Tuesday, September 9, 2014

grab-bag: adoption meeting, cycle vent, feelings etc.

From the file swirling-around-in-my-head-lately:

Second adoption meeting
Almost an entire year after the last adoption info meeting I attended - at which I learned that we needed to move before trying to adopt; check! - I attended another meeting at a different local agency. Woo hoo for efficiency and speed, ha! =) At this pace I think we'll adopt in, say, ten years or so...! Anyway, this agency was the other one in our area I wanted to look in to. Mr. M came with me this time, which was great, and two friends came as well! There was a LOT of information because they went over all three programs they do - domestic, older child, and international. They also gave us a LOT of handouts which I want to read carefully. Overall, I was impressed with the executive director's philosophy and knowledge. The two things I liked the most: 1) they offer very comprehensive, ongoing education and services for adoptive families and birthparents; 2) they have a sliding scale for costs and sincerely seem to try to make adoption affordable. It would be possible to work with them exclusively or work with them and an out-of-state agency (for example, if we wanted to work with a Catholic agency or one that does more placements). So that was good to hear. There's SO MUCH to consider!! We're going to schedule a follow-up to get their advice on how our finances are looking vis a vis adopting.

Which brings me to...
When is the best time to fundraise for an adoption?
I feel like this is one of those trick questions that should be really easy but is completely confusing me! Our original plan (okay, mainly my original plan, ha!) was to do a home study and get approved, because we have the money for that, then fundraise as we're waiting to get placed. That makes sense to me because then we could tell people, "we passed! we can adopt!" and basically we would be raising money for the placement fees, travel costs, etc.

However, Mr. M (and I think the adoption agency lady we talked to last night) are of the opinion that you should fundraise before doing the home study, so once the home study is done, you're all ready to go and should a miracle happen and you're selected the very next day you won't miss the opportunity. The part about this plan that I don't like is that you'd be asking people for money without knowing whether you'll be approved to adopt and frankly before you've done much of anything! I don't know why, but that feels weird to me. But maybe it's not.

Or, you could do the home study and then basically put it on hold - not have it shown to birthparents - as you're raising funds for the placement fee. That makes sense to me too, but the adoption lady last night seemed to think that this would be silly because you'd have to renew your home study and other forms, and that would be a waste of money, so why not wait until you're completely ready?

So I don't know - hopefully meeting with an adoption expert at the agency will help us sort out this puzzle, and maybe hearing what other people have done!

The most annoying cycle ever
Part of me wants to let bygones be bygones, but a bigger part of me wants to kvetch about how incredibly annoying the cycle was that is now over. It was my first cycle taking Letrozole (Femara) and the wierdness abounded. I should say that I was lazy about charting because of our move, until on day 21 and 22 I had spotting, which had never happened before in 4 years of charts. (Cue googling "implantation bleeding"....!) Then more spotting day 26, then three days of cramping days 27-29, none of which made any sense at all. The options were: 1) I was pregnant and having implantation bleeding/cramping; 2) I ovulated really, really late, like day 27, which is 6 full days after my latest O ever; 3) I had a double-peak, also unprecedented; and 4) Letrozole was doing strange, strange things to my body.

Five pointless pregnancy tests later, I concluded that the answer was probably a combination of #2 and #4. Arrrrggggghhhh it was so annoying!! All told, the cycle lasted 41 days (compared to my normal 28-31).

I was kinda hoping to not have to chart that faithfully, seeing how we've been doing this for a while and while we're still TTC, we're also moving on to adoption and I'd like to not have to think about TTC every day! But I kicked myself multiple times last cycle for not charting, since it made the tail end (middle?) of the cycle such a tease (5 pregnancy tests?!? how ridiculous) so I guess I'll chart more diligently at least this cycle, and see what Letrozole decides to do this time. Or maybe it was the stress of the move? I don't know. Consider me baffled.

Overall feeling happier than normal!
To end on a happy note: I met with my spiritual director while we were in Mr. M's hometown for a wedding last weekend and was so happy to report that overall I'm feeling happier, more at peace, and more joyful than I have in months, maybe years. No kidding! Yes, IF still hurts, a lot. Yes, I am still wounded and tender. But I noticed little things recently, like I didn't take as long to bounce back from a pg announcement, or like I actually got through the cycle from Hades without bawling even once, or I just felt a lightness and excitement about life that I didn't realize had been absent, etc.

