Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It will happen ...

Just when you think you have everything figured out and planned, life happens.

If I wasn't writing for a mass audience that probably has a higher regard for the English language and preference for a PG-rating, then I'd use a different cliche in the second clause of that first sentence.

For anyone who knows me well, you know my biggest challenge as a parent -- aside from patience -- will likely be watching my foul mouth. So, that was my first attempt at curbing my profanity.

But Sarah and I have literally been through a whole lot of it. And we've only just begun the adoption process.

I'll be the first to admit I don't have faith in much, but this adoption is the one thing that I have faith is the right decision and is meant to be. And this is coming from someone who up until two years ago steadfastly preferred to not have children. I didn't dislike children or fear them, I just didn't see myself living up to that enormous responsibility.

After all, just when we think we have our life in order -- moving back to Kentucky, changing careers, buying a house, adoption -- something always comes back to bite us in the ass, whether it's the job we moved here for not working out, the company I work for filing bankruptcy, or the very reason we want to adopt precluding us in the eyes of others. Truth be told, I can't say with 100 percent certainty that the company I work for will still exist this time next year, or that my employment will be retained. I'm very skeptical of the prospect of its acquisition and what it entails for myself. Talk about fear of being able to provide for a family ... but it's beyond my control and not something I'm going to allow circumvent my plans for my family.

Seeing Sarah teach, nurture and love a bunch of 4-5 year olds every day makes me realize what we're missing. And I can't imagine a better person to mother and raise a child, and I can't imagine living the rest of my life without what she experiences every day but on a much more intimate level.

Of course, Sarah's used to disappointments and struggles. She's lived with a disease that doesn't rob her of her physical ability, but it does rob her of time and being able to live life to the fullest. Diabetes doesn't necessarily preclude her from birthing a child, but we came to the decision to adopt at my urging and Sarah's blessing. I will love any child that calls me father, but I will not do it at the cost of sacrificing its mother's health. While a son or daughter will complete our family, the prospect of shortening our time together because of a complicated pregnancy is not worth the higher risk a birth might have on her body compared to a woman without diabetes.

So, we've opened our hearts to the challenges and unknowns of adopting -- because it has its own different hurdles and speed bumps -- which are the hardest thing for us both. There are many unknowns with any pregnancy, but there is at least a timeline, even inadequate parents can birth, and besides some rare and unfortunate health anomalies pregnancies are, for the most part, predictable. But everything from the timeline, to the cost, and even the approval of our ability/capability to parent is completely unpredictable in adoptions.

We've already had a couple set backs: the original adoption agency's rejection, not being selected by a young birth mother in Lexington last week. I'm sure there will be a few other impediments along the way, but we're fortunate enough to have two sets of parents who are supportive, excited and go above and beyond to help. Thank you, mom, dad and Wendell and Alice.

And we're fortunate enough to have all of you who have said so many kind words of support so early on or even been able to share experiences or advice through channels or friends.

Tonight we sent off our application to Holt International, the one agency we could find in the entire nation that assured us that the Korean agency they work with would be accepting of Sarah's medical condition. We've already sent her medicals to them to have them pre-approved. The hope is that everything else will be approved and that within five months we'll have a baby referred to us for acceptance and maybe by the end of the year have our family completed.

Then, life really begins.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Not this time...

Well, the news came Wednesday. We were not picked by the birthparents to adopt the baby.
OUCH. Feeling your heart ache is never a good feeling.
And, of course we had to get the news while Travis was out of town traveling on business. It was hard enough to hear the sad news, but even harder to not have each other to turn to.
I feel like Ive walked around in a complete daze all week. Get up. Go to work. Pretend to be happy. Go home. Wonder why we weren't picked to be parents. Goodness!! That's no way to go on.
So, now, we are trying to find some peace and growth out of this experience. And, I think I already have.

I can say with 100 percent certainty that I APPRECIATE everything special to me in my life. I don't take my husband's love for me, my close knit family, my best friend of 18 years, my talents as a teacher, nothing for granted.

And, I know that when we do get our baby, the love we've spent time developing, nuturing, honing will explode with complete and utter craziness! We will love our baby like two crazy, obsessed parents who can't get enough :)

I think I've heard the phrase, "everything happens for a reason" about 100 times this week. But, some part of me believes that. Some part of me believes that we only have a small amount of control over what happens to us in matters of the heart.

I do want to take this time to thank a few people who have been nothing but unselfish and supportive of us.
To my best friend in the whole world, Mandy:
Thank you for calling me weekly and always sounding excited and thrilled about the news I have to share with you even if it isn't great news.

To my soon-to-be sister in law, Lindsay:
Thank you for listening to me be sad, happy and mad. You are going to be a GREAT aunt one day. :)

To my parents:
While I still think you are getting used to the idea of adoption, thank you for trying to be open minded.
Mostly, thank you for being such wonderful parents to me. It is with that strength, I know Travis and I can do this.

To a few select people (you know who you are):
Thank you for writing us letters in support of our adoption. Thank you for reminding us that we are loved and that many people support us.

Soon, we hope to be able to report our next step in this process.
In the meantime, we must hope. We must look deep inside of ourselves and find it.

Sarah and Travis

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Playing the waiting game...of the heart

Well, it has been hard to keep this a secret...if secret is even the right word. But, for about a month now, Travis and I have been waiting to hear back from a young birth mother in Lexington. She has been trying to decide who to pick to adopt her baby.
This has been a very, VERY emotional process for us. I can't explain some of the feelings I have. Part of me feels anger...that having a baby isn't just as easy as one, two three for us. Part of me feels sadness, that a young girl has to make a choice whether to give up her child. Part of me feels nervous, I could be a mother very soon! But mostly, I feel anxious and excited. :)
WE can't wait to be parents. But, adoption has proven to be extremely stressful and emotionally exhausting. The only thing that keeps us going sometimes is imagining that little baby in our arms. Or picturing our baby meeting his/her grandparents for the first time. It is so easy to daydream...
The one thing we need from YOU family and friends is support. Over the next month or two, we hope to put together an adoption fundraiser. My Dad is in charge of setting this all up. And, could it ever be in better hands??! He has contacted some music friends of his. And, the show will be in Lexington. We don't know many details yet, but we do know a few select bands will be there including Sons of the Fridgidaires and my brother's band, The Wonder Years.
All proceeds collected at the door will benefit our adoption directly!!! We will be asking for no certain amount, but will be happy to utilize whatever you can give.
As we know more about our own situation, we will share more details about the fundraiser.
For now, we wait. Story of our lives ;)
We wait to find out if we will be bringing home a baby in the near future or if we will proceed with the Korean route with the hopes of bringing home a little one within the year.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. And, remember...good things come to those who wait, right?
Sarah and Travis