Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Infertility Chronicles: Today is a very special day.

Tonight I have an orientation to the process of adoption. I have spent a lot of time poring over photos of children across the United States that need homes. There have been several that immediately resounded with me when I watched their videos or read their stories. I need to ask my Mom and Dad how they felt when starting this process with me and my younger sister. They didn't have access to the information I do now, but I imagine they were still nervous!

Everyone wants an infant, it seems. My heart cries for those children who are above the age of 8, when it seems that it's really a far-fetched idea to find a home and family. I see distance in some of their eyes, pain in others, and hope in most. Yes, it's a beautiful thing to bring an infant home, just as I was, and raise them from the beginning.

How is that fair to those who have survived in foster-care or even emergency children's shelters for years and years? Some of these children have had good experiences, however you can vividly see the need they have for a permanent home and permanent love from a permanent family. The more that I've searched, the more open I am to adopting an older child. They need a mom, too.

There are several steps to the adoption process here in California. First you have your informational/orientation meeting, as I'm attending this evening. Then you go through a formal application. This is the scary part, I think. It involves a full medical history, financial assessment, job history, references, and the list goes on.

After all of that, you have a home study. which includes (again) financial assessment, personal relationships, and a criminal background check. I will have to come up with my birth certificate, divorce papers, and several other official forms. This is probably the most intrusive part of the study, but I am willing to undergo this to give someone a home and lots of love. This is also the part that takes the longest.

After that, the agency will search for a child for you. This can take forever, depending on your specifications, and of course, what the child needs. As I will be applying as a single parent, this may take longer.

Then comes the initial meeting and chaperoned visits. If all of that goes well and everyone likes each other, then the child is placed into the home for a length of time, which is all supervised. If that works out well for everyone, then the adoption is finalized.


I can't tell you how nervous and excited I am. I'll update here when I have more information. :)


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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Infertility, Day Three

On Friday I learned from my OB/GYN that my AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) levels were <0.04.

This may not mean much to you, so let me explain....

AMH levels essentially tell you how many eggs/follicles you have left (or ovarian reserve, if you want to get fancy). There is a capsule surrounding your eggs which releases this hormone. As you can see on the chart on this website  , my levels are off-the-chart low.

Most of you were not aware of this, but I decided that I would start getting myself together so I could try to have a child.  I have worked hard to maintain my financial stability and have planned out, in the most obsessive fashion, a budget, potential timeline, insurance considerations, childcare considerations, school considerations, etc. Then it was left to physical testing and an appointment with my physician.

This is where the blood tests came in. Even though I have been healthy, my egg reserve has evidently gone the "powdered" route (lightly put by a coworker, and I was grateful for the laugh).

I have been referred to infertility specialists, and I do intend on following up with them once an appointment can be made. While initially heartbroken, and still hurting, I am going to go the distance here to make sure there is nothing else that can be done. I will have further blood testing done. Yes, I turn 40 in a few months. Yes, I am single. However, I have a beautiful support system in the form of my family, loving partner, and countless friends. I have found message boards online with other women who shed tears just as I have.

This morning I was cleaning my "creative chaos" and came upon the brochures for various methods of fertilization. This inspired yet another tearstorm, but also words. Lots of words, which I am writing here.

I am not sharing this for pity or sympathy or for my currently-pregnant friends not to speak to me about their joys. (Please don't stop sharing every little second, ladies, I am so full of love and joy for you.) I am sharing this because I have a feeling someone else, in the near future, may be where I am now and may  need to know they're not alone. I cried for the loss of a pregnancy I once had, and now I cry for the pregnancy that may never be. And this is okay.

I will also be joining a meeting next month for potential adoptive parents. It's always been a dream of mine to adopt a little one, much as I was adopted. If God decides to bring a child into my life in this manner, I will have been even more blessed. My mom told me the other day, "You have always gone after what you've wanted until you succeeded."

I'm sure I will write more about this journey. Thank you for listening, and a very special thank you to my family, friends, and amazing boyfriend who love me for me, and not for what I may or may not be able to produce. <3

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