Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Lilypie Waiting to Adopt tickers

Monday, October 29, 2012

All Over

 Here's my Monkey, hanging out at a friends house.
He doesn't cooperate for pictures so much any more,
especially since he seems to think the camera 
is not only permanently attached to my hand, 
but perpetually pointed at him. 

Here's the little guy I've been hanging out with.
He's a good friends newbie, Hayli's little brother.
Our other good friend and I babyshare him
while mom works at the preschool. 

This was from my fall mini sessions --
they turned out pretty awesome, I think.



******
Like the title of the post,
this is going to be all over the place.
Everything seems to be going so well on the surface.

Thanksgiving is coming up, as is a trip to 
the North Pole Experience
(with awesome friends).
Afterwards, a friend from back East is coming to visit.
Then Christmas! 
We were gifted recliners as an early Christmas.
The Danes are doing well
(and Kira as well as she can).
I lost 20 pounds!!
Things are busy --
pumpkin patch,
community Halloween party,
friends Halloween party.
A few photo sessions.
Soccer games 
(and practice).
We're all home together.
We can't wait for our pending move out of New Mexico.

But man.
Baby Dreams do not go away easily.
Adoption is off the table;
our contract is cancelled.
Though our home study is still current,
we have no way to find a match or placement.
I find myself sometimes wondering what it would be like
if we had adopted Baby Girl.
She's 7 months old now. 
Or Baby Boy...
He's 2 months old.

We have taken some preliminary steps towards
infertility treatment again.
And the doctors insist that we begin testing
and procedures 
ALL OVER AGAIN. 
 They suck, they hurt, and they take forever. 
We're doing it anyway, 
but still. 
And since there is no chance of having
what worked before done,
this is really a shot in the dark. 
Just something to hope for, 
instead of doing nothing. 


And do you know what?
No matter what I do,
or who I talk to...
Every time I hear about someone
who wasn't planning,
didn't want, 
doesn't have employment handled, 
or being upset that a pregnancy has happened --
I feel broken. 
Inadequate. 
Less of Woman.
It hurts, and I try not to show it. 
But I want to break down,
melt into a puddle. 
I wonder about the 
baby we lost, 
Baby Girl who was in my arms,
and Baby Boy we had
to walk away from. 
It just HURTS.

I rage at the injustice of the world.
I rage at God.
How can he give these beautiful,
tiny Blessings, 
to people that aren't ready?
That don't want them?
To people that injure, neglect, abuse or kill them?

What about US?
I know it is irrational.
It still doesn't go away. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Photos

So I have been working on a big project. 

I've been studying photography for the better
part of three years --
ever since I got my DSLR.
After much thought,
I bit the bullet. 

I opened up a photography business!

  This is my super awesome logo. 
It's going a bit slow getting going --
but I have had 
two newborns, 
a family, 
and I have a senior session this weekend! 

I'm pretty happy about this whole thing! 

*****

Everything else is going well.
Monkey is growing like a weed.
We're mentally preparing for Christmas.
Planning a trip to the 
pumpkin patch and corn maze. 
Thanksgiving with some pretty awesome friends. 
Then, with those same friends, 
we are going to the 
North Pole Experience!
(The kiddos don't know yet.)

All in all, it's good. 
 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Knowing he thinks about it too.

While looking for a baby carrier for a dear friend,
I realized I had never put the newborn 
clothes away from Baby Girl's
situation. 
Doing that yesterday evening was kind of a downer,
not a break down kind --
just pensive. 
It hurts to miss what you never really had. 

Anyway, Kevin and I were talking today while
Monkey was outside riding his bike,
walking on our stone wall
and generally being four. 
We were talking about our pending move,
and if going earlier than planned 
is an option. 


But then he came over to us. 
Out of the blue,
"I don't think we're getting any more babies."
I said to Kevin, I think it is because 
his best friend just got a new little brother. 
Monkey piped back up,
"Yeah. She got her baby sister
and a baby brother. 
We get zero."
He showed us zero with fingers to emphasize. 

I guess we've got to figure out what we're going to do. 
It hurts my heart that my sweet little boy
is worrying and wondering about siblings.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Month

Sorry about that. 
There's been a lot going on. 
Mostly good, though --
just BUSY.

Monkey is back in preschool, 
three days a week. 
Up until today,
he still had weekly swim lessons. 
Now he's also playing soccer! 
It's pretty funny to watch four year olds play any
"organized" sport! 



I also joined a MOPs group
(Mothers Of Preschoolers).
I've only attended one meeting, 
but I really liked it. 
I even won a raffle! 
(And I never win stuff like that!)
It was a ceramic travel coffee mug
and a book. 
Can't share too many details about it, 
I'm thinking it might be something 
that I buy for someone else for Christmas. 

