Saturday, February 28, 2009

Check These Out...

...if you haven't heard already, joy is bursting forth from the blogosphere! There are three wonderful announcements that I've seen recently that have just warmed my heart and filled me with hope and happiness for my blogging buddies:

Rebekah over at Heart Cries - She and her husband, Ben have a wonderful, unique match story, and Rebekah's excitement and love for their little boy on the way is truly heartwarming. I'm late in posting this, but if you haven't already been there, please congratulate them!

Nancy at Budintash - She and her husband, Bob are expecting!! Nancy has been "paper pregnant" for a while now, and waiting with the rest of us, so this is rare and exciting news that was a huge surprise to this beautiful little family!

Last but not least, Pattie at Pep's Thoughtful Spot - She and her husband, Brian have been waiting a long, long time (four years!) to become parents...and Pattie always has such a positive outlook. Well, this past week, they got THE CALL! They have a baby boy waiting for them and they will travel to pick him up this coming Tuesday. TALK ABOUT EXCITEMENT!!

I am so very happy for all these families...and I have a very strong sense of hope and optimism because of all this great news. The joy and excitement is contagious, check it out!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Glimmers of Hope

I've been longing to see our SW's name in my inbox for over two months now, and it finally happened yesterday! I'm not in any way getting my hopes up, because...well, we all know where that can lead. Still, it is nice to know there are birth mothers working with our agency! And you never know when/how the one is going to come along. So...we will be shown early next week. Part of me would like to get excited but I just can't right now...I can't risk getting my hopes up again for what could be just another round of false hope. That said, I feel like any news is good news for me right now. I just needed to hear something, to know that there is still a chance of hope on the way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pipe Tobacco = Yummy!

I'd like to thank Brooke from Dinkypops No More for her awesome 500th post giveaway, which I won!! :) I received my lovely Paul Robinett candle in the mail today and I am loving the "pipe tobacco" scent with which Brook surprised me. These candles come in many unique scents, and each one is made by hand. They are also special because they're made of soy and are therefore clean burning...nice!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sharing our Story

Get a snack and get comfy if you plan to read this entire post, it's a long one!

We're doing a writer's workshop in one of my classes this semester. My professor was an elementary teacher for years, and her purpose in having us practice this is for us to become comfortable with the process so we will be more likely to use this technique in our future classrooms. This past month, we've been working on a "writing project" where the only criteria was that our writing be about a topic that truly meant something to us. You guys can probably already deduce what I wrote about! The process has been quite lengthy, and very different from how I typically write. I think I normally go through the entire writing process in a few minutes or hours (depending on what I'm doing) and this was deliberately S.L.O.W, working on each draft of the final piece one at a time and really editing and revising carefully. At first I found this irritating, "So many drafts is tedious and just now how I work," I thought, but looking back on the process now, I think the slowness (and peer support, although that was initially annoying to me too) was beneficial. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to blend my personal life with my professional work, which rarely seems to happen. In any case, the culminating event was yesterday, when I read my piece out-loud to the entire my voice was shaking. I haven't felt that nervous in a long time! As you will see, my project is quite lengthy; however, I could tell people were really listening as I read. When I finished, everyone clapped and there were several sincere comments. One person even said I reminded her of her favorite author, Nicholas! In any case, this experience got me thinking about how and, perhaps more importantly, why I share our story. Obviously I get something from the sharing process too, or I wouldn't continue doing it, but I also enjoy giving a part of myself to others. I think when we open up what's on the inside, and risk everything that comes with that, we connect with others, and in turn make it easier for them to connect with us. As for the how, I will tell you that blogging is so much easier than sharing IRL! When I write a blog entry and post it here for all of you to read, I can't hear...see...and feel your reactions the way I could yesterday. I guess that's why I love comments so much, because they give me a taste of your reactions, which is meaningful. Happily, my experience sharing my writing in person was a positive one, but was really hard!

All that said, I am proud of the finished piece I wrote. I think it tells our story, from early marriage through infertility, to where we are now...waiting. And I did all that in seven pages, while it's taken me much more space to tell the story here. I know it's likely that lots of peopel won't even read this far and I'm okay with that, I get it. I am sometimes guilty of skimming really long posts myself. Still...if you did make it this far, and you're still going, I thought I'd share my writing piece here as well. As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!
Can You Imagine?

