Hope restored

As I sit in her room rocking her to sleep I am soaking it all in and thinking back to all that it took to get there. She has changed our lives so much in the 5 short months that she’s been with us. Tears stream down as I think of all those who are still hoping for this bliss.

There were so many times that I felt my hope start to slip as we went through the process of infertility and adoption. Keeping the hope is such a struggle at times especially when emotions are running high. One moment in particular stands out when we were going through IVF.

We were waiting after the doctor had fertilized the eggs and so hopeful that they would grow. We had already had some hope slip away when we only had 6 eggs to fertilize, and then we got the call that only 2 were growing well and they were going to give it one more day. With that phone call all of my hope was gone. If these two eggs didn’t keep growing we weren’t going to be able to do the implantation.

Looking back today I realize it happened so that I could have this darling girl in my arms today with such an appreciation for her life and the people who chose us to be her parents. So that I could cherish each moment with her and find the thrill in every smile, change and noise she makes.

Today I have hope again. Hope that others can see through their challenges and one day look back with an understanding of the process and an appreciation for where they are.

Taking Advantage – gotta get it off my chest!

I got a random message on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HannahandEthanadoption) yesterday from the Adoption Center in Utah that was on Birthmom’s (A show on TLC). The message read about them having 8 birthmoms and needing adoptive families. He left me a phone number and said please call.

So, on my lunch break I called. As the phone rang I was somewhat hopeful that they would be a great place since they are only a state away but felt this feeling of uncertainty.

As I spoke with him he explained their set up and then he jumped to the fees. Without taking a breath he said our fees are 33-55 THOUSAND!!! Then as his run on sentence continued he said “of course that doesn’t include medical and your fee that you pay directly to the marketing firm.” He then explained that the fees vary depending on the length of their stay, includes money for them to buy groceries each week, go out to the show (isn’t that old speak for the movies?) and then sending money with them as they go home so they don’t have to work for a few months after the adoption.

Okay, so I was soaking this all in and I was okay with it. Then I asked about the cost of the marketing $9800!!!! yes, you read right. I couldn’t believe it.

So, I definitely knew this wasn’t the place for us but he was still explaining things and then he put it over the top. He was telling me that there is a woman who is due in early September, a girl. As he told me that this baby is black and if we sign up for ______, I missed that part we will get a discount and the charge will only be $28,000 (plus medical and marketing, etc.) Disregard the money I was SHOCKED at the idea that a baby could be “discounted”. I could not believe the way he was speaking to me.

I asked about the show Birthmom’s and he said yes, they were the agency from the show. I then asked about them living there and said not most agencies have that situation. Once I heard the next statistical sentence I had to work extremely hard not to hang up.

I was told that they bring them to Utah to live at the agency because there is a better chance they will place if not in their home state. He then goes on to explain the stats something like 35% more than if they stay home place their infants for adoption. All I could think was COERCION.

I just felt like whatever was happening down there was morally wrong. How could I be okay with adopting a baby from a place that felt that way? My hope is that this isn’t the standard but just this person but in my heart I just don’t feel like it is.

It was hard to bring up A New Beginning – a wonderful local agency here in Boise that truly cares for their birthmoms and adoptive parents. When I said they charge only 10,000 he came back with that if a birthmom doesn’t place then we can apply the 30-50 K to another adoption. I couldn’t resist asking if it meant that the adoption has to go through them and he said yes. A New Beginning (http://www.adoptanewbeginning.org/) has never, EVER given me that feeling and hands down I would recommend them to anyone.

We clearly cannot afford such a large sum for an adoption but I just would not feel right about adopting from them. I’m sure there are others who feel differently but I just felt like there was racism and a sense of selling in his voice and I am not okay with that.

So, I let him know that I have some concerns after watching the show and so I don’t think we will be using their agency. Before saying goodbye he made sure I was aware that other agencies would like to be in their position with too many birthmom’s and not enough families.

My heart breaks to see that this isn’t about helping expectant mothers through to make the decision that is right for them and their baby, I just don’t think that is what adoption is all about and even though my wait may be longer than others, I am okay with the decision we made to pass on this opportunity and wait because we know that ~ Our Day Will Come ~

16 and Pregnant

Today has been a day with teenage pregnancy all over the place. This morning the radio had a discussion about this teen who is 15 and her mother is insisting that she keep the baby but the father’s mother would like to sign over his rights so they were trying to figure out if it is possible for him not to be a part of the babies life because they would like to give the baby up for adoption. My heart broke for this girl who is being pushed to keep the baby at 16. From working at a childcare center for teen parents during high school I saw several teens keep the baby expecting help from their parents but then once the baby arrives the parents expect the teen to raise the baby. I am sad for her, but I also know that if this teen want to really do this, she can. It will be hard, but she can. It sounds to me that she hasn’t learned about the options in open adoption and I hope that she does all the research she can to make a fully informed decision and find support for whatever direction she may want to go.

