Calm breeze 3 column

Monday, May 13, 2013

Some news to share

I had a dream last Wednesday night. It took place out of town in some museum.  We (My Mom and my sisters and I ) were there for a reason but that is still not clear. I happened to be carrying around a baby girl. She was wearing a black velvet track suit (not my all). Somehow, my Mom knew this was my baby but it was a surprise to my sisters. Everything about the dream was so vivid. I will spare you the details but I can remember it so clearly and I woke up so happy and peaceful.

Later that afternoon, my Family Advocate called. She told us that the EM that looked at our profile the week before had chosen us. I know this is kind of a shock. I was afraid to jinx myself by saying anything.

You see, the week after our conference call with the agency Director, we received 2 profiling 1 week! The 1st call was a situation that we were not comfortable with but call #2 was regarding a baby girl due on July 10th. This (if everything goes according to plan) will be our baby girl.

At this point we have only told immediate family. We still have 58 days to go before the due date and then another 30 day wait once the baby is in our things could change. (Although we have been told the EM is sure about placing.)

To say we are happy doesn't even come close. We are euphoric! I am still being very cautious,though. H is working on the baby's room so I have to make some plans. I do admit to purchasing a bedding set so I can match the paint colors but it went against everything in my nature to do so.

I want to believe that this is IT but my past is long and heartbreaking when it comes to family building. One minute I am making registries and imagining a baby girl in my arms the next minute I am trying not to think about it. My stomach is in absolute knots and I haven't been sleeping great, either. Could it really be this easy for us? Let's hope so!

On the ride into work today, I had the thought that it is a good thing I never was pregnant. I have 58 days to wait and see how this all plays out.....9 months may have killed me.

Keep us in your thoughts and keep the EM in your thoughts as well. If it is this difficult for us, I can only imagine what she must be going through.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A few developments

I have been so stressed lately. We are coming up on a year of being home study ready and some recent interactions with my agency had me feeling less than confident in their ability to find us a match.

My Family Advocate (FA) had not called me in months. If it were not for me reaching out then I am not sure if she would have. Hubby and I decided to take action and we booked a conference call with the agency Director/CEO. An adoptive Mom who started the agency 13 years ago. We met her a little over a year ago and felt that she would be able to help us.

The call went very well. We chose not to make it about our experience with our crappy FA (eloquent, I know but I can't seem to find a better word to describe her). Instead, we decided to try and get her to partner with us to come up with ideas about how we can get more profiling calls. She knew our file inside and out and that impressed us both. She did not think our grids were limiting us at all. In fact, most people are not open to out of state placements or face to face meetings with EPs. She loved our profile book and did not think it was an issue (especially considering only 1 couple has even seen it). She did suggest that we make it less wordy and get rid of a few red eye pics. 

She also explained that the profiling is done by EP request. If the expectant parents request a particular thing that does not match who you are (i.e having a dog, a particular degree, lives on a farm) then you will not be shown. EPs get to see 5 profiles so sometimes they will sneak in profiles from couples that have been waiting over a year even if they don't match exactly. That made us feel better,too. Unfortunately, I have no faith in our FA or the fact that she even remembers to pull our profile book when there are opportunities. Without asking, I was told that is not the case.

The best part of the call was when she told us "You will get your baby....I just don't know when but it will happen". I would love for my FA to be that supportive....sometimes you just need to be reassured. Right on the website, the agency lists the following characteristic as something that makes them stand out: "You will be provided your own agency representative known as a Family Advocate that will offer you support and compassion throughout the process." I dare say that we have experienced neither support nor compassion from our FA....and I know for a fact that other waiting families have the same complaint.

As far as I can tell, the conference call had the desired effect. We had the call the last Friday in April and we received 2 profiling calls that week. I'll share that news in another post.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

All about me...

and my hubs.

 The waiting was getting to me (and H) a bad way so I decided to do something about it. I knew I needed something else to obsess about to keep my mind off of babies. (It sure does not help that I am surrounded by them at the moment....half the people I know seemed to have gotten pg this year.)

