Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Almost There

I have a friend at the gym that gets ready post workout when I do.  Her daughter is anticipating the arrival of her baby any day.  When she told me that her daughter was pregnant, I was, too.  We were about a week apart, but our baby didn't survive.  Today we were talking about her daughter, how she returned the "1st Christmas" outfits that would be much too small since she didn't have her baby before Christmas, how she was trying to walk a lot to get things "moving" and her favorite baby names.  It made me wish I could buy a baby's 1st Christmas outfit, but I wouldn't know what size to get.  Then I reminded myself that I am not really into baby's 1st Christmas outfits, at least not the kind that are probably 50% off right now!  ;)

I'm almost there....to the date of the last "should have been due date" and to the date of the anniversary of finding out that baby #4 died somewhere between our 11.5 week ultrasound and 14 weeks.  It seems so far away, but just like yesterday.  The thought of being pregnant seems so distant, the pain of the loss seems so fresh.  I can remember what happened in the ultrasound room that day with a scary vividness.  January 11th will bring a clean slate.  Almost there, to the clean slate. 

4 Kids

Griffin and I went out to grab a bite to eat tonight, we were right next to a family with 4 boys.  Griffin was very interested in them, and we all started chatting.  The boys were 8, 6, 4 and 6 months.  All adorable.  Griffin was smiling at the baby and the mom let Griffin touch his hair and cheeks.  He had the most beautiful big blue eyes.  The mom asked Griffin if he liked babies, he grinned and said yes.  We kept visiting and a little while later I was compelled to tell the mom that we were hoping to adopt a baby.  She lit up and was so excited, she commented that it seemed like Griffin would be a great big brother.  Then, as if reading my mind she said, "I was worried about my last two boys being so far apart in age, but it's been great.  We had three miscarriages before having our baby, we nearly gave up but here he is!  It all worked out!" 

Wow. 

I told her that we had multiple miscarriages, too, and that lead us to explore adoption.  She said, "Bless your heart, it's so hard isn't it?  They're your babies, it's so hard to understand unless you go through it."

Yes.

She kept talking about how excited she was for us, mentioned that they lived in St. Cloud, and wished us the best.

What a strange interaction, and just what I needed.  She got through and was now holding her baby, and so will I. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Reflections

I did another one of those cross-posts by mistake, so take a little peek at our Thompson Family Blog.

Merry, Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Much Better Day

Thanks to supportive friends (for the comments of encouragement and faith that our story will have a happy ending via chatting, blog posts and email comments), a great hubby and a productive day, I'm feeling MUCH better.  I'm still feeling very "in limboish", but at least I'm not wallowing in my sorrow {as much}.

I'm riding the wave (thanks Jodi!!). Letting what I feel just feel. 

I got my butt kicked at spin class, did some early pre-work grocery shopping, worked, got my gray hair adequately disguised, worked, went to a happy hour birthday party and made a quadruple batch of super yummy cheesy chicken wild rice soup.  Now for sleep.

And, I didn't even cry when a co-worker asked me, "Any baby news yet?"  Good thing he didn't ask me yesterday.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Arrivals

I checked out the LSS adoption website tonight and saw that the families that were listed as "Placement Pending" are now in the "Congratulations on your new arrival section!" (In addition to some families that were listed as waiting.)  So, things are happening!  One of the families has a biological child...that gives me hope that someone will pick us.  OK expecting parents, we're ready (beyond ready in some ways and as ready as we are going to be in others!)

On a side note, it's hard for me to look at the list of waiting families and know that some of them were on the list when we first considered adoption--which was about a year and a half ago!  I can't even begin to imagine their wait (and don't want to experience it), especially if their "pre-wait" was anything like ours. 

Griffin's Comments

So, it was a rough day for me emotionally (see previous post).  I got home and didn't say anything baby related, I promise.  Jamie and I talked in code a bit, but G-man can't decipher that.  I was writing my last entry and I hear Griffin talking to Jamie downstairs.

He was looking at a Christmas card.  "She's lucky, she gets to have a little brother.  I guess we aren't lucky because we don't get to have a baby."

Jamie said, "We'll be blessed with a baby later.  Sometimes it just takes longer."

Griffin responded with an exasperated sigh, "Right." 

I guess we have another reason to keep going.  Griffin wants a baby, too.

Trying to Shake the Funk

So, things were going along well.  I felt at peace with where we were, the waiting stage was just fine, after all we finally at least had a chance at getting selected.

Then last Thursday came and I got into a funk...and I can't fully understand why.  Jamie commented that we are getting in Christmas card after Christmas card with 2, 3, 4 kids per family on them.  Maybe that's getting to me?  Last year we hung up our Christmas stockings thinking we'd have another this year.  Nope, didn't happen, grief, grief, grief.  We're approaching the anniversary of the day we found out that baby #4 wasn't alive.  I'm eating more and exercising less.  I was secretly holding out for a Christmas miracle.  It's the end of the year, another babyless year.  I told myself 2011 was going to be better than 2010, but I was wrong.

But, our life is good!  We have so much!  We have each other, wonderful family and friends, good jobs, HEALTH!  Why the funk?  I feel so ungrateful.

On Friday I woke up and told myself that I had to keep going for our future child, if we gave up now, that wouldn't be fair for the child that was meant to be in our home.  During this entire process, I've been honest in that we want a baby...badly.  We want a bigger family, it's about our hopes and dreams.  We didn't make this decision to help someone (although we are truly helpful, giving, loving people).  We will, of course, raise our adopted child with unconditional love and do everything we can to make the best life possible for our children.  For now I think I have to focus on what we can do for a child--what we can provide.  Knowing that we will provide the child we adopt with the best life possible may be just the thing keeping me going for a while.  Moving away from the thought that we are doing this for ourselves may be the trick.  I hope so.

After pondering in bed for a while, I walked out to our Christmas tree and saw this:

And I reminded myself of how blessed we were to have him.  And, I thought about the people that aren't able to have children.  We're one of the lucky infertile ones. 

The weekend was good.  We had fun with friends, skated on the lake, enjoyed Griffin's Christmas program at church and spent time with our family. 

I thought I was bouncing back. 

Then today I was struggling, I just didn't feel right emotionally.  I felt weepy.  On the way home from work, I had tears and tears streaming down my face.  What happened!?  Weeks ago I was tearing up on the way to work thinking about holding our baby and seeing him/her for the first time.  I kept thinking of people I know with living with other disappointments in their life, things not working out how they had hoped, planned for or expected.  And, now I feel defeated, like that happy ending may never come our way.  This is all part of it, I'm sure.  At some point I'll feel better, I know I will.  But, for now I'm sick of limbo, I want dirty diapers to change. 

Thank you to a few great friends (+ my best friend, Jamie) that listened and are lifting me up today.

And now, at the risk of sounding like a drama queen, I will click "Publish Post".

I know of someone....

Third edition.  Again, not very serious, but maybe a potential down the road.  Did the same thing as always told the someone that knows the someone to give us a jingle if the pregnant someone wants to learn more about us.  So far no jingle.  We'll see. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Waiting and waiting and waiting

Today it feels like we've waited an eternity to grow our family.  I sat back and reminded myself that we've only been trying to have another baby for two years.  Wait, that's wrong.  We've been trying to have a baby for three years.  This week Jamie got back from a work conference that he attends every three years, the last time I was with him.  It was shortly after our first miscarriage and I remember thinking that I'd get pregnant shortly after and have another baby.  Clearly, I was wrong.  Sometimes I feel just plain ol' stupid for keeping up the hope.  But, I try to tell myself this is a new journey, when we applied for adoption we started over.  So, our wait has really only been about 6 weeks.  Six weeks of having our profile in the book.  If it's only been 6 weeks, why does it feel so long? 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Things I Worry About

This process has involved a whole lot of worry on my part.  Which is not even remotely surprising since I am a super good worrier (not to brag or anything).

