I keep hearing excited voices asking "so...what's next?!" So - I thought I'd update you. Last weekend we went to our final meeting with an Adoption Agency before we were going to make our decision. So....*drumroll please* we have chose ADOPTION MN! We are so excited to have made this tough decision. Think about it - what if you had to decide the place where you will receive your CHILD from. No pressure, right? Ha. Well, lucky for us - we knew right away. It just felt right. The atmosphere was calm, inviting and judgement free. Can you believe that some adoption agencies turn people away for having certain diseases, for being homosexual, or for being overweight? That made me sick to my stomach. We wanted to find a place that we knew we'd be accepted - but also one that accepted people from all walks of life. Going through this process has made me realize that Adoption has an amazing, supportive, wonderful community of people. They are going to be my people. Amazing! Going off on a total tangent - who has seen the Southwest Airlines commercial with the expecting parents running through the store and then going to get their baby through adoption? Incredible. I absolutely love it.
Moving on...yes, we have chosen our agency. So - what's next? Well, next, we have to make sure we have the money. As I've been talking to family and friends recently, people are amazed at the cost of Adoption. As you know, I'm an open book - so - let me share. Adopting a domestic infant is anywhere from $25-60k. You read that right! The average cost of having a baby naturally, with insurance, is about $11k. I'm not going to be that person that complains about it because this process is going to bring us a baby - and give a baby a home. But...whew! So - we are in the process of working with our bank on getting the funding to pay for this adoption as many costs are due upon application. Once we have our financing figured out, we will officially apply to Adoption Minnesota. From there, the home study process starts....more to come on that.
I hope this finds you happy, healthy and thankful for all the good in the world. As always, I am so thankful for my amazing husband who helps me through the tough phases and celebrates me in our joyous moments. Merry Christmas!
This past weekend, Ryan and I attending the RESOLVE Midwest Infertility and Adoption Summit. I was filled with emotions even before the day began. I was excited about learning new things and so thankful that Ryan was excited to attend. Ryan has been so supportive through this journey. I honestly could not think of one more thing he could do for me. He always goes above and beyond the call of "husband duty." I could go on! Anyway. The morning started early and we listened to the keynote speaker, a husband and wife who had experienced loss, infertility and finally - babies. Their story was real and brought up a lot of emotions for me.
After the speaker, the breakout sessions began. The first one both Ryan and I went to was titled "Bonding and Attachment in Adoption." The biggest thing that we took away from this session was most of the adoptive mothers recommended a "cocoon" time once you bring your baby home. For some, this consisted of 3-6 weeks of literally staying at home with the baby and your spouse and not allowing anyone else in your home or to see the baby. The reasoning? The baby hasn't heard you for 9 months and doesn't know you yet. This was eye opening. This is pretty much the exact opposite of what we were going to do. Once baby is here, we thought - come one, come all! I couldn't help but wonder what my parents, Ryan's parents, our siblings, our friends would think of this. Of course I think that they'd all respect our wishes but...I don't know. This is the first time I've felt like my journey with a newborn will be different than anyone else. No one else has to do this - why do I? Ok ok, I get it. I don't have to do anything. But - I want to bond with my baby. I want them to know I will love them like no one else in the world will. Hmm. Lots to think about.
For the second session, Ryan and I split up. I talked Ryan into going to the session called "Guy Talk" which was for just men, to discuss their role and thoughts about the infertility journey. I went to Domestic Adoption 101 but didn't have a lot of take aways since I have already done so much research on the process. After this session, we had lunch. Ryan raved about his time in the session. I held in my excitement so I didn't embarrass him but I was overjoyed that he got a lot out of it! Then....he hit me with "do you think we've explored every option of treatments?" Whew. I felt like something smacked me in the face. I had a pit in my stomach. I thought...WHAT? Are you kidding me? We've made the decision to adopt and NOW you ask me this? I tried to hold it in but I started crying. Of course Ryan felt bad, but I couldn't help but feel so guilty. I'm the reason we can't get pregnant. Not Ryan, not anyone else. Me. Another part of my brain instantly went to our future adopted child. I felt guilty for "cheating" on them. In my heart, I was ready for adoption. I just want to be a mommy and to love a child with all of me. I told Ryan all of this and he agreed, quickly moving the thought of "other options" out of our mind.
Our third session was about keeping a strong relationship and communication through infertility. Kinda perfect, huh? This session was fantastic. Both Ryan and I got some tools and resources to use as we work through all of these emotions. The last session of the day was the most special to both of us. This session included both Birth Mother's and Adoptive Mothers. Each woman told their story. Each - happy, sad, heartbreaking, funny, and the list goes on. They Birth Mother's spoke specifically about their relationship with their birth child and adoptive family. The Adoptive Mother's spoke about how special it was to have a relationship with the birth mother and how the relationship worked. Both Ryan and I walked out of there in awe of these women and more comfortable than ever with an open adoption.
