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36 and waiting

On Friday I turned 36. In my original life plan i was supposed to be done having children by the time I turned 35. Even in my revised plan, after my new marriage, I was supposed to supposed to have the first one before my 35th year. And now I’m 36 with no children of my own. But hopefully I’m making progress toward my little one, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

When I signed up to be a Big Sister through Big Brothers and Big Sisters I was excited to have a Little Sister. I started the application in December. There are also lots of background checks, fingerprints, reference letters, and interviews to be a Big Sister, and my file was finally completed by April. They told me I would be matched soon, but never gave me a time frame. I was excited for several weeks, and kept waiting for an email or phone call. I looked through their website and subscribed to email letters. But I didn’t heard anything. Eventually I became so annoyed with the program that I unsubscribed to all of the newsletters, and decided that being a Big Sister wasn’t going to happen for me. Eventually, the call came in mid August while I was on vacation. Because I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it any more, I took a few days to return the call. And then I decided to meet the little girl they matched me with. And now I’ve been matched with my Little Sister for almost 3 years.

It only took 4 months to find my Little Sister. For my hopeful baby, the timeline is similar so far: application started in December, file completed by April. It would be amazing to find my baby by August too.

Yesterday was my third Mother’s Day since trying to make/find my own baby. In 2011 I still thought it was just a matter of time. Surely by the next Mother’s Day I’d at least be pregnant or have a baby. In 2012 I hadn’t ovulated in 3 months due to Lupron Depot injections, but was still optimistic that medicine could help me and by the next Mother’s Day I’d be pregnant or have a baby. And now, in 2013, I’m trying to be optimistic that I might have a baby (through adoption) by next Mother’s Day. All of this hoping and waiting is tiring, and I feel like I lose my enthusiasm and optimism as time wears on.

I was prepared to be bitter on Mother’s Day. I feel like my stepmothering isn’t acknowledged, and I don’t have my own baby yet. On Thursday I took my older stepson (7) to basketball practice, and came home and made his lunch for the next day (two very mother-type activities). I opened his backpack to look for his lunch box and saw all of his Mother’s day gifts for his mom. His mom is a great mom, and totally deserves all of these mother’s day gifts, and this isn’t about her. I also know that school assignments are to make a mother’s day gift for your mom. I know he’s just following directions and the lack of gifts for me is not a personal statement. But I wish the schools would encourage students to think of other mother-types in their lives. So I was ready to be bitter. But once again, the day wasn’t so bad, and by the end of the day when I went to bed I was happy and grateful to be able to celebrate Mother’s Day.

The boys (5 and 7) were with us again this Mother’s Day, but luckily this past year they’ve started to let us sleep in on the weekends.

7:45: I wake up and check email and FB. A very old friend that I haven’t spoken to directly in over 5 years sent me a personal message saying that she was thinking of me and knew that amazing things were ahead.

8:00 I go downstairs to start making pancakes, and find flowers and a card signed by my husband and stepsons.

8:05 My older stepson finds me and gives me a silly paper airplane and a hug and wishes me happy Mother’s Day. He also helps me make scrambled eggs and talks to me for a while.

8:30 My younger stepson complains that the pancakes don’t have chocolate chips (ok, maybe he’s too young to understand Mother’s Day just yet). We eat breakfast.

9:00-12:00 Laundry, showers, chores

1:00 A very nice lunch with my husband’s family and my stepsons. While we’re out, everyone who sees me with the boys wishes me happy mother’s day. My SIL even wishes me happy mother’s day. Sometimes I feel guilty when people assume that I’m their mom. I feel like I need to explain that these are my stepkids. But I’ve started to realize it doesn’t really matter. I’m “mom at dad’s house,” and I am a mom to them, even if I’m “only” their stepmom.

3:00 Drop off the boys at their mom’s house for her Mother’s Day.

7:00 My parents come over for Mother’s Day dessert.

8:00 My period starts. Even though we’ve moved on to adoption, this monthly visitor is always a reminder that my body is broken. And, unfortunately, my cycles are very regular.

Once again, it was a nice Mother’s Day. I’m very lucky to have a mother-role in my stepsons’ lives. I’m also lucky to be part of my Little Sister’s (9 years old) life. Even though I’m not in a mother role to her, I still am an adult female role model, and I enjoy our time together.

The only thing that would make the day even better would be to have my own baby. Maybe next year.

1 week

Our profile ended up going up on the out-of-state agency’s website the same day I posted last week. So we’ve been officially waiting for 1 week. I haven’t heard anything from them since the birthmom last week, but that’s not surprising. We painted the nursery over the weekend! It’s now a nice beige that should work well with pink or blue.

I also started to feel sorry for myself over the weekend, and ended up fighting with my husband. My stepsons’ mom has been difficult to deal with recently, and I was really annoyed that I have to deal with her in my life. Of course, the only reason I have to deal with her is because my husband chose to have babies with her. And it makes me mad that he was able to have babies with her and not with me, so I ended up resenting him. And I get mad when he doesn’t try to make things better for me. He admits that he gives in to her demands so that he doesn’t have to fight with her, but he doesn’t do the same for me. But he reminded me that we’re on our own path now. He may have been able to make babies with her, but he didn’t experience infertility or adoption with her, and going through these experiences together is making our bond stronger.

