My Life 2013

Wow! What a year 2013 has been – started the year in an Ethiopian adoption process, just to make a turn and go the pregnancy route. Ending it with possible IVF. No wonder I’m exhausted. 🙂

So the year started with me preparing for the home study of my Ethiopian adoption. I had the home study around the end of Feb, just to find out the social worker couldn’t take her focus off of my student loan. Is that all that makes a person, is if they have a hefty student loan or not? Yes, granted my loan amount right now is hanging around 48k and my payment don’t seem to be making a dent in it, the monthly payments for it aren’t that much, so why are we dwelling on this? All my credit cards were paid off, I had roughly 10k in savings – so my only remaining loans were my car (to be paid off in 2014) and my student loan. My house was  great, my job was great, my inspections were great…WTH!

So they make me wait six months.

In the couple of weeks following that heartbreaking news to wait, I thought to myself, I wonder if I can get pregnant? I did some research and found Shady Grove Fertility Center, which gets great remarks and has a wonderful reputation. So I contacted them and set up my initial consult. Then I said let’s do it! They sent me for a ton of tests. Besides me being 38, I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR), which basically means I don’t have many eggs left in my life. Sad to hear but just made me want to jump start this whole process.

I attempted three IUIs – all were unsuccessful. I have a follow-up visit with my doctor on the 17th of this month. I’m sure she will suggest moving to IVF – more expensive; more successful; higher risk of multiples – Ugh!

Besides the baby-making plans, I adopted my first puppy at three months old. Her name is Kona. She is wonderful and I hate to compare dogs to kids, but in a way I think she is preparing me for kids…a little bit anyway. 🙂

My mom still lives with me but the goal is the end of this year she will move out on her own. She has a boyfriend, which is weird. She’s never dated anyone while I’ve been an adult so I’ve had to adjust to things. Still adjusting.

I dated a guy for a few months but that just didn’t work out. He was young and needed to live a different life than what I am working on. Great guy though, just not for me.

I started a new business – Origami Owl – which is an awesome concept and hope that I can elevate the business in 2014.

So for all IVF folks out there, if you have questions that I should add to my list to ask my doctor on the 17th, please let me know, maybe you had questions after the fact that you wish you had asked before-hand. Anything to help me out is greatly appreciated. I feel somewhat alone out here doing this but I have reached out to two people I know who have done IVF to have support and someone to talk to. It can’t hurt to have more, right?

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Process on Pause

thumb160x_pausePeople say that adoption has many hurdles and constant changes. They aren’t kidding. I worked so hard to get all my paperwork done before my case worker went out on knee surgery and it still didn’t pay off.

It’s suggested that I put the process on pause for six months. I’d rather not get into the reasons but this week has been a roller coaster of emotions for me.

Sad. Upset. Frustration. Confusion. Defeat. Unworthy. Unfair. The list goes on…

So for the next six months, this blog might be fairly quiet. I’m not sure what I will have to blog about unless it is about my emotional state while I wait.

I’m trying to see this as a good thing but at times it’s hard. At least I wasn’t denied, but instead just paused.

Sunday’s Home Study Visit

houseLet me just preface this with something that is off topic from the title. I originally started this blog to document my adoption journey – the ups and downs and every point in between – however I also ended up blogging about random life things. I’ve decided to break up my posts into more individual blog sites, keeping this one specifically for adoption. I know many of you are probably following me for some of the various posts I posted so if you want to remove yourself from this blog and add yourself to the other blog, that would be fine.

For opinions on movies, TV and books read, follow me here: http://watchedandread.wordpress.com/

For my life’s rants, random posts, and my life in general, follow me here: http://mydandelionlife.wordpress.com/

Keep in mind that both of the above are still in draft format so the themes. URL, title, taglines, etc might change over the course of a few weeks. So be sure to subscribe to the blog to make sure you stay connected.

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So on to the original topic of this post – the home study visit! It was yesterday from 9-12ish. My case worker met with my friend first and then my mom. I stayed downstairs for both of their interviews. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous, but only because I didn’t know what she was going to ask them or what she was going to talk to me about.

Once we got to my portion, there was some paperwork I had to correct which was no problem. The main topic of our talks were around finances. Because I’m single I don’t have a double income coming in that will allow for a bigger savings account. All I can do is save what I can, try to make money on the side and hope that nothing in the house breaks. I have the next two years planned out financially for my mom and I and I do believe I will be able to do it. Another option is taking out a loan which I have no problem doing. We discussed all of this in great detail and length. We also discussed extending my mom’s stay so she can help out more and that is always an option.

We discussed the placement agency I’ve chosen to do the adoption through and once we are both in a more relaxed state, she would like to learn more about them so her agency can continue to utilize them.

