Full Circle

I’ve been thinking about writing this next post for about a week now and I think I’ve been hesitant to do so because it’s about such an intimate moment between Taylor and I.

It was the day before New Year’s eve and I had just put our little guy down for the night. I was scrolling through Instagram and started seeing everyone’s “best nine” from the year and I figured out how to do my own. It was no surprise that the majority of the pictures had something to do with us fostering and preparing our home for a little one.

It all hit me. I started reflecting on the past year and started to think about all the stress that occurred with the fertility clinic and our desire to have a family of our own. I was thinking about all of the moments I spent longing to get pregnant — and still do — as well as the many times I sat in the rocking chair in the nursery just imagining a little one’s face as I held them in my arms. Naturally, I started to cry. Would you expect anything different? 🙂

I hadn’t cried in awhile, so once I started the tears just kept coming. I walked into the living room where Taylor was and he saw me crying. He asked what was wrong and I was able to shake my head as if to say “Nothing” and I sat on his lap, all curled up. I said I had just been thinking about the past year and last New Year’s eve. Through tears I explained how I wished we would have a family of our own when him and I kissed at midnight. Through my blubbering I said how happy I am and that I couldn’t believe we have a tiny human with us to celebrate this new year. I started to make Taylor tear up and I knew he had been thinking about it too.

Through all of the frustrating day-to-day moments and feeling like I don’t have enough time to do everything on my list, I soak it all in–the good and bad. I remind myself constantly of the longing feelings I felt thinking about having a little one to hold and care for. I never imagined having a one year old, but I think God knew what he was doing when He brought us together. I’m getting teary even now while thinking about all of this again because it’s something my heart has longed for for some time.

I can’t see into the future, so I can’t say if we’ll still have him with us six months from now, but I know that we will love him for however long we have him…and even longer. This all may not sound like much, but it was such a sweet moment between us as husband and wife…a full circle moment. To know that we can share ourselves and our love with someone who has been through so much in his short life, we feel lucky. I pray that the outcome is in his favor and that he will be safe wherever he is in his future.

You make our lives better. We wished for you. We prayed for you. We love you, A.

xoxo

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Do You Have Kids?

I’ve been asked this question countless times whether at my job or in everyday life. Time and time again I’ve had to say “No, I don’t have any yet” with such a feeling of sadness. 

After we got licensed as foster parents I kept imagining where I would be and what I’d be doing when I got the call for a child to be placed with us. Would it be on Thanksgiving? At the Christmas tree farm? Would I be working? Or at home? I also kept imagining what his or her little face would look like. 

Never did I imagine we’d get an almost one year old little boy! And from another foster family at that! The love he was given from that family has given him the start he deserved in his first month of life, but sadly didn’t get. 

Even so, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The past week has been a huge adjustment both for us and little man. We’re tired. I caught a cold. Tay and I always talk in whispers while he’s sleeping. We have already seen him get more steady at standing on his own and even take his first 2 baby steps. I love every bit of this. It’s all worth it to give him the love and security he desperately needs– he’s been through so much in his short life so far.

We know this isn’t permanent. We may not end up having the opportunity to adopt him. We keep saying, “We will love him for however long we have him.” If he leaves us, a little piece of me will go with him. That’s the hard part about all of this. No matter what, though, we will trust in God for his plan to unfold for us and this little guy. 

For the past two years we’ve wanted a family of our own. Someone who we could share our love with and never think twice about it. The first night when he was brought to our home, Taylor’s family was here. While in the kitchen making dinner, Tay’s brother was holding little man while Tay’s mom was playing peek-a-boo behind his back. All I heard was little man’s laughter and giggles filling up the room. I instantly started to well up with tears and had to hold them back. So much information and emotions were processed that evening and it all hit me in that moment. I thought to myself: This is what I’ve been longing for. 

Yesterday I was at Kroger buying a birthday cake for him as he just turned one on Thursday. I was talking with a woman who was telling me about a Christmas event at our town’s community center. She asked me that same old question: Do you have kids? My reply with confidence: Yes, yes I do. 

He may not look like us and he may only be with us for a season, but I have a son with my husband who we love. I am a mother. He is my baby. God is faithful. 

xoxo

It Takes A Village

I’m learning the true meaning of this phrase as we’re nearing the end of our foster care classes. I honestly dont know what we’d do if we didn’t have support from our friends and family. 

From providing emotional support to material necessities for the baby or spending time picking out registry items and throwing us a foster/adoption shower. We couldn’t have gotten where we are without that love and support. 

