Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Decision

Well, we've decided (for now) what path we'd like to take: domestic newborn. We will most likely have a trans-racial adoption, skin color being unimportant to us.

I've really been searching my heart, and as much as I love the Chinese, Russian and Guatemalan programs, and know several people who've created their families through them, I just feel that domestic is right for us this first time around. One of the biggest factors in our decision is that we'd really like to parent a child as early as possible in their development. Just once, we'd like to really experience what life is like with a newborn. Our subsequent adoptions (yes, we want more than one child!) will most likely go through the foster/adopt system, perhaps involving a sibling group. There is also the issue of travel. Neither Jake nor myself have the available time to fly to a foreign country for a week to a month, depending on a country. Both of our jobs offer a 2 week paid vacation, and we'd like to use that time (plus 4-6 weeks unpaid FMLA leave for me) as maternity leave to be home with our baby.

Guatemala was very closely considered, but with all of the Hague Treaty uncertainties, especially considering that we won't be able to even begin the paperwork process for another year or so, really put a damper on that decision.

You know how you read or hear of most people saying that they felt "drawn" to a particular program or country, or how they just knew it was "right"? Well, that's how domestic is for us. Hopefully the fact that we're open to adopting trans-racially will make our wait time shorter than those who wait for a Caucasian infant. I'm still afraid of the uncertainty of a failed placement, but the more discussions I have with those who have successfully adopted domestically, the better I feel. I'll also be looking for an agency that whose fees are good for as many times as it takes to do a placement, rather than pay for a failed placement, then have to pay again.

However, we are attending a seminar this Sunday by an agency we are considering, and their information could sway us to further contemplate our decision regarding international.

That brings up another issue: I am having THE WORST time finding adoption seminars in Oklahoma. I've tried Google, Ask.com, and even different agencies websites, but the closest I can find is in Texas (other than the one this Sunday, which is hosted by an agency out of TX). I don't mind going to a seminar in the DFW area, but I would want to make sure that the information they provided would be valid for Oklahoma as well. My friend, Wendy, suggested that I try RESOLVE, but you have to pay $55 to join, and I don't want to pony up that money just to see if there is a local meeting or seminar. Last time I heard, they didn't have an Oklahoma chapter anyway. If anyone out there has a membership, and could look up that info, and either email me or post it here? I'd really appreciate it.

One of the greatest things this adoption had brought about is an open discussion amongst family and friends about adoption. My BIL and SIL were asking us about the process, and telling us how they may someday adopt from China. My brother and SIL have also said that for their third child, they'd love to adopt, most likely from China as well. My brother, from a young age, has always said he'd love to have a Chinese daughter. I think it has something to do with a documentary he once saw about why babies are up for adoption in China, and it really touched his heart. Of course, most of you know that my parents are in the process of adopting a sibling group that they have fostered for almost 2 years now. So, adoption seems to be all in the family here!! I'm loving all the positive feedback and comments I've been receiving. With infertility, so many people are afraid to say anything, or just don't know what to say or ask, so it's refreshing to be able to openly discuss our family planning. Has anyone else had an equally rewarding experience?

As always, an advice or suggestions is appreciated! Thanks!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

I had my first adoption dream last night. It was brief, but wonderful.

I dreamt that we had adopted a bi-racial (Hispanic/CA) little girl as an infant, and my dream was taking place when she was 20 months old. I remember trying to wipe some chocolate off her face, and when I told her it was time for a bath, she said "No, Mama! No bath!" I just laughed and told her "Too bad, baby. You're getting one anyway."

I suppose somehow in my dream I knew that Jake and I were supposed to go away for a weekend-our first since our daughter's arrival into our lives. We were going to leave her with my mother, but as I was drying my daughter off, Jake came in the bathroom and said, "I don't think I can leave her." I looked at him, then our daughter and said, "I don't think I can, either."

It left me feeling so full of love and happiness. Just the idea of my child is enough to warm my heart. Our child is most likely not even conceived yet, however, s/he is alive and well within me-my mind and heart. I see children, and now, where there used to be bitterness that they weren't mine, there is now hope and joy, and the wonder whether my child will resemble them.