Then this evening I’ve been watching 16 and Pregnant. I had a hard time watching her try to add up the costs of things she’ll need. She kept saying she’d need a bassinet and a crib and then forgot the car seat. It was such an obvious sign of how much she has to learn. I’m sure she can learn it but i just felt like I wanted to sit down with her and say…”you don’t need a bassinet because you’ll have a crib and a car seat is very important.” I hope she does okay but I just felt like she needed guidance and it was sad she didn’t have it, or wouldn’t take it.

Teens having babies is a fact of our society today, but what can we do to help them make informed, educated and loving decisions for them and their unborn child? I often find myself wondering what the school does to help them learn about all of the options, or where they go of the school doesn’t have anything to offer? The more I learn about open adoption, the more I learn how little others know.

A lot

I’ve been trying to focus on all aspects of my life lately. Work, the house, relationships, photography, and adoption. For such a long time I feel like I put such a focus on all of the adoption stuff that I really lost a lot of myself. Our lives have surrounded trying to start a family for so many years and I have thrown my heart and soul into it but I feel this unbelievable push. Nothing is going very smoothly, not that it is bad, just not very smooth.

We have had several people contact us, 4 at one time at one point, and so it feels good to know that our information is out there but we aren’t hearing back and it seems like one is a scam. I keep trying to remind myself that good things come to those who wait but how long do we wait? Im tired, and long for “the call”.

As Easter approaches I hope for the best and pray that the next holiday will be our first as parents.

What if?

I can’t help but play the “what if” game in my head at times. So I found myself emotional as I realized that our precious Metro is now 14. It came out of no where, which is pretty common with those crazy emotions but it was a bit shocking. I found myself wondering “what if” the ectopic pregnancy had gone full term. Well, we would have a 2 year old as of March 10th.

Today I find great comfort in the words of Helen Keller.
When one door of happiness closes, another one opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. – Helen Keller

As I look back I recognize one of those moments. We have been waiting over 5 years to become parents. The majority of our marriage has had the dark cloud of infertility. We have had this sadness over us and spent so much time fighting my body to become pregnant and carry a baby. This past year we turned our backs to that door and found a new one – adoption. While we are facing new challenges, like patience during this wait we feel good about the direction we are headed.

Surrounded by Adoption

My community of those who have been touched by adoption has grown by infinite numbers over the past few months. All of the online communities and when I say “we are hoping to adopt” it seems like the person knows someone, or hopes to adopt too or has adopted, or was adopted. It is amazing to me how many people out there have adoption, in some form in their lives.

As we wait patiently, at this moment anyway, I find myself so excited to hear of other peoples situations. Recently I saw a post on one of the groups from a woman who is pregnant and was hoping to find a lesbian adoptive couple. She gave a general reason as she wanted someone who is open and accepting. While I know that there are others out there who too are open and accepting this was the expectant mother’s preference and I think that should be respected. I found myself somewhat saddened by the responses she got. Most were comments like “good luck, but remember there are a lot of us out her who will be accepting,” you get the gist. I felt bad for this expectant mother because I feel she has every right to want what she wants and so I found myself thinking of a friend I had met online who fit the expectant mother’s wishes. I wasn’t sure they would hit it off but why not try, right? I nervously wrote to this friend and gave her the link to the page. She contacted her and to my overwhelming delight they matched! A wave of excitement rushed over me for her when she messaged to say they had been chosen. It was so incredible to have been a part of that and I felt privileged to have her share that with me.

So now I wonder, am I meant to work with adoptions in some way? Do I have a new calling? Who knows where life will lead me but I do know that I am headed in the right direction.

Is it me?

So as I sit here awaiting another hockey game I have so much running through my head. I used to have friends who would join me for things like this but today and recently, I sit alone. I don’t often feel alone but lately it seems like I am a last thought to some of my good friends. It seems like it is coming back to, you don’t have kids. Stuff like oh I can’t do that because of the kids, only to find out later that they aren’t doing anything with the kids in the first place.

Who knows, maybe it’s just me, at this stage in my life, time will tell I suppose.