But the biggest news. 

I OPENED UP A PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS!

You can find my website
(which is still slightly under construction)

I hope all is well with you and yours, 
and I promise I will be back more often.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Two Years

Friday marked two years of waiting to adopt.
I ignored this, didn't want to think about it.
I honestly never thought that we would wait this long.
We are ready! And have been!
But...we're still here.
No end in sight.


Sometimes, 
I wish we hadn't even tried to adopt.
I hate knowing that we were so close, more than once.
I hate knowing that legislation enacted more 
than a year and a half after we began our adoption journey
is stopping us. 

Sometimes, 
I wish that we hadn't formed a bond.
That we hadn't had a second match.
I wonder about both those babies,
their families and mommies. 

Sometimes,
I wish that I knew how to reach out,
and get our faces and information
to a mother considering adoption,
privately.

But I don't know how. 
And I know that I get to wonder.
Are there more children in the future for our family?

I am so, so grateful that we had our Monkey.
It's still hard to slowly lose our dreams
of a houseful of kiddos.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Some Fun and Some Thoughts

Monkey had his very first soccer practice tonight!
He really seemed to love it.
Kevin is one of the assistant coaches for his team -
it was adorable watching them attempt
warm-ups and kicking the ball around. 
Monkey was super proud and thought
he "looked SO cool!"
wearing his shin guards, socks and cleats. 

I think it will be a lot of fun for all of us. 

*****

On another note, we keep going back and forth with this. 
Since we have a move coming in the next several months,
should we wait until then to reactivate our contract?
Do it now, and let it run out?
Wait, wait - we finally remembered that damn law.
The one that doesn't let us work with outside agencies, facilitators
or adoption professionals.
So how do we reach out then?
How on earth is a mother considering adoption
supposed to FIND a family like us?
Should we just...
Go back to fertility treatments?

I really wish it weren't so hard to provide
a loving home for a child.
You always hear about the kids that are neglected, 
abused, abandoned....
why are there so many parents
who WANT to adopt, but can't then?

*****

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back!

Monkey and I have been back from our trip 
to South Carolina for about a week and a half.
Kevin got back from training
last Friday. 

Our family is back in the same house! 
It's been awesome. 
Monkey is like a velcro leach onto
Daddy, but it's very cute 
(and annoying at times, I'm sure.)
However, I am not the leachee, 
so not my issue. 

We had fun in SC, 
got to see The Nana, 
go to the beach
(where everyone burned but Monkey, 
because he has awesome skin). 
Had fun with friends. 

And since we've been back, playing with Daddy has been number one. 
There was a Pampered Chef Part here tonight. 
A baby shower on Saturday 
for a friend here. 
Tomorrow is washing serving dishes, 
making pompoms, 
and baking biscuits. 
Her shower is going to be a tea. 
Was supposed to be a brunch, 
but that is a long, ugly story. 

Everything is going well this summer. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

God is Thinking About It

Today, and for the past few days, 
I have been cleaning up and organizing around the house. 
Scrubbing bird cages and litter boxes
etc. 

Tonight I was putting Kiwi's old cage into our garage instead
of in the room with Sneakybird. 
Monkey was out with me 
while I was cleaning outside. 
He saw the mirror that we had installed in the car, 
above the infant seat, 
so that we could see the baby from the front. 

Monkey asked, 
"Mommy, will we use that mirror?"
"What mirror, Monkey?"
"The one so I can see the baby!"
 "Well, if we get another baby we will."
"It's gonna take a long time, huh?"
"It might."
"We might not get another baby, huh?"
"We might not, Monkey. I don't know."
"No, we will! God is just thinkin' about which one. He's thinkin' everyday."
"Oh, He is?"
"Yeah. If you pray and ask about it, God will give you one."


Well, that was a conversation out of the blue. 
Made me think about it. 
I did pray regularly about it in the beginning, 
but mostly because of specific situation I saw
that touched me. 
I prayed about R and her situation as well. 
Not so much since. 
I related the conversation to Kevin tonight, 
and he said,
"You know, I haven't really prayed about it.
I was hoping, but not praying. It's crazy that
our four year old said that."

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pictures here, Pictures there, Pictures Everywhere!

It's been awhile since I posted, 
but I can honestly say that's because
Monkey and I have been so busy! 

We had a week of summer camp,
a week of VBS,
a visit to the zoo in El Paso, 
a birthday party, 
free movie Tuesdays,
and swimming lessons going on! 

Kevin is still away for training,
but is doing amazing at it! 
And he'll be home in just a few more weeks! 

So, I thought I would catch you all up 
on some pictures that were long promised. 

