Thursday, January 22, 2015

Excuse me while I go hide

So far 2015 is really not my year.

No, seriously. In the last 22 days I have broken my toe, caught the flu, developed sinusitis, an ear infection, temporary hearing loss (two days of no sound at all and going on four days of sound in only one ear), and today I had a chunk of my pinky finger gouged out by a rusty screw sticking out of  the railing outside my classroom. That last one required a trip to urgent care for a tetanus shot since I couldn't remember the last time I had one.

You know you've had a rough turn lately when you are on a first name basis with the nursing and administrative staff at your local urgent care.

A friend of mine recently suggested that maybe 2015 is getting all of my bad luck out of the way so that the rest of the year can be super extra fabulous. I am choosing to believe her rather than resign myself to another 343 days of bad luck. I've got some things going on this year that could use a little good luck and positivity to back them up.

Anyone else not super thrilled with the new year so far?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lalala... I can't hear you!

Just in case you were wondering, temporary hearing loss sucks.

I've been getting over this bout of the flu and developed an ear infection over the weekend. As painful as that was, the pressure from the sinusitis brought on by the flu combined with pressure from the inflammation due to my ear infection caused me to go temporarily deaf. It freaked me out!

I went to the doctor and got some medication meant to knock out the infection, reduce the inflammation, and relieve the pressure in my sinuses. He said that once the medication starts working my hearing should return. Let's all cross our fingers for that.

As you can imagine, I can't teach if I can't hear. Not to mention all that pressure making me dizzy. I'm home for one more day to rest and give the medicine time to work it's magic. This makes a full week I have been out of work and I seriously miss my students. I shudder to think what they think might have happened to me. Last time I missed school for two days my kids thought I had been deported! 

Moral of the story: get your flu shot and wash your hands! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

For those too polite to ask... And those who have asked

People are naturally curious. They just are. This curiosity increases tenfold when the subject matter relates to friends having or not having babies. In recent weeks Steve and I have been in the receiving end of many many questions regarding our plans for growing our family. Some of the questions were insensitive and borderline rude, but I truly feel that none of the people asking those questions had malicious intentions.

I decided that it might be helpful for me to write about some of these questions and answers here on the blog. If anyone reading this humble post in my small, non-publicized corner of the internet would like to ask a question I haven't answered here, I would be happy to provide an answer.

1. Why aren't you doing IVF/IUI/ISCI/ other artificial reproductive methods to get pregnant?

Short answer: It doesn't feel right for us.
Long answer: Before we became Catholic, before we were actively trying to conceive, before we were married, even before we were engaged, Steve and I had serious discussions about having children. I've always wanted to be a mother... more than I've ever wanted to be anything else. During those discussions we both agreed that we were uncomfortable with artificial reproductive technologies (ART) in general. As we became aware of our infertility we put some time into researching ART in more detail. We even looked into NaPro Technology (assisted reproductive services approved by the Catholic Church) and came to the same conclusion... it just doesn't feel right. At the end of the day, we feel that if we were meant to have biological children we would be able to conceive them without artificial assistance.

2. Why aren't you adopting a baby?

Not to sound repetitive, but it just doesn't feel right. We initially looked into domestic infant adoption and actually contacted a few agencies for information. We met adoptive families and even birth mothers who had been helped by DIA, but we were still hesitant. When I realized that there were so many children waiting for families, kids old enough to realize what was going on and desire a family, I felt a sort of kinship with those kids. Here we were wishing for kids to grow our family, and there they were wanting a family to help them grow and heal. Something just clicked and suddenly our path seemed quite clear.

3. Why did you choose U.S. Foster care over international adoption?

To put it simply, international adoption scares the poop out of me. I know people who have spent years and tens of thousands of dollars on waiting lists to adopt from various countries only to be told they can't bring their child home for political reasons. I also know that the travel requirements for international adoptions aren't something Steve and I can realistically accommodate. Not to mention the huge financial costs upfront. Any child, no matter how they join your family, is expensive. International adoption is by far one of the most expensive though. It's a fit for some people, but not for us.

4. You're young, why not wait and see if you get lucky and conceive naturally anyway?

Because Steve and I feel like this is the right time to expand our family. We would always be open to a little miracle if one should come our way, but we feel that adoption is the right choice for us no matter what the future holds.

5. Whose fault is it? (Meaning which one of us is causing our infertility)

This is the one question that truly gets under my skin. Probably because the answer accomplishes nothing positive. I'm willing to believe that the people asking this are simply trying to help, but the only answer I will give here is this: Nobody is at fault. Since we have chosen not to pursue medical intervention for our infertility, it truly doesn't matter which of us would require treatment.

6. Don't you worry that those kids from foster care will hurt you/your pets/your home? Don't you worry that they are too damaged to love you back?

No. I don't worry about those things.
Yes, really.
I acknowledge that the harm to myself or our home is a minute possibility, but a risk I'm willing to take for a child who needs a safe, stable, loving home. We are taking all possible steps to protect our pets. We are not considering profiles of children with a history of violence toward animals.
Honestly, this adoption is not about finding a kid or group of kids who will love us. It's about finding a kid/kids we can love and care for. Of course we want their love in return, but that's not something that we get to decide about. It's not something even biological parents get to decide about their kids. All we can do is love these kids the best we can with what we have and hope for the best.








