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."


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.



  1. Yikes. Heck of a day! I'm glad you're feeling a bit better today. It's good you got it all out. Hang in there...

  2. I am sending you a HUGE hug. I could have written almost this exact same thing in 2006. And for the record Fall 2006 and all of 2007 were the worst 18 months of my life. Infertility SUCKS! Adoption is crazy and somehow we are left to sort it all out.

    I skipped Mother's Day mass in 2007 and 2008 claiming I was sick which was a total lie. I also avoided baptism Sundays as it was just too much. I couldn't do it. I also skipped more than one baby shower.

    We had the same fight over IVF and adoption. I wanted adoption, hubby wanted to pursure IVF. My heart wasn't in it and never really would have been. My tests were normal, horribly painful but normal. Hubby's were not. Surgery didn't fix it and though we were never explicitly told that we couldn't have children it was deemed highly unlikely. 6 failed rounds of IUI later and nothing. Every time nothing. I hated pregancy tests, ovulation tests, temperatures, theories etc. the whole trying to get pregant thing sucked up 3 years of my life. 3 very long years that ended in a failed domestic adoption attempt and a trip to CA to "recover" and figure out what to do next.

    Holidays were the worst and all the annoying questions from family about when were we going to have kids. ICK

    I learned a lot about myself and my husband during that time in our lives. I also know that it is okay to grieve. You are grieving the loss of maybe not having a baby. Cry away. Cry as many ugly crys as you want. You are entitled to it. Sometimes crying was the only thing that made me feel better. I finally accepted that God had a plan and I may not like it or understand it but I had to have faith. Once I really let go and trusted, things became so much more clear and I had found peace. I had found Ethiopia and eventually I found my daughter. You will get through this. It may not be a pretty process getting through it but you will do it and come out a stronger, better person.

    I truly believe that anyone that can survive the let downs of infertility and the roller coaster that is adoption really will be a great parent. Hang in there and please email me if you need anything or want to vent. I have unfortunately been where you are now.

  3. Amanda,

    Can I just tell you that even though we've never met, I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Fertility problems are a big deal. Adoption is a big deal. To combine them at the same time is huge. I don't know how you're doing it-even considering the big, ugly tears.

    My heart is hurting for you. The only advice I can give is to allow yourself to cry when you need to, allow yourself to get mad, frustrated, sad, etc... and don't be too hard on yourself right now. This is a lot to cope with all at once.

    I hope that you are able to make a decision regarding the IVF without feeling like you've given up too much. I'm having some issues letting go of my useless uterus right now, like I have to do, because I always wonder "what if".

    I get it. I totally get it.

  4. Oh yuck, honey, Im' so sorry. What an awful, awful week!!

    If you feel up to it, I recommend reading 'adoption after infertility', by patricia irwin johnston (and actually i think there might be an updated version now, called something else). It's a very uneven book (and I've said this every time I've recommended it... which is many) but she is GOOD, devastatingly good, on helping couples to assess how badly they want to be pregnant!! I found her incredibly insightful on dealing with fertility losses - it's the adoption / fertility book that I keep tucked inside my nightstand. It caused many an ugly cry for me, but I found it really helpful. (It's particularly meant to be useful when two halves of a couple are on different pages, but DH would never read it!)

    Sorry for this long rambly comment. I think what I really wanted to say was - big cyber hug. Be kind to yourself. Thinking of you!!

  5. I'm sorry. I am sending you a big hug. Infertility sucks.In my experience your heart will heal.

  6. {{{Hug}} I Adore you and your strength!!

  7. HONEST TO GOODNESS!! The verify word for that last comment was "bless"

  8. My husband says I'm succinct to a fault, but I mean every single word I say... so to you Amanda, I can say - I've been there. I truly understand. Fertility issues are a lonely road. BUT, I can also say, truly, there IS light at the end of the tunnel. Our God sees every tear and His grace really is enough. Saying a prayer for you right now.