It saddens me that my parents don’t support us fostering/adopting and that they’re missing out on all of this. After everything that’s happened with them, that’s all I can bring myself to say.   

Well, we have just ONE class left this coming Monday and then we will start our home visits with a social worker soon after. This process has been a lot of waiting. A lot of thinking. And a lot of praying. There are things I have yet to figure out and plan, but I know everything will come together. Even if it doesn’t, that’s OK too. 

We appreciate every ounce of support throughout all of this… every comment, gesture, helping hand, and prayer. I keep praying that this is the right path for us as I often do in every big life decision. I pray that we will have an opportunity to love a little one some day, no matter who they are.

Thank you God for our village. 

Feelings

Today I had my first nervous thoughts of “Will I be a good mom?” 

I think about all the things I don’t know about raising a baby and I see myself fumbling around trying to soothe their cries or not being able to find their favorite “lovey” that they just can’t sleep without. These thoughts are normal, right?

We’re halfway through our foster parent classes and I gathered the ton of paperwork this week that’s needed to submit to the agency. The baby shower is set for mid September–yes, a shower! I thought it would be completely weird, but it’s actually a very common thing when couples are fostering/adopting. I was hesitant to have one at first because it would definitely be different for obvious reasons, but two of my sweetest friends have taken over the planning for it. I’m so incredibly grateful for them and God brought us into each other’s lives and I’m so thankful for it. I digress, though…

I’m looking forward to the shower and I’m fairly certain I’ll cry because I know a lot of sinking in will happen when I walk into the room. We have the crib and changing table set up in the newly painted nursery and I secretly stand in the middle of the room imagining his or her face, just lying there in the crib. I think about all the highs and lows we will have. I also pray for God’s guidance as we navigate through it all. 

Even though I’m not pregnant I’m still starting to experience the nerves, the excitement, and the fear just to name a few feelings. I know we’ll figure out a lot as we go and I’m looking forward to continuing on this journey with my husband. I know this will bring us closer together and we will learn so much about ourselves as we parent together.

Aside from the crib and changing table we have a dresser and a diaper bag, along with a few onesies/outfits I couldn’t help but buy. I will say I’m excited about the diaper bag since it’s one of those backpack style bags and Tay will wear it too! We will slowly keep getting the things we need for a baby and the shower will of course help us tremendously. Whether it’s our first or our fifth placement, I pray we are able to adopt a sweet child one day. 

We’re looking forward to this big step in our lives and showering him/her with love.

xoxo

Up in the Air

I hate the feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen next.

I lay in bed thinking about all the different ways my, and our, life could possibly go and my head spins. I have to distract myself or else I’ll drive myself crazy.

I put in a 30-day notice at my job and I don’t have something else lined up for after I’m gone. I know, this isn’t very smart, but I needed some sort of finality to ease my stress I’m experiencing while at work.

A few of my client’s have cried and others don’t seem affected one way or the other about my leaving. I know I’ve done good work and I have to tell them that my own life is changing and it’s time for me to move on.

We want to start our own family and although we have have just enough to get by with our bills, we can’t seem to get ahead. We all know “social workers don’t do it for the money” but there are definitely jobs out there that pay more than what I’m making now. It honestly breaks my heart and took me a month and a half to come to the decision that I was actually going to leave.

I have the opportunity to learn more about a position that was unexpectedly brought to me by one of the landlords I currently work with, so we’ll see where that goes. I also got a call from Council on Aging yesterday about a case management position. So my mind feels a little more at ease. It’s so incredibly frustrating to put in probably 30 applications and only hear back from 2 agencies, one from COA and the other to deny me for “not being experienced enough.”

It baffles me that companies expect you to have 3-5 years experience, but when you’ve recently graduated you can’t help it that you haven’t accumulated the experience just yet. They need to give me a chance. It makes me feel so defeated.

Anyways…

I think about the ‘what ifs’ a lot and I need to distract myself to help ease all of those thoughts. I pray a lot about it too and try to remind myself that just when I’m assuming the worst, God is working in the background to surprise me.

How do you deal with your own moments in life when you feel like things are “up in the air?” Leave me a comment below!

xoxo

Moving Forward

It’s so much easier for me to write an update versus vlogging about it; it takes a lot of time to edit and upload a video as my computer/technology isn’t the best.

We’ve made a big decision in our lives and that is that we’re going to work towards adopting a child to start our family.

