Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Time Flies

So someone asked me not that long ago if I was still writing on my blog. Well, as you can see, I haven't posted anything since last June. I guess the answer to that question would be a big fat no! I decided today though that I would write a little update since so much has happened.

I have to really think back to all that has happened since June. Let's see...we had a really fun, relaxing summer, full of good times. Then school started and we completed our home study with our adoption agency. That was quite a process, but we are really lucky to have a wonderful social worker (Amy) that is in charge of our case. After Amy came to do her last visit to our home, she told us we passed with flying colors. What a relief that was! The home study was finalized and signed off by the state in October. Then we began the dreaded waiting period.

Waiting for a placement was something neither one of us was really looking forward to. It's a time period where everyone and their dog asks you how the process is going, all of the people around you either get pregnant or give birth, and you just continue to smile, say everything is fine, and explain that you are still, still, still waiting, waiting, waiting. It's a time filled with hopefulness, nervousness, and a lot of patience, which I do not have a lot of. One would think that teaching kindergarten would have taught me how to be extremely patient, but not in this case. I found myself everyday checking my phone and my email for just one glimmer of hope or information.

In November things started to turn around. We were very busy with work and then one day UIHC called to say that we were on the top of the donor embryo list. It was finally our turn! We made the required appointment at the clinic. During our appointment, I again had to get poked in all areas, we had to take a weird psychological test, and we also got to look at the donor profiles. It took about 4 hours in all and we came away with a lot of information about the procedure and even got to pick out what donors we wanted to use. We were so excited to finally be moving in the direction of possibly becoming parents. Sometime during that day, I turned to Eric and said that now that we were doing this procedure, of course the agency was going to call and tell us that a birthmom wanted to meet us. We laughed about how that would be just our luck and then what would we do?!

Well, literally one hour after returning home from the clinic, that is exactly what happened. We were standing in the living room of our neighbor's house when my phone rang and it was a social worker from our agency calling to say that a young teenage girl had looked at our profile and wanted to meet us in a few days. My mouth about fell to the floor! I turned to Eric and told him that he was not going to believe what just happened. Talk about shock!

After much thought, we decided to meet with the young couple who had requested to meet with us. We knew there was a chance that the embryo procedure might not work and we didn't want to turn away meeting a birthmom when we had already been waiting so long. We decided that if nothing else, we would get our first meeting out of the way. If she chose us, then we would deal with that when it happened.

A few days later we met with the young couple. It was an interesting meeting to say the least! Not knowing what that type of meeting would be like, we really didn't know what to expect. The young mom was due around Christmas and she was having a girl. The idea of having a little baby around for the holidays seemed like the best Christmas gift we could ever get! After talking for a little over an hour, we left not really knowing how we felt about the whole thing. We didn't really connect with the couple, but didn't know if we were really supposed to. Something in our gut told us that maybe this couple wasn't the right fit for us. We knew we would be connected for life to the couple since our adoption will be open and we were not super comfortable with the whole situation. It gave us a lot to think about, but we did feel like we were lucky to still have the option of the embryo transfer.

Thanksgiving was the following week and of course we talked a lot with our families about the meeting. Everyone agreed that maybe this wasn't the right situation and things would work out the way that God wanted them to. A couple of weeks later we found out that the young couple had decided to parent on their own and I often wonder how they are doing today.

Somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I got one of the most devastating phone calls. The clinic called and said that they had again spoken with our insurance and that we would be responsible for far more money then was previously told to us. The procedure was going to be extremely expensive and we would be expected to pay the money upfront before the embryo transfer was done. I was shopping at the time and immediately drove home and told Eric the news. All the money we had saved up towards an adoption would now have to be used for the embryo transfer. What if the procedure didn't work? Then we would not have any money to use to adopt. We had to have insurance money in order to move forward with the procedure and now that was gone. We cried and cried and cried. Why was everything always so hard for us? Why did it seem that just when good things were happening, everything had to come crashing down?

From the very beginning of our journey to becoming parents, Eric and I had always said that we never wanted money to be the reason to stop us. Now here we were, faced with the very thing we were the most afraid of. I was so pissed that someone sitting in an office somewhere at an insurance company was going to keep me from ever giving birth to a child. I couldn't believe that with everything we had already gone through that this was happening to us. I remember going to school the next day and crying with my coworkers. They hugged me and I cried more. I remember telling them that I just wanted to be a mom and I didn't understand why the world wasn't allowing me to do that.

For days I felt like the world was against us. Now not only did the young couple not choose us, but we didn't even have the embryo transfer to look forward to. Christmas was right around the corner and I was super grouchy. I felt like all I did was wear my crabby pants every single day. Winter break and a few days off of work couldn't
come fast enough.

While on Christmas break, I began to feel a little bit better. I decided to continue to have a positive attitude and thanks to Eric, I convinced myself that good things were to come. Then two people close to us announced they were pregnant and I was right back in my hole of depression. I hated being upset about it when I should be happy for them. Of course I was excited for their news, but I was also mad that it wasn't happening to us. It's so exhausting being happy and sad at the same time. I can't begin to explain how often that has happened to us and I was just tired of having to act like everything was okay. While at my in-laws for Christmas, I sat upstairs in the guest room crying by myself. It was just too much to take and I needed a break.

In January we went to a couple of trainings with our agency. It was really great to be around other couples in the same situation as us. It made us feel a little more normal and we could talk about things and not feel like no one understood. Just being in the same room as other adoptive couples made me feel better because I knew that we were not alone.

In April it will have been a year since we started the adoption process and over 5 years that we have been trying to become parents. I have learned so much about myself, the strength of our marriage, and life in general during all of this. I can't say that I ever thought this would be the path we would be taking, but I can say that I am glad to be on this journey with such a strong, supportive husband. Eric is going to be one heck of a father someday and I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be an awesome mother as well. Our future baby is going to be pretty darn lucky to have us and we will have such a story to tell them about how they came to be part of our family!