 This is Monkey at Farm Day, holding a kid. (Baby goats are adorable, people!)
 Here he is being a silly guy at his 4th birthday! 

 The table of awesome at his party! 
Banner says Super Brandon. 
We had Yoshi Eggs, Toad Pops, Ice Power,
Fire Power, Star Power, Mario Mustaches, 
Wii-mote controls, and Power Up Water. 
And cupcakes. With ice cream.
Cupcakes are awesome. 

 Another view.
I should clarify that we also had
sub sandwiches and chips.
The stuff on the table was to take home. 

 Brandon and awesome Coach Austin after the 
Summer Gym Magic Recital. 
Monkey and his classed worked their moves
to the song, 
Moves Like Jagger. 

 Sneaky being a silly bird. 
He is on his back in my hand. 

And one more from Farm Day. He wasn't thrilled
about the horse ride so much. 


Not a lot going on in other news. 
I talked to R a little bit, 
and they are doing great! 
I am glad that we still talk. 

I hope you all are having great summers,
and those of you waiting for an adoption placement 
get a match soon. 
I still wish sometimes that things had turned out different, 
but financially it is just not possible. 
I dream of making a private match sometimes,
but that is pretty much a non-existant thing. 
One day though, 
we will grow our family -
somehow. 
 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Up and Down

It's been a pretty good day.
Church this morning,
playing with Monkey.
Super-Cleaning Day -
moved all the furniture and vacuumed blinds 
kinda cleaning. 

But in the back of my mind, 
it's a hard day.

This week, we were given an option from Lifetime
that would involve another attorney/agency.
The whole thing felt kind of unethical,
but it didn't work out anyway.
It would have cost nearly $12K more.

Ha.

So...we froze our contract.
Technically we can do this for up to nine months,
pay a reactivation fee (crappy, IMO)
and go back active.
If we move during this nine months, 
we might be able to complete our contract.

It's hard, knowing that for now,
it's over.
There is no chance for us to adopt at this time.
It's heartbreaking.
To know that we were so close,
having held a baby in our arms 
and walked away.
That was my worst fear,
and it came true. 
To know that we almost made it again.
And now it's done. 

I hope that we are able to recoup financially,
and able to pursue adoption.
I hate that it has cost us SO much,
and not just monetarily.
It's a terrible roller coaster.
It would have been totally worth it,
if it ended happily.
But it hasn't. 

It makes me wonder if we should have just 
poured all this money into fertility treatment.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rough Week

Kevin left for training.
His sister moved into her first apartment. 
Last night, Kiwi bird died. 

Ugh.

Friday, June 1, 2012

A Second Opinion

Talked to another adoption lawyer today. 
Her opinion is similar to the first. 
We don't know how the state will rule,
because no one has challenged this law 
since it was put into affect in April.

We need to file a Petition to Allow Placement, 
along with getting approval from the court for the fees 
that we paid. 
In 2010.
If that were to get approved 
(and she thinks with an affidavit from Lifetime
explaining that we paid fees to them in 2010,
well before this law and that there aren't any new fees with 
this 'match', 
plus them explaining that we had a failed adoption 
placement in March
-also before this stupid law-
that we have a reasonable chance of getting approval). 

Her fees are similar, 
requiring a $3500 retainer, 
with everything billed hourly after that. 
It looks like it could easily still reach $6000 though. 
Also, with Oklahoma's laws in place, 
we need an agency or attorney there.
That drives legal fees up even more. 

It is looking more and more like 
this particular situation is not 
viable for us. 
We are thinking that we will hold
a fundraiser or two, 
and see if we can raise some of the legal fees. 
If this situation doesn't work out,
this money we raise
would go into a money market account
to wait until we move out this state.

Once we do, 
it will get used to fund yet another home study, 
and legal fees. 

 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kind of a Rant. A L-O-N-G one. You've been warned.

Does anyone mind if I rant, rave and otherwise lash out right now?
No?
Good. 

I want to go over what is holding us back. 
When we first decided to adopt, there were a few reasons. These were the biggest.
1) We had always wanted to, since being kids our selves. We talked about this well before we even got married.
2) Instead of the heartbreak of failed fertility treatments, we could give a home; a mother, father, brother and extended to family to a child whose mother was choosing a different future than she could provide for her child. In return, we get our dream of having a larger family + the addition of having some extra family members in the form of the child's biological family. (Or at least we hoped to gain a loving open adoption situation)


Kevin and I believed adoption to be the best option for our family. Fertility treatments held no guarantee anyway, and we believed that an expectant mother considering adoption could see the love we have to give.