When you think about your own life, does it seem like the major events have unfolded according to your plans? My guess is that your answer to that question will be no. Whether consciously or not, we all have some kind of idea about what we will do, or what we want for our lives; however, the vast majority of us don’t expect the twists and turns our lives bring. I want to tell you a story about a life that hasn’t gone according to plans. I want to highlight some of those twists and turns, and explain how one life can be largely centered on waiting. When you think of waiting, what comes to mind? You may consider waiting in line at the grocery store, or waiting for your turn to buy concert tickets, or even being on a waiting list to get into a class. This is not that kind of waiting. Can you imagine waiting for something your life simply isn’t complete without? That kind of waiting is all-consuming and all together different. It can’t be met with patience alone.

I want to paint a picture of a little girl with big brown eyes, dark auburn hair, and freckles. She hugs her dolls tightly to her chest, and she loves to sing them songs. Already at such a tender age, she wants to be a mom. She plays house every day and she even begs her parents to let her bring her beloved baby dolls along on family outings. Her unyielding love for her babies only begins to be satisfied when her parents bring her a dog upon which she can lavish even more love and attention. With the dog, a female Bassett Hound named Duffy as her constant companion, the girl enters high school. She is a natural with real babies too. She is often the sought-after babysitter in her neighborhood, and she works in the church nursery ever Sunday, where the babies and parents love her.

Now a young woman, Melanie observes that she rarely has a “normal” menstrual cycle. Later she will wonder why this wasn’t of greater concern to her at the time. As we flash forward several years, we see Melanie as a young bride, recently married to Michael, the love of her life. Michael is a tall man with a large build, green eyes, and long brown hair. He loves computers, and he is very good at helping people, which Melanie thinks is a great characteristic. From the moment they first meet, Michael is romantic and sweet. Before the couple is even officially dating, Michael sends Melanie a bouquet of multi-colored friendship roses for Christmas. For their first Valentine’s Day, he takes Melanie to Toronto to see “The Phantom of the Opera,” which she has always longed to see. He even goes out of his way to have flowers, chocolates, and champagne waiting in the hotel room for them upon arrival. He is always thoughtful and caring, and he makes Melanie very happy. When he meets Melanie at age 24, Michael is ready to get married. He proposes to Melanie while they are visiting together in Scotland. He drives up to the lookout point for Loch Morlach, which is the highest loch in Scotland, and he proposes to the love of his life as they watch the sun setting over the loch. They are married a short seven months later, one year to the day they initially professed their love to one another.

As newlyweds, the young couple is living in a two-bedroom town home in Dexter, Michigan. Michael is working as a technical resource specialist at a computer support company, and Melanie is working at a daycare center where she cares for infants and toddlers. They are happy and are considering starting a family soon, so Melanie stops taking the pill. Nothing happens right away, but the couple isn’t concerned – after all, they are young with many years ahead.

Melanie misses a period and excitement ensues. The couple is overjoyed until they see the results of the home pregnancy test: negative. The missing period finally arrives half a month later, complete with raging cramps and uncontrollable irritability. This cycle continues for years, sometimes Melanie has a regular period, and sometimes she doesn’t. There are many times when they mistakenly think they are pregnant and the disappointment hangs over them like a wet blanket. The young couple is distressed, but they are also busy with work and other aspects of life. When Melanie turns 25, they decide it’s time to seek medical advice. Melanie goes to her family doctor and is put on some medication in an attempt to regulate her cycles. The medicine works, but despite the regularity, there is still no positive news.

Again, cycles of medication continue and time passes by. The couple charts Melanie’s cycles from day-to-day, which involves recording temperatures and keeping detailed notes for the doctor, including information that should remain private between a married couple. Finally, after three years with the family doctor, including several different medication trials, each lasting six months or more, Michael and Melanie are referred to a fertility specialist. The couple is told at their first appointment that they have a 50% chance of achieving pregnancy. The doctor tells them they need to consider how far they will want to go with treatments. The physical possibilities are nearly limitless; however, the same cannot be said for the emotional and financial considerations.

