Friday, September 30, 2011

January

If I had conceived during our last IVF cycle, I would have been due in January.

Ironically, I know at least five pregnant women all due in January, including one of my close friends whose pregnancy has been a struggle for me. I feel like I internally cringe every time I see her expanding belly.

Another one just joined our weekly Bible study. She is pregnant with her fourth child, so although she is only about five months along her belly is quite large. She and her husband are part of the prayer teams and church, and have been some of the people who have thoughtfully prayed for us in the midst of infertility. They try to be sensitive to us, but having a pregnant couple in the group has been challenging. People are so drawn to pregnant women, you know? Everybody has questions and wants to hear about ultrasounds, genders, and the aches and pains. Everyone moves to offer her a seat, and comments about her cute belly. And I sit there, also "expecting," but feeling unnoticed. There's not much to talk about with the adoption, and when people ask all I can offer is "We're still waiting." Not nearly as interesting as "We felt the baby kick!"

I know a part of all of this is that I just want attention, which I hate to admit. But the larger part is simply that it is still painful to see these pregnant women and still long for that. I wanted that belly, not simply for the attention, but for the experience. I overheard the woman pregnant with her fourth comment to somebody else in the group that she wanted to cherish this pregnancy since it is her last....but I can only dream of what it is about pregnancy that there is to cherish.

That is the pain that still lingers in my heart. Many, many days pass now without much grief, and I am truly experiencing much joy in preparing for our little one through adoption. I trust that God has a plan for us in this, and believe that once I hold my child I wouldn't trade that child for any pregnancy in the world. I just want that day to hurry up and come. :)

Because of all this, I have inadvertently set my hopes on having a match by January. I didn't want to do this, because picking dates is impossible and I am probably setting myself up for disappointment. But the more I interact with these pregnant women due in January, I can't help but think "I want my baby by January, too!" And then I quickly force myself to change that from "want my baby by January" to "matched with a baby by January" because I am getting WAY ahead of myself.

(But if I am really honest I want to have my baby by January...)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

It's just hair

A couple weeks ago I went in for my quarterly hair appointment where I get my hair highlighted.

Some background info you need to know is that I was quite blond as a child all the way through college. But around the end of college, my hair started getting darker. I was completely fine with this and didn't feel like I need to be a blond, but I think I always thought of myself as blond so it was a little weird. It was still blondish, but maybe more of a light light brown, sandy blond, or dark blond...whatever you want to call it.

Shortly before our wedding, I decided to highlight my hair and be blond-blond, since I just always thought of myself as a blond and wanted to be that for our wedding. Since then, I have been highlighting my hair, not to be super blond but to keep it blondish. However, when you start highlighting your hair, every time you get it highlighted again it just gets blonder.

Ironically, when we were picking out pictures for our adoption profile, the picture we liked the most of us as a couple that we wanted to use as our main picture had me with darker hair - it must have been some odd window of time when I didn't get it highlighted. It was the only picture in the whole profile that I wasn't a full-on blond, so our lawyer pointed it out and thought we should use a different picture instead. Plus, she said she liked me as a blond . So we took her advice and used a different picture.

So back to my appointment a couple weeks ago.

I told my hairstylist I wanted to make my hair a little darker. I think I had just been feeling like it was getting blonder than I wanted, and I needed to counter balance that by adding some low lights to make it a little darker. She was happy to oblige, and before I knew it my head was covered in foil that included highlights and low lights.

As I set there letting the chemicals do their magic, I started getting panicked about my soon-to-be new hair color. Like, I almost flipped out and started crying kind of panic. What if I looked completely different when I stepped out of the salon? What if I didn't feel like myself? What if I had to deal with everybody commenting about my hair for the next few weeks? And, most importantly, what if this effected our adoption? WHAT IF I look too different than our profile and a birth mother decides not to choose us? WHAT IF she chooses us because we're blond but them meets us and is disappointed that I'm not???

