Another year older…

flyWell, it happened… my birthday was this past weekend. I turned 36 on Saturday. I am now officially in the last half of my 30’s.

I was expecting to feel a little blue about turning another year older and not yet being a mom. Last year, when I turned 35, it was pretty hard. We were trying to get pregnant and I was getting poked and prodded at the fertility doctor. Turning 35 at the same time was not easy. It was another reminder that the clock was ticking away and that I was not getting any younger.

While people age differently, 35 is the scary number you always hear when people talk about fertility. Doctors say that getting pregnant after 35 is much harder, much riskier, much more of a longshot. Fertility doctors put you in a different category at 35 than you are at 34. When you turn 35, you are considered to be of “advanced maternal age.” If I was not getting pregnant at 33 and 34, then surely I would not have any chance at all after 35. Last year on my birthday, it felt like the curtain was closing.

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4th Monthly Agency Update

??????????Four months down! We just received our fourth monthly update from the agency. There was a lot going on in January, but still no good news. This is to be expected, as the average wait time is six months for a match. Hopefully, we are getting closer.

Our profile was presented to 20 birthmothers last month. 20! That’s more than double the presentations we were getting before. 8 of those birthmothers have not yet chosen, so I suppose we are still in the running with them. 9 of them have chosen but have not yet been matched. I’m not entirely sure what that means–I guess they have made their choices but the adoptive parents or parent they chose have not yet confirmed. The rest of the birthmothers have fallen off the radar.

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The matter of black and white

Mother Care My feelings on adoption have been evolving so much. As I learn more and more, I can feel my heart open wider than it has ever been. When we first started considering adoption, I felt differently about things than I do today, just half a year later. This is true about so many issues, but today I’m writing specifically about race.

When we first started the adoption process, Jamie thought we should be open to any race so people would never have to ask if our child was adopted. He wanted it right out there, unspoken. I knew that I could certainly love a child of another race, but I also knew that having a caucasian baby would be much easier for both us and our child.

My reasoning was that it’s hard enough for a child to be adopted–I wasn’t sure we should shovel issues of race onto that pile of difficulties. If we adopted a caucasian baby, he or she would look like us, at least in regard to our skin color. I figured people wouldn’t stare at us and our adoption wouldn’t always be so obvious. So we told our caseworker that we wanted a baby of our own race. But somehow this never felt right to me. For some reason, it felt wrong to be open to adoption and only be open to adopting a baby who looked like us. I mean, adoption at its very core is about loving a child who is not related to you and who doesn’t have your eyes, your nose or your smile. Why should skin color make a difference? I had a feeling like maybe we were putting limits on the person Charlie was meant to be. It felt almost like we were not being truly open to the possibilities that an inability to conceive a biological child had opened up for us.

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Two Months In: Our 2nd monthly agency update

2-monthsIt’s been a full two months now since we’ve been actively presented to birthmothers and have been waiting for a match. Yesterday we got our second monthly update from our caseworker telling us how many birthmothers we were presented to in November and the status of those presentations.

I look forward to this email all month (even though receiving it means we haven’t yet been chosen). We’re pretty removed from this part of the process, so it’s nice to know what’s been going on behind-the-scenes.

The Update

Our profile was shown to nine birthmothers this month, one every few days in November. That’s one more than last month.  Five of them were matched with other couples, (one already had the baby!) two fell off the radar, and two have not yet chosen a couple.

The cool thing about this month was that out of the five birthmothers who were successfully matched, one actually picked us as their third choice. So if her first and second choice matches said no, we would have gotten the call! She was successfully matched with her first choice, but hey, at least we were chosen as runners-up. Although third is not first, it feels like getting chosen at all is a step in the right direction. It’s a reminder that it could happen any time. Our caseworker told me that she was surprised to hear our names come up so fast and that even a 3rd choice after only two months of waiting is good news. That made us smile.

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Enjoying life during the wait for a match

In the adoption info booklet we got when we became officially active with our agency, they told us that waiting for a birthmother match is a very stressful time for adoptive parents and that we should take care of ourselves and try to relax.IMG_1559 But one of the things that has surprised me about our wait so far, is the lack of stress and anxiety I’ve been feeling. Mainly, I’ve been feeling excitement and anticipation because I know there is a baby in our near future. This is much different than being consumed by trying to conceive. Now that we are well on our way to adopting, I’ve realized that we should take full advantage of this time before the baby comes to enjoy life and each other while it’s just the two of us. Because just the two of us is pretty darn special, too.

Our agency gave us a list of things to do while waiting for a birthmother match. Mainly, the list consisted of sleeping, keeping busy, sleeping some more and taking vacations. Well, we’ve been busy, gotten sleep and taken a couple great vacations to Vermont and California and will be going to Chicago for Christmas. IMG_5201But there are a lot of other things we’ve been up to that are making the wait pretty enjoyable. I’m trying to make sure we have fun doing all the things we love to do together that will get trickier, or impossible, once the baby arrives. And I’m also taking some time for myself and the things I love because I know my me time will soon be limited.

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Monthly agency update – 8 is great?

adoption searchNow that we are officially active and waiting to be chosen by a birthmother, we will receive monthly updates telling us how many prospective birthmothers were presented with our profile. We got our first one yesterday. We had no idea what to expect, but over the past month our profile was presented to eight birthmothers. I’m not sure if that’s a good number or not. When I see all of the waiting families on the website, eight birthmothers does not seem like very many. And I’m sure our profile was just one of many sent to these eight women.

Of the eight birthmothers we were presented to, three chose another couple and have been matched, two women fell of the radar, one “screened out” of the process (which I’m assuming means our agency discovered something that made her ineligible), one is in the process of matching with another couple, and three have not chosen a family yet. So, I guess we are still in the running with those three women. And if November is anything like October, we will be shown to a new birthmother every few days this month, too.

I’m not going to lie–we were anxiously awaiting the update and knew that we had not been chosen yet, but it was a little disappointing anyway. Just a little bit… kind of felt like not being picked for the A team in gym class or something.

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