Thursday, April 30, 2009

Long Shot

We submitted our homestudy for the first time yesterday.  The child is an 18-month old boy who is legally free and has "mild" physical and emotional needs (whatever that means since mild for one person might be nothing for another). I found the child on an adoption resource website.  I was surprised his profile was even on there because usually this adoption site is for children for whom it's harder to find families, like older children and children with significant special needs. Almost all of the children are legal risk placements.  I'm wondering if there was some kind of mistake. The supervisor said she forwarded our homestudy to the child's worker and that a number of homestudies have been submitted for consideration.  I bet! I'm sure that's an enormous understatement. 

That all adds up to this: we have pretty much no chance to be matched with him.  Why? This isn't the office that did our homestudy, and I'm sure they have lots of their own families who've been waiting.  Surely, the child will be matched with a family that the worker knows through MAPP classes or from doing their homestudy.  They're buried in homestudies at the moment which means there's a stay-at-home mom in there somewhere.  Seriously, I'd prefer to be a stay-at-home mom, at least until our child is 3 or so, so I'd understand if they preferred to place this child with one. 

Bottom line: I'm not getting my hopes up, but it's nice to be able to have a shot, even if it's a only a long shot. 

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Useless Calculations

Why did I bother figuring out all of this?   Maybe it's seeing women who started the IVF process with me contemplate when to start working on Baby #2.  Maybe it's because there have been times recently on a couple of message boards I frequent when a woman has posted about her child's first birthday or taking his first steps, and I've thought, "Wait.  I remember when she announced her BFP.  How can her child be that old already?"  Maybe it's a friend telling me that I have no clue how much having a child is going to change my life. I thought, "Have you totally forgotten how long I've been waiting for that change? Where have you been for the last four years? I'm looking forward to it, even if it is overwhelming!" Maybe it's simply because I've never been pregnant/never will be pregnant and this is my only chance to use a due date calculator. Here are some of my almost-but-not-quite due dates.

If our first cycle trying had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on May 10, 2006 and be the mother of an almost 3 year old. 

If our first IUI had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on July 6, 2007 and be the mother of an almost 2 year old. 

If our first injectable IUI cycle had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on January 19, 2008 and be the mother of a 15 month old. 

If IVF#1 had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on  May 19, 2008 and be the mother of a 10 1/2 month old. 

If IVF/IUI #2 had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on July 4, 2008 and be the mother of a 9 month old

If IVF/IUI#3 had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on September 23, 2008 and be the mother of a 6 1/2 month old. 

If IVF#4 had ended with a BFP and a healthy baby, I would have been due on January 30, 2009 and be the mother of a 2 1/2 month old.  

In some ways, IVF seems like ages ago and in some ways it feels like yesterday.  The baby updates from successful cycling buddies remind me that it wasn't just yesterday.  

I am so ready to stop standing in place while everyone else around me keeps moving forward. ***

***I know there are lots of ways to move forward, and that through adoption we are moving forward with our dream of becoming parents, blah, blah, blah.  Just let me indulge in some self-pity tonight.  I realized today that it was exactly a year ago that I had my final egg retrieval and we got one measly egg.  Even after 3 failed IVFs, I was naive/delusional enough to think that that poor sad little lonely egg might do the trick.  Even when I began to fear that IVF#4 didn't work, it never crossed my mind that one year later we would still be childless.  

Monday, April 20, 2009


Several weeks ago I attended an adoption conference.  It's held annually and is the largest one in New England. DH and I went last year when we were in the middle of our final IVF cycle.  We were hedging our bets, I guess.  While at the conference last year, I listened to a voicemail from one of my best friends  and learned that she got a BFP on her second month of trying.  When we had attended her wedding seven months prior, we had been preparing to start our second IVF. This year, she was at home playing with her five month old (he was born early but healthy) while I, still childless, attended workshops about legal risk adoption and post-adoption adjustment, hoping that they'd be relevant for me sooner rather than later.  

Last year at the conference, I felt like a faker.  In all honesty, we went but we were hoping not to be those people, hoping to avoid the world of adoption, hoping this last cycle would be the one that worked so we could become parents the way we'd always dreamed.  This year was different. This year, I felt like part of the family.  This year, I looked around me and thought, "Almost all of these people have been where I've been." I live in a state with mandated coverage for infertility treatments, including IVF. Almost everyone who is infertile goes through treatments. Most people who move on to adoption in my state have been through the IVF wringer.  They've gone through the hell of infertility and, instead of coming out the other side with a baby like so many, they've come out with empty arms and broken hearts.  They've had to resolve themselves to not having a biological child, to never being pregnant, and then had to decide what to do next. They've had to face the failure. . . and then somehow keep moving forward.  For those  at the conference, the way to move forward is adoption. I am one of them now.   For the first time in a long time, I stood within a group of people and felt like I belonged. 

One workshop I attended was called When Couples Disagree.  DH and I signed up for it because we worry he worries that we'll disagree when we're offered a placement: I'll say yes to any situation while he's more cautious about what we can handle.  The session was facilitated by counselors who specialize in adoption and are also both adoptive parents.   In the group, there were current adoptive parents who disagreed about how much background to disclose to their children, waiting couples like us who were concerned about disagreeing about a referral, couples who disagreed about which adoption route to pursue, and couples who disagreed about whether to pursue adoption or live childfree.  It was quite a diverse mix.  

The conversation got pretty intense at times. The session only lasted a little over an hour, but it ran the gamut from tears, to laughter, to anger. I've never been part of a group who were so honest about their emotions so quickly. Much of the conversation revolved around infertility and its aftermath. There was a lot of talk about the scars infertility left behind-the anger, the bitterness, the grief, the fear that nothing will work out, not even adoption.  It was comforting to hear adoptive parents talk about how it will get better, how it's all worth it in the end because they can't imagine themselves with any child but the one they have.  It is a gift to be with people who understand you without needing to explain yourself--who have walked your path, long before you even knew such a path existed, and who give you only hope for the future.