Thursday, November 20, 2014

So much to do...

So it's been over a month since we've last posted... not much has really changed in the last month, besides the fact that we are running around like chickens without heads trying to get everything ready for our upcoming home study. When we started our adoption journey, many people we talked to told us about all the work it takes leading up to the home study, but you don't really realize how much work it is until you are in the thick of it.

For those who don't know, applying to adopt includes filling out approximately 5,785, 986 questions about your life, your spouse, how you sneeze, if you like lemons or limes, why you like one over the other, if you can spell Mississippi without singing the grade school hop scotch song, and if Jim has 10 apples and he gives away 3, how many pancakes do you have on your roof?! Okay... so maybe the questions don't follow that exact pattern, but we do have to answer at least 100 questions about ourselves, our upbringing, our families, our relationship, how we plan to parent, and what our hopes and dreams for our child/ children are. Don't get me wrong, all of these are great questions to consider, but when you are working, trying to get all the projects done around your house, getting ready for the holidays, and just dealing with daily life stressors, adding a doctoral dissertation to your to-do list can be a little much to take!

Like I've said, to get ready for the adoption we are also doing projects around our house to make the home study go much smoother. By the grace of God, we have an AMAZING landlord who has encouraged us to make any changes necessary and is helping to pay for those changes. So, Skyler and our best friend have replaced the shelving units in most of the rooms in our house, we are currently in the process of combining our office and our den into one room, we are getting our soon to be nursery ready for furniture and deep cleaning, and are organizing the whole house. It's a lot to do, and most days it feels like we don't get anything accomplished, but in the long run things are coming together.

What's really interesting is that when we tell people that we have to do all of this, they are shocked that people who can have children naturally don't have to do even a fraction of the things adoptive parents have to do. I think we could let that fact frustrate us, but I think we're to the point where everything that we have to do for the adoption is only making our love for our little love baby (that's what I've started to call our future child) that much stronger. The time between now and when our baby comes home will only help solidify our decision to adopt and make our sacrifices now well worth it in the future.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Hoarding

         It's safe to say I married a hoarder. S has a very hard time throwing anything away or going through things. We both know it's a psychological response to how he was treated as a child. The hardest part for me isn't the clutter, even though that does drive me crazy. The hardest part is the mental and emotional anguish he suffers when he has to go through things and get rid of them. Each time we do this it's like he's reliving the emotional abuse he suffered before his parents adopted him and it makes my heart break.

         Now that we are getting ready for our home study, we really have to clean and purge. I know this was overwhelming for S, but he did so good! He threw things away, made a garage sale pile, a donation pile, and truly evaluated why he was keeping things. Now that our little love baby is closer to coming home, S explained that he doesn't ever want our kids to accumulate stuff like he does. My husband never ceases to amaze me and I love his selfless spirit more and more each day!

#MicroblogMonday's

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Building your support system

         When we announced to everyone that we had decided to pursue adoption, most people were very supportive of us. Both of our parents told us how proud they were of us to begin our family through adoption. Our siblings came along side us and celebrated our choice to adopt. And our friends, both those who knew and didn't know about our infertility, congratulated us on the decision we had made. Yes, there definitely were some people who couldn't understand why we made that decision and tried to talk us out of it, which lead me to this blog post.
         When everything in life seems to be going like it should, whatever that looks like, the people who say they will support you through your ups and downs are pretty numerous. But when you start to experience hardships you really realize who is there to ride those emotional rapids with you. The people you might have thought were going to be there are all of a sudden "too busy" and can't offer the emotional support you need. We've experienced this quite a bit, at different times in our lives, and the same holds true regarding our decision to adopt. And it can be easy to focus on those that leave, but being the eternal optimist I am, I've chosen to focus on the unexpected support we've gotten.
         With all the cyber connections we have in today's society, it's easy to say you're still "friends" with people you met during school because you're Facebook friends. We all know that's not true. But when we announced to everyone we were adopting, one of my friends from high school and my undergraduate program, sent me a private message and offered her support in any way possible. We might not have spoken for several years, in person that is, but I can safely say she is one of our biggest supporters. She has come along side us and has gently offered guidance, but mostly she has just encouraged us and loved us. Just writing this now makes me tear up because of how genuine her support is. We've had a few other experiences like this that have helped us forget about those who question our decision and focus on those who support us.
         We know that it will definitely take a village to raise our little love baby, and I am so excited for them to meet the "villagers" we've chosen to take part in our lives. It can be hard to let go of those who you thought would always be the ones to help, but it's heart warming to know that people out there love our baby just as much as we do.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Application Day!

