Sunday, July 21, 2013

Long time no see!

Forgive me for my long break away from blogging - its been, sheesh, almost two months? Anyways, I'm sorry for the lapse in updates for those of you who look forward to it over your morning cup of coffee. (Humor me - I like to pretend people read my blogs ;)  ) In my defense, Adam and I both have been incredibly busy. For a while we had six jobs between the two of us, that alone was enough to keep me away from the computer.

During this hectic hodgepodge of working and keeping days straight, our official home study came in the mail - we're all approved! We also realized that while we do really want to start a family, foster care and fostering to adopt, are not in the cards right now. This means I'll be digging out the paperwork for Catholic Charities and having our home study sent to them to decide if they want an addendum or not. Unfortunately, this is the part that makes me cringe. Through the foster care system, our home study was free so long as we went through their fostering course, which we did because we then had plans of fostering first. Catholic Charities, if they require an addendum, can charge us fees up to $2,500. When they match us, they require a placement fee of $13,000. This means we'll be jumping back on the fundraising trail soon - that's half of my student loan debt for four years!! Crazy right?

We've also been super busy because we've started the tear down of the parts of the house that we're going to do our way. The carpets have all been torn up to reveal pretty hardwood, albeit painted black and in dire need of stripping. The green wall paneling is starting to come down which revealed a clean slate for the most part in the foyer - gray sheet rock, and some awkward peachy colored stair halls, that have been partly covered up with a white textured wall paper.

Shortly after our anniversary, we also ended up coming home with a new furbaby - yes, we are insane. Please don't ask me why we did it, we just did. My only guess is that like many people who can't have their own children, we adopt. We just happen to have found a lot of reciprocal love in the four legged, tail wagging adoptees. Anyways, we found a beautiful Shar Pei mix at the pound and seeing as how our other two dogs loved her, she came home with us. She's finally starting to get along with the two cats and she's really fitting in. So far, he only downside to having adopted her, is that I appear to be allergic to her fur and I seem to be the one she wants to cuddle with. Oddly enough, her fur gives me hives. Oh well, you win some and you lose some right? 

Well, I need to go get some coffee. I will update with pictures later.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bad Blogger

I was thinking about all of the things I wanted to do today while the coffee was perking and I was taking care of dishes, and I realized, it's been a while since I blogged. Things have been super hectic, super crazy around here. I hardly have time to breathe anymore, much less blog regularly like I had intended. (This all seems very de-ja-vu to me right now.) Well, enough excuses. What has been going on down the street on Holland?

We have finished all of our adoption paperwork - The House of The Good Shepherd (a foster agency that helps with adoptions through our county) is just waiting on a reference to come back and then everything will be completed. Adam and I realized the other day that we have officially entered the waiting stretch of the game, and man is it hard!! Whoever said that the paperwork would be the worst part and that the waiting game would fly by was full of shit ... oh wait. That would be me. Duh.

So how have we been keeping busy, you might ask yourself. Right now, it's been a mish-mash of gardening, keeping the fur-babies well tuckered out, home improvement plans and Weightloss Weekend-ing - which I might add, I feel like I am failing miserably at. The scale refuses to budge in the right direction and my clothes are not getting any bigger. I've recently started calorie counting. I figure I'll drive myself nuts with this for a week or so and see if I can lose a pound or two. If it help's I'll keep slogging through it - if not, well, balls to that too.

On the upside of all of this, I feel like my black thumb is slowly turning green! The pink tulips I planted last year came up in out garden and look absolutely amazing until we had a crazy rainstorm about two weeks ago and pummeled half of them into pulp. I cut the rest of them and put them in a vase with some Soloman Seal, and it looked super pretty on the dining room table for about a week and a half. I even lucked out and the cats didn't try to eat my arrangement!

I'm not fabulous at flower arranging but I do love my flowers!

As I mentioned, we've also been toying with home improvement ideas. (Though I'll use the term improvement lightly!) When we bought our house, a lot of the walls and even the doors were painted this sea-foamy color green, which I kind of liked when we moved in, but is now driving me nuts - which pleases Adam immensely. Not the me going crazy part - just the part where I don't like it anymore, because he never did. We've got some plans to paint it a pretty blue called "Drizzle" by Sherwin Williams, and then rip up the carpeting on the stairs and play around with some tile back splashing on the stair fronts. 

 Smart Home 2013 Foyer 

We've also decided to move my office space down into the basement since there are plans in the *distant* future to finish that space off anyways, and we really want a third functional bedroom, especially for after we adopt. The idea of actually having a room guests (mostly Adam's closest friend, Eddy) can stay in when they visit is still really appealing. The downside right now is I'm having a hard time justifying spending any extra money on the basement when I really just want to save every dime for room decorating when we adopt and our child comes home. Needless to say I was feeling thrifty and kind of nuts not so long ago and convinced my youngest sister she really, really wanted to come help me paint down there and make it a bit more habitable. 

We started out with this...
... Please excuse my painting/crafting mess.

When we bought our house, this was immediately determined to be my new "studio" because there was a demand made on my part when Adam and I first got married - I wanted a kiln. When we were house hunting Adam remembered this and was kind enough to keep pointing out houses that could have a functional studio and room for a kiln in an extra building somewhere else on the property. He wanted a house with a kitchen neither of us were overly attached to so he could decimate it and rebuild it the way he wanted, and I wanted studio space. So I got this bad boy :) It was super darn in the basement because, well, it's a basement. Duh. So Patty and I rummaged around through the paint cans in the basement (gotta be thrifty and reuse what's left over - those dolla's gots to go to a nursery man!) and came up with a brighter color scheme for my studio. Because I'm a bit ecclectic, I didn't really care if it was a mix of color - it just needed to be brighter

And now it is.

