Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Home Study

Obviously life with a baby has changed things! I haven't found the time to return to the story...her little features and quirks and personality change so quickly I've been afraid to leave her to continue on here!

As I wrote the last post, we were sitting in a hotel room in Freezingville, Utah, waiting for permission to come home with the baby. Her story is such an important story that I couldn't wait to begin to share it with the world. She is an amazing tiny being that was created by God for us--and there is so much power and awe in that--that His faithfulness has really spoken to complete strangers about her.

We had to complete a home study in order to get approval from both states (Utah and New Mexico) to have her placed with us. It's amazing that a crack whore can deliver a baby in the gutter of an alley and nobody blinks about whether or not she should have been allowed to even get pregnant, but a couple that cannot conceive on their own (or even those that can conceive on their own) and want to share their warm, financially stable, loving home with someone have to be scrutinized. The idea of a home study is frustrating--but understandably necessary, as the sick things people do to children is unforgivable.

So a Home Study involves meeting with the social worker several times, one on one and as a couple. The social worker examines the house. I cannot thank God enough for the friends He has provided. The sister that told us about No Big Deal came and scrubbed the house (it was in total disgustingness, especially in all those nooks and crannies you don't think about until you realize someone is coming to inspect you) and painted the baby's room for the home study visit. She was on her hands and knees in bleach and rags--and despite knowing how we live, she still knew that this was the home for No Big Deal. She worried more for us about the home inspection than I think Hubby or I did--and that's true love and friendship :) The social worker gets all financial information (including credit information, retirement information), criminal information, family history, marital history--basically anything she thinks she or the courts will need to know about. And then a report is written about your life.

Hubby and I have not had the picture perfect marriage. It looked good to most on the outside, and it even looked good to us on the surface...but surfaces crack. We really struggled for a time. Fortunately, our God is an awesome God that saves all of us, and He saved our marriage. I truly believe that we had to crumble in order for Him to build us into the home that would be ready for this child.

Opening up the wounds are not easy. What happened happened. I don't easily forgive, and I very rarely forget. My father called me an elephant once--not because of my size :) but because of an elephant's memory. God is working with me on this, and each day it gets easier to forgive...there's a long way to go to forgetting. And it's not just our wounds that were opened on this--we had to have our families' wound reopened as well, as they had to contribute to the home study, and our families' know what we've been through.

It's also not easy to hear the final report because part of the history involves looking at our own childhoods and our relationships with our families. It's scary to think that the relationship that we have with our families will be mirrored easily into the relationship we have with our child. It's cliche but true that the past will repeat, and what we are taught will be taught to our children--we have to work hard and pray hard to keep what we liked about our childhood/parent relations and to change what we didn't like about our childhood/parent relations with our own children. Our parents' tendencies are most present when we think about how we will raise our children.

We had a social worker that had a similar religious background to the one I was raised with, and that helped. She also offered advice, support and parenting classes (the class was a requirement if we wanted her to do the home study). We went through it all, and were completely honest with her about EVERYTHING...and she still found that we should be approved for placement and adoption.

All we had to do then was get to Utah in time for the birth and take our child home. Easy, right?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No Big Deal

I've been pretty quiet on this about our journey through the confusing world of adoption. I was sure if I said something--anything--that everything would fall apart. On what is hopefully the eve of our return home, I think it's finally time to tell the story. There's way too much for one post, so we'll start at the beginning and go until I find it too boring to read on!

We were approached by a friend, a sorority sister, for a coffee date back in June. My sister knew that Hubby and I had been on a mission to start a family, and just the week before, she and I had talked about it for several hours. I told her that Hubby and I had talked about adoption as an option--like an option for several years from now. Adoption wasn't something that we were completely unfamiliar with, because years ago I had been in touch with an adoption agency for overseas adoption, and realized that we were too young (emotionally and chronologically) for adoption then.

So my friend called us up, and invited us to coffee because she needed to talk to us about something that "is no big deal." About 10 minutes into our date, she announced that she had found us a baby. Literally, that's what she said. "I found you a baby." My sister knew of a young mother that was expecting her third child, and was interested in learning about adoption. More importantly, she was interested in learning about us. Hubby almost fell out of his chair at the "no big deal" news. I was leaving for a week of travel for work, and so we asked if we could talk about it and pray about what we were supposed to do, and get back to my sister.

We talked about what a "no big deal" this was. This is just a lifelong commitment, after all :). We talked about where our marriage stood and how easy it is for couples to change the focus from a marriage in Christ to a marriage with a focus in chasing children. We talked about how scary it would be to start an adoption that may not have the outcome we want. We talked about what this meant for our infertility treatments and procedures. We talked about the other times we have discussed taking custody of a child. We went our separate ways for due to the travel, and we prayed.