Here are the things I USED to worry about, but have (pretty much) gotten over:
  • Money: How will we EVER afford fertility treatments, IVF, adoption, unpaid maternity leave, etc.  It all seems to work out some how.  (Yes, Jamie, I know I should have listened to you a long time ago about this one.)  We've gotten good at saving money and have been truly blessed with support in many ways.
  • Being a good mom: Maybe God isn't giving me more children because I am not a good enough mom.  I sometimes yell, let Griffin watch "too much" TV, can be too "soft" and allow him to eat candy before breakfast (not regularly, don't worry).  But, I am a good mom. 
  • I am being punished: For what I don't know.  Maybe I'm really being saved from something?  And, maybe we will be very blessed (which is what I am hoping for).
  • I'll never have a healthy pregnancy again: I might, I might not, but either way I will be OK.  The real bummer is that I LOVE being pregnant (OK, less and less with my more recent pregnancies because I was scared of losing our babies) and I have a super fun stash of maternity clothes. 
  • What will people think if they know we did the treatments?  I'm very open about this now and we've received a great amount of unsolicited support, we're very fortunate. 

Here are the things I still worry about:
  • What if we never get picked? 
    • What if someone doesn't want to pick us because we have a biological child and thinks that we will love him more than our adopted child (I assure you we will love them the same!!)?
    • What if we don't get picked because I work?  I fear that birthmothers will want a mother that stays home.  
    • I could go on and on about weird reasons I come up with, but will stop here!  Maybe in my next post I should focus on all the reasons I think we SHOULD get picked?  Wow, that sounds "braggy" and boring.  
  • What if we have a disruption (get matched/placed with a baby and the birth mother/parents have a change of heart).  Gasp. 
  • Griffin's little heart getting broken again. 
  • Being a nervous wreck during match meetings and crying a lot.  OK, that's probably all likely. 
  • What if I get pregnant again and the adoption has to be put on hold?  I know, ironic?! 
The things I have never really worried about:
  • Our adopted child being accepted as our child by our friends and family.  We have super family and friends that couldn't be any more supportive than they already are.  Thank God! 
  • Loving our adopted child.  I ALREADY love that sweet little baby and have no idea if he/she has even been conceived yet! 
  • Having enough cute clothing for our baby.  I'm fully committed to shop as long as it takes to make sure that kiddo is dressed in style!  Kidding!  (Kinda.)

The Fast Forward Button

There have been times that through our struggle to grow our family, I wished that I could press the "fast forward button" on life and get to the happy spot where we had more children, the family photo where I didn't always feel like we were missing someone. 

I met an adoptive mother today and saw her "fast forward", and it was so great to see.  Her family that grew through adoption. 

She also taught me all about cloth diapers.  It was so sweet of her to open her home and have her kids share their toys with Griffin.  I genuinely wanted to know all about cloth diapers, but found myself drifting off into adoption talk.  It was nice to be with someone who has been through it, twice!

I hear reoccurring comments when I talk to adoptive parents.  1) Every story and situation is different.  2) I always hear that the children that were adopted into their family "made sense" or it was "meant to be" or it was "a perfect fit".  3) I also hear about the extended families that are developed because of open adoption.  It's so good to hear.  I feel blessed to have this opportunity, even though some days it seems so scary....there is so much unknown.  Good thing I have a whole lot of love for flying by the seat of my pants.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Living the Profile

Oops...I meant to upload these to our family blog (www.jamie-heather.blogspot.com) but uploaded them here instead.  But, it's a good example of what we are doing as we wait to adopt.  Having fun!  It seems like there is a lot more time for that now that we're in the waiting stage.

Here are some photos of last Wednesday.  When G got up from nap he wanted to play outside even though it was getting dark.  (He took a late nap, which is typical for Wednesdays).  It felt more like fall than winter--it was so nice to be outside.  We played on the playset, then raked leaves.

 The leaves went in the fire pit, so it seemed like a good idea to have a fire and roast marshmallows.
Jamie got home from work and checked out the ice on the lake.  He declared that his skates were coming out!
It was really quite magical being on the lake--it was so quiet, we could smell the fire, and the ice was like glass.  He turned the skates over to me and I had a blast...what a memorable night! 
We finished it off by getting hot chocolate and heading over to a nearby house to drop of a toy for Toys for Tots and see the fun display.
 I giggled when Griffin yelled, "Look!  It's Baby Jesus and Santa!"  It was nice to see them together.  :)

I'm savin' up for a little baby!

The other day I was shopping with a great friend and she said, "Did you see this!?" and showed me the cutest little "piggy" bank.  It's PERFECT for us!  The other day at work it showed up on my desk, it gave me a good chuckle.  I went to move it and it had change in it.  I went into her office to tell her thank you (it truly made my day) and she told me the story behind the money inside the bank.

Her 5 year-old daughter saw the bank and asked her what it was for.  She explained that Jamie and I were adopting a baby and that adopting costs lots of money.  Her daughter left the room and came back with her piggy bank.  She told her mom that she didn't have any dollars, but she did have lots of quarters.  So, our new "baby bank" is the recipient of her quarters.  Isn't that the sweetest thing?  It completely warmed my heart.  The next time I saw my friend's daughter I gave her a big hug.  I can't wait for the day she can help me feed our new little baby.  What a sweet, thoughtful, generous girl!

 Hilarious.....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fortune

I think I'll start believing 100% in "fortunes" received in fortune cookies.  I had one that recently read:

"Focus on your long-term goal.  Your wish will be granted next year."

HELLO 2012!

Saving Money

Over the last year and a half we've focused more on saving money--we've always been soft of frugal (and I mean sort of because we were always willing to spend money on things that we valued--like experiences, donations and gifts.)

We started saving for our IVF cycles by writing down everything we didn't do/buy, but we wanted to.  Then, we transferred that money to savings.  More quickly than I'd like to admit, we saved about $2,500.  This was just by saying no to dinners out, unnecessary clothing purchases and doing things ourselves--like taking out the dock (and others helping us with things like my Dad painting our front door). 

In the last few months we've consigned a few antiques that we didn't want anymore, skipped things we'd like to do (like get hotel rooms when heading to the Cities for events and going home for dinner rather than eating out).   I noticed that our freezer and pantry were packed--especially since my parents left for the winter and gave us all of the food they had left.  We decided to start on a "use what we have mission".  It's been fun!  We only go to the grocery store if we need an item for a recipe, and to get fresh produce.  The milkman comes once a week so we have dairy products covered that way.  We've spent very little on groceries in the last month and it's been fun to see our supply go down.  It feels good not to waste...and it's been fun coming up with meal ideas. 

It's been great to see our savings account increase and know that we are closer and closer to covering the upcoming expenses of our adoption.   It's a huge victory for us and we're blessed to have so much support from friends in family....including lots of donated items and time for our adoption garage sale that brought in $2,500! 