Just to feel positive, and yes, even alive again, is a feeling I wouldn't trade for the world. The only thing better than this will be when I'm holding my child in my arms for the first time.

To Whom It May Concern:

If you are the person who reached this blog via googling "dry hump pregnancy", thank you. I really needed a good laugh on a Monday morning.

Seriously though, what does dry humping during pregnancy have to do with my blog? I don't recall discussing this topic, do you? However, now that you ask, I say, just go for it. Obviously, it's too late to prevent a pregnancy, so why not just go for the full she-bang? The cow's already been let out of that barn, so there's no sense in closing the door now! Unless you're referring to something like "Can you get pregnant by dry humping?" Then, it depends. If there is ejaculation involved by the male, then there is always a slight possibility. If you want to avoid pregnancy, stay away from the sperm at all costs! This includes the pre-ejaculate. Don't let any of the "babyjuice" near your vagina! Thoroughly wash your/his hands after engaging in petting, but before allowing the boy to "pet" you. Unless, of course, you're infertile, then it doesn't really matter, does it? However, stranger things have happened, I mean, look at my friend Aimee-she got pregnant while using a condom-one that didn't break! So, kids, just remember: if you're willing to engage in sexual activity, you've got to be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.

And that's your Sex Ed lecture of the day! Carry on, now!

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Taken from The Aitch:

1. FIRST NAME? Natalee

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes. My first name is combination of letters from my mother's and grandmother's names, and my middle name is after my father.

3. LAST CRY? Yesterday, at the fair, when I was kicked off a ride, because my boobs were too big for the safety harness. Talk about embarrassment!

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? If I take my time, then yes. When I'm in a hurry, my scrawl is pretty illegable.


6. KIDS? None yet, but we hope to have one home within the next 2 years or so!

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? What kind of question is that? How much self-loathing do you have to have to not want to be friends with yourself? Anyway-sure, why not? Other people are!

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Just the blog.



11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Hell to the No!

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cookie Crisp, Corn Pops, Cocoa Pebbles, Raisen Bran


14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Nah, I'm a wuss.

15. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Strawberry-although my new obsession is coffee flavor

16. SHOE SIZE? 8.5-9

17. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I have a big mouth and speak before I think (I'm the same way, A!)


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm not wearing pants or shoes right now!!! Aiiiiiiiiiii!!!!!!!!!!! The visual!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I'm wearing my night-shirt people!)

20. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Gwen Stefani-Love, Angel, Music, Baby on my 'puter.


22. FAVORITE SMELL? Food cooking, my husband's scent, a baby's head.


24. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Dark eyes and hair-I'm a sucker for them, especially if the guy is skinny/athletic.

25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from A, and I loves her!

26. FAVORITE DRINK? non-alcoholic: sweet tea (I'm southern, people!); alcoholic: Vanilla Twist (Smirnoff Vanilla, Amaretto, and Bailey's Irish Cream-DeLish!)

27. FAVORITE SPORT? OU Sooners football; OKC Blazers Hockey

28. EYE COLOR? Blue

29. HAT SIZE. Dunno, I buy the adjustable hats.

30. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes, but I mostly wear my glasses now.

31. FAVORITE FOOD? Anything with carbs. Mostly of the Mexican, Italian, or Chinese variety.

32. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Happy endings-I'm a romatic sucker.


34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? White (hey, at least I'm wearing a shirt!)

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall or Spring.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Both please

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Does the word "chocolate" mean anything to you?

38.WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? 1776, Darcy & Elizabeth, and Secret Confessions of the Applewood PTA-simultaniously-I love to read.

39. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? A built-in gel wristpad.

40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV ? A documentary about the Secret Service on the National Geographic channel, Oh! and Mallrats on "On Demand" (I *heart* Kevin Smith movies)

41. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SOUNDS? My husband's voice, birds chirping, kids laughing.




Feel free to steal this from me! BUT, let me know that you did, so I can check out YOUR MeMe!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Have No Lid Upon My Head, But If I Did...

...you could look inside and see what's on my mind (Let You Down-Dave Matthews Band).

