Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I Am So Grateful

Today I had a lot of reminders of how things have been tough for us over the last 2 1/2 years. To put it mildly, it was not the easiest of days.

I got home and pulled the mail out of the mailbox. I saw there was a package from my friend, Brenda. She sent such a kind, thoughtful card ...it was as if she knew what I was going to need to hear today! Brenda and I went through our IVFs together. We shared the stresses of the cycles, our hopes that our procedures would work, and our sadness when they did not. Right now Brenda is gearing up for her 3rd IVF cycle and I hope, with all of my heart, that this one works for her and her husband. They have been through so much and I know that she will make a wonderful, amazing mother.

Inside the package was a silver bracelet with a leather cord. It's just beautiful. The inscription on the bracelet reads, "Embrace the Journey." In the card, Brenda reminded me of the good things we've experienced through all of this as we have been on our journeys toward parenthood.

So even when I am reminded of our struggles (like I was reminded today) I need to remember so many other things, too:

...How I am so lucky to have such an amazing group of friends that understand and care. I wouldn't know you if it weren't for all of this.
...How I have grown more compassionate over these past few years.
...How our family supports us and loves us.
...How my husband and I are able to laugh at things that we never could have laughed at before.
...How we have gotten closer as a couple during something that can really pull couples apart.

Most of all, I need to remember that all of this is part of the journey to find our child. I really think that every part of that trip is going to make it even more wonderful when we finally meet him or her.
We'll remember all of the bumps in the road as well as all of the unforgettable moments. That will make bringing our child home even more special than it will already be.

I was trying to "pose" with the bracelet; I know I look goofy!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday's Meeting

The good news is our agency is not closing right now. The bad news is that the economy has had an effect on things. Not enough couples are signing up to adopt. People are not sure about investing large amounts of money when the economy is this bad.

The number of pregnant women coming to the agency seeking adoption for their children has dropped.

They need more money to send to the international programs to help with orphanages, but without additional money coming into the agency, it's very hard.

Many of the countries that our agency works with are experiencing their own problems; waiting parents are facing longer waiting times.

The agency has already tried to cut costs in many ways:

They are starting to do fundraising for the agency.
They are lookng at new ways to encourage pregnant women to consider adoption and choose the agency (Facebook, Myspace, etc.)
They are seeking donations from current waiting parents and relatives as well as families who have adopted previously.
They are raising their fees.

They are hoping that the fees, donations, and fundraising combined with new families that will hopefully come to the agency will be enough to keep the agency going for the next year.

We thought that they might be shutting down some of their offices or doing more layoffs. We hoped they weren't closing. We're willing to deal with the increase in fees. It could be much worse. They could be completely shutting down, and then we would lose the money we've invested. It would cost us even more (money and time) to move to another agency. Plus many agencies are facing these problems, too, because of the economy.

I'm glad that we know what's going on now. We'll deal with it. It's just hard. We're going to try to do some more networking in our community and amongst friends and family.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Letter from our agency

We have to attend a mandatory meeting next Monday at our agency. The topic of the meeting is how adoption (in general) isn't going very well right now. It's not exactly the kind of letter we were hoping to get, especially after just finishing our home study.

The letter said that the numbers of domestic adoptions has been down lately. We knew that our agency had placed fewer babies (for domestic adoption) during the past year. They said that not only have they had fewer couples looking to adopt, but they have also had fewer expectant mothers seeking adoption for their babies. In addition to all this, international adoption hasn't been on the rise, either. It has been experiencing it's own issues as well.

I don't have any specific answers right now. I don't know exactly what they are going to discuss. I'm just hoping that they aren't going to make major changes to either their domestic or international adoption programs at this point.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Adoption Books for Children

Brenda asked me if I could list the books that Steve bought for me/us for Christmas. They are:

I Wished For You: An Adoption Story by Marianne Richmond
This one made me get so teary-eyed! It's about a little bear named Barley and how he was adopted. It uses accurate adoption language; it addresses why someone might choose adoption; it brings up how the adoption process is involved...

"Did you ever think," wondered Barley,"that your wish might not come true?"
"Oh yes..." said Mama, remembering how long the waiting seemed sometimes.
"I wished for you through many phone calls...and through mountains of paperwork. I wished for you while I waited and waited...and waited. Sometimes," said Mama, "I didn't hear any news about you for weeks or months. But I held onto my wish tightly - like the string on a balloon."

A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza
This is a book about a little bird who lives alone and wishes for a mother. He meets animals and asks if they could be his mother. Eventually he meets a bear who shows him how they don't have to look alike to feel like a family.

We Belong Together: A Book About Adoption and Families by Todd Parr
I LOVE this book. I love the way it's written and how it could apply to so many different types of families.

"We belong together because...you needed a home and I had one to share. Now we are a family."

"We belong together because...you needed someone to say 'I love you" and we had love to give. Now, we all have someone to kiss goodnight."

Horace by Holly Keller
This is a story about a little cheetah that was adopted by a tiger family. He worries that his adoptive family might not like his spots. He finds out how much they really love him and how happy they are to be a family.

Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis
I love the illustrations in this book - there are so many great details. I love how the book is written, too...

"Tell me again how you couldn't grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me and she would be my birth mother; and you would adopt me and be my parents."

"Tell me again about the first night you were my mommy and you sang the lullaby your mommy sang to you."

Even more than the illustrations and the writing, I love this book because it is from my parents. They gave it to us as a Christmas gift. The gift tag says, "To Steve, Wendy, and G3 (the nickname we have for our baby); From Grandpa and Grandma." Even typing that is making me cry happy tears :)