We selected an adoption facilitator because the fees were on par or less than some adoption agencies. We also felt that a facilitator would have better outreach to birth families. We qualified for a grant through them, because we went through their African-American Enrichment Program. We chose this not because of money, but because we are an interracial family, and felt that we would be good parents to a bi- or multi- racial child/ren.

We have been open not just to newborns, but infants up to one year old; multiples; and sibling groups where the oldest child was the same age or younger than our firstborn.

We paid $13,000 for their services.

To adopt, you must have a home study. This is done by a licensed social worker, who may or may not  be affiliated with an adoption agency. Our was not, both the home study and the update were done by independent social workers. We submitted to home inspections, interviews, local, state and federal background checks. We bought fire extinguishers, fire escape ladders, and made fire escape plans that are posted in our home. We had medical examinations as well.

For this, we paid $1,000 for the original home study. When our wait went over one year, we paid $500 for it to be updated.

Kevin and I were optimistic. We thought that we would be chosen relatively quickly, and perhaps complete our adoption in a year or so. When that didn't happen, we didn't give up.

Finally, after a few close calls, we were matched with R.
This means that we found an attorney, and he spoke with us as well as R. We paid a $4,500 retainer, with the hope that we would not go over that in our adoption. When R decided to parent her daughter, we were entitled to a bit of a refund. About half of that we got back - it was just enough to cover the expenses we incurred driving to the birth, hotels for the time we were gone, food - etc.

 So, at this point we've paid $16,500.

Please note that this does not cover incidental expenses - printing our profiles cost $500. We are billed monthly for our 800-number access. We paid the fees for the background checks.

Because of this (incredibly stupid and unfair) law that New Mexico passed, retroactively - we are now prevented from working with agencies or facilitators outside of this state! This means that the $13K we paid to Lifetime - I guess we are just supposed to eat that, according to the State of New Mexico. In R's situation, her state allowed non-residents to finalize there. This law hadn't yet passed, but if it had, we still had the protection of not having to finalize here.

Without realizing that the law did in fact pass, we were chosen by expectant mother, S. S lives in Oklahoma, which does not allow non-residents to finalize. This means that we would have to file a case here in New Mexico to see if a judge would allow our adoption to go forward. Because of this, the legal fees are higher than just completing the adoption.

A conservative estimate from the lawyer -$4500 for the adoption itself, and $2000 or more for the court case before this child is even born.

Do you see what we're up against? This puts our adoption total at $23,000!

And after the failed placement - we don't have the money for the retainer any more. The lawyer requires a retainer of $3,000 to start work on our case, the remainder to be paid before finalization - or whenever the $3,000 runs out. We could *hope* that some other families or adoption agencies would want to get in on the lawsuit against the state, but there is no guarantee that would happen, so we can't count on it to lower those expenses.

We were going to use a credit card for these fees, which is not the most financially sound decision, but the lawyer doesn't accept payment by credit card.


How can they (in general) expect the average family to afford this? We always hear about children who need homes, babies who are abandoned - but it is almost financially impossible to adopt! There is an adoption tax credit - after the fact. Employers sometimes offer benefits - AFTER the fact. There is not much help in the moment, when you have to pay the fees. There are some places that offer grants, but they are few and far between. And so many families want those, not many get them. We applied for several.

We are considering at this point holding a fundraiser or two to help raise the legal fees so that we can go forward. But in this situation with S, it is against the clock. Because we have to fight with the State to see if they will allow placement to go forward, we don't have the time to fund raise. The lawyer needs to file the documents yesterday in his words.
I plan to call another lawyer that we spoke to in the first situation to see if her take is any different. Hopefully it is...but still, I have to wonder where the money will come from.

Our first idea is to hold a dinner of some sort - a soup and baked potato bar, perhaps - at our church. We would spread the word at church, and through friends. It would be held just for donations - and hopefully we can fund the food to get it done!
A bake sale was also suggested, but I am not sure of the logistics.

This is hard.
How do we explain to S 
that we might not be able to do this?
How do we live with knowing 
that it came down to 
MONEY?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Just like that....over.

Back to square one.
Spoke to the lawyer today,
and he does not accept
credit card payments for the retainer. 

We're tapped out of cash from the failed adoption. 
We had to borrow some of that as it was.
The IRS is holding the Adoption Tax Credit
hostage, 
and we don't know if we'll be getting it this year yet. 

So, financially, for this adoption situation,
we're done for. 
Kevin is calling Lifetime today.
Hoping that since they aren't able to help us
in this lovely state 
(sarcasm font needed),
that they will put our contract on hold
until the Air Force moves us out of this state
and we can get 
ANOTHER home study done
wherever we end up. 

This should also give us time
to straighten out our finances
and have the cash on hand.
Again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Starting to Get Ready

At first, I was super bummed out
about the things I had 
knit, 
collected, 
been given....
  