And what's on my mind is, of course, adoption.

I never realized how confusing and overwhelming just the decision making process would be! Domestic vs. International vs. Foster/Adopt. Infant or toddler? Singleton or sibling group? Which country? What about the Hague convention? Costs? Documentation?

All of these thoughts are racing willy-nilly through my head, spinning out of control. All that I do know for sure is that I'm ready to bring a child home and be a mom. It's the process of getting there that's hard. Not that I thought it would be easy, mind you. I just didn't think I would have such a hard time making the proper decisions. Which, honestly, is stupid considering this is, quite frankly, the BIGGEST decision I'll ever make in my life!

I've tried joining a few adoption groups on Yahoo, but they've really not been much help, especially considering how early I am in the process. Plus, there's the added burden of costs. We don't own a home that we could take out an equity loan on, and although there is the adoption tax credit, you still have to pony up the money yourself before you can even take the credit-money we don't have right now. I've looked into information about adoption fundrasiers, but a part of me is reluctant to participate. I can't even put a finger on why, especially since I pony up money all of the time for fundraisers for charity or for my co-worker's kids' school. I'm all about helping my fellow man, I just get all squicky when it comes to asking for help for myself. I suppose that comes from my independent nature. Plus, I feel like I have to "prove" something to myself and others by going it alone-I always have. Perhaps it's because I was raised by a mother who has always been co-dependent and relied heavily on the system to help her provide for her children (thanks to my drunk-ass father who never felt the need to support his family-but enough about my "daddy" issues), or just some part of my personality that always makes me reluctant to ask for help. I've been on my own since I was 17, and have tried my damnedest not to rely on others (besides Jake, for obvious reasons) to make it through life. I don't think it is necessarily a bad trait to have, in fact, I hope my children are just as independent in nature as Jake and I are.

Anyway, back to my dilemma. Obviously I'm sending up many wishes for Jake to secure a better paying job; one that would allow us to buy a home and afford the costs associated with adoption, but every day that passes by, the more impatient I become (patience is not one of my virtues), but here is what I do know so far:

1. I really, really, really, really, want to adopt an infant or baby. But really, an infant. I know to some this may seem selfish, but I look at it this way: even though I cannot birth my children, I still want to be there for as many moments as possible after said birth. I would also love to name my own child, have a nursery, baby shower, etc.-all the things birth parents get to do. I don't have a problem with toddlers or small children either, because I love kids, but at least for my first child, I'd love to have a baby, just to experience all the "firsts" for myself. Which, pretty much leaves domestic infant or Guatemala for my adoption choices. There is a chance I could get an infant through the foster/adopt program, but it's not likely.

2. For international, I really love the idea of Guatemala or Russia, however, I'm really scared by what I'm reading in regards to the Hague Convention. Is this going to make international adoption more expensive? Or, will I not be able to adopt from those countries at all? Anyone?

3. I'm scared, people. Scared shitless. Scared that if we go domestic or foster/adopt that the birthparents will change their minds, or be able to get their child(ren) back. The idea of losing a child that I thought would be mine forever is the most frightening aspect of adopting. The fear of loss is also what kept me up at night in regards to IVF-the "what ifs" about miscarriage, bad embryos, implantation issues,etc, after going through all of those medical procedures that cost as much as adoption, is really part of what turned me off from IVF. While I know adoption is never easy, and that there is a chance of a failed placement, the odds of me actually coming home with a child are greater than those of IVF. Of course, the whole idea of birthparents not being around to change their minds is what appeals to me with international. It's not that I'm anti-birthparent, I'm just anti-having-my-heart-and-bank-account-broken-by-a-failed-placement.

4. If we end up going the domestic infant route, I know there is the question regarding open adoption. I feel that I would only be comfortable with sending letters and photos to the b-parents through a facilitator. I would also be open to receiving letters from the b-parents for my child to have when we all feel the time is right. I know myself (and Jake) well enough to know that we're not at all able to embrace 100% open adoption. However, I realize what a wonderful gift my child would be, what a tremendous sacrifice this is for the b-parents, and how someday, my child will be curious about their background; so I feel I could not deny my child and his/her birthparents the opportunity to know something about each other.

