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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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.

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 Visit: Complete

SPOILER ALERT:  WE PASSED!!!

Throughout the home study process, I knew that it was all leading up to the big finish: The Home Visit.  For most of this process, I was pretty zen.  “Oh, it’ll be fine…I won’t be nervous, not in the least!”  HA!  I guess I’m better at lying to myself than I initially thought!

Today was our home visit.  For the past week, I’ve been in various states of panic regarding the visit…from moments of zen (rare), to moments of full out panic resulting in things like, “OMG…maybe we should paint the walls downstairs, since the basement is still a mess from the remodel!”  (My poor husband, that’s all I have to say)  Needless to say, from this weekend until this afternoon at 2:00pm, I was a wreck.

I spent the weekend organizing and picking up around the house.  I’ll be honest, our hose is large (at least, large in my eyes…3400 sq. ft.) and we have more storage than I know what to do with…so some of the rooms just become disorganized receptacles for “stuff”…and completely unorganized.  So, my goal was to tackle the house, room by room, and pick up / organize the place.  I spent Saturday morning and afternoon on the downstairs, and then Sunday morning and afternoon on the upstairs.  Surprisingly, it was fairly easy work, just moving things around a bit, picking up, and shredding enough documents to make me feel like I worked for Enron (apparently, we haven’t shredded any of our financial documents/medical documents since 2010…whoops!).  Once I was finished on Sunday afternoon (before we jetted off to a Mumford and Sons concert…omg, best concert EVER), I was very pleased with how everything looked and was starting to feel a bit better about everything.

Now, I’ll admit, we have a cleaning lady (hangs head in shame).  While I normally feel like an indulged princess regarding the fact we have a cleaning lady, I was THRILLED to have her one board for a deep clean on Monday!  I called her and was honest, “ZOMG…PEGGY…HELP ME!!!!!”  She calmed me down, said everything would be perfect (she was right), and I relaxed and went to work on Monday, knowing my house was in very capable hands.  I came back after work and the house looked amazing, which went even further to calming my panic.

Of course, I didn’t sleep much last night.  Too worried about the “what ifs”.  Honestly, if we look at our track record regarding all things in the “having children” category…we’ve struck out consistently.  While I knew, logically, that there wasn’t anything that would prevent us from passing, I was still terrified.  What if there was something in my past that popped up (to be clear, there wasn’t), or what if J or I said the wrong thing (we didn’t).  Unfounded fears, sure…but a LOT was riding on this.  So, I was stressed, to say the least.

Thankfully, my fears were unfounded.  The home study went off without a glitch!  The social worker was lovely, and most of the day was spent talking about J and myself, our marriage, how we planned to raise children, and what we were willing to accept / not accept from a placement!  Easy peasy!  No joke, the actual “house tour” took 20 minutes of the full day, max.  Overall, it was easy.  The social worker was lovely, and L.A. (a student intern we’ve been in close contact with since February) was there, so it really helped smooth the way.  I was almost sad to see them go, because it was so comfortable and engaging throughout the day (plus, it’s L.A.’s last day at the agency, so that was sad).

As you saw above, we passed the home visit.  L and L.A. (social worker and student intern) left around 2:00pm today, and immediately put our profile book on the shelf to be viewed when they got back to the agency.  It’s a bit surreal that we could get a call at ANY point now, though I’m trying hard not to get my hopes up that it will go quickly.  Average waits are 18-24 months, so I know we could be in this for the long haul, but I’m hopeful it could go quickly.

With that said…let the wait begin!!!

 

Much love,
K.

Hard Questions

Up until this point, the home study process has been fairly straight forward.  Tax records, financial records, health records, etc.  Ok…I can provide all of that, no problem.  But now that we’re a week away from the home visit, we’re really having to take a look at how we really feel about the hard questions.

Some of the things we’re clear on is our preference for a non-special needs child.  Other things are more fluid…health history of the birth mother and father.  Race of the child.  Things like that.  Which is hard, because we know that the more specific we get in our requests, the longer the wait becomes.  And that’s frustrating, but reality.  So, now it’s a balancing act of what level of risk we’re willing to accept, and where we draw the line.  This is even more so the case in terms of finances, where we could potentially be on the hook for a large amount of medical expenses if things go wrong.  Obviously, this is now different than the risk we’d take if I were pregnant and giving birth, but there is the time between when the baby is born and when the papers are signed that they baby won’t be covered under our insurance.  If the birth mother doesn’t have any health insurance, we could be financially liable for large sums of money (if something goes wrong).  It’s a hard pill to swallow, having to figure out just how much financial risk we can afford to take in this situation.  It’s so hard to balance our desire for a child against the need to be realistic about our financial and emotional limitations.

Overall, we’ll get through it.  But, hard questions and hard conversations are in our future over the next week.  Our home visit is a week from today, and we’ll have the paperwork ready to go for the visit.  I’m continually praying for God’s guidance through all of this, and hope that we make the right decisions, for a child and for us.

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.