Archive for the ‘adoption option’ Category

We finally made it to the other side . . .

July 5, 2008

I’m a mommy to the sweetest little boy ever!  

xo

Beagle

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And then their eyes glazed over . . .

March 4, 2008

I had a thought today that might explain some of why adoption has felt “harder” to me than ART did.*

Even though the average person doesn’t “get” how painful infertility is, they can “get” that going through IVF sucks (or IUI or what have you.) Everyone can gasp at the horror of having a foot long needle stuck through your vagina into your pelvic cavity (egg retrieval in case anyone reading hasn’t reached that point.) Nobody likes injections, much less giving yourself three of them a day. People can “get” some of that.

With adoption, this capacity to put themselves in your shoes is a bit different. What little empathy and or sympathy I was getting for enduring ART went away . . . only to be replaced by excitement.

Excitement!

Excitement?

It really threw me. People were no longer sorry for us they were excited for us. Trouble is, from where I stand there is nothing tangible to be excited about. There are still no guarantees. My arms are still empty and my heart still aches. But now, my aching heart has to face excited faces instead of sympathetic ones . . . and my look of exhaustion and my lack of giddy joy really seems to puzzle them.

I find it hard to face people these days. I dread the questions, the eager inquiries about “any news??!!” . . . “have you heard??” . . .

I just want to say: “Do you SEE a (freak’in) baby?? Huh? Do you?”

(can you imagnie the reaction??)

Don’t people realize that if/when we get that baby, we’ll announce it.

LOUDLY!

But I don’t want to lose the few IRL friends I have left, nor do I want to get myself locked up in one of those big hospitals surrounded by a huge green lawn. (AKA the nut house.)

I’ve actually avoided social situations in order not to have to deal with this whole aspect. And it’s getting lonely. I’ve tried going anyway, and answering their questions honestly, (and sanely) with explanations of how we are hopeful but it’s still really hard right now. That there are no guarantees and a lot of anxiety involved in the process. Etc., etc., blah . . . blah . . . blah.

Their eyes glaze over and the conversation drifts to a safer topic.

I just don’t have the patience for it. Or the stomach.

So I stay home or at least stay quite when I go out. I nod and smile and scream inside. Their ignorance pains me. I feel envy. I want to be that ignorant again too. I want my reasons for knowing better to have just been a bad dream.

I want to wake up to my baby’s cries instead of my own tears.

*In addition to the (as perceived by me) differences between infertility treatment and adoption as family building “options,” there is the factor of time and age added to my story. I’ve been at this TOO long no matter what order you want to put the efforts in and I am nearing an age when doors to motherhood slam shut. Both those factors seriously color my views. So, theses are only my views from my perspective. Writing is not really my strong suite, so I may not always express what I mean in ways people can understand.

I can promise you that I never mean to say that my journey through hell trumps anyone else’s. We all measure out pain with a very unique and individual yardstick.

Bye Bye Bio Baby

April 9, 2007

This post was originally puplished on Cats in the Cradle. It’s being republished here at the request of the Town Criers. If you would like to read along as the rest of my story unfolds, just send me an e-mail so I can invite you to the new private blog.****
Well, it is official, our last IUI (how many was that anyway??**) is over and AF is here yet again. We are done with the biological route to parenthood.

Are we sad?
Yes.
Are we relieved?
Yes, in a way that is also true.
Are we glad we already started the homestudy for domestic adoption?
HELL YES!
(I would truly be drowning in panic and pain right now if I did not already have the next step well underway. )

It’s hard to really express all I feel right now. I am truly happy to be moving forward with adoption. I am truly ready to embrace all it’s ups and downs. And I also mourn the idea of creating a life, creating a family, in the usual way. I used to think I would give anything to make sweet love with my husband and create a baby together. But it’s not true. I wouldn’t give anything. I would not give my soul, my sanity, my joy for living. There has to be a limit to what we endure. The things I feel saddest about are things like letting go of the idea of seeing my husband’s eye’s or smile in my child’s sweet face. I don’t mourn so much the pregnancy or the childbirth but I do mourn those lost months of connection to our child. I mourn the fact that I will not be able to make sure that every day of the child’s first nine months will be healthy, safe, smoke and drug free, etc. But most of all I mourn the autonomy of having a biological child. I am coming to grips with the fact that I will forever share our child with another set of parents. I will be my child’s second mom. I will also be the child’s real mom, but I will always need to explain that to the ignorant and reassure myself of it when the insecurity creeps in. I’ve always been a fairly generous person. I don’t mind sharing as a basic concept in life. But when it comes to MY child, our child, I’m not so crazy about the sharing part. But, I am willing to stretch and grow until that feels OK too.

