We cleaned and cleaned on Sunday to prepare, knowing that they aren't going to do the white glove test, but I just couldn't relax with the house not in order. So, we did some organizing, dusting and cleaning. It looked great!
The visit went really well. We both liked the adoption social worker, and I felt that she liked us too (yay!). And that is really good, because she is the one that helps match us with a child. We spent about 2 hours with her on this visit. She went over the process from here on out, asked us some very personal questions about past relationships, why we want an infant (instead of an older child) and how we would feel about parenting an adopted child vs. biological child.
There will be 3 more visits in the next 3-4 weeks, and then we'll be licensed! It's looking like we'll be done around the middle to end of October.
Still trying to catch up with everything! It's weird being offline for a week. Our vacation was just what we needed.
We headed up to Victoria the first day. Took the ferry over and got there in time to check in at our hotel and head out for dinner. We ate at the BEST italian restaurant. They had the freshest pasta I've ever had. YUM. The next day we walked all over downtown. Checked out Chinatown and all the shops. They had an open market where we found some cute things and had some organic fudge. YUM again.
Then we drove North to Qualicum Beach. We stayed there for two nights. Looked around town, ate at one of my favorite breakfast places (Lefty's) and rented Kayaks. WE LOVE KAYAKING. It's something we've been meaning to try, but never got around to it. We're hooked now! SO FUN. After a couple days there we took the ferry from Nanaimo to Tsawwassen and drove up to Vancouver.
We had the most fabulous hotel in Vancouver with a kitchen, dining, living room and bedroom. On the 16th floor one street off of Robson (the shopping district). We walked an entire day in Vancouver, all the way from our hotel, over the bridge into Granville Island area. I'm not sure if it's actually an island - I need to look at a map. But they have the COOLEST public market ever. It's a 1000 times better than Pike's Place Market in Seattle. If we had a cooler, I'd have brought back a ton of fresh food. DOUBLE YUM. We also stumbled on a TV show filming on our way to the market. We watched for a little while, but I have to say, TV filming is REALLY BORING. They stand around 99% of the time waiting for everything to be ready.
Then we had 4 days at home and got a ton of little projects done! DH got a couple new light fixtures up, one in the "baby room". And I am almost done painting some trees and owls on the wall in there. It's looking really cute!!! I'll have to get some pictures up on Flickr soon.
We went to IKEA on Sunday and purchased our crib. It's our first real baby purchase! It's already set up. I just need to wash the sheets.
I've compiled a list, mostly in my head, of things that we are going to need. I thought I'd share it here. What do you think?
Crib & crib sheets Baby blankets Changing pad (we are putting it on top of a dresser) Diapers (we are going with cloth) Wipes (also cloth) Diaper bin w/liner Moby wrap Bottles & formula Car seat - I can't decide what to get. Still researching. Baby wash cloths Baby towel Kiddopotamus Variety of clothes up to 2 years (not sure what ages we will have) ETA: Swing!
I might have to add to this list, but this is what I could think of right now.
We turned our paperwork into DSHS a few weeks ago to get our foster parent license. Thanks to the speedy responses from all of our references (THANK YOU!) we are now waiting to get the call from our licensor to begin the homestudy process! Eeek!
Our intent is to foster infants and possibly toddlers that may become available for adoption. We are prepared for a rollercoaster ride as many of the little ones are (rightfully) reunited with their birthparent(s). But until then, we will be caring for the little sweet peas.
So, right now we are frantically trying to get ready for the homestudy, which means get ready to have a baby in the house. Not an easy task when you only have a couple weeks! We'll be doing some garage sales and shopping at 2nd hand stores. But...I'm trying to put together a list of must-have items for children under a year old.
For those of you that have/had little ones, do you have any suggestions, or things you couldn't live without?
My goodness. Yesterday was 104. I know in some parts of the world, it gets hotter than that, but not here. That's really, really hot. Most people don't have a/c in this area. Mostly because it never. gets. that. hot. here.