         We're turning in our adoption application today!!! We've decided on our agency and are ready to go full steam ahead into the next step of our adoption journey! Now to get ready for the homestudy and making our adoption profile- any words of wisdom you all can offer?
#MicroblogMondays

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Back to normal

          The hardest part of going through all the fertility treatments, in the past, was how the medicines effected me. Many may not know, but I have the paradoxical effect to most substances. Caffeine puts me to sleep, my Magnesium supplement wakes me up (it puts most people to sleep), and some vitamins can make me really hyper. So when we were told about the side effects of the fertility drugs, we knew I would either experience them all or I would experience the reverse. Lucky for me I had both experiences on different cycles! Yay! Oh wait...

         When I was in grad school I took a class on psychopharmocology (the study of medicines) and learned about the half life in medicines. The half life is how long the medicine stays in your body after you've finished taking it, as it works it's way out. It's important to know the half life because if a drug is in your system, but you think it's not, you can overdose or do more harm than help to your body. So about a month ago we learned that Clomid has a half life of 6-8 weeks!! No wonder I was going insane. Letrozol on the other hand, has a half life of a couple days. Either way, though, just like the side effects I had from birth control, I continued to have side effects from both Clomid and Letrozol for quite some time.

         So when talking to my mom yesterday it was really nice to hear how she feels I'm back to normal. We talked about how I lost myself through all those medical trials, but how now things are so much better. I know there will be hardships with the adoption process and I know it won't always be easy, but I don't have any paradoxical effects to love! No matter when our baby comes to us, the love I have for them already will just continue to grow and grow! Love also doesn't have a half life! We are in this 100% and can't wait to share that love with a baby and a birth mother some day!

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Maternity" Pictures

         Yesterday we took our adoption "maternity" pictures! It was so much fun, and to top it off our photographer is one of my friends from high school who is also a champion for adoption. We had the best weather and our fur child, Magic, got to wear his new bandana that says, "Can I be Your Big Brother?" It's so nice to finally have something positive to look forward to!


#MicroblogMondays

Thursday, September 25, 2014

What about IVF and surrogacy?

         When we announced that we were pursuing adoption most people were very excited for us. But there have been some who don't understand exactly why we're going with adoption instead of pursuing IVF or surrogacy. So here's my attempt to explain why we aren't going down those roads.

         Ever since I was diagnosed with PCOS I kinda knew that we would have to do infertility treatments just because that's the nature of the beast so to speak. I knew IVF was always an option, but for some reason I never felt pulled to pursue it. I knew it cost a ton of money and that results were never guaranteed. No matter how many times our doctors recommended that we look into it, we never did. Luckily Skyler feels the same way. After all the reactions to the medications I've had, I'm honestly terrified to see how my body would react to that procedure. I'm happy that IVF works for some families, but I know God has been shielding me from that pain because I couldn't handle it. Simply put, we're not pursuing IVF because we don't want to.

         When it comes to surrogacy, I didn't start looking into that until a few months ago. I don't really know that much about it, but I do know it would make my husband extremely uncomfortable to have another woman carry our baby. And frankly I would be totally jealous that she could carry my biological child, but I couldn't. Surrogacy reminds me that I'm broken. Again, I'm extremely happy it works for some people because they are the experts in their own lives. But for us, surrogacy feels strange and emotionally more painful.

         I know my perspectives on these topics are just that, mine. I don't want to impose my beliefs on anyone else, but I would also like people to just accept my decision. Once I go through the above explanation with people I then tell them that we are adopting because I know, without a doubt, that I can love an adopted child the same as a biological child. One of my friends who is also looking into adoption said this week, "my son/ daughter is going to be exactly who they are meant to be, they'll just be coming to me in a slightly different way." And I couldn't agree more! I feel God has blessed Skyler and my heart's with the ability to love a baby no matter how they come into our lives- an ability I'm proud to have!