She loved my house and can visualize my child sitting at the kitchen island on the bar stools doing homework while I make us dinner. It was nice that she could see that. She loved the dog and cat and thought that they were both very friendly pets.

Overall it wasn’t bad. I did feel like I was under an interrogation light in some respects but I did feel like she was just being thorough in her job. I hope that I get approved but don’t see any reasons why I shouldn’t. She could sense my determination in making this all happen so I hope she passes that along in her staff meeting.

Keep your fingers crossed! And if you’re interested in helping me in some way, just let me know.

Wondering when…

approvedI turned in my home study when I had training class – back on March 8th. It really hasn’t been that long since I dropped it off, but it feels like months have gone by. Yesterday I started wondering when the home study visit was going to be scheduled. My case worker said she is going out on March 25th for knee surgery and well, we are approaching that date. I worried that she would schedule the day – a day or two before – which leaves me no time to coordinate with my mom and my friend.  Then I’d feel bad because they would have to rearrange their plans in order to make mine. If it’s possible.

I reviewed my dossier paperwork and I’m not doing too bad. The items I can do that I still need to do are:

  • local police clearances
  • two references (again and already asked those friends)
  • letter from HR verifying that I have health insurance (sent email today)
  • letter to Ethiopia government (working on)
  • copy of passport and social security card (need to get and looking for)
  • email six passport photos to my placement agency case worker (not sure why I need six).

Tasks completed: 14 out of 28

So overall I’m not doing too bad considering once the home study is complete, then I can apply to USCIS (immigration) which takes up to two months. So it looks like I”ll be waiting for them and not the other way around.

I emailed my home study agency case worker this morning and asked her, out of curiosity, about when she thinks the home study visit will take place. She emailed back asking if this Sunday would work, from 9-11 am. Yikes! I wanted it but now that’s it scheduled it makes me nervous. What takes place during this home study visit? What will she ask me? What will she talk to my mom and in-person reference about? I’m sure I’m worrying for nothing, but I always worry about the unknowns. I don’t think that abnormal though. All she told me was that while she is talking with my mom and friend, I’ll be reading through my home study write-up.

 

Home Study Submitted!

officepaperwork600
Yep, it’s submitted. Now I wait and hope I filled out everything and did everything correctly. I handed my case worker most of my paperwork when I went to the full day of adoption training, but I was waiting on one last document – my mom’s test results from her physical, along with the form the doctor has to fill out and sign.

Friday we received those documents and Sunday I scanned them in and emailed them to my case worker.

I’m 100% submitted.

Please pray that all of my paperwork was done correctly. 🙂

 

Adoption Training

ClassroomWhat a week. Monday was the health department inspection, Thursday I sat on a call with other families to hear about our case workers trip to Ethiopia, Thursday evening I had the fire marshal inspect my house and I passed, and Friday was a full day of adoption training.

At first I was really dreading the training day, thinking that this could be a waste of time. But now that I’ve gone through it, I wouldn’t say it was a waste. The morning talked about the adoption process. Most of it I knew but it was good to get it again. The afternoon was to discuss race. Since we will all be a transracial family, they want us to know the different situations that could arise.

Honestly, it did make me think, but in a good way. It made me more aware of what the child may be faced with and what types of questions they could be asked because will be a mixed race family.

During lunch we had to give our research presentations and my case worker had me go first so she could leave the training for the day. I gave my presentation on the wonderful experience that my mom and I had with the coffee ceremony. Both case workers were amazed and giddy – just like I was before and during that day. I passed out handouts to show pictures from the ceremony and on the back I provided the websites to the Blessed Coffee and Ethiopian Festival. They mentioned that both will go on the newsletter. They have never had a presentation like mine and were so excited for me. The others in the training group didn’t want to follow me after that…LOL.

I also turned in my Home Study paperwork (minus one item that we are waiting on for my mom). So I can almost say the Home Study is done.

My next steps are to work on the dossier paperwork…

 

Home is Healthy

choosing-perfect-family-house (1)

Health department came this morning to inspect my home and deem it healthy enough to adopt a child. The house passed – perfectly!

I stressed for no reason but in my defense, it is scary to have some stranger come into your house to determine if you live in a pig pen or you actually clean, not knowing exactly what he or she will be looking at.

The things she looked at are:

  • Fridge/freezer temperatures
  • Under the kitchen sink
  • The future child’s room
  • The bathroom tub
  • Tested the hot water temperature at the sink
  • Check the laundry room for flooding

Only thing that I didn’t have for the inspection was Molly’s rabies vaccination certificate. But have no fear, I can email it to her tomorrow (after the vet appointment) and she will then email the report to my case worker.

Check!

Well maybe half a check!