We've been trying various ways to stay cool. Cold showers, dips in the kiddie pool, sleeping in the tent, squirt bottles, shade, fans, etc. It's fun I tell ya! Fortuntely both of us have a/c at work, but then we come home and spend the entire evening trying to cool off. And the poor dogs! We toss them in the kiddie pool a couple times a day. They hate it, but it works.
It's supposed to start cooling down over the next week, I guess. I think today should be around 98. Still hot, but better than 104!
Poor Bebe had a little accident the night before last and scraped off the top layer of her beak on one side! Poor girl. We've been putting her in her "igloo" at night to keep her safe from raccoons and such, but apparently that won't work since she got her beak stuck underneath it! The only other option left is for her to sleep outside exposed.
So, we've decided to find her a better home with other ducks so that she can snuggle up with them to keep warm. Fortunately, a friend of ours knows someone that has a farm and often takes in injured animals and she was more than happy to take our Bebe. We'll be taking her out there on Friday. I'm really sad to see her go and will greatly miss her adorable quacking, but I'll be relieved for her to be in a safe place with other ducks & animals. I think it will be a great place for her.
She's still not walking, but is making slow progess. We're hoping she'll make a full recovery and have a good life in her new home.
Well, I decided to keep this blog up and see how it goes. I probably won't be posting very often - at least not for a while. I've taken down a lot of the more personal posts and won't be blogging about that anymore.
So...Moving on! We've been super busy getting moved into the house, which ended up happening the same weekend I had gallbladder surgery. Yuck! But Dave has been a trooper and did ALL.THE.WORK. while I recovered (thanks, honey!). We are almost settled and looking forward to having a little more free-time.
We got a duck! Her name is Bebe and she was rescued by our friend, Missy. She had been attacked my something and was in shock when Missy found her. The vet thinks she will make a full recovery and we are really hopeful that will be the case. She is getting really strong and could start walking again anytime! She's such a sweetie and the dogs get along with her really well. I posted a couple photos on Flickr if you are interested. :)
We are enjoying some lovely, warm weather and so glad summer is almost here!
There have been a few things lately that I've been really struggling with. Last week an online friend lost her baby at 25 weeks. It's her 3rd loss, but the furthest along. I am so sad for her and for her family. I just can't believe how cruel life can be sometimes. They've been trying for several years and dealing with IF. Then to get so close. It's just not fair.
Yesterday we had some more really bad news. A dear family friend who's been dealing with cancer just found out that the aggressive chemo and radiation, and surgery last week did not eliminate all the cancer from her body. It has spread to her lymph nodes. Apparently, they did the most aggressive treatment and only got 30% of the cancer. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the likelihood of her not being around much longer. She is so young and vital, and she is one of the most beautiful people (inside & out) that I know. It's just unbelievable.
I don't know how to reconcile these situations in my heart. They go against every belief that I have about being a good person and finding meaning in life. I don't even know where to begin. And I guess that I've been here for a while with our IF. But this certainly gives me a little perspective on what I am dealing with. I am holding my family a little closer today. And my heart is just broken.
When we decided to pursue foster to adopt at the end of November, I called and requested the application packet and we attended an info session to find out more about the process and requirements.
The packet is pretty intense and we are still trying to get organized with that. It’s a bit overwhelming. We have to complete a really long personal history form with lots of questions about how we were raised and our plans on raising children. This is what I am most struggling with. When you give birth to a child you don’t have to articulate all of your rules, how you will discipline, what values you plan to instill in them, etc. And especially not months before they are even born! And since we don’t already have children, it is very challenging to imagine how we will handle some things down the road.
Some other things that are required include a background check with finger printing, a TB test, fire evacuation plan and financial review. We had to take a 30 hour class, called PRIDE Pre-Service training and a CPR/First Aid class. Once all that is complete we can turn in our paperwork, which must be turned in all at once. I think we are still a couple months away from having that ready to go.