By this time, Melanie is 28 and Michael is 32. The couple has been longing to start their family for six years, and actively pursuing that goal for more than three years. Melanie feels relieved when she hears the doctor say she would like to be aggressive with their treatment plan. There are thee surgical procedures scheduled for the following month, one of which is an out-patient procedure that will be done in the hospital. This is a stressful and overwhelming time for the couple, but they very much want a family so they stay the course. The surgery reveals the disorder, PCOD, or Polycystic Ovarian Disorder, which is thought to be the primary reason pregnancy has been so difficult.

The next year-and-a-half flies by as the couple continues to seek treatment for infertility. During this time of hormone educing drugs, daily injections, semi-weekly blood work and ultrasounds, the couple receives a bill charging them $4,000 to cover the “exploratory surgery” for which the insurance company initially paid. As is only possible in a bureaucracy, this somehow triggers a red flag for all of the treatments the couple has been getting. They begin receiving bill after bill of treatments already paid. They dispute the charges and write appeals, all to no avail. Their medication and blood work is no longer covered by insurance.

Treatments are continuing during this time, but the emotional and financial expense does not pay off. The couple endures “miscarriages of the heart” time and again as they pour all of their resources into their quest for children. With scheduled sex and stacks of unpaid medical bills, the couple is in a perpetual state of depression and despair. “This cannot continue,” thinks Melanie, as she sits in the living room one day. Watching the sun streaming in through the windows as the day draws to a close, Melanie is exhausted. The debt is mounting rapidly, now reaching upwards of $20,000, and the emotional price tag is even higher than that.

As she watches the sun, Melanie feels a sense of despair growing within her like a yawning cavern. She sits there in that spot for what seems like hours, only minimally comforted by the presence of their two dogs, a female Jack Russell Terrier named Ditto, and a female Bassett Hound named Dinah. Michael comes home and he can see that Melanie is upset. They sit and talk for a while, and then the tears come. Melanie cries heaving sobs, born from years of disappointment and pain caused by infertility. “I think we have to change, we have to do something different,” she says. Michael nods and says, “What can we do?” “I want to adopt,” says Melanie. This is not the first time the topic of adoption has come up, but until this point, Michael has not been ready to change tactics, or even to discuss adoption very much. This time though, he feels differently. He can see that his wife is emotionally spent, and deep down, what he really wants is for Melanie to be happy…to see her smile again the way she did in the early years. “Look into it and then we can go from there,” he says.

In that moment, Melanie feels peace like she hasn’t experienced in a long time. The truth is that she has been wanting to adopt…wanting to halt the unproductive and endless cycle of turmoil called infertility for a long time now. Knowing Michael as she does, she is aware that while he can sometimes be more reserved when it comes to momentous changes in their lives; her husband means what he says. The realization has hit both Michael and Melanie that, although their quest had, for a time, been about pregnancy, it was much more deeply rooted in the larger goal of parenthood and family. What they want most is to be parents, and to raise a family together, not simply to be pregnant.

That day in the living room marks a positive change for Michael and Melanie. Even though they know adoption will be a long and complicated process that will require a great deal of dedication on both their parts, they feel a renewed sense of hope beginning to form. They really hadn’t been able to see how much of a negative and all-consuming process they had become involved in until they were more removed from infertility by choosing adoption. Melanie immediately begins doing research on adoption. She searches the Internet and comes up with an absolutely overwhelming amount of information through which to sort. The couple visits Barnes and Noble where they purchase several books about adoption. Melanie’s hunger for information is almost insatiable and she devours more than six books in only a few weeks time.

The couple has some big decisions to make. First and foremost, they have to decide whether they want to pursue domestic or International adoption because this is an important distinction in the type of process they will follow. They discuss the two options and discover that they both feel pretty strongly that domestic infant adoption is the way they should go. The next big decision is whether to use an adoption agency, attorney, or facilitator. Most of what Melanie has read either focused on using an agency or doing a private adoption through an attorney. Melanie does a little more research and requests information packets from three agencies and two attorneys. The couple attends a free informational seminar at the first agency on their list, Hands Across the Water. Although this agency specializes in International adoptions, they also handle domestic infant adoptions and, according to written information, seem to have a good reputation.

