Thursday, November 29, 2012

Not Quite Sure Where I Fit In

I've never felt 100% sure where I fit in in the infertility world.  I read a lot (a lot) of blogs, mainly about adoption, and it seems like most people are adopting because they struggle with infertility.  Sometimes it would be simplest to say that's where I'm coming from, too.  But I don't know if that's exactly true.

Hubby & I tried to conceive on-and-off for roughly 1 1/2 years.  I say "on-and-off" because there were a couple factors for why we didn't ttc consistently, that I'm not comfortable sharing here.  When I told my doctor we had tried for a year already (which isn't 100% accurate, since there were so few times we could have actually conceived during that time) she made us an appointment for a fertility clinic.

But it was during this time that my epilepsy got worse.  We (especially Hubby) were uncomfortable with me being pregnant, being in labour, and taking care of a baby while my epilepsy was not fully under control.  So we made the decision to switch me to a better medication.  Better medication for controlling my epilepsy, that is.  A million times worse for an unborn baby.  So we made the medication switch, quit ttc and switched our focus to adoption.  My epilepsy is under control now.

This was NOT an easy decision.  But at the same time a big weight was lifted off our shoulders.  We no longer had the pressure of ttc.  We no longer worried about my epilepsy constantly.  We were (still are!) excited about adopting.  But I still had to grieve the child(ren) whom we'll never have.  The ones that would be a little bit of each of us.  I still struggle (sometimes VERY much) with seeing pregnant women, hearing pregnancy/birth announcements, going to baby showers, etc.  Sometimes I wonder if I always will?  Occasionally we still catch ourselves doubting our decision to take this path.  I wonder what if...?  what if...?  what if...?  I surprise myself by STILL daydreaming about getting pregnant just like I used to daydream.  (Only now I also daydream about getting "the call"!) 

One thing that has brought me great amounts of solace is all of you - all the bloggers who write about adoption, loss and infertility.  Sometimes I stick to the adoption blogs, because sometimes it hurts too much reading blogs about those who are actively ttc.  (Of course pregnancy announcements do happen on adoption blogs, too.  And don't get me wrong - I'm always happy for those who get pregnant - but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, too.)

But sometimes I'm just not sure exactly where I fit in.  When I feel grief, anger, sadness - a little voice says, But you decided to quit ttc; they have no choice over it.  And I wonder, should I just be quiet in the ALI blogging world?  Did I make the wrong decision?  And - the worst one - will someone else (who knows without a doubt they can't conceive) adopting feel I'm "taking" "their" baby??  I'm probably being silly - but these are just some of my fears and insecurities.

Another thing that brought comfort was when we went to our agency's weekend education seminar and found there were a wide variety of reasons the couples there were adopting - infertility, health reasons (like me), repeat miscarriages, and other reasons. 

So, as I try to find security in where I am, wherever I am, I will continue to blog, and read your blogs.  I will continue to feel a lot of the same emotions (why me?) even if for different reasons.  And, hopefully, one day, all of us will find a baby in our arms, through whichever route God chose to place that baby there.

[Update:  If you are here from In Due Time's NIAW 2016 link-up, you will see this post was written 3 1/2 years ago.  Click here to read our up-to-date timeline.] 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good News

About a week ago Hubby contacted our adoption agency and asked if it would work to do our homestudy in this house.  The house we currently live in, that we are trying to sell, is very small and only has one bedroom - ours (and there is no room in it for even a Moses basket, never mind a crib).  The house is perfect for a single person or a couple but is not good for a couple wanting to grow their family!  Anyway, we were planning on waiting until we were in a different house to start our homestudy.  But it is winter and the real estate market is slow, and our house hasn't sold yet.  It's been up for sale for 8 weeks now with no offers yet.  We have been really putting the pressure on ourselves to get it sold, so we can move and get going on our homestudy.  But now our agency told us they can do the homestudy and we can get approved in this house!  We will just have to get our homestudy updated once we move, and the only cost for that will be mileage to our place!  This takes a huge load off our shoulders and takes the pressure off to sell our house!  We might even take it off the market over the middle of winter and put it back on in early spring, so it doesn't get market stale - we'll see.  But, now we have to get our tushes in gear and complete some of the things we've been working on - the Dear Birthmother/father letter, each of our PAPQ's, our AppII, and our photos.  There are 2 things that our agency has to receive no more than 3 months prior to our homestudy starting, and that is our Medical Reports and our Criminal Record Checks.  So we were putting those off until we'd sold our house, and bought a place and knew when our possession date would be.  But now, with this good news, the first thing I did was make an appointment for the two of us with my doctor to get our medical reports done.  That appt is scheduled for Dec. 17!  That means our homestudy should start no more than 3 months after that!! So exciting and nerve-wracking!!  The medical reports should only be $20 each so that is nice.  We should be getting the cheque, for the subdivided property we sold next door, this week, and when that comes we'll go do our Criminal Record Checks.  I am not sure how much they are because I don't know if we'll need to be fingerprinted or not.  It feels like things are finally moving along :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dear Birthmother Letter