We have both been wanting to lose some weight and get back into shape since the holidays. We have been trying but not with our undivided attention. I suppose that the 2 of us are a little depressed since this journey is not going fast enough for us (and lets be honest....winter and "spring posing as winter" here in the northeast may also be a factor.) So, I have thrown myself into planning a whole new menu for us and a new workout routine for me (H has worked out since boyhood and does not need any tips from me). It never hurts to switch things up and it is so nice to have something else to focus on besides a baby and the agency issues and our impending HS update and the subsequent draining of more of our bank account.

I am actually having a lot of fun with it. I love planning anything and since I can't plan anything as far as the adoption goes, this is a really good distraction and I'm loving the results. I've lost about 6 lbs. since Easter and have toned up quite a bit. Who knew eating more and working out less would be the solution. I am only 4 lbs. away from my goal of 10 lbs. but if it keeps coming off I'll just go with it. H has been doing even better than me, of course, since he is a man with a lot of muscle.

I just figured we needed to stop watching this pot or it may never boil. Luckily, we have loads of events and  activities planned for the summer. It will be a very expensive summer but I think it will be worth it for us to maintain our sanity while we pass the time.

Please God.....let this be the last time we have to do a homestudy update. While I am at it, I will also thank you for focusing my attention back towards a healthier life for H and I. We feel great and are looking better and that is the best thing we can do in preparation for a new wee one.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

6 weeks ago.....

we got a call from our agency. They wanted to show our profile to a birth family with a little girl due in April. I wanted to tell everyone I knew but we just told family. I tried to stay calm and not go crazy expecting to have a new baby in the house within the month. But try as I might, my fragile psyche and maternal cravings took over. I let myself "go there". I began planning the date of the Christening based on our summer schedule. I imagined a sweet baby girl in the outfits I saw at every store I walked into. I did not however buy any baby gear....not even one little onesie. For no matter how much I hope, a part of me still thinks I will jinx any match if I buy for baby before he or she is in my arms.

2  weeks after the call (a few days before we left for vacation) I received the phone call saying we were not chosen. The birth parents bonded with another couple. I'll talk more about that call and my feelings when I can.

I don't really have much else to say right creative juices are beyond dried up.  I feel a bit worn out from all the thoughts in my head. I will recount some of my dealings with the agency since we were notified we were not a match and I'll even have some interesting non adoption related material to share. But for now, I just need to let talk about it and to process it. I'll be back very soon.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ginger soup

That's me ( nickname: Ginger from a friend at a former job, for those of you that don't know that) + a detox bath. I found a recipe online and it seemed like a really good idea to shake this flu (or whatever this ailment is that's kicking my ass).

The recipe?

2 cups of Epsom salts (you may recall from an earlier post that I fell in the bathtub back in September taking an Epsom salt bath and  injured my wing. Don't worry, I was careful)

1 cup of baking soda (I almost used baking powder thanks to my fuzzy head but I caught the mistake early enough)

2 tbsp. of ginger

Oh, and hot as you can stand it.

The directions said to stay in the bath for 40 min. but I thought I would be happy if I just made it to the 20 min. minimum.

I put my hair up, grabbed my book ( Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan- highly recommend) and 32 oz. of cold water (because you need to replenish the fluids you are about to sweat out.) I got into the tub very carefully....that Epsom salt can turn your tub into a death trap, so detoxers beware!

Within minutes, I was sweating like I just finished a Turbofire workout and I started to get bed spins dizzy.  My skin started to smell a little funny like the garlic and cayenne that I consumed yesterday while trying another home remedy.

With Hubby not home, I started to get a little worried. I wouldn't want him to come home and find me a victim of my latest bright idea but I just kept telling myself it was the poison fleeing from my body and that it would be ok and would all be worth it to be able to breathe and, hopefully, speak again. I did not have enough common sense to bring my phone with me but I toughed it out and I do think it was worth it.

When the alarm clock went off 40 min. later ( yep, I managed the full 40 min. thanks to a good book and the 32 oz. of water that I polished off) I was ready to get out. I felt sort of drained but in a good way like how you feel after a good workout or massage and I'm kind of looking forward to my next one. It's been over an hour and I can breathe and my body is not aching. I drank another 32 oz. of water and feel like I could keep going. I'll spare you the details of the expectoration but I will warn you to keep a tissue box close by.

