Friday, July 30, 2010

So Many Thoughts, So Little Time

I just realized I didn't blog for almost 3 weeks! But it definitely wasn't for a lack of things to say. This is what my bed looks like right now, covered in journals and scraps of paper with thoughts written on them, in no particular order whatsoever:

I'm trying to organize them into coherent journal entries and blog posts, but it hasn't been going so well. I spent a good chunk of my day today sprawled across that bed trying to make sense of my life in the past month. The more I try, the less coherent everything seems.

I wish I could just skip all the confused and sad thoughts that have plagued me the last month and jump right into the good things that have been happening recently (I totally got a job!), but I feel like this was a large part of the process... so I should address it. Somehow. When I can remember how to put sentences together again. I've got some sort of mental block and things just aren't flowing like they normally do. Ugh. Come back, brain!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Nephew's 2nd Birthday

Introducing... my super very awesome adorable nephew, Evander! I haven't talked much about him on this blog yet, but I love this little boy to pieces!

Catching him ripping all the paper off my crayons. Look at that innocent face! ha ha.

Giggling, trying to steal the camera away from me.

I am oh so happy that I get to play with this little fella on a regular basis. I was so happy when my brother (who was my best friend growing up) decided to follow us out to Utah after Zay and I came out here for school. I didn't realize how much I would miss him when we came out here! Now he has his own little family and I'm just thrilled to have my cutie pie nephew and an awesome sister-in-law and her family so close by.

I got to go to his 2nd birthday party a few weeks ago. This boy is spoiled rotten and has a huge family that loves him to death. What a lucky little guy!

Evander and his beautiful Mama, sharing kisses.

Me and my Booger. Off we go! Time to celebrate!

Sister-in-law's awesome cake-making skills! It's a Winnie the Pooh pop-up book cake!

Lots of presents!

And swimming lessons!

It was fun. I love swimming and food, so there was a lot of that! Plus I got to meet more extended family. I can't believe Evander's already 2 years old. Holy cow! I love being an aunt - I never knew how much having a nephew would change me, but it sure has. I'm in love with this little guy. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Part Three

* * *

As we left the agency, I really felt like I was in shock. The tears kept coming and I just walked in silence to the car and then stared out the window on the ride home, not thinking... just staring. It felt like my heart had been ripped out and all of Zay's concerns about adoption were never going to be resolved. I was hurt that he didn't want it as badly as I did. I felt silly and selfish and impatient for wanting to have a baby now. It gave me the same kind of feeling that I had when I was trying to get pregnant and I would start my cycle instead... miserable, sad, angry. I was grieving.

Zay apologized over and over. He kept saying that he wasn't trying to be the bad guy. He held my hand in the car. I told him that I wasn't angry with him and he didn't have to apologize. Then he started to talk about how he wouldn't go to school yet, and he'd work full-time and get us health insurance so that we can move on with the process... and I was like, "Why are you going back and forth like this?" He does that a lot. I get confused when he says he feels one way but then talks like he feels another way. I guess it's just as confusing for him as it is for me, because I know that it's not that Zay doesn't want to have kids with me. He does. He loves kids and kids love him. He's told me time and time again that he would LOVE to have kids with me. He just doesn't deal well with disappointment. Adoption can be full of disappointments and he's not ready for that yet. I told him that we shouldn't talk about it then. We should wait and discuss those clear, specific goals that we need to make later when we're not in the moment. I don't want him to do this for me and I knew he was only saying those things because he didn't want me to be sad.