All in all, the day hit every emotion in my body. That night, I had a dream about a little girl. The little girl looked up and me, stretched out her arms and exclaimed - "MOMMY!" Mommy. That's what I'll be. And I can't freakin wait.
Next steps: On December 9th, we will meet with one last agency. After that, we hope to pick an agency and start the application process. God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm so happy. I'm so at peace. Isn't that amazing? For the last couple of years, I've been letdown by failed pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and medical testing. But now - that's all in my past. Ever since Ryan and I have decided to adopt a baby, I haven't been happier. My days are brighter and I'm really planning for this amazing future we are going to have. I no long mourn the fact that I am not able to have my "own" baby - but rather I rejoice in the fact that I am going to be a mom.
Adoption has always been in the back of my head. I've always thought about how it would feel to be those people who was able to give a precious baby a wonderful life. A good friend of mine was adopted, so I've grown up knowing about it. Nowadays, it's talked about so openly - so freely. It's refreshing! Families are no longer just a mom, dad and the children they give birth to. Families are those that care about you, love you, help you, guide you. You don't need blood to be family. I've learned that VERY well over my 31 years of existence. I have many friends who I consider family, and even some family who don't have any place in my life. It's how life is. Family is what you make it. I absolutely cannot wait to build this family with my amazing husband.
On Saturday, October 28th, we went to Lutheran Social Services to learn more about their programs. Though we have heavily researched them, we did learn some! We also got to listen to a panel of adoptive parents which was eye opening and refreshing. It's so nice to know some of the feelings we have are normal!
On November 18th, we will be going to the 33rd Annual Infertility & Adoption Family Building Summit. I.Am.So.Excited! All of these conferences are lining up so perfectly - like it was meant to be. I am so blessed that a co-worker found out about and told me about this. This Summit is designed to address the and emotional issues associated with infertility and adoption. Medical experts, attorneys, counseling professionals, adoption agencies and those who have experienced infertility firsthand will provide information regarding all aspects of your family building journey. How perfect does that sound?
Then, on December 9th we will go to EVOLVE, another local adoption agency. We have heard many good things about EVOLVE so we are excited to check it out!
Many have asked how they can help. I've added a page "Ways to Help" - check it out! We love you and are so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you for following our journey.
Today is the day. The day that we are going to "announce" our decision to adopt to the "world" via Facebook. I have an overwhelming sense of happiness. I'm beyond excited to start this journey with the love of my life.
The next two months will be full of research, interviews, and meetings. Ryan and I want to be 100% sure we choose an organization that values us as adoptive parents, and that does all they can for the birth mothers who work with them. Because of this, we are going to take our time before making any decisions on agencies.
We ask for prayers as our journey begins...
Our journey to adoption started in the summer of 2015. Having been married for a few months, we started to try. Even from the beginning, Ryan and I decided that they would try to conceive naturally, but didn’t want to go too far into fertility medicine or treatments. To us, it just wasn’t what we felt was right. Fast forward to the beginning of 2017 and we were having no luck. Because there was inconsistencies in my cycle each month, I decided to start seeing a fertility specialist. In the beginning, the specialist had me taking Progestrone, a hormone medication to stimulate and regulate a woman’s cycle. The Progestrone starting working immediately and helped my cycle regulate. After a few months, I grew more and more upset at the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant and there didn’t seem to be any answers.
Then, finally, in June of 2017, my doctor recommended an ultrasound. I agreed, though scared of what the results would be. Once the results were complete, I learned that I had Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. As the doctor read me the results, the symptoms and the plan to move forward – I was in a daze. I didn’t hear a word she said – only that it causes infertility. I went home that day and felt completely hopeless. After reseaching more about PCOS – a lot of things made sense. Symptoms include: obesity, fast weight gain, menstrual irregularity, acne….all things that I’d experienced the past few years and didn’t know why. A part of me was relieved to know what was causing all of this. The other part of me was devastated. No cure. Only treatment that ‘may’ help.
After a very emotional summer off from doctor appointments, I went back in for an ultrasound. This ultrasound showed no ovulation happening and I was devastated again. After a long discussion with my doctor about the risks even if I did get pregnant naturally, Ryan and I had some decisions to make. In mid-October, after talking with some family and friends, we made the decision to adopt a child. We are beyond excited to add a precious child to our family.