So what are the next fees we face?  They'll be incurred when we actually adopt, and are about $10,000.  We'll GLADLY write out that check!

All is calm....

It's a little strange around here lately.  Over the last two weeks, we're not feeling over extended.  We're able to relax, admire the Christmas tree, read lots of books to the little guy and soak up life.  Typically we're trying to pack in one more thing, and for now we're just living and enjoying life.  We're able to do a little more "flying by the seat of our pants"....which I love.  No doctor's appointments, quick trips to the cities for short exams to check my ovaries and no more paperwork (for now).  It makes me realize how much time {and energy} we've spent in the last two years trying to grow our family.  I'm enjoying the calm. 

Maybe it's the calm before the storm?  (Wouldn't that be nice? A storm of dirty bottles, diapers to wash and very little sleep due to rocking a sweet little baby.)

I can dream!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Another one of those we know someone situations-#2.

About a week ago, someone mentioned to me that they know someone, that knows someone, that knows someone that is pregnant with an unplanned pregnancy.  Again, we'll wait and see.  No expectations, I just want this expecting mother to make the best decision she can.  I told the first someone to let me know if she heard anything more, we'd be happy give her some information about our family if there's an interest.  And, if not, we'll continue to happily live our lives waiting, we're getting better at being patient!  (OK, I'm getting better at being patient, Jamie has ALWAYS been patient!)

Reading and a Great Husband

Through our journey to grow our family, we've read lots of books to help us understand, cope and make decisions.  We've wholeheartedly jumped into reading solely about adoption.  I ordered a few recommended books, some for us and some for Griffin.  I love it that Jamie happily picks them up and reads them. When I came back from a recent weekend away scrapbooking (and drinking wine and hot tubbing) with some friends, I found this book out:
He told me that it was a great read and pointed out some information that will be helpful to us when we finally get to be adoptive parents.  Today he had it out again and was showing me the feelings that went along with grief, "Heather, this is just how we felt when we had our miscarriages."  The section he was reading was on helping your child deal with the grief they encounter as an adopted child.  It reminded me of the training we attended through LSS, one of the speakers commented that many of the families applying for adoption experienced infertility.  And, she said that the grief we experienced due to infertility will help us to better understand the grief our adopted children will have. 
We know how important it will be to develop a bond with our baby--he/she will be missing his/her biological mother's voice and smell.  We'll do whatever we can to show our baby unconditional love and affection.  We don't understand what it's like to be an adopted child, but we do understand loss. 
We can't wait to welcome another baby to our home, and love him or her up with all we've got!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Making Plans

One of the things I've wanted to explore before having another baby is cloth diapers.  I've spoken with my friends that use them and they seem to love them, but I don't know much about them other than there have liners, cute covers and you do more laundry!  A new friend and adoptive parent recommended Mud Butt Cloth Diapers to me.  I was excited to see that the company was in our neighboring town and the owner has adopted two children through LSS!  I sent her an email explaining that we are on the LSS waiting list and she told me that she would be happy to get together so she can show me how they work, and to let me see them firsthand.  We set up a time to meet next week.

I started thinking that I was getting the cart before the horse.  We don't even have a match yet--not even anyone looking at our profile.  It's only been 4 weeks, I didn't expect a whirlwind adoption once we entered the book (although that would have been fun!).  So then the negative talk came in.  "What am I doing?  We aren't even matched.  We might not ever be chosen.  I shouldn't be looking at diapers and assuming that we'll get to have another child."  And, well, is just gets ugly from there.  It's true, we might not get chosen.  At some point we might have to decide that we are done trying and it's over.  The thought of it makes me so sad.

I worked out with a good friend one morning this week and mentioned my struggle to her.  She encouraged me to act as I would as an expecting mother.  It was good advice for me.  I don't know how long this "pregnancy" will be, but I have to keep my hope alive.  I feel like most of the time I speak positively about the adoption process, I use "when" instead of "if" frequently, but some days it's hard. 

I need to look at it this way--if we never get to have more children, I will be devastated regardless of if I enjoy this waiting period or dread it.  So, I might as well enjoy my time.  I can live my life anticipating disappointment, or I can live it anticipating joy.  I need to choose anticipating joy. It's a whole lot more fun to imagine holding a baby in our arms than it is to imagine having to let go of our dream.

So, right now I'll play the role of an expecting mother and learn more about cloth diapers next week.  It's hard to stay positive, thank goodness for the encouragement of good friends and family.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet Hope

After I miscarried last January, I met a dear friend for lunch.  She had two gifts, one for me and one for Jamie.  Below is a photo of my gift, we named her Hope.  It's amazing how much comfort a sweet, snugly, silky stuffed animal blanket can provide.  We're 35 and 39 and she sleeps in our bed every night.  And, it doesn't even seem weird to me.  It's a constant reminder that we have friends and family rooting for us, and that they have hope, too.  Hopefully someday Hope with get lots of love from the next addition to our family.

The other day Griffin was napping in our bed.  I found him like this.  He has hope, too.

Thank God for our dear friends that give us hope, even when we've felt we lost it!

And so begins the holiday season...

On Thanksgiving I woke up thankful for all we have....we are truly blessed.  As I got ready I strarted thinking about last year's Thanksgiving celebration, it was extra special because we had a baby on the way.  Finally, the miracle we were waiting and praying for.  We hadn't told many people, it was fun to have a little secret that only a few family and friends knew about.  I was reminded of the family member that inquired if we were pregnant, and we didn't respond, but smiled.  We announced at Christmas that we were expecting a baby in the summer.  We were SO happy, Griffin included! 

So, on Thanksgiving, the tears started streaming down my face, even though I was trying to stop them.  I cried on and off on the way to the farm, I couldn't help myself, I tried.  Grief hit and wasn't going to leave my side.  We got to the farm and I laid down for a bit until I could get myself together.  I received hugs and went on with our thanksgiving celebration...we do truly have a lot to be thankful for.  Hours later I was holding our sweet niece that was born several weeks before our baby was to arrive. She fell asleep on my chest and I received great comfort from her.  We're blessed to have such sweet nieces and nephews in our life to remind us of how good life is.  Such precious little miracles that make even dark days bright!

I've found that life feels good and happy, but suddenly and unexpectedly grief and disappointment can sink in.  I'm sure it's part of the healing process, and I am sure I will always feel grief because of what we've been through. But, the important thing is for us to live life so that our joy is our focus....and we learn to cope with our grief in the best way we can. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nope, haven't heard a thing and a note about diapers.

It's only been two weeks and we've had 1,239 people ask is if we've gotten a call yet.  OK, it hasn't been that bad, but I think people we're dreaming of a magical story in which we went in the book and several minutes later we got a call.  Good thing that's not what we expected!  I'd love to have a magical story about a quick match, but I'll take a magical story at any time.  We just want to grow our family, my timeline for it has disappeared.  I hope that it doesn't come back, this way of thinking is much easier on my heart.

Today I was visiting with Griffin's daycare "mom".  I asked her what she'd think of us using cloth diapers.  She said that it wouldn't be a problem at all...it would make no difference to her.  Really, really cool!  So, I think that I'll start that search after things calm down a little bit (if they ever do!).  Some days I get scared to act like an expecting mother, and other days I allow myself to put my whole heart into it.  I daydream about it, but I don't really "do" anything for it.  So, the search for the perfect cloth diaper may be just what I need to begin the nesting process!  I need to let go of the fear that I won't get to be a mom again and keep my hope alive!