But then I went through everything,
and realized that
except for the totally awesome
with custom made buttons from
and the yarn from DiscoBaby Knits
is very gender neutral,
and will totally work for a
BOY! 

I have things knit up
(which was meant for a boy, but I like it for both genders),
and
Nurturing Threads Iced Giraffes. 

I am not sure what I plan to do with 
the romper 
(which was knit with yarn from Western Sky Knits)
or the DiscoBaby Knits yarn.
They're SUPER girly.

All of the diapers I got will work...
but not the covers. 
Have to get some boyish colors.
And we saved some clothes from Monkey,
but only things we really loved.
Plus, the seasons are off. 
Monkey is an April baby....
I guess some serious selling will 
start happening soon. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Going For It

It was a hard and scary decision. 

But we ARE going for it!! 

I talked to S for awhile the other day. 
It was a nice conversation. 
She told me that her reasons for choosing adoption.
She has the support of most everyone in her life, 
which I think will make a difference for her,
especially in the aftermath of the adoption taking place. 

We will remain hopeful.
We will also remain realistic. 

She did share a pretty awesome story of picking Kevin and I. 
Apparently, she has been perusing different adoption
professionals websites, checking out families.
She had a good feeling about Kevin and I, 
and liked the fact that we are an interracial couple. 
She printed out our online profile to show her mother.
While she was telling her mom all about us,
her mother mentioned that she had also been looking at 
online profiles and had found a family
that she liked as well. 
She told S, 
"It sounds like the same family."  
Her mom also printed the profile of the family she had seen.
S got her profile out, and so did her mom.
THEY WERE BOTH US! 

I thought that was a really neat thing.
It will be a good baby book story.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Match?!

Lifetime called us today! 
I actually didn't even realize that I had missed a call, 
until the stupid voicemail icon wouldn't get off of my screen! 

I called back as soon as I got the message. 

An expectant mom chose us.
I'll call her S here. 
The baby is a boy. 
Due August 5. 
I was told that she found us on Lifetime's website, 
and that we were it for her baby boy. 
They sent her paperwork,
and she called back to make sure that we hadn't been matched in the meantime, 
because she didn't want to work with another family!  

I don't know what to think!
Part of me is ecstatic, and so happy.
Another part is terrified. 
I do not think I can go through 
another failed adoption. 

We spoke to a lawyer,
who told us that our state has changed it's laws,
and this is a problem for us. 
They've made it illegal
to work with adoption agencies 
outside of this state. 

We have to make a decision on this almost immediately. 
Moving forward with this situation
will mean that we file a petition
with the courts immediately 
to try and and get around this law.
It would be argued that
A) It's unconstitutional.
B) That we signed a contract nearly two years ago with the adoption 
facilitator who is licensed in California. Why should this 
new law HERE and NOW affect us?
C) That before this law went into affect, 
we had a failed adoption.

In effect, the state is punishing us because we chose to use a facilitator, 
outside of the state, 
and had a failed placement. 

The judge could rule against us, and say that we can't go through with it. 
If it is granted, and the baby is born, 
and the adoption is finalized;
the case could still be appealed. 

We are still recovering financially. 
This would be really hard financially. 
This will be really hard emotionally. 
What if the judge allows it, 
or the law is overturned, 
only for the placement to fail?
There are never any guarantees, 
I get that. 
Believe me. 

I had no idea
that this much of me would be ripped open
and potentially put on display. 
I want this to be it. 
 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Been Gone

Because sickness has been making it's rounds.
After Monkey got better, 
the universe apparently decided it was my turn.

Female issues that NO ONE wants to know about, 
(trust me). 
And then Monkey had a well visit -
but given his recent hospital stay, 
this traumatized him.
And now I am getting over the flu!
Yucky, yucky, yucky.

We were also slightly busy. 
The Nana came to visit. 
This was originally planned to meet 
Baby II,
but the tickets were already bought
and she had promised Monkey that she would be here
for his 
FOURTH 
birthday,
so she came anyway.

The party was awesome, but as you may imagine,
I haven't downloaded the pictures yet. 
 (I really should get better at that, no?
One day.)

Monkey is taking swimming lessons this summer.
We are only two lessons in,
but he seems to be doing well.
The first was hardest,
but after this last one,
he even asked to go back. 
We'll see on Monday. 

Kevin is leaving in two weeks.
Buy our guesstimation, 
he will be gone until early August. 
Luckily, only to Texas.
We'll still be able to talk frequently. 
However, I am glad that I am not going. 
I don't know that I would like to see
San Antonio again right now. 
Mentally, I had planned for a visit 
with R during this time. 
Clearly, not necessary. 
Still, would rather not think about it. 

