Saturday, January 31, 2015

New Year's Interview with Kal 2015

I'm gonna keep this little tradition up of asking Kal questions every year and seeing how his answers change.

Kal & Zay on a sick day. Kal's getting so big! Eep!

Name: Kal-El Rashad 
Age: 3 years 10.5 months 
Height: 3 feet 5 inches
Weight: 40 lbs
Shoe size: 11

Interview questions: 

Favorite Cereal:
Bread. Ultra Bread. No... BRAISIN Bread.
{He was trying to say Raisin Bran. He's such a weird kid to prefer Raisin Bran over other cereal - he's after my own heart!}

Favorite Vegetable:
{He couldn't think of any veggies, so I asked him "carrots, broccoli, or corn?" I still think his favorite is broccoli, but he keeps saying corn!}

Favorite Drink:

Favorite Toy:
Superman and another Superman
{He has lots of Superman toys.}

Favorite TV Show:
Veggie Tales
{I don't know how he didn't say Power Rangers! But I'm glad he likes Veggie Tales. :) }

Favorite Movie:
I like the Turbo one the best.

Favorite Thing to do:
play with toys

Favorite Game:
{Trials Fusion is a motorcycle racing game on the Xbox One.}

Favorite Book: 
The Choo Choo Train book at the library.
{Not sure which one he's talking about! He likes Thomas the train. But at night we've been reading Batman books lately, so I don't know. We go to the library a lot, so who knows.}

Favorite Restaurant: 
That one. It's right there on the corner. {I asked him, "JDawgs?"} Yeah!
{He & Zay have daddy-son hot dog days there.}

Favorite Place to go:

If you could change your name what would you change it to: 
{Said very emphatically...} Kal-El Rashad!
{He obviously would NOT change his name! Ha ha ha.}

What is something mommy says: 
to sit on the bum
{ha ha ha... getting him to sit still is like talking to a wall, but apparently he hears me!}

What is something daddy says: 
to cut hair

What do you want to be when you grow up: 
a doctor
{All right, Kal!!! That's what I'm talking about. Although Zay asked him later, "Don't you want to be a Power Ranger?" and he said, "Oh yeah!"}

What are you going to do different this year than last: 
I'm going to basketball to play with my friends.

Who are your friends? 
... The Cat in the Hat... annnnnd... my friends at school. Jason. Superman.
{I kept asking him for names and he wouldn't give me any, except for whoever Jason is. Ha ha. I said, "What about Ian?" He said, "No. Not Ian. He's not my friend." Uh-oh. The drama begins in pre-school! Ian's supposed to be his best friend there!}

Who is your favorite teacher? 
My teachers at school.
{Guess he couldn't pick just one...}

What is one wish for the New Year? 
I wish to be a doctor... Or to fly like THIS {swooshing around with a Superman toy} and PUNCH and BOOM!! {Ha ha ha.}

If I gave you $100 what would you do with it? 
I would take it from my mom and you don't want to buy it from the store, so we have to go to the store and buy it with money. {"What would you buy?"} A basketball.

What are you afraid of? 
Ooh! MONSTERS! {"What kind of monsters?"} Ummmm.... red and blue.

What do you like the most? 
Superman the most

What do you do at school? 
I play at school.

What do you do at Church? 
I be quiet.

What's your favorite thing to do with mama? 
play choo choo train

What's your favorite thing to do with daddy? 
play basketball

Favorite Sport
basketball and kicking soccer ball

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Year's Resolutions - Plus Baby #2's Name!

It's still January, right? I can talk about New Year's Resolutions. :)

We started the year with big ideas about sticking to a Paleo/Whole Foods type of diet. We did great... for 3 whole weeks. Then I found out my mom was going to have heart surgery (it went very well, by the way) and work got crazy busy and I got a little overwhelmed. Zay started school and was trying to wrap his head around Astronomy, Geology, Philosophy, and Psychology... and he got a little overwhelmed. So, we went and ate at Village Inn... and I had a donut... and I went to a business lunch at P.F. Chang's. So I guess you can say we're not doing it religiously anymore. But that's okay.

We both lost some weight, we've got new Paleo recipes we'll keep in the rotation, and we shop at Sprouts a lot more, but OMG I love carbs. I don't crave sugar as much as I did before. I can eat an apple and get my sweet tooth taken care of. So, that's awesome. I didn't really eat apples before. Now I'm chompin' on 'em all the time. The weight loss really boosted our spirits, because we've been stagnant for so long. Anyway, it was a good experience. But it wasn't something we could keep up. We need to dial it back a tad bit, but still hang onto some of those good habits in the long run.