We painted the walls a pale shade of buttery yellow and the shelves got something called "Quaint Village Green" that we've been lugging around with us since my first apartment in Ithaca. The built in table got several slaps of white, as did the window you can't really see on the left wall. Patty and I then decided, what the Hell? Here's some glitter - lets make the table sparkle - and blew it all over the white pain while it was still wet. There's not enough that it's crazy obnoxious, but just enough that it makes me crazy happy. To finish off the days worth of work, there was a roll of carpet padding under the basement stairs (Patty insisted it must have a body rolled up inside it when we first moved in) that was unrolled and flattened out in my office studio. I'll have to post some more pictures as we get everything moved downstairs and organized. I've got big plans for this baby!!

On that note, I think that's it for now. I've got some things I need to get done before Patty can be bribed with dinner, popcorn (yay her braces are gone!!) and a Grey's Anatomy marathon in exchanged for her witty sense of humor.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Actual Costs of Adopting

I know a lot of people are shocked by the actual cost of adoption - some people say that it's down right crazy. Adam and I quickly realized that we wouldn't be able to do it alone, and we really have no idea how some people do. Yay for them! Whoohooo!

We looked around at a lot of agencies and none of them really felt "right" to us so we always passed them by. You know when something just doesn't sit well in your gut and you move on? That's how all of he agencies have been for us. We heard some pretty good things about Catholic Charities and their adoption program so we made an appointment to check it out. (Thank you Eddy, for sicking by with us on this visit!) The good news about the whole orientation to the program was that they didn't charge for the initial orientation, and a lot of places do charge a few hundred dollars just to sit and talk, and before we left they gave us a breakdown of all of their costs. Not so good news? Adam and I just weren't feelin' it.

I still think that it is important to give everyone a breakdown of the costs that were shown to us though, just so that everyone can get an idea of what we are facing with this adoption. So grab your coffee and sit at a table if you think your jaw just might fall off.

Application Fee: $150
Home Study Fee: $2,500
Placement Fee*: $13,000
Searches: $50
Mileage outside of Oneida and Madison Counties: $0.50 per mile
Birth Certificate Fee: $20

*The Placement Fee is only for families with an income under $100,000 annually. If you make more than this, your placement fee is 13% of your annual household income. 

I also really feel the need to mention that our home study that is in the process of being completed won't be sufficient for Catholic Charities. They said that they would need to "make addendums" to ours and still charge for the home study. Cathlolic Charities is also in the lowest 25% quadrant when it comes to adoption fees when you base everything off of national rates, so for a lot of people, it's still a pretty good deal. For us, well, our heads are still spinning. 

Just in case you thought I was pulling your leg this morning ;)

Needless to say, it's more important than ever that our fundraising is a success, not only so that we can have a family, but so that we can help others become parents too. I can't stress it enough, if you can't donate monetarily to our fund, share your empty bottles, cans and leftover seeds with us. If you planted everything and just went to the recycling center, share your time with us at our fundraiser. If you have no free time this summer, spread the words! Share our blog, share our GoFundMe account, invite people to our event on Facebook. The bigger a success we can make this for us this year, the greater the chances are that we will be able to go bigger next year - think of all the families we could help with just a little more awareness!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Marvelous Mondays #43

Time for my first link party with Julie from This Gal Cooks!

I've been promising for a long time to let you know about our creative solutions to fast growing seedlings for our seedling sale, and seeing as the garlic was the first to need a new container, it only seems right that those little stinkers get to be featured on a DIY post! I'm basically going to turn this into a tutorial, because Adam and I have found that the more people who know what we've done, the more people want to do it themselves. Now if you plan on coming to our plant sale (and I really hope you do!) I'm begging you to hold out on doing this project yourself and come save these plants from me instead. Adam says, with good cause, that I could kill a cactus in a desert.

 I must admit, it's a pretty spiffy idea. I can't claim all the credit though - I did find a post on Pintrest (and I honestly cant remember where now, but the general idea is all over Google.) about how to get the top off of glass bottles and Adam came up with the original idea of putting the plants in. So I guess really, I'm just the biographer here.

First, you gotta have your garlic! Or, seeds. Or other started plants... you get my drift here. For our purposes, we've got garlic. Separate your cloves but don't cut anything! We take the skins off, just because I've found otherwise you run the risk of the skins molding as the plants grow. Apparently that's OK, but I've go a thing against mold. Yucky. 

Now for the fun part. You've got to have an empty glass bottle. Adam worked at a cafe for a while that allowed people to bring in their own wine, and I had him bring home all the bottles for a different project. This one became a bit more important simply because the garlic was starting to get root bound in their little plastic Jiffy pots and no longer fit in their plastic green houses, which in turn caused problems for other, slower growing plants that the cats seemed to think were super tasty. I'll make an actual tutorial complete with pictures for removing the tops another time, but I'll run through it all quick right now for a fair assessment. 

To remove the tops, you need yarn, acetone based nail polish remover, a full kitchen sink of cold water and a lighter, as well as the obvious bottle. Make sure the sink is full enough to submerge the bottle and fill a small bowl with the nail polish remover. We've found that the Equate brand works well, but the Up and Up brand is kind of sucky. It also has to be acetone based. Don't ask me why - I don't know. I just know it needs to be, which is fine because I was worried enough as it was about blowing up the kitchen and I didn't want to experiment outside of everyone elses parameters in my own space and run the risk of meeting the fire department. Anywho, tie off a circle of yarn thats big enough to go around the bottle where you want it to separate and then soak that in the polish remover and put it back on the bottle. My advice right here is to quickly wipe off and remover that may have dripped on the counter or down the bottle as well as on your hands. Light the string and tip the bottle so that the mouth is down and slowly rotate the bottle in circles, allowing the fire to fully circle it. Just before the fire extinguishes itself, submerge it in the water. You should hear a pop and a tinking sound, which will be the top popping off and the glass cooling. 

You can do this with any bottle, but again, we have wine bottles on hand here. 

You're going to need to sand down the new rim of the bottle at this point so you don't don't cut yourself. Any sandpaper sheet will do. It doesn't take too long - just make sure you do it over a garbage can or something to catch all of the glass dust and be careful not to breathe it in or run your eyes. (That could really put a damper on this whole project.)

