Sunday, October 31, 2010

Adoption Update

I took a vacation day from work on my birthday last month so that we could go do our individual interviews with our caseworker. I was happy about moving forward, but had some anxiety about going back to the place where I had cried so much. I was so worried that things wouldn't work out... and then there we were, moving forward again. I was hesitantly excited. It was an awesome birthday present to myself to get that done, but I was still way nervous about how things would go after this.

We finished our online profile, including a birthparent letter that was emotional overload to write. It took forever because it was all dependent on how good Zay felt about the process. We would work on it when he wanted to and when he was less worried and reluctant. Near the end, we worked on it a ton and had a lot of fun late night discussions. I knew that reflected how comfortable/hopeful Zay was getting and that made me happy. :)

The next step was to have our homestudy visit. We didn't know what to expect exactly, but we cleaned a ton, kept an eye out for things we could make safer for a baby, and imagined where we would keep a crib, etc. We made lots of room and rearranged and nested our little hearts out. Our caseworker came, asked us some questions, looked around, pointed some things out to us, and then that was it! She said we could be approved in as little as a couple weeks. I couldn't believe we were so close! This is where the nerves really kicked in. We waited to hear back.

Turns out a new policy made it where we needed more recent physical exams done (as if our life expectancy would change in a matter of months), so I set up appointments to get that done...which was a piece of cake with health insurance, ha ha ha. Did that. Next? A couple of our references hadn't come back from a year ago (slacker friends! ha ha...just kidding), so we figured that out. And then waited, waited.

The day we were hoping to be approved was pushed back a week while the agency was doing some cross training. How nervewracking! OMG. Waiting, waiting.

And then, ta-da! No more hassle, no more paperwork (for now), we were done! We were approved! We persisted and we made it! I squealed when I got the email. I called Zay, I called my mom, I freaked out about it on Facebook, LOL!

For a lot of couples, it can take a month or two and then they're done with the process... not that big a deal, right? But for us, it was the biggest emotional hurdle we've ever had to get through. We discovered so much about ourselves and worked out so many kinks in our marriage (communication, common goals, etc.). We're better people than when we started. So much has happened.

We were writing to each other today in Church. True to my over-the-top emotional self, I wrote, "So... are you happy? Are you oh, so excited?! Are you relieved beyond belief?!?!" And true to his subdued emotional character he wrote, "I'm fine. :)." That smiley face says it all!!!




Saturday, October 16, 2010

"16 and Pregnant"

 Photo: www.mtv.com

I'm looking forward to another season of "16 and Pregnant" on MTV. I seriously get so caught up emotionally in their stories! It's a reality show that I'm not watching for the drama, but just because it's interesting to watch the decision-making. They're so young and have so much life ahead of them... and here they are faced with such adult decisions. It's so tough. I feel for every one of them.

It's hard to judge someone in that situation and say "Well, they shouldn't have done this or that" when being a teenager is just so difficult nowadays. It's just going to get worse and worse for teens. Bad things happen. Mistakes happen. Guys don't always keep their promises or stick around to be fathers. Parents don't always react appropriately. And who knows what I would've done had I been in their shoes?

I know one thing - had I gotten pregnant as a teenager - is that I wouldn't have known much about adoption at all. It generally wasn't discussed as an option where I grew up. Abortion was there - that was the go-to option. So, if you didn't believe in abortion, you just had to man up (or woman up) and raise your baby... no matter if the father was around or was abusive or if you were in poverty. Adoption was like "giving your baby away" and people didn't do that. The feeling was that you had to face your own consequences and "take care of your own." I admit I had that misconception too (embarrassing as that is for me to say!). I didn't even know I felt that way until I moved to Utah and was exposed to many, many adoption stories. Then I started re-evaluating the idea and I realized adoption was such a beautiful thing! How had I not known this before??

