Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy birthday

My best friend gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. We've been friends since we were 9 years old, so to hold her daughter on the day of her birth was very touching.

Today I can't stop thinking about how that will probably never be me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Paper Pregnant

We are "paper pregnant" or whatever the term is for finishing our homestudy. I like the term "on the market" but our SW-from-hell didn't really appreciate it. No sense of humor, that one.

I got through the last homestudy session by literally biting my tongue. Once again she brought up the fact that I cannot handle infertility treatments and adoption at the same time. Honestly, I would much prefer her to just say, "the agency doesn't allow it" because I am a goody-two shoes rule follower and would have no problem saying, "ok." But I don't think it actually is prohibited, which is why she never said that. However, I told her during the first and second meetings that I wouldn't do any fertility treatments once we were getting profiled and apparently it STILL wasn't good enough. She still needed to tell me how I feel ONCE again during our third and last homestudy meeting.

This time, I literally bit my tongue to keep quiet, stared her straight in the eyes so she would think I was listening, blocked out anything she was saying, and concentrated on precisely what color her eyes were. Slate gray, I think. Matches her personality.

But we got through it, and she only spent about 2 seconds looking over the house, so I feel like I cleaned it inside and out for nothing...grr... but it's over, and we're approved, and now we just get to wait. For how long? I have no idea...

L and I did end up calling my agency contact last week because I was so upset about her. The short of our conversation is that we don't have to work with her in the post-adoption placement home visits. So I sucked it up for our last pre-adoption home visit because I'd never have to see her again. I think they did talk to her as well because I could tell she was trying to be nicer. Still, we just didn't click at all.

She told us we should go out and buy a car carrier and pack 'n play because we don't know how much time we'll have if we get called quickly. I'm so hesitant to do that, because I don't want to have baby stuff hanging around (even in a closet) and making me sad. Plus, I want a travel system for the car carrier that I did pick out, but don't want to spend the money right now for no good reason. So I'm torn. I guarantee you if I buy something, it will be well over a year before we get placed, but if I don't, it'll happen quickly and we won't be prepared.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Think I'm Done

I feel done with jumping through hoops. I HATE our social worker. How can she be so judgmental about two people who've never done anything bad in their whole lives?

I called back on Monday and said that she could speak to our infertility counselor any time she wanted and we really wanted this to take place on Thursday as planned. She hemmed and hawed saying she didn't have the release saying so. I told her it would be at the adoption agency on Tuesday, so they could tell her they received it. She said she needed it in her hands. What is this? Does she not trust the adoption agency (for whom she works? If not, why is she working for them?) But I told her fine, I would bring over a copy of the release if she really needed to see it. At that point she basically told me to calm down, she understood my anxiety but she wasn't going to move any faster and to just deal with it.

WTF? She doesn't understand my anxiety at all. If she did she would understand that we have been waiting for years for a child, and her putting this off just adds to that. Don't you think we want a baby? And the longer you keep us waiting for no reason just makes us more anxious! We have done everything possible to keep this moving and on schedule. It seems to me like she had made plans for Thursday and didn't want to tell us, because why couldn't she have worked with us to actually do it on Thursday if she got the info on time?

I had called my counselor that day to ask if she would send over the release to the agency. And bless her, she did. She faxed it to the adoption agency on Monday (even though they were going to get a hard copy in the mail on Tuesday.)

I get two phone messages this morning, one from the SW, one from our infertility counselor. The one from the SW says she spoke to our IF counselor last night and she wants to reschedule our appt. for next week. The one from the IF counselor says she spoke to the SW last night and thinks everything is on track and that both she and the SW think it's best if L and I come in to see the IF counselor tomorrow night at 6pm (when our homestudy was supposed to be) and the SW will do the home visit NEXT Thursday at 7pm (when our next IF counseling session is supposed to be).

I'll be honest - I was/am livid. What is wrong with this Thursday!?!?! That was the date we originally had planned! Our SW spoke with our IF counselor ahead of the home visit, so why can't this continue as planned? Or Friday night? Or Monday night? I feel like the SW isn't working with us at all.

I feel like I've worked my ASS off to get everything in, all the i's dotted and t's crossed, and no one wants to work with me. I feel this is all because of the fact we see a counselor and I HATE the SW's judgment. I wish we had never seen my IF counselor and I think it is so wrong that the SW has made me feel that way. One would think you would want your adoptive parents to see one so you know they have dealt/are dealing with the issues regarding infertility/loss/grief that come with this whole process, but instead I feel like I'm being made to feel like I'm going to be a "bad parent" because of this.

I know it's only one more week, but I've had it. Why am I doing this? To be made to feel like crap? I can't take it anymore. I'm ready to walk away.I don't want anything more to do with this SW, and I'm just going to need to have more contact with her. I can't do it. I'm done.

