Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The End of 2008 and the beginning of 2009

Its New Years Eve it feel like a regular day but it isnt. It is the end of an entire year and tomorrow is the beginning of a new one. I am not an overly sentimental person, but this year has been so tumultuous in our life that I am anxious today. Today marks the end of the year that we found out about the Endo, the year we moved to California, the year we decided to adopt. It has been the hardest year of my life.

Tomorrow is the beginning of 2009. A year filled with so many dreams. The year we should become parents and who knows what else. Will it be better than 2008? (Really, how could it be worse) willl 2009 be the best year of my life? There are so many unknowns ahead.

Today is also a day to reflect on what was acomplished and what wasnt, a day to set goals and ideas for the future. What do I want this year of my life to be about, what do I want to achieve. I have never set new years resolutions before, but I think I will this year. This is what I have so far.

1. Loose Weight. I know I am joining every other american in this statement, but it is true, I need to loose some pounds. I was depressed for alot of last year and not that I have any excuse but it does bring on the pounds when you just dont care about life. So starting tomorrow, I will start eating better, excercising etc.

2. Live life with Energy. Like I said I have battled a lot of depression this past year and I hate it. I want to be excited about life, to wake up each day and conquer it. I want to have energy again! I want to pursue my passions, be motivated and get more done in a day than is physically possible.

3. Expand my hobbies. I love to do random crafty things. I am not that good at any of them but I enjoy dabbling in a little of everything. I want to do this more and get better at it. I want to paint more, write some children stories, scrapbook about the adoption, paint my kitchen with flowers, decorate our house a little more, plant more flowers, cook more new dishes.

I am sure there are more but I think this is a good start, I will post more as I realize them. I am really bad at keeping goals that i set, so hopefully this year will be a year of change.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We are half way there!!

We are half way through out visitation rounds. We have seen my parents, brother and his family, my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Today we visited with Hubbs stepdad, nana and aunt. Right now I am sitting in his sister's bed trying to be tired so we can wake up at 4 in the morning and drive to Florida to see the rest of his family. Needless to say I am a little worn out. Family is draining and especially with the added holiday run around, presents, dinners, parties, etc.

We have had good time to talk with all of the family so far about the adoption and mostly it has gone well. My sister in law is exstatic and really made us feel good about it. So are my parents. My mom gave us a white baby blanket that she crocheted. It made me cry. Their support was evident and really appreciated. When we got to my grandparents they asked alot of questions and had a lot of old ideas about what adoption looked like. They are from a different generation and I will never be able to explain all the details to them so they can understand. My grandfather made a couple of comments that could have been offensive about birthmothers, but I just let it roll off my back. It was kind of hard being around for the family catch up, hearing my grandma and her sisters talk and brag about who is having babies, or so and so and her 5th kid. Never did they mention us in the bragging list. It is kind of frustrating having to remind people that we will have a child too.

Today we got to talk with Hubb's stepdad, who is by the way a true southern boy. I love him but he is crazy and thinks he knows everything and never shuts up! When we brought up the adoption he ranted for a little while about how we better have legal contracts that say what the birthmother can and cant do because there are crazy people in the world and she could come back one day and kidnap our baby and be in mexico in no time. We assured him that we would talk to the social worker and ask about that (yea right) Hubbs asked about race and ethnicity I dont remember exactly how it came up, I think he just asked, and stepdad said that he would love whatever child we had just like he had raised Hubbs as his own. It was really sweet and then he quickly returned to the crazy mother rant.

The only somewhat negative response we got was from Hubbs' Nana and Aunt D (stepdads moma and sister) It was kind of strange. I was able to spend some time with Aunt D and tried to talk about it a little bit but she was not taking the bait. She was stone silent and didnt even seem like she was paying attention. Ussually she is real talkative, It seemed wierd. With Nana, Hubbs asked her if she had any questions, and she said No, she didnt want to know anything about it. (wow) Then there was silence. What do you say after that? Hubbs said that was ok, and she mumbled something about it being a different way of doing things and things happen or something and that was it. Very strange because I expected the exact opposite from both nana and Aunt D. It was like we struck a sore subject or a dark family secret that we dont know about. I am hoping that maybe they were just having a bad day and that it will change when there is an actual child. The good thing is this is family that we dont see very often maybe once or twice a year, so hopefully it will get better, but if not they will not be a huge influence in our child's life. (I kind of feel bad writting that)

So I guess so far so good. The main players are on borad and supportive. Tomorrow we will see Hubbs dad and Kari (the sometimes evil sometimes lovely girlfriend/stepmom) spend a few days there and then to His Mom's and hopeful not encounter her deadbeat boyfriend that just got them into a car accident because he was drunk and ran into a pile of dirt. (Classy)

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, I probably wont be able to update again until after the newyear.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Visiting with Family and talking about Adoption

Hubbs and I have talked a lot about what we would be open to as to a child's race, background and medical issues. It is a lot to work through, they have a form that asks you about every combination of ethnicity on the planet.

This was not a hard conversation for us, when we heard that there are certain races that are less wanted, that was all we needed to hear. There should never be a child or group of people described as less wanted. The idea of building a multi-ethnic family kind of excites us. I know that we will be different and it will come with a lot of challenges, but I think we are up for it.

Before we fill out the form the way we would feel comfortable we feel like we have to talk to all of our family about how they would feel. This makes me nervous. There is no way that we could say yes to having an African American child if one of their grandparents wouldn't be ok with it. I think they all will, but I dont know for sure. There are a lot of people in the world that say they are not racist but would not want their family to be multiethnic. Maybe we are being to worried, but we feel we just need to talk about it. So the plan is to talk about it while we are visiting for Christmas. We have already talked with my parents and they already expected and are as excited as we are.