Hubby and I know that God opens doors when we trust and love Him. We know that the reason we didn't conceive a child during the first several years of marriage is because God had other plans for us--and that included strengthening our marriage first and bringing us to Him before we could support a child. We decided that because neither one of us heard this door closing, we would meet with an attorney and find out what would be involved in adopting a baby. I had worked with an attorney that handled adoption matters, and she agreed to meet with us in the end of July.

The attorney talked about several options and ways that a private adoption could be handled. She talked about going through an agency--not an option with The Other Hen (TOH). TOH was afraid that an agency would require her to give the baby to a couple of their choosing, and if she wanted us, she wanted us. The attorney suggested we speak with a social worker that worked with the attorney on several other adoptions before we went too much further. We called and the social worker was able to meet with us immediately.

The social worker took over an hour to meet with us and to give us a rundown of the way adoptions typically work. She told us that we would need to attend an adoption parenting class with her, along with a home study. We would need criminal background checks, friends and family members to provide references, applications filled out, fingerprints done, and so much more that I was not able to totally get at this meeting. She gave us a book and sent us on our way.

Both the attorney and the social worker suggested we contact TOH directly, and so we ventured out through a website that is used by millions of people to connect every day. TOH responded quickly, and we began to exchange e-mails, and even spoke on the phone.

And thus our No Big Deal journey began. Needless to say, this has been an incredible journey, teaching me way more than I ever imagined--not just about adoption, but about Hubby, about love, about myself, and more importantly, about faith. It began with a little statement, and it's still unraveling. There were some major milestones along the way, and I hope I can accurately remember them in the next couple of posts. I want to do justice to what God has done for's a story that has touched a complete stranger in Walmart, little old people in IHOP, and changed our lives with a simple message that He always delivers.

The No Big Deal baby is now making soft noises, and I need to go tend to her, so we'll pause here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Hold

As we prepare for the other hen to give birth, which is just about 5 weeks away, we're pretty much on hold for treatments.

We knew that we wanted to take a couple of months off when the baby comes, and figured that we'd take off January through April or so before trying again. Of course, my body has other plans, and because of the length of time it's taken to get my eggs to want to jump out of the basket each month, we're actually abandoning the plan here in November/December. We're headed out of town through the critical timing, and then, in reality, it's really too close to the other baby.

How appropriate is it that we're preparing to adopt an actual "chick?" Just occurred to me that it's rather ironic that the other hen is having a baby girl...we think.

So instead we've done our homestudy, and we're trying to get all our paperwork together (we just had a long list of required documents dropped on us). And 5 weeks is not really a lot of time.

Also a little bizarre to be thinking about is that even if this doesn't work out with the other hen, we have learned so much, and I'm really very grateful for the experience. Just one more thing to add to my list of blessing I'm thanking God for today :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Frequent Driver Miles

Another month down, and this month we've just completed our rounds.

I got to use a new medication (well, new for me!) this month. The last several months on Chlomid had me a sobbing, drooling, nose-dripping mess. Every month I had to take a higher dose...and then when it didn't work, there was another round. So we were introduced this month to Femura--the generic version of Letrazol (which I've probably spelled wrong in both cases!). The nurse had advised us that this medication usually leads to earlier ovulation, and I was scheduled for a trip to Las Vegas with my girls to kiss goodbye my youthful years as I continue to dry up into an old woman with crusty ovaries...I digress. However, as I landed back in Albuquerque in time, we decided to go ahead. Hence, our first trip to Albuquerque this month.

Visit one had nothing ready yet, but there were four potentials, and so the nurse advised us to come back just under a week later to see what happened. So we returned this Monday to Albuquerque. Trip two.

Trip two showed that we were down to two potentials, and we were told to return this Friday, but to continue taking the ovulation predictor kit sticks. Good news is that we had stocked up on the kits, because Podunk doesn't sell the brand that the office wants us to Thursday I took the test, and let's back up. For anyone that hasn't had the pleasure of peeing on a stick for days on end just to see if perhaps you're experiencing a surge that would indicate that an egg will be released, you don't know what your missing. They look exactly like pregnancy tests, with a little arrow showing you their line that will appear no matter what. Your line will appear next to it, and must be thicker or brighter blue to pass. If a faint blue line appears, it's not ready--your line has to be greater than the stick's line. Should you pass the test, and should you live two hours away from your doctor's office, you call and schedule an appointment for the next day.

So we generally try to call first thing in the morning so that we can plot out the two hour drive against my need for sleep. Thursday I overslept and when I took the test, it was like five minutes before noon, and the doctor's office is closed from noon to one for lunch. Both lines on the test were faded. As in, even the line from the company was barely there. The tests weren't supposed to expire until 2010, but what do I know? So I called the doctor's office, and a nurse called me back and determined that we should return to Albuquerque for an ultrasound to see if we missed the opportunity. Trip three.

Good news with Trip three is that it had totally freaked me out that somehow I'd messed up the test. I know that I still really want this. Better news is that there were two HUGE honking eggs ready to go. So the nurse shot me up, and we scheduled return for Friday's trip four for the actual IUI.