The meeting Michael and Melanie attend is somewhat unsettling to both of them. Not only is the speaker primarily focused on International adoption, the whole agency seems to be run more according to numbers and money and less according to real people and real lives. The couple leaves the meeting feeling a little discouraged, but they continue their quest for the right agency. Meanwhile, they have received information from the two attorneys, and the prices for a private adoption alone, leads them to decide for sure that they will use an agency. Not only are attorneys generally more costly than agencies, but they both feel an agency will be more approachable and more able to meet their needs.

The next agency Melanie investigates is Catholic Social Services (CSS) of Michigan. She has learned from a co-worker that CSS performs a lot of adoption services, so she requests information from them. They also have a free informational seminar, which the couple attends right away. There are supposed to be two other couples at the meeting, but as it turns out, the weather is terrible that day and the two other couples aren’t there. Michael and Melanie have both the adoptive parent counselor and the birth parent counselor to themselves. The meeting goes exceptionally well, and the couple is able to ask any and all of their questions. They are also asked some questions in turn, topics such as the length of time they have been married, ten years by this time, as well as the reasons for wanting to adopt, and beliefs/thoughts about adoption are discussed.

Melanie sits through the meeting thinking how very much she likes the adoptive parent counselor, Elly. Since she and Michael tend to be a textbook case of “opposites attract” in their relationship, she has some concerns that he might not share her feelings of rightness about this agency, and in particular about Elly. They leave the meeting right around dinner time. The early-May rain has stopped but the air is still damp and the sky is growing dusky. As they walk arm in arm through the parking lot, Melanie says to Michael, “So…what did you think?” Michael ponders for a moment and then says, “I really liked that woman!” In that instant, Melanie feels a sense that they are exactly where they are meant to be. She looks up into the sky and says a silent prayer of thanks as they make their way to the car.

The adoptive parent counselor has advised Michael and Melanie to “sleep on it” before making any kind of decision about whether or not to adopt through Catholic Social Services. She also advises that they might want to consider other agencies before reaching a firm decision. They entertain this notion, but in all honesty they both know CSS is the right agency for them. Not only are they completely comfortable with the agency workers, they also really like the fact that CSS specializes in domestic infant adoptions, which is what they both want.

The next step in the process is to fill out an application and pay the initial fees for processing. They submit their application in mid-June and have an intake appointment with the agency two weeks later. During their intake meeting, they are given a stack of paperwork they need to complete. This includes multiple questionnaires for both Michael and Melanie to complete, physician approval forms, security clearance and fingerprint forms, personal reference forms, as well as an in-depth “adoptive parent profile” they each needed to complete.

The paperwork phase of the process is extremely lengthy, and there are some frustrating bumps in the road for the couple. Melanie wants to complete the paperwork as quickly as possible, while Michael is more laid back and reserved about this phase of the process. The forms they need to complete are intensive, asking questions ranging from family and childhood background to thoughts about parenting, race issues, discipline, strengths and weaknesses of the couple and their marriage, medical history, and so on and so forth. This is a dossier of the couple’s entire life history, and at times the sheer magnitude of paperwork, forms, and procedures that need to be completed is completely daunting. Their budget is also a concern during this time, because the couple needs to save up a considerable chunk of money before they will be able to become active in the “pool” of waiting families. Although they are happy and hopeful about the road they have chosen, there are times when they both question what they are doing and exactly how to proceed.

During this time, they attend a series of four adoptive parenting classes, which are very enlightening. The couple is able to learn more about the theory of open adoption, which is highly encouraged by the agency. At first, the notion of open adoption, where the birth family remains in contact with the adoptive family and child, is extremely scary to both Michael and Melanie. They fear this will be very complicated, and despite having read positive information on the topic, they are hoping they will have a situation that doesn’t require an extreme level of openness on their part. This changes; however, during their adoptive parenting classes when they got to meet several people from all members of the adoption triad, all of whom are strong advocates for open adoption.