Now the fun part is how to not just walk in the door pass out the presents and blurt out so how would you feel about having a hispanic grandchild? It would be a whole lot easier if they brought it up, maybe they will. I really do expect everyone to be ok with it, atleast I really hope they will. I think we will wait until the last day and see if it comes up naturally as they ask us about the process. If not then we will have to bring it up, and just ask the question.

Please pray that everyone is excited and understands and will be loving and accepting of any child that we bring into the family.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

THe Adoption Class

This class was amazing!!

When we walked in the door there was about 8 couples sitting around in a circle, the lady teaching the class was sitting in the front chatting with one of the couples. We signed in and picked up our packet. A 2 inch stack of articles with the top one boldly stating "Parenting".

When we sat down I scanned the room and quickly realized we were the youngest couple there (maybe birth moms like young) everyone looked nice and was quietly talking with their spouse. My husband tried to break the awkward silence with a joking comment about the huge packet, and if anyone had tempted to look through it yet. Well that fell flat! (they are not funny, we are funny, birthmoms like funny) A few glanced up but quickly returned to their own conversations. (who wants unsocial people to parent their child)

The class started with a round of introductions, Hi I am the husband and this is my wife and this is our 2nd class, we are adopting because our equipment doesnt work yada yada. Until one couple mentioned that they were a little distracted because they met with a birthmother that afternoon!! Everyone's ears perked up then and flung the questions, "what did she ask?", "what was she like?", "Did you feel the Connection". They kindly debriefed with us a little but you could tell that they were completely overwhelmed and still processing the day.

The next sections is where the magic happened! An adoptive mother and three of her 6 (Holy Cow!) adoptive children came to speak with us. It was so eye opening to hear these girls talk about their lives and their journey, and to hear their mom tell us about the relationships she had or didn't have with their birth families. Honestly I was and still am completely overwhelmed and still processing all the information. But here are a few things that I learned.

1. I can do this.
The mom that was there sharing with us was no Martha Stuart. She was ruff around the edges normal old mom. and the girls were so well adjusted and had a confidence in who they were. They talked so naturally about their adoption. There was a lot of humor and sarcasm used as they described their situations. It was amazing. It was so empowering to see a normal women just like me have such a successful story! It made me realize that with a lot of love and good parenting that We can do this and have happy normal children who wont resent us for the rest of their lives.

2. Where Facts Flounder, Fantasy Flourishes.
They said that most kids make up a story as to why they were adopted. Some are putting themselves to blame and some are fantasy tales of arriving on the back of a dragon. The point is the more information you can give a child as to their history the less they will have to make it up. Confidence in who they are and who you are is everything, this is what will allow them to be comfortable with their being adopted. The girl that was adopted from Birth had always just known that she was adopted it was talked about often and there was never a sit down day to tell you about your secretive past. This makes sense. And they make great books called "Lifebooks" to help with it. More on that later!

3. Ways to talk about adoption that make sense to a child.
Just listening to the mom and girls talk about adoption was so helpful. Sometimes I just dont know how to describe it or what the proper way to say stuff is. The mom told her children that while they were growing in their birthmom's tummy that they were growing in their heart. How sweet is that! Another one: She told her son that his birthmom could be that his birthmom but she knew that she couldnt be his everyday mommy and so she came and found her to be his everyday mommy. How respectful and loving towards the birthmom! Totally keeping these ones in the arsinal.

4. People will say stupid stuff but with a little humor and sarcasm you will make it through.
Those girls had so much fun messing with people! The older girl was Hispanic and she told a story about how she was looking for her mom in the stands one day after band practice. A friend came over and said oh I bet I could pick her out. Her response, Sure go ahead and try! After her friend pointed to every Hispanic women in the crowd, she proudly pointed out her mom, the short blond on the front row. The whole story was told with laughter. There were stories about explaining to people they were sisters, and people asking the mom about the dad and what he looked like, and every kind of stupid question you could think of. Each response was sarcastic and funny, and made the situation light hearted.

There is a ton more but again I am still processing. Our next class is in January, many of the same couples will be there, maybe they will talk more next time. Maybe I will feel more comfortable next time, and less judgmental (probably not).

Hubbs and I leave tomorrow to go and visit family for Christmas. I will be in and out but hopefully not completely silent. It will be good (I hope) to see family but we will definitely need your prayers and strength. There will be lots of adoption and baby conversations, so pray that we will be able to utilize the humor and sarcasm trick well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prayer Request

Sorry that I have not updated yall on the class, it was awesome and I was going to post about it today until I got this phone call.

My friends mom called to ask me to pray today. Megan (the friend) has gone into earlier labor at 24 weeks. This is their first baby and they are a very young couple. The mom was at work and had no one else's phone number to call, so I was asked to be in charge of getting the word out for people to pray.

At first I didnt think anything about it and sprung to action calling friends. Of course I got voicemail because no one seems to answer their phones these days. I quickly told them the situation, but then i started to say Let's all pray and ask God to work, and it all fell a part. Ask God to do what? I know He could save their baby, He created the child He can surely protect it, but what if things go wrong, does that mean that we didnt pray hard enough or that God couldnt do it?

All of the feelings of anger and confusing as to how God is working in all things baby came flooding into my heart. I am sure their message makes no sense but hopefully they got the point and i didnt say something insensitive.

