Monday, February 28, 2011

The good news had to end sometime....

See I was supposed to be posting about the new CD, and how it is off being duplicated and packaged and is almost ready to be sold.

Or about how tomorrow is the first day of March, the month we get to meet our babies in person. And go to court.

That's all true.

But it takes a tremendous backseat to the potential news that the Ethiopian courts have slowed their review of adoption court cases down drastically--from 40 per day to a mere 5.

It doesn't matter that we're already heading over there. We'll still go, and stand before a judge, and make our presence known, but that's just a formality, for us to be physically present. That doesn't mean the Ministry of Woman's Affairs processes our case the same day and forwards it on to the next phase--the US Embassy. No, it just means we will have been there. And then we'll just be in line. Waiting.

Forty to five.

Boy this feels familiar--these dramatic reduction in numbers.

Eight eggs to one fertilized.

Twenty eggs to two fertilized.

Twenty-six eggs to eight fertilized to three embryos.

World, I've been waiting long enough. And now there are two innocent and precious and perfect little babies that need the love and attention only their parents can give them and they're not getting it. And every week--every day--that is delayed is a problem.

I'm sick of things going well and then taking a dramatic turn for the worse. I've been down the road too many times and I guess I foolishly thought that part was over.

No, nothing is official, but it's all the buzz amongst potential adoptive parents right now. Everyone is panicking, everyone is wondering why? Why do we all work so hard, and wait so long, and love so much, and make all these plans (stupid stupid stupid) when we're always--ALWAYS--at the mercy of someone else?

I'm too sad to even think straight.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Something I Usually Hate...

First up, before I get to the real post--thank you immensely for the support and suggestions last time! I will post more info on the CD (pretty much finished!) soon.

This is a post I wrote a while back and just hadn't published it, so here you go....

There is one thing (many things) that I don't like about myself: how I hate to be wrong. I will argue a point for hours if I think I am right. My parents always told me I should be an attorney (ha) while at the same time encouraging me to be a writer (!). Ironically, my mother told me not to be a teacher or a nurse because my future was open to so much more than that, as opposed to hers...and I was a teacher and now am an advanced practice nurse. Whoops. But I digress.

I hate to be wrong. I need to be right. It's a personal flaw, one of which I am well aware.

But I am wrong.

For years I have hurt.
So deeply, pain I didn't even know existed.
I have said these words many times but they are just so true.

I have cried, I have avoided, I have hid, I have seethed, I have cried some more. I have watched what I perceived to be the fertile world going on around me and I have felt isolated. I have felt lost. I have felt purposeless and then felt utterly crappy for feeling that way. I have received invitations to baby showers and birth announcements and ignored them. I have been rude. I have been unavailable. I have been unforgiving. I have blamed. I have fumed. I have cried on my couch. I have collapsed on the floor. I have been scraped off the floor.

I have been all of those things and many, many more because of infertility. I have spent over five years feeling an undercurrent of sadness that has threatened to wash me right away.

And now, I am wrong.

Wrong because I had been told that one day I would not hurt so much anymore, maybe not at all. That one day the genetic connection I fought so hard so get would simply not matter, it would simply fade into the background.

I would always nod politely on the outside and seethe on the inside. Sometimes I would cry, but mostly I would think to myself: YOU are wrong. YOU do not know. YOU are not me.
And now, I am wrong. I was wrong.
The babies, from the second I laid eyes on them--those babies became real to me in a way I did not know could exist. They are mine and I am theirs. No, I do not--will not--ever own them. But I will be privileged to parent them, to love them, to nurture them, to mother them.

And I read about former infertiles who had ART success saying the scars still run so deep but right now, I am not hurting. I am free from that pain. I am not even noticing the scars.
I am in shock and disbelief about this but why would I intentionally hold onto any pain if it isn't there?
It's gone.
Those babies, my babies, are there and waiting and they need me, the whole me, complete, not still suffering me.

And so many times I want to shout this from the rooftops, to others still deep in the trenches, fighting so hard to have the genetic connection, and then I realize, I could say it one million times and they would think: no, YOU are wrong. And that's OK. Because no one else is me, and our stories are all unique.