Obviously the next part is the the last one - planting! We took our potting soil and mixed it with water in a plastic grocery bag first to make sure everything was well dampened. Because we didn't drill drainage holes in the bottles (that a whole other mess, I mean project, we really didn't wan to get into with our precious bottle planters.) we really wanted to make sure that the dirt was wet so the roots would be able to grow and sustain a happy plant. We filled the new container up about an inch or so shy of the top with our now wet potting soil and stuffed the garlic clove down in until it was halfway covered. Now the work it done! All it took after this is checking up on the container to make sure the top layer of soil was still damp and if it wasn't, a splash of water cured the problem. Because everything was dampened before hand, the rest of the dirt below the top layer stays that way and we don't need to worry too much. 


Happy planting! Please link back and let me know how your adventures have turned out!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weightloss Weekends!!

So I'm still working on this blogging pages thing - until I figure it out (where's my Geek Squad sister when I need her?!), check out my new tab on Weightloss Weekends for updates!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Excitement to the max!

So I'm super excited to say I can finally *officially* announce that we will be having our seedling drive at Sacred Heart and St Mary of Czestochowa Church in New York Mills!! Father Arthur is crazy excited for us and has been kind enough to offer us all the support in the world for our fundraiser. He and I are going to sit down sometime early next week and work on setting an exact date and time. He really wants to make sure that we've got our bases covered and that there is enough advertising for our event so we can get maximum exposure, so it may not be for a while yet. Rest assure that as soon as I know, you will know!

We also talked to him about making this an annual fundraiser, which he was really pleased with. Adam and I don't want this to be just about us - there is a bigger issue out there that needs addressing and we're determined to do our part. All too many families would love to adopt. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people say that they wish they had access to "that kind of money" and feel like they could never adopt because of the financial burden it places on people. Adam and I want to work with our church to make sure people know if they've got room in their hearts and homes for a child to be a part of their family through adoption, well, they can do it. This being said, it's super important to us to make sure this thing is a success this year. If we can make it work for us, we will make it work for other families too!

Also on that note, if anyone wants to help out with our fundraising shenanigans, please give us a shout. We need all of the able bodies we can get! We're also going to be needing Jiffy pots, clear plastic Solo-type cups, empty cans/bottles to transplant some of the faster growing plants into so if you have any laying around that you haven't already put to use and need to get rid of PLEASE let us know! There are rumors of a crazy Bingo game in the works for after the seedlings are all sold out and a raffle, as well as a spaghetti dinner so if you would like to help out or know of anyone who might want to donate an item or certificate for the Bingo game and raffle don't be shy!

I'll end my post for the day with some sprouts for everyone - look at those beans, man!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


So, instead of baby related news, my thoughts today have been totally preoccupied with the TV series House. I saw a post on Facebook that used Hugh Laurie in a political parody (yes, yes I really want to call it a parody - leave me 'lone!) and all I could think of was "Damn. I miss me some House!" Anyone else really, really wish they hadn't cancelled the show? Cause, I totally do. Now, my husband and I have turned into total Big Bang Theory nuts. But we'll leave Sheldon for another post .... "Penny... (knock, knock, knock) Penny... (knock, knock, knock) Penny... (knock, knock, knock)" Anyways, it's Lupus I tell ya! Lupus! It's always Lupus. Or something needing cortocosteroids. Or ... or ... I need House!!


(Previous images borrowed from )

Thursday, April 4, 2013


So I heard about Bloglovin, and I figured, sure, why not? I sit here, trying to work it all out while drinking my first morning cup of coffee and immediately decided either A) I'm just too stupid to figure everything out this early and I need more coffee, or B) Zoey is seriously distracting with her big brown eyes and floppy ears laying all over my lap and keyboard.

Morning everyone!

Needless to say, I get very little done when she gives me that look and her brother comes running to do the same. Lately she has been super crazy snuggly and, well, almost verging on needy at times. I still can't figure out if its her reaction to my being upset over last weeks appointments (more on that later) or if it's something else. Spring fever? I don't know. 

I digress. Back to this Bloglovin thing. About all I've got figured out is that I need to put a link to it here somewhere so I can "claim" my blog. I figure its about time I do something and possibly slack off more on Google's Blogger, seeing as how they "lost" all of my followed blogs. (How do you lose a link? Like, it's not even there anymore on my reading list. Seriously man?) So here goes, follow me on Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An exciting day ... hopefully

Today is the day. Not the day, but another day. Today I see two more orthopedics for my shoulder, and the day we actually go in with an idea of the problem. Needless to say, I'm just a little excited. Well, maybe a lot.

If they've actually got it right this time, that means we can fix it. If we can fix it, it means I'll actually be able to hold our kids while they grow up while I'm doing more than sitting on the couch or the floor, because I won't have to worry about my shoulder giving way! For someone like me who has had to hold my Godson like this for the past eight months, this is crazy super exciting!!

I can' tell you how much I'm looking forward to carrying car seats, lifting Baby in and out of the tub and their bed. How much just the simple act of carrying baby into the kitchen to make a bottle seems like an amazing feat right now, and that the idea that maybe one of these two doctors today will be able to fix it before Baby gets here makes me jump straight out of my skin. In a good way, obviously.

Wish me luck!

On a side note, we've got sprouts! More sprouts seemed to have just appeared over night and I'm so excited to show you pictures - I'm trying to hold off though until they're actually peeping through the dirt a bit more than just the very itty bitty rounded tops. But man, we've got sprouts! SPROUTS I tell ya!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bigger Plans

We all grew up hearing our parents and our older siblings tell us "life's not fair", or sometimes even "shit happens" in response to our complaints that something hasn't gone our way. I find that I reminding myself of that a lot these days. Some of our seedlings died and I'm not completely sure why, though I have my suspicions. We've tried super hard to have biological children for almost two years, and I've found in the past three days two more people have found themselves faced with their own happy surprises.

