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Training

We finished our training! Another item checked off! I’ve been meaning to post something about this for a while now (we finished a week ago), but my contract work got a bit heavy. I’m not complaining: thank goodness I have work!

The training was amazing. I don’t know if all mandatory training sessions for adoption applications are this great or if it was simply our trainers, but I left it feeling more prepared to face the road ahead. It was also comforting to be in a room full of couples like us who have all gone through the heartbreak of infertility. It was like meeting all of you, in blog-land, face-to-face! It’s hard for me to open up… maybe that’s why I like sharing and reading on blogs. These sessions, though, really gave me a chance to connect in-person with others and share our story. I looked around at the women in the room, and each one was smart, articulate and will make a great mother.

We ended with a question and answer session with mothers who adopted (domestically and internationally), a birth mother and a charming and confident teen who was adopted as a toddler. Their perspectives were so valuable and actually very encouraging. Despite all of the obstacles fate has thrown at us in our quest to grow our family, maybe DH and I can do this. After so many years of failure and heart ache, it’s hard not to think that the universe is telling us we’re just not capable of being or meant to be parents… sigh.

Boo, negativity! On to other things…

And then some…

We also got our electronic fingerprints done and sent off. The fellow doing our prints explained what he was doing and what he saw. He could tell I worked almost exclusively on a computer and that DH worked on a farm as a youth. It was like visiting one of those carnival mind-readers!! Anyways, the whole experience was like a CSI dream come true for me.

And, after all that excitement, I also found out I was nominated by Baby, interrupted for a Beautiful Blogger award! I can’t thank her enough, not just for this, but her words have gotten me through a lot of rough times, even before I started blogging (I’m also so happy to see her beta numbers getting higher and higher… go girl!).  Her words sometimes perfectly capture my feelings and make me feel just a little bit less like an infertile square peg.

Beautiful blogger award graphic

Nominees for this award have to:

  • Thank the person that nominated you for this award.
  • Copy the award and place it on your blog.
  • Link the person that nominated you for this award.
  • Tell us seven interesting things about yourself.
  • Nominate seven bloggers.
  • Post the links to the seven bloggers.

So, the seven interesting things about myself:

  1. Though DH and I have only been married less than 5 years, we’ve known each other for half our lives. I met him at school and we were in the same group of friends. So why did it take so long to get together? He’ll claim I was dating someone and I’ll claim he never looked at me. I thought he was one of the funniest men I had ever met. Glad he finally came to his senses and asked me out J
  2. I used to be a scientist. I still get excited when I hear the words xylem and phloem.
  3. As a consequence of #2, I still tend to be a bit of a geek.
  4. I have lived in one of the most amazing landscapes on earth and watched a pod of narwhal and beluga swim 6 feet away from me. I still miss it there.
  5. I know all the lyrics from the Xanadu soundtrack. Side A and side B, oh yeh.
  6. I really like working from home. I’m a bit stressed though, because I’m not sure how long the contracts will keep coming.
  7. Since we moved to a region that has more than one English radio station, I’ve become addicted to pop music. That’s right… I’m in my (very) late 30s, and I will still belt out the lyrics to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance when blasting the radio in my car.

Now, to nominate seven bloggers (only seven?!) … Though we’ve never met, they’ve made an impact on me and helped me deal with all this ‘stuff’ over the last several years. There’s an honesty to what they write and their blogs have resonated with me in many ways. All of them have suffered through that heartbreaking rollercoaster… and a few, I’m sure, would appreciate some supportive words right now. Some are currently in a round of IVF, some have chosen to adopt (or have recently welcomed a child through adoption!) and others are going to give child-free living a try. I highly recommend paying them a visit!

  1. Babies everywhere
  2. Barren babe
  3. Bottoms off and on the Table
  4. I can haz bebe?
  5. Life and love in the petri dish
  6. Sparkly things distract me
  7. One good egg

I feel badly because since the move I’ve been in and out of the blogging world and not participating as much as I used to, but I am still lurking (sounds creepy doesn’t it! Ick). Thank you ladies!

This weekend, we attended the first half of our training sessions, which are mandatory to the adoption process here. I’ll admit that DH and I grumbled about attending. I had no idea what to expect from this training and I’ve been doing some reading on my own, so I questioned the value of the whole thing.

BUT, after two intense days, I can definitely say that I got a lot out of it. We covered a whole range of topics… from basic parenting (wouldn’t it be great if everyone could take this… though I’m sure there would be huge resistance), to attachment concerns.

The section on grief and loss from the adopted child’s perspective really made an impact on me.  As a potential adoptive parent, I’m always thinking about what I can offer a child, what I can give them. I rarely considered what that child is losing… maybe it’s because we’re hoping to adopt an infant, but I just assumed that some of that loss that older children would feel would somehow not be an issue for a baby who would only know us as parents.

Someday though, the questions will come. They’ll wonder about their birth family and history. That’s natural. Those children who are a bit older will have very strong memories of their life before they were adopted. These are just some of the things that create a strong feeling of loss and grief in a child and are such important things to remember.

It also made me think about my own grief. Even though the loss from our miscarriage has dulled… it will always be with me and sometimes even surprise me, like a slap in the face. It was nice to speak to other women who have gone through this infertility roller coaster too and know that it was ok to acknowledge our grief and loss. Hopefully, this will make us more sensitive with our children when they’re overwhelmed by their emotions and try to cope with them.

It was pretty powerful stuff and we covered a lot of ground. Definitely, just the tip of the iceberg though. I’m happy I went, and I loved the fact that it enabled DH and I to really talk about some of the scary issues. Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s easy to not talk about the hard stuff. We still have one more weekend to go, but I’m sort’ve looking forward to it.

I wrote my last post while I was out-of-town on a short contract. I have to admit that as much as I enjoy having time at home to settle into our new community, I’m relieved that I’ve been able to find some projects to work on. Maybe I’m a bit too busy now, but I still get to be at home with the pups AND I’m earning an honest paycheque. Hopefully, I get to travel a little bit more too, but not too much 😉

I arrived back in town just in time for our first homestudy. I’m glad we’ve finally completed our first one. The homestudy always seemed shrouded in mystery… how long does it take, how invasive will it be, what if I accidentally blurt out the wrong thing and our application is outright rejected? When it was done, I actually felt like it was sort’ve anti-climactic, once I reflected back on it.

Now, I know that there are a couple more to go, and perhaps our adoption practitioner was easing us into it to make us more comfortable. I think we spent a lot of time talking about my husband’s new job. A little bit about our childhoods… and then we went over the rest of the paperwork. You know, it wasn’t scary at all.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been so caught up in the process of first, trying to get pregnant and now, adoption, that I forget about the scary parts of raising a child. At the end of all of this, we may just get to be parents. At least, I hope we do. It’s been such a long struggle… almost 5 years, and pretty much our entire marriage. I forget what it was like before infertility consumed me. It’s sadly become such a significant part of who I am in my thirties that I can’t really remember the woman who didn’t know anything about infertility or the adoption process. Oh well.

Next week, we start our mandatory training sessions for prospective adoptive parents. I wonder how those will go over? It might be interesting to meet the other couples. I sure hope they don’t make us start with those awkward teambuilding/ice-breaker games (ick!).