March 24, 2010

completely overwhelmed

I know, it's been a long time since i've visited here. I must admit, I have found myself completely overwhelmed by all the paperwork, all the decisions that need to be made, and finding myself in all the answers.

I started this blog as a diary to help me through the journey and now i've found myself hiding from it, simply because I wasn't sure what to write first. My mind is dizzy. I can tell you that the excitement has not been missing though. My husband and I were recently at a family gathering and there was a little one there. When we were by ourselves in the living room, there sat a pack in play in the middle of the room. We both looked at it smiling, and then found ourselves laughing at each other because of the excitement that was in each of our eyes. I said to him "one day soon our home is going to be filled with this stuff you know?". He started laughing and said "i can not wait!". It's those little reminders that keep you trucking through the manuals and questions and forms and financing. 

So, one day a couple weeks ago my husband went outside to get the mail and sure enough there it was, the package of information and application forms. Wow, we were thrilled and ready to dig into it and immediately opened it together like ripping open a christmas present. Then we started thumbing through a few of the sections. Both of our eyes widened with surprise, it was like it hit us right there, the questions we were going to have to answer seemed impossible to even think about answering. I guess we sort of knew we were going to have to face all these, however it didn't really sink in that we were going to have to make a decision about all these questions until that moment. He looked through the initial application form and said to me, "wow, this is not going to be easy". Both of our eyes were filled with tears. Then, we sat the package down for a few days to let ourselves absorb it all.

Our first step was reading the adoption manual.

Chapter One: Importance of Moving on from Infertility to Adoption

Hmm, well let me tell you this hit me harder than I had expected. The chapter basically takes you through the so called "phases" of infertility. These are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sadness, and Acceptance. Your part during chapter one is to really find out where you are at in these phases.  

Lets start with Denial, this is when you are in a state of shock and experience no emotions surrounding your infertility. Ok, as I read through the description I truly felt I have moved on from Denial. 

Then there is Anger. Anger is defined as fear, jealousy, envy, guilt, betrayal, resentment, frustration, and/or shame. This is where is freaked out a bit. I sat back and read this paragraph three times and thought to myself "oh my lord, these feeling still creep up every once in a while". Of course not even close to as much as they use to do. However, every once in a while they're present. A sense of fear came over me. Have I not moved on? 

Bargaining, this one always bothered me. I've never been there, in complete honesty never has this crossed my mind. Bargaining stage is when a family puts all of their hopes into the myth that if they plan to adopt they will somehow get pregnant. You know, you hear this one all the time. It's one of the most common "fertility hope" pep talks you get.  I have no hope or thoughts of the possibility of getting pregnant now that I have decided to become a mother by the miracle of adoption. I completely feel the need to educate everyone on this. I read an amazing post from another blog on adoption about the education of things such as this, and i couldn't help but smile. I know how completely difficult and hard it is for friends and family and whomever else we share this experience with to know the right thing to say and really all they want for you most is to show support and love, so this is an excellent opportunity to educate on the should and shouldn't probably say's. So, i whizzed through this paragraph with complete confidence. 

And then I hit Sadness, this is the grieving stage. It's a physical and emotional experience. I remember when i felt exhausted. Completely emotionally and physically exhausted. I just wanted to sleep for days, especially when discovering our last IVF had given us positive and then negative results again. There was a time I couldn't imagine not experiencing pregnancy. The loss of that was like a death. I grieved and I can honestly tell you that I have moved on from this stage. Insert deep breath of satisfaction and relief. You know, that one you take after a long hard cry. Every time I think of this grieving phase, I involuntarily find myself taking that breath. 

And finally Acceptance. Acceptance stage is when you find yourself being able to look at infertility as a time that was challenging and emotionally difficult, but it no longer consumes you. YES!!!!! It felt so good reading this paragraph. In this stage you feel strong again and ready to focus on adoption. When you can realize that a birthparent may handle pregnancy differently then yourself (ok, still a little difficult, but educating myself). The realization that your child may not share your physical traits. That sentence is actually pretty interesting. I have dreams about what my child will look like, just like a physically pregnant mother to be would, and the child never looks anything like me. And, through those dreams I've discovered just how content I am with that. In fact, I'm pretty thrilled.

You then move onto the "How can we know for sure we have both come to acceptance and are ready to proceed?" test. And so it goes...

1. A shift from the need to be pregnant to a need to parent. Check! What no stretch marks, varicose veins, constipation? Alright! I think I'll be ok with that. ;-)

2. Ability to easily and clearly articulate what the grief/significant loss process was like. Well since I have started blogging about it. I think I've got this one. Check!

3. Able to talk about infertility without shame, weeping, or becoming upset. The anger level towards others has diminished. Again,  Check!

4. Repairs have been made in the marriage to any damage done during the infertility discovery process. There is good communication and discussion between spouse and other family members. There is a mutual agreement to adopt and the couple is comfortable going public with the plans to adopt a child. They are able to admit adoption is a second choice. I think my family and friends can back me up on this one, Check!

5. A reconnection to one's source of faith as there is acceptance of one's infertility and hope to adopt. I have to admit my relationship with the Lord was all over the place. But, I never lost Him in any of it, whether it was yelling at Him, pleading with Him, or thanking Him, my connection was there. Check!

6. A willingness to be adoption-educated. The couple has evaluated and thought about the many issues and choices. We are in a constant state of education. And, based on the logged hours and hours and days and months of research I would say we are very willing to educate ourselves. Check!

7. Understands and appreciates the benefits of contact and openness for the child. The empathy for the child's long-term needs is also extended to the birth family. 100 % Check!

8. Able to view adoption as a positive and not as a failure. There is excitement and enthusiasm about the process. Ha Ha are you kidding? Again ask our family and friends! Can we talk of anything else? Check!

9. Acceptance and understanding of the fact that it is different to parent and adoptive child versus a birth child. They are able to recognize and acknowledge there are gains and losses for all and able to say goodbye to the fantasy child. Check.

Needless to say, chapter one was a roller coaster and I was not expecting to start with a deep insight on our infertility past. But, I made it through and happily moved on to chapter two.


  1. Danielle CranerMarch 25, 2010

    Yeah, Baby! I've been praying for you for so long. I will continue to do so through every upcoming stage. So honored to be walking with you... be it thousands of miles away.

  2. Absolutely, positively, wonderful post sis! I love having this time with you as well as on the phone :). You are an amazing writer and I feel so connected (other than being your sis). I feel like I am getting ants in my pants!!! I can't wait to be an "Auntie" to this special child. If this child only knew what an amazing family he/she or "they" were being brought into. Well, I think one day they will know! SO MUCH LOVE! xoxoxoxo

  3. Thanks so much you two for all of your support and kind words! You are loved so much! I'm getting ants in my pants too ;-)!

  4. Great post!!! You're on the right track! :o)