Adoption Books

Our agency provided us with a list of required/recommended reading to complete prior to our homestudy.  They do not denote which titles are "required" and which are only recommended, so I'm planning on reading all of them (minus the foster/adopt specific books).  I checked out 2 from the library this week, and have already completed the fist.

The Adoption Triangle: The Effects of the Sealed Record on Adoptees, Birth Parents, and Adoptive Parents by Arthur D. Sorosky, et al.  This book gave me a lot to think about in respect to the feelings and emotions of each part of the adoption triangle. Although this book could now be considered "historical" almost, it still had a lot of good information.

One quote from a birthmother really made me think - I don't have the exact quote but she was talking about how she found out that most adoptive families only wanted healthy babies, and how she felt that because of that, adoptive families didn't have the same kind of unconditional love for their children as birth families.  I'd never thought of it like that before, but it's given me a lot to think about in terms of what "disabilities" or drug/alcohol exposure we're willing to "risk" or accept when being presented to birth families. 

Obviously having a drug addicted, differently abled, or FAS baby (or whatever), wouldn't match the picture of my future children that I've been carrying around, but until recently, neither did the idea of an adopted child.  Adoption teaches you a lot, particularly about "rolling with the punches" and accepting what God puts in your life.

I really enjoyed the book overall, and I read it in about 2 days.  I've started the second book already, and I'll post my thoughts about it as soon as I'm finished!


Mother's Day

As some of you may know, Mother's Day when you're still waiting to be a mom can be a pretty rough holiday to live through.  In the past, church services on Mother's Day have been downright painful emotionally.  I absolutely think that we should honor our mothers.  I appreciate that my pastor reminds us that there are some people (like me!) who have a hard time on Mother's Day, for whatever reason.  Last year on Mother's Day (or maybe it was the year before?), one of the worship leaders at a different campus in our church family (we're a multi-site church!) composed and performed a song about his family's struggle with infertility, and it cut down to the bone.  Honestly, I can't even tell you what the song sounded like, the lyrics, anything, because I was a bawling mess as soon as they introduced it.

After that experience, I decided I was done with Mother's Day, church-wise, until I was holding a baby of my own.  I do not want to have another (embarrassing) public meltdown.  I do not want to focus on my pain.  So this year, Tyler and I decided we would skip church.  We went camping Saturday night at a nearby lake, and we had a great time.  I thought about motherhood, of course, but it didn't have the same sting.  I don't know if it was the peace of nature, our decision to expand our family through adoption, God, or a combination of these things, but it wasn't a painful day.  There is still a deep longing in my heart to become a mother and be celebrated as a mother, but it doesn't leave me feeling sharp and jagged around the edges.

I participate on an adoption message board, and another of the members posted the following link.  It is geared toward women who are waiting to adopt, and it had some great reminders.  Visit the link if you're interested:

A Mother’s Day Love Letter to Women Waiting to Adopt.

On a separate note, if you know of other adoption-related blogs or websites that make for good reading, please share in the comments!  I'd love to become more involved in the online adoption community, but I'm not sure where to start.


How we decided to adopt

If you've been following this blog for a while, you probably know that we've been trying to conceive for a long time.  In fact, October will mark four years since we began actively trying to build our family.  We had one small break in that time where we were not trying (while I was in massage therapy school).

It became apparent after a full year post-break that things weren't really happening.  According to my charts, I was ovulating regularly and had a normal LP.  I scheduled an appointment with my OB/GYN to talk about infertility testing.  She ran some bloodwork, which came back normal, and then sent me to have an HSG (basically an x-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes, to check for blockages and other abnormalities).  That was clear, too.  Tyler got sent for a semen analysis at the same time, and that's where we ran into some problems.  His count, motility, and morphology were all low, so he was referred to a urologist who specializes in infertility.

At his appointment, Tyler learned that he had bilateral varicoceles, which are varicose veins leading away from the testicles which cause them to overheat and therefore produce sub-par sperm.  The doctor recommended microsurgery to repair the veins, so Tyler had surgery on Valentine's Day, 2011.  After a week off from work, he was back to normal.  We had several follow-up semen analyses over the next nine months to check if the surgery helped sperm production, but the news was less than stellar.  While there was some improvement, we would likely be unable to conceive without the help of IVF and ICSI (a procedure where sperm are individually implanted within eggs to assist fertilization).

At this point, in November of 2011, we decided to take some time to think.  I had discussed the possibility of adoption with Tyler in the past, but he was unsure if that was something he would be willing to look into.  As we were on the road back to our hometown for Thanksgiving, I asked Tyler to consider adoption again.  I had begun to feel like the Lord was leading me down that path, but I wanted us both to think and pray about it before we had another discussion.  God had other plans, though, and as soon as we finished our initial discussion, we both began to feel an immense sense of peace and calm.  We decided then that we would be using adoption to expand our family, and told Tyler's parents that weekend.

Ever since that moment in the car, we have felt God's presence in our research and decisions regarding our adoption journey.  Our families and friends have been incredibly supportive and are so excited for us to become parents.  We attended an informational session at an adoption agency in February, and we decided shortly thereafter that we will be moving forward with them.

Now we are in the process of saving the money we will need to complete our application, education seminars, and homestudy.  We hope to submit our application materials at the beginning of 2013 and to complete our homestudy around the time that I graduate with my master's in the spring.

Stay tuned for more!!


Repurposing the blog!

Hey everyone, long time no post!  I am a notoriously bad blogger, never keeping my promises.  I have decided to repurpose this blog - this time I'll be talking about our adoption journey!

I just wanted to give everyone a heads-up first. ;)  Stay tuned for the first adoption-related post - I should have it up by this evening!