Life isn't fair. Shit does happen.

Don't get me wrong, I realize I have a lot of things to be grateful for in this life, and I am. I really and truly am. I've got parents and siblings who have always been there for me and supported me. I've got a husband who worships the ground I walk on and tells me every day how much he loves me. I've got four snuggly fur-babies that show me every day how much they love and need me. I've got friends in my corner cheering me on through every hurdle I experience. I've got a wonderful home, food in my fridge.

What more could I ask for with these two on the couch with me?

It's times like these when I struggle that I rely most on my friends and family to remind me to trust in His plans for myself and Adam. Today, I have to thank Chelsea for reminding me of that. She reminded me of Psalm 91:1
"You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the shelter of Shaddai"
In Chelseas words? "Just get in that secret place with him.. and just do that. He will keep you in his shadow ..and can't nothin get to you there!!!
I need to remind myself that sometimes the Big Man upstairs has bigger plans for us than the ones we have for ourselves. I think I'll be able to keep my sanity through all of this if I can just keep reminding myself of those words. Bigger plans... bigger plans.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Snow Day!

The past few days here have been so nice with it warming up and making me feel like spring is right around the corner. I kept thinking that we'd have our seedling sale in a few weeks, and when we did all of the bulbs I planted in our front garden last fall would be poking through the dirt.(Because, you know, its spring silly.) I can't wait to see how the flowers Adam and I picked out will look against our house. I really hope the people we bought it from didn't have any other bulbs planted there...

But no. Winter is still here no matter what the calendar tells us. Mother Nature slapped me in the face with it this morning when I woke up and took the dogs outside - there was so much snow I couldn't get off my back porch! Needless to say, I will not be going outside to do much of anything today. I had so many plans - the gym, some laundry, maybe taking a walk around our neighborhood and alternating dogs. I was even going to go outside and attempt to replace the boarder bricks the sellers stacked around the garden before they sold us the house last year.

This would be after the plow came by. See the vehicle coming down the street?
Yeah, he didn't make it up our tiny little hill.

I think Adam must silently be thanking the snow. He knows how active I like to stay and how much I really do love being outside. Since I hurt my shoulder at work, he likes to keep an eye on me while I pretend that I'm fully functional and make my feeble attempts to do everything I used to do. I told him last night I think that arthritis is beginning to set into the joint. I've hardly done anything at all the past few days (besides obvious tidying around the house and driving to work where I make every effort to only use my left arm so as not to aggravate the other) and the joint was so swollen and painful last night that I needed help to get dressed for the first time in a very long time. So, can I blame the man if he's at work, thanking God for sending him one more day that he doesn't need to worry about me outside? Not so much I'm thinking.

Thankfully, my pain management doctor thinks that he may have found the answer to the problem as well as a solution. His office got me all set up with an appointment to see two specialists next week. I'm hoping for some answers - I want to garden!!

Speaking of gardening, I think I've just figured out what I'll spend the day doing (as attempting to walk the dogs is no longer an option.). It seems like our garlic has outgrown it's little plastic pots we started it in. Expect to see them planted in something a bit more fun when you find them at the seedling drive!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Moving Forward

I'm sure many people saw the negative comment that was posted on my blog yesterday. I am sorry to say that I let that person affect me more than I should have - my husband pointed out that if they can be so negative and say such hurtful, untrue things in an effort to hinder our hopes and dreams they don't matter and I don't need this.

I deliberately left the comment there so that people can see what some adoptive parents are up against. Not everyone is as supportive as the people are who have been so kind and generous to help us. Not everyone is as welcoming and accepting of our decision as mine and my husband parents are. Adoptive parents face many challenges, some of which come from people who know no better than to lash out at people who are gifted with amazing things as we have been, and some of which come from pure ignorance about the circumstances surrounding one's choice to adopt.

My husband reminded me in the car last night what an ass I was being by letting these people ruin what should be an amazing and fun path in our lives. He told me if people can't be positive and supportive in our lives, then they don't deserve a place in our children's lives either. He reminded me that there can be no room for negativity or comments like the ones left yesterday in our children's lives, because we are going to do our best to make sure we raise happy and healthy kids. If we allow things like what has been going on these past few days to creep into our lives, they will cause great unhappiness in our children's lives, too.

As I watch my Godson run across my living room in his walker, chasing after Magnus and Zoey's tails and eating his Cherry-Vanilla yogurt puffs, my husbands words are cemented in my mind. I realize if he were my son, not my Godson, and this person had said these things around him, I would never allow them in my home again.

So why should I allow this to affect my family now? Aren't Zoey, Magnus, Spyro and Cynder my family? Isn't my husband my family? Shouldn't I keep the negativity away from them too? Shouldn't they be worth the same protection I would offer my child?

Because of this and the comments we have received over the past few weeks, all comments are subject to approval and moderation. Nothing will appear without prior approval. Negativity has no room in my home, my blog, my life.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Audacity of Some People

Last night my husband and I heard disturbing news from people we though were in our corner on this adoption journey. It was really actually very hurtful, and very uninformed.

When we started this journey, we expected to find some negative feedback, but never the kind that we heard last night. We never in our wildest dreams imagined that my disability, my ability or lack thereof to work, or my medical history would be a source of discomfort for people. We never in any of the dark recesses of our imaginations thought we would hear the words "If you can't afford to pay for a child you don't deserve to be parents and shouldn't be allowed. If you [worked harder] you would be able to buy a baby."

Besides setting the not so obvious fallacies of that paragraph straight, first and foremost: ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE NOT BOUGHT CHILDREN!! You do not buy a child. Buying children - buying people - is human trafficking. It is morally and ethically unconscionable, and highly illegal.

That being said, yes. I am "disabled". Yes, I currently work part time and yes I do wish I could contribute more than I currently do to our adoption fund. Unfortunately, being considered a disabled worker not too many places are willing to hire me for a second job, or even for a primary full time job, because the nature of my injury has not yet been fully identified and I am considered a liability on all fronts. Adam has been amazing enough to realize how much pain it causes me to be in this situation and has picked up a second job to cover the slack, and has encouraged me to keep this blog updated and to keep getting our fundraising off the ground. He says that as the future mommy, this aspect of the adoption can be my "job".