So, resolutions... Hmmmm... I'm having a hard time coming up with specific goals. I just wanna survive the year. Ha ha. Keep working. Get Zay through this semester. Get Kal into soccer and karate (his two chosen activities). Adopt a baby!!! Eventually when things settle down, I want to relax and simplify and just enjoy. I'm looking forward to the summer. Seeing how stressed school is making BOTH of us, I think Zay should take the summer off. That's gonna do wonders, so I'm excited for that slow-down period. He may be in school for forever, but we'll get there one step at a time. I'd rather not be stressed out the whole time. Zay's happy with that. He wants to be "Mr. Mom" again for a little bit. He wants to cook for me and take care of the kids and keep the house clean and I'm all like, "Fine by me!!" Food makes me happy. A clean house makes me happy. Even better if it's done when I get home from work and I didn't have to lift a finger. He's so awesome like that. :)

I also want to not be stuck to my phone, so I'll be taking time off from social media every so often. No set goal, though... cuz I'll break it, I'm sure. But I do want to teach myself to set my phone/camera down and just enjoy things without "documenting" all the time. I can't wait for the day when I don't need a cell phone. Right now I make all my hair appointments with that dang thing, but I wish I could trash it. Go back to the '90s when cell phones were for rich folks only. Lol. I don't like the idea of people being able to reach me at any given time. I don't know. I like some space. Ha ha. I didn't get a cell phone until I was like 25. Out of necessity. I wish I could go back in time and choose not to! As for blogging, I have a love/hate relationship with it. But for now, you're stuck with me. Until I decide I ain't got nothing to say.

But I've got lots to say! Because this adoption journey may possibly, hopefully (omg-please-let-this-be-the-one) be coming to a happy ending! That's something worth talking about. Baby boy's due in 3 weeks. We'll be headed out to Kansas in 2 weeks. That's so friggin' soon! Happy 2015 to me!!!

Oh, and we picked out a first name... still working on a middle name. He's gonna stay in our room with us for the first little bit, so I made a little "nursery corner." :) I'll talk more about baby name pickin' later. But for now, I can tell ya his name is Shakir. And I'm SO ready to meet him!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reverse Psychology

Remember how I was all like, "Adding to our family is not working out for us. We can't just wait around anymore. We've gotta plunge ahead with life plans." ? That's when I decided to go back to work... and Zay quit his job and started full-time school... That was my idea of reverse psychology. If we make ourselves busy and stop waiting for our child to come home, maybe the Universe will throw us a bone. Annnnd, that's what happened. :)

The more time passes, the more excited I'm getting. I know how hard a newborn can be. I know bringing a baby home in the middle of Zay's semester isn't "ideal." But holy crap, WHO CARES. Throw every other plan out the window! Cuz our baby's coming home! I am the happiest girl in the world right now. I feel so much peace about this adoption. I am so ready. I can't stop grinning.

While we are waiting and counting down these last couple weeks, we're talking a lot with Kal about being a big brother and about how we're going to go to Kansas and meet his baby brother. He is beyond excited. It's like the best idea ever to him. This is gonna rock his world in such a good way. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ancestry DNA Tests

I'm pretty fascinated with my DNA right now. Is that weird? Ha ha.

I ordered 3 DNA tests from as my Christmas present. :) It was so funny trying to get Kal to spit in the tube. He actually turned out to be a great spitter. He just didn't have the attention span to complete it, so I had to keep following him around the house till I got it filled up!

Zay and I kept betting that the other person had more or less white/black in them than we thought. He kept saying, "I'm fresh off the boat. My granddad's from Zambia. Ain't no white in me." And I kept saying, "I bet there is! And watch me come up with 1% African - I will be so excited!" He said, "Not a chance. You're whiter than white. I bet your folks are from Scandinavia."

We talked about what we know about Kal's background and wondered what his DNA test would tell us. He's so light-skinned, but has super kinky "black" hair. His birth father is not involved in his life and we only know a handful of facts about him, so this test would give us some awesome info about where he comes from and maybe/hopefully we can make a connection to his birth father's side of the family one day.

