Monday, October 29, 2007

Little Things

Wrapped up in referral dates, homestudy updates, and wondering when, when and more when?!! - I sometimes forget what it's all about.

Tonight, in my car driving home from picking up dinner, I got a reminder in the most unlikely of places. While I was waiting for the light to turn, a family standing on the street corner caught my eye. There was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about them - just a father and his two very young daughters waiting to cross the intersection.

As I watched, wondering to myself whether the girls were twins or not, an ordinary moment turned into one that warmed my heart. Responding to a tiny hand persistently tugging at his pant leg, the father reached down, picked up one of the little girls, and patiently held her up to the crossing light so that she could push the button. That finished, he gently set her down, scooped up her sister, and repeated the process all over again. Finally, the light turned, and the trio held hands, two sisters skipping on either side of a father clearly happy to just be out walking with his girls.

Sometimes it's the little things that restore your faith. Tonight was a reminder for me of what we are waiting for. And, a much needed lesson on appreciating the simple pleasures in life.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

One Year

It seems like it should feel like a monumental occasion. Maybe it is, and it just doesn't feel that way.

Today is the one year anniversary of our Log In Date. 365 days ago China acknowledged that we were on the list to become parents. How many days until that happens still remains anyone's guess.

So, instead of focusing on the long wait ahead, today I'm choosing to focus on what I've gained by waiting. Patience. A deepened sense of commitment. Perhaps most importantly, an unexpected gift - the dear friends I've made while waiting this wait. And for that, the 365 days have been worth it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Careless Wishing

Casual friends of ours are adopting. We went to the same doctor for treatment, so they felt safe in sharing that they'd recently entered the world of paperwork, guesswork, and referrals. Choosing to go the domestic adoption route, they submitted their personal profile about a month ago, and hunkered down to wait.

And wait they did. All of two weeks for a referral.

I offered congratulations, smiles, and best wishes towards their potential match, all the while thinking "woe is me."

Over the weekend, our friends' birthmom went into labor. They joyously packed up their suitcases, flew to another state, and again hunkered down to wait.

And wait they did. Until a few hours after they got there, the birthmom made the heartwrenching decision to parent her child.

I know another match will come around for them. I know that in time, they'll not hurt as much as they do today. Nonetheless, as I look around at all of my adoptive friends who've hit the wall lately and are trying to pick themselves back up, I'm left with what's sadly become a most familiar question - why does adoption have to be so damn hard?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Infertility Moments in Time

L. from my adoption group asked if I'd share my experience with infertility. I've been thinking about it for a few days, and I still don't know where to start.

On the surface, my history is marked with numbers - lots of numbers - all of them laden with possibilities:

11 treatment cycles
50+ appointments
6 physicians seen
3 biopsies
5 surgeries requiring general anesthesia
2 experimental treatments
365 days worth of twice daily injections
Out of pocket cost = tens of thousands of dollars
Insurance paid cost = hundreds of thousands of dollars
3 pregnancies
3 miscarriages

Perhaps it's about what happens when possibilities turn into improbabilities - becoming the 1% statistic detailed on the medicine packaging that everyone neglects to read:

30 nights in a hospital bed - 8 nights in an ICU bed
Internal bleeding
Clots, clots and more clots
Minor stroke
Major surgery

Maybe it's about the near death experience:

Yes, Dorothy, there is an Oz.

Maybe most importantly it's about this:

A well-respected reproductive endocrinologist responded to my note asking for one last consultation with a heartfelt note of her own, saying simply this: "Stop. You are lucky to still be alive."

Reading back over this so far - it's a fleeting snapshot - moments in time gone by. All this stuff above is what happened. But, I think for me - my infertility story is less about what happened, and more about how what happened changed me, in profound ways that are both good and bad, and are ultimately lasting and undeniable.

Those, my friend, are much, much harder to define. You asked me to share several days ago. I've been thinking about it - I still don't know where to start.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

DTC One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago, we were high-fiving each other at the Fed-Ex office, elated that we had made the 5:30 cut off for mailing out our dossier. How carefree that day seemed, how sure of ourselves we were that a child would soon be headed our direction...

What a difference a year makes.
365 days have passed, and our expectations have changed. Our outlooks have changed. Our patience level has changed. The one thing that hasn't changed is our desire to be parents. In 34 minutes, the clock will strike midnight here, and we'll embark upon another year of waiting. One down, two to go...