December 30, 2015

The Wait So Far

We've been home study approved for 5 months now. We were told we can call the agency at any time to ask for an update on the activity (or lack thereof) on our profile. I wanted to wait a good long while before asking - didn't want to hear that no one has looked at our book. Through the autumn several families with our agency placed, so I hoped that by calling after Christmas, we'd get some good news. Yesterday morning I steeled my nerves and made the call. After a bit of a faff, I was told we have not been shown to any expectant mothers so far. I had prepared myself for that, so I wasn't overly disappointed and I had a plan of action for that possibility. M and I sat down that evening and went over a couple of the home study forms - opened up some of our limitations so we could be shown to more expectant mothers.

Then today I got a call from the agency. Turns out, the spreadsheet they use to track profile activity hadn't been completely updated. Our profile *has* been shown! Twice this month! I'd say that's pretty darn good for only 5 months of waiting. One mother decided to parent in the end, so she never chose a family. The other woman has been looking at profile books for 2 months, has looked at ours twice, but hasn't made a decision yet. I'm not holding out hope that she will choose us, I don't work like that (not after 4 years of infertility treatments). But I am honestly pleased with our progress, regardless of what that mother chooses. I think it is completely reasonable to hope that 2016 will be our year and at some point we will match and bring home a baby!

November 02, 2015

A Milestone

October was a crazy month. It started with M getting a new job offer (he'd been casually applying around for a few months for a variety of reasons). This new job would be military contract work, which we have no experience with and little understanding of. His hiring process was a bit of a rushed disaster (something we were assured by family is the norm for military contracts) that had both M and I tied in stress knots. He accepted the offer under an assumption of a firm start date only to be told later he couldn't start working until mountains of paperwork were submitted. Then, an 11th hour phone call came from M's current employer. A senior level manager (someone at the corporate, international level) who had worked with M on some projects called and asked him what it would take to convince him to stay. Fortunately, M took it as an opportunity to discuss ALL his concerns, not just money. They squared away a deal that addressed his issues and also tacked on a slightly crazy pay increase. So in the span of two weeks: M was offered a new job, accepted new job, learned all the hoops he had to jump through just to start new job, got counter-offer from current employer, accepted, gave regrets to new employer. It was a whirlwind, that's for sure.

We were already on track with our adoption savings. I had worked out that it was likely we'd be able to put away the last bit of money at the end of October. With M's new pay rate, we DEFINITELY were able to set aside what we needed. And so....

We are *OFFICIALLY* done saving for our adoption!!

I am so excited! And humbled! And shocked! And blessed!

We took a leap of faith last year, moving forward with an agency even though we had very little in savings. I'd like to say that we scrimped and saved, pulled our American selves up by our red, white, and blue bootstraps and all that other self-made man talk. But seriously? This was God. 100% start to finish, God. There are a hundred ways He has chosen to bless us that we did nothing to control, earn, or deserve. But He made it happen.

I feel so unworthy. Money actually scares me a little. The verse in the bible about it being easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven is never far from my thoughts. Money binds you to things - material, worldly things. It twists your mind to make you think you "earned" your financial security. I never want to be so beholden to something that is so far from heaven. We are building up our non-adoption savings (cause apparently it costs money to raise kids? That's what I hear!) and paying down/off some debts so that if and when our financial situation changes, we can live with less without worry. No expensive new car. No bigger, better house. No shopping spree for all new clothes, electronics, what have you. It's too scary. If you adjust your standard of living up, then it's hard to adjust back down. We're going to try very hard to keep living the same as before, just with more money going towards our loans, into savings, and to charities.

We are three months into our wait and we're ready for a baby any time now. We have most of what we need already supplied from my sister and her best friend (they saved nearly everything from their last babies for us). We'll work on turning the "craft (and cat) room" into a nursery this winter and plan to have it furnished and ready by late spring. Hopefully next summer or fall we will get the call. We're ready.