The takeaway? I think it is a great way to help your body get through an illness. If you can stand the heat and smelling like a restaurant, you should try it.  I can give you the link to the page if you request it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Homemade is best

 That's what Grandma always says and she's always right.

I have been avoiding pre packaged foods for years as it aggravates my Crohns but ever since dealing with infertility, I have been moving toward a more natural lifestyle. Not only in how H and I eat, but in how we take care of ourselves.

Acupuncture has been invaluable in regulating my cycles and quieting my mind and tummy and seeing a chiropractor has helped with my posture and neck and shoulder tension. H even sees someone in the acupuncture office needles for him but he does take the Chinese herbs that the Dr. prescribes and it helps him tremendously.

I was always that girl that believed in loading up on NyQuil and Dayquil and resting as much as I could to get better. The older I get, the less this seems to help. Or maybe, it just takes longer to get over stuff as you age. Who knows?

I don't get sick often but when I do, it levels me. So, when my throat started to get sore yesterday morning and I sneezed a few more times than usual, I consulted my "Be healthy" board on Pinterest. I had pinned a bunch of home remedies when news of the flu outbreak hit the wires weeks ago. You know, just in case.

Here is what I came up with:

1. 1 tsp. of raw honey with 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon  in the morning and
before bed.

2. 2 oz. of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of water (really gross )

3. Vicks vapor rub on my feet at night (with a pair of socks, of course)

4. Hot water with lemon....lots of lemon, throughout the day.

This is in addition to my usual cold care:  hot steam vaporizer at night, Tylenol, neti pot and plenty of chicken soup and orange juice.

Whew! It's like a job getting all of this stuff together. I am on day 3 and I can't tell if it's working yet. I still have a wicked sinus face hurts and my teeth feel like they are going to fall out from the pressure but things do seem to be loosening up.

Thank goodness I have the weekend to ride it out. As it is, I had to take 2 sick days this week. That just means less time off when we finally take home our baby. Damn the flu.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One more romantic Valentine's day

Let's hope anyway! Next year I want to be changing diapers and snuggling with my little one.

I'm looking forward to cupid onesies and fun Valentine's day Pinterest crafts.

We are not into romance in the true sense. We don't usually light candles or scatter rose petals (ever) H does not buy me flowers (I'd rather a new throw pillow or pair of boots, please) We treat each other with love, appreciation and kindness all days, not just February 14th. (Hell, yes we have fights and get annoyed with each other,too but it all comes back to love.)

We don't even usually go out to dinner on Valentine's Day. This year we did and I can only describe it as "ehhhh". I don't know if it was my mood due to losing a relative and attending the funeral earlier in the day or if it was the restaurant itself (normally a good meal) but I was not impressed with dining on a holiday.

I think from now on we'll stick to our old routine: celebrating on the weekend after the holiday.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A confrontation is a brewin"

I feel it. It is bubbling up inside of me and when I finally explode my Caseworker will not be happy. I am sure that I won't feel great either.

I try to walk a very fine line. I am not sure how much I can push at this agency. What if they decide they don't like something I have said and choose not to show our profile? Sure, it's unprofessional but they haven't shown me that I can count on them. If anything, the "service" we have received has been less than attentive. However, I will not put up with constant screw ups. So far, I have been quite gracious about it but I am growing tired of letting everything go.

I gave her a week. When I spoke to her on 2/1 I could have sworn she told me to let her know when we made appts. and then she would email me the forms that we needed. Well the appt. were made and I sent a sweet but firm email. I simply asked for the forms and stressed the fact that I don't want to miss any profiling opportunities because of missing ppwk. Can you blame me for all the times this woman has dropped the ball with us? I also reminded her very nicely about an answer she owed me as well. ("I think you were also supposed to get back to me about......")