Do you see why I'm so confused?

For all of my friends out there in the blogosphere and internet who have adopted, how did you make these decisions? Why did you choose your particular path to adoption? If you're comfortable with sharing the info, how did/are you affording the costs involved? Please, share anything you can think of; I'm desperate here!

Thanks in advance!

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 Years Ago (A Memory)

This is so hard to type without tearing up-the memories of that day are as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday, and not 5 years ago.

On that beautiful morning, I was awoken by the sound of the phone ringing. Stumbling into the living room of our 1 bedroom apartment, I picked up the phone to hear my mother sobbing hysterically on the other end. Thinking something had happened to one of my grandparents, I asked what was wrong. I remember her choking out that planes had hit the World Trade Centers.....and the Pentagon. Terrorists were attacking America.

My heart dropped to my stomach. My husband's father and brother both worked in the Pentagon.

A low wail and the sounds of me screaming "NO! NO! Dear God NO!!" summoned Jake to my side. Knowing that there was no way I relate this life-altering information to my husband, I numbly handed the phone to him so that my mother could be the one to tell him that his father and brother could very well be injured or dead. I immediately clicked on the t.v., and the images of the Towers, with smoke pouring out of them will haunt me forever. (I still cannot view those images without bursting into tears.)

The full enormity of the situation was just starting to sink in, and we frantically tried to call his family, but all the lines were tied up. We sat and watched and waited to hear the news, all the while desperately watching for any view of the Pentagon where we could see where the planes had hit, because Jake knew where his father's office was located. I was pretty convinced that the side that was hit was not where his dad's office was, but that still was not reassuring. Especially since his brother (and friends he'd made while working there) could be anywhere on a tech call.

For over five hours we waited, still trying to get through on the line when, finally, after dialing for the millionth time, the phone rang and Jake's stepmother answered to give us the news we'd been waiting to hear: they were both ok. To say that we were elated does not even begin to describe what we felt that day.

Despite the horror of watching the Towers fall, and knowing how many people would lose their lives that day, we were overjoyed knowing that the loss would not be ours to bear. Our thoughts turned to our friends in DC and NY, thankfully, as we later found out, all of whom were ok as well. I know we are extraordinarily lucky-knowing as many people in those locations, and none of whom were lost. My heart still aches for those who were not as fortunate as we were.

Just a few months ago, Jake and I sat down and finally watched the made for t.v. movie/documentary about United 93. I had DVR'ed it on 9/11 last year, but could not bring myself to watch it at the time. We sat and watched, both of sobbing throughout most of the picture. We are both still greatly affected by the images and sounds of that fateful day. I wish I could find a way to have peace in my heart about it, but it's too hard right now, even five years later. This is the second act of terrorism I had lived through. As you may know, I live in Oklahoma City, and was supposed to be *in* the Murrah Building at 9 am when that bomb went off. 11 years later, I am still emotionally scarred. My office window looks out over the Memorial site. And while I'm more peaceful now than I was before about that time, it still bothers me when April 19th rolls around. Now, I have another date to add to my collective dread-September 11.

My heart and mind and loving thoughts are with all Americans today, especially those who suffered a loss in New York, Pennsylvania, and DC. You are forever in my heart....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Big Annoucement

Ok, deep breath, here goes:


Oh, sorry, too fast? Here it is again:


OMG, I'm so, so, so super psyched!! He and I had a nice conversation on Friday night about our plans for life, and where we wanted to be in the next couple of years when he dropped the bomb on me that YES, he was *FINALLY* ready for adoption!! I'm all teary-eyed thinking about it.

It's so crazy because he was the one who was the hold out for a biological child, but now he says he's really taken the time to think about it, and knows that biology isn't important, and he'll love an adopted child no differently than a biological one. He doesn't even care about race or if the child is an infant. I myself admit that I'd love to have an infant, only because I really want to experience raising a child from as close to birth as possible, since I won't be the one giving birth.