August 12, 2015

Cloth Diapering

After months of reading and digesting the mountains of information the internet has to offer on the topic of cloth diapering, I finally feel like I've come to a comfortable level of understanding. I really didn't know, when I first thought Hmm, maybe I want to look into cloth diapers, that you pretty much had to take a semester long course to fully learn all of the diaper types, accessories, and laundering considerations. But the research was well worth the effort. I particularly appreciated that many working moms who cloth diaper have provided tips and tricks for making it work even though you aren't home all day! Those websites really encouraged me. So, I think I have...

The Plan

There are like, seven different kinds of cloth diaper types and they all have their merits and their drawbacks. After enough reading, I realized I didn't need to commit myself to exclusively using any one type. I could use ALL the types if I wanted! So I narrowed down to the diaper styles that seemed they would be most affordable/useful/easily laundered. These would be the prefold diapers (like my parents used when cloth diapering me and my siblings) and the pocket diapers (modern cloth diapers that you stuff with absorbent pads). There was also the option of using a diaper service, who provides the diapers and launders them for a weekly fee. These have become a bit rare, but I am fortunate to have a company that services my area. They provide prefolds and do the washing in giant industrial washers. The service is kind of expensive: $25/week. But how much is it worth to you to not have to launder diapers every 2 to 3 days? Minimizing cost is one of the reasons I looked into cloth diapering in the first place, so I thought I would have to pass up the service at first. Until it dawned on me that, just like with types of cloth diapers, I don't have to wed myself to using a service *forever*. And the service has some major benefits for someone brand new to cloth diapering (and brand new to parenting...functioning without sleep...caring for something wholly dependent on them...). Newborns are hard to size in cloth diapers. You almost have to get the special newborn diapers that will ONLY fit them for like 3 weeks, unless you have a large or fast growing baby. The diaper service delivers the exact size of diaper you need *and* they provide newborn covers so you don't have to buy them. Not having to buy something that my baby will outgrow in the blink of an eye is a good thing. Plus, I figure we will be more successful using cloth diapers if someone else is doing the laundry at first. We'll have enough on our plate without 3-4 extra loads of laundry a week. Once the baby is out of the newborn stage and we are slightly better adjusted to the new normal, we can cancel the service and start using our own diapers and laundering them at home. I plan to have a stash of diapers already before we discontinue the diaper service. Prefolds are economical, wash easily, and last a long time - plus, you can stuff the small sized prefolds into pocket diapers (two-fer!). Pocket diapers go on the baby exactly like disposables do and so are easy for dad's, day-cares, etc. to use, they launder easily, and come in "one size" styles that grow with your baby (whereas prefolds must be bought in various sizes as your baby grows).

I think I have selected the best choices from the buffet of cloth diapering options for our family. If my mom wants to host a baby shower for us, I will ask that it be a diaper shower and people can buy us any of the cloth options we like, or disposables (we plan on having disposables available for nights, naps, long trips, etc.). If I was feeling dangerous, I'd start pinning specific brands of pockets and pre-folds to my pinterest board, but I'm just not that brave yet! Maybe soon...

July 30, 2015

It Still Sucks

Allowing myself time to process and grieve my infertility, plus moving onto adoption for our family building, has gone a long way towards healing the deep seated anger, frustration, jealousy, and utter sadness I have often felt when hearing that another woman I know is pregnant. I don't have a strong reaction to every big belly I see, anymore. I don't sit in my GYN's waiting room with bitterness for all the in-my-face pregnancies. My cousin announced her pregnancy on Facebook in May and I just kind of rolled my eyes, sighed, and unfollowed her. Small pit in the stomach, nothing I couldn't shake off in a few minutes. It was a little harder when a co-worker confided in me that she was unexpectedly pregnant. It was out of the blue, they weren't trying. Plus, I was in the middle of researching how to advocate for equal parental leave for adoptive parents and very much feeling like a second class future mom. I cried on the way home and sobbed into my husband's shoulder that I really was *so* happy for her and she will be a great mom. It is such an emotionally complicated place to be...