A special thanks to my friend Tawnia for inspiring me to consider cloth diapers.  XO

Monday, November 21, 2011

Avoided Drama

It's probably bad to use the word drama in this case, but that's what I did today.  See, I don't like drama.  It upsets me, and I can get myself worked up plenty without it! 

We got a call tonight from our friend that told us he knew of a woman that was pregnant and was looking for an adoptive family.  She decided that she was going to parent the baby.  And you know what I said?  "Good for her!" And, I meant it.  I turned to Jamie and smiled, "Look at all the drama we avoided by not pushing the situation."  Maybe my intuition is kicking in?  Maybe the Big Guy upstairs has filled me with grace and peace (and patience?? No, I doubt I have that.)?  The right baby will find his or her way to us.  (Or if I am being really optimistic, the right babIES will find their way to us.)

This is a good stage.  Waiting, but only 2 weeks, so it doesn't seem very long.  (I won't count those years we've been trying!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

RESOLVE Conference

Last winter Jamie and I attended a RESOLVE conference in the Twin Cities.  It was in March, so after our 3rd miscarriage when we were struggling to determine what we should do next.  We filled out the initial one-page document to apply for adoption through LSS, but had so many questions.  I didn't feel like I could go through with the last round of IVF first, but the road to adoption seemed equally as never wracking.  So much unknown. 

The RESOLVE conference was a major turning point for us, you can read about that here.  I am extremely grateful for the conference and the volunteers that gave their time to make it happen.  At the conference, I completed a form that indicated that I would like to volunteer for the conference in 2012. 

Yesterday I got an email asking if I'd be willing to volunteer for the upcoming conference and outlining some options.  I'm excited!  I hope that many others experience the comfort, support and information we received when we attended. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Where does faith fit in? How about God?

I don't think I've written a post solely devoted to God (or maybe I have?).  Which based on our faith, seems a bit strange.  I was reflecting on that the other day, then in dawned on me, it seems obvious to me that God has been woven into this entire process that I don't feel the need to write about it.  We trust that He will lead us through, and that we will be blessed with another child. 

We will frequently be hanging out as a family....playing, eating dinner, on a Thompson family adventure, and one of us will point to the sky and say "thank you".  We know God got us this far and will continue to lead us.

He's why most days I feel strong despite what we've been through.  If you would have told me years ago that I'd get through 4 miscarriages, a barrage of medical testing and treatments, administer nearly 100 shots to myself, and shell out thousands and thousands of dollars to do it--and still love my life, I would have thought you were crazy.  But, here I am, doing just that, loving my life.  (But, I'm certain it would be EVEN better with a baby in my arms!)

And it helps to have a really supportive, thoughtful and loving husband.  I'm just sayin'.

Touch Base with our Social Worker

Our social worker is a wonderful woman, she checks in periodically and truly makes me feel "in the loop".  I emailed her a question a few weeks ago, she responded right away, and then followed up again the other day.  She got us linked up to a blog through LSS that provides us with timely information and monthly adoption statistics.  She also mentioned that there were several expecting women looking at family profiles.  It made me want to vomit.  OK, I didn't really vomit, but it made me nervous!  I want ALL of the families to get selected....we met so many wonderful people during our training and I know they've been through what we have.  They want to grow their families, too.  But, I want us to get picked, too.  I have faith that we will get matched with the right family/ies, but I also fear rejection along the way.  Probably because it seems like we've had so much in the last two years.  Rejection, loss, sadness.  I feel like we should get some sort of "get out of jail free card", but I know that's not how it works. 

After about a day, I felt less nervous and went back to my normal, "it will all work out" mentality.  We will wait patiently and trust. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Assumptions

A friend asked me about the adoption process the other day, a colleague of hers was nearby.  I filled her in.  Her colleague asked us how long we had to wait for Griffin.  I told her 9 months {plus 2 years of "trying"}, he's our biological child.

I think I better get used to people assuming that all of our children arrived to our family the same way.  (Well, when you look at it another way, they will have...through God.)

I feel blessed to have the opportunity to have our family grow in two very special ways!

Goals

I went to a self-motivation/goals setting seminar a couple of weeks ago.  The instructor was full of life and his hilarious stories and comments kept me captivated.  He talked about goals, writing them down, developing a plan, researching....and how all of this leads to accomplishing goals.  I could have easily written next to his step by step plan the stages of our adoption process.  It was fun for me to see the correlation and appreciate how the steps LSS developed for us should lead to our goal of having another child. 

One thing the instructor kept reiterating was positive energy.  Surrounding yourself with positive people.  Skipping the news.  Listening to positive music, because music truly affects your spirit.

I got in the car and one of my favorite songs was playing very loudly, I called my friend that also attended the session to tell her the words I heard: "We don’t have any money/We’ve never had any money before/All truths told we’re downright poor"!  I was laughing my head off.  I guess if we need to focus on paying for the rest of the adoption, I should find another song to focus on.  :)  The song If I Could is by Storyhill, it's a love song and reminds me of Jamie and me.  Here's the beginning: "You have a heaven in your eyes that I’ve been looking for\ The fire that’s in the sun is in our hearts".  It's a beautiful, beautiful song. 

If you know me well, you know I generally ALWAYS have Christian radio on, so back to KLOVE I go!

Griffin's Prayers

We pray with Griffin every night.  He likes to pray for "everyone, even the people we don't know".  The other night he prayed for "the baby that will be in our family someday." And, to "please have it be soon."  What a sweet, hopeful big brother!

One Try Left

I got a call on my cell phone at work the other day, I didn't recognize the number, but thought I better answer it since I give my number out at work somewhat frequently.
It was a representative from the Attain IVF program, the "insurance" type program we used that guaranteed us 3 tries at IVF, if we didn't bring home a baby, we'd get our money back.  (This was about a $16,500 investment and didn't include the expense for medication {very expensive} and ultrasounds.)   The representative wanted to let me know I had another IVF session left.  I wanted to laugh out loud.  That just doesn't seem like something a person would forget, but maybe some do?  I refrained from exclaiming, "We DO?  That is WONDERFUL!" and instead I told her the truth, "Yes, we are aware of that, but thank you for calling."  That extra session will be sitting there for a while until we figure out what to do.  See, we still have a frozen embryo in Minneapolis, the agreement is if we cashed out now we'd lose 25% of the funds because we have a frozen embryo.  And, if we cash out after I am 36, we lose 25% of the funds because of my age.  Decisions, decisions!  By the way, we just paid $275 to keep that little embryo frozen for 6 more months.  We'll see.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Griffin's Point of View

The other day I got the holiday Winkflash catalog in the mail, I was checking it out and Griffin said, "Mom are you reading adoption books again?"  I laughed out loud!  Apparently we've been a bit engrossed lately!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Good Decisions

We've made a couple of decisions in the past two weeks that have made me feel good, like real adults or something!  :)  I planned to go with Jamie and some friends on a work trip with him to Indianapolis....I know we would have had a blast.  We always, always have a great time with the friends we were going to go with and we both love to explore new cities.  But, the flight would have been $300, plus food and whatever else we ended up doing (and we aren't exactly the type of people that spare expenses on trips).  Jamie and I have been blessed with lots of great quality time lately--including a great anniversary trip in July to the Red Wing/Maiden Rock, WI area and a wonderful week in California celebrating our good friends' wedding.  So, I decided not to go.  The money will be put to good use for our adoption and I'll be able to concentrate on Griffin.  I was torn for a while about what to do, but am so glad I decided to stay home.  We're planning a  fun, local get together with our friends soon!

