Mommies In The Making

I am Back

My last post was 7 months ago, in May, and to be honest, I have not thought much about this blog in the past 7 months. I really wanted to write a reflective post on Thanksgiving Day, as it marked the one year anniversary of getting a negative pregnancy test after our IVF cycle. It also marked the one year since we did anything related to fertility. As I write this I am amazed that it has been a year since we have looked at donors, worried about counts, had blood taken,  had a thousand doc appointments, charted days, examined fluid, and not  lived in two week time frames. If you notice that within the list of things I have not done in a year, I have left out two important TTC components: tears and worry. As many of you know, Violet and I removed ourselves from the TTC to get into another world that has it’s own list of pros/cons and acronyms. We have been approved foster parents since May 2011.

Since May we have been foster parents to 7 children. Yes, you read that number correctly and no, not all at the same time.  The children we have fostered have ranged in age from 5 months  to 11 years old. Currently, we are parents to an eleven year old girl, “K”,  a five-year old boy, “S”,and a three-year-old girl, “M”.

K (11-year-old) came to us on May 19th from another foster home. This February, she will have been in the foster care system for two years. She has three brothers that live in different foster homes. She actually was a student of mine when she came to live with us. She is kind, loving and beautiful. She is a pleasure to parent and also very trying at times. Being in a negative environment for most of her life has taught her many maladaptive behaviors that we are consistently battling against. She can make us laugh and pull out our hair  within the same minute. We love her greatly. She had been in a foster home for a year and a half when she came to us for  “just the weekend”. Since she came for the weekend, she has never left our home and that was seven months ago.  If all goes well, we will be adopting her sometime in the future. Her parents still have their rights, but there will be a hearing sometime this year for her parents rights to be terminated. It will probably be another year and a half to two years before the adoption goes through. We do not view her as a foster child, she is our daughter. She calls us Mim and Mimmy and refers to us as her moms. At times, I stop and think how weird it is that all of a sudden, I am a mother to  an eleven year old daughter.

“M” (3-year-old) and” S” (5-year-old) are  brother and sister and came to live with us on October 20th. They are darling,  fun and we immediately feel in love with them. It is hard not knowing how long they will be with us and we get more attached each day. It is a difficult place to be in, because we know that if their parents can get it together, it is in their best interest to be with their parents. However, we know that we can offer better parenting and opportunities that their parents are unable to or do not know how to. It is also difficult because we are attached to these little guys. We know that there is a relative that wants to take them as well. We do not know much, besides the fact that the relative lives with someone who may or may not have a green card and that would have to be sorted out before the kids go and live with the relative. We wait and see and try to love, parent and care for these children without attaching completely. It is hard.

As you can imagine, our life is packed full and immensely busy. I have grown as a parent and formed good and bad habits that I am working on. The children that have come into our home and been part of our lives have taught me so much about myself. I have learned that I am very motherly and tender, but do not have as much patience as I once believed. I have also learned that I am consistent, but often  too strict and need to give children more room for error and take a few minutes to breath before entering some situation.

Fostering has been so rewarding to us and put us situations and gave us memories that this time last year we did not know would be possible. At the same time, it is very heartbreaking and there is a great deal of waiting. We love these children as our own and try our best to get them ready for the world and the next stage in their life. My hearts melts when they spontaneously  come up to us in the middle of the day and say “I love you, Mim”. We wait to see if they will become part of our family forever or if they will return to their birth family. I must clarify that we know our role and support the parents in any way we can. However, some days it is hard because even though we want the parents to be able to have their children with them so that bond is not broken, there is still that yearning deep deep down that wants my family to be complete. We will mourn M and S when they leave and hope that their parents will allow us to be part of the their lives, but we will also relish in the fact that we were their safe haven during a dark and scary time.

Firsts

Our “firsts” this week is our first foster kid placement. We received a six year old girl, “S”, and an ten year old boy, “C”, on Monday. In short, it has been the most amazing experience. I will update with a long version on Wednesday.

Approved!

Our trainer called Thursday afternoon to let us know we are now approved and will be put on the Foster Parent List. Now we just sit and wait for the big call!!! I am trying my best to be patient because I realize it may take up to a few months until we get our first placement. Lets hope it does not take too long!!!

New Directions

I have not been posting. I have thought about it a lot and actually have a good deal of material that could have been typed out, but I just couldn’t seem to find  the energy to write words on this blog. In the next few weeks or months, this blog will evolve into something that I could not predict two years ago when I started it. There is a sadness and a feeling of new when I think about how this blog will be not about TTC, but about our journey through  fostering and adoption. The title is still sufficient. We are still in the process of becoming mommies, just not exactly how we dreamed of becoming mommies when we were little girls. Actually, not even when we dreamed when we began this journey two years ago.

 For the past eleven weeks we have been attending Foster/Adopt classes every Thursday night from 6-9. The whole process has been a really amazing experience with very special people and even more amazing instructor, who we are blessed enough to become friends with during this process.   