It's like these are all the things people "know" about adoption: women who place their babies are trying to get out of their responsibility to take care of their own; adopted children grow up with serious emotional issues and will never fit in; and birth parents can't ever see their child again (or if they do, they'll try to steal them back). OMG, did our values come from psycho Lifetime movies or what? Many, many women who place their babies are doing it out of love. Much more than you'd think. They're in a situation where they know they can't provide for that child the way they'd want and they make a choice. Adopted children normally don't have any more or less emotional problems than biological children. And open adoptions are available to birth parents who want to stay in contact with the child. There's so many myths and misconceptions and horror stories out there that I guess it's no wonder adoption hasn't always been looked on favorably.

I'm glad that adoption is becoming much more recognized and promoted and acceptable as a choice. The movie "Juno" did a good job of making it a little more mainstream of an idea, although it was a really weird portrayal of it and had some pretty far-fetched twists in the story. Lol. And the awesome, awesome, awesome episode of "16 and Pregnant" with Catelynn and Tyler that just had me bawling. I hope more people start recognizing that adoption is an option, because I sure didn't know anything about it and I know there are many young girls out there who don't know much about it either. That's sad! Adoption isn't the choice for every young girl who gets pregnant of course, but for some it would be the best choice for the child... More girls should be aware of that.

Now that I'm on the other side of the story and I'm hoping to adopt, I ache for these girls on "16 and Pregnant"! I twinge with a little bit of guilt that I may end up becoming a mother because of the hard choice someone else will make about their difficult circumstances. Someone else who may very well be just like these girls. It's like we're supposed to make lemonade out of lemons, right? Or quilts out of scraps or whatever? But I feel guilty hoping and praying for the lemons... if that makes sense. I'll be benefiting from someone else's heart-wrenching choice. *sniff* I feel like crying just typing that! But I do realize that this is what life is about - we all face hardships (infertility for me, teen pregnancy for someone else), but our merciful God always makes a way for people to help ease each other's burdens (adoption)... and to me that makes a world of sense.

Anyways, I feel a really close connection to these girls. If I were ever judgmental in the past, I'm sure not anymore. And shame on me for ever thinking differently! Ha ha. I'll be watching this season with a handful of tissue...LOL!







Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cycle Day 121

Today is day 121 since the beginning of this "cycle." Sometimes I forget that women have periods... Muah ha ha! The bright side of my lovely infertility. :)

 I believe this is my "meh" face...*shrugs*.

Today, I thought about all the amazing things my body does well. For example, I have no allergies to anything... Awesome job, body! Go white blood cells and histamines or whatever the heck is keeping me running smoothly! I hardly ever get sick. I'm also strong and flexible because my body handles yoga really well. Go body, go! I have a really acute sense of smell... so, I'll never have to worry about a skunk sneaking up on me or anything... which is awesome, right? I went my entire reckless childhood (riding brakeless bikes down hills, jumping off the roof of my house, running through the woods with my eyes closed, etc.) without breaking a bone other than a finger here and there (that's what happens when you play no-pad tackle football with the toughest, meanest girl on the block...fingers get broken). My bones are tough! One time I got shot in the head with an arrow... a REAL LIVE ARROW. But I only needed 4 stitches! My skull just ricocheted that dang thing! That's pretty cool, I think. See? My body's awesome... and infertility doesn't define me. :D





Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Are You Sure You Want Kids?"

Photo: www.humor-articles.com

I've been asked that question one too many times, usually by someone who is letting their bad little kids run wild through Target. Ummm, the answer is YES. Would I really spend years of my life in pursuit of something that I really didn't want? Or do they think that their idiotic question is somehow going to completely change my mind - "Oh, I didn't even think about it like that! Maybe I don't want kids! Thank you!" So, am I sure I want kids? YES... Just not YOUR kids with YOUR parenting. :)




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weight Loss Progress

Photo: www.fitnessandfaithfulness.tumblr.com

I've been journaling my weight loss progress since the beginning of the year. I needed to learn some healthy habits and make fitness a part of my life. The journaling helped keep me accountable. I'm really hoping this is the only time I will ever "struggle" with my weight. I want to stick to a "fitness lifestyle" that keeps me in a healthy range and make it just part of who I am to exercise and make healthy food choices.