Actively waiting!

All of the paperwork and fees have been received by the right people, and we are now active “parents in waiting” at both agencies! We are paper pregnant! The only little thing left is for our profile to go up on the out-of-state agency’s website. I think they update the website every few weeks.

Yesterday we were contacted by the out-of-state agency to ask if we wanted our profile shown to a potential birthmom who met some of our “will discuss” criteria. We spent a frantic hour researching this issue, and decided to have our profile shown. Somehow I didn’t feel like this was our baby though. I felt like this was more of a test for us to define exactly what we wanted. I also didn’t think our profile would speak to this mom. And this morning they emailed to say that the mom had chosen another profile, so my gut feeling was correct. I feel strangely calm that our baby will come to us at the right time.

Yesterday I tried to call our local social worker to ask about the issue, and their fax machine was hooked up to their main office number. Which means that if any expectant moms tried to call over the weekend they would have gotten the fax machine. Sigh. This is exactly why we decided to go with an out-of-state agency.

It’s time for my normal Tuesday rant about how long this paperwork is taking…

Last Tuesday we signed the homestudy and were told that it would be emailed “soon,” and we would be copied on the email. When I didn’t hear anything by Thursday I sent our social worker an email. She responded and said that it was sent earlier and I was copied, so she didn’t know why I hadn’t gotten it, but she attached the finalized homestudy. When I looked at the email she was referred to, it was an email about the earlier draft that had been sent to the out-of-state agency for approval, and not the final version. And the homestudy she attached was the one with inaccurate information. I emailed and told her that it wasn’t correct, so she looked through her email again, and found the correct homestudy, and found that it had been emailed on Tuesday after all, but I hadn’t been copied. So she sent me the email. When I looked at the email that had been sent to the other agency, they had just scanned all of the documents in as individual jpegs, and given them file names like “image1”, “image2”, etc. I couldn’t believe that they hadn’t even converted them into pdfs. So I took the time to convert everything into pdfs and gave them better file names, and sent them to our other social worker. At that point, I found out that the other social worker was on vacation for a few days. But at least she had an out of office email message so I knew what was going on, unlike the local social worker. As I was looking through the documents I also noticed a place for our local social worker’s signature that she hadn’t completed. When I emailed to ask her about it, she said it shouldn’t have been sent off to the other agency anyways. ugh. But, eventually, all of our documents got there in some form or another.

Our out of state social worker reviewed the documents yesterday and sent us an email that we were approved as parents in waiting! Of course, they have to wait until they receive our payment before they can start showing our profile. But, I mailed the check today, and hopefully they’ll receive it before the weekend.

In other good news, our profile is finally live on our local agency’s website!

The check I mailed today is the largest single payment we’ve made on this journey, and is equivalent to all of our infertility treatments, including my surgery. So, we have finally tipped the balance and are more invested in adoption!

Hopefully my next update will be to say that we’re in the waiting pool for both agencies.

Still waiting

Last week our local agency emailed the draft homestudy to the out-of-state agency on Tuesday. The out-of-state agency replied by Thursday with some more information they needed. I emailed the extra information to our social worker by Thursday night and asked if we could sign the homestudy Monday morning. However, it turned out that our local agency was closed on Friday because all of the schools have Good Friday off, and she seems to take every school holiday off as well to be with her kids. So, I knew that we wouldn’t be able to sign the homestudy on Monday. We went in this morning (Tuesday) to sign it, and of course she was having printer problems. But, at least she had printed out the signature page for us to sign. Then, she was planning on snail mailing the homestudy and last pieces of paperwork to the out-of-state agency (even though they said they preferred email or fax), but luckily, with the printer not working, she decided to email it and scan in the signature page. I can’t believe we finished all of our homestudy requirements a full month ago and we’re still waiting for the report to be finished! So now we’re waiting for her to actually scan and email the documents.

But in good news, both of our agencies say their waitlists are very small right now!

We finally met with our social worker last Thursday to review the homestudy. Honestly, I couldn’t believe she would show a client a report in that state. I would never give a client a report with that many typos, even if I called it a “rough draft”. But we got through it and pointed out the typos and mistakes. She said she would email the out-of-state agency the draft on Friday. Of course, that didn’t happen. After more communication, she finally sent the draft to the other agency today, but it still had some inaccurate information, which I emailed her about. And now, the other agency has to review the draft and approve it, and then she has to print it out, sign it, get us to sign it, and mail it, along with our medical reports and background checks. Our social worker seems to be really bad at paperwork, so this will probably take a few more weeks. She’s also bad with technology like printers and email. I think I do about 10 times as much paperwork as her on any one day at work.

I feel so frustrated right now. Our family is depending on this person being able to finish paperwork, and it isn’t happening in a timely manner.