You wanna know something really special?  My mom-in-law gave me a copy of the Dear Birthmother letter she wrote back in 1989 when they were hoping to adopt.  Fast-forward almost 23 years, and none of us can imagine life without my husband's brother (who was born & adopted in 1990).  We are adopting through the exact same agency that my bro-in-law was adopted through, and back in 1990 they'd only been open for a year or two yet.

We are working on writing our Dear Birthmother letter right now.  Or I should say, basically I am writing it, and Hubby reads it sometimes and says it's good.  It's a hard letter to write.  But reading my MIL's letter was really helpful.  She just wrote so openly and honestly and simply.  What also helped was last weekend my husband and I both sat down and worked together on adoption stuff - me on the letter and he on his PAPQ.  I'm hoping we can do something like that again this weekend.

I'm finding it stressful how long everything is taking us.  We seem to drag everything out and procrastinate about it all.  I don't understand why we do this because both of us really want to start our family - like, years ago.  Of course, it doesn't help that we are in the middle of selling both our property next door and selling our house.  I'm trying to be content and thankful and to enjoy the here and now.

I want to say as Paul said "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."  Philippians 4:11-12  And if there was anybody who had a lot of tough circumstances, it was Paul!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Liebster Award

Cool! :)  Caroline nominated me for the Liebster Award :)  The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.  It is a way to acknowledge each other and say "you're doing a great job".  It's a fun way to spread the word about smaller blogs and help them gain momentum.

I get to answer a bunch of questions Caroline picked for me:

Why did you start blogging?
I started my first blog (which is still out there but I don't use it anymore) to document my experience with psychiatric drugs and my withdrawal and recovery from them.  I ended up hardly writing about the experience at all, and just wrote about day-to-day life or whatever topic I was up to tackling.  When I realized we were not ending up on the normal route of getting pregnant and having kids, I started to feel that my personal life was getting too, well, personal, to share about on the blog.  I was also hardly ever posting and felt my life wasn't interesting enough to have a blog about, lol!  I started this blog when we broke the news that we are adopting.  I love being a part of the adoption bloggers world.

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
Well, I'm Canadian, so Thanksgiving for us was back in October and I am planning Christmas stuff already!  Thanksgiving isn't a huge deal at all to me (hey, I'm not an American and I'm not big into football either, lol!) but I'd have to say my favourite tradition is family gatherings.

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?

What is the last thing you do before you go to bed?
Turn on the fan - got to have that white noise and the cool breeze for sleeping!

What do you do for a living?
I'm a stay-at-home housewife - not that I make a living doing that, lol.

If you could go on a trip tomorrow, where would you go?
I would go to Hawaii with my husband.

If you could go back to any age, what would it be?
I'm always so torn on this one - I'd like to go back and change things I did/didn't do, but then I think, everything must've happened for a reason.  

What is your favorite quality in your spouse?
His patience!!!

What have you or did you learn on your infertility journey?
So much.  Like, don't assume kids will magically be conceived when you want them to be.  Or, never assume you know someone else's story.

If you could only shop at one store for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I'm tempted to be practical and say the grocery store...yeah, I should probably say that :)

Do you have a favorite quote, verse or song?
Yes, yes and yes!  Now to be serious, or silly?  I'll go with Hebrews chapter 10.