I am regretful that I did not use this space to document each class and special moments along the way.  But I guess it is not too late to start writing about it. At the beginning, we had to pick what track we are going to be on.  Kind of like when you are in high school and have to pick college, vocational school or work track.  We have chosen the foster to adopt track. Therefore, that means after our homestudies are written and we are officially approved, we could get a call  asking if we will accept a placemement. If we say, “Yes!”, then there will be children brought to our house a few hours later………….More to come later

NBNP

Olive, at Insert Metaphor, is welcoming a super cute, furry member to their family this week and wrote a post about something called NBNP—No Baby,New Pet. Back in September, we got hit with NBNP and bought our cat, Harlow. After our IVF cycle did not work at the end if November, I got hit with the NBNP bug again and  started immediately looking at adoptable dogs. A few days after Christmas we went to the Humane Society and left with a 11-week old Shepherd mix. My dad, asked me a few days later why we got her. All I could say is, “Well, if I can’t have a baby, then I will have a puppy.” Yep, was making all kinds of sense at that time.

Meet Carlie.

First week home

 

Sun Sleeper

18 Weeks

A Month

Today marks a month since we found out Violet was not pregnant from IVF. It has been a hard month filled with  lots of sadness and anger. As the month has gone on we are still incredibly sad about being IVF losers, but the pain has started to seep from the surface and join the collective pool of our TTC pain. I am glad it is not constantly on our minds and just a jab of pain when it crosses our minds.

We have thought a lot about what direction we are going to go towards and have decided on a big change. We have filled out the forms and will be attending a foster/adoption seminar in late January. We will star the ten week long foster/adoption courses in January. As an educator, I have seen some of my children taken from their homes and placed in foster care and I always feel enormous pain for these children. Going into foster care has to be one of the scariest things a child can experience and I want to provide a safe and loving home for children who have been given multiple blows through their short lives. Violet is very on board for adopting a child or two from the foster care system, but is slightly reluctant to foster because of the attachments that can be formed between foster child and foster parent. I am less worried about this than her but am aware of the heartbreak that could occur. So our plan is to attempt fostering at first with hopes to adopt, but if we get too attached and have a hard time when the children go back to their birth mother, then we will switch our preference to adoption only.  There are so many children in the foster care system that need forever families. Anyone have experience with this route before?

Even though I hope Violet and I can start building our family with the help of the foster care system, we have not given up hope that one of us could get pregnant and will start the TTC process with me (Peony) in the summer. I have gained some weight over the past few years which has caused some PCOS issues to arise, so I need to get that under control before throwing thousands of dollars a month at trying to get pregnant.

Lastly, we received the most wonderful ornaments and Christmas gifts from the ladies over at Insert Metaphor. The package came at the most wonderful time and really made our day. I will post pics as soon as I find our battery charger for our camera.

When the Dust Settles

That is when things gets especially hard.  Every negative test from Thanksgiving to Saturday was very hard. The test we took on Thanksgiving was incredibly hard to receive. Body hurting and deep crying hard.

At the same time, we were in a bit of shock and went straight into “planning mode”. I could not dwell on it, I had to make a plan so I would feel like we were still moving forward so that the pain from the failed IVF cycle could be semi avoided . Apparently this is how I cope when shitty things happen. Therefore,immediately after the blank white spaces started showing up,  we decided we were going to start focusing our energy on budgeting and losing weight. Because honestly, what are we going to be able to do know anyway in terms of TCC. Regardless, this helped and made me feel better because even though I was devastated, I could focus on what is coming in the future and not what crap is going on now.  

Now that the plan is set and the dust has settled, I am having spontaneous waves of deep, deep sadness. These feelings come out of the blue and only last for  a minute. I have never experienced such waves of hopelessness and sadness. I am just really, really sad feeling. Many times I will not even be thinking about how there is a very real chance that Violet and I will never have children when this deep sadness washes over me. Of course, it is always present when I think about not having a baby. I am actually a little concerned about the level of my sadness.

Thankful

I am thankful for my wonderful family. I am not thankful for the two negative hpts that we got this morning. This cycle is over. I am ready for Violet to start so we can completely move past this. I have no idea where this leaves us.

Settled

Thanks for your words of encouragement, they were all well received by me. In my brain I know that 7dp3dt  is so early and I should still keep out hope, but my emotions took over last night/this morning. This cycle has got me so anxious and freaked out.

I am off work today for the Thanksgiving holiday and decided to go  hang out with my god-daughter, Adelyn, and her mom.  Little Adelyn is  4 weeks old and so very sweet and precious. I think visiting Adelyn and her mommy was just what I needed today, it  renewed my hope. Plus it does not get much better than spending time with an old, dear friend, with a sleeping baby in my arms on a cold, wet November afternoon.

Lastly, awhile back I had promised  some pictures of our new cat, Harlow. I adore her.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and memorable moments.

I Did It

I talked Violet into testing last night at 10dpo/retrieval. It was negative. I laughed off the negative and told Violet that it was too early to test and that we shouldn’t have tested so early. I was not being completely honest with Violet, but I don’t want to worry her. Even though a big part of me knows that it is so early, but there is a strong nagging feeling that the result received last night will be the same in a few days. I have conceded to the negative.

As many before me, when we started this cycle I just did not really think that an IVF cycle would fail us. In my mind, it just had to work because this was our only chance at IVF. Unfortunately, that is not how life works.

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