Saturday, January 29, 2011


Today I have been on a cleaning rampage. You know the kind. You see a stack of papers and think "I need to organize those." Done. Then you open the fridge and think "Hmmm, that could use a little clean out" and suddenly every drawer is out and being sanitized and you're stabbing at things with Qtips. Is that just me?

At any rate, one area led to another area led to another area which eventually led to these built in cabinets we have in our kitchen. I don't open them up very often, they mostly just serve as storage.

I opened them up. And then I saw them.
The gold folders. The big binder. Oh yes, my entire infertility medical history.
Gold folders labeled: IVF #1, IVF #2, IVF #3--done at my local clinic. And then, the big giant white binder for CCRM.

I opened the gold folders. Inside were little scraps of paper with follicle sizes written down--that's how my RE did it, he wrote them quick on a little piece of scratch paper while the nurse transcribed them in the chart, then he'd give me the scratch paper. Afterwards I'd take that little piece of paper with me and pore over it, memorizing the numbers on it, comparing it to the previous report, meditating on them, pinning all my hopes and dreams on those little numbers written on those pieces of paper.

Also tucked into the pockets of those gold folders were the pictures of our transferred embryos.

You might think I'd get emotional seeing them. But strangely, not so much. Those are distant, distant memories now. Sure, I'm sad those embryos didn't make it. Of course. There were times I couldn't breathe because those embryos didn't make it. If loving them and believing in them and wanting them would have made it so then it would have been so. But everyone knows that simply isn't enough.

But now--now I have new pictures. Yes! Yes! We received several unexpected updated photos this week and my heart has grown one million times bigger with love for my two babies a world away. Oh how I wish I could share those pictures with you.

I tossed all of my infertility folders minus one giant summary file since it includes surgeries I've had. Yes, the embryo pictures were thrown out, too. Some might say that is crass but really, I don't want to hold onto pain. There is no need for pain now. I also happened upon a cache of no less than 1,000 syringes, needles, pen needles, and two bottles of PIO (??). Sheesh.

Into the trash, all of it. Relics of a past lifetime.

Where I used to pore over scraps of paper with follicle sizes, and cling tightly to pictures of little embryos now Mr. MTL and I sit and stare into the eyes of our babies, and look at their little bellies, and their beautiful brown skin, and their tiny baby hands, and oh yes, their tiny baby feet......

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Girlbomb

ETA: If the picture appears upside down, sorry- it looked OK on my computer at home! :)

Every once and a while a series of events happens and you feel lucky.

Three or four years ago someone gave me a copy of the book "Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir" which I immediately devoured. I adore memoirs--I think everyone has a story and a good writer can keep me spellbound with their own story often far better than someone spinning a fictional tale.

I looked up more information on the author, the fabulous Ms. Janice Erlbaum, and found she had a blog. On which I commented. As a fangirl. Gulp.

See, that's me, the fangirl. If I like something I want to let the artist know.

Ahhhh, little did I know my commenting led her to my blog.
At some point I sent her an email. We were going to visit New York City (what? us? there?) and I was sad she wasn't having any public readings. She responded, and to my fangirl shock, she asked me to lunch. Because she had been reading my blog. Double gulp.

The first lunch "date" is a blur but I am happy to say that while I'm still a huge fan of her writing, the more I've gotten to know her I'm now more a huge fan of her.

You know my feelings on volunteerism, right? That most people don't do it enough (myself included here) if at all, and I feel like everyone has something to give so they should find a place to get out and give it. Well Janice is a volunteer and mentor extraordinaire. She has dedicated herself to so many worthwhile projects and she really lives a life of abundant giving. She is also a great encourager--and since she teaches creative writing and is such a successful writer herself her encouragement of me and my writing has gone a long way. See? I'm still blogging :)  OK I know that doesn't 'count' officially but it's a start. A start.

So our past few trips to NYC we always manage to connect. Her amazing apartment is now one of my mental happy places. It is because of her I got to hear James Gandolfini reading poetry. Gah. But mostly, she's just one of those people I feel lucky to know.

When we met up this past trip I was brimming with news. The news. The pictures. Getting to share them with her in person only two days after getting them was one more part of the story that just makes the whole thing magical.

Sheesh I really sound like a gushing lunatic, don't I?

Her life has not been easy.  But she is an example of how you do not let life's circumstances--even when they are the absolute shittiest (pardon my French)--deter you from leading the beautiful, full, giving life you were meant to live. Her first book detailed her time in a homeless shelter as a young teenager and her second book Have You Found Her details her time of going back to same shelter to give and give and give. And then give some more.

Everyone has choices....we can be mired in our grief and the 'it's not fairs' and we can stay stuck--stuck and miserable-- or we can choose to keep living, keep moving forward, and even more than that, we can choose to live abundantly and joyously. Did I always do this in the midst of my pain? No, I'll be the first to admit. But everyone has a story, mine just happened to be an infertility story. And that chapter of my life--albeit a long one--is just that, a chapter. And it's done.

So I keep writing--both figuratively and literally--because while that chapter is finished, the next ones are still unfolding.

Thank you, Janice.

*and the rest of you peeps, please get yourself to a bookstore and buy her books.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


In more ways that one.

Is that a collective sigh of relief you hear? Because I hear it. We're now the Mr. and Mrs. MTLs (MyTwoLines in case you're confused) which has a much, much nicer ring than the LCs, no? It certainly does to our hearts and ears.

Not to say this has all been roses. If I hear one more person say "You know you what'll happen next right?" and then look at me with a michieveous grin. "You'll get pregnant!"


Thanks for that little piece of ridiculousness.