So, I’ll end this post saying that I want to share something with those of you who are near the same place I am. If you’re wondering whether to do more ART or give up or adopt or whatever. I know I was not ready to adopt until I was ready. Friends and family may have thought we should give up already some time ago, but it’s a very personal thing and you have to get there in your own time and in your own way. So, I’m not here to say, adoption is better or right for everyone. I am not here to urge you to stop torturing your body and soul. You will know when enough is enough. And you will also find peace in whatever route you take after that (adoption, childfree, all those other choices that don’t feel like choices in times of despair). I wish I had gotten pregnant. I really do. Even this last cycle, I was surprised and disappointed by the BFN. You think I’d be immune, but I’m not. I really thought maybe I could fall into that group that “gets pregnant as soon as they give up.” But I am not crushed like I have been some of those earlier times. I also feel very excited about the prospects of adopting. There is a great relief for me in having a cycle day one when I don’t have to call the doctor and start scrambling around to order meds and rearrange my schedule etc. The biggest “plus” about adoption is that you know it WILL work. It may take longer than you like but it will end in parenthood. So, there is also a real relief in that. There is also a real joy in being able to knit a baby blanket without feeling “jinxed” and there is a real joy in looking at cribs and bedding and clothes and knowing you will actually need these items one way or another. I can look at babies and not want to cry (pregnant bellies not so much).

So, I am sad that we did not win the ART lottery but I really am OK with closing that chapter. I am looking forward to being an adoptive mom because the important part is the mom part!

**I did not blog much about this last cycle. Losing Oscar threw me, getting Jack preoccupied me and really I was way past blogging about follie counts and hormone levels. I did count and here’s the grand tally for those who like numbers:

Clomid+IUI=3
FSH inj + IUI=4
IVF/ICSI=2
FET=1
more FSH + IUI=6

GRAND TOTAL: 16 ART cycles in 3 years.

I was 35 when we started with RE in April 2004 (we tried on our own for 6 months previous to that) and I will soon be 39 in May 2007. Fuck, it has been a long haul.

Enough is enough. This was our limit. Yours may be different.

Keeping busy in the meantime

February 8, 2007

I have been reading your posts, but not keeping up as well as I normally would. I am trying to read as much as I can on the topic of adoption, specifically domestic/open adoption. I’m overwhelming myself a bit but it’s also giving me something to focus on other than failed fertility and a delayed cycle.

I just read Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff. This was a very interesting read. It’s not all touchy feel-y happy but it’s in no way anti-adoption either, it just addresses things our PC culture is not willing to say out loud. It’s one woman’s very real, very candid, account of what her experience has been. And through it all it is very clear that she loves her son.

I am now reading A Love Like No Other by Pamela Kruger and Jill Smolowe
This one is a collection of essays on the topic of adoption, representing many different points of view, types of adoption, etc.

And in bits and pieces I am alternating between these three:

*The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Adoption: Everything You Need to Know About Domestic and International Adoption by Elizabeth Swire Falker

*The Unofficial Guide to Adopting a Child by Andrea DellaVecchio

*Reaching Out: The Guide to Writing a Terrific Dear Birthmother Letter by Nelson Handel

For fun/book club I am listening to The Other Boleyn Girl on my mp3Player.

As an aside: I just treated myself to an iPod after my cycle failed. I have yet to master that device. I got really frustrated with it because I mainly wanted to use it to listen to audio books. Well, I can buy them from audible dot com or the like but the free ones I can download from my library are not iPod compatible, only mp3 compatible. (The aforementioned frustration came from the fact that nowhere was this incompatibility spelled out). So I also bought a $40 mp3 player which kind of has me wondering why I need the $250 iPod anyway, other than to be one of the cool kids!

I’ve never really been one of the cool kids.

In other news I am starting something new next week. I will be volunteering at a preschool one morning a week. I will need to juggle my actual work schedule around this but hey, I have lot’s of practice with that!

One of the things that hit me like a ton of bricks, while filling out our adoption application, is this: we have no non-relative kids in our life. No friends with small kids, no kid contact at all. Partly this is due to our age (many of our friends with kids are sending them off to college now) and partly this is due to infertility. We have most definitely gravitated towards other kid free people in the past four years. I felt like a bit of a misfit when I realized I couldn’t really name a reference that was a non-relative and has seen us interact with kids!

Now volunteering at a preschool won’t give me a reference (not since I want to mail my application asap!) But it just triggered some thoughts about how I can fill that kid gap in my life until I have my own. Not because I need a reference but because I need an infusion of joy in my life. Kids bring with them a certain kind of joy. That carefree approach to life that is all play all the time.

(Now I know those of you who have kids are rolling your eyes! Hey, think about it: I will only see these kids four hours a week. Chances are they’ll save their tantrums for Mommy and Daddy at home!) This may seem like a crazy idea, but I’m going with it for the moment. I’m thinking of it as the adoption version of prenatal classes. Yesterday was to be my first day, but due to a snow delay we will try again next week.

A preemptive move?