She called me back immediately and she played it really passive aggressively. Overly sweet voice...thanking me for reminding her.....and she let me know she was reaching out because she did not want me to worry. She claims that she told me that she would get the info. to me with in a couple of weeks (What she actually said: "a couple of days" and more than a week had gone by.)There was a bit of snottiness to her voice. I certainly did nothing wrong. I could have. I let H read the email and he confirmed that it was professional and quite nice......nicer than she deserves according to him. She actually made me feel quite small for following up on her. By the end of the call, I was apologizing to her and she was patronizing. I wonder if someone reads her email? She always tells me how she prefers I reach out by telephone.

So how to I deal with her? When is it time to go over her head? Will that increase our wait time? As it is, when we spoke she promised me 2 different forms and she only sent 1 of the forms. I emailed her back saying that it wasn't attached. Hopefully, she won't be pissed about it.

This isn't even the complicated stuff. It's just bullshit paperwork. It doesn't involve other people. What happens if there is an issue with a potential match and I can't get in touch with her?

Right now, I am frustrated. I knew I would have moments where it would be like this but I feel like giving up some days. Why am I putting myself through this? I hope it will all be worth it. I'm tired of fighting my way to becoming a mom.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Maybe I should switch careers

I seem to be much better at being a Caseworker than my actual Caseworker.

I'm getting annoyed with my agency again. I spoke to my CW last Friday after leaving her a msg. 24+ hrs. prior. I called to discuss some upcoming deadlines and the msg. that I left her stated just that. In my industry, deadline means "hop the fuck to it" but she doesn't seem to have a sense of urgency.

She loves to start out with small talk and to ask what we've been up to while I want my questuions answered and to get off the phone. If she is so busy that she can't call me back or even check in with me, then she doesn't need to waste time bullshitting, right? The last time I spoke to her was 12/22 in regards to the profiling opportunity that we turned down. Not a word since. Until today when I called her. That's right. I called her.

I don't like the idea of her not being on top of our case. I'm sure she has a lot to do but I was led to believe when we signed with the agency that when we needed to provide them with updated paperwork we would be notified in plenty of time. Not the case. It's a good thing I don't trust people and that I am militant with my follow up skills.

See, it turns out that we need to provide an updated version of our criminal background form (just a bunch of addresses and how long we lived there) by March 6th. We also need to have physicals again by March 8th. It is very difficult for me to get an appt. with my Primary Care Dr. so we are already behind schedule. As it is, I had to beg my Dr. to squeeze me in on the 8th.....which is a Friday and 2 days before we leave for vacation. I'm sure the Dr. won't even have the paperwork finished.

It's now a week later. She promised me:

#1 to email the forms that we need to provide
#2 to check to see if they need another letter from my Therapist just like last year (who charges $125.00 for such a letter)

I have not heard from her.

The best news? If our paperwork is NOT in order, we do not get the chance to be profiled. I had to remind her of that. At the opening of the conversation, she told me that we didn't need to worry until June (when our HS needs to be updated and paid for again.) Now, it's not like we have had a lot of profiling opportunities in the past 7 months. (Um, ONE) We really can't afford to miss something that might come along because the agency dropped the ball.

So, I have to call her..... again. A week is enough time to give her a chance to do as she promised. Now, I also have to ask her how my Drs. appt. being late will impact our chances to be profiled. Just another complicated layer to the whole mess of dealing with this agency.

At this point, I am on the fence about contacting the agency owner. If I do that could she retaliate by not showing our profile if a case does come up?

I know that 7 months might not seem like a very long time to wait but I am starting to get a bit anxious about this process again. Not trusting the agency rep who is supposed to be guiding us through the process makes it all that much harder.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

How to do superbowl right

We aren't really into watching sports. H is more of an active guy. He would rather be working on a car or tearing down a wall than sitting around watching sports. I am the girliest girl there is.....I never watched sports, never even bothered to learn the rules. Sometimes he will tune into a basketball game and he will usually want to watch the big stuff like superbowls and world series games.

However, he loves the idea of superbowl party food. Every year I make him a bunch of snack foods and he will watch the game. I'll sit next to him and read or play on my tab and look up when the commercials come on.

I was so proud of my healthy menu that I had to share.