But as complicated as that was, it is nothing compared to the emotional monster that reared his head from the depths of my infertility pain when my best friend of 14 years told me she was pregnant in the first month of trying. Not a gut punch. A BRAIN punch. A full body, forceful slam into a brick wall. And I am right back to the anger, frustration, jealousy, and ever present, aching sadness over my own inability to even comprehend how easy it is to get pregnant when you're not me.

The adoption is not easing my pain so quickly. I'm not an idiot. She will have a baby in 9 months. I will still be waiting. She could conceivably lap me and be working on baby #2 while we continue to wait. She will have all of the normal events which mark the progression of those knowable 9 months: announcement to the family, announcement to the world, gender reveal, viability, baby showers, nesting in those last few precious weeks. We...continue to have to explain to people that no, we probably won't have a baby by the end of the year. Well, we are waiting for a match - no, a match doesn't mean we will get a baby for sure. I wish I could tell you when, but that's not how it works. No, we won't be announcing when we match because it could fall through. Maybe a year, maybe two - yes, it takes that long...There's no universally understood progression of time, marked with socially conforming celebrations and milestones, for adoption. People know we are adopting, but they honestly have no idea what that means as far as what the next year or two of our lives will look like. Neither do I. People know how to talk about pregnancy, our entire female human history is a shared experience of pregnancy. No one I know has adopted. No shared experiences to be had.

Adoption isn't a cure-all for the infertile couple. It is a means of building a family, but it doesn't fix everything, it doesn't give you everything that infertility took away. I knew this, I know this, I don't expect it to be. But I wish there was *something* that would make me forget four and a half years of trying and failing so that I could be happy for my friend who never had to try. I want so badly to be, but all I feel is sad and left behind.

My sister promises that after babyhood is over, all parents are the same, we won't feel so obviously different because our child's milestones will be the same no matter how they came to us. I hope to God that is even only mostly true.

July 15, 2015

Waiting is waiting

We are agency approved! Our adoptive parent profile books have been ordered (after much hand-wringing and editing from me) and will be delivered to the agency by the end of the month. At that point we will officially be waiting for our match!

I am indescribably happy that the first part of our journey has come to a close. I don't even know what to do with myself! We made it, we survived. The road thus far has been at turns terrifying and frustrating and unending. Yet here we are: waiting.

I feel a little like we left the infertility waiting room of unknowing, took a long winding walk, and now find ourselves in another, very similar, waiting room of unknowing.

"Will it be today??" Variations of this question are bound to crowd my brain in the coming months. Logically, I know it is unrealistic to expect that we will match quickly. Not because there is something wrong with us, but simply as a result of the process that we have no control over. There are only so many expectant women looking for families with our agency, and only so many of them will even look at our book based on their situation. These things take time. And yet obviously, the blooming hope and optimism within me is all "But you never know, you *could* match quickly!!" It is difficult to want to stuff that hope down when I lived in despair for so long. Hope is sunny and warm and bubbly - I love that feeling! I just need to temper it with enough reality to not feel disappointed when we haven't matched by the end of the year. We simply have to wait.

I am hopeful that this version of waiting will be easier than the on-again, off-again roller coaster of infertility cycles. I think some people want to be as informed about their profiles views as possible, but I am not one of those people. I don't want to know when a woman is reading our book unless she has chosen us. Because rejection sucks. I'd rather hear about it in detached statistics: "Over the past 4 months, we showed your profile 3 times". That is a kind of rejection I can handle, it is over and done with, no agonizing.

I've been holding off on a few projects because I knew they would be excellent to fill some time while we wait. I want to thoroughly research cloth diapering, I need to get a handle on how much breast-milk I can realistically expect to source on a regular basis, we need to choose a pediatrician. Also we can start researching every major baby device purchase (God there are so many things one needs!) so we know exactly what to get when the time comes. I'm still not comfortable with the idea of buying things (or receiving baby items as gifts), but I think I am going to have to suck it up and learn to be okay. My sister has been saving a LOT of stuff for us from Bear (the 2.5 y/o nephew) and she is sort of begging me to get some of it out of her house so she can re-claim her craft room. Plus, several people have told me they were just waiting for us to be officially waiting before getting us a gift of some kind. I have to figure out how to not be anxious about the existence of baby stuff in my house or I will be committed before we match.

