Early results!

January 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm (adoption, family, foster, fostering, home study, homestudy) (, )

Our homestudy was APPROVED!!!  We’re in “invisible pregnancy” land, and we have no idea what our “due date” is.

How do you prepare for a child when you don’t know what their gender or AGE is going to be?  (shrugs)  I’m just so happy!

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Our fate

January 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm (adoption, family, foster, fostering, home study, homestudy) (, , , )

Our fate as potential adoptive parents has likely already been decided. Council was this morning, and our social worker was scheduled to present our file then. It’s nerve wracking to know that THEY, the supreme power in this adoption dance, know our fate, yet we will not know until tomorrow. I doubt I’ll sleep tonight.

The feeling is very much like after getting the egg retrieval done for IVF, knowing I’d done everything right and F had done everything right, and that we no longer had control. Some embryologist knew what was going on with our potential babies, and we were at her mercy to keep us informed. It’s unsettling, but tomorrow, by this time (hopefully) we’ll know the answer to the burning question:

Did we pass our homestudy?!?

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Tick… tick… tick… tick……….

January 22, 2008 at 9:53 pm (adoption, family, foster, fostering, home study, homestudy) (, , , , )

There are two weeks until we find out if we passed our homestudy.

Well, one of the more different things about this two week wait is that, unlike all those medicated cycles of fertility treatments, where I had symptoms to analyze and sticks to pee on, I really have NOTHING to make any indication of our success or failure. I’ve spent some time thinking about the silly things I used to obsess over, cramps, temperature charts, queasiness, invisible HPT lines, tender breasts, or what one woman coined “porn-star nipples” (my friends and I had a chuckle over that). I remember once, early on, slicing open a green pepper and finding a perfectly formed baby green pepper inside, I was convinced it was a sign (Yes, it’s ok to laugh at that one, I won’t hold it against you). I say this not to convince you of my insanity, but to indicate to the uninitiated how overwhelmingly all-encompassing trying to conceive is for those who are truly infertile. Every moment of every day, it was all I thought about, and while the signs and symptoms really were nothing more than the creations of a desperate mind, they served a purpose. They gave me hope, they sustained me through a wait during which each moment contained an eternity.

Please don’t misunderstand, I have hope that this will work… hope is all I have. Unfortunately, the events which gave me hope are going further and further into the past with each passing day, and I am having to cling to fragmented memories of a week that flew by in a flurry of interviews. There is no ambiguous HPT residing in my medicine cabinet, beckoning me to tilt it every which way under various light sources. Tomorrow morning I will wake up, and everything will be the same as it was today, that twinge I felt today in the area of my uterus was likely a cyst popping, and I know that. And so I’ve been trying to keep sane, and keep the hope alive, by doing little things like writing a story for my future child, compiling songs for an “I love you no matter what” CD (any suggestions are welcomed), and catching up on my favorite adoption blogs.

One of the treasures of blogland has to be this guy. He is a stay at home adoptive dad, struggling through a position made for women. He’s doing a great job, admits his pitfalls, seems to really respect his wife, and above all, he really adores his daughter, and he really “gets” what parenthood is all about. The entry that I linked to above is just a cute little chuckle, where he learns to understand intimately what women go through each day at home, as it becomes a part of who he is.

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My Future Child

January 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm (adoption, family, foster, fostering) (, , )

I was reading blogs and came across THIS . It stirred up some feelings I have been having lately.

When I think of my future child, a whole host of emotions rush through me… I am excited, happy, elated and all those cheerful feelings of a future mother. I am also nervous and uncertain, both emotions my friends all expressed while expecting. Then, there’s the other stuff, the not so normal feelings that come with the foster/adopt experience. My child will not be born to me, and I can say in all honesty, I don’t care about that… what I do care about is that he or she will have a history without me, and it will not be a happy one.

Children don’t come into foster care from happy families, they don’t even come into foster care through mildly dysfunctional families… it takes an extreme level of danger to the child for a removal to happen, and an even worse situation to determine the child will NEVER be placed back with their parents and must be adopted. My baby, my heart and soul, will come to me from a damaged life. I will have failed in my first duty to protect him or her simply by virtue of being unable to. That child will have been hurt by those that should have cared, and betrayed by the very womb that brought him or her into the world. I can spend the next 18 years promising with every breath that I will NEVER betray or hurt them, but why should he or she believe me? After all, that very first bond was one tainted by the actions of the biological parents – and I am just a stranger. I know the love that I already feel, but I will never be able to let my future child feel it through my eyes.

