Posted by: perchancetodream | April 30, 2010

Silent No More

I have a running list of things to blog about.  But those will wait for another day.

In the meantime, I urge everyone reading this to follow the link below.  As a project to promote National Infertility Awareness Week, which ends tomorrow, the ever-diligent Mel along with RESOLVE created Project IF – asking the question “What if all of the  “what ifs” about infertility were taken out of people’s hearts and placed on the screen?

I probably won’t get my IF post done by the deadline.  But I think that Keiko (aka Miriam) of Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed – who you might remember from our cross-pollination experiment – has summed it up for a lot of us.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

Posted by: perchancetodream | April 15, 2010

Weighing In

Because I know that a number of my “real life” readers have no experience with adoption and are coming on this journey alongside us and learning as we all go, I feel like I need to weigh in on the recent disrupted adoption of a little boy from Russia.  (If you’ve somehow missed this story, you can find more information here).

Adoption is not for the feint of heart.  It is a long, draining, expensive process that entails jumping through hoops without any certainty of what will happen.  I first have to say that I find it highly unlikely that anyone would put themselves through this unless they were serious about parenting a child.

I’m also certain that it is highly overwhelming for parents who have no experience parenting to suddenly try to parent a child who has spent their life in an institution – even more so than an infant and my new parent friends say THAT is surprisingly overwhelming to them even with 9 months of preparation.

THAT fear hits close to home.  I’m SURE that hubby and I, neither of who have parented or really even spent great deals of time with kids anytime in recent memory, will have our worlds turned completely upside down once we bring a child home.  And we’re all going to have to adjust to that.

But while I’ve read of parents suffering depression on par with the worst of postpartum  after bringing an adopted child home, and I’ve read of parents thinking of and fantasizing about disrupting their adoptions, I’ve never read of parents disrupting just because they felt overwhelmed by the act of parenting.

The adoptions I’ve read about that have been disrupted have been completely different.  You can get a feel for it in Welcome to My Brain’s post here. Even more so by reading the comments.  I’ve been lurking on a number of adoption listservs mostly because I have nothing to say at this point and everything to learn.  I’ve heard stories that made me feel sick and terrified – stories of children going after their adoptive parents with knives, torturing pets, sexually abusing their siblings.  And these are, in many cases, children way younger than you would think would be capable of these things.

I don’t understand what drove the woman in TN to put her adoptive son on a plane instead of going through channels with her agency (although current statistics say that 1% of adoptions are disrupted, I’ve yet to hear of an agency who have never had to disrupt one).  Perhaps we’ll never know the full story.  But instead of thinking of how awful it would be to give up your mouthy teen, or your 2 year old whose favorite word is “no”, think about how it would feel to fear for your life on a regular basis when all you wanted to do was to share your home and your life and your love with a child.

I’m not going into adoption thinking “well, if we get a kid with attitude, we’ll give it back” (in fact, given my personality and hubby’s, a little attitude would probably be a good thing!).  But neither do I have a saint complex (okay, not completely true but I HAVE learned that there are some problems you can’t solve regardless of how hard you try or what you do).  I don’t think any of us can judge in this case until we’ve been there.  And hopefully none of us will experience the fear and the pain that these parents have gone through before making what has to be one of the hardest decisions of their lives.

Posted by: perchancetodream | March 24, 2010

What The Governments Have Been Up To

As someone who spent a number of years after college without health insurance – and had those years be ones in which I was dealing with a number of expensive health issues – which caused debt that it took me a DECADE to get out of, I was in favor of Obama’s health care reform bill already.

I’m almost glad that I didn’t know that the extension of the adoption credit had been added into this bill because I would have ended up chewing the furniture waiting to see if it would pass.

For the past number of years, the $5,000 tax credit for adoption assistance had been increased.  For tax year 2009, it was $12,5000 and was credited against the tax that you were required to pay, based on your income.

That credit was due to expire.  In fact, no one seemed to be talking about it being added into the health care reform bill.  But low and behold…..not only has the credit been extended until the end of calendar year 2011, it has been INCREASED to $13,170 AND it is now refundable (from what I understand, this means that you would get the amount back even if you didn’t owe that amount in taxes to begin with).

Now it is unlikely that our adoption will be finalized by the end of 2011 (expenses for domestic adoptions can be claimed as spent but expenses for international adoptions can’t be claimed until the child is here in the US) but certainly this extension bodes better for there being a 2012 credit.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria has been busy too. This past week saw a major conference (more information available here) in Sofia called “Status and Perspectives of Intercountry Adoptions in Bulgaria”.  There are a number of bits of information that are being disseminated across various adoption forums but no official information has been released yet.  Suffice to say, that in the next few days we should have more information about the number of children currently available for adoption from Bulgaria, any new procedures, and the general status of things.

One of things that many families (including us) are waiting for is information on referrals of healthy children.  Most of the children we’ve seen referred have been special needs due to medical issues or age. And while we’ve been approved to adopt a child with mild special needs, we are hoping to adopt a child as health as possible.

