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!