…or pretty close… It’s kind’ve an annoying Post Headline, but truly, that’s how we’ve felt over the last few weeks.

It has been a really long time since my last post, but I have good reason. We were finally matched with a beautiful newborn!! Almost immediately after my last post.

It happened so quickly after months of nothing (even years of nothing, if you start from the very beginning). Our profile was selected by birthparents, and within 2 wks, we were bringing a warm, bundle home.

Because it happened so quickly, we weren’t really prepared. We still weren’t sure how old the child would be that would finally be placed with us. So, we had a mad shopping spree to purchase all of the furniture for a nursery, all the clothes, books, accessories like bottles and diaperbags and strollers and car seats basically in 4 days (so our homestudy could be updated). No time for a baby registry for this family!! I’m sure we were the two most lost looking parents-to-be at that store EVER! It was truly a “grab-and-buy” and there was very little time to think.

Our bundle has been here for several weeks now and I’m in love. DH isn’t jealous because I know he’s madly in love too. We’re also bone-tired in a way I cannot even begin to describe. I still feel a bit like a fraud when I’m at kid’s or baby stores buying clothes, and I say “no” when they ask if I need a gift receipt. Nope, not this time. This one’s for my baby. My perfect, sweet, baby.

Given my lack of attention to my blog, and my diminished capacity to think straight these days, I think it’s time to say farewell to you all. I’m so lucky to have found all of you on this venue to help through the rough times. Now that we have a wee one with us, our adoption quest and infertility challenges are more public, and I’ve since learned many people close-by have suffered through these challenges too, but in silence. Thanks for giving me a voice… even for a short time, and even though it was to a few of you… Many hugs to you all and I wish you all much happiness.

And, when I’m up at 4am, I may just still check in on your blogs to see how you’re all doing🙂

First, I want to thank you for the encouraging words. It meant a lot. It’s been a really rough ride. I can’t explain how frightening it is to see your loved one suffer from an illness so harsh, that they become someone else. I would look into their face, but the illness had taken their personality away and changed it into something I didn’t recognize.

The good news is, they’re out of the hospital and doing much better. Recovery may never be complete and treatment is ongoing, but I’m thankful to have my loved one back. I do miss having them around for emotional support… especially on days when I’m feeling a little blue.

On the adoption front, there were a few potential matches with children and we were  short-listed but then would be screened out near the end. I’m hoping that we’ve been screened out enough times that all the couples who are like us are now matched; maybe we’ll be the ones matched next.

I’ll admit that the first time we were told that we were not chosen, it was hard. It’s strange to feel so sad… to feel the loss of something that you never had to begin with. I guess at this point in my life, after all the disappointments, simply losing the ‘idea’ of something is hard. It gets a bit easier each time, but it still sucks. I feel like becoming a harder person is necessary to get through the rough patches; I’ve slowly resigned myself to the fact that we may never be the ones chosen. Maybe there’s something intrinsically wrong, not just with our homestudy, but with us… Are we that different? Are we not different enough? Sigh. You can’t help but feel a little insecure after a while.

I’ve gotta be honest with you, the few readers who still visit this blog (heck, I don’t even visit my own blog very often anymore): it’s really felt like a rough few months. I think I’m living through one of those times where life is testing my breaking point.

In addition to the anxiety of the adoption, I have a dear family member who suddenly got very ill, very fast. There were early warning signs, but none of us picked up on it until it all went so horribly bad. I come from a small but close family and to see one member suffer like that is truly heart-wrenching.  As a result, I’ve had to drop everything, and spend some time back “home”.

DH has been my rock through this. I thought I knew what despair felt like, but I was taken to a place where I no longer knew what was right or wrong. I couldn’t rely on my research skills to find new technologies, my values made no difference and my faith just didn’t seem to give me the answers I was looking for. Without answers or options, doesn’t it feel like there’s no hope?

I soon learned to take each moment — not even each day, but each MOMENT — as it comes. It’s hard and it feels like you’re closing your eyes and hoping you don’t step off a cliff. My family member is now slowly recovering, so I’m thankful. But I don’t know what the future will bring.

This has brought on so much anxiety in my life. I couldn’t concentrate on the work I was finally able to bring in consistently. I lost a client somewhere along the way. I wasn’t sleeping. Even now when I do sleep, I have terrible dreams.

