlds parallel each other and my baby will be in my arms soon.  Until then I continue to throw myself into my work.  Loving my residents and my students.