Surprise

We officially became a “waiting” family last week. Today a social worker is reviewing us for consideration of the two children she works with. Who knows how long the process is for the child worker to determine we should move on to step 2 of meeting with her but we’ll see. Maybe we’ll make it past this stage on the first try, maybe not. Fingers crossed!

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When the stars don’t align

Sometimes I think our case worker is an idiot. In my June 16th post “Unofficially Official” I provided false information- that was provided to us by the social worker but I just realized it last weekend. So yea.

We have one more class before we will even be submitted to the agency board for approval. Our social worker had told us in early June that everything was good to go since we approved the profile and it would go to DHS for approval and we should hear in a few weeks. She noted that these July classes would not hold us up since they are adoption specific and we had expressed that we wanted to foster. Yea, lies.

We are in the midst of the 2 part adoption classes now. Last weekend we were there for 6 hours with adoption workers who are coworkers of our assigned person. They laid out very clearly the process. There were 2 other families there who were in the same position as us, everything was completed except this class. The class leaders explained that once you complete this class your profile goes to the agency board and then you meet with the matching specialist., not before Our social worker had told us we’d meet with the specialist prior to our license being approved. Can you see how frustrating all of this is? Grr! So I have a clearer picture now that we are not going to hear from the agency board about approval until some times in August. We had kind of rushed and got a lot of items, put the beds up, etc. thinking that sometime this month we might be getting calls. Little did we know.

Meanwhile we are planning to go to Florida for Thanksgiving to spend time with my dad’s side of the family. My mom also recently relocated to Florida so we’ll get to see her also. We bought our plane tickets and are holding out hope that if we have children they are long term placements that can go with us on this trip. We bought trip insurance just in case we have to cancel or reschedule. Right now we are looking at accommodations and it’s hard not knowing how many beds we’ll need and things like that. I’m geared towards an Airbnb place or VRBO so that we have privacy and the kids don’t feel like we’re hounding them 24/7. Everyone likes to have their own space, ya know. I hadn’t realized how difficult it can be to plan anything in the future without knowing what the children situation will be like. Even making plans with friends for the fall is “it’ll depend on what the kid situation looks like” and luckily people are very understanding.

We attended the Pennsylvania Adoption and Permanency Conference at the end of June and it was really informative. That whole experience deserves its own post though so look for that soon.

Today we celebrate C’s 41st birthday with a pool party with our nearest and dearest! ❤

Officially unofficial

Last week was our last visit with the social worker for a while. It feels weird to not have her name on the calendar but it also feels nice to know the balls are really rolling. We reviewed the family profile that she had written and it was mostly presentable. Considering I write similar profiles for a living I had some feelings about her word choices and structure but oh well. There were some glaring issues like:

  • B read a book and decided she was a lesbian
  • C has always been a lesbian. His sexual identity is now male.
  • B was in “xyz” club. “Xyz” is the name of my high school. 

These things were weird and C changed her words immediately on the profile report. I waited until Monday after giving it a lot of thought and I wrote her the exact thing I wanted her to put in the report regarding when I realized I was a lesbian. The worker is actually really great and when she found out about our LGBT status she was glad to hear it. I think she just didn’t know how to write about gender identity and sexual orientation. 

So, now the report goes to DHS and we wait to be licensed. We expect this to take a few weeks. We are being licensed as adoptive parents not foster. 

This means we’ll get kids they expect are heading for their parents rights being terminated. We are ok with this though I was initially upset they weren’t going to let us care for short term placements. I’ve now wrapped my head around this being ok and we’ll roll with it. There are kids out there somewhere who need us, preferable in the 6-16 age range. We decided while doing the profile that we can’t deal with daycare. It doesn’t work for our wallets, our schedules, or our energy level. So no babies for us- unless they are part of an older sibling set. Our friends have been collecting items for us so we have all the things for an emergency infant placement just in case.

June 28-30 we’ll be in the Pocono mountains at a water park for the annual permanency conference. I’m so looking forward to meeting other LGBT foster parents and people in our area. We are alone in this adventure but I’ve made a few online friends. One woman lives a few miles from us and a lesbian couple used our agency and live in Philly. I’m branching out! We need foster parent friends so this helps. The internet is an amazing resource for meeting people. At the conference we will take several work shops and learn about various parenting methods as well as legal issues to prepare for. This is definitely my domain- the learning part of things.

We also have to take 16 hrs of adoption classes. Those are scheduled in July. That’s our last piece of the puzzle before we get referrals for kids. It seems so close and so far away simultaneously. We bought beds on Facebook Marketplace, way cheaper than getting them new at IKEA and they are the design we want. We need to assemble them and then we’ll be set in the “little kid” room. The teen/tween room is already set up. 

Folks. We are almost there! The finish line is just weeks away. 

The unexpected trigger

For several years I knew that when someone said “I’m pregnant” I would smile but cringe and once I was alone I’d start to hate myself for not having given birth. I would somehow internalize my loved ones pregnancies as the universe telling me what a failure I was because “everyone else is doing it.” It has only been the last two years that I have been able to take this news and genuinely be happy for people without thinking about myself first.

