September 29, 2009

A duo of a day

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:31 pm by Erin

Bad news and good news.  We’ll start with the bad news, since I always like to end on a high note:

We heard back from the searcher today that he won’t work with us because he used to work with our agency, and he doesn’t feel right working with clients of the same agency.  He did say that he believes our agency is always as accurate as possible with the information that they give, and of that I already had no doubt.  But “accurate” does not always equal “complete”, and its completion that we need.  There’s another agency I’ll contact tomorrow.  I’d wanted to go with this first since he’s an Ethiopian and based in Ethiopia, and it seemed like a better choice.  The other searcher is in the U.S. and will therefore be quite a bit higher in price, and I don’t have any personal references for him.  I contacted him once a few months ago and I know he’s willing to work with us, so I’ll be doing more research on him starting tomorrow, to be sure that he’s the right choice.

 

Now, the good news:

 

I reposted this post on my family website late last night.  I’d mentioned to a friend who adopted a baby from Ethiopia that I’d written a post like that but hadn’t posted it on my family blog (and quickly kept talking, in case she caught that and asked if I had another blog where I’d posted it).  She said she’d like to read it, that they’re strongly considering adopting out of birth order and adopting a toddler or school-aged child next time.  And I thought about the friends who’ve adopted toddlers, who’ve alluded to the same types of things but never come out and said them.  It felt like it was the right time.  I posted it with a short intro but without any other editing (except for putting names in place of initials).

 

My family blog posts also post to my Facebook page, so it was immediately available to everyone.  And then this afternoon, I got this e-mail from a guy with whom I went to college:

 

“I just read your post, and while the situation I’m in isn’t exactly parallel, I just wanted you to know how much it helped me to read what you wrote. My wife and I are getting ready to begin trying to start a family, and, long story short, it’s going to involve artficial means and an anonymous donor “dad.” And while I’m excited at the idea of becoming a dad, part of me has had to wrestle with the fact that our kids won’t be my biological children, and with the worry that I might somewhere along the line feel less attached than I would like. So, even though your circumstances aren’t really the same, to read about you struggling both externally and internally with the realities of bringing a child into your family has made me feel a whole lot better about facing up to my own possible challenges. I guess today was just the day I was ready to hear it, because after reading what you’ve been brave enough to both go through and write about for all the world to see, I feel a lot better than I have in months about my whole situation. It’s easier for me to believe that the whole “biological” child thing is going to matter a whole lot less than I sometimes worry it will. So thanks for sharing your thoughts, thanks for sharing your beautiful family with the rest of the world, and thanks for reading the ramblings of someone you barely know. 8^)”

 

I was uncomfortable at the idea of posting that for people who know me IRL, but that e-mail…that’s why I’ve been coming out about the not-so-pretty truths of adoption (and infertility, but in separate posts) a lot more.  There are still many, many things I can say on this blog that I can’t say there, but I’m so glad that some of my words are helping other people.

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September 26, 2009

Stabs in my already aching heart

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:28 pm by Erin

I was sitting around with the kids today, having a great time.  We were reading stories and giggling and playing.  Then P looked at me and said “When are you going to have another baby?”*  And K pointed to my chest and said “Baby eat?”  He saw a baby breastfeeding recently and has been asking this endlessly, but it didn’t hurt…until today.

 

Ouch.

 

*Mind you, he followed it up with “Your tummy already looks out a little,” which didn’t help.

September 24, 2009

I just got into a FB fight

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:06 am by Erin

What a miserably pointless waste of time that was, and yet it has my stomach in knots.  I hate fighting.

 

I’m all for people having different viewpoints but find it very tiresome to be told that “it’s just a fact that liberals are the least productive members of society”.  As a Ph.D.-holding college professor who is a registered Democrat, I don’t know how much more productive I could be.  I suppose I could be working for a pharmaceutical company making a lot more money, but then I’d have to work fixed hours.  And aren’t conservatives the ones who are always harping that they are the group which supports “family values”?  (We’ll ignore the warped sense of “family values” that some  have, which includes insisting that marriage include an opposite gender requirement or that children only deserve a loving home if it’s with two parents of opposite genders.)  If I worked for Big Pharma, I’d get very little time with my children because those working hours would be their awake hours.  Quite frankly, I LIKE having the ability to choose a career that allows me the flexibility to spend more of my childrens’ waking hours with them.  I don’t think I work any less time, given that I’ve worked until at least midnight each night of the last week (the two evenings of Rosh Hashana excepted) to try to keep up with the semester.  And yet the Republicans who control the GA state government are the ones who choose to pay teachers so very little, to furlough us and thereby reduce our contractual salaries.  Our salary study last year showed us at least 20% underpaid compared to our peers at similar institutions.  We OBVIOUSLY don’t do this because of the money.  We do it because it matters to us, because we enjoy it.  Does that make us unproductive members of society?  Mind you, most of us are liberals, even if not all are registered as such.

 

Tarring and feathering all members of one group with one statement is so fucking ignorant that it drives me crazy.  Yes, I take it personally, because you’re now putting down my incredibly hard work to get where I am, and ignoring the incredibly hard work I do to stay where I am and DO IT WELL.

 

Argh.  I think I’ll hide this person’s status updates.  Or perhaps just unfriend them.  It is so not worth my time to get so up-in-arms for someone who clearly has no interest in being accepting of another viewpoint.
I just needed to vent.  No comments expected.

September 17, 2009

What to do, what to do…

Posted in Adventures o' K, TTC woes at 1:46 pm by Erin

If I didn’t know for sure that I wasn’t pregnant (hello, day 4, you suck), I’d be sure I was pregnant:

 

1. Emotional swings, mostly trending to the weepiness.  The weather, which has now been gray and rainy for two days and is supposed to continue in the same vein until the beginning of next week, is not helping.  More about this (the weepiness, not the weather) later.