He went to work and I went home to write in my journal and get all my thoughts out. I cycled back and forth between sad and hopeful:
  • I hate that my body is broken and we didn't have children years ago.
  • I'm glad that Zay's honest and has enough respect for the seriousness of this decision we're making to actually tell me that he has concerns that are important to him.
  • I hate that he feels/thinks the way he does and doesn't just agree with me. It breaks my heart that we're not on the same page anymore.
  • I'm glad that he wants to do this for both of us and not just for me. It reminds me of when he joined the Church. He went through set after set of missionaries and two baptism dates before he joined, because it wouldn't have worked out the same had he done it only for me.
  • I hate that he slowpokes his way through life and I have to drag him along or wait for him to catch up. We only have so much time!
  • I can still feel strongly about adoption. I can still be optimistic about everything without overwhelming Zay with it. It'll happen when it's supposed to happen.
  • I hate when he makes little remarks about not having kids – "that just means more Xbox for me!" I know it's a cover for what he really wants, but it bothers me. 
  • God is guiding this. If there was a child meant for our home, He will make it happen.
  • Zay confuses me, going back and forth, offering to do this or that in order to make me happy. But then he'll say something completely different ("We shouldn't adopt right now.") because deep down he'd rather feel nothing at all than to risk feeling disappointed.
  • It's okay for me to be upset – it's a difficult situation. I'm sad that the one thing I had been focusing my whole heart and energy on has been taken away from me temporarily. I have to find a new motivation to keep going.
  • This blog crossed my mind. It's such a beautiful story. Where’s my miracle?
  • What am I gonna do now?

My brain was exhausted after I wrote and wrote for hours... and I didn't come to any conclusions. I just dumped my heart out and left it on the page. I made my own personal goal to not bring anything up to Zay and to just let him talk about it when he's ready. Then I took the longest nap ever.

I spent the next week in a bit of a funk, including our 6th Anniversary that didn't go as well as we'd planned. Blah. But we got to the point where we could sit down and make a list of clear, specific goals.

I call it our Baby Bucket List...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hashing It All Out

Part Two.

* * *

I emailed our caseworker and said something like this:

"...I'm trying not to overly stress about everything. Does LDS Family Services offer any counseling for the couples who are trying to adopt (not just the birth parents who are placing a child)? Sometimes I feel like there are so many things that Xavier and I don't discuss very well that we might need help with. I really want us to be on the same page with both adoption AND fertility stuff, whether we adopt first and try to get pregnant later or whatever. And I don't know if we're capable of making the best decision on our own. Let me know if there's help available for that sort of thing."

She immediately set up a meeting with us and I was glad. Basically I just wanted Zay to get out all of his concerns so that we could talk about them out in the open with someone else. Figuring life out can be difficult, especially when it gets painful and confusing, so I knew we needed a 3rd party to help us focus and guide us towards healthy decision-making. I kind of wished she would just tell us what to do so that I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore, but I knew better. It was gonna be more difficult than that. We had reached the point where we weren’t on the same page about anything anymore and it was really getting frustrating and too emotional for me.

The entire meeting I let Zay talk and I tried to really listen to everything he was saying... trying to understand his perspective on things. Mostly he is concerned that he doesn't feel as good about the decision as I do. He doesn't want to make a decision based on emotions or rush into something we may not be ready for. I say that if it feels right, that feeling must be coming from somewhere... I've never felt so strongly about anything before, so that has to say something. But we both need to feel it to move on and I know that. And it hurts when this is something I want so badly.

Our caseworker was awesome and so patient and comforting. She appreciated Zay’s honesty and was glad we came in to talk about it. She told us that no couple ever comes to the same conclusion at the same time. Even if it "feels right" to the wife or to the husband, it is completely necessary for it to "feel right" to both or it won't work. Even if that feeling is from the Spirit, it's okay for that confirmation to come separately and at different times. Zay likes to go about things a lot slower than I like to, and that's just something that I'll have to accept and work with. I have to just keep being patient and having faith and not expect him to think just like me. I definitely can't be selfish and keep pushing the process forward when it's not in the best interest of everyone involved.

Adoption and fertility treatments need to go on the back burner. That's what she told us. I knew she was going to say that, but as soon as she said it I just burst into tears! And I do NOT cry in front of other people. It hurt, but it was what I needed to hear – I needed to be told to wait. Our timelines just don't match up right now. She also gave us advice to sit down and make some clear, specific goals that we have to reach before we discuss adoption again. She cautioned Zay about making abstract goals like "when we're better off financially," because those kind of goals are never reached. We can always have better jobs, a bigger house, etc. There will never be a perfect time to have kids, so in order to avoid putting it off indefinitely, we need to make some goals that can be reached that are specific enough that we'll know when we've reached them.

