Friday, July 2, 2010

I can't *not* do anything

For the last 2 months I've tried living with the fact that we're done having children.  We put it out of our minds.  We focused on paying down debt some, and splurged and bought the kids a swing set.  Life went back to "normal".

It just doesn't feel right.  I am not happy, because I feel pulled to add to our family and I can't do it.  We're literally working as hard as we can and haven't really made much headway to getting all of the money together.

I gave away our crib.  I packed away the profile books.  I stopped daydreaming in the baby aisle at Target and have tried to distance myself from anything baby related, except for my new nieces (who are absolutely perfect) and only my closest friends/family who are expecting.

I still can't shake the feeling that we're making a huge mistake.  I feel like if we had more faith in God we could just move forward, trusting that He will provide when the time comes.  Instead, I'm stuck in limbo trying to find a different path that feels as right as adoption felt.  We've discussed changing jobs, moving, getting a puppy....those are all obviously not what God has planned for my family because none of it fills the hole.        

So what do we do?  We've considered foster-to-adopt.  That would certainly be less expensive.  But I can't seem to reconcile the fact that the goal of foster care is to eventually return the children to their biological parents.  I've done a lot of contemplating that, and I don't know that I can ever be in that place, where I would not feel bitter in the end when the child is reunited with his/her parents.  And I don't want to even start down that path with the wrong attitude.

So now I'm stuck.  I just don't know what to do.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Our dreams have crumbled before our eyes....

We're not adopting anytime soon.   After the potential situation a week ago Friday, we have done a lot of soul searching.  We just can't move forward until we have ALL of the money available.  It is just too hard to turn down a baby because we can't pay the fees.

We've checked into borrowing.  It's not gonna happen.  We can max out our credit cards, take a personal loan, and spend everything in savings.  It still won't be enough, especially when you consider the 6 weeks I'll have to take UNPAID from work.

The only way we can do this is to put everything on hold for now and wait until we save up enough money.  Paying for it as we go, as we have been, just isn't working.  We pay the entrance fee now, and then what?  Turn down every potential match for the next year while we wait to earn enough for the next fee?  I can't put myself through that.

It will take at least 2 years to get enough money.  I don't know if I can wait two years, and then start over.  By the time we start over, go through the process, and get a baby Kaylee will be  around 9  and Kera will be 7/8.  Can I really start over with a newborn then?  Even if I can, is it fair to the child?  How hard would it be to be the only adopted child in a family, potentially be of a different race, AND to be 8 years younger than your siblings?  Would the child ever feel like he/she fits into our family?

So, now I am crushed and completely lost.  I don't know what to do with myself.   I feel like an idiot.  We realized when we got into this that it is expensive (hence the second job) and we knew that it would be hard.  what we didn't anticipate is that our fund raising efforts really did very little, cutting back our household expenses just got taken right back out by lack of raises at work and rising daycare fees, and banks have severely dropped the amount they are willing to lend in personal loans because of the economy. 

I'm trying to look on the bright side, really.  We're going to get ourselves out of debt completely since Eric already has the second job.  We have 2 beautiful girls.  They can have their own rooms again.  We'll be done with daycare in a few more years.  We have a 1:1 child to parent ratio, which is easier.

But I can't seem to shake the feeling like I've been punched really hard in the chest.  

Monday, April 26, 2010

Now what?

The profile books are done!  I've spent weeks making  5 exact duplicate copies of scrapbook profiles.  It was a somewhat tedious, much more expensive than I anticipated, and stressful task.  But now that it's done, I'm a little sad.   Working on the books gave me an excuse to think about our adoption every day.  It gave me a reason to feel connected to this whole process and like I had  some  semblance of control over it.

I'm glad they're done, because it is another milestone behind us.  Maybe I just feel sad about it because we don't yet have the money to move forward.  We're soooo close, but it will likely be another 3 weeks or so until we can officially submit the next set of fees.

Yesterday at church there was a baby dedication ceremony.  I had forgotten that it was scheduled, so I was completely mentally unprepared.  I cried through the whole thing.  I feel bad, because it's not like I'm not  happy for the other families; I'm just sad that  pregnancy and childbirth can't be easy for us.  It was worse because the events of Friday were so fresh in my mind.

I'm also feeling a little guilty about Eric.  He's working so hard  to make this adoption happen.  We're talking 2 jobs, 70 hour work weeks.  He is getting worn out.  I just wish I could make it easier for him.  I'm trying to manage stuff at  home, but with my job and two kiddos something's gotta give.  I'm proud of us though; we're not fighting or arguing.  We're just too tired!  ;o)  Seriously, we've come a long way in our relationship over the last couple of years and we are 100% in this together.  That's a reassuring feeling.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Adoption is Hard.

I think today was one of the toughest days we've had in this whole adoption process.    This afternoon I got  an e-mail from our  social worker (who is awesome, by the way) about a "potential situation".  That's what they call it when there is a birth mother about to view profiles and yours could be one they show her, if you choose to be shown.  Since we haven't even officially joined the program, this was out of courtesy to us. 

My first reaction was, "Wow, that was fast."  then it was, "Wait a minute, we're not ready!"  I spent a few minutes reading the details, then called Eric to get his opinion.  We really wanted to be shown, but we had some serious concerns, the main one being money.  Basically, if we were to be matched with this situation, we would need to come up with five figures  by MONDAY.  yeah.  *SO* not happening.  So we passed.