They meet three different adoptees, two from an open adoption and one from a closed adoption. The difference in life outlook and attitude between these people is astounding, and this goes a long way towards reinforcing the notion that open adoption is best for the most important people in any adoption: the children. Michael and Melanie also meet three adoptive families, each of whom have interesting and unique stories to share. All three of these families highly recommend open adoption. The couple also meets two birth mothers, only one of whom is in regular contact with the children she has placed for adoption. The birth mother who does not know the whereabouts or status of her children is much more volatile than the birth mother from the open adoption. She states that every time she sees or hears a negative news story involving the death of a child or child abuse, she questions if it could be her child. With tears in her eyes, she says that adoption is a horrible shadow amongst which she tries to live her life. She feels that if she only had some answers about the well-being of her baby, she could be happier. This comprehensive and well-rounded view of all sides of the adoption triad is extremely beneficial to Michael and Melanie as prospective adoptive parents. They leave the classes feeling much more secure in their knowledge, and even find themselves hoping they will have an open adoption situation in the future, rather than wishing for an adoption in which the birth parents are unknown.

The couple works hard for the next several months, saving money and completing forms and paperwork. A good friend helps them raise over $600 towards their adoption fund by throwing them an open house. A few weeks before Christmas, Melanie checks the mail and is cynical when she sees the pile of junk and bills in the mailbox. One letter catches her eye because it looks like a check. Melanie thinks to herself, “Yeah I wish someone would mail me a check right about now.” She sits on the front porch outside the house and opens the mail. The day is sunny and warm for early December, and it’s nice to be outside in the fresh air. Melanie opens the envelope that looks like a check first, and is confused when she sees a familiar name at the bottom of a check for $1,000. Her cousin, Lauren, whom Melanie hasn’t seen in years, but who has recently become a New York Times best-selling author, has sent Michael and Melanie a check to help them with their adoption fund. The memo at the bottom of the check says simply, “For your adoption fund, because I believe in you,” As she reads that line and realizes what’s going on, Melanie begins to cry. For months now, the couple has been working, scrimping, and saving to build up their adoption fund. This generous and unexpected gift will speed their process along considerably. Melanie immediately calls her cousin to thank her, and then she calls the rest of the family to share this little ray of sunshine.

With a new spring in their step, the couple completes their paperwork and turns in a 47-page stack of papers to the agency. The next big step in the process is to schedule the home study. This is a part of the adoption procedure that tends to carry with it a lot of fear. The couple has heard stories of people they know being refused the chance to adopt because of a failed home study. Though their case worker is unendingly reassuring, and encouraging, it is difficult for Melanie, and to a lesser extent, Michael to relax during this stage of the game. To Melanie, it seems like so much is riding on how she and Michael will be able to present themselves to people who really don’t know them at all. They schedule their home study for early April, and spend the next several weeks cleaning and making repairs around the house in preparation for the big visit. The couple is tense during this time, and Melanie is increasingly uptight about what the agency will think of their home, and their answers to very personal questions. She is nervous, and her stress manifests itself into irritation. Michael and Melanie are somewhat short with one another and they have more than one spat during this time. Family members come by and help with work around the house; everything seems to be leading up to the ubiquitous home study.

The big day finally arrives, along with the last significant snow fall of the year. The house is sparkling, with a new screen on the front door, a new back screen door, and a new garage door. Melanie thinks, “Our house hasn’t looked this nice in a while” as she glances around one last time before the agency workers are scheduled to arrive. 5:00 rolls around and no one arrives. The couple is pacing in their living room for several minutes before Elly and her student intern pull into the driveway. With a sigh of relief, the couple answers the door. The next hour-and-45-minutes goes by surprisingly quickly. The tour of the house is over almost before the home study begins. The case workers barely look outside in the garage, or in the back yard, which is where Melanie focused a considerable amount of her time and energy as she prepared the house for this momentous occasion. The interview process takes place in the living room, where Michael and Melanie sit across from the social worker and her intern. They are asked a multitude of questions, ranging from their backgrounds to their marriage, to their ideas about parenting, their strengths and weaknesses, how their friends would describe them and so on. Though there had been a considerable amount of stress leading up to this visit, the time passes very rapidly and the couple feels at ease as they discuss their lives. The meeting concludes with Elly giving the couple some information on what will happen once they are in “the pool” of waiting parents.

