Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


Going Private?

This post is specifically for friends, invited family, and fellow adopters who have followed this blog, read the blog, or who are "blog stalking" quietly and wish to continue-in a way that is supportive and constructive.

I feel like my privacy has been seriously compromised in an event that happened this week while I have been traveling for work.

And unfortunately internet was down at my hotel so I wasn't really able to take the action I needed to. (I'm writing from the airport headed home.)

I guess it is something I should have predicted, this privacy problem, but it is easy to blog away your most personal thoughts and feelings without considering the massive scope and scale of the internet. Which is public. I'm not good at self editing or censoring so since I really don't want to change who I am or how I write I need to find another solution.

I'm not sure what to do.

Should I go private or should I remove all identifying information here?

For those of you who have made these kinds of decisions could you make a recommendation please?

My concern about going private is that I think I will lose connections, readers, people I have come to depend on. And I certainly won't meet anyone new. But I'm not sure how to successfully remove identifying information.

Ok, whew. This has been a hard week. On top of two previously hard weeks. Blogging is my only outlet and I feel so seriously compromised that my stomach is just churning. Once I address this privacy issue I will share with you a little about what happened.

~You know who.


Father Reluctance

What can I say? I have written this post three times in three different ways.

There is no way to talk about J and his years of "father reluctance" without sharing too much information that is not mine to share.

I want to wrap up my last post which I realize I left on a bit of a cliffhanger.

So I'll just say that this whole process has been hard on J, who entered our marriage almost 11 years ago saying that he would NEVER have kids. Now it is ironic that to have children, which he is still very nervous about, it requires him to a. divulge every bit of his personal, medical, financial, and professional information to a social worker (homestudy) b. join me at US government offices around the city c. pay lots and lots of money d. join me at expensive doctor's appointments and e. provide samples to fertility specialists

Ironic isn't it? Poor man.

But he is a very good husband and I know he joins me in all of this because he loves me. And he trusts that he will be able to love a child. But this whole thing is still a huge stretch for him.

I wonder sometimes if God is testing us to strengthen our resolve. To make it that much easier to love and adore a little someone who was fought for so hard.

So to wrap up the last post. We decided to continue to pursue the adoption. And we are currently #1 on the waiting list. So it WILL happen at some point.

I think it was very easy for J to consider postponing the adoption while we pursue fertility treatment because he has a much harder time loving the idea of our future child. Do the rest of you have similar experiences with your husbands? I have sought a lot of advice from others and I've come to the realization that J, and men in general, have a harder time attaching to the idea of a child whose face they have never seen. He is in agreement with the adoption. But his heart has yet to fall in love.

I am not sure what we will do about the fertility problems. But after a lot of discussion, and of course ugly crying on my part, we agreed to work on it this year. Some of you have recommended books to read which I plan to look into. I have found some interesting websites and blogs. We'll see a fertility specialist. We'll explore our options. I wish we were rich and could just freeze up some eggs for future use! But that is not our reality so we will see what can be done and make a decision sooner rather than later.

J has come a long long way. And I don't blame him for needing this time to come around to fatherhood. I appreciate that we've been able to spend a lot of time together. We have traveled all over the world. We hiked the Samaria Gorge. Went swimming with whale sharks in the Yucatan. Lived in Thailand and drove our little scooter to watch the sunset on the beach every night. We explored temples in Cambodia and pigged out on pizza in Italy. We listened to a Christmas concert in a tiny chapel in Oxford. And we have celebrated the 4th of July on the Capitol mall 6 times! I will never regret the time we have spent together - just the two of us.

But for everything a season and we are entering a new season of life.
Our conclusion is that we don't have a plan A or plan B. We are just trying to make a family.



Here is where I confess a lot of crappy fertility stuff and ask that you be sensitive in the comments

Held in emotions. I'm sure everyone has them. The older I've gotten the less acceptable it has become to: get teary eyed when I'm being confronted with a mistake, yell at my friends or sister when I'm angry or hurt, stamp my foot and roll my eyes when I'm not getting enough attention (I actually did that in the middle of a 7th grade performance by the way), or put my head down on my arm on the desk and sob.

The adoption books would say that I have learned to self-regulate. To not lose control and let it all go over every bump in the road.

But yesterday, wow, yesterday proved what holding it in for too long can do.

All I had to do was write an email back to our church's worship leader telling her no thank you, I don't want to do a reading at the Christmas Eve service. That's it. One sentence max.

Instead I found myself writing that I did not enjoy 2009, I would not AT ALL like to read aloud at the church service or engage in any way, that I have a ban on all things Christmas at the current moment and that unless she wants a sobbing mess at the front of the church terrifying all of the pretty children in their Christmas dresses I should be kept far far at the back. I skipped baby dedication last Sunday. Historically my favorite event at any church worldover. That should give you some idea of where I'm at with church events that involve kids and celebrating.

