February 16, 2010

application step one...

Well, we did it! I'm happy to report that we have sent in our first initial non-refundable payment and step one of the application process! I can't begin to express our excitement! I'll admit I thought this moment would never come. It seemed like such a huge step, this big hill of many to come. We have been welcomed to the agency and they have the first little bit of information about us. The journey begins!

I have to admit, it seemed like forever to get to this point. I know, I know this is just the beginning. Wow, just the thought that we are finally on our way. That first big scary leap is over and now I can't stop looking at the mailbox, waiting for the next big package of paperwork so we can finally start diving in to the nooks and cranny's of our personal selves.

If you haven't already caught on to my excitement, here is the lovely picture. I'm just overcoming being sick, but somehow found the energy to leap around my living room like a 5 year old that just received the coolest gift in the world!

February 10, 2010

A Circus In Our Living Room...

I couldn't wait to share this one. The title will only be confusing for a moment.

My parents got a phone call regarding two little girls that needed a family to raise them, usually three weeks out of four, depending on their biological father's work schedule. Could be more, could be less. My parents, while having two children of their own already were considering adoption when this call came. There was no passing up this opportunity to bring two amazing girls into our lives. I remember the discussion my parents had with my sister and I regarding two twin girls coming to live with us, and that we would have to share our rooms, our beds, our toys, and our parents. I'll admit at first as a six year old this sounded frightening. Another obstacle was that they were the same age as my younger biological sister. Really? I'm going to have to be the "big" sister of three girls the same age? At six, the responsibility shook me more than i let on. All the normal thoughts of a six year old were in play. You get time to think about being a big sister when your Mother is expecting, however this change came immediately. The circumstance was a little confusing as well. Why would they only live with us "some" of the time? Why did their dad need us to help? The story explained to us was that their dad was gone for weeks at a time for his job. He was a truck driver. Their mom was sick and not a very good mother and was absent from their lives. We later learned what "sick" meant, she was an alcoholic and "absent" meant she left them at home, by themselves, while their father was out working. They were found by their neighbor one day after one of their mother's "disappearances". They had been home at the age of three all by themselves for hours and hours. I still can't imagine how their father felt when he found this out. He needed help, a good family, stability, and we got the call. 

The night before their arrival, i couldn't sleep. In the morning I would play the role of big sister to these girls i've never met. What if they didn't like us? What if they were sad because they had to live with us? What if they took over all of my stuff? What if my parents loved them more? It was a scary morning. It was also exciting. We couldn't wait to meet them, good or bad. Morning came, it was still dark outside, my sister and I sat on the couch still in our pajamas waiting for their arrival. The knock at the door came, my mother answered, we peaked around the corner, and there they were. They were so tiny and they looked exactly the same. My sister and I weren't sure what to do, but they left us no choice on whether to like them or not. They barreled through the door doing summersaults and cartwheels! huh? They really did summersaults and cartwheels! Still with sleep in our eyes, my sister and I looked at them with amazement and surprise! We entered the living room, which then became a circus. They had so much energy! They just kept flipping and summersaulting and jumping around the room. My sister and I sat on the couch watching them in confusion. What have we gotten ourselves into? Then out of no where, one of them did the most amazing flip I've ever witnessed! She stood, flat footed, and leaped in the air, flipping over and spinning, and landing right back on her feet!! Something a little girl would witness only on a trip to the circus! I think it shocked her as well?! Her eyes became wide like a bug. We were silent in amazement and awe. She did it again, this time landing smack dab on her back. Again, silent room. She got her breath back and we all started laughing. This was going to be one heck of a great time! They left us no choice. I can't help today but think back and wonder if they were as scared as us. If this was their way to win us over immediately. If it was, it worked!

Soon, the arrangements were made. We decided the best way to handle the new situation was something called a "buddy system". One week at a time we would get to know each other by sharing our room and our beds and our toys. Then, we would switch buddies and learn to share and build a relationship with each other all over again. We took this "buddy system" to the extreme at times, only allowing other's to enter our rooms if they knew the secret pass code, and only sharing our toys with our buddies. I'm pretty sure this happened only because there was no other way to protect our time with the things that belonged to us. After all, everything in our lives were now shared with two extra little people.

