Thursday, February 26, 2009


I figure that I’ll address some questions that I’m sure my lurkers are asking (I know you’re out there).

How’d you find an agency?
I work for an attorney that does adoptions here and there, and I used the agency that he’s used for years, in its various forms and reformations and name changes. The core of very competent people have always been the same. I have worked with them on some files and I’ve always liked their professionalism, so for me—us—it was a no-brainer.

What attorney will you be using?
After discussing it with the caseworker we’ll be working with, it turns out that there is no ethical conflict if my boss is my attorney in this matter. It’d only be a conflict if he represented the birth family at the same time.

What’s the back story on your infertility?
Read here. This is my sister blog where I purged a lot of this poison before I realized that I really shouldn’t blog about adoption in a place that has “fail” in the URL.

Did you do any treatments?
Short answer is no. Follow the link in the previous question for details.

How long did it take for you to come to the decision to adopt?
Well, I passed the four year mark of the ectopic this last September (Sep. 2004-Sep. 2008). In the ensuing four years, there hasn’t been a single peep in terms of conception. Not even a suspicion. I know that if I could get pregnant, then there was a way to keep pregnant... but if I can’t conceive at all, then it looks pretty bad.

Then, in September 2008, we had our first orientation for adoption at the agency. So in these past four years, I’ve been to the dark side of the moon and back, and have returned a little worse for wear. But DH is completely on board with the adoption end of things.
A mark of how much my mental health has recovered: when my dad passed along that my little brother will become a father later this year, I was genuinely pleased and excited, without a single speck of the “why not me?!” or any resentment or anger that crosses every infertile woman’s mind at some point in that hell. I was proud of myself when I realized it, and am proud of how far I’ve come.

Have you told anyone?
My dad knows—he also knows about our problems conceiving. DH has mentioned it at a high level to his parents, but not in any detail as far as I know. I haven’t told my siblings, and neither has he. We both have certain friends that we’ve confided in for sanity’s sake. Until the home study is done and the certification complete, it’ll probably remain that way.

Feel free to ask away.

Coming up: a rundown of the adoption application from my perspective.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Information Requested

Today, I continued my hunt for good internet resources. Through a blog that referred to the boards for iVillage, and it looked promising. The link itself was sorta ‘meh,’ so I clicked the link for their adoption main page.

Seriously? What a cluttered pain in the ass. Ads here, a column there, and no rhyme or reason. Very annoying. Just crap everywhere. Needs a serious revamp.

One story has pieces only a third of a page long, but it has four total pages, all of which are a third of a page long. FAIL.

One part of that same article went to a link that went nowhere. FAIL.

Articles that have a teaser that never gets revealed. FAIL.

Maybe the message boards are better. While they’re clunky, and only have 4 posts per page (probably because of all those damn sigs, tickers and blinkies), I already found some good info from various posters. But it is a headache.

Do you have suggestions for resources?


One of the topics in the article I referred to above was “Prepare yourself for private questions.” It listed one as “What was the most difficult problem you and your spouse ever had to face, and how did you resolve it?”

This question alone has me scratching my head. DH and I have an idyllic marriage. Honestly. I know it sounds very Pollyanna and naive, but it’s true. We rarely “fight.” When there is a conflict, it’s more like two irritated cats hissing at each other with a swipe or two of paws, but no claws, no fur flying. We always wind up purring and licking one another, figuratively of course. Our house and life and our relationship are very peaceful. We dislike discord and politeness is the rule of the day.

Have we had disagreements? Of course, don’t be silly. We’re still humans, not a pair or paragons.
If anyone’s difficult, it’s me. By the end of our lives, he’ll probably deserve canonization. But I’m not a stark raving bloody bonkers bitch, either.

Back on semi-topic, though. If that question is a taste of the flavor of questions that we’ll face, I need some heads-up. These are questions that require some forethought to answer.

What were some of the difficult questions in your home study?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Allusions to Flight, Illusions of Flight?