Oh, one other project that will help pass the time: I have drafted a proposal with persuasive arguments for my employer to update their parental leave policy! I'm so political, LOL! I was honestly crushed when I learned that I would get 3 weeks of leave for my adoption, but had I managed to conceive I would have received 6 weeks. It continued to trouble me over the months and I brought it up at a staff open forum last month. I was encouraged to pursue a policy change and next week I present my research, arguments, and proposals to our staff advisory council! I'm really excited about it and I hope I can get their support in lobbying the administration.

What did you do during your wait? I would love ideas and advice!

June 04, 2015

Wildly Vacillating Emotions

I am so excited to be a mom! Wheeeee!!!

I am so terrified of introducing an infant into our daily lives! Aaaaaagh!!!

We're gonna have a baby! Eeeeeeeee!!!

We're going to ruin our marriage! Heeeeeelp!!!

That kind of sums up for you where my head is at these days - which is to say limitless joy and bottomless terror and all points between just for good measure.

I know I can't be the only person to look at impending parenthood and feel this see-saw of emotions, but I still feel alone in it. We worked so hard for this, so long for this - I must *really* want it, right? I must be nearly desperate for that baby, for motherhood, for my life to make a 180 degree turn and look nothing like my current existence.

Well, no. I rather like my current existence, actually. If I've had a bad day at work, I get to come home and binge-watch Stargate episodes if I want to. I sleep in until 8 on Saturdays. We can have sex whenever we want!

Half the time, I am so excited to be matched and placed. I can't wait to be a mommy and do all those parent-y things. But the other half of the time I am gripped in terror that I am inviting big trouble into my life. What if M and I start fighting all the time? What if our baby just has one of those temperaments where they cry all. the. time. What if M only *thinks* he wants kids, but then, when we have one, he doesn't want to change diapers, do bath time, or car pool to Little League?  I am so scared that right now my life is perfect and I am about to destroy that perfection forever. Literally so scared that M need only say the word and I would probably drop this whole adoption thing.

Is that okay? Is that normal? I sometimes think I must not want children that much if I'm having these thoughts...but then I insist to myself that other people probably feel this way too and they just don't talk about it. Infertility and adopting both give you soooo much time to sit and think about all the things that could go wrong. I hate that ::sigh::

I will just keep working on our profile, and enjoying the way our life is now because it has a term limit. And I will breathe and remind myself that that is okay.

May 18, 2015

Our Home Study Experience

Wow, that was quick and painless! ....Did I miss something? Wasn't that supposed to be intimidating, invasive, and take forever? M and I might have gotten extremely lucky and had just about the best (and fastest!) experience possible with our home study!

Admittedly, there is probably great variation from state to state and even agency to agency within the same state. A home study is very much a "Your mileage may vary" kind of experience. Ours was a veritable cake walk. Mmmm...cake....

I had planned on not going crazy with cleaning because I knew there wouldn't be any white glove test. I thought, let's clean the bathrooms well and the kitchen, but other than that just vacuum, pick up clutter, maybe dust if there is time (haha, no, there wasn't time). But then I started breaking out with my second poison ivy rash in a month and so instead of cleaning like Jesus is coming because of the home study, we did it to try to wipe out any lingering trace of poison ivy oil that might be on the dog, furniture, carpet, *wherever*! I was very pleased with the state of our home by the time the social worker arrived - not like she was going to disapprove us from a lack of dusting, right??

I am so proud of how M handled the home study, there aren't sufficient words for how well he did. He is such an introvert, like not socially awkward just not a joiner in any way - he is a watcher and a listener, not a talker. In my family, we call him a cat because that is seriously the way he behaves. But with the social worker he was relaxed, spoke easily, didn't give weirdly vague or too short responses, and he even came up with some really clever ideas for handling discipline and for handling a closed adoption situation - completely on the fly! It was pretty much how M acts around me when it is just us, so I'm not saying he behaved totally unlike himself, just unlike himself when around strangers or large groups. I know he had to put a lot of conscious effort into it, so I made sure to acknowledge it with him later.