My own agency has told me to contact them on Monday if we haven’t heard first because it’s possible that our own dossier was accepted during this conference.  It seems soon compared to the timelines we were given but it would be great to know that we’re finally on the rolls!

Posted by: perchancetodream | March 23, 2010

Forgotton Dreams


But I did wake to a startling revelation the other morning.

I completely forgot about the follistim in the fridge.  You know, that stash that I was going to use for my last ditch unmonitored cycle because hey, you never know and it wasn’t like I could give all of those half-used vials to anyone else so why not throw caution to the wind and…you never know.

After we stopped seeing our ineffective RE in January 2009, I wanted to get the drugs out of my system and just regroup.  By May we were knee-deep in preparation for our home study.

The question of what to do with the meds has come up (particularly when hubby can’t find room in the fridge for more beer and this case of stuff is just sitting there in the back).  And I always had a plan or rather…this month was never good but 2 months from now there were no h0lidays and it wasn’t anyone’s birthday and we weren’t going to be out of town on the crucial days and……

In the course of just living life I forgot all about it.

Waking up with that realization at first made me proud (“Look how adjusted you are to the fact that you’re adopting; you completely forgot to do this crazy thing of shooting yourself full of drugs – again – only this time without monitoring which was a crazy idea to begin with”).  Then it freaked me out (“What if that was your chance; your time to actually jog your follicles and have your biological baby…the one who would continue your lines co-mingled with hubby’s? And you just forgot????”).

And now….I don’t know.  The meds are out of date – most around 8 months so.  Perhaps they’d still be good.  Or do no damage.  Perhaps I’ve just been hanging on to them as a talisman of sorts because I still don’t find myself throwing them out.

I’ve thought of going through the trial of giving myself daily shots again.  This time with the added stress of no ultrasounds to make sure I’m not over(or under) doing it.  It is less than appealing.  I look at the calendar and see my trips out of town for work and for family visits and then our anniversary and…it would be July (coincidentally the 2 year anniversary of our one IVF try) before I could realistically do it.  The meds will be at least a year out of date and by then we should be registered to adopt in Bulgaria.

I want to be someone who can just chuck out the bag (although how to dispose of this stuff is another question all together) and feel cleansed.  I want to say that I’m so firmly committed to our adoption plans (those plans which took no real emotional adjustment for me because I’d always assumed that I’d go that route) that I no longer even care about having a biological child.

But instead I’m the person who has a bag taking up room where some pretty good beer could be.  Just in case she can convince herself to give it just one more go, if the calendars and the stars align.  And frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about being that person.

Posted by: perchancetodream | March 16, 2010

Family Tree

There are some things that have been stomping through my mind of late and Cali’s post at Creating Motherhood really brings it to a head.

I too have been watching parts of NBC’s new genealogy show. I’ve always been fascinated by genealogy even though I’m constantly frustrated with the impossibility of tracing my own Eastern European tree back through too many generations.

Thankfully a distant cousin has taken the reins of tracing my paternal grandmother’s tree back to her own grandparents (at last I looked).  But that leaves three sides of the family that I’m pretty much in the dark about.  And of course the line that’s always fascinated me the most is my paternal grandfather’s.  But since he never knew his birth date in Russia and chose July 4th when he moved here (“if it’s good enough for the country, it’s good enough for me!), my chances of finding out anything significant is pretty dim.

But what’s distressing me more about two different but similar issues.  (1) I’m the last of that line of the family.  My grandfather has a brother who had no biological children. My father has a brother who has no children.  I’m an only child. I’m infertile.

Throughout our struggle to get pregnant, I’ve felt frustrated but I was careful never to let my inability to bear children make me feel like a failure; certainly hubby never made me feel that way and I’m usually pretty good at focusing on the work at hand.

But when I think about the unnamed family members who came here from Russia to give their families a better life, even though, in the cases of my grandfather’s parents, it meant that they died quite young – I wonder if they would have done it knowing that they were only securing the futures of three generations.

I DO feel as though I’ve let those brave people down and I’m saddened by that in a way that I haven’t allowed myself to be sad for myself.

Which leads to me issue #2. As a prospective adoptive parent, where does that leave my child?

When I was ever-so-briefly pregnant in 2007, I bookmarked a beautiful family tree kit that I was going to buy. My miscarriage ended that.  And I find myself confused as to the appropriateness of buying one post-referral.  I’ve certainly seen adopted children on family trees so perhaps it’s just an adjustment in my own mind that needs to be made. I don’t think I’m going to feel like the child is any less ours than we would a biological child.  But what are the rules for a tree?

And what of our child?  Will she, coming from Bulgaria, feel a connection with my own Eastern European roots or hubby’s strong (and probably more traceable) Scottish ones?  Certainly, we’ll be sharing both sides of the family who have been wonderfully supportive throughout this entire process. But will she feel that the family trees are relevant to her? Would we need to try to trace her biological roots to avoid being posers in the world of genealogy?

If any of you have tackled this in one way or another, I’d love to hear about it.

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