I love working on our family history and tracing our lines back as far as I can. I think Kal's biological line is just as important as him being grafted into our tree, so I'd like to do more research there. I've been stuck on Zay's line for awhile, but I was hoping his DNA test would match us to some of his cousins who might have more information. A lot of my family history is done because my mom and other family members have done a ton of research before I ever got involved in it. I'd heard we had Native American in us somewhere, so I wanted to really see if that showed up in my DNA or not.

I think knowing your roots and your ancestry is super important. It's kind of amazing that we are here right now as descendents of so many combinations of people over thousands of years. I exist today because of those who've come before me. That's just crazy fascinating to me. As a side note, though - I think "matching" DNA is most definitely not a requirement for a family. Not at all. The fact that Kal shares no biological connection to us means NOTHING because our family is bonded by love over here! In fact, his DNA being different made this whole thing more interesting and complex. I love every little strip of his DNA, ha ha. It didn't have to come from me.

So, the results?

I'm whiter than white. And a big ole chunk of me comes from Scandinavia. No Native American and no African. Whomp whomp. I am so lame. :)

Zay's a whole 5% European, 1% of which comes from the UK. He's whiter than I thought!!! HA HA HA. And has a tad bit of Native American, which I think is awesome. It showed a small trace of Polynesian and Zay was like, "That doesn't make sense. Cuz black folks don't like the water." Lol. What?

Kal's results showed a beautiful array of DNA spread throughout quite a few different regions of Europe and Africa. And it even had a trace of East Asian, so I'm gonna go ahead and claim that as Japanese, because that would be so friggin' awesome, haha.

Ancestry will show you if your DNA matches with someone else in their database, so I'm hoping to make some breakthroughs with my genealogical research that way. You can also download your raw DNA info and use it however you want, so I've been looking for different apps to run it through that will show more genetic health-related information. If I have some sort of genetic mutation or susceptibility for a certain disease, I would like to know that kinda stuff. Zay on the other hand would rather not know. He just wants to die in ignorance one day, lol. Not me! I wanna know everything.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

One Month to Go!

My "to-do before Baby #2" list has changed now that there's an actual real life baby out there waiting for us. I'm working my way through it. There's something about a baby coming that gets me on the ball and I start getting crazy productive to prepare. I love to-do lists. I love deadlines. I'm totally nesting and focused. Zay knows to leave me be with my projects, haha. Cuz I'm happy, dangit!

It really hit me a couple weeks ago when I saw little man's face on a 3D ultrasound. OMG, he has my heart. Just like that. There's no way to be cautious or guarded or not-as-excited-as-I-should-be after seeing that. I'm head over heels. All the pain infertility causes me just gets swept away by the beauty of adoption. It's been awhile since I've felt that and I'm SO glad to have that hope back.

Seriously, this is a dream come true. And we had almost given up. We had no idea what we would've missed out on if we had.

One month feels like an eternity away... but I keep shortening it for myself. Like, we're going to head out there a week before the due date. So that's 3 weeks from this Friday. And we'll be packing a week before that. So, basically there's only like 2 weeks left. Lol. And who knows, maybe she'll have him early. :) I know she would love that!! She's so ready for us to come and for her part to be done. I don't blame her, but at the same time we agreed that we'd change places with each other if we could. (Except I wouldn't wish infertility on anybody.)

So, one month to go! And a to-do list a mile long. Let's do this!!

Kal, "helping" me put together his new twin bed so I can turn the toddler bed back into a crib.

The mess I make when I'm nesting. :) Zay was like, "What the heck are you doing?" Hahaha.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Well, 2014 is over. I remember thinking after such a crappy 2013, that 2014 had to be better. And it was. But it was also a lot of work. Prep work for bigger and better things, I think.

We began the new year only halfway hopeful that we were adopting in March (okay, I was halfway hopeful... Zay was 0% hopeful). Very quickly that all went down the drain when Miss H had her baby girl 8 weeks early, bonded with her in the NICU, and then decided adoption wasn't for her after all. I'm just thankful she told us not to come or else we would've had a repeat of traveling for nothing like we did when we drove ALL THE WAY to New Orleans. Sigh...

That adoption falling through really made me question if we could keep trying to do this or not. Adoption is not easy and my optimism had dropped into the gutter. I worried that all this negativity would make me lose my faith or turn me into a bad person. An angry, bitter, spiteful person. I kept praying about it. I kept getting the same answer to keep going, but I saw no end in sight. Zay became my encouragement (it's usually the other way around), but it was really hard to hear the answer that we should keep trying when everything was just SO HARD. I wanted to quit.