There were so many good times, and bad times. It's funny actually, the sharing of our home with them became no longer the difficult part. It was the sharing of time with their biological father. My sister and I had a really hard time when their dad came home from work and they had to leave. They were "our" sisters, we no longer wanted to share them with anyone including their dad. It took a lot of conversations with our parents on why we couldn't just adopt them and have them live with us forever. We were told to think about how hard it was for us to share them, and if it was that hard for us, imagine how hard it was for their father. We then understood, and as difficult as it was, we learned to cherish the time that they were with us, instead of dread the time they had to leave. We learned to be excited for them when their dad would come into town and promise to keep their favorite things safe until they came back. It was a huge learning experience for my sister and I. Our love expanded more than we thought possible. The love we have for them was the same as if they had been carried by our mother. It was as if they had always been with us. The bond we share is stronger than anything i ever expected as that six year old girl. 

Each day and each year our bond grows stronger. We depend on them, they depend on us. I'm still their "big sister". I wouldn't change that for the world. I thank their father every night for bringing them into our lives and unselfishly sharing them with us. I thank my parents for opening their home and hearts, they are an inspiration. They did an amazing job as parents combining these lives. 

From the days of the circus to the days of weddings, children, new houses, new places, new challenges. Life would not be the same without them. 

February 08, 2010

When does researching and googling no longer become researching, but obsession?

I've again spent one to many hours reading, researching, and comparing. I'm happy to say that we have finally decided on an agency. I'm very certain we've made the right decision and we are both so excited to start the application process!

I have to be honest here, I spent most of my time this weekend no longer looking for the best agency, but now comparing us to the "other" families on the list. I know this probably isn't the best way to spend my time. However, I think or I hope it's perfectly natural to find out where you might stand on the list of perfect families waiting to be matched. My biased opinion after looking through the entire one hundred and fifty four profiles, pictures, favorite colors, favorite songs, letter birth mothers, hobbies, and so on and so on came to the conclusion that we would absolutely be the "coolest" couple on the list! haa haa! I shared this news with my husband, and of course the response was big chuckle along with a "oh my god, my wife has lost her mind, but i love her anyway one eyebrow raised look". I would be lying if he didn't immediately state that he has already looked at the list as well. Whew, thank goodness! At least one person out there is as crazy as me. I can't believe he beat me to it tho? 

This research through these profiles really made me think about what my favorites are. Are these bits of information really necessary for a birthmother? Do they really care whether or not your favorite color is green or that you like to hike or that your favorite band is The Beatles? Are these the bits of information that give them that connection to you? So many questions! Either way, I can't wait to sit down with my husband and start thinking about how we're going to create our profile. 

It won't be long now and we can start one by one, listing everything about us as individuals, about us together, about our lives, should be a very interesting adventure! Maybe we'll learn something new? 

So, back to the title here, am i crazy and obsessed or just doing my homework?

February 04, 2010

Infertility and My Relationship with God

Ha! So already I am a week behind here on updating the blog. In my defense i was in Michigan celebrating my Grandparents 65th wedding anniversary. Can you even comprehend 65 years! Wow! It was amazing and I was able to spend my birthday with family and friends while I was there. All in all it's been a great week. So much to celebrate and be thankful for.

Also, I'm excited to see that i have followers! Yeah! Of course they are my mother, mother-in-law, and sisters ;-) I'm so thankful for my supportive family. I feel truly loved and blessed!

I have to admit, this week while being home I have been contemplating on the best way to approach my infertility history and share it with you. Words seem to simplify it too much and summing up six years seems impossible. I want keep this blog focused on the journey of adoption and how excited we are about this adventure. I also want to share my feelings during infertility with anyone else that may be facing it and let them know they are not alone and the feelings they may be going through are... hmm what's the word for this? Well, they just are.

I've decided that the best way to approach this was my feelings and closeness and distance and relationship with the Lord. He was so much a part of everything i felt during every moment of this time. For those of you close with God and those who may not be, I know you spent time talking to Him, and questioning Him, and probably whether you had a relationship before or not, you do now.

First of all I should tell you I've always wanted to adopt, whether able to conceive or not. Two of my sisters, while not according to the legalized sense, are adopted. They were brought into our lives when we were very young. I was 6 years old. The moment they walked in the door to our house the love i felt for them was overwhelming. I knew then and there i wanted that kind of love again one day. The smile and love and affection my parents had for them and my sister and I felt for them and the relationship we shared with them was a gift from God. I knew God wanted that from me too. I also have to share that my Uncle and Aunt brought two amazing cousins into our lives. That same love was overwhelming. It was an inspiration and gift. I love them more than words can say. My father was also adopted. My grandmother remarried and my father was given a gift. My grandfather. I love hearing the story of when my father finally was given his new last name and how they went for ice cream afterwards and how grandpa loved and cared for my father, uncle, and aunts as a father should. Adoption has been a part of my life for years. And, finally it's here for me to share as well. This was Gods plan. I'm saving the full story of my sisters for another post. I can't wait to share it!