Trip four is obviously now complete (given that it's now Saturday!). It's hard to believe that this is only the third IUI, but as the nurse cutely told us "third time's a charm" and we had better eggs and a great sample to use.

Fortunately, I can take the pregnancy test in Santa Fe, so there won't be another trip to Albuquerque for a couple of weeks. Between the shot in my rump and the three drives to and from Albuquerque for a whopping 15 minute visit to the office each time, I'm not sure my rump could take another trip to Albuquerque for a while!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


It's ironic to me that I'm trying to create life, while I watch a friend struggle for life, so I know this will be brief...more of a quickie journaling than I usually like to do to digest my thoughts.

We've just returned from Albuquerque, and I have been dutifully shot up with Hubby's swimmers :) The nurse must have been able to tell that I'm not really all here these days, as she hugged me long and hard before leaving the room...and I'd just met her last week.

We're trying to figure out days (the counting changes with the other drug, and I know I'll be permanently confused!) to see if October will actually work, now that we have a day to start counting from. I'm sure that makes no sense.

So in 14 days I'll trek down to Santa Fe for the obligatory blood pregnancy test, and we'll see where we go from there.

On a brighter note, we spent some time checking out baby furniture (cribs all start looking alike after the 10th, and I couldn't remember one "travel system" from another...totally overwhelming!) so that we have an idea of what sort of funds we should be setting aside for the other Hen's chick. We've decided that we've heard God loud and clear, and that we should pursue the chick as long as it's possible...and with God, it's ALL possible. Now we just have to figure out how He's going to make it possible to rob a bank!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Fox in the Hen House

Chlomid is apparently a sneaky little devil. It steals your emotions and it just may steal your eggs. Well, not literally.

After the triple dose of Chlomid, which you'll recall followed shortly behind the double dose, we've gotten no where.

I was a blubbering, complete with snot flowing and drool falling, idiot. I was definitely touchy, opinionated and miserable. There was an incident which involved Hubby's laughter and my sobs. It was not a fun week.

So we dutifully returned to the doctor last week, and the nurse carefully explained to me that there were no eggs near ready. Nada. There are two follicles slightly bigger than the others, but they are definitely not ready. So we're waiting to see if they grow, and Monday we'll return to the office, unless we manage to ovulate before then.

The nurse also explained that occasionally a body will react differently to Chlomid and the follicles may actually shrink. She then also advised me that next month we might just start with the triple dose...which has me a little frustrated. After the other nurse had discussed maybe trying another medication, I was nervous (something about the phrase "off the label" does that to me), but if it meant being more in control of myself, I was all about it. The nurse on Thursday also said that they sometimes have patients on as much Chlomid as 200 mg, and I can't even imagine how much fun that might be.

So we'll see what Monday brings. We've discussed taking October off--I'm supposed to be on travel, and we wanted time to pray about and research the other medicine--and I'm thinking that if my follicles are shrinking, and if the plan really is 200 mg, I may need a month to pull myself together.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

I know that being patient is a virtue, and I understand that with a child I'll need lots more patience than I currently have. Fortunately, God is preparing us.

We made another trip to the doctor yesterday to learn that once again, I have no eggs ready to land in the nest. While it's reassuring to know that each time we've been right, and have read the little ovulation predictor stick correctly, it's not so reassuring to know that nothing is making these eggs grow.

This month we started with a double dose of Chlomid, and it really affected me physically. Of course, there was some other stress, but I think that the medicine totally took advantage of my worn out body and it really messed with my attitude, I was dizzy, etc. So although a double dose sounded like a lot to me, it had taken that last month, and the side effects were not enough to keep me home from work. Because nothing happened on the double dose, the doctor's office has prescribed 3x the original amount that worked from March through June, which I'll start tomorrow because the hospital here in Podunk can't fill that order until tomorrow.

150 mg seems like a lot of Chlomid. I was seriously wondering what happens next--as in, at what point do you accept that God may be finding not so subtle ways to show you that your body may not be able to produce a child the "easy" (as if any of this is easy!) way? I mean, what would be next--at what point is the dose of Chlomid too high? If at 50 mg all sorts of terrible things may happen to the fetus....Anyway, the nurse at the doctor's office assures us that there's still another medication that we'll do next month. It's "off the label" as in we'll be using if for a purpose it wasn't created to do. It has higher risks than Chlomid, but again, at 3x the "normal" dose of Chlomid, we're already playing the risk game. I need to do more research into the other medication.

So once Podunk has enough Chlomid to fill my prescription, we'll be off and running again. Good news is that I have a lot of sick leave at work. Bad news is that it's over a weekend, and Hubby will have to put up with me and my attitude. Good news is that no matter what, it's out of our hands, and we've known with both this and with the other Hen's nest (we are still pursuing her Chick as well), we know that there's a lesson from God in all of it. We just have to be patient and wait to learn what His plan is.