Have I mentioned that I really don't know her all that well?
But I dumped all of those pent up emotions all over her and then cried huge ugly tears all over the keyboard as I hit send. Very very ugly tears. Not Demi Moore in Ghost pretty tears that just slide one at a time.

The rest of the afternoon, as I sat at my desk (again, thank God for working from home), I half worked and half cried. Ok, well I half worked and I all out cried. Several, SEPARATE, huge ugly cries as I wrote other emails to some of you dumping all of the upset from this last week into those messages. Then a friend, a very good friend but one I haven't talked to in a long time, called me in response to a question I asked her and since I didn't recognize the number I answered the phone (of course pulled together in case it was for work.) The second I found out it wasn't a work call I lost it - crying, hiccuping, the whole works. Wow. Don't try that on a touch screen cell phone. The screen gets very very wet and slippery.

Several people said to me yesterday that I should just blog it out. Yesterday I couldn't. And I am torn about putting words like sp-rm here on my blog just in case gross freaky people end up here looking for s-x talk or something.

But here goes nothing. I am going to get creative with the dash symbol so fill in the blanks.

Last week - Tuesday morning.
The call telling us there had been a mistake and we don't have a baby waiting for us right now.
Bad day. Sad day. But sort of to be expected on the rollercoaster of adoption.

Last week - Wednesday morning.
My ob/gyn called.

Back Story - You see, something I don't think I have mentioned much here is that we have been trying to get pregnant. For almost a year. (AAI allows this - most agencies don't fyi.) When we started trying and I found out I had PCOS really soon into the process, we also decided to adopt. I'm not a girl to wait around and find out if I'm fertile or not. I have always known I wanted to adopt and all of the signs were pointing to it after I visted AHOPE last year in Ethiopia.

Throughout this "trying to get pregnant" situation I have been on some drugs, I have had some ultrasounds, I have taken some basal body temps, blah blah blah. Nothing too in depth but sort of escalating testing of different parts and fluids and whatnot.

It has not been overly concerning since BABY GIRL IS WAITING in Ethiopia (in theory.) And we are young! ish. And healthy! ish. So I refused to get worried. And to be fair, we both agree that timing is not ideal and it would be better to be pregnant next year. So we "tried" but did not stress out.

On Wednesday the ob/gyn called with Jeremy's sem-n analysis which we finally had done about a month ago after reading an article about how type 1 diabetes can decrease male fertility by quite a large percentage. (There is no definitive data but the studies that have been done don't look good.)

He had bad news. News that no matter how realistic I've tried to be I really had never considered. He also said that there was nothing more he could do for us. Which sounded really...final. He said that we need to see a specialist. We need IVF with ICSE. Yeah, that's right. We don't just need NORMAL IVF, we need a special, extra expensive, EXTRA procedure too. I have never actually been over in that IVF camp to begin with - spending all that money when you don't have a guarantee of anything. But let me tell you here - when a doctor says to you that getting pregnant any other way would be a miracle you sort of sit up and listen and really assess how badly you want to be pregnant!

So I blithely informed him "well, you see, we are adopting and probably getting a referral in 2010 so that's ok, we'll just revisit this issue in a year or so."

To which he very sternly informed me "actually, I see you are turning 33 on Friday of next week and I hate to tell you this but your fertility peaked at 27 and really hits a decline in a hurry at 33. When/if you go to a reproductive specialist they will tell you that you should have tried to resolve this by 32. Your eggs aren't getting younger. At the very least you should freeze some. You might have a 30-50% chance at successful IVF this year but they won't tell you the same in 2 years from now!" (Ok, I didn't not relay that word for word but you get the idea.)

I did some online research and he is right. While my ovul-tion problems are not insurmountable and J's fertility results are not all bad - together we make a wrong. And that wrong will be harder and harder to fix starting on my birthday tomorrow. Tick tock tick tock I can actually hear the biological clock. Mine has become a deranged cuckoo clock.

Whew - BTW I am doing so so well writing this. I could not have written it to save my life yesterday.

That is the crux of the story. Minus the two days I spent not speaking to J because he hinted that we should halt the adoption and go after the fertility stuff full force. Minus the enormous and emotionally draining conversation we finally had about it all. Minus all of the research and thinking and praying and crying. Minus the final conclusion we came to.

