Jan 27, 2016

As Ready as We're Gonna Be - The Nursery is Finished

Yesterday, with two days to spare before her due date, I finally finished the nursery. We started kind of getting some ducks in a row for the nursery around this time last year after I found my color inspiration on Pinterest (below). I really loved the navy wall but really wanted a coral crib to put against it.

The Animal Print Shop Nursery Project
We had received a hand-me-down crib from one of our generous neighbors and were really excited to repaint it BUT, we effed up somewhere and ended up kind of ruining it... so, we went to IKEA and I was newly inspired by the kind of retro yet kind of modern SNIGLAR crib. We bought it, and Jamie put it together, and there it sat in our messy office/nursery-to-be for about another 10 months.

Then I spent months trying to find a changing table I liked. Most everything in my price range was dark, glossy wood which was not at all my style. Finally, after months of searching, I found the homie below on Craigslist for 50 bucks. It was then that I decided I'd pop my chalk paint cherry and get my DIY on. 

I don't know what brand furniture that is... & Renaissance Chalk Paint in Aegean Coral

Fast forward through digging out the office, finally painting the wall with the paint we purchased last spring, we finally have a nursery! I'm no interior designer, so I'm not even sure what words to use to describe the look I ended up with, but I'm happy with it. I like the mix of the geometric pieces like the mobile and the lamp with the more retro-inspired glider and changing table. 

Now we must impatiently wait for baby's arrival! (Yes, her name is plastered all over the nursery, but no, I'm not "announcing" it yet on the internet... though everyone pretty much already knows her name.) She'll be here any day now. Birthmother will be 40 weeks tomorrow. I'm taking her in for an ultrasound so that the doc can decide whether to continue waiting, induce, or if Baby is massive, schedule a c-section. I'm looking forward to seeing her on the screen again!

If ya wanna know where we got this stuff: (none of these are affiliate links-- I'm not that savvy)

Changing Dresser: Craiglist
Renaissance Chalk Paint: Amazon
Wall Paint: Glidden America's Cup Navy
Brightech Bijou Tripod Lamp: Amazon
Mobile: Lavender Kay Design - Etsy
Coral Frames: BYARUM - IKEA (painted with chalk paint!)
Some Things Take Time print: Congo Studio - Etsy
Hands Charcoal Drawing: My talented husband in high school art class
Little Castle Savvy Glider & Ottoman: Buy Buy Baby (not available online ANYWHERE that I can find)
Shaggy Rug: AmazonFaux Fur: Homegoods
Glider Pillow: Homegoods

Jan 12, 2016

We. Are. So. Close.

The cleanest part of the house after hosting a grown-up NYE Pajama Party.

How is it that we are already in the beginning of the second half of the second decade of the new millennium? How long until the "new millennium" isn't new anymore? Are we there, yet? 

I started this blog nearly 4 years ago when we first were ready to get serious with the fertility treatments. By then, we were already more than a couple years into trying to start a family, but hadn't started any treatments yet. We received our first bill for said treatments and suffered from a bit of sticker shock.

"Our new adventure just screeched to a halt. I was disappointed, but looking at it in a clear light. If the cost of this is overwhelming us, what will happen when the numbers roll in during and after having a baby? Are we ready for those costs? We knew we were ready to be parents, but we hadn't looked hard at the finances.

We sat on that thought for a while.

Then, we decided it would be worth it to at least move through the rest of the initial tests and procedures. If it can help us to know if we can have a baby ourselves or allow us to decide that adoption is a better choice, then it's worth it."

We did exactly that. Fertility treatments weren't for me and in December of 2013, we chose adoption. We were signed up with an adoption facilitator in July 2014, we finished our home study in January 2015, then finally, in August 2015, we were matched with an expectant mother. Fortunately and unfortunately, for different reasons, she was early on in her pregnancy. But now, a long and short five months later, she hasn't changed her mind and she's due some time between now and the end of the month.

It hasn't been an easy five months, but we've had a lot of support from those who love us. Between our AdoptTogether fundraising page and the most incredible fundraising party/silent auction that our good friends so graciously hosted for us, we've surpassed our goal which will help immensely with the cost of this adoption.

The star of our Cuban-themed fundraising party.

But guys, we are in the home stretch. I feel fortunate that we've been matched with someone who is close enough to where we live that I get to take her to her doctor's appointments, so we've been able to be involved in the pregnancy. She wants us in the room for labor and delivery and wants the baby to go directly to me. She's all-in, which has allowed me to get more comfortable with preparing for her arrival.