Did I also mention that, on top of it all, we’re moving? We’ve finally bought a house (before all of this happened). What should be a happy time for me is just… not.

I’ve tried to stay strong throughout all this. One of my favorite songs (by one of my favorite artists, Kate Bush) has this line

“I should be crying but I just can’t let it show; I should be hoping but I can’t stop thinking…”

Well, that’s where I’m at.

For the last five years, my one and only wish has been to hold a child in my arms and call them “mine”. I still want a child so badly it aches, but all my prayers now are focused on healing the loved one who’s here with me now.

I haven’t been on much, but, as many people who are adopting can attest, there isn’t really too much to report on.

Every time I’ve wanted to post something, it was usually about something that made me grumpy. Don’t get my started on the A.pple i.Phone campaign. I don’t think any brand had ever made it so clear that long-haired, childless women were NOT its target market. I CRINGED each time the in sufferable ad about the pregnancy announcement came on. Watching it once was more than enough. And sometime in the summer, they decided to play it incessantly, at which point, I would either leave the room, or throw something at the TV. It was weird to watch that ad with anyone other than DH around… kinda felt like watching a movie with your parents and having to sit uncomfortably through the sex scenes you didn’t know were in the movie (“don’t react, don’t react, don’t react”). Then, there’s the ad with the new father, his newborn and the new grandfather (ok, that’s bearable), and the dad with his daughter (also somewhat bearable)… but, really, A.pple products don’t seem like they’re for the geeky-cool uber-kind of society anymore, but for people with kids. Fine, A.pple: Your ad agency clearly doesn’t want me in your target market, so I won’t buy your stuff. The only ad I didn’t mind was the girl with the short hair, but her nasally voice annoyed me after a few viewings.

Oops. I guess that was a rant, aching to get out.

On the adoption front… not much is happening. We’ve signed up with a few domestic agencies and are considering looking internationally as well. We’ve done several interviews and written a dozen variations of our profile. I would love to be placed soon, but logically, it seems that most people I speak to wait about 2 years for a referral. To occupy myself, I am staying very busy with a few contracts I’ve taken on. It’s important to keep my mind occupied, otherwise, I’ll just stew about all the things that make me grumpy until they explode out of me (refer to paragraph 2).

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything simply because there’s now very little to say… we’ve completed the homestudy, have a copy of the report in our hands and are in the process of sending it out to public and private agencies.

As we distribute our information to these agencies, I can’t help but feel… expectant. Even though my body isn’t carrying a baby, similar thoughts that I’d have when I was pregnant are constantly floating in the back of my mind. Like, what colour would we like to make the kid’s room? Will our new house have enough storage for toys? How will I manage to walk our beloved dogs and handle a stroller or toddler at the same time? If no one has a “shower” type celebration for us when we’re finally matched with a wonderful child, do I have the moxie to throw one myself or would that be presumptuous, and would I really care? I kinda like these thoughts, and I know it will likely take more than 9 months for a child to be placed with us (in fact, I’m braced for a two year waiting period) but I’m actually allowing myself to indulge in these fantasies every once in awhile.

Since the miscarriage, I stopped myself from really thinking about the actual changes in our life that a child would bring. It would hurt too much if it didn’t happen. But now, I feel a little bit more hopeful. Sure, it may be awhile, but I think it’s actually gonna happen.

I’ve made contact with a few public agencies in cities I’ve lived in before and we’re applying to a couple of private agencies too. I’ve made a couple of versions of our “prospective parent profile” and hope that they resonate with some of the birth families.

So, that’s it, that’s my update. I’ve been pretty quiet as of late, but I’m still popping into your blogs every so often (guilty of lurking!). I’m hoping everyone has a great summer and when anything interesting happens, you’ll see it here, promise!

Yesterday, we had another visit from our adoption practitioner. Our homestudy has been done for over a month, but we still haven’t seen our report (I won’t get into that). In that month, we inquired about a slightly older child who is currently in foster care. I know it was probably a bit too soon, but the child sounded so much like us… anyways, it turns out there is already a family who they will be placed with, but, because the child was a bit older than what our practitioner had expected from us, it prompted yet another meeting (still no homestudy report though).

I’m starting to get a little frustrated with this drawn out process, especially since it seems that nothing DH and I do is good enough.