Why? I think there are a couple reasons: 1) grace grace grace grace, grace! in the form of healing masses and prayers and just plain old undeserved gift of peace from God; 2) as hard as it was to hear the words "unexplained infertility" post-surgery, I also feel a huge sense of freedom knowing that we did a LOT this year toward trying to figure out what's cause our IF: SA, ultrasound series, surgery, and blood tests (not to mention the tests we did in 2013). Yes, I'd rather have an answer (I think) but at least I know we tried! Put another way: it is SUCH a relief to have all of these tests behind us. I don't think I even realized how stressed I was about them...because they're so stressful!! I'm just glad they're over. 3) I can't say enough how being in our new place and having the door open to adoption has been so, so, so good for my soul. On the one hand, adopting feels utterly intimidating and overwhelming; on the other hand, I trust that little by little we'll get there, if that's God's plan for us after all! It's so wonderful at least to be able to take a tiny step forward. And 4) I tried to explain to my spiritual director that I just feel stronger somehow, more confident in myself, less swayed by others' opinions or perceptions, more able to handle suffering. The boot camp of infertility has to pay off at some point, right?!? [Of course I say this now, and tomorrow I might be a complete puddle again...!] Even if feeling a renewed sense of joy is but a minor reprieve, I'll take it!



  1. You sound so filled with hope in this post! So happy to read this. That said, your crazy cycle was last month and mine is happening right now. I have the pregnancy tests all lined up, but I'm a bitter IF lady over here - just staring at them and resenting the symptoms. Oh Clomid rage, how you make me suffer...

    Will be praying for your adoption intentions! <3

  2. Hey there! I am with you - get Home Study started and fundraise WHEN an opportunity comes up. That's when people want to give and you will have INCREDIBLE amounts of momentum with a placement. Even if it's the next day :)

  3. Ugh a loooong cycle is the worst, 41 days, so frusterating. I'm glad to hear you are feeling more peaceful and happier and joy-filed. God is good, and working, even in the midst of all the pain and sorrow of IF.

  4. Regarding fundraising I learned the hard way that it is better to fundraise hard core once matched, or at least once the home-study is done. That way it is more "real" to those who are donating and they feel like they can see their donation put to work. We did some fundraising last year in the midst of the home-study and then had to pause everything, that was kind of embarrassing. I don't think that will happen with you, but this time around we are going to do a big "push" once we are matched.

  5. We want to start fundraising either in the process of a homestudy or right after, it seems more doable and real then. If we started right now I would feel weird about people donating unless you do fundraising directly through the agency you choose if they are a 501c3 people can send money to the agency in your name/for your adoption.

    I am glad you are moving forward and yes grace is so healing on this journey! I would also suspect you may have had a double peak because you were moving and that is an acute stress that can cause it, if you weren't charting that well you could've missed the second build up. If it happens again this cycle while on fem.ara then talk to your NaPro dr. about it. That's my practitioner 2 cents ;)

  6. So glad you're in such a good place right now! :-) I'm praying for your adoption intentions.

    If it makes you feel any better, I bet I would have taken way more than 5 tests lol

  7. Love the positivity in this post, I remember feeling a similar sense of peace right smack dab in the middle of some really downer months...grace is so powerful! Glad the move is behind you and your can focus more of the amazing adventure of adoption!!

  8. So happy the meeting went well and that you're in a better place to adopt! Reading this is making me feel a bit more inspired to get on our own adoption stuff. So happy you're feeling better!

  9. Aside from that most annoying cycle ever (Ughhhh! Seriously?? So sorry!!), sounds like there are so many great things going on!! Loving your positivity! :) As for the adoption fundraising, I totally get how you feel. I'd definitely prefer to wait until after the home study is complete. I get their point, but I'd still feel more comfortable asking for money after it was legally possible to adopt, even if that means not having enough money if a situation comes up quickly once you're approved. But I usually play things conservatively, so there's that too! Whatever you do, I can't wait to see it play out!! Lots of amazing things headed your way!

  10. Having just dealt with a similar cycle, my heart broke reading that you had to deal with it. Just, ugh :(.

    So glad to read the peace you are experiencing and I've been praying for your adoption journey, and will continue to do so.

  11. All the IF meds made me worse...

    Hope that the joy just keeps growing as you get closer to adopting! We so wish we were at a place to start the process!

    We look forward to learning about the adoption process with you and the others who are adopting now. When you all become pros we will be calling upon your knowledge!