On the adoption front, 
I need to update our profiles.
Lifetime says they are running low. 
I might do that this week 
so that we can get them out 
before Kevin leaves. 

As a matter of fact,
that will be my goal.

 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Month After

This past week or so has been rough.
I can't help but wonder
how Baby Girl is doing. 
She turned one month old on the 18th.
I thought R and I were close enough
to maintain contact.
I felt we had a friendship, 
regardless of circumstances.
I truly hope that R,
Baby Girl and her brothers
are doing well.
I hope that R's family 
really is stepping up and supporting her
the way that they said they would.
 It feels that texting R 
would be out of line,
and I don't want that.
Still, after a few months of chatting with her 
every few days,
it's kind of weird not to.
 
Monkey told me again that he wants
a baby sister.
Still maintains that he doesn't want 
a baby brother because
"I am already a Boy."
 
This is harder than I thought it would be.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crafty

I started a quilt this week!
I've cut a good bit of the fabric, and I think I might start sewing today.

I came here intending to share pictures with you, 
but the battery in my camera is dead.
 
I'm also waiting on some yarn,
going to knit some more woolies for 
our baby, wherever the baby is. 
Unless the baby we're praying for turns out to be a boy,
in which case I will be selling the woolies 
and buying boyish colorways!

I also have fallen in love with some baby boy fabric,
and I know someone who is having a boy,
so I might sew a baby quilt too. 

Also, a friend who is pregnant 
asked me to sew her a hospital gown or two
from a tutorial we found.

I will have a bunch of projects to share soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Eighteen Months

Today marks eighteen months that we've been contracted with Lifetime. 
Tomorrow, baby girl will be one month old. 

It's harder now than it has been before.
I think that I really am done.
I'm ready to sell the things we've collected.
Trade the minivan back in for a car. 

And just stop. 
It feels to me that the answer to our desire for a large family 
is simply

NO.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

We're OK

Mr Monkey was released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
Other than getting tired easily 
(which our regular family doctor says is typical of pneumonia),
he seems to be fully recovered.
Our biggest hurdle has been getting him back on track
and realizing that he cannot have his way about what to eat
(because we were desperate for him to eat anything at all)
and watching movies all day
(because what else is there to do when stuck to a hospital bed by an IV and SpO2 monitor?).

Today, I took him to Lowe's Build and Grow workshop.
We haven't been in a few months,
and he greatly enjoyed that.

****

I also finally contacted the lawyer that we retained in our failed adoption.
We are entitled to a small refund, 
due to the fact that the paperwork had already been drafted
since there were no indicators that R had chosen to parent.
That was the hardest thing:
she asked me when I would be back the next morning with my family,
and five minutes later said that she couldn't go through with it. 
Anyway, 
I am glad we get a portion of the money back.

****
I am also not feeling very positive or hopeful about things.
I feel like throwing in the towel.
Maybe it's just not meant to be. 
We'll wait until the end of our contract
(which now ends in November),
but I don't know if we will extend it any further.
Seeing so many other families adopt 
in such a short period,
while we wait and wait and wait
is disheartening.

Ten years of not preventing pregnancy,
eight years of actively trying to conceive,
seven fertility cycles with IUI,
more than 24 months of fertility drugs.
Two pregnancies,
one miscarriage.

Eighteen months of waiting to be chosen to adopt,
a home study and home study update,
a lost retainer, 
one close encounter with a mother considering adoption,
one long term "match" with another mother considering adoption,
leading to
a failed adoption.

I don't know how much more I can take in my heart.
It's hard on a marriage, 
the ever hopefulness that leads to despair.
A little boy who notices his friends have siblings,
and wonders why he doesn't,
especially since he thought he did.

I don't know what the right path is.

I was playing on Pinterest and ran across a pin of a Bible verse.
I needed it today, so I leave it with you.

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
He delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:17-18

Monday, April 9, 2012

Prayers for Monkey, please

Poor little guy has had a rough week. 
He'd had a cough and fever that would go away and make a reappearance for about a week. 
We decided on Friday night when he worsened again that we'd have him seen on Monday.

He had other plans.
On Easter Sunday, we went to church
(he looked adorable). 
He asked to go to the park afterwards,
but when we got home to change he asked to go to bed instead.

I noticed he had rapid, shallow breathing
so I woke him.
He was in tears, holding is left side saying that it hurt to breathe.
We came to the ER,
and had lots of tests which showed he had a lot of abdominal pain as well.

After x-rays, throat cultures, flu tests, RSV test and a CT scan
the doctors found he has pneumonia in his lower left lung
and mesenteric adenitis.
He was admitted last night,
and seems a good bit better today.