My life with infertility...

My husband and I were talking about having children together before we were even engaged. If two people were meant to be parents, it was us. I knew i wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man and i couldn't wait to make him a dad. He is going to be amazing! We wanted a big family, a dog, a beautiful home, and couldn't wait to do all this together. I have to brag. God, gave me the most amazing man in the world. I am so very lucky and blessed to share my life with him. Becoming parents together is the single most important thing the two of us planned to accomplish together as partners, as husband and wife, as best friends. Before we were engaged, we talked a lot about our beliefs on how we would raise our children, our fundamentals, communication, religion, education, our roles as parents and partners, etc. Our thoughts were always on the same path. I knew, this is the man thats going to be the father of my children. He was it. I couldn't wait to get started. He must of felt the same way ;-) I'm now his wife.

We decided right away after we were married that we would start a family. Our lives were insane at that time. He was in medical school, we were poor, we didn't own a house, he wasn't home much and when he was he was studying. None of that mattered, we knew if it was Gods will to give us a child everything else would work it's way out. A year went by and nothing and so the discussion about looking into "why" came. It was the beginning of our life with infertility.

We were both devastated and hopeful at the same time. There were never any answers or a diagnosis, it just was. I wanted an answer so bad. I guess actually being diagnosed with "something" would ease the the mind. My husband finally gave me a diagnosis. I think it was for our own sanity rather than actually being the reason. Being a doctor, I'm sure he stands on his conclusion. ;-) I love you honey!

My relationship with God became a nightly prayer of questions. I was going through all the usual emotions of this loss, the pissed, the depressed, the hope, the good news, the bad news, the insanity, the hope again, the good news, and the bad new again. The guilt, anyone experiencing this has felt this. I thought back to everything i've ever done wrong in my life, all the mistakes, the things I'm not so proud of, and begged God to let me go back and fix it. I couldn't help but think God was punishing me for all of my sins. I begged and pleaded for forgiveness for everything. This was the ultimate punishment. I begged Him to please let me make my husband a father over and over again. I could barely breath at the thought of not becoming a mother, but the thought of my husband not becoming a father was to much to bear. It was so unfair. I couldn't help but feel that I have failed my husband, my best friend, someone meant to be a father.

I remember the night, that I found myself no longer praying and asking "why", but for peace, and strength, contentment with this loss, and for the pain to go away. I knew then, I couldn't go through this anymore.  I was dying inside. I couldn't face the ups and downs and disappointments anymore.  It hurt to much. On top of it all, physically I faced all of the side effects from the drugs. Of course, i didn't understand why i couldn't be one of the women that seemed to be unaffected from these. They're all meant to balance you, I however did not feel balanced at all. I went through moments of insanity, deep depression, and i must have cried all my tears for a lifetime. The responsibility of perfection during this time and putting every ounce of my life and myself into this was just to much. I can't begin to describe the sense of failure i felt. It was the most overwhelming sense of failure i have ever experienced. All in all, the drugs, the needles, the appointments, the side effects, the ultrasounds, the transfers were extremely difficult, but i was strong enough to do it and it was worth it. But, the emotions I could not overcome. I could not spend the rest of my life constantly visiting these feelings over and over again. It was time to stop. I continued praying for contentment and peace. I prayed for everyone in my life to never have to experience this and please take my husbands pain away. To give him peace as well. I prayed for an answer to show me the way He had planned for our lives. That I was ready to accept His plan and to please give my husband the strength to do this as well.

It came, the day I saw a sense of peace in my husbands eyes when we were discussing what to do next. He looked at me and said "I'm ready to adopt". That was the day I knew we would survive all of this, that he loved me more than anything, that we were meant to be parents, and that now we would be. I know today, that God was not punishing me, He just had a different path for us. One that I knew as a child was one day going to be a part of my life. God wanted us to be parents, He knew we had the strength, the compassion, and the love to share with a child, one of His children, and soon to be one of ours.