Jalapeno popper dip with b low fat cream cheese, mayo, sour cream and panko breadcrumbs...I dipped with veggies, H used tortilla chips

Homeade chicken fingers dopped in ranch dressing, panko breadcrumbs and baked

Butternut squash fries (thank km you Hungry girl)

Zucchini "fries" (baked actually)

All served with various dipping sauces from hot sauce to honey mustard to ranch dressing.

Ok so it's not going to make us lose weight but I didn't gain a lb either. I bet most superbowl attendees can't say that! Won't I make a great mom?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sometimes cheesy movies have a good message...

Notes from the Heart Healer starring Genie Francis and Ted Mcginley

This was one cheesy movie. It was made in 2011 and if you don't know who either of these actors are, I would not be surprised. When I was in HS (and I am middle aged) Genie Francis was on a soap and she was in her 30s then (at least). Ted Mcginley was on Happy Days....which was cancelled about 25 years ago or so. So this is not a young couple. As a matter of fact, makeup could not even hide the age lines. C'mon Lifetime/Hallmark, couldn't you cast someone a bit more believable, age wise? I know. Lifetime/Hallmark.......what do I expect?

Anyway, this "not young" couple had a baby land on their doorstep. The young teenage Mom was in some kind of trouble and just left the baby and ran. When the teenager came back for her baby, the wife got attached and decided she wanted to try for a baby. I dozed off because the movie wasn't very good so I am not sure if they wanted to adopt or if dhe was planning on getting pg. (Eggs are not like fine wine. Age=bad) The husband thought they were too old .(I agree with him...I am sure they are members of the AARP).

I did wake up just in time for the husbsnd to have a change of heart (which only meant that he agreed to pursue family building activities.... whatever they maybe) I figured if these old farts can decide to have a baby, H and I will be ok when we are finally matched. Just another confirmation that we must be on the right path. Unlike my IVF journey, something always happens to restore my faith when I it a goofy movie or a call from the agency.

Friday, January 25, 2013

How open is open?

The longer we wait, the more time I have to look into (and ok, obsess) about what our situation might look like. There is no way to tell what kind of placement call we will get but that doesn't stop my brain from running through all possible scenarios. Yep....madness.

A situation came up on an adoption message board that I frequent that I never would have thought about. The poster was an expectant mom (EM) who was not sure about wanting to make an adoption plan. She asked if any adoptive parents (APs) would be willing to have monthly visits with her. I was a bit taken aback by the fact that an adoption plan with that kind of parameters would even be a possibility. The EM said that she did not want her child to forget her. I can't possibly understand where she is coming from and I am sure it is quite painful for her but I can't imagine it is easy for most birth moms. Yet, people actually said that this type of arrangement does exist. In no way am I judging them. If it works for them I think it's great. I don't think I have a big enough heart for that type of thing.

H and I want an open adoption. We see it as being the best thing for the child and I love to make friends so I cannot imagine not treating a BM like a member of our family. We would be open to monthly photos and cards and 1-2 visits per year at 1st.  Any changes to that agreement would absolutely depend on the relationship that develops.

However, once a month seems so excessive for everyone involved. Wouldn't the child be confused?  We don't want to be taken advantage of and we certainly do not want any help in raising our child. (As it is, I am sure the grandparents will do their share of  running interference.) Our lives are really busy now...without children. We already know we will have to make some minor adjustments to our schedules. Not to mention the fact that we only see my family  (local) about once per month or so and H's family (far away) about twice per year. We just couldn't commit to that much.

I guess that's another thing to add to the prayer list.....a healthy relationship with the birth mom and/or dad.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Are we doing the right thing?

Life is going on all around friends are getting closer to their due dates, we booked our annual spring vaca and I am back into my workout schedule full swing ( my poor little wing that I injured by falling in the bathtub while trying to clean is much better thanks to the Chiropractor ).

