Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Four Years After the Miracle

Four years ago today, this happened...

After 9 years of "unexplainable infertility", to a mother over the age of 40, and after a devastating fetal diagnosis that miraculously disappeared four weeks before birth.  After all (Naprotechnology) medical interventions had been exhausted and we'd given up completely.

Miracles happen all around us, even to those of us who expect them the least.   Be on watch.   One just may be coming to you.  

Happy Birthday, little man.   And thank you, Jesus.   
I am humbled every time I look in these eyes. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Two Steps Forward -Three Steps Back

Things have been a bit up and down around here lately.   Where June went is beyond me.  July is proving to be just as much a mirage.  I debated about making this post a Quick Take but decided against it considering my track record lately of not being able to get anything posted in a timely fashion.  I had several items lined up for one more June Quick Takes but alas, it never made it into publish mode. In hindsight, it probably wouldn't have been much of a good read anyhow.  I mean, seriously, who wants to read about the varmints eating all my tomatoes and the laryngitis/chest cold virus that will not die and ran its course through every family member not just once but twice (poor Tom is still fighting it).   And then there was the funk that started the day I posted this after making a phone call to Catholic Charities (CC) to inquire about adopting in our new state.  The conversation was not encouraging.   At all.

So who cares about anything else that happened in June?  Not I.  Time to move on to July.

On July 1, despite a very discouraging conversation with CC, Tom and I completed the initial questionairre that they had sent us the week before when I inquired about adopting.   It was relatively simple and we had it completed and back in the mail to them (along with another check, of course) within 24 hours of receiving it.   I don't know why I felt the need to get it sent back so quickly, considering the fact that we'd been told that we couldn't even begin (begin!) the process of completing a home study with them until September.  Oh yeah, I know why.  It 's because we've ALREADY BEEN WAITING TO ADOPT FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AND WE'RE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER.  As in, if Tom and I get much older, we won't even qualify to adopt thanks to agency age limitations on who can adopt (something else I have an issue with but that is a post for another day).  

Okay, so maybe the all-caps are a bit extreme.  But I have been wanting to shout that for some time now.   

It seems that in Kentucky, we are required to take several hours of classes before we can complete the home study process.  And these classes aren't offered by CC until September and only after that do they complete the home study, which they said is about a six month process.   Six months!

I guess the point of the classes is to make sure that people understand what they're getting themselves into by making the decision to adopt and how to best handle various adoption situations.   I'm sure this is a great idea for people who are new to adopting, parenting, etc.   But what about people like us? This ain't exactly our first rodeo.   No exceptions, I was told.

Then there is the requirement that we must be state residents for a year before we can adopt.  Say what? Thankfully, we might be able to get a waiver on this requirement because we have had a residence in Kentucky for over a year (translation...we've been paying state taxes).  But what if we hadn't?   This is definitely one reason why it might be better to go with a national adoption agency rather than CC, even though the larger national agencies tend to be more expensive and have different philosophies regarding how adoption are handled.

I'm very frustrated that even though we had a current home study done by CC in Missouri, that we must start completely over with CC in another state.   I obviously don't know how it all works, but it just seems like one CC office would honor the other.   Instead, we might as well be completely changing adoption agencies.   

I get it.  I really do.  I know they are just doing their jobs and following the law.   It's just a bitter pill to swallow for couples like us who are older and who have already been through the adoption screening process.   Twice.  Now we have to take classes to learn what we've been experiencing for years?  The classes mean we have to make multiple trips to a city located two hours from where we live.  Not exactly convenient.  But convenience aside, it's the waiting until we can even begin the process that kills me because for the past sixteen months, we knew our phone could ring at anytime and we might become parents again. Now, we know the phone will not be ringing for at least six to eight more months.

Still, we know too that we want to go with CC.   Not only because we are Catholics, but because we appreciate their philosophy regarding how adoptions should be handled.   Our experience with them in the past was completely positive, and I'm sure that this one will be too.   I just wish it wasn't going to take. so. darn. long!

So, considering that's how July started, the name of the game for the rest of the month for me has been distraction, distraction, distraction.   I have been finding things to do as a family and trying to focus on making some happy memories.  We decorated a wagon and entered our town's first 4th of July Children's Parade (where we took first place overall!).  We've been picking blackberries (and have the chiggers to prove it). We watched fireworks from the back of a pick-up truck and stayed up way too late.

I've also had a house full of kids lately, as my two nephews and niece have been visiting.   It's a little taste of what my life might've looked like had infertility not entered the picture and it's kinda nice.   My niece, in particular, has been a real joy to have around.  I had forgotten just how delightful ten-year old girls can be!   She's old enough to be responsible but still young enough to not be embarrassed by playing with 3-year olds.   The boys absolutely adore her and follow her like she is the pied-piper and I've enjoyed having someone around who appreciates all things pink!   Watching as my boys interact so well with older children has also made me think more seriously, too, about adopting or fostering an older child.   Maybe God is telling us something.  

And...I started running and am three weeks into it.   Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am.  While in Missouri last month, I stayed with a friend who is a runner.  She didn't start running until she turned 50 and now she is running the occasional half-marathon and does short races almost weekly.  I think she is crazy.   Just kidding!   But having spent a week with her, and lamenting to her that I had no regular exercise routine anymore now that we have re-located to a town with no gyms, she encouraged me to try running.   So I did.   And I hated it.   But now, I think I am finding my groove and am almost looking forward to running in the mornings.   Almost.   Anyhow, it seems to really help reduce my anxiety and if I run in the morning, I feel much calmer through the day (plus I get to eat anything I want guilt-free!).  

That's about it.  I am praying right now for God to help me handle the impatience and frustration I am feeling inside.   As fast as this summer is passing, I know that soon enough, it will be September, and then we can hopefully begin yet again.  The year 2014 certainly seems to be about "starting over" for us.

In the meantime, I have one little miracle about to turn four and another little miracle who has a feast day coming up and both have requested "brown cake with lots of icing".     I have a niece who wants me to braid her hair and a nephew who wants me to play basketball with him.   And I have a husband who wants to sit on the back porch with me and listen to the wood thrushes as they sing their evening lullabies and bid us good night.

Thank God for daily distractions.