Sunday, October 30, 2011

what's going on?

Good news! Today I will finally get my car back FIXED. It's been about three weeks or so since my car saga began, and I'm happy to put it behind us. We are lucky to have a mechanic who stuck with it, found the problem, and charged us next to nothing to fix it. (Well, next to nothing compared to what the dealership would have charged us.) Everyone keep your fingers crossed that my poor baby can hold it together now until we pay off our other car.

We're very close to being done with our "interviews" of agencies and attorneys. Right now, it looks like we have one or two strong candidates. It's taken me a little longer than expected because I'm the only one who has the capability of making phone calls during the day, while at work. It's also taken longer because some places just don't return calls or emails. And when they do, they aren't always nice about it. I have a separate post I'm working on about the surprising attitudes I've experienced from people over the last couple of weeks.

I started my new position last week, and I am loving it so far. As of now, I'm working one weekend day a week, but that will go down to two weekend days a month once we hire another full-time staff member. Surprisingly, though, I LIKE working on the weekends and having a day or two off during the week. It gives me time to go to doctor's appointments and run errands that I can't get done on Saturday and Sunday. It's also quiet. Not too many students in the library on Sunday mornings.

Speaking of doctor's appointments, I recently had a follow-up visit with my RE about my prolactin levels. They are now too low, so he adjusted the dosage. I'm getting retested in about 10 days. If it's normal, I can finally go off of the norethindrone. Hooray for no more "fake" menopause and getting my estrogen levels back! You know you are over the hot flashes when you're looking forward to getting a period. Initially, he wanted me to go on a regular birth control pill (something with estrogen and progesterone) once I start cycling again, but I asked him if we could wait. After six months of nothing but hormones going into my body, I need a break. He agreed. Plus, both of us are curious to see what will happen with my cysts now that my prolactin is regulated and I'm going off of the progesterone. Will they return? Or have we solved the problem?

That's about all I have on the update front. I finally finished one of my big term papers this morning. Hopefully this means I'll have a little bit more time for blogging this week.

Friday, October 28, 2011

a public relations announcment

I haven't written too much lately because I've been drowning in school work. Remind me to never take three classes at once again - all of which have major final projects. But I need to take a break from writing a human resources evaluation of a library (fun!) to bitch for a moment.

It is an incredible honor to win a big blog award. As a result, I've met some great women, and I've had a chance to be a part of some truly meaningful initiatives. The downside to this is emails. I'm getting more emails about promoting people's events, services, and products than ever before.

Let me just say it: the answer is no.

Unless it's for RESOLVE or I am personally involved in the event/product/service, such as the event I posted about last week, no. I will not promote whatever it is you want me to promote on my site.

As the owner and writer of this shit show, I don't exactly feel like I need to explain why I refuse to post someone else's stuff here. But I will anyway - just for kicks:

Reason #1: I don't know you from Joe Schmoe. So how do I know that whatever it is you're trying to get me to post about is legit? I don't, and that is a pretty scary thought. The thing is, when I promote it, I am putting my name on it. I don't want to put my name on or near something that I know nothing about.

Reason #2: This is my personal space, and I write about very personal things here. It's one thing for me to post about a conference I organized or am speaking at. Because those are personal to me. They are a part of my life. Think of it this way: I wouldn't write about things that didn't concern me in my personal journal. Why would I write them here?

Reason #3... perhaps the biggest: I refuse to whore out my blog, or myself, based on this disease. I'm only going to participate in things if I feel as though they are going to benefit the infertility community and getting our concerns. That means you're never going to see me get paid to review a cookbook on this website. If that disappoints you, read another blog.

There you have it. I hope that was clear enough. If it's not, please sit back and read your email to me one more time. Then ask yourself, Does it have something to do with adoption or infertility advocacy? If not, trash it and save yourself the energy of clicking "send." That way, it saves me the energy of having to click "delete."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

one hurdle down

We are officially official, meaning we are home study approved!

It's hard to believe that, less than a year ago, we were announcing our intention to adopt. Now we are legally able to. We still have a long way to go: picking an agency, creating our profile, waiting, and more waiting. Not to mention the fact that I've started a new blog/website and Facebook page focused solely on our adoption (more on this soon). But the home study approval was a big step to overcome in this process.

It feels good to move forward.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

attention central floridians!

Mark your calendars for A Family of My Own Fertility & Adoption Conference. It's taking place on Saturday, November 12, 2011, from 9 am to 1 pm at The Westin Lake Mary located on 2974 International Parkway in Lake Mary, FL 32746. Admission is FREE! Register online today at www.AFamilyofMyOwn.com.

I will be there, manning the RESOLVE of Central Florida table and speaking to the attendees about our experience with infertility and my journey (so far) to adopt.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the truth about trying

Want to see something scary and exciting? It's my face on Redbook Magazine's website!