The questions were pretty straight forward and I didn't feel like they were overly probing. I answered the very long question of how we came to adoption over the past 4 years. M fielded the question of how we met and ended up together (an oddly long story, actually). There were general questions about our families, our relationships with them, our experiences growing up. Then there were adoption/parenting questions such as "How do you plan on handling discipline?"; "What level of openness are you comfortable with?"; "What if an expectant mother chooses you, but says she wants no contact?". None of the questions took us by surprise or were anything we hadn't already discussed at length with each other. Our answers came easily and honestly and we were able to provide some amount of detail to the more hypothetical questions, proving we'd thought things through.

The walk-through of the house had me nervous because we live in an almost 100 year old American Four Square. It was pretty much gutted to studs and remodeled in the late 90's, but the owners maintained the original aesthetics and craftsmanship of the house as much as possible. All that is to say: we have an old, quirky, and definitely NOT standard kind of home. Child-proofing will take thought, trial and error, and some creativity. We tried to demonstrate we are already thinking about those concerns, even if we haven't actually installed much in the way of child-proofing (and honestly, that comes down to me refusing to put anything in my home that is baby exclusive when we could wait 2 years to match). But apparently, it is a good thing that our old door knobs don't lock and that the original, double hung windows are a pain in the ass for an adult to open. We didn't get dinged on a single thing - whew!

Our social worker was with us for just under 3 hours and at the end of it all, pronounced she had everything she needed and saw no need to schedule a second visit! Wow! I felt like we were getting away with something, like cheating! She has all my contact info of course, so she said if any other questions come up while she is writing the report, she will just email me. The feeling of relief as she left our house was amazing. We passed! Someone thinks we could be safe, decent parents and will make that recommendation to the state for us! Not all couples can say they are state-certified parents ;-)

So now I need to really start working on the Profile book, writing out drafts of each section, researching layout options on Shutterfly. I guarantee the home study report will be submitted and our infant care classes completed before I finish the profile. I want to be very methodical and purposeful about the content because I want us to match with someone who feels a connection with us - the real us, not a stripped down/sanitized version of us. This is so exciting! We are SO close to be approved and waiting!!

May 07, 2015


We have a social worker!!! I had just commented to my friend that I was hoping to have been contacted by our social worker by now, but I didn't want to bug our agency about it - and then lo and behold, I got a phone call on my lunch break from our social worker! And even better than that, she had room in her schedule to come see us next Thursday which is a day both M and I were taking as vacation from work anyway! (because we are seeing a live show Wed night).

We have our first homestudy visit in exactly 1 week!! I am so excited!!!

And you'd think I'd be freaking out because OMG homestudy, must clean like Jesus is coming to dinner! But actually, no, I'm totally cool about it. I'm going to vacuum all the rooms really well, dust (which is something I do about once a year), and make sure the kitchen and bathrooms are cleaned, but I am not going to go crazy and wash all the windows or anything. Just normal clean, not second coming of Christ clean.

So I really think we are going to be approved and waiting by mid- to late summer! Isn't that crazy?? We could be matched by the end of the year! Or not, but I guess there's no way of knowing. I will just be grateful when there is nothing left for us to do but wait for a phone call :-)

April 24, 2015

Meditating on Loss

"A child born to another woman calls me 'Mommy'. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me." - Jody Landers

I keep coming back around to the thought that our joy will be at the expense of someone else's loss. It is surreal to know that somewhere in this state, there is a woman who, in a few months or a year, is going to find out she is unexpectedly pregnant. And that crisis, coupled with conditions unknown, will cause her to seek out options.

I mean...think about it! Very few situations in life put us in the position of praying for someone else's loss. The only other one I can come up with right now is war. You pray for the other side to lose and that probably realistically means they will sustain more casualties.