First of all, we’ve had pretty great, stable family lives. We still like all of our siblings and get along great with our parents. They know about the adoption and provide support in so many ways. You’d think that would be good for our adoption, right? Wrong… it means that we won’t be able to identify with the idea of loss and the disappointments to come.

Also, we’ve traveled throughout our lives, experienced different cultures and can adapt to change really well. This also sounds like it would be a good thing for an adoption, especially if it is a bi-racial adoption… Apparently not: we might be seen as unsettled and flighty.

DH has a GREAT, stable job with incredible benefits to help us access a variety of resources. Hmmmm… that job means he’s likely working long hours and won’t have the time to help a baby or child adjust to the new home.

How about the fact that I stay at home and only take the odd contract, so I can be instantly ready for a placement? I’d be there 24/7, and could stay at home as long as I needed to in order to help the transition. Apparently, I might just be so career-driven, having worked for most of my life, that I’ll be plunged into a pit of depression from being away from work for so long after a child arrives. (does this mean I SHOULD be working now, or shouldn’t I? I’m so confused).

Okay, well, what about the fact that we’d be open to a child, not just an infant or baby? That’s gotta be good, since we always hear about the number of older kids who need families, right? It turns out that an older child might be too much for us to handle since we’ve never had kids (and apparently, volunteering and coaching and teaching don’t count).

So, yes, I’m a bit frustrated today.

You know what really sucks about being infertile? You go through failed IVFs and still have to listen to people preach about how many kids are available for adoption. So you go through the arduous adoption process, and then they keep reminding you that you shouldn’t expect a baby because there are very few. So, you decide after much reading, 27 hours of training, and soul-searching that yes, you’d be so happy with a child, if not a baby. OH, sorry, you’ve never had kids before, so really, that’s not a good option for you or the child.

GRRRRRR…..

It’s funny how the skills you pick up help you later on in unexpected ways. After the stunning failures of my IVFs, I thought I could lock up that experience in a dark closet in my brain and forget about it. Not so.

One of my pups (not really a pup, that’s just what I call him) has been limping and in pain for the last couple of days. He’s 10 but he’s still my hero. Whenever DH travels for work, this pup is the one who makes me feel safe. I guess he’s been showing his age lately… grey hair, arthritis etc. But it’s been getting worse since we’ve moved a few months ago.

He’s been taking some tablets from a vet for his arthritis. I think they’re called HCG (or is that something from IVF? See, the info is all locked up tight). At any rate, they haven’t helped at all, and yesterday, things were looking so bad that I took him to a new vet.

They took xrays of his hips and back. When I saw the results, my heart broke. He’s been in worse pain than he’s let on for so many years. His hips are bad and his back’s not much better. The vet did say that medication can help; a combination of a liquid anti-inflammatory and weekly injections.

She asked if I had any concerns about giving injections. No ma’am, not me.  I didn’t want to get into WHY injections don’t bother me, so I humored her and let her teach me how to give my dear pup subcutaneous injections in between his shoulders.

Easy peazy. He didn’t even react. He’s so brave.

I might make light of all this, but I was really worried for him. He’s my boy. He’s been with me through some rough times. Even though our IVFs didn’t work, at least it’s made me so comfortable with injections that I can help make him feel better. And I guess that’s the silver lining.

Yep, we’re done our homestudy. Another item checked off on the long adoption list of things to do.

It went ok, all things considered. DH found it very easy to talk and I found myself not talking much at all. Oh well. We covered a lot of material on our families, our childhood and even to past relationships (surprisingly, not so awkward since DH and I have known each other forever).

When taking inventory of our lives like this, we’ve gotta admit that we’re unusually lucky. Both of our parents are still together, our families are close and I love my in-laws. We never went through the rebellious teen years, did well in school and are pretty settled now.

So, you can imagine my surprise when our worker made it seem like this is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to adoption.

I understand that her role is to see how well we respond to different situations and react to different ideas she brings forward. But the fact that our lives are actually pretty boring apparently means we might not be able to understand some of the trying circumstances that birth families come from. Ok, I guess I get that.

But then again, even if we did go through some difficulties in our past, I still don’t think we’d ever be able to say to a birth family that I know what they’re going through. By virtue of my infertility, that’s going to be the case. Also, there are a myriad of issues a birth family might be working through and I don’t think I could even come close to imagining what that might be.