The next one was on Jamie.  He had a fish house made the year we built our home.  It's been fun for him to have, but it's one more thing to deal with....you know how that goes.  Something to get a permit for, pull on and off the ice, maintain, blah, blah, blah.  And, he has a portable fish house, too.  So, he posted the fish house for sale, and it sold!  The gentleman that bought it will be happily using it on a nearby lake.  And, we'll happily add the money to our adoption fund.  (And, no worries, I am certain that in a few years down the road we'll have a spiffier fish house!) 

Friday, November 4, 2011

In

Our contact at LSS in Minneapolis emailed me today that we are officially in "the book" and that our online posting will be up within 24 hours.  So, as of November 4, 2011, we are officially a waiting adoptive family!  Interesting since it seems like we've been waiting a long time already, but this is a new wait.  A wait with a chance. 

I'm hopeful that the end result is what we've been dreaming of for years....a bigger family.  To be even more blessed than we are already.

What will we do during our wait?  Enjoy G-man.  Organize stuff, lots of stuff.  Research cloth diapers?  Sleep.  Live the profile.  Be thankful for what we have.  Embrace being a waiting adoptive family.  (Cyn, that word was for you!)

I feel like we just got accepted into an exclusive group that we've been waiting so long to be part of!  :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I know of someone....

I hesitate to even post about this {because it doesn't seem like a big deal} but then I reminded myself this blog is about our process.  So, here's part of the process.  We had someone that we know mention in an email the other day that they know a woman looking for an adoptive family.  I didn't react like I thought I would.  I didn't put together an email with our profile, web address, etc, etc, etc.  I didn't ask about the woman, I didn't give a sales pitch.

I feel like if it's meant to be it will work out.

I walked the friend of ours through the process and answered some questions about private adoptions versus adoptions through agencies.

I told him that if she was interested in information about us or LSS, that I would be happy to provide it.

I don't want to push.  I don't want to be aggressive.  I want to respect this woman and the difficult decisions that she has to make. 

I don't expect anything to come from this.  If it does, I'll certainly be overjoyed. 

I'm keeping my trust in the Lord, that He'll guide us through this process and that our family will grow.  And, I'll trust my intuition that the right match will work out for us.

Profile update, we're in!

I got an email from our LSS contact in Minneapolis today, she has everything she needs to put our profile in the books--YEAH!  We had to complete 3 more forms (I'm super thankful we have notaries at work!) and we're done!  Our online profile will be posted as soon as they receive the notarized documents.  I honestly can't believe I overlooked them....clearly a sign of the mass amounts of paperwork we've completed! 

I've been trying to get motivated to do some more work on the adoption website I started for our family.  It's just that there are SO many other fun things to do in life instead.  Maybe tomorrow......

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Being Parents

I'm thankful every day that we get to be parents.  I often find myself thinking about what our life would be like if we didn't have Griffin.  There's SO much we wouldn't experience.

Here's one reason I love being a parent.....
Being a mom lets me be a kid again.  And, I LOVE that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Week of Hope: Entry #3

Last week I was staffing a booth in support of our upcoming levy.  VOTE YES, PLEASE!

I looked over and saw a women coming down the hall of the school with her husband (who was holding a baby) and their elementary school aged son.  She's an acquaintence I don't know well, but say hello to when I see her.  Several months ago when I was purusing the LSS waiting families list (yes, I do that to see how many matched and births have occurred!)

BREAK--I just stopped to check if our profile is "live" online yet.  Nope.  Bummer.

Anyway, I saw her family on the waiting family list!  The next time I checked it said they were matched!! 

Needless to say we had a lot to talk about.  They have a beautiful baby boy, and listening to their story gave me so much hope.  They had many, many, many possible connections and matches which all failed, as well as other difficulties along the way.  But, here they were, at the end, holding their precious little boy. They never gave up, even though they wanted to at times. 

We talked and talked and talked.  They were so supportive.  We related.  Really, really related.  It felt like I met two kindred spirits. 

We talked about miscarriages and putting adoption on hold because of it.  I commented that many thought we were crazy for telling LSS about our last pregnancy in May due to our reoccurring miscarriages.  They said the same thing we thought--when you have been in a similar situation to the other 60 families that want a baby, too, and have met them at training and know how great they are--you'd tell the truth, too.  It's the right thing to do. 

We commented that we needed to get together--especially after we adopt.

And, I felt more hope that our dreams will come true.  It's been tough, and will be tough, but some day I hope we can be someone else's hope. 

All done! Just kidding.

I want to swear!  I was just about to post (and brag) that we're all done with our profile (meaning ready to mail all done) when I looked over at the printer to see the last few pages of our LSS Adoptive Family Information (income, ethnicity, religion, ya know, nothing all that important) coming through the printer streaky.  NO!  The printer is running out of black ink.  Seriously!?  So, I opened the desk drawer to see if we had an extra cartridge...no such luck.  But, I did find 7 (yes 7) empty cartridges.  What is wrong with me?  OK, add to the "to do list"--clean desk.  I'm sure that will get done soon, or like, never. 

Anyway, the good new is that our profile looks even better than I could have imagined--the color quality is amazing!  We had them printed at West Central Printing--Steph and Laura took great care of us!  They even sent me with a box to ship them in so that they stay in tip top condition! 

And, the other good news is that Jamie is "in town" getting his hair cut, so he can pick up a cartridge. 

And, more good news, we got to eat at Frieda's for breakfast since it's right by the print shop!

18 copies!  7 will go in binders at the LSS offices around the state.  The others will be sent to families, etc. upon request.  (We had to complete a notarized form consenting to that.)
 How ironic--in this photo is one of my favorite books on infertility--Conquering Infertility by Dr. Alice D. Domar.  I had it out because I was gathering resources for someone that's just begun her battle with infertility.  I've now switched to leisure reading rather than coping reading.  Fun!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week of Hope: Entry #2

Tuesday was a big day.  Some friends of ours that have had difficulty growing their family were blessed with a baby through adoption.  We knew the baby would most likely be born on Tuesday, so on the way to work I kept thinking about them, and how incredibly happy I was for them.  I couldn't hold back tears, I can only imagine how the day must feel, so many mixed emotions.  Then, the moment where they finally get to meet their child in person.  Amazing.  When I got the message that their baby was born, I cried again.  So absolutely happy that they finally get to be parents.  And, what wonderful parents they will make!! 

It's so inspiring to see others get through this battle and get to the other side.  That gives me hope. 

Thanks, you two, for sharing your story and giving us the hope we need to keep moving along on our family building journey!

A Week of Hope: Entry #1

It seemed like last week I had glimmers of hope every time I turned around.  It was really inspirational, especially since I had a busy, busy week and felt lots of pressure to get our profile done.

Here's the start....

The woman (and friend) that leads the infertility/family building support group that I attend contacted me about a paper she was writing for a class.  The paper needed to be on one word and she had to interview someone.  She chose the word hope, and asked if I would be willing to be interviewed.   I was glad that she thought of the word hope, and was honored that I came to mind when she thought of the word. 

She asked me questions: What does hope mean to you?  When is a time that you almost gave up hope?  When is a time that hope got you through a difficult situation?  What gives you hope?  How does hope affect your daily life?  It was easy to answer all of the questions and was good for me to reflect on hope and what it's done for my life!  It will be fun to see the end product.   Thanks, Katie!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sigh of Relief!