After the paperwork is complete they will do a home study where a licensure comes out to make sure we are in compliance with all the minimum requirements. These can vary depending on what age group we wanted to be licensed for. We are interested in infants, but would be willing to take a sibling up to 2 years old as well.
The class we just finished was the Pre-Service training. It is an intense 30 hour class that we took over 2 weekends. Our instructor was fabulous. He was a social worker for DCF prior to becoming a trainer. His knowledge on the system and the psychology of children that have abuse/neglect backgrounds was incredible. I could have listed to him for weeks. I’m hoping to take more classes with him in the future.
They covered a broad range of topics like anger/pain, grief, discipline, attachment, sexual abuse as well as prepared us for visitations and having relationships with birth parents. A lot of what was talked about in relation to behavior was invaluable and I couldn’t help but think that all parents should take a class like this. I could see on the faces of our classmates with children that they wished they had learned some of these things while their kids were young. So, I feel fortunate to have had this experience. I think it will help us if we are able to have bio-children too.
The thing that has most impressed me about this process so far is the amount of support in the foster-parent community. I always expected them to just through us to the wolves and we’d be on our own. But that’s really not the case. They encourage you to make friends with other foster-parents and have support groups that meet on a regular basis. They provide respite care to all foster-parents so they can take time off. And there are organizations that provide support in various forms. A very unique community and we are really looking forward to being a part of it.
I make things. At least I dream about making things. Usually that's about as far as it goes. But I've been meaning to share a couple mixed media pieces I made for loved ones this Christmas.
This one is for a family friend that is currently going through chemo and radiation treatments and soon, surgery to remove cancer on her lung. It's very serious and I just keep thinking about how scary that would be. How I would feel and what I would need to hear during such a difficult time. I keep coming back to one thing. Something that I struggle with on a daily basis... Hope. So, this was my gift to her. Hoping that it would comfort her just a little.
And this one I made for my Momma just because she's cute. :)
Hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are off to our foster parent class tomorrow. I'll give you a little more details on how all that is going, maybe next week.
I've been busy with all kinds of things lately. Trying to keep my mind off of which cycle day it is (CD 8 if you were curious). We are remodeling a bathroom right now and I'm in the process of picking tile, fixtures, etc. I am terrible at this. There are just too many choices. We spent all day on Saturday looking at tile for the shower and I couldn't make up my mind. We already have the floor tile. We used it in our kitchen previously. The house was built in 1952, and in keeping with the era I was kind of thinking white subway tiles. What do you think? If you have any examples of tile showers that you love, please send them my way!
Then on Sunday morning our car stopped running. Dave had to replace the power steering pump. We ended up not being able to get all the parts we needed in town and had to order one of them. So, we were out of a car until last night. I'm so happy that my husband is uber-capable. It's reassuring to know that he can handle whatever comes our way.
Now we are just waiting for this weekend when we finish up our last two PRIDE Pre-Service classes for foster care. I have yet to really get started on the mountain of paperwork involved. It's pretty daunting. We still have a little time though. There is one more class we have to take for CPR/First-Aid. Then things like TB tests, fingerprinting and that paperwork. One step at a time!
I'm heading into the RE's office on Monday for my follicle check. Hoping for some good news. This cycle is going by pretty fast, for which I am grateful. Probably because we are so busy.
How appropriate is it that on the Eve of Barack Obama's inaugaration, we are celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day? I love it. I love that today is Bush's last day. I love that tomorrow is a day I've been waiting for. I love that there is hope.
How totally unfair is that on the Eve of such a great day I am waiting on this cycle to come to an end? So unfair. All the hope I feel for my Country is tempered by my total lack of hope in my ability to get pregnant. I was pretty sure that this cycle wouldn't work. Right up until last Friday. Then my body totally started fucking with me and I thought, well..maybe. I waited until Saturday night and finally broke down and tested. BFN. I don't know why I let myself start to believe. It just makes it so much harder.
