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.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Super Saturday

So yesterday's mini pity party is over.  Nothing has really changed, except the girls let me sleep in until 8 this morning!  Wahoo!  I can't even remember the last time I slept in that late.  It was very nice, and much needed. 

I feel like I should clarify a couple of things from yesterday.  First, I realize that we are pursuing this option by choice.  No one is forcing us to embark on this emotional roller coaster and to devote the majority of our energy and finances to adding to our family.  We have struggled with this decision for a long time, and wavered back and forth.  We both strongly feel that this is what God has called us to do.  So there's really no turning back.

Second, Eric's 2nd job isn't bad.  It's actually a pretty good place to work, and he's not taking it too seriously and he's enjoying it.  It's the time management part that gets us.  I have never been stretched so thin, and it is taking some serious adjustment.

Okay, so now that that's out of the way, on to other items.  Today was an absolutely gorgeous day.  I didn't clean the house and I didn't prepare for the garage sale, both things that desperately needed to be done.   Instead  I played with the girls, polished our nails, and watched Cars.  again.  Kaylee loves that movie.

I did manage to get the shopping  done and the bulk of the laundry done  plus I worked on the profile books during nap time.  So it was a slightly productive  day.   Really, it was a good balance of work and play.  I wish every day could be this way.

I'm fighting the urge to start buying baby things.  We so don't have the money.  But I wish I could somehow make this adoption feel real.  Kaylee and Kera will sometimes randomly ask me when the baby will get here.  I just tell them the truth - that I have no idea.  They seem to be okay with that answer for now.  Kaylee remarked today, "God must be having a hard time finding a lady who doesn't want her baby."  Wow.  From a 5 year old.  It's either black or white at that age.  It's very interesting to watch her develop her understanding of the adoption process. 

Kera gets it in her own 4 year old way too.  She mostly thinks we're getting more than one.  It's either that, or she's talking about when she  has a baby one day LOL.  She wants a girl and wants to name her Emma.  Not sure if that's my baby or her baby though. ;o)  She is very excited, but I think it will be hard on her to not be the baby anymore.  She is such a spoiled little  girl right now!

So for now I'm not  buying baby things.  We didn't buy any baby things when we were trying to get pregnant with Kaylee and Kera and for me, it  feels  like that it about equivalent to where we are now.   Maybe my feelings will change once  we get further into the process and get a match.  But for now, it will have to stay abstract.  That's the best I can manage for now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A change in perspective

Today has been a day of reflection.   This occurred for several reasons.  I had the day off from work today for Good Friday  so my brain had time to slow down.  Kera had a second set of tubes placed, so there was a lot of cuddling on the sofa this afternoon,  which I completely and thoroughly enjoyed.  I also spent a lot of time working on the profile books, which lends plenty of time while cutting, gluing, etc. for my mind to wander.

Reading back to the first posts in the blog, it all seems so superficial and shallow.  I don't know who I'm writing to,  but it seems like I'm writing to some audience that I do not want to let in or offend.   I'm going to try to change that.  My goal is to honestly reflect  how I'm feeling through this adoption process, and life in general being a busy working mom.    Part of the reason I haven't gotten this to come across in my blog so far is just a simple lack of time; by the time I get home from work, get the kids fed, bathed, homework done, and put to bed, then prepare everything for the next day I'm just completely....exhausted.

I don't have time to breathe, let alone manage a blog post.  But I need something.  Anything to not feel so  alone right now.  I have such a mixed bag of emotions lately regarding the adoption, work, Eric's work, the's just so much.  And I feel like no one understands,  because a lot of people just can't understand why we're adopting a baby.  It's like just because we already have  2 biological children it should be good enough. "They", whoever "they" are, are probably right.  I feel so selfish.  I am incredibly blessed in my life.  Kaylee is a wonderful brilliant child and Kera's birth is nothing short  of a miracle.  Believe me, I have tried for the last 4 years to pretend that it's enough.  But I still  feel compelled to adopt.  I can't really explain why; it's God's still  voice in my heart.  For some reason that I don't fully understand, this is the path that we're supposed to be on right now.  Eric and I have talked and prayed about this a lot, and he feels the same way. 

Since I am being perfectly honest tonight,  let me just say this:  Eric's working 2 jobs sucks.  It's hard.  He goes days without seeing the girls, he's exhausted, I'm exhausted and we STILL don't have enough money to move forward yet.  Granted it's only been a few weeks and the pay hasn't fully started coming in from the second job, but that thought is of little comfort to me tonight.  I just feel spread so thin right now.  I'm working 45-50 hours a week, taking care of the girls, taking care of the house, trying to work on the profile books, and I need to  get  ready for our garage sale.  

We are literally doing the very best we can, we're working as hard  as physically possible and it is hard.   If our home study report was completed today we still wouldn't have enough money to pay the activation fee.  Not to mention the attorney fees, birth mother expenses, agency fees, etc. etc. etc.

At the same time, I worry that it's unfair to  Kaylee and Kera.  We can't get them a swing set for another year  or more and we can't take a vacation to Disney World because all of our efforts and our finances  are being dedicated to  this adoption.   I know that  those are just material things are they're not important in the grand scheme, but that doesn't make me second  guess myself any less.

On that positive note, I'm  going to call it a night.   It's been a long, emotional  day and my brain needs to shut down for a while.