A huge weight was lifted off me as I attached our adoption profile to an email and sent it off to be printed.  Then, I emailed everything for our web listing to LSS. I honestly felt giddy and started to well up with tears of joy.  Soon we will have a chance at being picked to parent once again.  What a blessing!  I KNOW it will be a hard road.  I KNOW we have a lot to learn, and will continually be learning.  But, I also KNOW that we have lots and lots of unconditional love to give a child and we can't wait to share it.  I'm thrilled that we have this opportunity and that Jamie and I are on the same page and both knew our family wasn't complete yet.  I'm thrilled that we have so many people supporting us.  Any negativity we hear about our desire to adopt doesn't come from our core group. 

Many people proofed our profile, it was great to get the input of our friends, family and expert proofers!  So many great points and ideas were brought up which helped to make our profile better.  The thing I really love about it is that it's so US. The real deal. 

Many uplifting things happened this week that encourage our hope and I'll share those later.  It seemed like every time I turned around I was encouraged by a hope filled story or a "sign".  Love that!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Profile Update

We had a blast at the farm on Saturday, we were busy living the profile.  I got back to our profile on Sunday and was having fun...I was making edits and all was good.  But, time started ticking away and I started getting a little mopey about the whole thing.  I wanted to be living the profile, not writing the profile.  I was getting a little bitter that instead of enjoying life, I was back to working on paperwork for our adoption...it seems so unfair that I have to take so much time away from Griffin (and my beloved naps) to do all of this.  But, as a good friend reminded me today (thanks, Dana!), what I am doing is for Griffin, too.  And, as soon as we get through the profile and website updates, I can get back to having more free time and playing farm, splashing in puddles and raking leaves with my buddy.

I wasn't in the mood to proof our profile one last time last night, Jamie did, but I went to bed.  I looked at it today and am going to call it quits.  I'll have it proofed one last time, then will send it to our social worker to review. 

I hope that whoever looks at it can see us shine through.  I have to have faith and hope that we will shine through....to the right one.  Our birth mother. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Proofing our Home Study

So, after a nice dinner at my parent's house tonight, we came home and proofed our home study (our social worker sent it to us about two weeks ago and we finally found time to sit down together--it's been a busy two weeks!)  Initially it was fun to read, but it was loooooong.  I think maybe that has something to do with the fact that we talked A LOT during our home study meetings.  Is that a surprise?  Not a bit. 

Anyway, we read, made corrections, read, made corrections.  And, it got kinda old.  Maybe that's because we already knew the story!? 

Mid-way through I mentioned that I "needed" a snack.  Jamie thought wine sounded good.  So, we had wine and cheese.  OK, wine and Cheez-Its and cheese sticks.  I know, classy. 

I had to laugh at our extravagant date night. 

Here we are snacking, wining, reading and correcting....in the toy room of all places:
We got to the part that was really hard to read, even though I lived it and knew the moments in great detail, more detail than I ever want to remember. 

It started with saying we had 3 miscarriages.  I Xed out the 3 and wrote 4.  She forgot about our most recent loss.  I haven't forgotten.

Here's the story that followed:

"The couple's 3rd miscarriage was on January 10, 2011 after their second round of IVF.  Heather was 14 weeks into the pregnancy and she felt great.  They had two ultrasounds and heard the baby's heartbeat.  They were in love with their sweet baby from the very beginning.  Heather announced her pregnancy at work that morning (some friends came over the night before to help make pink and blue cookies--everyone at work announces their pregnancies with pink and blue treats.)  After lunch she noticed a small amount of spotting and by 2:30 p.m. was in the ultrasound room and it as confirmed that their baby no longer had a heartbeat.  Heather was so scared waiting to find out and yelled "NO!" and felt Jamie lay his head on her.  Heather states that she felt stronger knowing he was there with her and told him that they would get through this and that they would have a bigger family someday."

There is more, but this is what started the tears.  It all seems so far away, yet feels so fresh.  The thought of having a baby growing inside of me seems so distant.  But, the grief is still there.

I remember yelling "NO!" so loudly that I am sure everyone in the other rooms could hear me.

I remember hearing Jamie cry and feeling that I needed to be strong to support him.  He's always been my rock and I needed to be there for him.

I remember the look of sorrow and sympathy on the ultrasound tech's face, and her gentle comment that she would give us some time, she left the room.  And, I remember the last photo she printed of our sweet little boy.  I remember feeling so grateful that she knew I wanted a picture, the last thing I would ever have to remind me of him. 

I remember calling work and asking an email to be sent out ASAP to stop the congratulatory emails.  And, I remember calling my mom.  The first thing I said is, "Mom, I want you to know we will be OK, but...."  I didn't want her to worry.  What mom wouldn't?  I wanted to hug her so bad knowing that she, too, was experiencing great loss.  Her cherished grandchild was no longer alive in me. 

Home study.  We got through reading the rest of it and it circled back to our commitment and excitement for adoption.  But, for now, I'm back to mourning our little boy that we won't meet until we go to heaven.

Tomorrow is a new day. 


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We're in!!!!!!! Well, almost.

We got the message today!!!  We were invited to put our family profile in the adoptive families book through LSS.  Holy buckets.  So, we're in, but not really, because we aren't quite ready!!  Can you believe that!?  We still have to make a few tweaks to our profile.  So, this weekend we'll be all over that.  Hopefully by the middle of next week we'll be able to send everything in....along with our check for $5,000 to go into the book. A lot of cash, but I am sure it will be worth every penny and more!!  Bring it on!  Hello diapers!  Hello cute baby noises!  Hello rocking chair!  Hello fighting over toys!  Hello sleepless nights!  Bring it all on!

Thanks to all of you that helped with the proofing process.  Your guidance meant a ton to me.  Truly. 

XO
Heather, soon to be profiled with my family!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How being a bridesmaid helped my struggle with infertility.

In the summer of 2010, Jamie and I left the Center for Reproductive Medicine after signing a contract for the Attain IVF plan and writing our a big, fat check.  I headed to a nice rooftop bar to have a drink with my good (and beautiful) friend, Ann.  She showed me her incredible, gorgeous engagement ring and shared wedding plans and ideas with me (after, of course, listening to me recount every detail of our meeting at the IVF clinic).  We were drinking delicious mojitos, but that's beside the point.  I knew Ann and Jordi were planning a small wedding, so I was very pleasantly shocked and honored to be asked to be a bridesmaid in the wedding.  At the time they were planning to be married in Spain, so I sent Jamie a text telling him we were jetting off to Spain next summer/fall....he assured me that we'd make it work!  I had visions of me attending their wedding with baby in tote, or at the very least, a big baby belly.
I think you all know how that turned out.  Our year was tough, painful and full of loss and disappointment.  After a year of doing everything we could to grow our family and failing miserably, I hardly felt like myself.  I felt defeated and washed up. 

Ann and Jordi's wedding plans were underway, and it was a joy to be part of it, something bigger than ourselves--to see their love for each other and their excitement to continue their life together as husband and wife was truly inspirational.  It was so refreshing to see dreams come true.  I'm a believer in happily ever after, and even though it felt like our happily ever after was on hold, it was SO good to see it come alive for one of my dearest friends.

