Entries from February 2009 ↓

a new vision of the future

i cried during my 2-mile run when the chorus for Heaven by the Wailin’ Jennys came on. The rest of the song doesn’t really apply to my situation so much, but check out this chorus:

It’s a long and rugged road
and we don’t now where it’s headed
But we know it’s going to get us where we’re going
And when we find what we’re looking for
we’ll drop these bags and search no more
‘Cuz it’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home
It’s going to feel like heaven when we’re home

bam. that’s exactly it. songs take on different meanings for me right now. in fact, LOTS of things take on different meanings. I’m taking a Young Adult Literature class right now and this past week, we had to read a book in which the main character is coming to terms with his homosexuality. I found a personal connection to this character because in the same way that he is in denial for the first half of the book and thinks that his life is just like everyone else’s, he slowly admits to himself that his future is going to look different than he’d assumed it would look. Or at least different than his parents thought it would look. And that’s where I’m at right now. I’m having to change the way I picture my future. I’m having to give up the assumption that my kids will look anything like me. I’m having to give up the assumption that I will ever be pregnant. And I’m still somewhat in denial. And that’s a difficult place to be. But the longer I sit with these ideas, and the more frequently I picture myself in a mixed-race family, the easier it gets and the more attractive the idea becomes. But right now, it’s still difficult.

one week later

It’s been a week (well, 8 days, really) since we got the news that our last IVF cycle didn’t work. I’ve spent the last 8 days voraciously reading adoption magazines (Adoptive Families and their website are great resources–thanks SB!) and having great conversations with J about his thoughts on adoption. I have so many worries and fears going into this and hearing that he doesn’t share those fears (for the most part) is very reassuring.

Here’s what I’m afraid of:

1. That it will take us another 3 years or more to adopt. I’m tired of waiting!
2. That we’ll get hurt again–by a birthmother changing her mind, perhaps?
3. That our kid won’t be as cute as my nephews.  (this is actually a fear of mine no matter how we end up building a family.  my nephews are pretty cute.)
4. That, especially if we adopt interracially, we’ll always be “on display” and have to answer questions (or worse–field racist or ignorant comments) and won’t be able to blend in and just be a regular family.
5. If we adopt interracially, do we live in a diverse enough community for them to feel that they can learn about their racial heritage? Find friends and other families that look like they do? Or will we need to move?

Here’s what I’m sad about:

1. I will never experience pregnancy or childbirth or breastfeeding–all things I’ve sort of dreamed about since I was a child.
2. I’ve always had a “poochy” tummy and now I’ll never have a good excuse for it.
3. My children will not look like me.

Here’s what excites me about adoption:

1. At the end of this process (however long it takes) there’s a pretty good chance that we WILL have a child to take home as our very own. The same cannot necessarily be said of medical infertility treatments.
2. I’ve always wanted to have the “first” SOMETHING. When my younger sister had her first son, I decided that maybe, even though I couldn’t have the first grandbaby, maybe I could have the first grandDAUGHTER. Well, we’re not interested in limiting our choices by gender (or race), but we would definitely be having the first adopted baby in either of our immediate families.
3. we DO have a teensy, weensy bit of control over the type of baby we choose to adopt and both of us, at this point, do not feel ready to parent a child with severe health issues. as adoptive parents, we actually have a little bit more choice in that regard than birth parents do.

So, I asked J what, if anything, scared him about adoption and after some thought, he said that pretty much the only thing that worried him was the prospect of getting our hopes dashed again–either by some beauracracy screw-up or a birthparent changing their mind, or something like that. Other than that, he has no worries. I love this man.

our story so far….

Fall 2005–We begin “not-trying-NOT-to-get-pregnant.” Having seen acquaintances in the past get so stressed out if they didn’t get pregnant right away, we thought we’d try sneaking up on it. That way, if it doesn’t work right away, no big deal. We weren’t really TRYing, after all. Also, I’d just gotten a new job, so maybe we shouldn’t get pregnant in the first 6 months anyway because then I wouldn’t have full FMLA rights yet.

Spring 2007–We get a little more intentional about things. We pay closer attention to timing, but still try not to get too stressed out about it. But life gets busy and sometimes we miss our window of opportunity.

Fall 2007–We begin using ovulation tests to be more certain that we’re doing this at the right time and to try to increase our chances.

Summer 2008–We finally go to see some fertility specialists. Tests are done. We both have “issues” but none are insurmountable. We discover our very great fortune in that our insurance actually covers IVF treatments and with that monetary hurdle out of the way, decide to proceed directly to IVF instead of fooling around with many more, less likely to succeed treatments.

Late Summer 2008–after many, many encounters with a needle, we undergo our first round of IVF. This first “fresh” cycle leaves us with 6 viable and healthy embryos (enough to freeze some for future attempts). Sadly, the first two embryos do not work.  (they transfer two embryos with each attempt.)

Fall 2008–We try our first “frozen” IVF cycle. The blood test results two weeks later show a low-ish beta number (but not the tragic “<5”), but the test was accidentally performed one day too early so … maybe? The second test, two days later, reveals that, in fact, the numbers have dropped, not increased. This cycle isn’t going to work either.

Winter 2009–We try our second (and last) “frozen” IVF cycle. No luck. Tired of needles and hormones and drugs and anxiety and dashed hopes, we’re beginning to more seriously consider adoption as a more “sure” way to build our family. Read along with us as we pick up the story at this point and let’s see where it takes us.

the blog name

when my sister was little, she often mispronounced words. even after we told her the correct pronunciation, she would still insist on using her own version of words. One of these words was “Rift Raft” which was her version of “Rough Draft.” In thinking about what I wanted to name this blog, I decided that I was tired of all of the “journey” analogies. I also, as a librarian and avid reader, often think of my life as a series of vignettes that combine to create my life story. This blog is all about the rough drafts that we’ve “written” while trying to grow from a couple into a family. Plus, I think the word “riftraft” is funny.