The truth of it is I dont understand why some babies dont get to make it. I know with all my heart that God is Holy and Glorious and that He is always working. I just dont understand why.

I wanted to call Megan and Matt and let them know that I was praying and thinking about them as well. This message was equally as hard and confusing. I didnt know what to say. I am praying that GOD will save their baby and that Megan would be fine, but I know that isnt gaurnteed. Sometimes it doesnt work out that way, and I didnt want to be pesimistic or rude but I just couldnt say outload that I was praying and believing that everything would be fine. I am praying but believing? Believing is a little harder.

So again I am sorry that I havent written about the meeting yet, I promise it will come soon. I would like to ask you if you would pray for my friend Megan and Matt, that they would be prepared for whatever comes their way and that their faith would sustain them and they would Know that God loves them throughout and they are aloud to be angry for even the thought of bad things happening, but that they will look to God for hope and not blame.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The first adoption class

So I have been really bad this week and havent posted anything since last friday, I was going to do it yesterday, but then it would be another one about my amazing husband, and yes I could write something new about him, that was the last post and I didnt want to double it up. So. Sorry for being quite this week.

Monday we go to our first adoption class. The title is life long adoption issues. pretty much the broadest title in the world but I am really lookng forward to it. I am ready to jump in and take the next step forward. Just filling out paperwork sucks!

I am slightly nervous as well, I guess because I dont know what to expect. There will be other adoptive parents there, and possibly birthmoms as well, and of course the social workers. I feel like every word and action is recorded and kept in a secret file to review later. I am so scared that we will say the wrong thing, be misunderstood, offend someone, or worse, and then they will think we are evil people and never give us a baby!

And the other couples in the room, I really want to see them as fellow sojourners but they are kind of like our competition. I know this is awful to think about, but I DO. Their portfolios will be shown to the same mothers that our portfolio will be shown to. Even though I dont want to I will probably be comparing the other couples, their strengths and weaknesses and ours and wondering who will get a baby first.

I know I am crazy and somewhat of an awful person, but I just had to be honest with what I have been thinking about.

How did some of you adoptive parents overcome this?

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Husband Rocks!!

This is a new thing I am starting. I found it on another blog and loved the idea.
So every friday you write about how your Husband rocks. The point is that so much negativity surrounds marriage relationships and we typically have a bent towards complaining about our spouse. Here is the link so you can read more about it and join in too:

My Husband ROCKS fridays!

My Husband rocks this week because...

Last night we had a Birthday party at our house for one of the college students we work with. We do this for all of them and it is always fun. I always ask them what their favorite cake is and then we have all the young adults from the community over to the house that night, usually around 25ish people in our little house.

The cake that was asked for was fairly time consuming, well he just asked for chocolate with oranges, but I made a 4 layer orange cake with alternating cream and chocolate layers covered with Chocolate Ganache. It was to die for! Hubbs was amazing, knowing that I would need to spend extra time on the cake he cleaned the house, put away all the dishes, complimented me for washing all the dishes and helped get the house prepared for the party.

The cake was a HIT and Hubbs even tried to hide it after everyone had one piece so he could eat the rest of it. I kept pulling it out of the fridge just to find it missing minutes later. I felt loved and acomplished by his praise and love of the cake.

The night ended with everyone leaving and Hubbs and I slow dancing in the living room to michael jackson. I couldnt stop giggling at how funny we must have looked to anyone else at that moment, but I loved it. The room was all romantic too, all the lights were off except for the christmas decorations on the shelf. I loved the spontaneighty of it.

I love my husband, he is hardworking, passionate, and he loves me.

Join the fun and post about your husband too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sharing the News

So we have begun to let the word out. We have been calling close friends and family, sending out emails, and today I am writing our December newsletter. To be honest I was really anxious about this because I thought there would be a flood of questions and stupid comments and that just hasn't happened. All we have gotten is support and encouragement, and a ton of excitement! What a blessing. I should be more trusting of people.

A small update: We laid in bed on saturday and filled out paper work. Joy! They ask some really hard questions. We wrote until our brains were exhausted but it felt good to get a little bit of it behind us.

Then I gave the blog a makeover, what do you think? I needed a more happy space, Hope and Joy are part of my life again, and I wanted to show that off. And Blue and Brown are the colors we are going to use in the baby room! It is so much fun thinking about decorating a baby room! More on that later.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What I am thankful for

All day yesterday I got to experience things I am Thankful for. So much has happened over the past year, so much pain and disapointment. It is hard sometimes to look back and find the joy, but not because it isnt there, its just that pain is louder, more vivid sometimes. It gets in the way of the Joy. So today, I wanted to make myself look back and find the joy and be thankful. So here we go.

1. First off is my husband. I can not tell you how thankful I am for him with words, you would have to see the smile on my face to understand. He loves me more than I ever imagined someone could. Even when I am whinny, mean, prideful, arrogant, selfish, and just a big jerk, He loves me. He has stood beside me holding me up through every step of the IF journey, and now too with the adoption process. He is my advocate in all of this. We have made so many changes of the past year, and I have never made a bad decision by choosing to follow his leadership. He is wise and honest and a loving servant to all who know him and even those who dont. He will always go out of his way to make things easier for others before himself. I love him so much.

2. My Family. I love my parents so much. They have encouraged me everyday of my life to Love the Lord and do great things. Their love for each other is an inspiration. And Hubbs family too. We are growing together slowly but we are making it work and I am growing to love them more each time we are together. Everyone has been supportive through this process and understanding with the adoption. I am thankful for who they are and will be to our child.