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Weirdness

January 19, 2008 at 10:19 am (adoption, foster) (, , , , , )

Well, my dreams for the past few nights have been 1000 shades of “weird”. The night before last I fought dreams of houses murdering babies and children. The kids then became mannequins in disjointed pieces which needed to be pieced back together. Try as I might, I could never find all the pieces to make them whole again, and so they walked around with gaping holes in their torsos trying to find their missing piece. Last night, my dreams included reborns (life-like dolls that some women carry around with them and treat like real babies) and adult babies (a fetish mostly indulged in by men who, as the name suggests, like to be treated as babies). Neither is something I’m interested in, nor would I ever be… though I’ll admit to finding both subjects fascinating, like a movie you want to stop watching but just can’t. I’ll also admit that I find reborns to be an exceptional art form, and wouldn’t mind having one of the better ones to display in my home (no beating hearts or breathing mechanisms please).

These odd dreams, quite clearly, are caused by my stresses about this whole foster-adoption process. While the first one has clear meaning, the dreams of last night are more obscure, though they too revolve around some sort of non-traditional child/parent relationship. I suppose my unconscious mind is just trying to make sense of this whole experience.

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Can’t Sleep, Clown’ll Eat Me…

January 16, 2008 at 1:32 am (adoption, homestudy) (, , , , )

It’s 1:21am, I don’t know how long I’ve been awake for. My nerves are shot, my head is spinning and I have no clue how I’ll make it through the next 2 weeks. I was ill again this morning, which made me totally regret the fried chicken I had for supper last night on the empty stomach from all day yesterday. I feel like such a head case, even my IVF cycle didn’t affect me like this. The stress is extreme, and no one tells you how crazy with anxiety it will make you.

Now, don’t get me wrong, if this works out, it will ALL be worth it. Oh please let this work out…

For some unknown reason, I also woke up from a brief sleep period with the song from the Zeller’s commercial stuck in my head, if you’re not familiar, see below. It just keeps repeating over and over and over and… well, you get the idea. At least I know all the words!

On a side note, it’s amazing what you can find on YouTube these days.

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Now Entering the 2WW!

January 15, 2008 at 4:43 pm (adoption, foster, homestudy) (, , )

Yippee! The Home Evaluation is over!!! To be honest, it seems odd to have it over, it didn’t last very long and I’ve spent so much time and effort getting ready. We won’t know until the 31st if the committee accepts us as adoptive parents. It seems ironic that even after all these years of fertility treatments, my path to parenthood will involve a never-ending 2 week wait. Maybe it seems more fitting than ironic, maybe both.

First, the social worker looked around our house, she made comments about where the kids would sleep and asked where we got all of our baby stuff. After that, we went to the table, and she had us build our “dream home” out of pieces of cardboard. I snuck a glance at what she wrote about the activity, and apparently she deduced from this that we are open to change and do not disagree with each other. Seriously though, who would have an all out fight with their spouse over a fake house in front of a social worker??? You have to wonder about the validity of some of these things. After that, F filled in some papers on intimacy that I had already done, and she was finished! She didn’t open any cupboards, or examine anything at all. She didn’t even have a coffee or biscuits – and I spent the time to learn how to make coffee too. *shrug*

One nice tidbit she didn’t have to let us know, but she said she’s going to recommend us for adoption (the committee still makes the choices)!!! I’ll take that over a triphasic chart any day!

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Morning Sickness???

January 15, 2008 at 8:34 am (adoption, homestudy) (, , , , )

Well, I spent the night tossing and turning, it was not a restful sleep at all.  I did sleep though, I was too exhausted to do anything else.  All night my dreams rotated around the same theme, having children placed with us.  In one dream, we sent back a child because her cheekbones weren’t right, in another, the biological parents were perfect and we were the ones who neglected the kids.  It was quite nightmarish actually, because I could feel my mind fighting these things, I knew, even as I slept, that they could not be real.  In a few dreams, we had cat-like children placed with us, which I thoroughly blame on JM, a former friend of mine who used to dream of giving birth to kittens during her fertility treatments.  This whole ride (infertility, adoption, etc.) just really messes with your mind.

What no one told me, not online or in person, was that I’d spend the morning of the home evaluation vomiting in the same toilet I spent half an hour scrubbing last night.  It’s nerves, and I can still feel it, but since my stomach is now empty I think I’m done with my “morning sickness”.  Funny thing was, I spent the whole time thinking about how I would now have to rescrub the damn toilet.  *sigh*  Oh well, at least I don’t have months of this, but for today at least, I will not be risking food at all.