If we have a good night in regards to pain control, 
and get him drinking enough to stay hydrated without an IV
then we might escape the hospital in a day or two. 
Right now, his pain seems to be getting worse,
and we're waiting to see if Motrin is going to help. 
If it doesn't, we'll be moving on to morphine,
which would probably keep us here through tomorrow.

Monday, April 2, 2012

San Antonio

 Monkey on the boat for the San Antonio River Tour

 All of us on said tour boat. 

 Monkey in a bubble!

 Children's Museum


 River Walk



 Watching Shamu 

 Shamu Show! 

 Feeding dolphins 

 As Monkey explains it, we fed dolphins dead fish!

 Dolphins are awesome.
It was really neat to touch and feed them. 


Well, this was how we spent our impromptu vacation/reality avoidance.
It was good to focus on our family, 
and made our time in Texas fun and not only grief.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ring!

I really wish the phone would ring.

Seriously, most people act like it is such an easy thing to adopt.
"Oh, trouble getting pregnant? Just adopt! There are so many people that can't/don't want to parent, 
and children that need homes!"

It's really freaking hard.
Domestic adoption = 
waiting for expectant mother to choose you. And seeing a lot of other prospective adoptive families whose wait is much shorter than yours.

Foster Adopt = 
getting placements and potentially losing them, because the ultimate goal of foster care in general is family reunification.

International adoption = 
much more expensive, extensive paper work, stringent regulations from both the country you adopt from and the one you live in. Still a L-O-N-G wait.

And watching teenagers and people who don't even WANT kids have them?
Sometimes, I feel like freaking out.
Sometimes I do it. (Inside. Or late at night.)

I wish I could see the fabric of the Lord's plan, 
because from where I sit, 
THIS SUCKS.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Stuff

Kevin is taking the rest of the leave that he requested.
It's been nice having him home to help entertain the Monkey.

I realized that today is the last day to tag for the Moms, Tots and in-beTweens sale!
That's what I've been doing today.
Clearing out clothes from Monkey.
Extraneous toys, books, baby stuff.
It will be good to get more stuff out of the garage! 
(and buying more clothes for the ever-growing Monkey)

Friday I picked up the dresser we ordered.
After moving it upstairs with Kevin's sister,
I've decided that I hate moving heavy furniture and
that I love the Air Force for moving it for us.
I plan to actually put away the stuff we are keeping for Baby II,
and get it out of rubber tubs and the tiny closet under the stairs.

The Nana is coming to visit next month since she told Monkey 
that she would be here for his birthday party.
Speaking of which, I really need to get on planning that.
Ordering balloons and invitations and planning games.
It will be SUPER fun.
Not sharing the theme, because some of you might attend! 


Friday, March 23, 2012

Not So Bad

Today has been pretty good! 
It was great to sleep in our very own beds. 

I went to see The Hunger Games today with my sister-in-law.
I really loved the trilogy, 
and was pleasantly surprised to see the movie was actually fairly close. 

I then went shopping! Yay!
Bath & Body Works for some body wash since I lost mine. 
And got some new air fresheners for the car.
Target since I lost my shampoo too. :)

Kevin went to a co-workers going away lunch with Brandon.
Now Brandon is playing at the park with the coworkers wife and kids,
while Kevin plays golf.
He's kind of a dork like that. 

Now I am watching 27 Dresses because I can.
No one is here to tell me to watch cartoons! 
Mwahahahahaha!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Empty

That's the word of the day.

Car seat, cradle, swing, sling, arms, house.
EMPTY.

I didn't think I'd have any issues being back in our home. 
I guess I was wrong.
I put the swing back in the garage, and the cradle in the spare room.
The car is still packed, but the clothes and diapers will get put in there too.
I suppose we will go pick up the dresser, 
and then I will pack away the clothes, diapers, woolies and bottles.

I wandered around the house for a bit, unsure of what to do.
When we got here, we should have been busy.
Unpacking stuff.
Letting the dogs get a sniff of a blanket or hat to smell the baby.
Trying to relax, while juggling Monkey
and feedings, changing diapers, and basking in our new larger family.

I don't know what to do.
And whatever it is, I do NOT feel like doing it. 
No cooking. No unpacking.
Just forget it.
I am in my giant comfy bed, and here I will stay.

Part of me wishes I could just text or call R up like before.
Even though baby isn't ours, I felt that we had formed a friendship,
R and I.
I hope she's doing alright.
I wonder what she named the baby.
I hope her family keeps their word and gives her all the help she needs.
I want her to know that I am not mad.

Just brokenhearted.
But we both knew that one of us would leave the hospital brokenhearted.
How do you hope for that?
Someone to hurt?