3. Moving to California. Two years ago we joined a mission agency called the U.S. Center for World Mission, in march we moved to Pasadena CA where their headquarters are to work with a program called INSIGHT. I love my job and I love this community. All of the staff live within 3 blocks of the campus in all directions. I have never experienced anything like this, it sounds like a commune, but its not that scary. These people know how to love and share with one another. I love walking down the street and seeing people I know, being invited in, playing with their kids, leave walk a little further and do it all over again. Last night we had pie fest! Everyone in the community brought pie and we fellowshiped and ate, it was awesome.

4. The Mason family. A week after we moved in at the Center, the Masons arived. They are a fun loving family of five that we instently connected with. We shared our burden with them earlier on and K was able to share with me about miscarriages and struggles she had as well. It was exactly what I needed to get through. They have spent many a late night talking with Hubbs and I helping us make some really hard decisions. They have always pushed us on and challenged us with truth from scripture. Yesterday we had Thanksgiving with them, it was perfect, because we do consider them family. Their kids are really excited about the adoption and are asking when they will get to see the baby. It makes me smile.

5. My friends. Hubbs and I have stayed very close with a lot of our friends from college and back in NC. I wish I could name each of them and write books about how thankful I am for them. They have brought so much joy and laughter into our lives over the years. Every one of them responded with love when we told them about the IF. Over the last few weeks and weeks to come we have been calling them to tell them personally about the adoption, and what a joy to hear their celebration! They are so loving and encouraging it makes me smile talking about them. What a gift they are.

6. Skype. This is what keeps me in touch with my family and specifically my nephew. E is 4 and has autism. He is the happiest litttle guy in the world. I was so worried that he would forget us when we moved away but with Skype you can talk over a live streaming video. I love talking to my mom and dad and actually seeing them, I know it brings them joy as well. And with E, he LOVES IT! I think he likes us better on the computer! We play games and sing songs and he never stops giggling. I love him so much and cant wait to hug him and hear that giggle for real. So I guess this one should say Skype and E.

7. INSIGHT Students. Hubbs and I work in College Mobilization. Meaning that we educate and encourage students to get involved in Missions. I could not have more fun with this. There are 15 students in the INSIGHT program and they bring so much joy into our lives. Our house is an open door and they are always walking in. We have game nights and birthday partys or one will just show up to get a break from studying. They have become and extended family for us, and we cherish them. THe program is only for a year and I cant even think about may and how sad it will be to see them go, but how exciting to see them grow and go out into this world to make a difference. They all have such passionate and couragous hearts. Really they inspire me.

8. Roses. When we moved into our current house there were rose bushes outside in grave need of pruning. I have never had a garden before and didnt really know what to do. So a neighbor came by and helped me prune them, and then I did two all by myself. They are BLOOMING! I know it is almost December but this is southern California. It is amazing to watch what looks like a bush stump begin to bud and grow and then have a rose bud and slowly open. Everyday I go out and see how it has gotten a little bigger. I feel acomplished when I look at it.

9. Music. I bond with people over music. I love to sing, dance, not very good at either but that doesnt matter. People gather over music and I love that. I love to worship, anywhere and everywhere, it is how i connect with God. I love to clean and dance around our house and see the smile it brings to hubbs as he laughs at my silliness. I love to sing Disney ballots in the shower and hymns while I do dishes. I love musicals, and Transiberian Orchestra, and 80's hair. I love the energy from music. I love how music and express what we do know how to say.

10. I am thankful for a GOD who knows me and still loves me. This is the scarlet thread that ties my life together. Even in the darkest places of pain in my life He never left me, He was always there holding me in the palm of His hand. He allowed me to be angry and yell at Him. I still dont understand why everything is happening the way it is, but I do know this. God will not waste my pain. He will and is using it to make me stronger, to draw me closer to him and to Hubbs. He is working things out to His good. Everything in life is about HIS GLORY not mine. I have to remind myself of that ever day. I am so thankful that I had a rock to sit on when I couldnt stand. Even in the pain He showed me that He loved me, He got us this house! You should go back and read the story, it makes me cry when I think about the times I didnt trust Him, and how crazy that was. I love the LORD more than words can express.

So there it is my long (sorry) list of thankfulness. I know that 2009 will be year of my joy and probably more pain. Hopefully this time I can make the Joy stand out more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Papers have arrived

HOLY CRAP there are so many questions and forms to fill out. I knew the application was long and expected a lot but it is like 2 inches thick! I flipped through it last night and it was just so overwhelming. I know it is worth it and all that yadayada, but I just needed to get that out and whine for a minute.

I think we will definitely need to make a game plan. Do a portion a day or something like that.

And then there is the question on tone. Are we ultra serious because this is a serious matter and we want to come off as mature and understanding, or do we throw some light hearted humor in and risk coming off as flippant?

So many Questions!

I think I over analyze and just need to get some tea, relax. Deep Breaths.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Decisions made, Now how do we announce it?

Hubbs and I had a meeting last night. We sat at the kitchen table with all the adoption information we had gathered strewn about the table, a bowl of Strawberry Cheesecake Icecream, and the laptop close by. It was time to decide who we were going to choose for our adoption agency.

I was expecting a long drawn out conversation but was greatly surprised by an easy decision. We both really liked the same agency for the same reasons. It almost seemed too easy. No fighting, no convincing, no compromising, just complete agreement.