And then, there is the other loss that can occur. Our loss. We might match with an expectant mother only to have her choose at some point to parent rather than to place. Which is entirely her right, her decision, and we will have to respect it. But how to manage the pain and sorrow we feel with the understanding that we essentially feel bad that a child is *not* losing their first family, their biological identity. How can you mourn that? I guess we have to figure out how to rejoice in what is retained for that child, while grieving for the loss of our own hopes and dreams, however inexplicable. If we have a failed match, I pray it happens early on. A failed match at the time of placement would a death.

I think I keep coming back around to this because it is useful to keep things in perspective. If I am deeply conscious of the *loss* involved in adoption, then I pray I can honor the birth parents in a meaningful way. I pray it will give me more than sweet sounding words for my child whose first life experience will be losing the only familiar person to them. It's not just a sad idea to be ignored, it is the reality of the situation.

Somewhere out there, right now, is a woman who has no idea the trajectory of her near future. A woman who God might lead to M and I. That pain, and crisis, and loss can be the foundation of a healthy life is so baffling.

April 16, 2015

It Won't Be Long Now

Being a task oriented person, there is nothing I love more than to check off items on a long "To-Do" list. We have finished our adoption classes! CHECK! We finally got fingerprinted! CHECK! The last few papers required before our homestudy are printed and signed! CHECK!

Tomorrow, I'll mail a fat manila envelope to our agency and we should soon be assigned to a social worker for our in-home interviews :-D That is crazy exciting! My fingers are crossed that by the end of the summer, we will officially be waiting to be matched.

I even started an outline for our profile book after reading about 27 articles on what to say and what not to say. I took some time at my sister's house to scroll through 3 years of photos she has on her computer to pull out potential pictures for the profile. I still need to look through what my mom has on her computer. Writing the profile doesn't feel quite so terrifying now, but it is still a *major* task to accomplish.

We are also very nearly done saving up for the bulk of the adoption expenses - the big stuff that requires us to write a check for several thousands of dollars at once. The little stuff (Ha! Listen to me, "little stuff" - cause $400 ain't no thang, LOL! In adoption expenses it isn't.) we are paying for out of our regular budget because I know we can absorb those costs and adjust for them by eating out less or planning cheap meals for a week, etc. I double checked our savings against the fee schedule outlined by our agency and we are so close! Of course, there may be additional, unplanned for costs, such as renewing our homestudy or paying for 2 sets of birthmother expenses if we have a match fall through. But we will have time to save up those funds again if it comes to that and I have decided to think positive.

In a few weekends we will take our CPR certification and then in June we have "infant care" classes. The items checked off the mile long list of things to do are quickly outnumbering the unchecked tasks. At times it felt like we would never get to this point. Can I throw a party when we are officially a "waiting couple"? Because I think we will deserve a party after 6 months of hard work :-D

March 05, 2015

I Calmed Down, I Promise

I feel bad for leaving up such an angry post for so long with no follow up. I always have a very strong initial reaction to change (whether good or bad) and I always calm down and move on, even if it isn't obvious in my blog posts ::knowing smile::

The car situation actually worked our really well - the best it possibly could. We made a smaller down-payment than we had planned at first, and that meant we didn't have to "steal" money from the pursuit of our future baby. We also got an AMAZING interest rate on our loan (thank you, Daddy, for teaching me about managing my money). So our monthly payments are within our comfort zone. Saving will be slowed, but it's not the end of the world.

God had to get in an extra little dig about me not trusting Him, though. My mother-in-law has committed to helping us save for the adoption expenses by using some of her inheritance from her aunt. Her aunt was more of a second mother for her (especially after her mother passed away), and MIL took care of her aunt for years after she developed Alzheimer's. She was the most devoted niece I know of and has well earned her inheritance. I told her she didn't have to give us one red cent, but she is very certain this is what she wants. See how I really need to learn to just trust in God's plan?

We still have a lot of saving to do, this process is just so darn expensive. But I'm so grateful that the necessity of a new car wasn't the huge, devastating set-back I worried it might be. We are so incredibly blessed through our family and friends who are being just amazingly supportive. I could never put in words how lucky and thankful I am.