I bought a dress for the wedding in February, about a month after we had our 3rd miscarriage (all of the bridesmaids could pick out our own dresses in any shade of purple--I LOVED that!).  It was kinda tight.  I gained 10 pounds during our IVF process and the miscarriages that followed, so I figured I'd soon lose the weight.   

We went to a fun family shower for Ann and Jordi.  A little over a month before the shower I found out I was just over 5 weeks pregnant.  I planned to tell Ann when we were trying on our dresses that I'd be getting a maternity dress instead.  But, I miscarried shortly before the shower.  I tried on the dress I bought in February that I now planned to wear again....it was still tight. 

Ann and Jordi made a wedding website.  Ann wrote about each of her bridesmaids, I read her description of everyone and read mine last.  I cried happy tears, her words were so sweet, I couldn't believe the person she was writing about was me!  She put so much heart into writing about each of her family members and friends, and I know it wasn't just for her, it was for us.  Ann reminded me of who I truly was, not the infertile, washed up failure I felt like.

We had a bachelorette party.  We hung out just like good old times.  I felt like myself.  For those of you that don't know, I'm kinda an entertainer at heart.

But, the dress was still tight.  By example, Ann and her sister, Kris, inspired me to take better care of myself.  5 weeks later, I tried on my dress thinking it would fit perfectly and it was too big.  After a slight freak out session, I called a friend and co-worker who saved the day and took in my dress.  I did it, the one last thing that seemed unconquerable after our struggles was the weight.  And now the IVF weight was finally gone.

The wedding came and I felt great.  I had energy, fit in my dress and best of all, I was able to see my dear friend, Ann, have her dream come true.  She married her true love.  She held on to the happily ever after, and got it.

Ann and Jordi put an amazing amount of thought into their wedding, and the events surrounding it.  They made all of their guests feel welcome, appreciated and special.  We soaked it up.

I put on my dress the day of the wedding and momentarily thought about how I was expecting to be a little over 5 months pregnant at their wedding.  And, I told myself I was OK, and I truly meant it.


 When I was handed my cute little tin that represented fertility for Ann and Jordi, I said extra prayers. 


I listened to the vows that Ann and Jordi wrote and tears filled my eyes.  I felt so blessed to be able to stand up for them and support them in their commitment.  And, I felt so blessed to see my husband looking over at me during the wedding...I know he was thinking just what I was--that Ann and Jordi have an amazing love for each other just like we do.
Jamie and I had an amazing trip, we met so many wonderful people--family and friends of Ann and Jordi--were able to "recharge our batteries" and revisit the good we have in life.  It's so good to feel like me again.

Thank you, Ann and Jordi!


Friday, October 7, 2011

Home Study Written Up!

We got an email today from our social worker that our home study was written up, so we just needed to read through it, make corrections, and it would be sent in.  I just took a peek at it and I was a little surprised...it's pretty much a 15 page history of our life.  It's actually quite interesting to read (but maybe that's just because it's about OUR life!) She even wrote about how we met, and I appreciate that she commented that it wasn't my general practice to give my phone number to men that I met in bars!  It's going to be fun to read, and I want to enjoy it with Jamie, so I'll hold off until he's around so we can read through it together. I have a feeling it will make us laugh, and cry! 

I can't believe I am saying this, and might take it back if we don't get matched for a long time, but for now I can't believe how fast it's going!  There have been so many positive steps along the way.  Feelings of success, hope, excitement and progress....completely the opposite of our infertility journey.  I'm keeping the hope alive that we'll end up with another precious little addition to our family someday.  Can't wait, but I will!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Take that, Profile!

I worked my butt off on our profile last weekend and sent it to some of my peeps to proof it.  I have quite a few edits and updates to make.  On Sunday I woke up exhausted....late nights working on the profile and late nights working on work got the best of me.  I felt like I should finish updating our profile and send it off to our social worker.  But, I don't always like to do the things I should.  So, I revised my should for the day.  I should enjoy the real deal, the people in the profile.....live the profile.  So, that's what I did, and I am glad I did!

We packed a picnic lunch and headed into the local small town and ate by the damn.  It's pretty there and we fed the bullheads our leftover watermelon.  (What a random sentence!)  Then we devoured some yummy frozen treats.  And, we lived the profile.  It still needs to be updated, but I guarantee that some day I'll get it done!


 G explaining to me how a damn operates, coupled with lots of hand motions.  I love this kid!

Confusion at the Castle

We went to "the castle" for my mom's birthday dinner.  Griffin wore a tie.  So cute.  It lasted about 15 minutes.  But, boy was he proud those 15 minutes! 
An elderly couple that was sitting close by started chatting with us.  We quickly discovered that the woman had some short term memory loss.  She asked Griffin's name and age many times, and always followed by answers with "4 is such a fun age, isn't it?"  She also asked me if I "just had one?"  As you all know, that makes my top 10 list of lease favorite questions.  I smiled politely and said yes.  At least I think I think I smiled politely.  Then she asked my mom how many grandchildren she had.  My mom responded with, "One, but we are going to have more!"  So, I chimed in that we were in the process of adopting a baby.  (Which sometimes feels a little deceptive since we aren't even matched, but we are in the process, right?) Anyway, the couple thought that was great and asked us where we were adopting from and all of that good stuff.  (My response, "Minnesota" seems to shock everyone.)

Later on the woman commented that Griffin looked so much like me.  Her husband hit her arm and said, "Honey, he's adopted!"  I chimed in that Griffin wasn't adopted, but our next baby will be.

Apparently we'll be one of those families that may confuse others.  That's OK, it will all make perfect sense to us.

Maybe we'll just settle for a pickup truck?

Griffin and I were on our way to his friend's house this morning and he spotted a pick up truck that was for sale in a parking lot near our home. 
G: "Mom!  Look at that pickup truck!  I think it's there because it's for sale!"
H: "You're right Bud, it looks like it's for sale."
G: "Mom, can we buy it?"
H: "Sorry, Bud, we're saving our money for something special, remember?  Do you remember what we are saving for?"
G: "Yes, a baby."
H: "Yep, and adopting a baby is WAAAAAY better than a pickup truck."
Pause
G: "I think a pickup truck would be much better."
H: Laughing.
G: "I guess I want a pickup truck AND a baby!"

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#2!

I just logged into my personal email account and found a very happy message from LSS--we've moved up to #2 to get in the profile book.   Ya-hoo!  Bring on the caffeine, I may be inspired to pull an all nighter to finish up our profile!  To those of you that offered to proof it--get ready!  :) 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Family Photos--Update

We've had a whirlwind of a week....Jamie and I took an amazing trip to California to see one of my dearest friends get married.  We had a great time meeting new people, catching up with old friends and just being "ourselves" for a few days...ya know, the people we are when there isn't an ounce of stress in life!  The wedding was absolutely incredible--words can't describe it--I'll post some photos later. 

I got home to a great present...these fabulous photos from Judd Sather.  (See my previous post about family photos here.)  He did a great job capturing Griffin's personality, the affection between me and JT and "us".  The three of us as we wait to adopt.









Monday, September 19, 2011

Family Photos

I know someone that had family photos taken, and a few days later one of the family members was killed.  Those photos are cherished now, and send a reminder to me to capture moments in time whenever I can.  (Yep, that's why I have a camera glued to my face!)