This decision came out of frustration and stress from the fertility clinic that we have been going to since last Fall. As I explained in my last vlog, we had a follow-up appointment on June 19th to discuss next steps and find out the results of Tay’s sperm analysis. We actually got good news: his sperm count was up a little! We decided to do another IUI as I was on day two of my cycle and the timing seemed perfect. The next day I started taking letrozole to mature my eggs and then I would return for an ultrasound on cycle day 10, the 27th. I had such high hopes that the medicine did its job and I would have at least 2 mature eggs.

I went for the ultrasound, which was done by a different doctor in the clinic because my usual RE was out for vacation and I waited for 30 minutes past my appointment time before even going back.

I only had one mature egg.

One.

Now, this is normal as women typically produce one mature egg during her cycle. In terms of IUI, though, they would like to see 2-3 eggs to increase the chances of the success of the procedure. My frustration actually began on Monday, the day before my ultrasound, as the clinic did not explain to me the timing of when the insemination would happen and when I needed to obtain the trigger shot. If I hadn’t called the clinic on Monday then I wouldn’t have gotten the trigger shot in time. In fact, I had to overnight it for an extra $20 to ensure that I received it.

$125 spent and I couldn’t even use the damn thing.

When the doctor came in for the ultrasound I started to explain to her my concerns with taking an increased dose of my thyroid medicine as I have still been feeling exhausted and not getting adequate sleep. My regular RE had my blood tested on the June 19th follow-up appointment to check my levels and they were elevated; they wanted to up my dose from 50 mcg to 75 mcg. Of course I have reservations about this because I’m already falling asleep on my car ride home at the end of the day taking 50 mcg. The doctor explained to me that I’m sub-clinical with my thyroid, meaning I pretty much have a “pre-thyroid” condition. My levels aren’t high enough for the average person to need to take meds, but since I’m trying to get pregnant I need to keep my levels down. I didn’t get a clear answer for other alternatives that I could try, leading to me being more upset. She did mention that I could take Armour, a more natural treatment for hypothyroidism, but I would need to consult an endocrinologist to do so. She ended the conversation there and proceeded with the ultrasound. When she said there was only one mature egg she said it was due to being on a low dose of the letrozole.

If I needed to be on a higher dose to have more mature eggs, shouldn’t that have been done to begin with?! It was another wasted cycle. There was no point in doing the IUI with one egg as it doesn’t give his sperm any extra advantage in terms of odds. There wasn’t a point in using the trigger shot if we weren’t doing the IUI either. I could still keep the shot as it will keep in the fridge, but I have no intent to use it anytime soon.

I left my appointment still crying and I called Taylor to tell him what happened. I just sat in my car and sobbed. I was angry and sad. Yet again I felt lost in the shuffle with the clinic and another cycle was completely wasted.

I went back into the clinic and got our most recent records and took the day off of work to re-center. I called another clinic to schedule an appointment, made one, and then didn’t get the needed paperwork signed by Taylor in the time frame that I needed to, so I cancelled the appointment.

We talked about everything and decided to move towards adoption. We want to start a family and we don’t care in what way that happens. We’ll continue to not prevent getting pregnant on our own, but we want to start the foster/adoption process. I contacted the foster care agency and received an e-mail response the next day. We attended our first class on Monday July 3rd and we’re moving forward with this big step. We will complete an adoption home study at the same time we are working towards becoming licensed foster parents so that we  can adopt a child in our care. This will be hard, but worth it. Of course we prefer to have a baby, but will gladly take care of a child who is up to age 8. The classes are 12 weeks long, once a week on Mondays, so we will finish at the end of September. Chances are we could have a placement before the end of the year!

Our family supports us in this decision and we couldn’t be happier. We want to share our love with a child who we can hopefully one day call our own.

This is where we are and I’m so happy to be here.

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Place

I’ve cried quite a bit this week. Oh what a stressful week it was. I’ve been busy today doing things around and outside the house, but it’s the good kind of busy. Ya know, when you are actually excited to do things and see how they turn out.

I just finished staining a new shelf that Tay built. Before that I cleaned the siding on the house and organized the shed a little. Now I’m sitting outside to take a break.

Listening to the birds…feeling the cool breeze…the warm sun peeking through the tree I’m sitting under… It’s all really beautifully amazing to be honest. When I’m admiring nature, God’s creation, I feel so peaceful. As if nothing stressful that happened before this moment really matters. I’m thankful for peaceful moments like this.

My happy place, as cheesy as it sounds, is when I can be outside and enjoy all of this beauty. I pray that I get thousands more moments like this one.

xoxo

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