It doesn't happen often, when I freely admit I was wrong. But I can't imagine a better thing about which to be wrong.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The other side

This post is not about getting to the other side.

No. This post is just about the other side of adoption. The loss side.

How I wish that adoption was all positive and happy and light for everyone involved. But anyone who thinks that way is fooling themselves. Because can anyone come up with any good and happy reason a child winds up in an orphanage?

I was talking with Mr. MTL the other day and saying that maybe our infertility will help us uniquely understand some of the loss that goes with adoption from the adoptee's side. Because what is infertility if not a giant loss?

We have lost a genetic connection to our future.
Our babies have lost a genetic connection to their past.

True, I do not think it will help much (to them anyway) during the angsty teenage years when they (as most teenagers) struggle with identity issues and wonder (probably--likely much much more profoundly) "Who am I?" Because when you're a teenager it's your job to only see things from the myopic perspective you have, and that's perfectly acceptable. But one day, probably when they have children (genetic) they will see that maybe dear old Mom and Dad had an inkling of the sadness that goes with the forced loss of genetics.

Am I saying that genetic connections are the most important things? Well, no, not at all. But to minimize them is foolish. It's disrespectful. Just like I didn't like it when people told us we could 'just adopt' I would never want someone to act like my children should be grateful for being adopted and try to gloss over the fact that their adoption started with a loss so great I cannot even comprehend it...because it's the opposite loss of my own.

I am profoundly sad for my babies' birth mothers. And their birth fathers. And any genetic siblings they may have. And aunts and uncles and cousins and second cousins and grandparents. Because due to circumstances beyond their control they have lost them and they didn't choose that. I will not ever go into details of my babies' circumstances because it is no one's business but their own, but like I said at the beginning of the post--is there ever a happy reason a child is in an orphanage?

Babies, I know one day you will ache with loss. And that sense of loss is painful beyond words, for I have felt it, too, in my own way. But luckily I am on the recovering side of the loss because I have you.  I was told this week by a fellow adoptive mother that a family is made when you can put your arms around someone physically.

Well babies--be ready! We plan to wrap our arms around you so tightly and love you so much and make a family that will help you in any way we possibly can as you understand your past.

It will be a goofy family (sorry for that!) but it will be our family.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Shifting towards a new reality....

I'm in new territory folks. And I feel like sharing some stuff with you. It's random but all connected. See below.

Right after we got our referral a friend who is a mother of twins sent me an email and said something about me being a twin mommy and then wrote: "I know I know, not *technically* twins but two kiddos, same age, same mama".

I immediately thought: oh wait, she has it wrong, they have two different mamas.

Then I realized the mama to whom she was referring was me.

Fast forward to the other day when I went running in the snow. It was cold, hence the snow. When I got into the shower the backs of my knees were super itchy and I was clawing and clawing and it reminded me of being a little kid with eczema behind my knees (it was traumatic y'all, the backs of my knees and the crooks of my elbows were always so raw I embarrassed!) and I had this thought "Oh man I hope the babies don't inherit my tendency for eczema."

Because, um, yeah, I'm their mama.

What a shift in my thought processes in just a few short weeks since referral--a few weeks of dreaming and staring at pictures and painting a nursery and putting furniture together (ok so Mr. MTL did all of the furniture building) and thinking about registries and pediatricians and poring over medical reports. A shift.

Don't call the men in white coats yet--I laughed out loud almost immediately after having that thought about inheriting my eczema.  Duh, obviously they aren't inheriting diddly from me in the genetic sense. In many ways that will be a good thing. The little girl has beautiful long legs and if she was genetically mine she most definitely would not as mine are more of the short and stumpy variety. But the thought process, that was purely organic, to think of them in that regard.

My babies. 100%, completely, totally, my babies.

*I have a whole other post to write about their first mothers, and the tremendous loss they have been dealt, but that is for a different day.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

If it's a squeal of utter delight then that would be me.

Squealing across the miles.

Over the ocean and across the continent of Africa.

We got a court date today.


And it's in March. As in, next month March.

We were hoping--hoping for a court date by May or June, but March? We are ecstatic, hence the squealing.

Babies--can you hear me? That's me, your momma, squealing with delight over the news that we are going to be meeting you in person soon! And then it's one more trip over there and we can bring you home.