It all happened so fast, but it was a gut-wrenching and heartbreaking decision nonetheless.  Who wants to say no to a baby who could potentially be your child?  It was so tough to say no, because there were a lot of things about the situation that were appealing to us, and if money weren't an issue I would probably be posting right now about the first time we would be shown to a birth mother.  But, money is a HUGE issue in adoption and we just didn't feel comfortable with it.

So, we said no.  We cried a few tears over what might have been.  And now what?  Nothing really.  We just try to keep moving forward and find the child that was meant for our family.

In the midst of all of this chaos I paused and said a quick prayer.  I prayed for wisdom to do what was right and to choose the path that God intends for me.  I was  filled with peace then  and heard a small voice in  my head saying "This is not the child for you." That's not really the answer I wanted, or the answer I would have made for myself, but it gave me a little peace with the decision, which is what I needed.

All of the research and reading about adoption that I have done could never have prepared me for this.  This is HARD.  Much harder then  having a biological child, at least it seems that way right now. 

After feeling so torn over this, I wonder how I will deal when we are shown to a birth mother and then  she chooses a different family?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Garage Sale Day!

Today was the much anticipated garage sale.  It was so much work to put this together.  Luckily the members of my Life Group really gave us a lot of help.  We had a pre-garage sale party last night and everyone help to carry things, organize them, price them, clean them, etc.  A few people donated items to be sold, so we ended up with a pretty good haul.

Our morning started out bright and early today.  The garage was full of lots of stuff.


We had a slow but steady stream of people all day.  It was cool out, but at least it didn't rain.  I guess this would classify as a success.  We raised about $220.  Those familiar with the adoption world know that this is less than a typical application fee, much less a significant chunk of the total fees.  But, it is what it is, right?  It helps.

I don't understand how people can do these things all the time -- it just doesn't really seem worth the effort to me.  I spent hours preparing, organizing, pricing, etc. not to mention the 10 hours today the garage sale was actually open.  I don't think we'll be doing another garage sale as a fundraiser, but at least we know now.

Today was also Kaylee's very first dance performance!  Two of my good friends came over and babysat my garage sale while I took Kaylee -- Eric was at Carmax today.

I can't say that the performance itself was great, but Kaylee did rather well considering it was her first time.  She was nervous, but she conquered her fear and got out there and danced!  A few pictures:

Hanging out in her tap costume (She's supposed to be a bunny)

Nerves hit when it's time to get on "stage"

One of the older girls who helps out at the studio helped them all get in their places.  This was a first performance for almost all of the girls.

A little bit of dancing.  The girls were all pretty timid.  Their big recital is in a couple of more weeks, so there's still time to get the number down a little better.

It looks kind of like Kaylee is just standing there, but I promise she's moving!  Her movements were kind of "smaller" than they usually are, but now that her first ever performance is behind her, she'll have more confidence next time.

All in all, it was a very busy  day today.  Tomorrow is going to be just as bad because we have church, Eric's working at Carmax again, and I have to do all of the chores and shopping that I should have started on today.  And then it will be Monday and I'll be counting down the days until the weekend all over again!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Home Assessment Report!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a completed home assessment report!  Hot off the presses, our social worker e-mailed it to us today.  Talk about bizarre, this 13 page document has all of the nitty-gritty details of who we are.  No, I won't let you read it!  ;o)

Everything is getting so close, I can taste it.  All we have to do is finish the profile books and pay the entrance fee, and then we'll be officially waiting to adopt our baby!!!!  It still doesn't feel real, but at least we're making progress.

I asked the social worker about the current situation at our agency, to figure out the timing of paying the entrance fee.  This is the 3rd biggest fee in the whole process, no small chunk of change.  We don't really have all of the cash needed yet, but our social worker said not to worry because there aren't any birth mothers who are close to looking at profiles yet.  This is a mixed blessing.  It relieves some of the pressure to get the bill paid now, but worries me some that there aren't any birth mothers.  I need to prepare myself for a wait.  We're looking at a year, AFTER we pay this fee.  It could be much sooner, but likely it will be a long while.

The good news is that we are officially recommend to adopt a baby (or 2!) now.  The girls are starting to get excited too.  In her prayer yesterday, Kera asked Jesus to bring us a baby to adopt.  I've told the girls that we have to wait for God to show us which baby we're supposed to get.  I'm glad they actually listen to me, whether they will admit it at the time or not 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Busy, Busy Day

I don't have the energy to come up with a witty, insightful post.  So here's a rundown of my day.

Wake up, get ready for work.
Get the girls, who slept in, ready for  school
Drop the kids off at daycare, Kera cries that she just wants to stay with me.  I feel like crying too.
Go to work, work really hard.
Take a 20 minute break and scarf down some lunch, and read my Bible to keep my sanity
Work some more
Pick up the kids
Home for homework, pop  dinner in the oven
Get Kera changed, head off to dance
During Kera's dance lesson, help Kaylee finish up her homework
Come home, get dinner out of the oven, get the girls fed
While the girls are having their Easter bunnies for dessert, make lunches for the next day
get the girls in their jammies, lay out clothes for tomorrow
help the girls brush their teeth, etc.
tuck the girls in
take care of a load of laundry
take out the trash
tell the girls to be quiet and go to sleep at least 10 times
balance the checkbook, have a mini-meltdown because money is coming out of savings instead of going in
finally change out of my work clothes, wash my face, and take medicine for my pounding headache
sit down to check my e-mail and  type up this quick post.....

Now, I'm off  to start pricing things for the garage sale until Eric gets home in about 30 minutes.  Then I'll get  him fed and give him his medication, crash in bed, and do it all again tomorrow.