I'm happy to take part in "The Truth About Trying" - video campaign from Redbook Magazine and RESOLVE that seeks to end the silence about infertility. Click on the link above to learn more about the campaign, watch the videos, and upload a message of your own. My video is on the second row, the last video on the right-hand side.

A shout out to my friend Bucky, who filmed and edited my video for me. And a big thanks to Redbook Magazine and RESOLVE for letting me participate in this. It's truly a honor.

Monday, October 17, 2011

what you don't want to hear right after your home visit

"I don't know what's wrong with your car."

My car died last week. These types of things are inevitable when you have a car that's 10 years old and is sporting almost 140,000 miles. In fact, it died about a month ago, and I had to buy a replacement battery. Easy fix. So wait, why was it crapping out on me again in less than a month?

It died at work. Luckily, I carry jumper cables around with me for situations like this. We were able to get it running again. I drove it home, and Joey figured out that my parking lights were staying on (even when I had them on the "off" setting) - therefore killing the battery. He called our mechanic, who couldn't get to the car until Thursday night. We spent last week disconnecting and reconnecting the battery every time we turned the car off and on.

Fun.

I wasn't stressed about it because our mechanic didn't seem too stressed about it. He thought it would be an easy fix. And I mean he's the expert. The guy works at the Toyota dealership during the day (I have a Toyota). It's not like he's confused about what he's doing. So when he told us on Saturday night that he was stumped, I started to worry. That worry turned into full-fledged paranoia on Sunday when he said that he replaced some burnt wiring, but that it didn't fix the "weird electrical problem." You know it's bad when your mechanic has never seen anything like it.

And all I could think was THIS COULD NOT HAPPEN AT A WORSE TIME. Seriously. There's nothing like already being stressed about the affordability of adopting a child and then having to panic about the cost of car repairs - or worse, car REPLACEMENT - on top of that.

He managed to get the car working well enough so that we don't have to disconnect the battery every day, which was good to hear because we can't function with one car during the week, and he is taking it back next weekend to rip apart the wiring under the dashboard even further. He wouldn't even accept money from us for the work he'd done over the weekend.

There's not much I can do about the situation. I've told myself I won't worry about it again until he looks at it a second time. But I can't help but wonder when we will catch a break. It was the A/C that needed major repairs last month. Now it's my car. Bad things happen in 3s, right?

So . . . what's next?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

and... here we go

We will be home study approved in a couple of weeks.

!!!

The home visit was this morning, and it went well. It was a lot easier than I expected it to be. The only major concern she seemed to have was our budget. 25k is low in the grand scheme of things, since most adoptions average between 25k and 30k. It doesn't mean it can't happen. It just means we might be waiting a little longer, and that we need to be resourceful and protect ourselves with where we go and how our money is spent.

We have a lot to do from this point. We have a list of agencies, attorneys, and consultants to call and ask about pricing, procedures, etc. We need to decide who we are going to use. We have to start our profile. I'm a little overwhelmed, but mostly excited. This is what we've been working for, and it's finally here. I feel like I'm a race horse who has just been put into the starting gate and is waiting for the gunshot. There are so many unknowns. The best I can do is that hope everything falls into place.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

growing up is harder

There are days when I would give anything to be a kid again. To have no cares in the world. To never have to worry about responsibilities. To have nap time (!). To be fearless. To feel and see and believe in positive things.

When you're a kid, all you want in the world is to be an adult. You want to sit at the adult table during family gatherings, not at the kid table. You want to be included in the adult conversation. You want to stay up past 8:30, drink wine with dinner, and be able to drive yourself places. And then? You grow up. And you realize that the adult table can get kind of boring. All people talk about there is work, news, and politics. You realize that not much happens after 8:30 . . . if you can manage to stay away that late after a long day at the office. Wine with dinner makes you even more exhausted. And driving means gas, insurance, a car payment, and endless hours of navigating traffic.

You learn that the grass isn't always greener.

I think this will be one of the most fascinating parts about raising a child. Fascinating and difficult. I will understand the desire to want to grow up, but I will also know what lies ahead. How will I balance my desire to protect my child from all the bad things, the disappointments, while wanting him or her to remain innocent for as long as possible? Or will other kids - anxious to grow up too quickly - shatter that innocence before I have a chance to stop it?

A couple of weeks ago, a child in our neighborhood, age 10, called 911 and told police that a man tried to kidnap him from his school parking lot about a mile from where we live. For three hours, police on foot and in the air searched for the kidnapper while the neighborhood stood by and watched - a nervous wreck. Parents were standing outside with their kids, probably wondering the same thing I was: Would our quiet little neighborhood ever be the same? Would kids still be out in the streets riding their bikes and skateboards? Playing with sidewalk chalk? Walking to each other's houses? Running around in the field out back? Splashing in the pool?

But it was all a short-lived nightmare. The boy, confronted with surveillance video, admitted to having made up the story. Time to breathe a big sigh of relief, right?