So the winner is.... Kinship Center!

You can check them out at We just really loved the way they focused on taking care of the Birthmother and making sure she was making the right decision, even if it meant not making an adoption plan. You can read earlier posts about our first meeting with them.

So now what?

We need to tell everyone the great news! We need to let people know what we are doing. My husband and I work for a ministry so we send out newsletters every other month. We want to have a special edition in December that announces our decision to Adopt. People always find cute ways to announce a pregnancy, but how do you announce an adoption? I need ideas!!

Can you think of a creative way to make the adoption announcement? Leave it in the comments and I will pick one as a winner. I don't have a prize other than cool points, but who doesn't want those!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Question about Price

When Hubbs and I are looking at these different adoption agencies, one of the big things we look at is their fee structure and total price.
We have an agency that we really like that says the average domestic infant adoption will cost about 10,000. That is great! Most other agencies we look at quote 18,000 to 35,000!! That is a huge difference, so it makes me think what is the first agency not doing that is not costing them the extra money? Or why is the second one ripping me off?

How much did your adoption cost? Do you know why there is such variance in fees between agencies? This is really confusing to me, so any help would be great.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fancy Adoption Agency

We didn't go to the info meeting on Monday, it was during the day and we had a work meeting.

Last night we did go. An agency here local to Pasadena, does international and domestic adoptions. It was a very interesting experience. First off it was an open house, so you could come and go as you please. They had wine and catered Hors D'oeuvres, FANCY. I think that was the first thing that threw us off, we felt like we were walking into a private party for people much more important than us. It was nice that they were trying to make a relaxed atmosphere.

We were able to talk to one of the staff, she was really nice and had lots of information. Red flag number two: they do the homestudy and relinquishment but an attorney handles the matching and interaction with the Birth Mother. When asked what kind of services or counseling is provided to the Birth Mother, they told us it depended on the attorney. The last place went on and on about the counseling they gave to the Birth Mother and how important this was to her making a good decision, and that good counseling actually lowered the risk in adoption because the Birth Mother has been give options. I really appreciated that. This agency was much more catering to the Adoptive Family.

The last question I asked was about how their fees worked. She said they spread it out to make it more affordable. Homestudy: $2600, Relinquishment $2000, application fee $250. Not bad, it was actually sounding pretty good, that only adds up to around $5000. Then she droped the bomb. The rest of the fees are paid directly to the attorney so it differs depending on what attorney you use, but a good estimate was $20 to $40 THOUSAND DOLLARS! I know adoption is expensive but holy crap that is alot of money, twice as much as the last place estimated! The attorney is getting the majority of the money, which doesnt sit well with me. If we are going to pay that high of a price I would much rather it go to an agency that is focused on Birth Mothers and doing a great service in the community, not an attorney.

Needless to say we ended that conversation, took one more spin around the fancy finger foods and took off. Not the right fit for us.

I dont know what is on the schedule next, more research I guess. So far the first agency is the only one on our Good list.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Adoption Info Meetings

Last Tuesday we went to an information meeting for an adoption agency. I was so anxious all day, I guess I just didnt know what to expect. The meeting was actually pretty low key, lots of information, and next step kind of stuff.

We liked the focus they had on the Birth Mother. They are very big on counseling and coaching the Birth Mother on options that she has. At first that was hard to hear because I was thinking, no you cant encourage them to keep the child, but then I quickly realized how awful that thought was. Of course the best thing for the Baby would be to stay with the Biological family. I guess i saw a little bit of my selfish side coming out. I have to keep reminding myself that this is not about me, but about a child.

There was a slight feeling of being sized up by the staff there. I wondered the whole time if they were stereotyping us as a certain kind of parents and what that was. Towards the end some questions we asked got misunderstood and it was frustrating because they concluded things that just weren't true about us. Hubbs says not to worry about it, that they will get to know us for real if we choose that agency and do the homestudy with them. I am still haunted by the thought that first impressions are everything.

The staff at these adoption agencies hold a lot of power over us. I wonder if they realize that.

Two more meetings this week. Monday with the county and Wednesday with another private agency.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hope is building

So we made a decision. We are going to adopt.

At first, I wasn't really excited about it, it was just a decision, a way forward. Basically it came down to feeling very uncomfortable with IVF ethically, not knowing what to do or how to decide, and we felt that the adoption process would give us time. We have always wanted to adopt, we just thought it would be kid 4, 5, and 6 instead of the first. I know it will be a long process, but at least it is a way forward, something to look forward to.

Slowly, hope is building. Everyday I get a little more excited about the child that will come to us. With the infertility grief I had pushed all thoughts about a family and a baby to hold into a very dark closet with a padlock on it. I just couldn't think about it. I took the lock off. Slowly those hopes and dreams are coming out. It still hurts, my heart is still heavy when I see mother's with their infants, but the other day I smiled at them. I thought about the child I will be holding, I felt kind of warm and snuggly inside.

I am ready for hope. I am ready to be happy again, to be able to make it through a day of work motivated and undistributed!

I think my day is coming.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Am I willing to Gamble?

IVF costs a LOT of money. I think we are all aware of that. Adoption is not a cheaper option, and might even cost more. What we are trying to decide now, is a simple question of whether we are willing to gamble.
I am trying to make this a logical decision, and it is really hard with all the emotions that are involved, but just run with me for a minute.
Lets say you are looking to buy a car. You go and meet with Mr. Car man and he gives you two options. The first, pay $15,000 and he will provide you with a kit to build your own car, sounds exciting, only that there is only a 35% chance you will actually end up with a car in the end. The second option is to pay the same amount of money and he gaurntees you will have a brand new car from the lot down the street where cars just sit with no one to drive them in your drive way within a year. You dont get the satisfaction of putting it together yourself, but you are garunteed to have a car in the end.
I know that sounds really simplistic and maybe way off, but this is where my mind is.

