Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
My friend, E, delivered her twin girls at slightly over 33 weeks on Sunday. The girls are doing really great, but they will be in the NICU for a couple of weeks or more. It has to be so hard to leave the hospital without the babies you have waited so long for.
My friend, L, is in a bit of a holding pattern with an opportunity at the adoption agency. The whole waiting game is just so anxiety provoking and can take such a toll on you - both physically and emotionally. Hopefully all will work out and they will be bringing home a very sweet little boy some time in the next couple of weeks.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
First and foremost our precious little Addie. Can you believe that she is already 5 months old?? I don't know where the time has gone. Part of me is so excited to watch her grow and the other part of me wants her to stay this little and innocent forever. A sure sign that she is growing up? As of today she is no longer the youngest infant in her class at daycare :-( I don't know why, but that makes me really sad. She has started eating baby food. So far she likes bananas, peaches, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Last night I broke down and tried some of the "green" stuff - I'm sorry, but that just about made me gag! Well low and behold - she liked it! Maybe that fact that she doesn't have my genes is good in this case. Meat and potatoes are more my thing, but I have branched out some. After 3 ear infections, resistent to antibiotics, in just 6 weeks, we decided tubes were the right way to go. We are lucky in the fact that I work for a major health system and that I work directly with the ENT physician who did her surgery. It really put me at ease to know what good hands she was in. All in all she did good, although coming out of the anesthesia was a different story. She screamed for about 2 hours straight. Yes, it just about broke my heart. The day of the surgery she was pretty puny, but the next day she was like a whole new child. She "talks" so much more now - yeah, probably because she can actually hear! It really makes me feel like we made the right decision. Addie is such a great child and is starting to develop such a cute little personality. We could just sit and stare at her for hours (and often do). Life has a whole different meaning now that she is part of it.
Infertility will always be a part of my life. Sometimes it rears its ugly head when I least expect it. As much as my life has changed, that pain will always be there in some form and I will never forget what it is like to "be in the trenches". My pep talk for those of you still fighting the fight, don't ever give up on your dream! If it is what you want, you will get there...it just may not necessarily be the path you expected to take. While I was always open to the idea of adoption, I truly never thought it would get to that point. We had decided on at least 3 IVF cycles, of course at least one of them had to work. Two positive pregnancy tests, of course one of them had to stick. Well we all know how that turned out. Everything happens for a reason, I am now a firm believer in that. October is a very significant month for us - it is the month where I had my first miscarriage (twins) - it is the month that I would have been due had the second pregnancy stuck - and it is the month that we became a "Forever Family" when we brought our sweet little girl home.
What helped me immensely to get through the difficult times was to participate in a local Mind/Body group that is based off of the book Conquering Infertility by Alice Domar, PhD. I can't recommend this enough! Through it I learned to deal with stress much better than I ever had before and I formed an amazing friendship with two of the women I met in that class. It helps to have other women close to you going through the same thing that you can really talk to, cry to, yell to, vent to...it is true that while people not having experienced the joys of IF, can be very sympathetic - they can just never understand fully what you are dealing with. I would have never made it through some of my darkest times without these two women. To my surprise, the leader of our Mind/Body group contacted me last week and has asked my husband and I to come and speak to her new group about our experience with adoption. Wow, how weird it will feel to be on the other side! I remember so clearly sitting in their seats almost a year ago and looking at the couple that spoke to us, wondering if I would ever get there. While I do feel honored that she asked us, I also feel that it is a great responsibility - will I say the right thing? will I convey to them that I do know how it feels...I haven't forgotten what it's like? what will they think of the choices we made/or didn't make? Overall though, I am very excited about speaking to the group. I want them to know and see that there will be a happy ending.
Wow, I had a completely different direction for this post than where it ended up...but again, that is just one of those things IF does to you I guess?
Monday, March 31, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
She seems to learn something new every day. She is rolling over now, has
discovered her little "pigs", is pushing up during "tummy time", wants to
put everything in her mouth, and is definitely developing her little
personality more and more. She loves her daddy and thinks he is just the
funniest thing, especially when they go on a "drive".
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The main point of this is to tell you (sorry, I tend to get long-winded...I think it comes from Hunter) that we saw our adoption counselor there who had a letter for us from A & J. It was so very sweet and talked about how after meeting us that they knew they had picked the right parents for Addie. They also included A's ultrasound pictures. I still can't believe how incredibly thoughtful that was of them.
Our initial arrangement with them was a semi-open adoption which meant that Hunter and I would send letters and pictures on an agreed upon schedule through the agency so that A & J could have them if they chose. I was never very comfortable with the thought on a fully open adoption, I don't know why...maybe it is the selfishness in me that wanted Addie all to ourselves, maybe I was scared that if Addie knew her birthparents that that would somehow change her relationship with us...I really don't know.
There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of A & J and what a wonderful gift they give us, but beyond that I wonder how they are doing, has A gone back to school, how is she coping with the whole situation, has her relationship with J suffered at all or are they still as in love as ever? Part of me really wanted to keep in touch with them and wanted Addie to know how much A & J really love her and what they did so that she could have a better life.