Now that the home study is complete, the couple has to work to raise the next big chunk of money they will need to continue the process, which is roughly $3,500. They really aren’t sure where this money will come from, but they are feeling positive after having completed their home study. The couple schedules an appointment to get their taxes done at H & R Block in Ann Arbor. Normally they would expect to get a refund of between $1,000 and $2,000. The tax preparation takes a couple of hours because of all the itemized forms that need to be completed. When they are finally informed of their refund amount, it’s nearly impossible for Melanie to hold back tears. She blinks and looks at the screen twice before she is willing to believe her eyes. Their tax refund is $3,800, which is the largest credit they have ever received. The irony is not lost on the couple that this is almost exactly the same amount of money they need in order to enter the pool with the agency. Again, Melanie is left with a sense that, although things have not gone according to her plans, they have unfolded exactly as they should. She is elated as the couple leaves the tax office. Michael is happy too, but he needs to see the actual money before he can truly let down his guard.

The funds arrive a few weeks later, and the couple spends the next couple of months feverishly working on their “Dear Birthparent” letter, and adoptive parent photo album, both of which have to accompany their money in order for them to become active in the pool. As the person who enjoys writing most, Melanie works on the Dear Birthparent letter. This proves to be one of the most difficult and challenging hurdles of this entire process. “What do you say to the woman…or the people who are potentially going to give you the greatest gift of your entire life?” thinks Melanie as she sits at the dining room table, pondering whether or not there are any appropriate words for such a letter. Finally, after several revisions and reading the letter at least 100 times, the couple completes a final draft with which they are happy. Next on the list is a photo album, depicting both of their lives in pictures. This is also a daunting project; however, one of Melanie’s creative outlets has always been scrapbooking, and she finds a lot of joy in working on this album in particular. Projects of this sort always tend to take longer than anticipated, and this is no exception. Finally though, the letters are printed on formal paper, and the albums are printed and ready to deliver to the agency. The couple drops the materials off at Catholic Social Services, and makes a down payment on one of the largest financial investments, and the greatest emotional investment of both of their lives.

Finally, and at long last, they are PAPER PREGNANT. This is an exciting time and the couple celebrates with friends and family. On Labor Day, they take a trip to Babies R Us, where they set up a baby registry for their future son or daughter. These are moments Melanie has looked forward to her whole life, she feels immense happiness. At this point, there is nothing left to do except wait. Because the couple has chosen open adoption, they will not have any idea of when they may be matched with a birth family. They will be chosen to be parents by someone who is in an extremely vulnerable position. They may have months in which to get to know the birth family, or they may be told they have been chosen the day their baby is born. There are many uncertainties that are part of the package of adoption, and the ups and downs are an inevitable part of the process. Though it is far from easy, Michael and Melanie are both aware that they have to trust the process, and to have faith that, indeed, they are exactly where they are meant to be. They know that one of these days will be their day, and they know that, even though waiting is immensely difficult sometimes, they will eventually be able to experience the triumphs and tribulations of parenthood side-by-side. It is this knowledge, and this sense of faith that keeps them going, even when they don’t feel they will be able to wait one more second for their precious miracle.

This is my story. Think of this story, and ask yourself…can you imagine this kind of waiting? Next time you are frustrated by having to wait in line at the bank or grocery store, think of me, and my dear husband, Michael, and remember the kind of waiting we are doing every single day, every single second of our lives. It is indefinite and it is painful, but it is also ripe with potential and beauty. Without sorrow there can be no joy, and that notion is the only thing that keeps me going and allows me to sleep at night. I am that little girl with whom you started this story, and my yearning for motherhood is as strong now as it ever was. I don’t know when, but I know my time will come, and for that, I am willing to wait.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


Thanks to Eileen and Alicia for the "Honest Scrap" award! Here are the rules of the award:

1) Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in content or design.
2) Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap."
3) List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