To battle that negativity, I tried to turn the failed adoption into a service opportunity. Here was my chance to face something soul-crushing and make it positive rather than letting it change me. I hosted a virtual baby shower for Miss H and managed to somehow (through the generosity of many in my little community) gather big packages of baby clothes and diapers and toys and money, etc. to send to her. She was shocked. I'm still amazed at how that went down. It helped me survive it. Letting go of what I wanted and thinking about what she was going to need totally changed the vibe of the whole thing and helped me not lose hope completely that God can make beauty from ashes.

I had to distance myself from adoption to keep my sanity and we started looking into fertility treatments again. This time, we wanted to move past medication and start really thinking about making a baby in a lab (lol). I've never felt like this is what we were supposed to do. Ever. I just felt pushed to my limit and knew NOW was the time to add to our family and I needed to find a way to make that happen. We ended up not being able to bring ourselves to do it yet.

I ended an unhealthy friendship (long overdue). We moved to a bigger, nicer place. I was so homesick. We made plans to move back to Georgia in a year (by May 2015), but Zay and I were sitting outside and talking at our new place and he said that he thought a lot was going to happen in a year and we won't leave as soon as we think. (I think he's right.) I spent an amazing summer with my little heart-and-soul, Kal. I absolutely loved being a stay-at-home mom with him and can't wait to have the opportunity to do that again. I volunteered a ton at an animal shelter and got called to be a Den Leader in the Cub Scouts.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in July. I can't believe 10 years have gone by just like that. I'm happy to say that we have been through A LOT and we're better than ever. We've learned so much together over these years. We're so different, but we're so alike. It's weird. We've had plenty of opportunities to call it quits, but instead somehow we've managed to let experience build us up rather than tear us down... and increase our commitment to each other. At this point we are rock solid. And we plan to keep it that way. I have no doubt that this is the man God designed for me and I am loved unconditionally. That is an amazing feeling. We spent our anniversary eating at The Melting Pot and staying at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City. Kal had his first multi-night sleepover with his friends and did an amazing job. It was nice to have time to ourselves to re-connect and celebrate 10 YEARS! Although being in that super fancy hotel just made me realize how much of a country bumpkin I really am. I just want to be laying out under the Georgia stars!

My stay-at-home mommyhood ended and I got a job that is giving me some great experience in my field. This is going to open doors for me that I am so excited about! Kal started pre-school and he LOVES it. He's such a social kid. That's part of the reason why we get so sad about him not having a brother or sister. He has started to ask us for a sibling and that has been heartbreaking.

Zay finally quit working retail jobs for good and made the decision to go to school full-time to go ahead and finish up his degree. I am SO proud of him. We need this investment in our future and it's been a long time coming. Time for positive changes!

We finally really made the concrete decision that we want to pursue foster care. We started the paperwork and classes just to see what it would be like. And we know for sure that's what we want to do. But like we thought, it'll probably have to be after we move to Georgia and buy a house. We'll do it there. I'm so glad this seed has been planted in our hearts, though. It's the same reason Zay wants to be a social worker as well. We want to change the world, one child at a time. This is what we were meant to do. Every plan we make from here on out will be with that goal in mind - to be in Georgia, with a house, doing foster care.

In September, it marked a year since I began treating my thyroid. It hasn't helped me get pregnant, but there is a world of difference in how I feel. I am SO thankful that I sought treatment when I knew something felt off and that it's now under control. We have made lots of healthy choices in 2014. Good habits that we want to stick with.

Adoption came back into our lives when we were ~matched~ again! We put a pause on foster care training. Pause on fertility treatment. Because we're back in the game, baby! Baby due Feb 20th - can't wait!

Weird side note - I got an email from a girl who read my blog and was looking for someone to adopt her bi-racial little boy in March. I toyed with the idea of adopting two babies at once. Hey, if it's meant to be, right? She was frustrated with her adoption agency in Arizona because they weren't able to find a family that matched what she wanted (an interracial family), so she did her own research and came across our blog. It would've been cool, just because we would be able to go through LDS Family Services for that one and it would've been totally inexpensive to do. I gave her instructions on how to contact our agency... and she never did. So that was that. Don't know why she didn't follow through. But whatevs. I've already got my baby boy coming! ;) (How awesome would "twins" be, though????)