Not for me. Yes, I was happy that there was no kid-snatcher. But it led to even more questions and worries. Why would a child make up such a story? Such an elaborate story, at that. He gave a full description of the man, even telling police officers about the lettering on the "kidnapper's" shirt. (He's lucky some poor guy wasn't picked up jogging or biking along the main road outside of our neighborhood for wearing a similar shirt.) He scared the living hell out of his parents and the rest of the parents in the neighborhood. And he forced those parents to, in turn, scare their children. A day later, the news stations reported that the boy lied about the kidnapping after a fight with his parents about his after-school plans.

It's hard being a kid. Not being able to do what you want. Having someone tell you how to act, where to go, and what to do. But growing up is harder. Thinking your kid was almost taken from you. Thinking someone else's kid was almost taken from them.

And wondering how you would handle that situation as a parent.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

ch-ch-ch-changes

I started grad school last August with the intention of taking my time and finishing when I could. Then November rolled around, and we decided to adopt. That's when I also made the decision to take as many courses as I could handle each semester in order to graduate as early as possible. This was so that I would be done or mostly done with school by the time we were matched AND so that I could ensure my next, better paying career as a librarian/information specialist would start sooner rather than later. I even chose - on top of taking three classes in the spring, two in the summer, and working full time - to volunteer at a library in my area for six months, just to have the experience to put on my resume.

My hard work paid off. I took a chance and applied for a librarian position at my current company. I knew it might be a long shot without having finished my degree yet, but I figured that being an internal candidate might at least get me an interview. It did. And I got the job. It's a big step for my career, and a nice little bump in my paycheck, too. Which, you know, never hurts when you're about to spend at least $20,000 adopting a child.

It was the good news and the change I needed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

when cancer takes a legend

I was going to write a post tonight about October and breast cancer awareness month. Seems ironic now considering that, less than two hours ago, I found out Steve Jobs passed away. He died at the age of 56 after battling pancreatic cancer.

We may never know how long he suffered from the disease. He had a Whipple procedure for a pancreatic tumor in 2004. Questions about his health swirled until stepped down as Apple's CEO back in August. Seven years. That's an incredibly long period of time for someone with pancreatic cancer to survive (if he's had it this entire time). The 5-year survival rate for someone with the lowest stage of pancreatic cancer? Just 37%. It is the 4th leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Unfortunately, cancer touches so many of us now. I'm not sure there is anyone in the world who can honestly say their life is unaffected by cancer.

There are not many people who can say their life was unaffected by Steve Jobs.

He was a visionary. I'm not sure there will ever be another person like him - someone with all the qualities of a true leader: passionate, intelligent, strategic, innovative, and now legendary. He was wealthy and likeable (to most). It's not often you see those two traits go hand-in-hand. No one can deny that he was a master of his craft, a craft that went beyond our beloved Macs, iPads, or iPhones. Steve Jobs changed the way we think of design, technology, education, business. He changed . . . everything. He was one of a kind.

And he was taken far too soon by a disease that, in 2011, should not be taking people anymore.

Rest in Peace, Steve Jobs. With everything you've left behind, I can assure you - you'll never be forgotten.

"Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

- Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, June 12, 2005

Sunday, October 2, 2011

all things adoption

First thing's first. Surprise! - Our paperwork is in and our home visit is scheduled for the morning of October 15. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't nervous. Not so much about the house. Those of you who know me well know that the house is always in order. I don't live or work well in chaos, so it's not the order of the house that makes me nervous. It's the going over every aspect of your life part that makes me nervous. I'm good at putting my thoughts on paper, but I sometimes get flustered trying to put my thoughts into words... that's the part that worries me. I'm sure it will be fine, but - naturally - I have to worry about something. That's just who I am.

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In the world of nursery furniture, our crib that we originally ordered from Wal-Mart and had to re-order at Babies R Us never arrived. Again. This forced me to accept that somewhere, someone just does not want me to have this particular crib. So on Saturday morning, I headed out on the Great American Crib Hunt for a white convertible crib that cost less than $200. And I found one! It was actually less expensive than the original crib we picked out, too. We bought it and brought it home today, and Joey is going to put it together this week.

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Aside from getting things together for the home visit, I've also been hard at work with my fellow RESOLVE volunteers to organize a big adoption event here in the Orlando area. Sadly, I just found out late last week that I won't be able to attend the event because I have a big presentation in one of my grad school classes (another part of my life that's been occupying most of my free time). But I hope that you can attend if you're in the Central Florida area. Here are the details:

When: Monday, October 10
Time: 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Where: Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, 9400 Turkey Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819
Cost: FREE

Join the Central Florida affiliate of RESOLVE as they host an exciting evening focusing on various aspects of adoption. This seminar offers valuable information for people considering adoption as a future option, those beginning to gather information, or those already on the path to adoption. Presenters include adoption professionals and adoptive parents.

For more information and to RSVP, please email resolveofcentralflorida@gmail.com.