ETA: I still want to know why our SW needed to talk to my counselor but didn't need to talk to my cardiologist. Why was a letter from my cardiologist good enough, but not one from my counselor? It seems like everything I ever said to the counselor can now be held against me, and at the time I was talking with her about those things, I thought it was a safe, confidential place I could express my feelings (not all which were rational at the time, but I was upset). Now it doesn't feel like a safe place anymore, and I can't go back, even though I liked my counselor very much.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ready to Revolt (and 2nd Homestudy meeting)

Do most people strongly dislike the social worker they are assigned to in their adoption? I heard that's not usually the case, but it is with us. My two closest friends, both social workers, are trying to make me feel better by calling her a "glorified secretary" but I'm still really upset. She's just so...judgy. L and I are goody-two shoes - I mean, neither of us have even so much TRIED pot in our lives, and she's making us feel terrible. I can't imagine what other (more normal) people have gone through.

The second homestudy meeting was two individual meetings, first with me, then with L. For the most part, it went better than the first meeting I thought. But then, towards the end, I was mentioning how we see a counselor about my infertility issues (something I thought would only show how much I was willing to deal and come to terms with my issues) and she just made me feel batshit crazy. She said, "You know, you really should have told the agency that, that's really important to know." Um, excuse me, I did!!

My first agency contact I told everything too. I don't lie, and I'm not hiding anything (hence why my SW and I had issues the first meeting). I TOLD my agency contact and even asked if I needed to get a note from our counselor and she told me no. So I really don't appreciate being lectured to like our SW did. Then she tries to go over our adopting/infertility treatments from last week telling me how important it is if we get pregnant to let the agency know because it's not fair to do both at the same time.

FUCK OFF. What was the first thing we did when I found out I was pregnant in April? Call the agency to put our stuff on hold. Again, don't lecture me because I've always done everything the way it should be done.

Unfortunately, my first agency contact left last month so I called up my new agency contact as soon as I got out of that meeting. She told me that our SW HAD ALREADY CALLED her. Jesus H. Christ. She didn't understand why my first agency contact had told us we didn't need a note from our counselor but said we did. Freaking pain in the ass, but fine. So we met with our counselor anyway that night so it was easy enough to ask for (hopefully she'll send everything in ASAP). I emailed my second agency contact (because we mailed in our adoption profiles on Friday - woot!) telling her everything should be on its way and we hope we don't get delayed because we had just been told.

Our third homestudy meeting (actually in our home) is scheduled for this Thursday. This morning I wake up to a message from our SW saying that she is confirming that our homestudy is delayed until we get our other paperwork in. WTF?!?! I called up my second agency contact right away (they are actually open today, imagine that!) and she said that's incorrect and we don't need to delay. So is my SW going off the rails or what? Is she going to refuse to see us until that paperwork is done? I don't know why the note, which is going to say "I don't see any issues with L and Ducky adopting" and ONLY that makes a difference in coming to our house. I'm going to be so pissed if our SW goes rogue and says she won't do it. (the timing was PERFECT because we're getting our carpets cleaned tomorrow and our cleaning lady comes Weds. morning. And we didn't even plan it this way!)

I'm so annoyed that this lady will be doing our post-adoption home visits as well. I can't stand her.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's like winning the lottery, but not...

Well, I think this will be a brutally honest post. Probably not very PC, and I apologize in advance. But this is the place where I put down all my feelings, albeit anonymously, so my safe place to vent, muse, and say all the things "out loud" that I can't really say out loud. So here we go.

L and I had a talk with my inlaws (his parents) on Saturday night. We've been feeling very badly about them and their lack of apparent caring or reaching out to us (see this post for a brief mention) over the last year or so. So we decided to talk to them about it.

It was sort of ridiculous in one we are telling them how alone and hurt we feel having lost so many babies and not a phone call, card, visit, and then my MIL having to make it all about herself and telling her she's really upset and pissed about us because we didn't take a picture of the whole family together at her 60th surprise birthday party (that WE threw for her!) a year and a half ago.

No kidding. All of us kids and her husband threw a surprise party at a restaurant (complete with bakery cakes and food) for about 40 people for her 60th b-day in April 2010. It was a NICE party and we all had a good time. And Saturday she takes the opportunity to tell us she's pissed because the pictures we took, there's a picture of my family altogether (um, they were sitting at one table) but there's not one "family" picture of her family together. Well us kids were running around the whole night, with the cake, with the speeches, taking pictures, and while there's pictures of us separately, not together. And she's PISSED and HURT about that? I've never heard such a thing. Totally took my respect for her down a notch or two.

Anyway, I think my FIL got it at least, and that's good. He actually surprised me, he's been researching infertility or something because he started reciting some facts to me and I was like, "Whoa!" I don't think I will have the relationship with my MIL I thought I would when we got married though...

Well, whatever. She was telling us how it's all our fault because we don't come out and tell them EVERYTHING that's going on in our lives (we said, "you could ask" because it's hard to repeat everything shitty thing that's happening to everyone we know, you know? So she asked, and we told her.