Then we had good ole Christmas 2014, which was like the best Christmas ever. Did I tell you I like working for corporate America? Well, I do. I'm all about the Christmas party and prizes and bonuses, yall. :) It was nice to not travel and to just enjoy a nice holiday with our little family, starting traditions we hope to keep going for years. We got a package together for S and her other kids and sent it to the agency there in Kansas. Trying to be better gift givers. It's totally not either of our "love language." But who doesn't like to get packages in the mail? :)

The biggest thing I learned from 2014 is that I can't force what I want to happen. That there are things in life that I can't control and I have to be okay with that. I have to accept God's timing for having babies. I don't have the luxury of saying "I want to have a baby" and within a few months, I'm pregnant. It's just not the way our life is going to go. And I have to let go of control. And go with the flow.

We ended the year in the exact same literal place - at our friend's house for a New Year's Eve party - but in a completely different place in every other way. Stronger, better, healthier, with a hope and faith in humanity we almost lost, with big changes under our belts and a bright future. Our agency is no longer doing adoptions, but we found a way to move on without them. 2015 is all about Baby #2 who is FINALLY coming home! I feel like we can just take this new year to ENJOY the heck out of it. I have everything I've ever wanted right here, right now. 2015 is just going to be a continuation of the awesomeness we got started in 2014. :) I'M SO EXCITED!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

It's a Girl... Whoops, It's a Boy!

There was a couple weeks after being matched when I could NOT get a hold of S. Longest two weeks ever. I thought, was she even sure? After 30 minutes of talking? She's not answering her phone. Is she just afraid to talk to me? What the heck is going on? I don't wanna be a crazy stalker lady, so I left her be. Turns out, she thought I was somebody completely different - (801) area code throwing her off, I think... looking like an 800 #. Anyway, once she knew I was trying to reach her, she apologized profusely. And we've been talking almost every day since. :) Whew.

When I finally did get to talk to her again - a couple weeks into December, she had some important news. The baby girl she thought she was carrying all the way up till about 30 weeks is actually a BABY BOY! What the...? I definitely wasn't expecting a gender flip-flop! So, now I've shifted focus and have tried to think of boy names that start with "S" that I like. That's our only naming tradition that we're sticking with. Naming our babies after the first letter of their birthmom's first name. We did it with K and Kal-El and we want to do it with S and baby boy "S." In my journal, I scribbled down contenders off the top of my head... Sage, Shae, Shiloh, Shayne, Shamar. Hmmmm.... I love baby-name-picking, but usually my choices are pretty unusual. Sometimes I worry about my poor children. Ha ha. But anyways, a boy is just fine by me! Even easier.

My emotions were at first pretty hesitant. Not very excited at all. Super hopeful, but cautious. There were some hurdles to get through first. Figuring out how the heck we're going to pay for the adoption (it'll be about 3x more expensive than Kal's was). Then S leaving the agency's housing to drive from Kansas to Arkansas to see her family for Christmas (worrying about whether she'd actually come back). The facilitator between us and the agency there called me and was bringing up more money than was originally talked about and saying S was "demanding" more money. Very confusing. She doesn't seem like the type to "demand" anything, but of course people can be manipulative. So I've been ON GUARD for weeks and prepared at any moment for something to completely fall apart and people's true colors to shine through. We've been burned. It's hard to trust anybody.

Slowly, though... everything is falling into place. I've had to coordinate way too many adoption professionals to work together and have been super frustrated with getting the last bit of paperwork in before we travel (in just a few short weeks). But it is coming together. Just not fast enough to keep me un-stressed about it all.

Overall, despite everything... I feel at peace. I know, right? How?? But the actual relationship with S is pretty fantastic and we want to help her whether she places with us or not. And even though communication with this new agency is kind of a mess and getting paperwork sent in is kind of a hassle, it still feels like the actual adoption - the actual placing of this baby in our arms - is going to happen. And I don't need to worry about that part. Just the legalities and the paperwork annoyances. But if I just keep hanging in there and doing everything I can to make it go as smoothly as possible, all this madness will be behind us in a few weeks. And we can focus on being parents of two amazing little boys, BROTHERS! *squeal!* and keeping that open adoption relationship going. That's gonna be what all of this has been for. Fighting for our family and it finally coming together.

On a side note, Kal is so ready to have a brother. As evidenced by how he acts when he gets together with his friends. Lol.

At a friend's birthday party.

Shooting a hadouken? A fire ball, maybe? Ha ha. Boys are hilarious. I'm looking forward to having TWO!!