However, there was a time that taking family photos was hard for me.  I remember my good friend and photographer Mandi from amanda rae photography (by the way look at the cutie on the far left of her website) came to take our photos.  She got done and I bawled.  Bawled because there were 3 of us in the photo and there should have been 4.  And, I don't mean "should have been" like I wish there would have been, I mean "should have been" as in we had a miscarriage and the baby that would have been born wasn't there.  I felt like someone was missing. 

I can look back at family photos and tag them with something...."that one was taken the day before I found out I was pregnant, only to miscarry 3 weeks later"....."that one was taken just as we started IVF....the IVF that ended in an early miscarriage". 

Yesterday we visited an old friend and checked out his new, amazing photography studio.  He took our photos.  The three of us.  And, he took some of Jamie and me.  Just the two of us, stronger than before.  The photos Judd took will be our "those were taken as we waited for our adoption" photos.  And, for the first time in a long time, they won't be photos of what was missing, but what will be.  They aren't photos of me feeling empty, with no life growing in me.  They will be photos of us, a family, a team, the three of us that have so much to look forward to.  

After we got done with photos, Jamie, Griffin and Judd were singing and playing the guitar (yes, Judd has the loft set up for a band!) and another photographer walked in.  His sister and brother-in-law followed.  She had a big swollen belly, I figured she was coming in for maternity photos. 

You know what?  I wasn't jealous.  I didn't think about how she "wrecked" my day.  I didn't even think, "She's so lucky, I hope she realizes it".  I thought she was coming in to take photos of her belly, that's it.  I sat there in my dress and heels and reflected on that....I was happy where I am.  I feel healthy and fit again.  I don't feel empty.  My empty feelings have changed to a fullness of hope.....full of a growing baby that isn't growing physically in me, but is mentally.  I don't understand why we've been brought on this road, but it's  our road and we're making the absolute best of it.

By the way, the woman was coming in to have her 1 week old baby's photos taken.  He was adorable.  We talked about babies.  We told her we applied for adoption.  It's so fun to share our news....kinda like being pregnant, but different.  It's like opening up that we've struggled, but we aren't giving up. 

And, someday, I'll be the woman with the one week old baby getting his/her photos taken.  I have a feeling I'll be crying the whole time, crying happy tears. 
  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That's sounds great, but really?

I was teaching Sunday School the other morning (you guessed it, Sunday morning) and someone asked me about how the adoption process was going.  Then she commented that I'd probably be one of those people that adopted and got pregnant.  (Note: Remember, we were in the process of completing our adoption paperwork and got pregnant.  Then, we lost the baby.)  I commented, "Yeah, that would be great, but I don't even know that we'll make that an option again."  She looked confused.  I responded, "You have to make getting pregnant a possibility first, after 4 losses, we aren't sure we are willing to do that again."  Then she went on, "Oh, you just never know, I bet it will happen." 

Really, people?

Honestly, I feel like at this point, if we wanted to get pregnant, we could make it happen.  It may be costly (mentally, physically and financially), but it could happen.  For Pete's sake, it's happened 5 times! 

The scary part is STAYING pregnant.  We don't know enough about our losses to pinpoint and prevent a future loss.  I understand that sometimes you have to take risks to get the reward, but look at our history.  It was hard to get pregnant.  We did, and were blessed with Griffin.  Followed by difficulty getting pregnant, $30,000 in medical expenses to achieve pregnancy, and 4 miscarriages, back to back.  4.  What would you do?  See what I mean?  It feels safer not to go there.  I want babies to live.  Live.  Have a chance at life. 

I'll hear more comments like this one.  And, I'll respond the same way.  Somehow I want to try to get people to understand.  And, it's hard.  I wouldn't have understood 3 years ago.  But, unfortunately, I understand today. 

Follow Up to My Facebook Rant

The other day I was ranting about Facebook and this little game about posting X weeks and what you are craving, even though you aren't pregnant.  In my world, pregnancy is not something to laugh about.  Not even a little.  My sister-in-law put the BEST post on her FB wall and I just had to share it here.  (I hope that's OK, Jesi!)

The link she posted:
feelyourboobies.com Jesi's comments: I think breast cancer awareness posts are great. It never hurts to get the word out there. I didn't post the purse game...mostly because I didn't think my grandpa or mother-in-law would appreciate the humor ;) And I didn't post the pregnancy one because, knowing my history, the second I wrote that I'm sure I'd actually be preggers! But mostly because I thought of someone I love that would do anything to be able to post that on her wall ♥ So...here is my breast cancer awareness post.

How great is that!?!?!

Then she posted a link to this blog.  http://www.hannahweptsarahlaughed.com/2011/09/im-0-weeks-and-craving-a-baby/  Wow.  I kinda wish I had the guts to post on FB that, "I'm 0 weeks and craving a baby."  But, I'm too afraid I'll sound like some weepy-poor-me infertile woman that can't let go of our unfortunate circumstances.  Someday I'll get some more guts.  In the mean time, I'll let my sister-in-law stick up for us infertiles! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

And just like that....

We're #5.  Another family has a baby that they are lovin' up, and we're one step closer to getting in the book!

I made a few updates to our adotion profile pages and showed them for the first time "publicly" to a friend today.  She loved them.  No changes.  And, she said she'd pick us.  She said the pages show who we truly are, and since she's once of my "besties" she should know.  :)

I have to finish page #4, then there will be lots and lots of eyes on it for two reasons.  1) Just to make sure I didn't make some crazy mistakes.  2) Because it's good to get support, it's what has gotten us this far.

Hope.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Adoption Profile

I spent a big chunk of the day working on our adoption profile, it felt good to get a good start on it and I had a lot of fun.  (Fun once I figured out the software...there were a few sketchy moments.)  In the end, I felt like our profile would give a good, accurate, real glimpse of our life to potential birth parent.  I was tempted to add in some photos to show the real us, see below.  Don't worry, I left these out.

This is our pool table.  We don't play pool.  Pretty much never.  OK, when we host choir kids for church or have the occasional guy night maybe it gets used.  I used it the other day to sort socks.  It was necessary to have a giant spot for this daunting task because we had a huge laundry basket full to the top with socks.  Seriously.  It was one of those deals where we'd just grab the socks we needed for the day and kept adding to the basket.  Not cool.  Jamie is GREAT at doing laundry.  He hates matching up socks.  So do I.  Anyway, I got the socks matched up and here are the leftovers.  A week later, or was it two weeks?  I can't believe I can write this much about mismatched socks.  Anyway, this would be a nice addition to our profile, no?

This is our garden.  There are two basil plants and some walking onions in there.  Somewhere.  We tilled (ok, Jamie tilled) it up this year so that we could plant tomatoes, peppers and herbs.  But, it was a cool spring, then we got busy.  And, you know what?  We love the RESULTS of a garden, but we don't like TO garden.  Oh, and yes that's a soccer goal by the garden.  You never know when you'll want to play soccer.  The reason it's there is that we "only" have a 3 car garage.  And we have 2 vehicles, but one has to be parked outside.  Want to know why?  We seriously have way too many blow up giant things for the lake.  No lie.  A huge ball to crawl in, a ginormous slide and other treasures.  Treasures that are apparently worth parking outside for. 

In our defense, here are some of the delicious veggies in our crisper.  We signed up for a CSA this year instead of gardening.  Smart, smart move.  Thanks, Wendy, for the idea!  We get farm fresh eggs and all sorts of amazing produce. 

So, I'll leave these out of the profile.  But, if we have a meeting with a potential birthmother that asks if I like to garden, I'm telling her the truth!