But that is all I will blog today. Because I really am doing a little better and taking deep breaths. And for Cindy I will take a walk and sing a little. And for Lisa I will consider Barbados. And for Jill I WILL wear the ergo you sent all weekend - possibly with a doll inside. And for Mimi I may take a Christmas card photo of myself wearing a snuggie and holding a giant chunk of chocolate that I've been working on for a week (ok, I'm on the 2nd or 3rd now) in one hand with a baby carrier on my back and my laptop under my arm. I cannot think of a more appropriate card to express what the last 6 months of 2009 have been like.




There are certain blogs I read when I need to laugh and others when I need to feel like it's ok to cry.

Is there any mommy out there gives me both, regularly, and so eloquently.

This post today made my stomach flip a little. I know that we are so very underprepared to be a peach and brown family. I wonder if there is anyone out there who can adequately prepare? I try to let other's experiences and answers soak into me so I'll have some of the right words for baby when I need them.

Thanks to all of you who blog about this topic. I think the more we talk about it the better.



Wordless Wednesday - almost

J - thanks for hanging in here with me.


You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have...

December 8th today and already this month has been a rollercoaster of adoption news and feelings. Started with World AIDS Day on the 1st and really has not slowed down since. This morning I got a call. Not the call. But a call from Erin Henderson, our coordinator, nonetheless which is exciting just because you know that when you hear her voice you are getting close!

It is cold here. Have you seen the weather map? Almost a millon square miles covering CO-MN of cold and snow? I say this because it explains why at 8:30am I was still snuggled into bed downstairs - in our "new" bedroom - when the call came. Cold = one of my favorite things which is my R.estoration H.ardware blanket in bed with my laptop. (See end of blog.)

So the phone rang and it was a private caller. This could mean one of three people: my supervisor/chair of Faith to Action Initiative (but since she is also not a morning person I couldn't imagine it was her), my colleague in NY who is two hours ahead of me and so would definitely not still be in bed snuggling under her blanket, OR someone from our agency.

It was Erin and when she said "hi, this is Erin Henderson" my hands started shaking hard and my breath got suddenly very short and choppy. I said "it IS????"

And then as she is trying to explain her call which began with "this is not a referral call" an ENORMOUS spider emerged from under my laptop (which was on my lap and have I mentioned IN BED???) and began spider leggy flopping around my covers. I hate spiders. I am terrifed of spiders. I should have thought of this possibility when we moved to the basement which is probably the winter getaway for all sorts of spider folk. I think it dropped on me from the ceiling. I was on the phone, shaking, trying to hold it all together while scanning the ceiling for a spider web and leaping around the room trying to fling it far far away.

I actually had to stop Erin and tell her that a spider was on me! Certainly a first for her in making these calls I think.

Somewhere in all of that Erin explained that her news was not good news. Worse than a spider in my bed in my new bedroom?? Yes.

Last week our agency had some new baby arrivals. We were in line for one of them. This week they had some further testing done and both have been moved to the healthy infant referral list. Good for the healthy babies...really. That is the way that these things work at times. Although this situation is a little stranger than it seems. But I think it is best to leave it at that.

I am not devastated. I'm very very proud actually that I didn't run with the news I had last week and shout it from the rooftops. I even refrained from telling our church adoption group anything on Sunday. It was a test run of self control for me.

Now we are officially #1 for a baby girl. Who is definitely not in care yet. BUT there is also the possibility of a toddler referral of a girl who IS in care.

Have I mentioned that this is a rollercoaster of emotions?

It is a hard balance of wanting to rush and say yes to anyone and anything because the waiting is so hard and also carefully considering what we can handle and who is the best fit for us.

That is my news for today. Tuesday, December 8th, 2009. I have a feeling there is more on the way but I cannot even begin to imagine where we'll be on the 18th. My predicted referral day.


PS. Favorite thing: R.estoration H.ardware blanket of soft perfection. Ours is steel gray. It is machine washable. It is soft and fluffy like a kitten on one side and smooth and soft on the other. Repels dog hair, retained its fluff and softness through the past year, and is the perfect companion for the cold of Colorado. If I could make all of my clothes out of this material I would.


Favorite Things - the good plates

My mom has always had good plates - china, pale and creamy with curls of pink and green and gold flowers. As far back as I can remember we ate from the china for Christmas Eve, Thankgiving, Easter, birthdays, and then on just because days. Just because my girlfriends and their moms were coming over to plan our spring break trip. Just because we had friends staying with us from out of town. Just because it was advent and advent candle lighting goes well with dainty china.

When J and I got married we chose "regular" plates because no other china pattern could live up to my expectations.

One year ago I was talking to my grandma and grandpa on the phone and complaining about my lack of china. (Don't ask me why this came up.) During that call grandma told me that she has the same set as mom. It was my great-grandmother's. Apparently my great-grandfather brought back two sets from a trip sometime in ancient history.