We saw the movie "Big Hero 6." It was cute! :)

Totally non-Paleo approved cupcakes. Ha ha ha. And I successfully avoided them as well as movie-theater popcorn, so I think I'm on a roll with this new diet thing. :)

The One

The day before Thanksgiving, I was just going about my business, checking my usual adoption-related blogs. I saw a post entitled "Family Needed." I opened it, read it. And instead of clicking out of it and moving on with my day, I hesitated. I sat there and stared at that screen for a really long time. I saved the page. I sent an email with our profile to the email listed. I knew nothing of the agency involved or anything. Just generic info like gender, due date, location, estimated expenses, etc. The same old stuff that I read over and over and over again. But I hesitated on this one. There was something about it.

We had JUST talked about IVF and were planning to do that come January. We were checked out mentally from adoption. Just hanging in there until LDS Family Services wouldn't be doing adoptions anymore, switch agencies maybe, and just put a pause on adoption thoughts (let the new agency do the work) while we set up some fertility treatments. But I sat there on that screen and just stared at the info, hoping they would get back to me. They did, pretty quickly. Not too long after that, someone I don't even know tagged me in the exact same situation in a FB adoption-sharing group. SO WEIRD. I can't even track down who tagged me now. Thank you, guardian angel!

I got the email with more detailed information about this situation. I read every line of it. Devoured it. Felt soooo good about it. Saved it. Tried to cyber stalk this expectant mom (cuz that's what I do, ha ha). Could this be it? Could this be the one? Do I dare hope? Well, very quickly one thing led to another. "S" loved our profile. We had a conference call the Saturday after Thanksgiving and we are officially MATCHED with (what I thought was) a baby girl, due Feb 20th. It's through an agency we probably would've never worked with had it not been for this particular situation standing out from the crowd.

Leading up to the conference call, I was freaking out a little. But the actual call went well. Awkward the first couple seconds and then we just got to talking and the conversation flowed. We only talked for 30 minutes (that felt like a short amount of time to me) before the caseworker cut us off kind of abruptly. She called back later with the news that S definitely wanted to move forward with us. So that was that. :)

A friend once forwarded me an adoption situation she saw on Facebook and told me, "If you get a baby off a facebook post, I might have a heart attack." Well, that's kinda what happened here. Ha ha. I sent her this email:

I'm gonna freak out for 12 weeks until her due date. But she was so awesome! Very collected and happy to talk to us, but nervous and hoped we'd want to adopt her baby. Good head on her shoulders. Kept talking about having a 2nd chance and why-oh-why does she keep doing the same dumb things and going back to the same kind of guys and not pushing herself to get in school and make something of herself. Zay did a great job of relating to her and talking to her about her future. ... We talked a lot about her and not so much about the baby or adoption, other than it being a 2nd chance for her to get her act together, which she knows she needs to do. We didn't talk long enough, I thought. The caseworker was all butting in. But we have time. There's so much more to talk about, I think. But she's excited to get to know us and hopefully that'll happen organically over the next 12 weeks and it won't be an awkward meeting when we finally meet. I was impressed by her strength and self-awareness and determination. I think this one might be "the one"! We shall see. :) :) :)

Right after the conference call, Zay started talking about baby names. That's how I know he's hopeful. If he thought it didn't feel right, he'd say it straight up. He did with the last two (I just didn't listen... ha ha). But when it does feel right, he just kind of talks about the future and says things like "maybe" and "if it happens." Never with any excitement in his voice. Ole punk. Can't show any emotion!! He's been watching Game of Thrones, so he was like - what about Khaleesi? Ummmm, no. Ha ha. He's such a nerd. No Game of Thrones names, come on now. And no more K names!

I immediately assessed the money situation, applied for an adoption loan, made a list of questions I still had for S... and began very hesitantly dreaming of a little girl... our one hope, our little miracle-to-be. Coming so soon, but not soon enough!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Adoption Madness

My fortune at our last eating-out session before the New Year. I think it applies to the adoption craziness.

Right before Halloween, we finally updated our homestudy (we moved forever ago, so we had to do an update to it). It took awhile to find the right day. My new work schedule kinda keeps me busy during all the important business hours of the day, so trying to get anything done is just crazy. My 30-minute lunch break a lot of times is spent rushing to run an errand really fast. Weirdly our caseworker showed up a day early and threw me off. Whoops. She basically said "my bad" and showed up again the next day. The update went fine and quickly. I had scrubbed the heck out of our place and made sure everything was locked, safe, up-to-code, and ready to go. Caseworker was in and out. Easy peasy.