When the rest of my medical history got dragged into the fray my husband just about went ballistic. He was told by someone who had no true knowledge, that I was faking my Endo, I was faking my PCOS. That my tendons don't really tear when placed under the strain of excess weight, and the implication was laid bare: I probably just didn't want to get pregnant. If I let go of all of the "excuses" we could keep on trying and it would happen.

I don't think I have ever seen Adam so upset. He watches me struggle on a daily basis. He has been there, on more than one scary occasion, when a tendon has torn and I lose control of a limb, or when the weak tendons in my chest tear and I begin to turn blue because I'm having difficulty breathing. He sees every time the Endo begins to spread and it causes so much pain just to button my pants. He watches me lie in pain every month when a cyst ruptures on an ovary. He stands still in fear when I turn fast and stop because a cyst has twisted around my ovary. He is there at every appointment, waiting in the Ob/Gyn's office praying that I don't come out again saying I am being admitted for emergency surgery in six hours, or my life will be at stake. Every surgery he and my dad sit in the waiting room together, waiting to hear from the doctor about how "close" this one was. That thankfully, I still have all my improperly functioning pieces. He waits and hears the news that had I waited like I wanted to, I would have been a dead woman. Yes, he has heard those words from the surgeon. My cysts swell to the size of large grapefruit and in the process begin to strangle organs, and my husband sits here holding my hand through all of this.

Yet, some people have the audacity to say if I let go of the farce of these diseases, we will have a baby.

On a happier note, it seems like our home study went rather well. The woman loved our home and thought our fur-babies were adorable. She said the necessary paperwork will be completed and filed on their end within the next few weeks. Pretty soon the paperwork will be behind us, and we will just need to start writing out checks for filing fees, agency fees, and attorney fees.

I can't wait to see our baby for the first time, or to hold them in my arms. Just thinking about it makes me cry, in a good way. That day will be the most amazing, it just feels like it will take an eternity to get here. Baby, wherever you are, please just hold on a little longer. Mommy and Daddy are working very hard to come find you.

The Lumineers : Ho Hey

I belong with you, you belong with me 
You're my sweetheart.
I belong with you, you belong with me
You're my sweet. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pass or Fail?

I can't decide if I'm more excited or nervous right now, I just know I feel like I'm going to throw up - our Home Study is tomorrow at two!!

I'm so exited that this is *finally* happening! We're one step closer to finding our child and I'm legit bouncing off the walls. My husband woke me up at five thirty this morning so I could go to the gym, and I passed on going (which, with all of this energy I now regret.). I've pretty much been up since then, only falling back asleep for a very brief section of time. I feel like I've slept for days!

No, I feel like I did in Sophomore year at college when a good friend of mine, Laurissa, and I stayed up for three days straight cramming for finals and making sure our sketchbooks were ready for all of our art finals. On that last day when my dad got to the school to get me, I hadn't slept in more than two hours and was starting to hallucinate big colorful circles spinning around my walls. I had drank so much coffee and double bagged cups of tea, eaten more chocolate covered espresso beans than I care to admit, and one giant (probably close to two pounds) hunk of Godiva chocolate that was swiped from a dessert table the day before at dinner in the dining hall. Man, was I wired!! He got me home and I crashed straight into my bed for the next sixteen hours. All I can remember is my two little sisters taking turns knocking on my door, their soft little voices asking "Chrissy? Are you awake yet? Are you ready to get up? We missed you!" and me telling them I would be up in a "few more minutes".

I feel like that, except the sleepy part. I'm just so freaking excited!

But then, I slow down and try to contain it. Then I get nervous. Is our home good enough? Are we good enough? We know the woman who is coming tomorrow, and she's very friendly and a super nice woman, but does she see flaws in us that she feels like we need to fix first before becoming parents? Will she think our dogs are too hyper active to have a child in our home? Will she like our neighborhood, or decide that the houses are too close together and that our yard is too tiny?

I'm so nervous. I'm so excited. Should I clean some more and get rid of this nervous energy? Maybe I could steam clean the carpet upstairs. I could go clean up the attic and the basement a bit more, I suppose. The dogs nose prints are all over the windows - they are constantly in the windows! Will she see them and think I don't clean? Or will she see them and see that we have good guard dogs who protect our home? Maybe the house is too clean. Maybe she'll think that we won't be able to deal with the messy lifestyle kids come with.

I know worrying will only get me so far, but at this point I just can't help it. It's so close! Just over twenty four hours away now. I know I probably won't sleep tonight, and I'm OK with that. There's enough that I can do to keep myself busy. I just need to keep those fears at bay until our home study falls into our hands like our report cards did back in school. That final note: Pass, or Fail?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pennies from Heaven

My husband and I met a friend for Chinese food today, and as I think back about our conversation from earlier about our Seedling Drive, I find that my fortune cookie is rather appropriate...

"Pennies from Heaven find their way to your doorstep this year!"

This morning my husband and I were talking about how and where to have our Seedling Drive, and I told him that I would like to talk about this to our priest this week. I'm *hoping and praying* that we will be able to have it at the church, and possibly a spaghetti dinner as well. I'm planning to have bucket loads of garlic bulbs, onion bulbs, herbs, and veggies to offer. I've already got twenty four cloves of garlic that have sprouted straight through their little green house roof! Needless to say, my husband doesn't really care where the drive take place, so long as we don't get stuck with tons and tons of seedlings - our tiny little yard just wouldn't be able to handle it!