They told me that when the time comes and they are done using it they would box it up and send the whole set to me. I thought I'd be waiting at least another 10 years.

But the time came only 6 months later. Over the course of 2009 both grandma and grandpa became old. Not regular grandma and grandpa old. But very sick, almost died, moved into assisted living old. It was shocking. And very sad for all of us to see. Grandpa, who used to love collecting golf balls, competing in Christmas light competitions, and who could still beat me at a game of pool - can no longer drive. Has his meals made for him. Grandma sleeps almost all day every day. When I ask grandpa how he's doing he says he's happy to have grandma still with him. They lay in bed holding hands a lot.

The box arrived several months ago. Boxes. Three of them. Filled with beautiful, girly, fancy, good plates. And cups, and bowls, and smaller bowls, and smaller plates, and huge platters, and lidded bowls, and many pieces I will never know how to use.

On Thankgsiving day I went into the basement and spent an hour delicately unwrapping enough for our family dinner. I carefully washed each piece marveling at how not one was chipped or scratched. Then I served Thankgiving dinner on the good plates. For the first time.

Thank you GB & GD.


The day I've been waiting for has finally come - not a referral post though

I have been waiting for YEARS to decorate a baby room. In DC we had the perfect room that just waited and waited and never became a baby room.

Here in Denver we have seriously downsized. And the few little things we've accumulated for baby have piled up in my office which is now overflowing with storage and baby books and misc. furniture.

As I write this very sentence darling J and our friend Dave are heaving and grunting and pushing our bedroom furniture downstairs to the basement family room.

Why is he doing this you might ask? Why would we want to move the entire master bedroom underground?

To make room for baby of course!!

I love small houses and I hate small houses. I love that our little bungalow is easy to clean. I love that it is old and has character and is located in a very cool little neighborhood. But the downside is that most of these bungalows only have 2 bedrooms.

Until today one bedroom was our master bedroom and one my office.
But after today one bedroom will be the office and the back bedroom, the one with carpet, will be a baby room. Not for her to sleep in at night. But for me to decorate. And for naps I suppose.

We will all sleep downstairs together in what used to be the family room. It is warm. It has soft carpet. It is much bigger. I'm excited!

Pictures to follow when it is all rearranged.



And she treasured these things in her heart...

Oh Friends! Oh my! Oh dear! (Uffda? Insert wide range of Scandinavian expressions of enthusiasm here.)

Words cannot even do justice to the email I just got from our agency coordinator. In fact, as I write this I've had to go back and double check to make sure I wasn't dreaming that email.
I just can't share the email right now. I'm still treasuring it up in my heart.

But the subject line was "news" and it was a good news email.

It sounds like SHE is there. In their care. And we should learn more in about a week.

Bonnie, you are so so right. I don't want a referral if the paperwork is not in order. I can't imagine the pain of failing court over and over and watching the months of 2010 slip by. So I am cautiously excited but will reserve outright joy.

I am not going to post this news on facebook. Or send out mass emails. So if you are reading this please keep it close for now. Suddenly I am nervous. I feel private. I feel like I'm just about to sneak away and open a gift from a secret admirer.

But for now this is a happy news post for everyone who has so faithfully followed here, commented, affirmed, suggested, and rejoiced. The wait is nearing its end. And the real wait is just beginning.

Here's a picture of Cassidy expressing how I feel. Note the focus in her eye? (Picnic lunch was on a nearby table and she knew good things were about to come.)



Will the F*ancy T*iger restore my creative energy?

It took me oh, about 4 hours to regret that previous post. Not because of your cyber butt kicks Shannon (so funny though!)
It's just that truly every minute I waste on calculating and agonizing I really am not living. At all.

I'm just going through the motions. And I was doing so well these past two weeks! Blew all that good energy in one day.

I caught a little of O.prah today and she was talking about a new book, H.alf the S.ky. I so appreciated that she had guests talking about development and the importance of the GIRL in the developing world. The power that girls have to change the world if given education and a chance.

I miss living in DC sometimes. These were conversations I had regularly. I miss talking about development and I'm sad that when people ask what I do and I say "international development" here in Denver I get blank stares.

I think I am understimulated and losing my creative abilities - just totally gave them over to the world of adoption last spring.

In an effort to wrench my soul out of the clutches of the evil adoption waitlist, tomorrow night I am going to a store called F*ancy T*iger! With a friend and we are going to learn to use a sewing machine (GASP!). I plan to bring my African fabric and see if I can finally get those pillow covers made. Maybe I will fall in love with sewing (yeesh, is that possible??) and have a creative outlet.


About Me

My photo
J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.