January 30, 2007

Well, I don’t quite know where to begin this post. It’s one of those ‘do you want the good news first or the bad news first’ kinds of posts? I’m usually inclined to get my bad news first so I’ll go with that.

This cycle is a bust. Again. I took an HPT yesterday and today so I was not shocked by the call that came on my lunch break, just hours ago, to say that the pregnancy test was negative. Yet again. I was not shocked but that does not lessen the pain much. I have a feeling a big cry is ahead and I already had one Sunday.

I am sad, of course I am. I am not as crushed as I have been other cycles, but that may not be a good sign altogether. It may just indicate how tired I am. How little hope I had for this cycle to begin with, etc. I was more sad on Sunday when I had the big cry. I cried and cried like the world was ending. Because it was. My idea of my world was ending. My world does not, and will not, look the way I wanted or expected it to. I never imagined this for myself, for my husband, or for our life together. Of all my worries (and I tned to have many) infertility wasn’t even on teh list. It was such a shock, and still is in some ways, rather surreal. All this pain and disappointment has been our marriage. (I mean this in terms of time, we have been enduring fertility treatments for most of our four year marriage, nice honeymoon, eh?) I really need the pain to stop. I am depressed and sad more than is healthy. It is understandable given our circumstances but that doesn’t make it OK. I need to take my life back at least on some level.

There comes a time when banging your head against the wall just hurts too much, and starts to feel a bit silly, to be honest. So, we are truly at that crossroads now. We need to choose a path even though the one we wanted isn’t even on the map we’ve been issued.

So I have mentioned the options before: Continue treatment, pursue adoption, choose child free. The last is still not imaginable for me. C. can imagine it, says he would be OK being just us, just a couple but he supports and understands that I cannot let go of the motherhood dream I had for myself and the family dream I had for us. It may be able to accept child fee at some point in the future, but right now I till need to try to build a family. It’s just that I need to try in a way that may actually work for us. We will do no more than two medicated IUI’s. We will submit our application to the adoption agency that we have researched and chosen. We will pursue domestic adoption. As far as adoption options go, the Caucasian newborn programs are about the longest shot of all, but it is what we are going to try for. I have to have faith that a birth mother out there will find us to be a good fit to parent her baby. It may take a while. I will probably take longer than if we chose an international program (hard to say really) but C. feels very strongly about this path and I just want to get to motherhood, so I don’t want to quibble about which road anymore. I would have skipped IVF altogether if C. and I could have agreed on an adoption path way back then. I was too scared of domestic but I’ve educated myself and opened my heart and I think this is something I can do. One thing infertility has taught me is that I am a hell of a lot stronger than I could have imagined and I can do a hell of a lot of things I would have found impossible if you had asked me four years ago!

So here we go! Buckle up!

Oh, and since I ought to explain a number of things, including the title of this post: We met with the adoption agency staff yesterday. It was a real on the fly kind of thing. I tested yesterday morning and all hope was lost yet again for a pregnancy. C.’s shift got cancelled. I got to work and my boss sent me home when he found out my hubby was off (C. having a day off is pretty rare and my boss is also my dad.) So, I called C. to say I was coming home and how did he feel about going to meet the social worker if I could arrange a meeting? He said yes, I called, she said see you at three. So, off we went. We explained our scenario, asked our questions the last of which being how firm were they on the rule about stopping treatment before even submitting an application. And after a bit of back and forth which involved her figuring out just how done I really was and that I had no intention whatsoever to be in “the profile book” as an available couple while still trying it was just that we wanted to get the home study underway so that we could be “book ready” and hit the ground running as soon as I got my BFN from the last IUI no later than May. She said she would normally discourage this overlap but she gets the clear sense that we are ready and if we are willing to take the financial risk of losing our application monies, etc. then she’s fine with that. I said well, after losing close to fifty thousand dollars on failed treatments what’s another $1600 on a home study and an application if we should not need it in the utterly unlikely event I find myself pregnant in the next two attempts after something like 16 have failed (I’ve lost count.) So, that long winded scandalously long run on bit is to say I think I am finally ready to embrace the adoption option.

I am both scared and excited. On Sunday I had a huge cry about it all (again). It was rather cathartic and it made me look at what I really want here. We want to be parents. Biology is not a priority for us. We’d like a newborn so domestic was the way to go and we’ve made our peace with our respective birth mother fears. The state I live in and where the agency is based has a 30 day revocation. So once we jump all the hoops, once we are chosen, once a baby is placed with us, we will have to make it through an entire month of loving and bonding with a child we may not get to keep. But as devastating as a “disruption” would be (can you believe that’s what they call it??) the risk is relatively low. And somewhere along the way here, C. and I are bound to fall on the right side of the statistics, right??

And lastly: If I am so ready, why do the two more cycles at all? Well I don’t have a really great answer for that other than I just need to. I may change my mind along the way but I am quite sure it will be in favor of doing less cycles, not more.