 

2. Fatigue.  Of course, this could be because of the combined 15 hours of sleep I’ve had in the last 3 days.

 

3. Lack of appetite.  Just don’t feel like eating.  Been doing it anyway, but really don’t feel like it.  Probably related to #1.

 

OK, it’s not much of a list.

 

The weepiness sucks and while my hormones and the weather are certainly playing a role, that’s not all that’s involved.  When I told J that my period was starting and that I was depressed because yet again, I wasn’t pregnant, he started making noises about getting back into treatments and doing the Clomid/IUI cycle that Dr. Wonderful wants me to do before moving onto IVF.  I honestly didn’t realize that even he’s getting antsy to have another child.  I knew he wanted more but he always seems so relaxed about it.  I mentioned that I’d rather wait until we were ready to do an IVF cycle so that if (when) the Clomid/IUI doesn’t work (again), we can start right in on the IVF when that one ends.  That was Dr. Wonderful’s suggestion and it sounded like a good one to me.

 

We talked about it a little that day but I could never get a clear answer out of him about whether we should call or not.  I didn’t even bring it up again because then it hit me: I can’t fathom spending the money on a cycle to have another child when I feel this intense urge to do a search for K’s firstfamily.

 

I have been struck lately by the number of reports that have come out about unethical adoptions in Ethiopia.  I don’t *think* ours is one.  We met K’s mom and have video of her nursing him shortly before she relinquished him.  I am sure that she is his mom, that he wasn’t stolen.  I don’t believe that our agency has child-finders, as the videos lately have shown.  I don’t think that they have people who go into these areas and say “Give us your children, they’ll have a better life, they’ll be doctors and send you lots of money.”  I don’t believe our agency lies to these parents who relinquish their children and tells them that they will hear from their children.

 

That doesn’t mean I think it was all done properly.  Our agency draws (or did until recently) most of its referrals from one area of Ethiopia.  They are not the only agency working in that area, and it seems like there are an awful lot of children being relinquished there given the number of referrals that they give.

 

Again, I do NOT believe they are asking for children or promising better things for the kids to get their parents to relinquish them.  But perhaps other agencies working in that area are doing that.  Or perhaps a rumor, completely unsubstantiated by anyone, has gone around that the adoptive families will send money if they relinquish a child.  I don’t know, but there are cases where things like that happen.

 

I want to make sure that K’s mom knew what she was getting into.  I don’t believe that our lifebook video is complete, and I know it was edited improperly at least once.  I’m not sure I trust the translation on the video, or the translator at our meeting with K’s mom.  Regardless of any of those things, I’d like more information about K’s family (especially his first-father’s side, since we know nothing of that side but the name of K’s paternal grandmother).  I’d like to be absolutely certain that K’s mom is getting information about K if she wants it, since I’m not sure if she does or even can travel to see the post-placement reports.  I’d like to know if she would be willing to have us visit when we go back to Ethiopia next time.  She’s still his mother, every bit as much as I am.  From our brief meeting, I’d have a hard time believing that she isn’t open to continued contact.  I hate the idea that she hasn’t heard a word about him since we met her.  It’s very likely she can’t get to the office to see the post-placement reports and the pictures we’ve sent.

 

I want to be able to give K her memories of him as a baby.  The story of his birth.  Her dreams and hopes for him.

 

This is something I want to do anyway, but it is my responsibility as K’s mom to make sure that he has as much information as I can give him.  G-d forbid something happen to his firstmom and we waited too long to make that contact.

 

How can I spend money pursuing my dream of another child when I owe the one I have so much more than I’ve given him?  I can’t stop weeping about the idea that a mother might have gone 18 months without a single word about her son.

 

Tonight I’m going to tell J.  We need to do that search.  We have the money and we have the name of a searcher who seems to be quite respected and honest.  We need to contact him and get this process started: for K, for his firstmom, and for us.

September 15, 2009

August had a surprise for me

Posted in TTC woes at 1:53 am by Erin

I didn’t get my period twice in August.  I was expecting it around the 30th, as I thought I had ovulated on about the 16th of the month.  I didn’t start spotting when I expected to.  And on the 30th, when my period didn’t start…

 

…I ovulated.

 

I know.  WTF???  When was the last time that I misread ovulation?  Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever assumed that I’d ovulated when I hadn’t, not since I went off birth control in 2002.  I even got it right that first cycle off birth control, and I didn’t ovulate until day 57 that cycle.

 

So August, you beat me.  You screwed with my mind one more time.  After 6 months of regular ovulation around day 14, I didn’t ovulate until d27.  The month that was already insanely difficult because we’re no closer to starting IVF now than we were a year ago, even though I thought we’d be starting that month; the month during which it occurred to me that if I hadn’t miscarried last year, I’d have a 6 month old; the month that my reasonably calm demeanor about not getting pregnant without help (ha, as if that was likely to happen) began to crumble…August, I bow to your clear determination to beat every last shred of hope out of me.

 

Oh, but wait!  You weren’t done.  You ended the month with more hope by ensuring that I ovulated on the left side.  The side from which I almost never ovulate.  The side which produced the egg that became my almost-6-year-old-son.  The crushing depression of “I’m not pregnant, I hadn’t even ovulated yet, I clearly have no idea what’s going on in my body” was slightly tempered by the hope that the left side would do the trick.  And the added hope that we’d hit that day exactly right for lovin’ purposes.

 

Alas, I started spotting exactly as normal and my period arrived bright and early this morning.  August, you had the last laugh.  I don’t think I’ve felt this depressed about getting my period since we gave up on treatments in 2006.

 

Come to think of it August, I believe you were the only one laughing.