Of course you would go with the option that garuntees that you get a car!

It sounds so simple, and we all know wanting a baby, our baby is much different than wanting a car. But the logic of it still stands. Am I willing to gamble the money on the maybe of getting a car? And there is a need that we could fill, we could become a child's family, be a better option for a struggling teen mom, we could be the answer.

With gaurntees also comes the abandonment of a dream. Letting go of hopes and emotions that I dont know if I am willing to let go of yet.

I wish this was as simple as buying a car, but I know it is not.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Decisions, decisions

We had our official consultation with the fertility specialist on Friday. It went really well, she didnt tell us anything we didnt already know, but she did say it. And she explained the whole situation with the endometriosis, what it is doing to my insides, and what are options are. I feel really educated, and I like our doc.

What she said:
Our only option is IVF if we want to get pregnant. I am kind of ok with it, most days. I pretty much knew this before, but now I know why. We also went through the whole process of IVF with her explaining every stage in detail. That was awesome. I am so amazed at the way God designed our bodies. We told her that we believed that life was at conception and that we needed to be able to protect that life at every stage. She said that they were willing to work with us and our stipulations. I dont think she necessarily agreed with us, but respected our beliefs. I appreciated that.

So now we have to decide. The major factor for us is protecting the life and feeling comfortable with the proceedure. The other big factor is the money. We will have to save or raise up the money, we could take out a loan, but we have to make sure we can pay the payments.

I would love to hear some creative ways that yall raised, barrowed, penny pinched, sold plasma, whatever you did to get the money.

I think I am going to start with a bake sale!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Provision in Darkness

This week something amazing happened. In the middle of the week I thought something horrible was happening, I felt lost, forgotten, and ready to break at any moment. Now that the week is over and I know the ending, the whole week is part of an amazing story. Not that the middle didn't hurt, It did, but with a miraculous ending, the middle and beginning are redeemed for the good. It was all a part of the happy ending.

It all started last Sunday. Our pastor shared this passage from Isaiah:

Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.

The words hit me hard, that was me, I was asking where is God, why is he non concerned with my life. I felt hidden from the Lord. I know it says that He is here with me, but where is my eagle to fly on, where is my rest!

Then we had the lovely doctor appointment I have already written about. The lack of hope in my life was growing, and I was becoming more depressed.

In the midst of all of this, hubbs and I have been trying to move into a new house. Our apartment was a total of 310 sq feet. Not the biggest place in the world but livable for the two of us. We work for an organization that owns homes and subsidizes rent for their staff, and a house down the street had become available. An adorable two bedroom home with a little yard outside. The word on the street was, it was ours. I was excited, the house was enough space for the two of us, plus one, and perfectly in our budget.

Then the construction started. They decided to renovate. Renovation = Rent increase. The house was quickly becoming unaffordable, and the more people we talked to the more we learned that this was the new trend. Every house that became vacant was going to be renovated, meaning we would never (atleast not anytime soon) be able to move out of our 310 sq ft apartment!

My world quickly began closing in around me. I was so depressed, so angry. I felt completely abandon and like the entire world was working against us. A friend asked if I felt like I was treading water while someone kept pushing my head down. That is exactly how I felt, like I couldnt get a break, good news would never come.

Friday night I was a zombie, washing dishes and cooking dinner while staring out the window. Hubbs tried to talk but he could tell I wasn't in the mood. I was thinking about all the things that had gone wrong over the last few days and what they meant for our future. I looked at Hubbs and said, "There is no hope, we cant afford the doctors, we cant afford a big enough house, no social worker in their right mind would let us adopt after having a home visit here!" I sobbed. My dream was dying.

Just then a knock on our door. I turned quickly to hide my wet face, and pretended to be cooking dinner. Hubbs got the door, it was the housing director. He came by to tell us they decided to let us have the house at the original rent rate, before the renovations!

I literally fell on the ground and wept. I don't know what He must have thought but I didn't care, I was so overwhelmed. He told Hubbs that He couldn't leave work today until he had worked this out. That we must be very special to God, for He always looks after His children. I tried to say Thank you, but I just cried smiling slightly through the tears.

Talk about being lifted up on Eagles Wings! My heart soared! God is listening to my prayers, He wont let me fall off the edge, He wont abandon me. He does care about our dreams. I felt so loved, and so full in that moment. And a strange peace about the whole baby thing. We needed this house, and He knew that.

Why did He let us go through all the pain? I am not sure, but I know that I am stronger for it. I learned a little more about who God is. He is creator, and God almighty, the Big amazing all powerful God, but He is also tender and caring, and the one who provides rest.

Haven't you heard! The LORD is God Almighty, Creator of the entire earth! He doesn't grow weary, He will bring you power, He will bring you strength!
When everyone else grows weary He will Lift you up and give you the strength to carry on! Seek Him, and He will give you rest.

I love my new house =)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I hate going to the Doctor!

I don't think Tuesday could have been worse.

Bad news #1: The endometriosis has created an environment that is non conducive to fertilization. We had not heard this yet, we thought we were just one tube down and that was all. Her opinion was that meds, and other procedures wouldnt work because you are still depending on your body to ovulate and allow the egg to be fertilized and I have a BAD enviroment. So we should go straight to IVF, which I am not comfortable with.