Needless to say, this was one of the only times I did not enjoy what is usually a relaxing appointment.

Thankfully, when the foil was gone and my hair was dry, I was pleasantly surprised to see my hair a slightly darker shade...but it was still MY hair. I think in my panic I had imagined my hair black or something, ha! But it was subtly and perfectly darker. A few people have noticed, but overall it is so subtle that few have even commented, so I doubt a birth mother would.

It's amazing all the little things that go into the adoption-induced anxiety. Even one's hair color. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homestudy Visit Part 2

Last night the social worker came over for "Part 2" of our homestudy, and I am happy to report that she is "approving" us for adoption! Yeah! :)

This visit consisted of our individual interviews, which she had told us would last 45 minutes to an hour each. I guess we are not big talkers because we finished BOTH within one hour. The questions were pretty simple and she basically got more information and details about the autobiography we had written: about our childhoods, what we liked to do as kids, family dynamics, current relationships with family members, etc. I was expecting more difficult questions - I feel like I have read in the blogsphere that people have been asked about their s.ex life - but we weren't! The hardest questions was, "Describe yourself." Ha!

After our individual interviews we talked together about how were disciplined as children, and how we hope to discipline as parents. She asked what we hoped would be the characteristics and qualities of our family, and what we most looked forward to about being parents. I liked those questions, because there was SO much to say. :)

Based on what I have heard about others' experiences, I would say our homestudy was very easy with fewer requirements than many (ie we didn't have to have a car seat installed or lock our knives up, unlike another friend who is doing domestic infant adoption). Our social worker was easy to talk to and seems on top of things - she said she will email us a rough draft of our homestudy within two weeks!

Now there is nothing left to "do" but continue working on the nursery and wait for our baby!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homestudy visit part 1 complete!

Thankfully my 'Jonah Day' ended much better than it began.

Our social worker came to our house in the evening and explained what the meeting was going to involve. She then asked us some questions and took notes. Nearly all of the questions were things we had written about in our adoption profile (Describe strengths in your marriage) or on our application to our lawyer (Are you open to adopting a baby of another race?) so they felt really easy. The only one that completely stumped us was who we would have raise the child if something should happen to both of us - we will need to pray about that this week!

Overall, the meeting felt very easy. We felt like we were ourselves and were comfortable. There were no questions that stood out as 'unusual.' After we finished talking, she walked through our house and took notes, but it was a VERY quick walk through and she certainly didn't write much. I was surprised to find out that this agency does not expect us to baby proof prior to placement since we are adopting a newborn, but that will be expected when the state comes over for our post-placement visits.

The social worker will be back next week for our one-on-one interviews. She said they will be about 45 minutes each, but I can't really imagine what else there is to talk about! We are excited to almost have this step completed - visit part 2 next week, 2 week turn around for the report, and then it will be approved by the agency a couple days after that...so we should be "homestudy ready" in about 3 weeks!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Jonah Day*

Over the last two weeks, I have traveled to O.maha to visit family and to Sa.n Die.go for a getaway with my husband. We (well, really my husband and in-laws...) installed a sprinkler system in our yard and planted grass (yes!). It has been a whirlwind of activity, and all good things, but I have been feeling out of it and am looking forward to settling back in at home {with grass growing}.

While away, I started getting a cold. Two days ago I lost my voice. It is embarrassing to open my mouth to try to speak.

Today, I attempted to catch up on work and managed to only have to answer the phone twice. But then I backed into somebody in a parking lot, and as I got ready to drive away from the 'accident' I broke my hands-free ear piece for my cell phone. I drove home fighting back tears, and tried to not to stress that Part One of our homestudy is tonight.

Yes, our social worker should be here in less than an hour! Praying I can croak and squeak my way through tonight with out any more incidents.

*'Jonah Day' is a term for a bad day that I recently read in Anne of Green Gables. I am re-reading the series and it is even more charming and heart warming to read as an adult!