So, now I'm waiting to start another cycle. It should be any time now. Probably on to IUI #2.
After testing on Saturday night (and Sunday morning) it was really hard to sit through the second day of Pre-Service training (Foster Parent class). The class was really good though. We learned A LOT. Looking forward to finishing it up in another 2 weeks. Time to get to work on that application!
Well, I am off work today. Dave had to go in, so I'm trying to get some things done around the house. We haven't been home much lately and there's a lot to catch up on. Hopefully things are starting to calm down a little. It would be nice to have a less stressful cycle next time.
This marks my 100th post! I've been blogging for almost 2 years, so that isn't much of an accomplishment. But most of it has been in the last 6 months. Well, aside from that I don't know what to say about it, except maybe YAY BLOGGING! :)
We just got back from Arizona yesterday afternoon. After picking up the dogs and getting settled back in we were pretty tired and went to bed. I've been having some pretty bad stomach pain along with heartburn the last four days and it woke me up around 1:30 this morning. I couldn't take it anymore and Dave took me to the ER. We didn't get home until around 7am. It turns out that I have gallstones. I started to feel much better while at the hospital - it seems to come and go. They said they didn't need to operate right now and released me, but I'll be checking back in with my regular doctor next week. Hopefully the pain stays away. I've had a few episodes over the last 8 months or so, but never more than one night. Maybe stress brings it on!
There was a lot of flooding in the Olympia area while we were gone. The freeway was shut down South of here. (Evergreen, how did you guys do?) The roads that lead out to the dog sitter were only opened Friday morning. It was fortunate! I'm not sure we would have been able to get to the boys if they weren't. Everything was fine at our house. We live in such a great spot and never seem to have trouble with those kinds of things.
We're really glad to be home (even with the hospital visit!). Our trip was really good and the service was nice. We spent a lot of time with the family and going through LaNell's (Dave's Mom) leftover things. They needed to be divided up and the rest set aside for donation or sale. I know that was really hard for everyone. I was glad to be able to help in anyway I could. I'm going to miss her and wish that I had more time to get to know her better. I know she felt the same way. We had talked about that when we were down there the week before her passing. Although, I feel like I do after this week. Hearing all the memories shared really seems to have made me feel closer to her.
I've been meaning to post for a few days and let you know how things are going, but some things came up. We are flying back to Arizona tomorrow. My Mother-in-Law passed away on Friday morning. It was not totally unexpected because of her health, but happened a lot faster than anyone thought it would. Fortunately we were just there a week ago and were able to spend a good amount of time with her and let her know that we love her and hold good thoughts for her. She will be missed.
We decided to continue with our IUI since we were so close and then fly down for the memorial service this week. Our 2nd u/s was on Saturday morning. The sonographer told us that we had 1 follicle at 17.5. We're not sure what happened to the 2nd one, but one is better than none! Their typical protocol is to wait until it's at 18-20 and said we should come back on Monday for 3rd u/s and probably IUI on Tuesday. We told her about our situation and that we needed to fly down to Arizona on Monday or Tuesday and she told us to wait in the waiting room and she would talk to the doctor to see if there was anything they could do. The doctor said that we should go ahead and trigger. I was concerned about the egg being immature, but the sonographer said that they actually consider them mature at 15, but use 20 as a conservative guideline. I'm hoping that was the right call. They gave me a trigger shot and scheduled an appointment for the next morning (this morning).
The IUI went really well. DH's count was well above the minimum (yay!) and I had good CM. We are hopeful that it will have a good outcome despite the stress and schedule we are under.
Now, I need to go pack so we can get on a plane tomorrow morning!
Thomas Dekker: To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face; to greet the day with reverence for the opportunities it contains; to approach my work with a clean mind; to hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things, the ultimate purpose toward which I am working; to meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart; to be gentle, kind, and courteous through all the hours; to approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep and the joy that comes from work well done - this is how I desire to waste wisely my days.