Now, I could have gone on the defensive and talked about volunteering on a crisis line, or watching a good friend struggle with the demons of addiction, or being there for a student who was weeping in my office because of her unwanted pregnancy (this was many years ago). But I don’t think that really matters.

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the life we lead and the experiences we’ve had. It’s true, we like hanging out with our siblings, we don’t drink that much (DH rarely even drinks socially), and our parents are still actively involved in our lives but I think that’s ok. And this is be no means a criticism of the homestudy process… I guess it’s supposed to force you to look at things from all perspectives. I also think it’s difficult to make a judgement call on someone’s lifestyle and ready-ness for a child in a few interviews. I gotta give kudos to the workers who do their best to distill our lives into one report.

Next step: the homestudy report needs to be completed and then we wait. We’ve put our name in to a couple of private agencies and plan to pursue a couple of public agencies, but I fear it will be a long wait.

So, what am I going to blog about now?  YIKES.

You’ll know I’m doing well when you notice that I haven’t been blogging much. After that last pitiful post, I heard from my client and suddenly I had another deadline coming up… FAST!

What this shows me is that I need to be working. When the slower periods last too long, my mind wanders to negative places (see previous post). Oh sure, I can fill my days easily enough, especially as I get settled in our new community, but when I wasn’t in school full time, I’ve been employed since I was 18. Self-employment is not for the insecure (ie. ME!). I keep wondering: why hasn’t my client called? Why isn’t anybody calling? Have I screwed up that last job so badly, they can’t even acknowledge me? If I want to make a go of working from home, I’ve gotta stop personalizing all of this!

I’ve just submitted a proposal for work with a government organization. This could be good if I’m successful. It would definitely be more stable! Of course, I’m not sure of my chances, because I’ll lose points for not being from the region (which actually counts for a lot in their evaluation). Oh well, I had to try.

AND, I was surprised to receive an email on Wednesday requesting an interview for a job I applied to months ago. I thought I didn’t make the cut! I know I’d rather work from home, especially because of the adoption but this job is the closest to my ideal job. It’s in my field, with a large organization whose values I believe in, the corporate culture is so good that it wins awards AND they’re known for their innovation. I think the interview went well… I never felt uncomfortable and it seemed like the interviewer was interested in what I had to say…? I went into the interview thinking “Meh, I don’t even know if I really want this.” After the interview, I decided I would definitely love the job.

We’ll see what happens. It’ll be at least 3 weeks before they shortlist to a second round of interviews. In the meantime, I have to bill my clients for the work done in February and prepare for a presentation at a symposium I’ve been asked to speak at. It’s back in my old community, so I’m excited about that!

In terms of the adoption, we’re almost at the end of our homestudy interviews. I think after this week, our practitioner will be ready to start drafting her report. My feelings during the process have gone from positive to negative and back again. I think my interest in the job is also caused by the realization that we may not get a placement for at least a year. That seems like such a long time.

Ok, I should stop now and catch up with everyone else! Have a good week!

glass of red wine that spilled

My contracts finished last week, so I’ve been able to go through the homework from our adoption training sessions. These have to be handed in during our next homestudy this weekend.

I’m finding it really difficult to get through these questions without crying at least once. Admittedly, I get depressed when I’m not working. Add my period to the mix and the fact that I’ve never gotten over that little bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ve miraculously conceived… and suddenly, I’m not in a good headspace. I thought after we made the decision to adopt, I’d get over it, but that’s not entirely true all the time. Guess I’m just feeling the loneliness of being in a new town so far from my friends, the anxiety of being unemployed and hopelessly infertile.

Here I am, answering questions about the life I would give a child. I’m forcing myself to imagine all of the things we’d do together as I prepare responses to the questions on what I can do to support their development and what DH and I have to offer. First, I imagine all of the birthdays and holidays with our families. Then, I’m imagining that I’m sitting anxiously during our first visit to our family doctor. Next, I’m asked to take stock of our life and inventory all of the things I can offer a child to satisfy the basic needs of life, the amazing extended family that are all waiting his/her arrival, the Church and school which are both walking distance, the parks and conservation areas where we’ll go on nature walks….

So, I’ve spent the last week imagining the life I so desperately long for, answering questions that some people never have to consider and it feels like it’s breaking my heart.  I know it’s simply part of the process, but it’s just so hard.

It’s been a sucky week. Sorry for the whine. I’m sure things will turn around next week.

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