Most of all, even though we want to,
how are we going to do this again?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Heading for Home

For the most part,
I would say that I feel ok.
Our family, friends, and church family have been incredibly supportive.

I harbor no ill will for R.
I can understand her choices.

Though I do admit that I don't feel much invested in everything right now.
Cooking, cleaning....
Don't really care.
I could use more Monkey snuggles, 
but he's a big boy now and doesn't share them as freely.

I just don't know what to do about the things.
The car seat and cradle we borrowed,
they are easily returned.
But first I have to take the seat out of our car.
I have to face the cradle in the bedroom.
A good chunk of the clothes were borrowed,
so they can go back.
But some of it wasn't.
We got the call about 12 hours before she was born
that the dresser we ordered is ready for pick up.

The lovely gifts we got at our shower.
All the things I knit.
All the diapers that I have bought.
The new yarn that I just ordered the day before we left.

I have to face those things.
And that is the easy part,
because they aren't directly tied to her.

There are pictures.
Quite a few of them.
Of baby.
Baby & Monkey.
Baby & Kevin.
Baby & R.
The outfit she wore
and spilled formula on.
The hospital bracelet.

What do I do with these things?

 *****

We contacted Lifetime today, just to check in.
After being assured by R that she would call them,
just so they would know that she is doing alright,
she hasn't. 
However, that doesn't really affect us,
I just worry for her.
And care about her.

Anyway, we've decided to update our adoption profiles.
They're a year and a half old now.
A few little things have changed.
Update pictures and colors and layout.
We want to go back "active."

Hopefully there is something in store for us. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Anniversary

Today, Kevin and I have been married 8 years.
We were married in Charleston, SC on the first day of spring.

We were supposed to be bringing a baby into our family today.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. 

The hardest part of today was having to explain in to Monkey.
More than once.
When explaining adoption, we told him that our new baby would have two kinds of mommies:
a Tummy Mommy
&
an Every Day Mommy.
 Our course of action was to explain that her Tummy Mommy, R,
(he met her)
loved baby too much to give her to us.
And that God would find us another baby.
He was upset, angry.
Said it wasn't fair.

However he was easily distracted.

We took him to Sea World San Antonio today!
With their Here's to the Hero's program by Anhauser-Busch,
we got free admission.

He loved seeing Shamu.
We fed dolphins.
Saw many, many animals:
flamingos, sharks, coral reef & tropical fish, stingrays.

We also got him to go one a mini kid sized roller coaster - he loved it.
Got him on a river ride, loved that too.
So we took him on the HUGE water ride.
He loved that one so much that we had to ride it three times.

He looks so terrified during,
cackles like a banshee after,
and then wants to do it again.

Totally got that from me.
I love roller coasters.

We came back to the hotel, showered and changed.
Went to The Cheesecake Factory for our anniversary.
I had mango key lime cheesecake with a coconut/vanilla macaroon crust.
Twas awesome.

Getting out of the car back here though, Monkey asked if I still had my bracelet.
"What bracelet?"
"The one that lets everybody know we can go see baby sister."
I tried to re-explain that R loves her so much,
she can't give us the baby.

And that hopefully God will help us find another baby.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Breaking

I had planned to share some pictures and the baby's name in this post.
She's absolutely beautiful. Tiny, head full of dark hair. 

She's worn a couple of outfits that we brought with us. 
She was wearing one when I left the hospital.

As I said in the last post, R asked me when I would be back in the morning. 
We had made arrangements for a Third Party Release to discharge the baby to myself and Kevin.
R wanted to sign the papers in the hotel lobby since they were discharging her and baby before she could sign them.
The lawyer was notified. 

When I got to the car, I had a text from R saying that she just can't go through with the adoption.

I don't know that I've ever felt such pain.
I am not mad at R, and I do not hate her. 
I care about her.

I suppose that this is the nature of adoption.

I feel so numb at the same time.
I watched her make her entrance to the world.
I fed her.
Changed her diapers.
Put her in the clothes we got her.

Our car is full of baby clothes and diapers.
The car seat is installed.
Our bedroom holds a cradle.
Her dresser is ready to be delivered when we get home.

Only it looks like she won't be with us. 

I talked to Lifetime after R text me that she couldn't do it.
They wanted us to wait until this morning before making plans to leave.
They wanted to check in with R.

We are going home at check out time, in about an hour and a half I think.
I'm really not sure how to deal with is. 
I'm still wearing the hospital bracelet that identifies me as linked with that beautiful baby girl.


Monkey woke up asking to wear his Big Brother tee shirt.
I have to find a way to explain this to him without breaking into pieces.
Lifetime had some good ideas to help him understand,
especially seeing as Monkey will take his cues from us.

It feels as if I am breaking.