Now back to the fortune cookie thing - it seems pretty fitting that I would get this fortune, pennies from Heaven, because really, all we are asking for is for people to donate spare change. Maybe what they would have spent at Dunkin Doughnuts or Starbucks on a cup of coffee. If they're feeling super generous, maybe they'd be willing to share with us what they would have spent on pizza and wings for dinner some night. Every time I see a donation pop up on our GoFundMe account it's like a little gift from heaven, a little penny that found it's way into our life so that we're just one step closer to finding our baby. I'm hoping maybe our Church Family will be able to help out, even just by helping us stay organized and functioning at the Seedling Drive and the dinner.

On that note, while the time and location are still TBA, I really hope I can count on everyone to be there, even if it's just to look at my green thumb (or lack there of!). If anyone wants to help out with our drive or wants to pre-volunteer to help at our spaghetti dinner feel free to leave a comment, message me or my husband, email one of us, call us, etc.

Here's some of the garlic sprouting already!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Funding and Expenses

We've been doing our research and some solid legwork these past few days, but through it all the lack of awareness still amazes me. I don't think, despite my efforts, people truly realize the expense related to adoption. I've heard a lot of comments since we started our journey that question why we're trying to adopt if we "can't afford" to pay the fees. Well, the same logic I guess could be applied to buying a house or a new car. Why bother buying it if you can't afford to pay for it outright? Hmm? Because it's stupid to even think that you could save up enough money to make such a large purchase and pay in cash. Why on earth do people think adoption is any different? A lot of people don't realize that adoption is so expensive that the majority of adoptive families can't do it without fundraisers, donations and grants. It's just possible.

Who has between $1,000 and $5,000 for a home-study to be completed? Or $15,000 for agency fees? Or another $5,000 -10,000 for attorneys fees? Let's not even discuss the thousands of dollars international adoptions require for visas, airfare, lodging and other untold expenses. Who has access to that kind of money?? We sure don't, and I've never heard of a non-celebrity adoptive family being able to do it.

On that note, Adam and I have discussed going through Catholic Charities for our adoption. Information has been requested from them and should arrive in the mail sometime next week. A close friend's brother was adopted, and their parents worked with Catholic Charities years and years ago to find their son. They have told us over and over that they had a wonderful experience and are such big advocates of Catholic Charities, because they help families who don't have access to those thousands of thousands of dollars. They do, or at least did a long time ago, work on a sliding scale to make it more accessible to the average American family.

I found out that they do things a little bit different than most agencies too. Instead of immediately placing a child with the adoptive family, they retain custody of the child for thirty days and then turn over the rights, because in NY, birth parents have a thirty day window to reclaim their rights and Catholic Charities has found that by holding onto the child for this window saves the families a lot of unneeded anxiety. 

Personally, I think this is amazing, and I am completely willing to give up those first few weeks to know that when we find our baby, no one and nothing can ever separate us.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


When you've finally come face to face with a friend or family members decision to adopt, it may be shocking to know, that if we haven't already told you we're infertile we probably don't want to talk about it. Sure, we know you're just trying to help and all, but would YOU want to talk about a bad oven, or maybe that your husband doesn't have Olympic swimmers? No. Of course you don't. No one does. It's one of those things that while it needs to be talked about, unless someone is incredibly open or has a really deep relationship with the person who's asking, it's uncomfortable at best. Painful at worst. It hurts to talk about it.

I can't even describe the pain I feel when someone asks "Why adoption? Have your own." How do I tell someone who is a casual acquaintance or a former co-worker  or whatever, that I can't, because the words most likely to follow are going to be a suggestion to see a specialist. This only leads to more pain, because, well, my infertility isn't something that can be fixed (at least with todays medicine) in a specialists office. Sure, there are gads and gads of medications they could give to me to try and fix the issue, but with my PCOS we run the crazy high risk of my ovaries blowing up like balloons at your kids last birthday party and strangulating. Now what good, I ask, could possibly come from that? A big, fat, nothing. You could say, hey, maybe it's your husband, not you. Sure, hypothetically that could be the issue. But again, suppose it is the case. Doctors STILL need to give me crazy medication to pop out a solid egg that they can surgically retrieve and manipulate his swimmers into. So, gonzo's to that one.

Another thing infertile couples run into more often than you would think, are the seemingly harmless statements of "God, my kids are driving me nuts," "If I knew what I know now, I wouldn't have kids," and the ever loving "Here, take my kid for a while. You'll change your mind." No, no and NO! Stop saying these things people!! Be grateful you can and did have children. You have amazing little miracles that love you to no end. Stop trying to pawn them off on people under the guise of "helping" with their need to care for a child. Stop saying you would undo it if you could. Stop telling us your kids make you crazy. You're complaining to the wrong people! These comments hurt us too, believe it or not. You're reminding us every time you say something like this that you don't want to deal with something we want more than anything and can't have.

I choose to be so open about everything my husband and I are going through, not for the sympathy, but for the awareness that it brings. When we created our GoFundMe account, we realized how much we were asking of people, and knew in our hearts that we would need to be open books when it came to our struggle. I keep writing, and probably upsetting a lot of people along the way, because if I don't, I find nasty comments from people who don't know us, like the comments a very close friend of mine received after he shared our link on a social networking site. Someone informed him that he shouldn't be sharing it because we were probably "scamming" people, and just trying to get "free money" from people. Things like this add so much fuel to fires that infertile couples and adoptive families try daily to extinguish. Adoption is so expensive if you choose not to deal with the constant headaches that foster-adopting offers. We aren't Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt. We can't afford to just write out a check and tell someone to get everything in order. We have to slog through things, doing things on our own, finding creative ways along the road to raise money for the processing fees associated with adopting. It's hard. It's a full time job. Without the generosity of family and friends, most people would never be able to afford adoption. I know we certainly wouldn't be able to any time in the near future, and probably not anytime within the next decade.

Moral and point of my rant? When you find a couple who has chosen the path of adoption, please, think twice before you open your mouths and try to be helpful and concerned. Just be the supportive friend who asks "What can I do for you?"

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sprouting Buds

Since finding creative ways to come up with enough money for our adoption has become my new baby, it seems only fitting that I spend the morning on my blog with my coffee. What could be better than spending your morning with fresh coffee and your baby? Oh yeah, you could be spending the morning with fresh coffee and your real, cooing baby.