  9. Oh, Amander! Can't wait to get that card in the mail - do it, do it, do it!! I'll even reimburse you for the cost. Seriously.

    Praying for you.

  10. Hi Amanda,
    I just happened across your blog and felt compelled to add a comment. I hope my words can bring some small measure of comfort to you. I too have been down that heartbreaking road of infertility. I also attempted to pursue getting pregnant and adoption at the same time. After a while I realized I truly needed to resolve the infertility first as I wanted a biological child with all my heart. I can't even begin to tell you how many days, hours, Christmases, Easters, 4th of Julys, I spent refusing to celebrate them because I didn't have children & it just hurt too much. It's impossible for those who haven't been down that road to comprehend the true grief you go through every month when, once again, you're devastated by not being pregnant.

    I am now "through the darkness" and made it to the other side. After years and years of trying, then years of not even being able to think about adoption because I was afraid of being hurt again, we are now awaiting a referral for a child any day now and I could never have imagined I would be here - excited and looking forward to Christmas for the first time in years.

    All this to say, hang in there. I will keep you in my prayers. God's grace WILL get you through.

  11. Oh Amanda - just big hugs! you are allowed to cry all that you want.

  12. Don't know what to say... My story of fulfilling my desire/need to be a mother is so different, that don't know what's the good advice to give to you....
    despite my lack of advice, Want to tell you that I am following your story, sending all of my best energy to you and J so that sooner than later you will be the great parents that you are meant to be.
    After reading this I wish so much that you were in DC so we could be closer to you and be able to support you.
    ps: leaving to Colombia tomorrow but will call you. Already told Pablo that we will sing to you.

  13. Amanda darling,I cannot begin to fully understand all the emotions you are experiencing right now and my heart is weeping for you! Just rememeber that God's grace is sufficient to see you through this all. He only gives us what we can handle. You can ugly cry into my phone anytime you want! I love you and I am praying for you and J! Go listen to some Enrique Ingelis(sp?)and dance a little for your birthday! :)

  14. Amanda,
    We spoke briefly through emails awhile back. We're also adopting from AAI, so we have that in common. But in addition to that, I can tell you that I am also walking the PCOS journey, and with that, infertility. God blessed me with one son through clomid 3 years ago, but since then I've only experienced miscarriages and failed injection/IUIs. One of my closest friends went through several rounds of specialized IVFs to finally get pregnant with her last egg! I would love to talk on email and be there for you if you want to unload feelings. I'll be praying for you as you and your husband discuss adoption/infertility treatments.

  15. Wow. I can't relate to any of the things that you are going through at all, but your description of it is heartbreaking. I am praying for you, and waiting to see how God will resolve this for your joy and to His glory. In the meantime, my heart aches for your hurt.

  16. Hi Amanda! Thinking of you! Thank you for being so open about the struggles with fertility and adoption... while I imagine it's therapeutic for women to read now who are also going through it, it's definitely helpful even for those of us who will be facing at least one of these struggles in the future and need to know the reality and that we're not the first to go through it. Wishing you and J the best for the holidays and lots of luck and love for the baby path ahead. Hope to see you soon:) Check my work website for a posting for a volunteer for Yemen for a few weeks this spring for my program, should be posted soon:) - research on effects of hazardous labor on kids' health. Might be a good distraction if you want some travel?
    Love ya,

  17. I've thought about you since the day you posted this. My heart is so sad for your heartbreak. I have no personal experience that would bring me close to your sadness, but all the same, my heart aches for you to be a Mom and J to be a Dad, however that happens to come about. Much love from 1600 miles away.

  18. PCOS... the silent dream killer. For which I have refused to even face because I am 35 unmarried and "dating" (so no sp-rm testing here!).... but I have the MOST beautiful daughter. Most beautiful. You cannot even understand. But my body still yearns for a baby. Another baby. And my heart still yearns for another adoption. See... it never stops!!!! Praying for you. And me. And us! all of us on this cruel endless cycle!


About Me

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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.