We are trying to keep busy. We are going to parties and having dinner nights with friends. Despite the sub zero temps we have been quite social. H is working on the "nursery" and I am immersing myself in researching baby gear. Somehow, I don't feel the pressure I did a few months ago. I think a part of me thinks this is not going to happen. One day I feel glad that we have this time to really prepare (and save some money) and the next day I feel like it is taking sooooooooo loooooooong. I am afraid the longer it takes....the more difficult it will be for us to adjust. Let's be honest....we are NOT getting younger. Sleepless nights and countless diaper changes are on the way......what if it takes another year....or longer?! Most friends our age have kids in school. Some days I wonder if we are meant to be child free.

Friday, January 11, 2013

13 again...

I received an email from my agency yesterday regarding an event they are holding at their brand new location. The date of the event is 3/13/13 and will commemorate their 13th anniversary. I seriously cannot get away from this number. Perhaps it needs to replace 7 as my lucky number. Just further evidence (in my bizarre, needing-an-answer-for-everything mind) that this is "our year". The year for us to see all of our dreams of the past few years coming true.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happiness found on the calendar

Today, I finally got around to organizing my 2013 calendar. This is one of my favorite January tasks (some of my least favorite tasks include cleaning out the fridge and freezer and reorganizing the pantry) As I filled in our important dates, I discovered something that fills me with hope.

In June, H will turn 40. (He has already admitted to having a bit of a mid life crisis...he is talking about tattoos and he just bought a sports car.) His birthday always falls around father's day....something he never fails to complain about. It has been particularly hard for him since we started going through the infertility treatments. The year that I lost the baby 3 days before mother's day was probably the worst.

This year, I noticed that his birthday is actually ON father's day. I can't help but think that it is some kind of sign.  A 40th birthday on father's day without being a father when you want it so bad would be too cruel....especially after all that has already been taken from us. In my heart I just know that we are bound to hear something by then!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

All evidence of the holiday...gone.

Yes, we just finished taking down the tree. It is perfectly fine (and expected in some cultures!) to leave the tree up until after epiphany. So technically, I am a bit ahead of schedule. As sad as it always is for me to see the tree and the rest of my lovely decorations go, I was getting a bit tired of looking at it all. It's almost like it needs to go away before the new year can begin for me. It had nothing to do with being lazy...if you know me, you know that everything I do goes fairly quickly and easily due to my superior organization skills. Yeah, I'll say it. I don't do very many things well but I do love order and I work very hard to keep it restored. The timing of Christmas was strange this year. Whenever it falls on a Tuesday, we get gypped with vacation days and it throws everything off, including the disassembling of my holiday.

As a matter of fact, I went a bit overboard this year editing my decorations. I have a box of items to give away and a pile I donated to the trash. For all of the treasures that remained, I wrapped them in new tissue paper and boxes and packed them in plastic bins by category (ornaments, white outdoor lights, fireplace get the idea.....I won't get into the sub categories such as soft ornaments/glitter ornaments/word ornaments,etc.) As I lovingly packed my once a year stuff, I couldn't help but wonder what next year might bring. Would I have as much time to devote to dressing up our home for the holidays or would I be too busy with a new love. The next time I open those red and green holiday bins, our life could be completely changed. This is probably the only time I have ever been enthusiastic about this most hated job. How can I not be?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hello 2013!

I hope you are kind to me and mine. 2012 was the 1st time in a long time that I didn't get beat up and I liked it. As far as I can tell,  there is a lot to look forward to and lots to be thankful for in the year ahead. I do have a few wishes for the coming year and a few things I would like to accomplish.

My biggest wish is for us to meet our baby and for that baby to be healthy. That alone would probably make my year (H"s,too) but I would be lying if I said that I didn't have a few more things in the reinstatement of the tax credit for adoptive parents. While we are at it, it would be great if the economy would turn around.

I am going to work on being kinder and having more patience. It's something I'm always working on but it's easy to lose focus when you worry about your own problems and are  not being mindful.

 I'm also more committed to my health this year. I always exercise and watch what I eat but I am going to make it a point to learn about what is best for my body and getting my nutrients from my food as opposed to eating for calorie control. My recent bout with anemia has taught me that my body just won't work if I keep pushing myself even when something doesn't feel quite right.

These aren't resolutions. I don't make them anymore. January 1st, the 1st day of the year is just as good a day as any to make a change or two!6