Also - Adoption classes have started! And we need to finish our paperwork STAT! So much to do before we can be approved as prospective adoptive parents, but nothing is scaring me as much as "The Profile". You know, the self-designed, autobiographical scrap book that all agencies show to their expectant mothers? Like, no pressure or anything, just sell yourselves as parents! O.O I am completely terrified of this project. And we can't be presented to expectant mothers without it...

Anyone have advice for how to get through it without editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, starting over from scratch, and generally making myself insane?

February 11, 2015

It Really Was Going Too Well

Fuck you universe. Fuck. You.

I think I have dealt admirably with everything life has thrown at me in 31 years. And I have learned to move on, to heal, to make do, and to find the good in truly shitty situations. And I have been so happy ever since M and I committed ourselves to adopting, no matter the pain that came before and which still lingers a little. We are planning, we are saving, we are staying positive.

So why are we being punished with a broken car? Hm? What fucking lesson am I still learning that necessitated this new problem? I have sucked it up and said "okay" to the outrageous idea that just because I can't squeeze out my own offspring, that it is justifiable I be saddled with a $30,000 price tag for having a family (heaven forbid we decide we want 2 kids!). And if that price is 100% necessary, why can’t I fucking catch a break in the rest of my life so that I don’t have to feel like I am choosing between a safe/reliable car for M or having a goddamn family? Not many people are “blessed” with that particular challenge. Lucky. Fucking. Us.

We *were* on track to be done saving after this year. We *were* going to be able to pursue adoption without digging ourselves into bedrock, financially. But no, that's just too good, too kind of God. Clearly we needed this journey to be HARDER, because dammit, it hasn't been enough of a challenge. We were finding *way* too much joy in this pursuit. It should break us. Then we might deserve to reach the other end of the rainbow.

It's not just the addition of a new monthly loan payment that upsets me, though that will drastically restrict our ability to save within our anticipated time-frame. Its that we will have to *take* money already saved and use it for this, instead of for our FUTURE CHILD.

I hate and despise everything today and there are no words to make it better. I will calm down, I have to for M's sake, but right now I get to be as fucking pissed off as I want because this is NOT FAIR.

February 04, 2015

Real Progress!

I have made a lot of personal progress since Christmas: We announced our adoption plans to our greater circle of family and friends on just as we had mailed off our application to the Agency! It was exciting and scary at the same time. You never know what well-meaning but ultimately hurtful thing people might say. And after the years of infertility, I'm pretty tired of smiling through the hurt just to spare the other person's feelings. But it went *really* well and gave me courage to make the announcement at work as well. So now it is totally out there and I can stop having whisper conversations at my desk.

Shortly after we mailed out the first bit of paperwork (and the first of so many fees), we got a confirmation email and instructions to keep working on the rest of our paperwork while we wait for them to schedule classes. I started to get nervous that classes wouldn't happen until late March or into April. I'm really hoping that we will be waiting for our match by the end of the year (and I think that is a reasonable timeline, right?). Well, yesterday M called on his way to lunch and asked if I'd checked my non-work email yet because we got another message from the Agency: Classes are scheduled!!! They start the last week of February!!

I am so excited! For some reason, the paperwork part wasn't helping to make our adoption pursuit "real" for me, you know? Announcing it did help some. But in my mind, a lot of meaning is tied into the education classes. It will be really real. We will be making noticeable progress towards our end goal. We will meet other couples who we will hopefully become close with while we all wait and hope. We will have a community. This is all just so awesome!

The one thing that bummed me out a bit from the email was the news that we have to attend separate CPR and Infant Care classes. Meaning I have to go to a hospital course. Full of pregnant women. Just a little bit like my worst nightmare...

My sister gave me good advice for handling it, though. She said to remember that I don't know if any of those women have also struggled with infertility and maybe they are so excited because it finally worked - or maybe they are terrified because it finally worked, but they could still lose their baby. I will work hard to bear this in mind to temper my own emotions during the class.