I was enjoying the exhilarating flight on Tuesday after turning in the application, and really loving that feeling that finally things are going my/our way after all these years. Yesterday, I was still skimming the breeze, gradually descending to a peaceful landing, envisioning my rhetorical feathers ruffling pleasantly in the breeze, and enjoying the aftermath of a wonderful, peaceful soar.
Then, early yesterday afternoon, in a back and forth email with DH, he said, "[I'm] stressed out, not sleeping well, everything [department] related in this place is a disaster. I seriously was thinking of finding another job last night...they want to speed everything up to get it done and I can only be in so many places at once."
We knew when he took this position that it was not going to be a cakewalk. Even before he officially started there at the end of December, they were hitting him up on how to handle this crisis and that crisis. So, the ensuing chaos in the department he took over isn't really surprising. What he didn't realize was that they want all sorts of things implemented before an upcoming company-wide event that is about eight weeks away.
DH is in a particular field where impossible expectations are the norm, where people not in that field honestly think what they want can be done in a day or week and not have to expend money, whereas the truth is that it takes weeks or months, and is usually rather expensive.
The relevant point in all of this is that if he's voicing the thought that he'd seriously considered looking for another position seven weeks after starting this one--even momentarily--it puts everything we've planned in jeopardy. The Ireland trip, the weekend in Chicago DH wants to do this summer, my weekend in Indy with my girlfriends this fall, and most importantly, the adoption.
At one point after I got home from work, I lost it. I brayed like a donkey, wept like a shattered child. I'm so fearful that the pattern of plans and dreams being taken away in these last ten years was resurfacing, and with that dark thought I pretty much crawled up the stairs to the guest room and wailed like a child. The surfacing dread came to the fore that if everything goes to shit, we'll have to pass on adoption again... and the certain knowledge that if we don't go through with it now, in this time frame, it will never happen.
After I crashed down to earth in a violent explosion of feathers, I tried to get ahold of myself. I told myself that I'm overreacting, and I'm catering to my wide streak of native cynicism. And yet... yet... there's that streak of deep knowledge of my dearest husband, who is the most mellow, self-sufficient, and engaging of people, is drowning in this lake of job-related despair. If he's being affected that badly, then it is that bad. I know all about jobs that just suck the soul out of a person, where the job is in your head 24/7, and not in a good way--I've had two of them, and at the end of those horrible days, I would go to the bedroom and cry stormily and be on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So yeah, I know all about it. Been there, done it, completely get it.
And so between dealing with the upwelling of my fears and trying to tamp down my cynicism, I'm worrying about DH.
I had bought things for dinner - I was going to make the beef kabobs and the brown rice we like so much. I was such a wreck that I couldn't bear to go down to the kitchen and get it started. I stayed upstairs, stared at the screen, tried to gather my wits that were scattered like the feathers that scattered upon impact. DH said he was heading home; I had to get my brain in gear and my emotions in check--he doesn't need me freaking out too.
When I heard the garage door open, I raced downstairs so that the lights were on and everything would seem normal. The last thing I wanted to do was add to his stressors.
I suggested we go out and talk over a beer, not because we're alcoholics or need the buzz, but because we'd be out of the house, away from the phone, the TV, the computer, and other distractions. It is literally a single beer each together when things are out of whack. There's just something about the ritual of talking over a beer in our relationship that calms the nerves and settles the frazzled brainwaves for us. He had Coors on tap, I had a bottle of a local beer, and we each ordered salads, nothing heavy. We both were so overwrought we could barely think of eating anything heavier than lettuce.
I did not speak to him of the crushing fears in my mind; instead, I found out what was bothering him so much, and why, and why the situation going nuts.
His "problem" (if you want to call it that) is that he does not normally like to play the heavy, doesn't prefer playing the asshole (even though he's fully capable of it as a Jersey Boy), but I think the situation, and the position, requires him to be a hardass. He said that even his immediate supervisor said he has to become more aggressive and push things through, and said that he, the supervisor, would back him up.
My advice was to essentially agree with his supervisor, and for him to push back on all the people trying to dump on him, as his title and his position does allow for that. It's clear that there can only be three or four major projects on at once with the skeleton crew he has, and that he has to pick the three/four and make it clear that nothing else is on the plate until one of the first four get done. And delegate the hell out of things--he's dealing with things now he shouldn't even see unless it's at a boiling point, since he is now upper management, and things along that line.
By the end of the beer and salads, he felt better, and because he did, I did. We both felt lighter, more positive, and more ready to deal with things.
We both went to bed relatively early last night.
Since DH had not slept worth a damn in previous nights, I asked him this morning how he'd slept and how he felt. "I slept wonderfully; I feel fine."
"See?" I said, "You need to vent to me sometimes and not hold it in." Ha, pot meet kettle.
I was very glad he had sleep--he does not function well without it.
All sorts of smiles, hugs and kisses before I left for work.
Now that I've recovered from the abrupt end to my flight, my outlook is better this morning. I've found my feathers and are sticking them back in with superglue and needles. The world is not ending, at least not yet, and everything is intact this morning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Okay, Now That I'm Set Up...

I realized today in my whirling mind that a blog that mentions adoption really shouldn't have "fail" or "failboat" in the title. My sister blog is here, and that's where I'll opine on topics other than the ride ahead in adding to the family.
If you don't want to go back and read, don't worry. I'll migrate some of the relevant material here.
"Meant to Be" is a central theme of DH's and my life together. One step, one decision, and we would not have the wonderful, blessed marriage today. We had that discussion - what if I'd not come back to Arizona? What if he'd stayed back east? And the answer to that interminable line of questions is that everything we did was meant to happen.
And it has taken several years to come around to the concept that perhaps there is a cosmic reason why I have ovarian cysts, and why those cysts have turned my fallopian tubes into spaghetti. Is there a satisfactory reason? No, and I don't think there ever will be.
It has taken several years to come to terms with the fact that we will never have our own, biological child. How far have I come? This past weekend, my brother called my dad (Dad got dibs on being told first, which is awesome) to tell Dad that he and his wife are expecting their first child, due in October. And you know, there was not even a single twinge of envy in my heart, not one blip of rage. I was honestly, genuinely happy at the news. In my heart I know that I have come so far.
Today is the beginning of the next chapter of our married lives.
During my lunch hour, I went by the adoption agency to drop off the application packet. It's kind of like an comfy old pair of slippers, mostly because I've dealt with this agency during the course of my work. The folks there are a known entity, and my boss has been dealing with and through them for many years. Therefore, I'm fortunate to not have that gaping maw of the unknown in terms of having to shop for an agency.
And see, that's another thing that's meant to be: almost three years ago I interviewed for a job. At the end of the interview I told my now-boss that my mother was terminally ill. I said that she could go tomorrow, next week, next month, who knows. And he didn't blink. He hired me when other firms would never have touched me because of that tottering situation. I started work on a Tuesday, and my mother died the following Sunday. Ten days off and again, not a blink. Three years later I'm still profoundly grateful for Boss's generosity and understanding--pretty rare for a lawyer.
The next turn of meant to be that Boss is a lightning rod for a certain organization that has an early influence in some birth mothers' decision to place their child for adoption. Also, in the course of my work, the office has done a handful of adoptions, so I have been exposed to the process here and there. You must understand that at that point in time these occurred, adoption was not yet a viable option for me; I was still grieving for my loss in an ectopic, and grieving that I had not conceived after that, not once.
So these examples of meant to be heighten my certain faith that adoption is indeed meant to be for us.
Join me as our journey begins on this partly cloudy, breezy February day in Arizona.