And here are my honest ramblings:

1. I am seriously addicted to Facebook.
2. I think I might love my dogs too much, don't know how I will cope when they die.
3. I am afraid we will never be chosen to be parents.
4. I'm frustrated that I'm 33 and still working on my education.
5. My house is embarrassingly messy sometimes (OK, oftentimes!)
6. I often feel lonely at church and I'm not sure this makes sense.
7. I am terrified of death and losing the people I love.
8. I have an intense fear of escalators and falling down stairs.
9. I wish I was thinner...
10. I want to get laperoscopic bariatric surgery (for what I think are the right reasons) but I'm scared, scared, scared...of the consequences, possible complications, and of doing it alone.

Just like Eileen, I'm feeling maybe that was a bit too honest. I'm also not sure who to tag, because so many of the blogs I read have already done this one. If you're reading this and you haven't yet been tagged, consider yourself tagged now! :) I honestly find beauty and brilliance in all of the blogs I read, in one way or another. I'd love to hear 10 honest things from all of you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Name of My Game

OK, Friends...obviously I've been biting my blogging tongue lately since my last post was over two weeks ago. I know some of you have been wondering where I've been and I have to tell you, I've been trying to think about things other than adoption. I thought maybe even a break from blogging would help in that endeavor, but it hasn't. No matter what I do, or how much I tempt the fates by making myself insanely busy...adoption is still there in the recesses of my mind. Even when I ignore it, waiting is still the name of my game. I have been overwhelmingly busy, and that's 3/4 of the reason I've been absent from blogging lately, but I've also been testing my emotions during this time to see if a break made me feel any better. I probably don't have to tell you that it didn't...we all know how therapeutic blogging can be.

Before I continue, I'm giving you a wet blanket alert. You should know that if you read further, it's probably going to be depressing. Believe me, I've tried thinking about only those things for which I am thankful (there are many,) I've tried biding my time by preoccupying myself with other activities, and I've tried thinking positively. Purposeful though those things are, they are simply not enough to soothe my soul. My heart--and consequently my mind, always comes back to the unmistakable sense of longing I feel. I thought about sugar-coating this post, in an attempt to avoid being an emotional drain to my readers, but then I thought better of that idea. My #1 goal with this blog has always been to tell our adoption story (from my perspective) as it unfolds.

As it happens, this part of our process is not filled with warm fuzzy thoughts and uplifting news. We are where we are and that's just that. I talked to our social worker recently and there is still no news about any potential birth families. I feel discouraged by this. I've read several other posts, etc. lately that have indicated this is a very busy time for other agencies, so I'm wondering what's going on with ours? November and December were packed and now there's just nothing? I'm also worried because our home study was in late April last year and I have a feeling we're going to have to get that updated. I don't think it's a big ordeal, but it does mean more money and more paperwork, which, quite frankly, makes me feel exhausted. I just wonder when our time is going to come.

How much longer must wait and how much more must we endure? All we want is a family, why does it seem that's too much to ask? I want to be a mom...I need to be a mom, to raise a family with the man I love. Why does that heartfelt desire have to be so unendingly difficult? There are so very many questions in my mind and in my heart, I'm ready for some answers. I feel angry, disappointed, very sad. I HATE feeling this way. Negativity goes against my grain. I am a very laid back person, and there was a time in my life when I would have described myself as optimistic. The years of pain associated with infertility, and to a lesser extent, adoption have altered that aspect of my personality somewhat. I hate the notion that I may be a drag to the people who are trying to support me, but having said that, I can't change how I feel and I don't want to pretend to be someone or something I'm not.

In a big way, I feel so completely exhausted, and more than situationally exhausted, if that makes any sense. I'm tired of always being on the sidelines of motherhood...on the outside looking in. I'm tired of being the support person and the one who fills in the gaps for the real mothers. I want a leading role and I feel like I'm ready for such a role. HOW MUCH LONGER DO WE HAVE TO WAIT?

Whatever...there is really nothing more I can say tonight. I know that there is no way to succinctly explain everything that's on my mind. Anyone who could read minds would run screaming if they took a look at mine right now. I am spent.