I was super tired all of a sudden and I kept thinking, wouldn't it be crazy if I was pregnant? Right when we're updating our adoption homestudy? Buuuuut, of course not.

Early in November, the lawyer from our Louisiana failed adoption popped up on my phone. And I thought... whhhhaaaaat? Had no idea what she could be calling for. My heart jumped to my throat and I knew she could only be calling for one thing. I said, "HI! Didn't expect to hear from you!" She sounded rushed and wanted to know if we were still looking to adopt, if our homestudy was updated, and if I could email her a profile to show a mom who was coming in that morning. She asked what we were looking for in an adoption. From what I could gather from her throwing out random bits of information about this situation, the birth mother was white. Because she said, "The birth father is coming. I don't know anything about him. If he turns out to be white, would you run for the hills?" Lol. I was like, "Ummmm.... no." Ha ha. She said she didn't know what kind of openness this girl wanted... whether she'd want a family far away like we are, "So she doesn't run into you at the grocery store." I jotted notes about it down, but just chuckled at this lawyer's way of saying things. I told her I was at work and that I'd try to send her something quickly. We don't have a nice professional pdf copy of our adoption profile, so I threw something together in a Word doc, emailed her, and then waited. But I heard nothing. It was nice to know that she thought of us, I guess. And that we were being shown as an option. It totally threw me off at work. I could NOT focus for like the next 3 hours. I was a mess of nerves. But the longer it took for the lawyer to get back to us, the more I relaxed and knew it was just one of those things and nothing would come of it. Annnnnd, back to reality......

This same day I was emailing back and forth with an attorney in Hawaii who was looking for families for Marshallese babies in Arkansas. I told her I was interested and asked her for more information, but it's way too expensive. Of course. She got snippy with me and said if I don't act on these situations now, she may not have the same opportunities for me a year from now. I was like, "Okaaaaay." Screw you and your unethical profiting from adoptions. Neeeext.

Every so often we get an email from a local Utah adoption agency, looking for a "family of color." We're one of only a handful approved with LDS Family Services that get classified that way, so we get these emails pretty often. For one reason or another, none of the situations feels right and I turn them down nicely. Every single time, it's just like.... hmmmmm, where's MY baby? Is he/she even really out there? Why in the world am I still torturing myself?

I got a call from a free volunteer LDS matching service I had signed us up for. They were looking for a family for a baby due early in 2015 that would have muscular dystrophy. I said no. Ugh. Lay on the guilt, right? She understood, but she was so excited for us to work with them because she wants to advocate for us since we're the only "family of color" they have. Haven't heard from her since. Talking to her reminded me of when our LDS Family Services caseworker said to not put in our paperwork unless we really wanted a baby that second, because it's gonna happen SO FAST. Yeah, right.

I just kept networking like crazy, reading all kinds of adoption situations that get posted to various sharing sites/groups/lists. None of them felt right. I ended up not liking the agency or the attorney or the money risk or the health problems the baby will face or the location or something. There's always something that makes me pause and think, I've been here before and this feels just like the ones that have fallen through. Or I know better now and I don't want to get involved with that. Or we're not ready for a child with that sort of disability. Or this agency feels sketchy to me and I don't like it. Or, we can't afford those fees.... absolutely not. Baby-selling a-holes. I was at a loss. Like, why do I keep reading these? The plan was the wait it out with LDS Family services and then switch to PACT at the beginning of the year. I had PACT's paperwork all filled out at my desk at home. Just waiting for me to submit it. But in the meantime, I just kept looking. For no apparent reason, it seemed. Just passing the time until we switch agencies.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fertility Madness

I'll get to the adoption talk. :) But first...

My body has been tricking me. To start with, I'm not used to this whole "having a period" nonsense. It makes the infertility journey that more depressing to have such a bold, uncomfortable reminder so often that I'm NOT pregnant and WON'T BE EVER. That's what it feels like, anyway. It was so much nicer to just have an occasional period and forget about being infertile the rest of the year.

But here I am trying to get healthy and BE NORMAL. What was I thinking? ... I was settling in on a 28-day cycle and I thought that was pretty amazing. Look at me! I'm normal! I'm fixing myself! I wasn't ovulating, but I thought... meh, that'll come eventually if I just keep going and keep healing myself slowly.

