Wednesday, September 28, 2011


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: 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 ♥ is my breast cancer awareness post.

How great is that!?!?!

Then she posted a link to this blog.  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.


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!  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saying too much?

I struggle with this one a lot.  We've been open about our infertility for quite some time now...I think about a year publicly?  Maybe two?  It's all a blur.  I'm not afraid to talk about it, but when I do, sometimes I feel like I open my mouth and don't stop.  I'm jsut that way, I'm an open book.  Want to know something about me?  Just ask.  I wonder....does it make people uncomfortable to hear our story?  Do people think I am weird?  Do they feel pity?  Are they tired of hearing about it?  Should I have been more vague?  Are they judging me for what we've been through and the decisions we've made?  I don't want to be weird--well, not TOO weird, a little weird is just fine.  I want people to like me, not pity me.  I want to quit beating myself up over if I am saying too much.  But, what I am going to do, take a poll after I talk to someone about it?

I WANT to raise awareness about the topic.  It's real.  It's serious.  It's really, seriously painful.  It feels lonely, scary, disappointing and helpless.  I WANT to help others.  I'd do anything to make others feel like they have someone to talk to, that there is HOPE.

What has talking about it done?  I've been connected to women I would have never known (some I haven't even met in person), that needed an ear or wanted advice or real first-hand information on procedures, drugs, loss.  It's brought really amazing people into my life.  It's shown me that people care. 

I HOPE that my openness has brought awareness to others.  Helped people to be more sensitive.  I hope that people think we're a nice couple making the best of a bad situation.  But, sometimes my insecurities take over and I wonder and worry about what people think of our openness, about our decisions, about us. 

Sometimes I need to remind myself that infertility is a life changing medical issue.  It's uncomfortable for some to hear about, but if I don't make and effort to talk about it and bring awareness, then I'm hiding from it.  It shouldn't be uncomfortable, and I hope that by sharing our story, it will put faces and names to infertility and miscarriages....making it less taboo to talk about and getting those that suffer from it the support they need.  So, I guess there I have it.  I'll keep talking and hope people will keep listening.  And, will only think I am a little weird. 

My Love-Hate Relationship with Facebook.

I love Facebook.  I am a people person.  I am the kind of gal that wonders what such-and-such person that I used to work/go to school with, etc. is doing.  It's connected me to old friends. (Happyfull :) ) It's connected me to people I have never met that are struggling with infertility.  At dark times when I had a hard time being social because of grief and loss, I could be social through Facebook. 

I also hate Facebook.  I hate that it starts gossip.  I hate it when people are trying to one up another.  I hate it when people are all about themselves.  I hate breast cancer awareness games when I feel like if you want to raise breast cancer awareness, you should post that you recommend getting a mammogram in your post, not that you are 6 weeks and are craving a Twix!  And, this is why:
I can handle it.  Over the years that we have battled with infertility, I've embraced and celebrated my friends having babies.  With true happiness.  But, I have also felt the pain.  The pain of empty arms when I want nothing more than to care for more children.  Our children.  So, to have a game made out of what appears to be pregnancy and pregnancy cravings is not funny to me.  Not one bit.  It gives me a twinge of pain, but I know for others it's much more painful.  Call me sensitive.  Call me whatever you want.  But, walk a year in my shoes and I guarantee you'll be sensitive about it, too.

Going through this has made me sensitive to other issues, too.  And, although I'm not going to pretend to understand others feelings all the time, I try.  I really, truly try. 

Less Organized

The other day I was doing a few things around the house and thought "urrrrgh" every time I turned the corner.  I opened the junk drawer--so disorganized I had a hard time shutting it.  I went in the laundry room--what happened to that great sorting method I developed where each of us had our own basket?  Toys.  Holy cow, they are all over, not in their nice little organized bins and cubes.  Huh.  Oh yeah.  Every month when we were trying to get pregnant and we didn't succeed, I'd organize.  It was my way of controlling one little bit of our spinning-out-of-control-life.  With adoption, there is so much up in the air, nothing is predictable and every story is different.  Right now there isn't a lot of disappointment, so my expectations have changed.  I still have hope, but time lines have disappeared.  Am I disappointed that our family hasn't grown yet?  You betcha.  Do I feel the need to control something, even a junk drawer, to cope?  Nope.  So, here's where we are at, a junk drawer that's full of displaced junk and may be forever.  (And, if you don't think this looks so bad, keep in mind that the scissors aren't in the scissors container and the highlighters are mixed in with the pens.  GASP!)

Yes, this is in our LIVING ROOM!  The toys are overflowing, and you know what?  I don't care. 
I'm busy enjoying life.