Crochet project!

Let me preface:  I am an old soul.  I like to sit at home, pet my cats, hang out with my husband, and do “old soul” things.  We play board games, we cook dinners together, and I even know how to darn socks.  Another one of my “old soul” hobbies is crochet.  I love creating pieces with yarn…picking out various patterns, choosing color palettes, and discovering new types of yarn.

Throughout the past 5-6 years, I’ve been making baby blankets for all my friends who have had children.  I’ve probably made 15 blankets or so…and they are all labors of love.  I love being able to make them for the babies (and my friends), but after awhile it was hard to keep making blankets for babies that weren’t mine.  I genuinely enjoyed making the blankets, but each time it was a little stab in the heart because we were wanting a baby so badly, but it hadn’t really worked out that way for us.

One of the things I swore that I would do when we had a child, was treat myself to some really nice, luxurious yarn, and make a baby blanket for our child.  One that I would (finally) get to keep.  Now that we’re moving on with adoption, I’m going to go ahead and start work on a project that has been in my heart for years now.

blanketI wanted to keep the colors neutral, but blue is my favorite color (and J’s favorite color as well)…so it made sense to incorporate shades of blue into the blanket.  The walls of the nursery are a very light grey, so nearly any color will look good with the walls (which was the main driver to light grey walls).  I’ve ordered some fabric samples in aqua and navy for curtains, so I decided to incorporate those colors as well.

Since we don’t know the sex of the child we’ll be matched with, I’ve decided that I’ll hold off on backing the blanket.  If it’s a girl, I’m thinking a bright coral or fuchsia flannel will be what I use.  If it’s a boy, probably a darker shade of grey.  Either way, I can easily make it specific to the child once we have the baby home…but until then, I’ll just keep working on the main part of the blanket.  I’m excited to show it in our adoption profile book, along with a few other things for the nursery…hopefully it will give birth mothers’ a good sense of how excited we are and prepared for this next stage of our lives!

Much love,
K.

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To decorate, or not to decorate…

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I struggle with the most is how much I should “prepare” ahead of time…even knowing that it could be months or years before we have a match/placement.  And, honestly, I have a feeling I’ll be struggling with this throughout the entire process, because that seems to be how my personality runs.

One of the areas that I’m unsure of is whether to go ahead and decorate the nursery.  I was reading through a few different blogs, and one woman said she wanted to decorate the nursery for A baby, not necessarily a specific baby.  I really liked how she put that, because that way the nursery is ready to go, but it’s more of planning for a certainty.  My concern was always that we’d decorate for a match, but then the adoption would fall through and I’d be left with a nursery that was empty.  I think, if we decorate prior to even having a match, it’ll feel more like an eventuality, rather than a room for a specific child.

J has already mentioned that he wants to build the crib, which I love the idea of.  Lately, he’s been enamored with all sorts of woodworking, and I know this will give him a way to feel tied in even more to the adoption, and will give him a nice lead-up to bonding with the baby.

So…I’m still torn.  I think it could be a great way to pass the time, and something for me to focus on as we move through this process, but I worry it’s also too soon.  Thoughts?

Much love,
K.

Keeping it real

One of my biggest personality drawbacks is my tendency to go full steam ahead whenever a new, exciting, possibility comes into my life.  To be fair, this probably isn’t a drawback 100% of the time, but there are instances where it’s best to sit back, relax, and just let life happen.

I feel like our journey with infertility was more on the “sit back and relax” spectrum.  I mean, there were times when I was faced with impatience, doubt, worry, fear…but overall I felt pretty zen about it (90% of the time).

But, the adoption process thus far has been different.  I’m not stressed in the least (thankfully), but I find myself just wanting to do everything NOW NOW NOW.  I’ve been reading a few books that describe the information needed for the home study process, and I’m talking to J, and find myself saying things like, “And I need to schedule the doctor’s appointments for our physicals, but not until late March/early April.” or “And we need to pull our financial records for the past three years and make sure we have extra copies ready to go.”  All these things are running through my head, and we haven’t even scheduled the interview process yet to kick off the home study!

I know J is worried that I’m going to burn myself out.  And I understand that, it’s a valid concern.  But I’m just so incredibly excited at this prospect that I find myself wanting to capitalize on the extra energy.  Get things completed now so we won’t have to stress about them later.  The only problem is, I’m not 100% sure what I even need to complete now, since I don’t have a list from our agency.  I know I need to tone it down, but it’s hard.

So, that’s where I am at the moment.  Still ridiculously early in the process, and anxious/excited for things to get going.  I feel like we’ve been waiting for this for years, and now that it’s closer than it’s ever been, I’m tired of being patient.

Much love,
K.

Finding the Right Fit

One of the things I have read over and over while researching adoptions, is to be sure to find an adoption agency (if you’re going the agency route) that fits your family.  Which, makes sense, because these people are going to get to know you and your family VERY well.

I started off by asking friends who have adopted previously to share experiences.  I figure, these people are my friends for a reason, so I can probably trust their advice.  Unfortunately, our one friend went with international adoption, so their agency wasn’t much use for what we are wanting (domestic adoption).  That said…I didn’t let that deter me, and kept asking.