It is hard initially to not think about the baby I would have had if I hadn’t miscarried, or all the failed IUIs and the huge chunk of change spent on medication and appointments in attempts to bring home a live baby. I feel that losing a pregnancy is not something that you move through in the blink of an eye. It’s been 6 years and I still cry about it, I still feel traumatized by having to wait it out rather than a D & C.

This week one of my good friends found out that they lost their pregnancy, during a routine scan there was no heartbeat. This is her first pregnancy after several IUIs and it’s devastating. We do not live local to one another so I think she felt safe talking to me about being pregnant and now about their loss. I hate that I can’t be there for her as I know what it is like to not have anyone local to you who understands what you’re going through.

I hadn’t expected that finding out someone I know lost a pregnancy would trigger me into feelings of sadness and loss. It’s almost Mother’s Day here in the USA and that’s an awful time to have to deal with a loss like this. I would definitely be feeling some feelings about not being a biological parent regardless but now I feel sucked into the thoughts of the kid that would have been. That loss changed my life. It made it very difficult for me to imagine being pregnant, I was paranoid and terrified. I’d get an anxiety attack whenever we inseminated and I was not prepared to deal with another long wait for a fetus to “expel.” That was when we knew it was over. I couldn’t handle the emotional toll that it took on me and I  was scared to death that I would become despondent if I had to go through another miscarriage.

We moved on. We let ourselves grieve and work through what it meant for us to not to have bio kids. Now we are fully engrossed in becoming foster parents. We are happy with our decision and look forward to welcoming young people into our home. When reading books about foster or adoptive parenting, I learned about addressing your biological kids grief so that you aren’t putting that on the children who you’ll be caring for. The children are not responsible for living up to the ideal child dream we have and cannot be expected to be the kid you thought you’d have. No one can predict what will trigger their feelings of loss but I try to put mine in perspective and not carry that over into parenting future children.

*keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as she and her wife go through this awful time*

NYC getaway and other updates

We went to New York to celebrate my birthday! We had a great time with our friends who joined us. It snowed some on Saturday which only dampened our spirits a little. 

The 9/11 Memorial pools. If you haven’t seen them, you should if you’re in the city. It was very moving and there aren’t words to express the magnitude of the experience, especially if you remember the news stories that day. Wow!

Cruise around the statue of liberty. What an awesome view! Looking back, the tall building is One World Trade Center, very tall and it’s one of 4 world trade center buildings they are building. 

Rockefeller Center, the iconic statue. This was 10pm and there were so many people ice skating! They have much more energy than I do for that time of night.

In other, not travel news, I’m 34 years old! Wow. It feels like I was 25 just a few months ago. Time does fly. I may have mentioned that my family is of the general feeling that people over 30 should not have children. It’s a general consensus, except with my dad who had a child in his early 40s. As a result, we are not planning to tell our families about our family building plans. It’ll be a surprise if it all falls into place.

We have contacted several adoption and foster-to-do adopt agencies to get started with paperwork for home plan and start classes or whatever is needed. We are moving forward working on the home study component as that can be complete prior to a picking an agency. Plus, that’ll take some time to be completed. I signed us up for a “first steps of adoption” workshop on January 28th. Let’s get this ball moving!

Excited

You know that bitter feeling you get when everyone is pregnant but you?

I have a feeling that is so the opposite.Today some of our closest friends were approved to adopt a sibling set! Not one second of green envy or weirdness. I am genuinely happy for them and can’t wait to meet the little boys in the coming year.

It’s really nice to be truly happy for others without thinking about myself. Perhaps I’ve reached a zen state of family building.

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14 days later

And I’m no more pregnant than I was last week.

I kindly told the nurse that this was it for us and she was sad. We’ve had her for so long. I think she wanted to cry with me. If I wasn’t at work I would be crying. Instead I’m being tough and everything is fine.

This morning they wanted to do some special blood tests for disorders and I agreed. Those results take a while do I’ll be hearing from the nurse in a week or so. Perhaps we’ll find out I carry some weird gene that won’t let me get pregnant. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter right now.

We still have a baby fund but the more I think about it, I feel like putting $10k into IVF could be throwing the money in the trash and we should move to adopt instead. I’m scared and hurt and faulty and kind of hopeless today.

But tomorrow is a new day (and I’m done with Crinone)!

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Hope

Today I received the sweetest text message from my dear blog friend (who is a real life friend though we have never met). She sent me a photo of herself at the Texas Walk of Hope sponsored by Resolve. Her message “today I’m walking for you.”

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I showed it to C and he teared up with me. I think one of the sweetest things anyone could do is support someone in the way she always supports me. She suffered infertility also and did achieve pregnancy and has the cutest one year old son. I’m so proud to know her. She cheers on, she understands the struggle, and she doesn’t say the stupid shit that people say that they think is comforting but really isn’t.

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Why aren’t there more Walks like this? I’ve never heard of it outside of Texas.. But I haven’t spent time googling it either. I hope we all survive Infertility Awareness week with happy hearts and hope for the future.

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