Bad news #2: The only fertility specialist they have is a mean cold women who is not good at what she does. That was directly from the docs mouth! So we could get a consult from her, but it probably wouldn't be accurate and she would like us to go to a fertility clinic.

Bad news #3: Our insurance wouldn't cover the Mean lady even if we wanted to go! We were kind of counting on doing as much as we could under insurance before going elsewhere so we could save up some money. This appointment was the end of the road for us with insurance.

So what do we do now? First we cry, then we figure out how we are going to pay for all of this. I think I found a clinic that I would like to go to, but even the consult is $315. I hate that money is a part of this. I never wanted to have to think about a child with a price tag attached.

So we are in the same place we were in before we went, no game plan.

I can get a game plan, but that will cost me $315.

I hate this.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Let the Games Begin

We have a doctor appointment scheduled for Aug 12th. (The day before our anniversary) The plan is to get an assessment of where we are, what's working what's not, and what our options are. Hopefully this appointment will give us all the info we need to get a game plan. I am anxious to get started, the summer of Lupron has just been a lot of waiting and letting my mind run (not good) so I am ready to do something and get some real answers!

Any suggestions on questions I should have for the doctors from you girls that have been here would be awesome.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Song that makes me cry

We sang this on Sunday, it is one of my favorite songs, I used to sing it with a huge smile on my face, saying "YES Lord, I will bless your name always," now with tears streaming down my face all I can say is, "Lord give me the strength." But again I sing, because I know its true, and I want it to be true of me.

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Trying to live in the Ballance

I feel hopeful this morning.

I don't know why, nothing has really changed, I just woke up this morning thinking there's still a chance we will get pregnant. I mean there is always a chance right. It felt good to be hopeful.

With hope comes dreaming.

As I laid in bed this morning my head was full of images of what life would be like as a family. How awesome it would be to see my husband cuddling our newborn. Beautiful images of going to the park, photos, tiny clothes, giggles and coos, fixing up a nursery, holding my baby bump and finally looking into the tiny eyes of my child as I rocked them to sleep.

With dreaming comes anxiousness.

With each thought my heart got more excited and more impatient. When will it happen, how long will we have to wait? I began to think
about all the treatments and all the options we have before us. How many needles will it take to make a baby?? I don't like needles. Will it work at all, or will our little blessing come to us another way.

With anxiousness comes fear.

I am afraid. I am afraid of being hurt by my hopes. I hate not being able to achieve the one thing my body was created for, the reason I am a woman. I hate being broken, and I am so afraid of what that means. I know that we will be parents somehow, but I don't want to let go of the desire for God to create a child inside me, from me and hubbs. I am afraid of what I will feel like if that can't happen, if there is no chance.

I don't know what comes next.

I want to be able to jump back to hope and dreaming. But how do you hope with out being afraid of what that hope might bring, hurt and disappointment. How quickly I fell from hope to fear, how did that happen? How do I stop it? The more I hope and the more I dream the harder I fall when the bad news comes, the deeper the hurt when I see a mother cuddling their baby. Hope makes me feel good, I don't like being depressed. I want to be hopeful. Is it possible to live with this strange balancing act of emotions? I don't know.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How to answer the "How ya'll doing" question

The Hubbs and I have been traveling a lot this summer, too much really. I am exhausted physically and emotionally. We have visited a lot of people and the first question they all ask is, "How are ya'll doing?" I don't think they really want me to answer. What would I say anyways. How do you explain all this. I can tell my closest friends, but to people that you just know, even friends, but not the kind of friends that you talk to all the time, How do you tell them. Do I even have to? I don't really want to, but how do you answer that question.

I feel like if I did just talk about it, put it out there, that people would feel awkward about it. That it would be too much information. I feel like there is something broken with me. Why is this so hard? Why do I feel like I have some hidden disease? How many women are going through the same situation and are hiding it as well.

I would love to know how others deal with this. How do you just casually say, my husband and I are struggling with Infertility, we may not be able to have babies, my insides are broken, anything with out freakin people out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

a confession...

so... I made fun of a pregnant women the other day. Sadly it was awesome!!

It was a girl that I hadn't seen in awhile, she passed by Hubbs and I saying "just making my trip to the potty." I smiled and nodded and in my mind I was thinking "man she looks fat, chubby chipmunk face, and she waddles big time" It actually made me giggle I was so humored by my thoughts. Hubbs noticed of course and asked what I was laughing at. I blushed at being caught lowered my head and whispered in his ear. He looked up with a huge smile on his face and said "yea, she looked likes like a penguin."

This is why I LOVE my Hubbs!!!

I know this is not nice, or healthy, but it did make me smile. And I didn't say it out loud, that's something right? Am I the only one who does this? I hope not, I feel bad even posting about it, but I thought it was funny and that i needed to confess. If these little evil indulgences keep me sane is that ok?

If you are pregnant and reading this, I am sooo sorry, I dont mean to hurt anyone, its just the pain talking.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Worthy, in spite of my pain

We have been traveling, so it has been a while since I have been able to write. Sorry this is late.

Two weeks ago Hubby and I were at a conference in Dallas for work. It was a great weekend to relax and network with other mission agencies. During the large sessions they would have times of praise and worship. Singing is when I bare my heart to my God. This has never been harder.