I never even wrote it here (but my MIL apparently thinks I'm on some grand conspiracy to keep her in the dark about my life) but we saw another RE in Boston at the end of August for a second opinion as to why I keep miscarrying. Of course, she had no better understanding of why this keeps happening to us either. Yay, us. Of course, she told us to continue on with the FET and everything else in the event it really is just horrible luck. But she recommended using a gestational surrogate (in MA this is legal, where I live in NY it is not...well, a contract is not legal) as our best chance of having genetically-linked kids.

Guess how much she said it is? $80,000.

So you can understand how we said, thank for your second opinion and marched on our way to adoption. Which is so expensive in itself, but we're looking at $30K here, not $80K, so much more feasible. Not to mention there's a tax credit, so we would get $13K back. So really "only" $17K out of pocket (not that that's anything to sneeze at, of course.

So I was telling my ILs about this after they asked what was going on, when my MIL says out of the blue, "What if we give you the money?" My FIL just nods in agreement.

Um...what? That was the last thing I expected to hear (especially after how upset she is with us about some stupid PICTURES).

She goes onto say, if we're putting $30K towards adoption they could give us the remaining $50K to do surrogacy. If we want we can treat it as a loan "wink wink" that we could take forever to pay back when we're 93. (Which is a way of saying it's really a gift since they will be long gone by the time we're 93. Hell, with my heart, I'm not going to MAKE it to 93.)

Dumbfounded. that's what I was. And on the way home I was so excited. It's like being handed a winning lottery ticket. L's parents are considerably more well off than my own. So I guess they must have that much money to just give us? (although with tax implications, I'm guessing they would just make the payments for us instead of giving us the money).

But then, you know, as you think about things more and more, all the negatives start popping out to you, and more and more, that winning lottery ticket is slowly getting ripped to pieces.

Listen, I don't know about the psychological processes regarding adoption, and whether I would pass any tests if I needed to. It's an evolving thing for me. There's a certain amount of guilt, grief and acceptance that goes into adoption, grief that you will never have your own child, guilt that you are comparing having your own biological child to your own adopted child, and worry that you will feel differently even though everyone tells you you won't, and the acceptance that finally comes to it. I had finally come around to the point that this was meant to be, that it was fate, and that there was a child out there meant for me and L. That this was supposed to be this way, and my numerous attempts at trying to have my own were just my misguided way of fighting the truth, that I wasn't meant to have a biological child. I mean, how many clues do I really need? Heart condition, told by multiple doctors originally not to get pregnant, multiple heart surgeries, infertility, miscarriages - I mean, get a clue, Ducky, you are just not meant to be a biological mother!

But the desire, innate desire, natural desire, I believe is so strong. In a perfect world with all the money and resources at my disposal, I would love two biological and two adopted. But, obviously, this is not a perfect world, and I had just begun to accept it.

But what do you do if you're given the choice, just like that? If I got even a little excited, did that mean I shouldn't adopt? Am I a horrible person because the thought of having a little one that is the product of me and L gives me shivers of anticipation? Or is that just nature? Does it mean I wouldn't love my adopted child?

I don't know. I want to think that the answer to all those questions are no, but I'm afraid.

One thing that gave me a little reasurrance, after mere minutes of thinking about it, was that I still wanted to go through with adoption. Why? Because we're so close to being out there to be profiled Because the odds are that we could have a child this point quicker through adoption than through surrogacy. And if all I really cared about was a genetic link with my child, then I would be happy to wait for surrogacy, right? But I'm not. So I can't possibly be that bad, right?

Is the most innate desire of all just to have a child of one's own then? By whatever means possible?

I don't know. I don't know anything about anything. I don't know if everyone thinks about these things or if I'm the only one and that makes me a bad person who shouldn't adopt, or what. I don't know anything.

Except that I really want both. I want to proceed with adoption and now I want to proceed with surrogacy and in the end I want both of those babies. Maybe it's just a natural thing to happen after all these years of imagining and picturing MY child. It's so easy to conjure one up in my mind - my adopted baby, and my surrogate baby (note how I've completely dismissed every notion that I could possibly get pregnant on my own and carry to term, which hasn't been ruled out by any doctor, they just don't know what's going on) and I couldn't possibly choose between them. because even though they don't even exist, they are both MINE.

Now, talking about it with L in the hours and days since then, I really don't think it's possible. We don't want to take on that amount of debt. But even if it were a gift, we would still feel obligated to pay it back. I mean, L has siblings - how can you justify giving us all that money? It's not really fair.

And then, who knows what kind of strings there may be from a mother who's pissed we didn't take a family picture? We would feel obligated to them for the rest of our lives. It just doesn't make sense.

And it sucks. Because I never would have thought of this possibility before Saturday, so it's like a million dollars was waved in front of me, and then taken away. If I hadn't known it was a possibility, I probably never would have missed it. But now that I know it is, no matter how much it really isn't, it opens up those freshly scabbed over wounds. Things I thought I had put behind me.

But I called the Boston hospital's infertility clinic, just to ask about gestational surrogacy and how it works with them. See, now that stupid little flame of hope has been rekindled. It's like life is just fucking with you.