Early in January our adoption counselor called to tell me that she had been talking with A and that she had requested another visit with us and Addie. She still didn't feel like she had closure. My immediate thought was, no - Addie is ours, no one can take her from us. But once that initial thought passed and I verified that legally even if she did change her mind, there is nothing that can be done at this point - I was excited at the thought of seeing them again. That brings us to this past weekend and our second meeting with J & A. I wasn't nervous at all, I was really excited. I got Addie all dressed up, she had to look her best! As soon as we saw them it was like running into old friends. I gave them both a big hug and the conversation just flowed from there. We talked a lot about Addie, but we also talked a lot about our lives. They asked us a lot of questions about what we were like when we were their age and we in turn asked them about what their plans are and what they want out of life. They held Addie and called us "Mommy and Daddy" - I felt very weird and comforted by that all at the same time. They also brought us the sweetest gift, a framed and matted picture of Addie right after she was born in the hospital. There were several tears shed by both A and I at this visit. We talked about how we want to communicate in the future and decided that we did want an open adoption after all. I don't really know what all that means right now, but they do have our email address and a telephone number where they can call and check on Addie and we can keep up with how they are doing. As far as more visits, I guess we will just play that one by ear. Addie will truly know how much we both love her and care for her and I think that through our love for Addie we have a deep respect and love for A & J as well. I am so thankful that God has brought them back into our lives and really couldn't ask for a better situation. I hope that if they do get married one day that they invite us to the wedding. They will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Hunter and I always knew that if we were unable to have a biological child through treatment that we would definitely adopt. So, after our final failed cycle in May we signed with a wonderful local agency, A Child's Hope in June . We were immediately matched with our social worker and had our first homestudy visit with her on July 9. I was a bundle of nerves - believe my house had NEVER been so clean!! Luckily she put us at ease right away and was so easy to talk to...contrary to my initial belief, she really wasn't looking for anything wrong with us - she really wanted us to be parents. The most daunting part of the whole process had to be gathering all of the paperwork. We had to have birth certificates, police records (no there weren't any, but you still had to have something official stating that), financial statements, recommendations, physical forms from the doctor, and on, and on. On July 20 we went to our first parenting class with the agency. It wasn't really a class on parenting so much as it was a class on the whole adoption process and what to expect. When it got time to do the "role-play" match meeting with the birthmother Hunter and I were chosen. Luckily he didn't embarrass me too much ;-) As much as I dreaded it, it was really great practice...even though we didn't end up having a traditional match meeting. After our class we had our final 3 meetings with our social worker. I think she knows pretty much everything there is to know about both of us - even the embarrassing stuff. I have said this before and I will say it again - if everyone had to go through this process to have a baby, there would be a lot less unplanned pregnancies in the world. Once we got our final homestudy report we went live on the website in August. That was the point where I started to get a little antsy. In reality I knew that it would likely be at least a year before we were bringing a little one home, but I also knew that there was that slim chance that we could get a call any day. There were several opportunities that we were interested in in August and September, but as expected, none of those panned out.
So, on Saturday, October 20 Hunter and I were being lazy watching NC State lose yet another football game and my crackberry (as Hunter likes to call it) vibrated to let me know I had a new email. I felt a funny feeling in my stomach as I saw an email from A Child's Hope titled "Last Minute Opportunity". This situation couldn't have sounded more perfect - a baby girl born on Friday, October 19 in excellent health. The birthparents had called the agency just the week before and was scheduled to meet with the adoption counselor the Friday that she ended up being induced due to pre-eclampsia. Hunter and I knew that this was a situation that sounded too good to be true and that another family who had been waiting longer would probably be picked, but we still responded that we would like to have our profile shown. Over the next couple of days neither of us could get our minds off of the little baby girl that we knew was waiting to go to a new family. By Tuesday, I was really bummed that we hadn't gotten a call and thought surely the birthparents had picked another family. Tuesday on my way home from work I called my good friend Stephanie and asked if she, her husband, and 2 beautiful daughters wanted to go to dinner with us. I needed some cheering up and something to take my mind off of what I thought was yet another rejection. Halfway through dinner Hunter's phone rang and I heard him say "Yes mam" and give me a really funny look. Right then I knew it was "the call". We both ran outside so we could talk to the adoption counselor and sure enough she said that the birthparents had chosen us!!!! I could hardly contain myself, I was laughing and crying all at the same time. Hunter actually got to talk with the birthfather - they were really excited at how excited we were. We went back into the restaurant trying to keep a straight face, but as soon as they saw us they knew that it was the call we had been waiting on. We had wanted to keep it a secret because we knew that even though we had been picked, it was by no means a "done deal". In North Carolina the birthparents have 7 days to change their minds after they have signed the termination papers. We did call our parents and give them the good news - they may have disowned us otherwise! Can I just tell you - we had absolutely nothing! The room that was going to be the nursery was in shambles (Hunter had scrapped the popcorn off the ceiling). Since it was still not a "sure thing" we hated to go buy too much in case it fell through. I knew I couldn't sit there and look at it, if it didn't work out. We didn't get much sleep and during the day there was no way I could concentrate at work. I avoided my friends like the plague. I knew if I talked to them they would be able to tell that something was up. I must have called the adoption counselor about a dozen times just to check in and see if she had heard anything. She was probably ready to block my number! Finally Tuesday, October 30 came. I think I got up at about 5 in the morning. Our adoption counselor called bright and early to say congratulations and she emailed us a picture of our beautiful daughter. It was finally happening. After all the heartache and waiting we knew there was one very special reason that made it all worth it - her name is Addison Grace.