I am so bitter, mad, confused, scared and hurt. Why me, why cant I have a baby, it hurts so badly at times, and I dont understand. I am angry with God. At first I didnt want to sing, I couldnt even mouth the words, I just thought about my situation, my pain.

I argued with God.

Then this song, a song that is very dear to me, a song that once upon a time would have lifted my heart, put a smile on face and given me peace as I praised my King.

Chris Tomlin's How Great Is Our God

The splendor of a King, clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps himself in Light, and darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father Spirit Son
The Lion and the Lamb
The Lion and the Lamb

Name above all names
Worthy of our praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God, sing with me
How great is our God, and all will see
How great, how great is our God

I wanted everything to stop, I wanted to leave, to run out of the room, but I couldnt hold it in, I couldnt help but sing, crying, sobbing, my heart sang, I didnt want to, I was angry, I didnt want to worship Him, I wanted to give in to my anger, but my heart sang, I couldnt stop the words coming out of my mouth. It was painful, and hard, but without a shadow of doubt, I know deep down in my soul, My God is great, and He is worthy of praise, no matter what my situation, I cant not give Him Glory. Even though I fought it with everything in me, I had to sing.

I am still angry, I am still hurt, but that does not change the fact that I am madly in love with a God that is worthy of my Praise.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

And the Doctor Said...

A whole lot of nothing. It wasnt necessarily a bad appointment, just not what I expected. The Doc was more concerned with doing the Post Op and making sure I was healing from the surgery, and I wanted to know all about the Endo and what this all really means. So while he was checking my vitals my husband and i were firing off hundreds of questions about fertility, endo, and the treatment. We got some answers but by in large the statement of the day was, it is hard to answer those questions at this point, Heal first, then we will talk about your options.

The Doc did start me on Lupron, so I guess I have a whole 3 months to think about this, and what is coming next. What is Lupron like? I have heard it is basically Menopause, Yipee! This is going to be a really interesting summer. Definitely not the one I imagined.

I think I needed more from the Doc then I was going to get anyways. I wanted straight forward answers, you are infertile, the endometriosis has ruined your chances of getting pregnant naturally, something. I dont like the grey answers, well, it is going to be hard, you never know, it is hard to say, everyone is different, JUST SAY IT!

I know all those other things are true as well, but I am having a hard time excepting this as my reality, and I truthful shot to the gut would throw me into it. I would have to believe it and accept it. As for now, with all the grey answers I can still pretend that everything is fine, and My baby bump is right around the corner.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Overwhelmed with encouragement

I am simply overwhelmed by the online IF community. It started with a google search, and then I ended up on Lost and Found an awesome blog focused on building an online IF community. The next thing I know I have all these comments from women who are in the same situation, just wanting to say hello, give a hug, a little encouragement, and honesty that this situation sucks! So I just wanted to give a Thank you, to all of you. You have made me feel lifted up and encouraged. It is a easier knowing that I am not alone, and I am excited to see what I can learn from everyone else.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Beginning...

For the past year, the Hubby and I have been trying to start our family. The plan was simple, throw away the condoms, do the baby dance, and get pregnant. It seemed pretty straight forward, and neither of us put that much thought or emotion into it. It was just time, and it would happen when it was suppose to. After the first couple of months went by and no baby magic, I started to get anxious. I don't think I was prepared to have to wait. I don't like waiting. I thought I didn't care, that I was OK with just seeing what happens, but I was wrong. My emotions were in this deep, and with every passing month, it hurt worse and worse.

This process is such a rollercoaster! You start off hopeful, full of love, and excitement to make a baby, fertile week comes and the anticipation grows, then you wait, do you feel different, a little sick this morning, fever, tired, hungry, anything? Of course the time that you find out your not pregnant just happens to be the same time your insides are playing Mortal Kombat with each other and your emotions have turned you into a bipolar lunatic. So the rollercoaster comes to a crash, somehow staying on track and slowly moves on to start all over again. There is always that moment where you ponder getting off, is it really worth doing it all again, will the end ever change.

This was life, not all of it, there was a lot of joy and excitement going on as well, but this is what was lying just underneath the surface.

Then we hit an even bigger bump, cysts were found on my ovaries. At first they were said to be normal average cysts and nothing to worry about. (I always worry) It was a little bit of a relief to have an answer as to why things weren't happening. Then we began to talk about the possibilities, I hate that doctors have to be so thorough! These were problems I didn't want to think about, but all the what ifs began anyways.

Regardless of the outcome the cysts had to be removed, so surgery was scheduled and out they came. I remember sitting in the waiting room with hubby listening to Slick Shoes, and writing down the positives things: getting rid of scary cysts, time off work, lots of chocolate, free food, sleeping, no more nightmares about blob like monsters eating my insides, and getting back to baby making!

Hours later I awoke, sore, and drugged. I remember the look on hubby's face, smiling, he looked tired. I didn't want to ask, and he didn't want to tell me. If everything had gone perfectly well that would have been the first thing he said. But he didn't, he just said I love you.
Eventually it came out, the doctors found endometriosis. They were able to scrape most of it away, but one tube was blocked up.

The last couple of days have been a blur. I don't think i am ready to process what all this means. I feel lost, and kind of numb. All the dreams of family and baby bellies have been put away. It is easier to just not think about it, to not answer questions or even talk to people. I don't want to answer how i am doing, I honestly don't think I know. Hubby has been so strong, and wonderful, he answers for me, he deals with people so I don't have to. I love him.

We go back to the Doctor on Wednesday. I don't want to go. I know they will have answers, but I am not sure I want them.