Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Finally - Our Adoption Story

Yes, it has taken me WAY too long to actually get this post together. Needless to say, our lives have changed dramatically over the last 3 1/2 months.

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.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2 Months Old!

Wow, where does the time go? Our little girl turned 2 months old on December 19th. She is growing and changing every day. At her 2 month appointment she was up to 10 lbs, 3.5 oz and is now 22.5 inches long. She had to have her first vaccinations at her 2 month check-up and I think it hurt me worse than it hurt her. I told Hunter he has to take her for her next round at 4 months! We have had a busy past few weeks and I hope to have some time in the near future to post Addie's full story as well as an update on us.