While I was reading comments from adoptive families the other day, I read about a family who came up with all sorts of ways to help fund their adoption. I mean, they pulled out all the stops here. It was incredibly inspiring to me. I've never read a story where a family wanted to adopt and let the cost change their minds. I've determined that I will not be the first.

On this note, my husband and I wanted to start a seedling sale of sorts. All monies would be donations to our adoption fund, and not technically a sale. Since we're asking for people to help us out, we want peoples opinions on what seedlings they would be interested in raising. Flowers? Zinnias? Daisys? Do you want to see bulbs? Or do you want vegetables? Herbs?

Anyone have other fundraising ideas for us? Help me out here! I've got a baby to find!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Squishing of Bugs

From the moment we decide that we're ready to become parents, a nagging fear of inadequacy begins to bloom somewhere deep in the hidden recesses of our hearts and minds. The fear that we won't be good enough, won't be strong enough, won't be able to provide enough. As if that weren't bad enough, when we start to analyze this fear in an attempt to squash it like the creepy bug it is, we find this other fear. This new fear. A fear that somewhere along the lines we will mess our kids up. That we will somehow damage them beyond repair.

Sometimes I think that people who are able to carry their own children for those first nine months have it a little easier than those of us who struggle for years with infertility treatments or for those who plod slowly down the road to adoption. The people who are fortunate enough to carry their own children only have to wait nine months to figure out a way to squash that creepy little bug called Fear. The rest of us? Well, it's like a longer pregnancy than that of an elephant. Some of us have to wait years to kill that little monster. We wait years, year spent worrying that we won't be good parents. That we won't be enough for the children we want to raise, shape, mold. 

How do you deal with those fears when they have an indeterminate amount of time to fester, when there is no end in sight? Sometimes, the pregnant people have it easier. Sure, they get all of those pains from ligaments stretching, they get the stretch marks, and they get to see the scale continue to rise. But they get a definite date when they can stomp on that little monster and banish the fear of inadequacy from their homes for good. The people we keep company with, the "infertile ones", we don't get that. What do we get? the worlds longest pregnancies. The ones with no due dates. We get months that have a tendency to bleed into years worth of more than just one fear.

I look forward to the day when I can kill that bug, but in the meantime, this sucks.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank You

The support we have been shown so far since announcing our plans to adopt has been immediate, unconditional, and profound. It moves me more than I can say.

Nothing in this life is promised, or owed, to us. Nothing is certain. The only thing we can count on in this world, is that someday we will leave it just as we entered it. Vulnerable. Hopefully, we get to leave after spending many years here, surrounded by family and friends. But we will always leave this world vulnerable. When Adam and I announced our plans to adopt and began to ask for help with it, that was how we felt - vulnerable and defenseless. We opened ourselves up to a world of scrutiny with no promises that the criticisms we could look forward to receiving would be positive. I can say with all honesty, we are two incredibly lucky people.

So far, countless people have gone out of their way to share our Crowd-funding account across the board of social media. We've found our way onto Pintrest, Tumblr and Facebook. I'm sure Twitter is there somewhere too. Friends are speaking to coworkers, and others are getting in touch with foundations designed to help couples looking to adopt. Two of my closest friends from college even found room in their grad-school budgeting to be our first two donors.

All of this has left me speechless, and for everyone who knows me well, lack of the right words has never been a problem for me. The gratitude that I feel is immense, and no words are the right words for everything that I feel. If I said a single "thank you" to everyone who is taking the time to help us, every day for the rest of my life, it still would not be enough. I cannot wait for the day that we find our child and I can tell him or her every night about the amazing people who helped to bring them home to their mommy and daddy.

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Helping Hands

I have been told, on more than one occasion, that I am a very opinionated woman and I am OK with that. I was raised to speak my mind as tactfully as I can, and to speak the truth, again, with tact. It has come to my attention that some people feel my blog is very "in your face", and while I don't want to offend anyone, I believe I have the right to be as open and forward about infertility as I feel comfortable with. Not every has to agree with it, not everyone has to be alright with it. You don't even need to like the things I write, but they are my truths. Things I feel, and I feel that I have the right to throw it all out there if I so choose.

In the words of a truly amazing woman, one who has overcome infertility once and will again, when we discussed my "in your face" attitude on this matter, "Why not? That's how pregnant women are."

Reflection on her statement over the past few hours, some thoughts have become further cemented into my mind, or at least, the way they seem has become cemented. First, it's perfectly OK and even expected, for pregnant women to throw everything out there, every minute of every day, about their pregnancy. Maybe it's because pregnancy and growing a life is such an amazing and special thing, something special to be celebrated. The next thought that crossed my mind, is that no matter how much a pregnant woman complains or whines about how uncomfortable she is, no one in their right mind would dare to tell her to quit her bitching. Maybe we just fear her hormonal wrath or we're too afraid to make her more upset. I don't know. What I do know, is that these things do not apply to the infertile crowd.

We don't get to talk openly about our struggles to become pregnant, without fearing that someone is going to tell us to can it, because no one really cares. No one really wants to understand something as depressing as infertility, its something we hide away and take out to examine in the dark when no one else can see it. We don't get to complain about how uncomfortable we are with all of the testing we go through, all of the awkward questions about the things we do. No one wants to hear about our mood swings from the added hormones we take, or about all the excessive vomiting from the medications that happen to have the added side effects of helping the annovulatory to ovulate. (Glucophage anyone? Anyone? Vom.) When we do open up on those especially crappy days, we're more likely to hear something along the lines of "Buck up soldier. You knew what you were getting into." than something like "Aw, you know, that really sucks. Can I go get you some of that soup you like from that take out place down the street?"

No one likes a Debbie-downer, but really folks, is it too much to ask that when we want to puke our guts out you show us the same consideration you show the pregnant chick next to us? Even just a little bit of it? Don't we deserve some of that kindness, or is infertility just that scary to everyone?