Then I had a 36 day cycle and I FREAKED OUT. Took a million pregnancy tests. Started counting back the days. I was so confused because I didn't think I'd ovulated at all. Checking symptoms, peeing on sticks, and driving myself crazy. Period came, I shed a few hot angry tears about it. Picked myself up and got back on the wagon.

Now, for who knows what reason, I'm settling in to a 21-day cycle consistently. That is NOT cutting it, yall. Not at all. It's really making me angry. Even if I somehow managed to get pregnant, I get the feeling I would miscarry. I wouldn't be able to hold it, because I can't keep my progesterone levels high enough to have a normal cycle, let alone sustain a pregnancy. Maybe that's not true, but it's how it feels at this point.

Then a couple times I actually got positive OPKs during my cycle and I thought - whoo hoo! I'm ovulating! But... hold your horses, Alice Anne. Maybe not really. Women with PCOS get false positive OPKs way more often than the average woman does. And as we've seen, I'm not average. Not normal. This sucks. Can't even count on my pee sticks to give me any real indication if I'm ovulating or not, so it's just confusing and torture. Either way, I'm not pregnant so it didn't really matter I guess.

But ovulating on my own without Clomid would've been so dang awesome. I keep making that my goal - to heal, to re-align, to get my hormones in order, and to ovulate "naturally."

Zay slowly stopped taking Clomid to boost his numbers, and now refuses to do another sperm analysis. So we have no idea if we made progress there or not. But I can't blame him. It all sucks. 

I've had short cycle after short cycle and it just made me fed up with my body. I wish it would give me ANY SEMBLANCE OF NORMALCY!!! And predictability! The whole menstrual cycle thing is supposed to be on a timer... like clockwork. It's supposed to be at least fairly predictable, if not spot on. I've never had that and even now when I'm working with my body and trying to get it on a schedule, it's not responding as predictably as I'd hoped.

The good news: my testosterone levels have dropped a ton... that makes me think I'm doing something right. My thyroid hormones are exactly where they need to be... that makes me think I'm doing something right. My blood sugar looks good. I feel great. At the beginning of the year Zay and I started a Paleo/whole foods/green smoothie type of "diet." I say I'm doing the Paleo diet, but really I'm just consciously making a decision to change how I eat for good. No more backtracking. And I'm back to exercising 5 days a week like I'm supposed to. And... in two weeks, I've lost almost 7 lbs. After 6 months or so of being stagnant. I'm losing the weight that I need to. I keep thinking, something's gotta click for my body. Zay and I are gonna be healthy together and then, BOOM. It's gonna happen. Right?

Right before Thanksgiving, I just knew. Deep in my heart. I knew all these changes we're making to heal ourselves from the inside out won't work to get us pregnant. We will be healthy and happy, but still infertile. The light at the end of that dark tunnel was to give it all we've got with in vitro. There's a clinic that will do something to the effect of 4 fresh embryo transfers and all fresh transfers in between... until you get pregnant and bring home a baby. For a set price. Or your money back (except for the cost of meds). I looked at loans. I thought it out in my head. I talked it over with Zay. He basically said, Yes if it'll make me happy. But really he just thinks adoption is our path and we should've stopped worrying about fertility stuff ages ago. Like we originally did. Because in vitro could end up being one big waste of time and money and a lot of heartache for nothing.

But I just thought, He's just saying that... I know he wants a biological child. He wants me to get pregnant. He wants that experience with me. I wanted to jump in. To do it. Just try it and see what happens. Do some more testing. See about the quality of my eggs. My future babies depend on what I choose right now and I'm doing everything I can to add to my family, and it's NOT WORKING!!! Cue more tears.

So, that was the plan. After the holidays, make a baby in a lab and put it (or them) in me, dangit. I can't rely on my body responding positively to gentle coaxing to get me pregnant in a timely manner. I can't rely on other people to make decisions about whether or not I can have a second child or not. I need control. I need to do something, ASAP. Because MY FUTURE BABIES DEPEND ON THIS.

I felt like I needed to bring out the big guns, get my one pregnancy out of the way while I'm young and my eggs are as healthy as they're ever going to be. Or freeze them now because they're only going to get worse as time passes!! I could feel this panic rising up in my chest. A similar feeling to when I knew Kal was out there... my baby is coming and I need to do something right this second to make sure we find him! Like time was running out.

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