The Wait…Two Months In

It’s been two months since our home study was approved and our book went on the shelf.  There are days when it feels like just yesterday we were doing all the paperwork associated with the home study, and then there are days when it feels like we’ve been in a holding pattern forever.  While last month, I said that it doesn’t quite feel real at this point, this month is vastly different.  I wish I could say it was for the better, but it’s really not.

This past month, it has felt like we’re just spinning our wheels.  I hate feeling like I have zero control over any of this.  At this point, there is literally nothing we can do.  The paperwork is done, everything is finalized, we are just waiting for someone to pick us, and there’s not much I can do to speed that up.  I’m going to wait another month before contacting the agency for feedback and whether or not they’ve shown our book, just so they will have had plenty of time and opportunity to show it to birth moms.  I don’t want to bother them all the time about it…our agency is small and I know everyone is super busy.

J and I have discussed what we’ll do if this drags on.  We’ve talked about another round of IVF next year, if nothing comes from it by then.  We’ve also talked about signing on with a second agency, or an adoption law firm, to help see if that speeds things up.  I feel, in my heart, that adoption is the right path for us, but I get tripped up by my own impatience at times.  I feel like I’ve been waiting FOREVER to be a mother.  After we were married, I waited until J was on the same page about having children (he wasn’t ready as quickly as I was, and that was ok), then after we started trying to conceive, it was years of failures and treatments and more failures, and more money, and nothing to show for it.  And now, that we’ve moved on to adoption, it’s even more waiting.  There are days where I am so tired of waiting, I could scream.  And I try to keep it in perspective, but it’s hard at times.

So…that’s where we are.  Two months in.  It seems like such a pitiful amount of time, when you look at it as only 60 days, but to me it feels as though it’s a lifetime.  A lifetime of watching more friends get pregnant, give birth, parent their children, and a lifetime of wondering if that will ever be a reality for us.  I hope month three brings me some renewed hope and optimism, and I will definitely be working on my patience!

Much love,
K.

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Baby Blankets and Crochet

blanketWhen we lived overseas, I would often times run out of things to do in order to pass the time.   We traveled quite a bit (we were there 3.5 years), but during the week, after work, I needed hobbies.  So, I decided to teach myself to crochet.  I had learned a long time ago, when I was in elementary school, but I had forgotten pretty much all of it except how to make a chain, so I needed to relearn from scratch.  Luckily, all things can be taught via YouTube, so it wasn’t too bad!

With my newly acquired skills, I decided that I wanted to make my pregnant friends  a baby blanket for a present.  I liked to crochet, and I wanted my friends to have something handmade to give to their children.  While overseas, I made 3-4 blankets for friends, and after repatriating back to the US, I made several more.  But, I’d never made any for myself (and after three years of infertility, I was worried I never would).  However, now that we’re officially “on the shelf” with our adoption profile, I decided I could go ahead and make a blanket for our baby, whenever that baby decides to show up!  Last night, I finished it up, so it’s ready go to!  I plan on backing it with soft jersey knit material (or flannel), in a boy/girl specific color once we have the baby home, but for now, it’s as complete as it can get.  I’m completely in love with it, and can’t wait to wrap our baby up in it!

Much love,
K.

The Wait…One Month In

I know the idea of blogging about our wait, one month at a time, must make it seem like I’m stressed out about how long this will take.  And some of you (hell…who are we kidding, probably MOST of you) are thinking, “Woah, girl…slow it down, it’s only 30 days in and you’re already stressed out?  This wait is gonna suck for you!”  And, you’d be right.  Sort of…

The weird truth is, I’m not really stressed.  In fact, I’m still trying to come to grips with the reality that we’re in.  Realistically, I know that we could be matched at any time (be it tonight, or two years down the road), but it still seems somewhat surreal.  Like there’s someone behind a curtain waiting to spring out and tell us, “Just kidding!  You have 5 more documents to sign, 8 more background checks, and 2 more letter of recommendation.  Oh, and also, your house needs a petting zoo” or something equally ridiculous.  I guess it just doesn’t seem REAL at this point.

Most days, I wake up, and this adoption is the furthest thing from my mind.  We have lives we’re living…we work, we travel, we remodel our house (talk about a never ending project)…we have other things going on that are separate from our desire to be parents.  And, honestly, I “think” that’s the best thing for us.  If every day this adoption was the first thing on my mind when I woke up, and the last thing on my mind before I went to bed, I would probably drive myself crazy.  I’m glad that isn’t where we’re at, emotionally.  But, on the flip side of the coin, I worry that we’re not stressed enough.  We’ve been trying for a baby for so long, through so many cycles (mediated and unmedicated) and through so much hope and despair, that I wonder why I’m NOT thinking about this 24/7.  Do I not want to be a parent enough?  Should I want it more than I do?  Am I somehow a bad soon-to-be-mother because I don’t fill my days with books on child rearing and sleep schedules?  I mean…I don’t THINK I am…but every so often the concern is there.

So…in the meantime, we’re nearly 5 weeks into the wait for our baby.  In a way, that 5 weeks seems like a lifetime, and yet only a few hours.  I’m not sure when it will become “real” for me, or when I’ll start stressing about the wait, but I hope it’s much further down the line.  Instead, I’m going to keep focusing on the here and now, and getting as much out of life as I can before everything changes in a split second (for the better, to be sure, but a change nonetheless).  I’m going to continue to update the blog when the mood strikes, and when updates occur, and hopefully soon it will be the time to write the post that I’m most excited about, that our forever baby is in our arms.

Much love,
K.