We're scared, you know. Let's bring infertility out of the dark, and into the light. Help us through this. Don't leave us in the dark alone with our fears of never being mommy's.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Steps

You get to a point in your experiences with infertility when enough just feels like enough. Well, more than enough really. You feel like ripping your hair out until you look like a lunatic and screaming at the top of your lungs because nothing you've done has worked. You've charted your temperature and other things too gross to mention. You've stuck your feet up in the air for what seemed like hours, and tangoed until sitting seemed like a fate worse than death. Still, nothing works. Most people decide that it's time to go see and RE at this point, but, that's not really an option for us.

Yeah, sure, it would be nice. Go make an appointment, see the doctor, maybe s/he's got some magical advice, a magic drug, a magic procedure, and POOF! The Stork is at your door. Storks... who figured storks delivered babies anyways?

I digress.

Going to see an RE is not an option for us because of my defective oven. Nothing they do behind those closed doors is even in the ballpark of safe for my burners. Maybe it's my all too solid Catholic education coming back to haunt me, but I'm not sure that I would want to venture down that path even IF it were a viable option for us. I realize that it's right for some people, but we decided it just wasn't right for us. After a lot of soul searching and praying, we decided it was time to look at adoption options.

So this is where we stand now. Starting to fill out mounds of paperwork, having our lives dissected at every turn, inviting strangers into our home to pull apart every knick knack to make sure everything is baby safe. Oh, and don't forget smoke detectors. They have to make sure every floor and bedroom has smoke detectors. Even if you only have a one floor home with two bedrooms, you need three smoke detectors. The crazy things we do to become parents.

Now, now is the time to start squeezing every penny and to find funding for the crazy fees we'll need to pay to find our baby. Adopting here, in New York State, is insane. Between homestudy fees, lawyers fees, agency fees, you are looking at potentially upwards of forty thousand dollars. In NY, the birth parents also have the legal right to change their minds up to thirty days after your baby comes home to you, and nothing you do can stop them from taking your baby back. You are left with nothing. Nothing but a big, gaping, black hole and the knowledge that you now need to start all over if you can find the strength to do it all again. You find youself right back at square one, looking for thousands more dollars to find your second child, and praying that this one will stay home where they belong.

While discussing all of these things, my husband and I came across a crowdfunding website called GoFundMe, and several friends and family members told us they thought we should see if we could make it work for us and our journey through adoption. So if you are reading this, check it out. Copy the link and send it around to your friends and family for us. Take this trip with us, help us find our child.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sensitive ... Swipes?

Sure, everyone loves to hear your good news and to see your "bump" pictures, even when the "bump" is really just bad gas from that burrito you just had to have last night, and then share with the whole world that you threw back up. Don't get me wrong, we're happy for you. We really are. However, just because you are happy (and you should be) does not mean in anyway - shape or form - that we want to hear about your cravings, farts that gassed your husband out of bed at three in the morning, or that your pants don't fit anymore ... ALL the time. Because, lets face it. It hurts us. It hurts a lot. No matter what we say, do or how many happy smiles and thumbs up we give you, it still hurts because in our world this is you rubbing your success in our faces and reminding us daily that we don't function properly. You may not mean for it to come across like that, but that's how the message is being received.

Not only are our ovens broken or damaged in some way, but the radio tower that keeps us in tune to the world of baking around us is jacked up too. When it's supposed to receive the message that, oh say, you want to go shopping and need a pal to tell you if blue makes you look like you should go see Omar the Tent Maker for clothes from now on, that tower is really getting "Hey look at me! I'm too big to wear my size two's from Gap anymore, so come with me while I rub my belly button and get dreamy eyed over maternity pants that probably won't fit for another couple of months." Hear me out - it's not just broken one way. When we say things like "Sorry, I can't today" we are saying more than just "I can't go shopping today". We're really just at a loss on how to say that we really mean "Sorry, but I can't take the emotional drain of looking at everything I want and will probably never have, today". This is an honest case of "Its not you, it's me."

Sometimes our radio tower is really screwed up, and it gets that way, especially when too many buns start baking at once and all the messages come in together. It gets hard to keep things straight, like really hard. Crazy hard. Sometimes we say things that come across as really harsh sounding, or just cry for no apparent reason. Just know that there is a reason, and we just have a hard time verbalizing it. We're dealing with a huge loss here and every time we see what we're missing, it's like we re-experience that loss all over again. We're like Alzheimer's patients. It's a brand new pain all over again.

If we come across as catty, or bitchy, just take a careful swipe when you go all crazy-momma-bear on us - chances are good that you got a messed up radio signal from our jacked up towers. We're just hurting.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Be careful what you wish for

When I was a teenager I was told having my own kids someday would be difficult at best because I was struggling with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis and Hemorrhaging Ovarian Cysts. All I cared about when I was fifteen was making the pain and discomfort go away, so my reply to this was to tell my doctor to "take the sucker out", referring to the whole reproductive mess we discovered. Both my Gyn and my parents said they wouldn't do it because someday I would be an adult, and someday I would want little versions of me running around.

I fumed the whole way home and argued that my parent's knew nothing, I didn't want kids and I would never EVER want kids. They screamed. They pooped and puked. They ruined your life. My mom laughed and said to give it ten years and I would change my mind. A week later when another cyst began to hemorrhage, I told my dad it was his fault I was in so much pain, and to bugger off with his idea that I needed all my organs in their respective places.

It took a good six years before hormonal control methods stopped working to control the three diseases and I eventually needed surgery. Six months later, I needed another surgery. And one more two years after that, just because, you know, cysts the size of oranges on an organ the size of a pea aren't really a good thing to keep around. After my last surgery, my husband and I were hopeful that we would be able to have a family of our own, because true to moms word, after you grow up, kids don't seem quite so yucky anymore. Things change. People change. Ideas about our futures change.

Organs ravaged by hormonally caused diseases do not.