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!" 


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."


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


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!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011


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.