And this part of the waiting, can I just say it sucks with a capital S? When you finally cross over with the two lines from a pee stick you enter all new territory. Terrifying for so many people because of all the possible pitfalls. Suddenly they are exposed to all the new possible ways for

We've entered new territory, too.

Sometimes, it is too painful to think about the babies. Literally. They are not here. They are there. They are not in my arms. I am completely and utterly dependent on someone else (who cannot possibly love them as much as we do) to take care of them. To meet their needs.


Yes, yes, yes I knew this intellectually when we started down the road of international adoption. But that didn't mean I knew what I was in for, truly.Can you ever?

That's not to say we don't talk about them constantly. We do! We're debating names (oh boy, Mr. MTL has some seriously jacked ideas for baby boy names), we're talking work schedules, child care issues, feeding, we're reading, we're forum-posting, we're actively doing lots and lots of stuff. And it feels so good to be doing all of those things. But this waiting is hard. This lack of control is hard, especially for this control freak. What? You hadn't picked up on that?

For those of you who want to know the details, right now we are waiting for a court date in Ethiopia. We will be present at that court appointment. This is where it will be determined if the babies are truly available for adoption and if we are truly able to adopt them. Right now we're updating all of the required paperwork for that appointment. If some things had moved a little quicker we wouldn't need to be updating things but it's just the way it worked out. Let me say this: we have been fingerprinted more times than I could ever, ever imagine. Twice this week alone! I am anticipating the court date will be assigned in 5 months or so...yes, five.

After that court date we return home without the babies.

Talk about agonizing. I can't even go there yet.

Then we wait for a second travel assignment and Embassy date. We fly back to Ethiopia and do some more paperwork and then we are allowed to return home. As a full family. Time between the two trips? One month to three months.

Oh please let our paperwork move quickly, let the courts work quickly (they tend to shut down for things like: rain). Let our children be healthy. Right now we're trying to hire an outside doctor to go check on them but even that is difficult.

OK, I'm not going to think about the hard stuff. I'm just going to stare at our referral photos and smile. And smile and smile and smile.

And thank you, my wonderful wonderful blog buddies, for all your beautiful comments. I will treasure them forever and always.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Double Scoop

So you wanted to know the story?
The story started a long time ago, but you all know that. Some of you knew me as DAVS, and then the last 1.5 years as LastChance, the LCs.

We're not the LCs anymore. Because this new blog has nothing to do with last chances. It's all fresh and new and wonderful.

OK, I'll quit babbling and give you the scoop.

We went to NYC, not only because we love it there but because we needed a distraction. The news coming out of the US State Department regarding Ethiopian adoptions was/is not good. We were reading between the lines that there might be a shut down or a suspension. We talked about how if we could just get a referral maybe we could be grandfathered in even if there was a suspension but we just weren't sure. When we went home to see my parents before our trip we told my Mom to be prepared that it might not happen. It broke her heart but that was really what we were thinking.

Anyway, back in NYC. Day one we decided to go Macy's SANTALAND (!)  because we're huge David Sedaris fans and had just seen a production of his Santaland Diaries and it just seemed fun and silly and light. And even though most folks in line had kiddos to see Santa, we just pretended we belonged. After that we took this picture:

I think I made some dorky comment inside my head that I was still going to believe it would happen for us, some way, some how.

After that we went to the Gap.

Yes, the Gap.

(I know, how pedestrian. )

The Mr. wasn't feeling well so he was lounging on a basement level couch while I waited in an interminable line. When I walked back over to find the him he said he had a terrible signal and couldn't get his email on his Iphone3. Thinking my fancy schmancy Iphone 4 would do better I said "Let me see if mine will get a signal."

And that's when I saw the two lines.

As in: email from our agency with subject line #1: "referral"
And second email from our agency subject line #2: "referral 2".

My heart stopped. STOPPED. For a millisecond my brain comprehended what was happening and I thought I will now surprise the mister, I won't tell him yet. Ha! About as quickly as that thought entered my brain it zipped back out. Then I found myself poking him in the arm and mumbling "um um um um um um" over and over.

"We have to get a signal!" I managed to choke out, while pointing at the emails.

Cue the frantic antics of two crazed people. That would be us.

We raced out to the street--I probably knocked some people over in the Gap but I don't really know. We stood out in front of Macys amongst the throngs of New Yorkers and shoppers and tried to get our emails to open up. I somehow managed to snap a picture of the Mister....the look on his face cracks me up.

We realized our little Iphones couldn't download the massive attachments quick enough so I looked at the hubs and said "We've got to run to our hotel to use their computer!" I'm sure I said some other things about how I couldn't believe this was happening but who the hell knows at this point. My brain was mush.

We started a sprint to our hotel. Yes, we nearly got mowed down by some vehicle as we crossed against a walk. I made a joke about how we couldn't get killed now (as opposed to any other time when it would have been appropriate--right?)

We made it to the hotel business center, breathless. My hands were shaking. I started bawling. The mister was laughing.

Two babies--one boy and one girl. Not twins. Not related at all by blood but um yeah, they're going to be siblings--twiblings?

Baby girl 2.5 weeks old. Tiny and perfect and healthy.
Baby boy 5 weeks old. Tiny and perfect and healthy.

And did I mention gorgeous?

The rules prohibit us from posting any photos or other information at this point..

But we are in love. IN LOVE.

And yes, we knew about the two babies. All our paperwork was for two babies. But we kept it to ourselves (ok so I shared with a few peeps here and there). Sneaky, huh?


Now we wait for a court date. Yes, the wait is already agonizing. They're there and we're here and it will be months.

But did I mention we're in love? And that dreams really do come true in New York City? And how it was the most perfect wonderful vacation in the whole wide world? And how we received the best Christmas presents of our lives?

Believe indeed.
And now you know how I got MyTwoLines.