We left on that note...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

At a Standstill

Instead of making this the longest blog in the history of all blogs, I'm breaking it up into sections… This is Part One.

* * *

I am what you would call… ummm… very in touch with my emotions. Zay, on the other hand, wouldn't know an emotion if it slapped him in the face. Over the years, we've learned that when I’m emotional, Zay isn’t going to understand, but he’ll comfort me and listen to me if that’s what I need. And that’s usually all that I need. If I feel like I need to be understood, then I call my brother or my mom… or I’ll have a serious conversation with my journal. Ha ha. That’s the way we’ve learned to work things out so that my overly emotional, follow-my-heart self can coexist with Zay’s rational, non-risk-taker personality. I’d say this works about 90% of the time.

The other 10% of the time is when we are trying to make decisions together. Big decisions, important decisions. Decisions that have risks and lots of pros and cons that have to be taken into consideration, decisions so deeply important that emotions can run high. At these times, decision-making can get complicated trying to merge conflicting ideas with conflicting decision-making techniques with two people with conflicting personalities. Ugh. We're working on it, but right now coming to a decision about adoption feels impossible. When I’m making a decision, I look at all the pros and cons just like he would do… if not more. But when it comes down to it, I like to do what feels right. I take an optimistic approach because I tend to think that everything works out somehow. Zay looks at all the pros and cons, scratches off any “possible” pros (because they don’t count if he has to imagine them), adds all the “possible” cons, and then makes his decision based on what makes sense. To me, he’s pessimistic. To him, I’m unrealistic.

So far, our adoption plans have consisted of me being super excited and anxious to hold that baby that I know is (or will be) out there for us… and Zay tentatively going along, voicing general concerns every once in awhile. I knew that I was way more excited about this than he was, but that's normal. A lot of couples go through the exact same thing with adoption (or getting pregnant), because it’s such a huge decision. Someone is always more fully on board than the other in a relationship, with virtually any big decision that needs to be made. We’re two different people – that means we have to merge two different thought processes, two different personalities, two different sets of fears, hopes, concerns, goals, etc. in order to make this work. That's what marriage is about... and that's what makes decision-making in marriage so hard. :(

I’m learning a lot lately about myself and my motives and my priorities. The truth is, infertility treatments are hard. We didn’t even get as far as many couples do on that journey. We decided to take a break, and during the course of that break we agreed to get through the adoption process and focus on that first. Well, I have come to love every.single.thing about adoption. I think about it all the time. I read like a million blogs about other people’s experiences with it. I talk to parents all the time who have adopted and I try to learn every little thing that I can about the good, bad, and ugly. I do hair for a lot of the black children who were adopted into white families in Utah County, so I get to meet lots of interracial adoptive families and learn from their experiences. I’ve looked at the pros and cons… and for me, my heart is 100% into adopting a baby as soon as possible. I know things aren’t ideal at the moment, but I also know that everything would work out. I can feel it. I'm ready.

But I have to remember that this decision is not my own. It is ours. Zay absolutely has to be 100% on board or it He has good days, when he’s slightly more open and optimistic. Those are the days that get my hopes up. Then he has days when he worries – what if we can’t get health insurance, what if the difficulties we face during this process are signs that we shouldn't do it, what if they deny us, what if we get approved but don't get picked by birth parents, what if we don’t have enough money to pay all the adoption fees and possible expenses that could come up, are we really ready to have kids, what if we don’t have our lives “settled” with career(s) and a house and three cars and a boat and jet skis (...I'm kidding...), how would we be able to handle failed adoptions, what if we don’t bond well with the child, maybe we should try getting pregnant again…etc.

Up until this point, I’ve just tried to talk to him on my own and help to calm his fears. But eventually I knew I needed some help. We needed to sit down with our caseworker and hash things out. I needed to remember that my priority here isn’t about getting a child at all costs… it’s about doing what's best for our relationship. That comes first. Kids come second to that. And my motivations for becoming a mother shouldn't be selfish.

So, we sat down with our caseworker

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