Thursday, January 15, 2015

The flu and an update

I'm writing from my sick bed.... I've got the flu. Apparently I've had it for the last two days and did myself (and my students) no favors by pushing through the last two days of school thinking it was just a cold. I'm on strict orders from my doctor to rest in bed, take my medicine, and drink lots of fluids until Tuesday.

I'm not a bed rest kind of girl. I already feel like I should be up and about doing something productive.

I have to say though, I feel like I have passed some sort of new teacher initiation test by making it through yesterday at school. We had an assembly during which I had to make a presentation, we had breakfast and lunch in the classroom, my class was scheduled for "extra learning time" instead of specials, it was too cold to go out for recess, and four busses were late so I had to stay with my kids until the busses showed up. I was "on" from 7:30-3:10 with no bathroom break, no lunch break, and all while battling through the flu. My doctor said I was lucky I didn't pass out. I feel pretty proud of myself for making it through.

Despite being sick and the craziness of yesterday, I have some happy news to share! Our agency emailed me yesterday with the IMPACT class schedule and I was able to reserve a spot for Steve and I. Classes don't start until April, which is a bit disappointing. We had hoped the Saturday classes would be held starting in February, but it just didn't work that way.

Our last class is actually during my birthday weekend, so I'm taking that as a sign that everything is going to be just fine.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

First steps

Tonight Steve and I had our orientation meeting at our adoption agency. This is the first big step for us in the process of us becoming adoptive parents.


The meeting was a bit crazy because 1) it didn't start until 6:30 on a week night, and 2) it was a TON of information and rules. None of them were deal breakers and most of them were things I already was aware of as possibilities from my research, but it's one thing to read about it as a possibility and quite another to have a caseworker tell you this is an official policy. There were also a lot of people at the meeting. It was an orientation for people planning to foster-adopt as well as those wishing to only be foster parents.


We did fill out a letter of intent and signed a document saying (basically) that we have gone over the agency policies and agree to abide by them.


The caseworker in charge of the foster-adopt program told us to expect a follow up email in the next few days with information about signing up for IMPACT classes. The classes are either on Saturday mornings or Tuesday afternoons, so we won't know if we can attend the next 8 week session until we get the email with the schedule. Worst case scenario, we might have to wait 8 weeks to begin our training. However, we can go ahead and take our first aid/CPR certification and that sort of thing.


I'm trying to keep my excitement in check since we have a long way to go, but it seems as if we are on the right track and getting things moving.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Get out of my head, Meryll Streep

Yesterday Steve and I went to see Into the Woods at our local AMC Theaters. I specify the type of theatre because if you haven't seen the new AMC then you are missing out. Seriously, the chairs recline! You're basically sitting in a huge, plush recliner. And if you really like the person next to you, the arm rests lift up and you end up with this super comfy love seat recliner.

Cuddling like you're on your couch at home, but the sound quality and snack options of a theatre? Dreams do come true!!

The movie truly was fantastic though. I am apparently the only person who didn't know it was a musical or that they incorporated the original, gory versions of the fairytales. This was a welcome surprise for me. Also, the acting was awesome. Steve and I have already decided we will need to buy the blue ray when it comes out and I may jam out to the soundtrack sooner rather than later.

I was surprised how emotional the storyline made me. The Baker and his Wife's storyline hit a little too close to home and the "no one is alone" song made me cry. The final line spoken by the witch (Meryll Streep) in the voice over at the end is "wishes come true but they don't come free". Ever since the movie ended that line has almost haunted me. It just seems to fit how I feel about our attempts to grow our family.

No real updates about our adoption. We heard back from our agency. They received our preliminary application and reminded us of the meeting on the 8th. I also had an adoption dream... a good one. In the dream we were at a meet and greet party with several kids and (skipping lots of details that don't really mean anything) we ended up matching with a sibling group made up of a girl and her younger brother.

Say what you want, but I take a lot of hope from dreams. I know they are just pictures from my subconscious mind, but I consider good dreams as unintentional pep talks. This one is no exception.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Confession Time

I've been keeping some things in the down low for a while and I think it's finally time to fess up.

Steve and I have been trying to have a baby for about 2 years with no success. We had a very early miscarriage around Memorial Day this year (Steve's birthday weekend, actually) and not even the hope of a positive result since then. We are infertile. It is a circumstance I have been afraid of experiencing my entire life (I once claimed it to be my biggest fear) and here we are living it.

I'm choosing to be honest about this now because some exciting things have happened/are about to happen for us. No, we have not "beaten the odds" and gotten pregnant. Nor have we gone through a successful fertility treatment of some kind.

Actually, we have taken the first steps toward adoption from foster care!

Steve and I have made the decision, after almost a full year of specific prayer and reflection (and maybe a little incredulous questioning from time to time), to look for our children in the US foster system. We are open to a variety of circumstances, but are hoping for a school-aged child or group of siblings.

We are going through an agency since we have never done this before and wanted the help and support an agency can provide. We just sent in our preliminary application and are registered for our orientation session on January 8th. After that we can register for IMPACT classes and complete a home study.

This is the first step in a very long journey, one in which both Steve and I will need a lot of support. I'm not making any promises about posting, but my hope is to share our journey here in this blog as much as possible.