My journaling notes:

~~~

I am excited to say that I've lost some more weight and I'm getting all toned up! I haven't been the best at exercising consistently, but I do exercise a lot more (and a lot better quality exercising) than I have in a long time, and it shows. A friend even commented that I looked like I was losing weight, which always feels good. I even feel lighter when I get on the scale!

Beginning of 2010
157.6 lbs - after gaining 2 lbs of holiday weight
26.26% BMI

Today
151.0 lbs
25.16% BMI

That means I lost 6.6 lbs and 1.10% body mass in a month! Whoo-hoo! And I think I'm even more excited that I'm doing this well while I'm still slacking half the time and munching on chocolate every other day. Ha ha. Who knows what kind of progress I can make if I just step it up a tiny bit! :)

~~~

The past month included the Superbowl and both Zay and Josh's birthday parties... so, food was abundant! Shame on you, ice cream cake... for being so delicious. I was afraid I was going to gain weight, but I improved on my exercising. I lost a teeny tiny bit and I'm happy with that!

Beginning of February
151.0 lbs
25.16% BMI

Today
150.4 lbs
25.05% BMI

That means I lost 0.6 lbs and 0.11% body mass. Whoo-hoo! As long as it keeps going down, I'm happy. And healthier! I've been eating all kinds of fruits and veggies. They're not so bad! Ha ha.

~~~

I found a good workout partner who's kicking my butt. We started working together a couple weeks ago and every.single.muscle.HURTS right now. I pigged out a little on Easter, but other than that day I've been really good with my diet too. I'm making progress!

Beginning of March
150.4 lbs
25.05% BMI

Today
144.2 lbs
24.02% BMI

That means I lost 6.2 lbs and 1.03% body mass. I took my exercising really seriously this month. I'm super excited to see that much weight come off! Yay! I'm trying to get into a routine that I'll be able to keep up for a long time and make it a part of my regular daily schedule. And I think I'm getting closer to that... developing good habits and whatnot. My general goal has been to lose a pound a week. I think that's very doable. I'm excited to see what I can accomplish in the next month!

~~~

I didn't make any progress this month! Grrrr... I'm finding my relationship with food isn't that great. I'm kind of self-destructive actually. I have some issues with letting any food go to waste, so if there's food available or food offered to me, I feel like I have to consume it. Maybe it comes from growing up in poverty and having little to eat that was any good? Hmmmm, I don't know.

Getting in shape is supposed to be a journey, though. I'm glad I'm learning about my issues with food so that I'll know what I'm up against.