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Sadness

January 14, 2008 at 9:07 am (homestudy) (, , , )

In the past week I’ve been running the emotional gambit.  I’ve been nervous to no end, excited, happy, worried – but for the most part I’ve been experiencing some level of euphoria.  That all changed this morning.

I was laying in bed and as usual I was thinking about the future.  Then it hit me, right now, somewhere close by, my family is waiting for me.  It was a happy feeling at first, but it soon changed as I continued to think.  SOMEONE ELSE is caring for my family, SOMEONE ELSE knows their names, their genders, their birthday, and SOMEONE ELSE has seen them smile.

How horribly selfish of me to even care, but it is the nature of the beast I suppose.  Adoption brings with it a whole host of issues that the traditional family does not, and while I get to skip 40 weeks of worry and 48 hours of labour pains, I do have to face other worries, and other pains.

I feel better now, though the echo of this morning’s sadness still remains, I am far too busy to dwell.  The social worker comes tomorrow afternoon and I still have a bathroom to scrub and cupboards to clean.  She told us not to worry about cleaning up… yeah right!  Does anyone actually listen to that advice?!?

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The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

January 13, 2008 at 5:27 pm (homestudy) (, , , , )

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

In truth, I attempted to take the more traveled path for many years. Diagnosed with PCOS when I was 13 years old, I always knew my path to motherhood would not be an easy one. Still, I naively believed that a few of the more aggressive fertility treatments would grant me the blessing of motherhood I so desired. For 10 years I have undergone treatments of all sorts, from Clomid to Femara, injections to IVF, all with no success. But this Blog isn’t about any of that, it’s about how my husband F and I will become permanent parents.

Three years ago F and I attended classes to become licensed foster-adoption parents. We had always known we wanted to adopt, but we had to wait until my age was within the limits acceptable by our local youth protection offices. When that time came, we signed up and began the longest wait of our lives. Every six months or so, a social worker would phone us, tell us that our wait would not be much longer, and then we would not hear from them again for another half a year. It’s been three years now, and finally we’re in the active process of the homestudy.

I must admit, the idea is daunting. Here is one woman, she will delve into the most personal and private aspects of our being, and then she alone will decide whether we are fit to be parents or not. Actually, daunting is an understatement – it’s absolutely frightening. I understand the need for this process, but it does not make it any easier. What does make it slightly more bearable is that I really like our social worker, she seems to be very open minded, and I hope that makes a difference.

So far, it’s been a whirlwind. The process that usually takes 4-6 months is going to take us less than a week. She seems very determined to run us through this process quickly, we believe this is because she already has a case in mind for us.

The first meeting we did last Wednesday morning, it was our couple’s meeting. She asked us things you would normally think of about the child(ren) we are willing to take, our neighbourhood, jobs and house… but she also asked us some other questions that had never crossed my mind. She asked us what we would do if we ever separated, who would be the babysitters, what sort of biological parents we would be willing to deal with and how we would feel about visitations even if it set the child(ren) backwards in their development. This meeting lasted four hours, but it would likely have lasted about two if there hadn’t been a host of brand new laws she had to explain to us.

The second meeting was with F alone, it was Wednesday afternoon. She asked him about our sex life, his family, his work and made him draw up a schedule for both him and me. It lasted about 2 1/2 hours.

The third meeting was Friday morning, and was with me alone. She asked me about my family – which was stressful since my Uncle was recently arrested for drug trafficking, about how I learned about sex, how I met my husband (which had also been a part of the first meeting), and I filled out some forms about intimacy. I also had to make a schedule for F and myself, presumably to compare them. This meeting lasted approximately 3 hours.

Next Tuesday will be our in home evaluation, I’ve been cleaning like a mad woman since last week. I’d say I am losing sleep, however I’ve been so very exhausted that I’ve passed out pretty early each night. There will apparently be some activities for us to do with her in the house, so I will make a point to post about them afterwards. I know how relieved I would be if I could know what to expect, so maybe my experiences will help someone about to go through the same thing.

Our evaluation will be decided upon on the 30th of January. I do not know how long we will have to wait after the meeting to find out the results, and I have no idea how long we will wait for a placement, though since she seems to have a specific situation in mind, I’m pretty sure that if we’re approved, the wait will not be long.

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