Our Profile Book

One of the hardest parts about the home study process (for us, at least) was the profile book.  For those of you new to the adoption world, for many agencies, the process of being “matched” with a birth mother is pretty complex.

First, the adoptive couple fills out a sheet on preferences.  Every agency is different, but a lot of the questions are pretty standard.  Some of the standard ones are things that you will be willing to accept of the birth mother/adoptive child, and include things like special needs, if the birth mother has used drugs or alcohol during the pregnancy, mental illness in the family, and whether you’re willing to accept premature babies or birth mothers that haven’t had prenatal care during the pregnancy.  Some agencies also let you specify gender, but ours does not.

After you fill out the form, that gives the agency an idea for who they can share your profile with.  Which brings me to “the book.”  The profile book is what birth mothers look at to get a sense of potential parents for their child.  Our agency only shows the books of couples to birth mothers who meet the “criteria” that the adoptive couple said they were comfortable with, so depending on the birth mother, she could have a lot of books to look through, or only a few.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say, is that this profile book was a huge source of stress for me!  It basically is the sole contact the birth mother has with us as a potential adoptive couple until after we’ve been selected!  It has to show the birth mother how we relate to each other as a married couple, our family and friend support system, our beliefs and traditions, and anything else that might set us apart in the birth mother’s eyes.  So, no pressure, right?

But, we got there.  We put together our book using Mixbook, and were really happy with the quality and the options to personalize the book to our tastes.  The printed book looked exactly how we anticipated it looking, based on the “preview” feature on the website.  Overall, we were really happy (and, we waited for a sale, so got it at a discount too!).  Below you can see a few pages that we put together, just to get an idea!

 

The book was definitely a labor of love, but we’re both very happy with the finished product.  I hope it really gives birth mothers an idea of who we are as individuals, as well as who we are as a married couple.  I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about us as well!

Much love,
K.

Mother’s Day

This past weekend was Mother’s Day here in the US, and for the past 3 years, it’s been increasingly hard.  My first Mother’s Day after we started TTC was so soon after tossing the BCP, being pregnant wasn’t even a blip on my radar.  The following Mother’s Day, it was the anniversary of a year since we started TTC, and when I really started to accept the fact that getting pregnant might not be as easy as we had hoped.  The next year was after a few failed IUIs, and we hadn’t moved on to IVF yet as a possibility.

Then, this Mother’s Day came around.  Three years, 42 cycles, 3 failed IUIs, 1 failed IVF.  It’s been a very long road on the journey to become parents for me and the Mr.  Lots of excitement, only to see that turned into heartbreak, and lots of medical tests and procedures which didn’t produce anything.  Lots and lots of money spent with not much to show for it.  It’s hard to think about, at times, just how draining these past three years have been for us both.  My body has taken a beating, to be sure, and we’ve both suffered mentally.

However, there’s hope.  This year, Mother’s Day came with the knowledge that we’ve passed our home study and are now just waiting on our match.  This year came with the assurance that we WILL be parents, so long as we just stick it out and wait.  This year also came with the hope that, maybe, this year will be the last Mother’s Day that I get to watch everyone else celebrate, while sitting on the sidelines.  So far, I’m staying hopeful!

Much love,
K.

Home Study Time!

After getting all the paperwork completed and sent into the agency, only one thing is left for our “Home Study” process…the in-house visit!  Our personal goal was to have everything turned in, and get the in-home visit scheduled, prior to leaving for our vacation.  I was concerned that wouldn’t happen because of the Dutch background check…having dealt with foreign bureaucracy before, I knew not to expect expediency.  I was shocked pleasantly surprised when our background checks took about a week to go through, and then a week to receive them in the mail!  Thrilled doesn’t even begin to describe how happy we were!

Which left us with only one step left to sort, scheduling the visit to our place to make sure that everything checks out.  We got an email from the agency last evening, and the dates the social worker threw out worked well with our schedules, and now we’re ready to go!  In a few weeks, we’ll do our in-home study, and hand over our book, and we’ll be ready to be shown to birth mothers.  And that is where the real wait begins.

So…I’m going to try to relax.  We’ve done all we can…now it’s up to God and His plan.  I will continue to pray for patience, and if you all could send good thoughts/prayers, that would be wonderful!  I’ll do a post on our adoption profile book once we receive it and make sure everything looks good!

Much love,
K.

 

 

Paperwork, Complete!

In a previous post, I mentioned how much paperwork was involved in the home study.  And, I’ll tell you…it’s a lot!  In fact, apparently it’s enough to crash the agency’s email if you try to send it all in one email, as I did yesterday.  Whoops!

So, as I’m sure you can guess, we finally finished it all.  We’re waiting on two pieces still: our fingerprints to come back and our Dutch background checks to arrive.  Otherwise, we’ve turned everything in and it’s off our plate!  It was such a sense of relief to be able to hit the “send” button yesterday on that email (we’ll still mail in a paper copy of everything as well), knowing that the ball was no longer in our court.  I’ve been paranoid over the past few weeks, worried that we’d forget something, much something up, or just outright lost a key piece of info, but thankfully that didn’t happen.

So now…we wait.  The agency needs to receive those other two pieces before we can schedule the in-home visit, but we’re hoping those come in before we leave on vacation.  It’s a few weeks away, so we have time, but I get concerned when things involve overseas governments.  Oh well, this is just another lesson in patience, one I’m sure God has planned for me to take to heart.  I’ve found, as we’ve been through the past three years of trying to conceive, my patience has grown in leaps and bounds.  I know this is all part of God’s plan, so I am holding to that.

In the meantime, I am now just gearing up for vacation!  I am so excited, can’t wait!

Much love,
K.