Beginning of April
144.2 lbs
24.02% BMI

Today
145.5 lbs
24.24% BMI

That's a gain of 1.3lbs!!! Ahhhhh! That's not bad, though. That's actually basically the same. I'm staying consistent. This month I've got to start forming some good eating habits that'll stick with me after I get to my ideal weight. I'm doing well with exercising and I'll just have to keep that up. I've started the habit where everytime I have free time to do whatever I want, instead of choosing activities that have me sitting down (staring at the computer, watching TV, playing video games), I try to think of activities that actually have me up and moving around. That's helped a lot and I've been getting outside and throwing the frisbee and hiking and all sorts of stuff! It's been great. :)

~~~

I stopped weighing myself so much and just concentrated on how I feel everyday. Focusing on the numbers and how they fluctuated from day-to-day wasn't working for me. But I didn't stop trying to lose weight! I've gotten a whole lot better with P90X and I can actually get through an entire workout every now and then. I had been breaking it up into tiny sections for awhile, but I did more and more over time until I could do an entire workout. I've set the goal to do something everyday, and if I do something then I've succeeded. If I do more than something, then that's just icing on the cake. :) That way I never get disappointed or feel guilty. Lofty goals are not my friend. I'm not even using any weights higher than 2 1/2 lbs for any of the exercises (they're using 35 lbs on some of them!) and I can't do a pull-up to save my life. But I am making lots of progress!

I've also done a lot of work at recognizing what triggers emotional eating for me and learning how to avoid those triggers. It's helped a lot. And if I do feel like indulging in something and I can't get around it, I've been making much healthier choices because I'm so conscious of what I'm eating now. I just think to myself, What am I craving exactly? (something sweet, salty, etc.) Why am I craving that? (bored, reacting to some sort of emotion, actually hungry, etc.) and What are my choices? (candy bar vs. piece of fruit, etc.). The other thing that bothers me about food is thinking that I have to eat everything that's offered me or everything that's on my plate. So, I've started practicing saying, "No thanks!" and putting a lot less food on my plate. 

Beginning of May
145.5 lbs
24.24% BMI

Today
140.4 lbs
23.4% BMI

I lost 4.1 lbs! If I take into consideration that I gained 1.3 lbs in April, then that takes it down to 2.8 lbs lost. Very, very slow progress. But that's okay. I think the things I'm learning about myself in the process are more important than the weight loss. But to make myself feel better, I like to look at the numbers from a couple years ago when I reached my highest weight and compare them to now. I weighed 168.7 lbs and had a BMI of 28.1. Eek! What a difference. I will not let my weight sneak up on me like that again. Holy cow. I'm proud of my progress! :)

~~~

I'm starting to develop much better habits with my eating. Even if I feel like I just cannot exercise today, the major impact on my weight has been better food choices. I try to make it easier to make those choices. It starts with the grocery store. If you don't have good choices in the house because all you buy at the store is processed garbage food...lol...then it's going to be much harder to make a better food choice! It's such common sense, but seriously - humans are morons, myself included. Even the smallest changes in your thought process about food...the smallest caution before grabbing something to shove into your face... can make a world of difference. Someone gave us the most A*M*A*Z*I*N*G chocolate chip cookies yesterday. Seriously, if I was my former self... I would have eaten them all in one sitting. But just the smallest change in my thinking made me eat one cookie and enjoy the heck out of it. Then I gave the rest away to people with better metabolisms. :)

Beginning of August
140.4 lbs
23.4% BMI

Today
137.8 lbs
22.96% BMI

I lost 2.6 lbs! Only 2.8 lbs to go!

~~~

I haven't been doing much differently. I've just settled into some good habits that I think will stick with me for a long time. That's the healthiest way to lose weight - just making small changes and losing the weight slowly but surely. It's much less stressful that way too. I didn't weigh myself for over a month because I wasn't focused on the numbers! :)

Beginning of September
137.8 lbs
22.96% BMI

Today
135.6 lbs
22.59% BMI

I lost 2.2 lbs! Only 0.6 lbs to go! Easy peasy!

I'm debating whether I should put a before and after picture on here. I have a pretty horrible "before" picture that's embarrassing as all get out! Ha ha ha. I'll think about it...




Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nesting?

Is it really called "nesting" if I'm not pregnant and we're not even approved for adoption yet? Lol. I get these urges to just completely change the arrangement of our place to make it more appealing and more baby-friendly. I have thrown away so many papers and junk furniture... and I've found places for things that I've previously just thrown in boxes in my closet or in some random kitchen drawer... and I've been to RC Willey and Target in the past year more than I have in my entire life. Any pack rat tendencies I've had before have now gone out the window and all I can focus on is making space and making things better and cleaner. It's instinctual, I'm telling ya... I think my "mama-gene" is kicking in. So, I guess there's no turning back now. :)

Now if I can only convince Zay to let me take down the HUGE, towering "Superman Returns" banner he got when he used to work at a movie theater. It takes up an entire wall in our bedroom and doesn't match anything! ... ha ha ha.  Nah, I don't think that's going to happen. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to let that one slide...





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