So, for now, we're still formulating our "adoption plan", but I'm thinking we'll either go foster/adopt (like my parents did with my sisters) or private domestic. The biggest restriction will be costs-as you all know, my broke self can't afford a super-expensive anything.

This is where you all come in. Please, if you know where I should look for research, what I should be doing, ANYTHING-please leave me a comment. I have no clue as to where to start. Mind you, we'd really like to buy a house first, because there is no way we have room for a child in our little 2 bedroom duplex that we currently reside in. So, I'm really looking at a 2 year time frame. However, just to be able to say "I'm adopting" out loud and to start to formulate those plans makes me feel so happy and excited-like I'm finally going to be a mom!!!!!

I haven't shared our news with family and friends yet (sorry if you're finding out by reading this), but we will soon. In fact, my brother, SIL and the kids are coming over for dinner tonight, and I plan to tell them then.

I feel like dancing around in circles, arms wide open, face up to the sun, laughing with joy!

I'M GOING TO BE A MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One of the ONLY Positive Things About Infertility and Childlessness Is:

Getting to sleep in and lie (lay?) around all weekend long. Even though I'd trade that privilege in a heartbeat to have a child of my own, I'm sure looking forward to it this weekend.

Seriously, I'm exhausted; and I think I'm coming down with a cold. Yuck.

Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm Meeeellllllllllllllllting!!!!

....but in a good way!!

I discovered the most fantastic thing this weekend-I've lost weight!! Although, I really can't tell by what the number on my scale says since that thing has been consistently unreliable (of course what do I expect from a $5 scale?).

However, yesterday, when I went to put on a pair of my (freshly washed) jeans, I didn't have to suck my gut in, nor did they feel tight anywhere!! For a big girl like myself, this is HUGE (pun intended)!! And then today, when putting on a pair of black cotton slacks that usually are a bit snug in the hip and butt area, they actually fit like they were supposed to!

*Sings* "Oh Happy Day, (oh happy day), Oh Happy Day, (oh happy day)"

I know the whole reason behind my miraculous transformation is my new 2nd job. You should see the sweat I work up while cleaning!! It's actually kind of gross-it's like someone has turned a faucet on at the top of my head, because it literally pours down my face. I've never been one to perspire in a delicate, lady-like fashion.

This is truly wonderful news for me, and goes right along with my "Thin by 30!!" campaign for myself. I've got 13 months, 3 weeks and 2 days to get down to a size 12 (my goal size). I've spent all of my 20's fat, and I'll be damned if I spend my 30's onward that way! I'm going to be healthy and good looking!!

In other news: as always, my 3 day weekend was entirely too short. Saturday, I attended by 10 year-old sister's birthday party, where we (me, my bf Aimee, and SIL) were supposed to give the girls "makeovers". Let me just say that I now see what everyone gets in a tizzy about when it comes to little girls looking up to celebrities like Britney Spears. My sister was imitating Britney while dancing to some of her songs, and I was shocked to see a 10 year old little girl move so provocatively. I wanted to lock her up until she was 18!!! I told that in no way should she EVER dance like that outside the house!! Needless to say, I had a bit of a "chat" with my mother about this, and she was just as concerned as I was. Poor kid, now she'll be lucky to get out of the house until she is 18. I spent Sunday with Aimee and her family at a bar-b-que at her Aunt's home. It was a nice gathering, and I felt right at home. We sang karaoke until 11, when we wrapped things up and went home. Monday was spent with my hubby (finally). We slept in, played video games (SimCity 4 for me, No-Limit Texas Hold 'em for him), then saw 2 movies at the theatre-something we haven't done in a couple of months. We saw: "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Talladega Nights: the Ballad of Ricky Bobby". "Little Miss Sunshine" was good, and I really enjoyed seeing Steve Carrell in a dramatic role. I have a soft spot for indies, and this one is worth seeing. "Talladega Nights" was just ok-Jake wanted to leave half-way through, but I made him stay. Unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of these comedies, the funniest parts are shown in the previews. I think it's definitely worth a rental, just not the full theatre price.

That's pretty much it for now! I'll try to post again sometime this week, but don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for a few days. I'm a busy, busy, gal! Hope your weekends were equally relaxing!