On top of this, I utilized The Google.  The Google knows all.  There are several adoption agencies in the area we live, and I wanted to research them and look for reviews online.  There is never going to be a place that everyone is 100% happy with, so I usually take user reviews with a grain of salt, but if someone is consistently rated bad, that doesn’t really look good.

So, after all that, I had a short list of about 5 different agencies/law firms that I was interested in exploring.  I started contacting them and speaking with people, just to get a feel for each agency.  I filled out preliminary intake forms (along with J) and sent off a few.  We did have one setback with one agency.  They request that both parents be affiliated with a Christian church.  I am Catholic, but J isn’t religious.  So…that was a strike against us, and we ended up removing it from the list.

Then, we had an opportunity to go to some information sessions to meet with people in person.  We ended up picking an agency through that process…we just knew that they were the right ones to work with.  We both felt very comfortable with the people there, and they hit on a lot of the key things that we were looking for (focus on domestic adoption, small pool of adoptive parent applicants, etc.).  We pretty much went home from that information session and started filling out the application paperwork!

So…where are we now?  Well, the application paperwork has been submitted.  We should be starting the home study process in early March.  That process can take 6-8 weeks, so around the May timeframe, our profile should be ready to go and we can start the wait for a match!  The agency we went with uses profile books created by the adoptive parents (this seems pretty standard), so that the birth mothers can look through the books and pick out the couple they would like to parent their child.  I’ve already started pulling photos that we can use for the book, as well as writing down ideas of what we’d like to say, just so that we’re not scrambling at the last minute.

I’m excited!  I’m hopeful.  I really feel like this is it for us, and that we’ll actually be parents before the end of all of this.  It’s definitely an amazing feeling.

Much love,
K.

It’s been quite some time…

quoteI realize that it’s been quite some time since I updated.  Four months, actually…which seems like forever, and yet seems like yesterday, all at the same time.

The last time I posted, I shared that our IVF cycle was a bust.  We had options that we were discussing, and we had decided to do another IVF cycle this year.  Like most well laid plans, life happened.  I switched jobs (same company, different role) in mid-December, and was traveling for work late January/early February, so we decided to do the IVF cycle in February.  Then we booked a cruise in April for the Bahamas and Mexico, and the Zika virus took over the news, so we decided to postpone the IVF cycle until after the cruise, in late April/early May.

And then, one evening, we just starting talking.  About our life at the moment, all the infertility struggles, where we hoped to be when it was all said and done.  We realized that we had both been worried about another IVF cycle.  We were both lacking confidence that another IVF cycle would work, and knowing that it would be a huge financial undertaking (not to mention emotional) was worrying.  We both admitted that we really weren’t interested in going through another IVF cycle, especially with the feelings of pessimism that it wouldn’t work anyways.

Which sort of left us with a feeling of, “well…now what”?  Initially, we had discussed embryo adoption/donor embryos as a possibility to expand our family…and that was something that we had ran with for a day or two.  But, programs are expensive, donor embryos are harder to come by, and honestly…we had no way of knowing if my body can even sustain a pregnancy.  Plus…it was more invasive procedures, more blood-work, more injections, and more financial burden being placed on a chance.  And, to be sure, it’s a wonderful blessing if it pans out in the end…but it was still a chance.  I’m tired of chances.

J and I talked about what that meant.  For me, personally, I had never been tied to the idea of being pregnant.  For a short time during our infertility struggles, I wanted DESPERATELY to be pregnant.  I wanted the experience of carrying a child inside me…feeling each movement and watching the bumps and jolts through my belly as the baby grew.  Even at this moment, I think that would be nice.  It would be a wonderful experience.  But I no longer feel TIED to that desire like I once did.  Maybe the years of infertility has beaten that out of me, maybe my natural pragmatism has pushed down the desire, but at the end of the day I realized that what I want more than anything is to be a MOTHER.  How I get there is just a path…and there are plenty of paths out there for women, but my path options were rapidly becoming overgrown and hard to navigate.

I looked at J and basically said, in the most matter of fact way possible, “I am ready to quit fertility treatments.”  He agreed.  Turns out, he was getting worn out and tired of them too.  Tired of watching me struggle, tired of the rollercoaster of hormones, of the hopes and failures each 26-day cycle.  When I told him I also wasn’t overly attached to the idea of carrying a child, he responded with, “Why don’t we just adopt.”

Adopt.  And just like that, it felt right.  Adoption has always been on the table for me (I’m adopted myself), and it was something that J and I discussed as an option for expanding our family, but not something that we had definitively decided to pursue RIGHT THIS MINUTE.  But with those five words, it was like life sort of fell back into place, after being scattered to the four winds for the last three years.

So…here we are.  Thrust back into a world of the unknown, but at least we feel really good about it.  We’re both excited again, which is something we hadn’t really had for quite a few months.  We’re researching various agencies and trying to find the right fit for us, and the goal is to commit with an agency before we leave on our cruise in April.  Then, it’ll be a mountain of paperwork, home studies, profiles, and waiting before we are matched with a child.  And I know this journey won’t be easy…it’ll be time consuming and it will be painful, but I’m ready for it.  I feel like this is the closest I’ve ever come to being a mother, and I am ready.

Much love,
K.