In my initial research before we were ever matched, many adoptive parents warned against buying more than just some necessities and gender-neutral items, against having a shower and decorating a nursery before baby comes home. I was all aboard that train. Even after we were matched and found out she was having a girl, I wanted to stick to neutral. I wasn't sure if I wanted to have a shower or a "welcome baby" party after we brought her home. It was all in mind for a just-in-case; just in case she changes her mind, we'd then not have all of these specific things and reminders, etc. But, as time passed we felt more and more assured by our match and eventually I succumbed to all things specific. We've bought clothes, had a shower, and I'm almost done with the nursery.

So now we wait and I continue to nest. The hospital bags are mostly packed and the car seat is in the car. We're ready for the call!

Sep 15, 2015

Closer to Expansion

Almost six weeks after receiving the call that we had been matched with a potential birth mother, I finally cried. The month prior had been a little hectic and surreal, so much so that I really had no way of connecting emotionally to the idea that we'd be (hopefully) bringing home a baby in just 5-ish months. Those weeks, and even the weeks and months to come, have been and will be spent building a relationship with our potential birth mother. There have been a number of high stress moments which I will not elaborate on in a public forum, but there have also been some really great connections between us and her.

We are fortunate in that she is only about an hour's drive away in good traffic. This has allowed us to meet with her on a number of occasions. She most recently invited us to her 20 week ultrasound. Jamie was unable to attend, but was eager for me to go along with her. I thought that maybe she had really just wanted a bit of moral support and a ride to the doctor, but when I texted her to see if she'd be comfortable with me being in the room for the ultrasound, she reassured me that that was the whole reason she had invited us. My heart warmed at this response.

I followed her into the dim room and parked myself in the Dad Chair, craning my neck a bit to watch the ultrasound on the just-slightly-too-high flat screen television hanging up in the corner of the room. The heart, the head, that's an arm, the spine looks so weird. A spin move and a profile view.

I cried.

It finally felt real.

Also, it's a girl.

She's not our girl until she's born and the papers are signed, but we are so in love with that ghostly ultrasound image.

Jamie and I are so thrilled to share this news with our friends and family. So many of you have provided us with an incredible amount of moral and emotional support over the years as we've endured this long journey in trying to get our family started, and for that we are so grateful.

Many of you, once it was announced that we had chosen to pursue adoption, mentioned wanting to contribute toward the cost. We really thought we could cover this ourselves, but now that we are in the thick of things, we fully realize that we were way wrong. In addition to planning a silent auction party in the coming months, we've decided to apply for a fundraising page on AdoptTogether.org.

So, humbly, we ask that if you feel so inclined to pitch in, please visit our fundraising page at the link below. Your donation is tax deductible! (Read the FAQs here.)


Aug 10, 2015

Say 'What' Again

I thought that after we finished our home study and had nothing productive left to do with regard to the adoption that I'd struggle with our wait to be matched with a potential birthmother. Truly, I think the worst part of trying to get pregnant was all of the waiting. It really was, simply put, two weeks of waiting to ovulate followed by two weeks of waiting to see if I was pregnant, on repeat for years on end. This time, however, the waiting was easy.

Jamie and I decided to pursue adoption in December of 2013, however, due to our being in the middle of buying new construction, we didn't sign on with our adoption facilitator until July of 2014. Then, we didn't even complete our profile book until late in the year, and didn't receive our home study approval until January of this year.

Now everything has been complete for a good six-ish months and the time has surprisingly flown by quite quickly. I really expected to live day by day agonizing over when we were going to get 'the call', but that hasn't been the case. Jamie and I have been using this waiting period to continue enjoying life as kidless folks. I've said this a number of times, but I think the difference here is that once we gave up fertility treatments and decided on adoption, our 'ifs' turned into 'whens'. There were so many unknowns for us while trying to get pregnant that we weren't ever really sure that it was going to happen. With adoption, we know that it will happen at some point. Maybe it would take more time and money and there's still a possibility of a bumpy road, but it can be made to happen. We no longer had to worry.

So the waiting wasn't a problem for us anymore. What started to bother me, though, was that we're often asked things like, "So what's going on with that?" or "Any news?". It's become exhausting for me to answer these questions and I've had an increasingly more difficult time trying to hide my annoyance with them. Those asking aren't prying; they're just people that we've shared our story with who are interested and curious, but I even began feeling annoyed toward our closest friends who really, deeply care and were just asking for an update.

Me, on the inside. Apologies if my inner Sam Jackson surfaced at all.

I feel badly for how annoyed I've become. It's just gotten really difficult to keep giving the same answer: no. With this wait, there's nothing to do and no news to be had. The only news that can come is the big news: the news that we've been matched with a potential birthmother. So, being asked about it was just a reminder to me that we still hadn't been picked. In summation, the wait wasn't an issue, but being regularly reminded of it was.

If you've read carefully thus far, you may have noticed an inconsistency in my writing. Have you found it? It happened pretty quickly, the way I switched from writing in present tense to past tense, much like how quickly the answer to that question changed.

"Any news?"


We've been matched and she's due in January!

(Story developing.)