Thursday, August 30, 2012

Super Negatives

So this is the weirdest cycle yet. I had light lines on CD 12 and on up, and then yesterday...BAM! Super Negative lines! What the heck? Did my LH really drop that low this early?

It's only CD20....


Now I feel kinda dumb. They probably DID drop this low. Oye. I didn't realize I was so close to the end. I thought I had more time :-(

Monday, August 27, 2012

Updates and Adoption

Well, so far, I think this cycle is another big fat fail. No signs of ovulation yet. In fact, I noticed yesterday that the result strip in my LH test was LIGHTER than it has been recently, and it's only CD17, so that is probably not a good sign. I am a little bummed out, and I am glad that the next cycle will be a break for us. We are not going to do any fertility drugs while we plan for the hormone shots. I need to have some testing done, as does Greg, to make sure everything else is working properly. I need to make sure there are no blockages in my tubes, and I think check egg quality or something, and Greggypooh has to have a semen analysis. Like a dork, he forgot his last appointment, so I am sure it will take 7 years to get another one. Oh well.

On the adoption front, we are moving along steadily. I am still worried, but ok. I just think instead of having a little fear the whole way through, like most people do, I got it all at once. Greg and I have talked a LOT about it, and I know we are ready. I have also done a LOT of reading. Like, 4 books in about 2 weeks, and 1 more in the mail. Plus all of the homework, adoption blogs, and websites.

Here are my reviews of some of the books I have read:

In On It: What Adoptive Parents Would Like You To Know About Adoption. A Guide for Relatives and Friends.; and Adoption Is A Family Affair: What Relatives And Friends Should Know
I am reviewing these together because they are pretty similar. I really got these books for my parents, but I read them first, to make sure they were what I was looking for, and they totally were. They give a basic overview of adoption, and talk about how the children are the victims, not the offenders, and how it is important to remember that. They also talk a lot about the right things to say, and the wrong things, how to be supportive of adoptive parents without being judgemental or interfering with their parenting. Overall, great, relatively quick reads that will help open the floor for discussion. Even if you are just considering adoption, I think these are a great place to start. They are very much alike, but I think it is still beneficial to read both if you can!

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow
*Before I write this review, I have to give a disclaimer. The authors of this book are supporters of Holding Therapy, which I believe to be a dangerous, and detrimental practice. I do not support the authors views on holding therapy (aka attachment therapy or Z-therapy). This therapy has been attributed to several deaths in children. *

This book is an eye-opener for anyone considering adopting from foster care. They do not sugar coat the issues that some of these kids have. While it deals mainly with kids who suffer from RAD or ODD and other severe issues, it definitely covers the more mainstream issues. For example, it talks about how kids who did not get a lot of verbal stimulation as children may not be able to follow commands properly, and that scolding them as you would a child who did not have a neglectful childhood can be detrimental. There are a lot of examples and testimonials from parents and children. They give a lot of interesting tips and suggestions for changing the way you think about parenting and discipline. One of the most interesting things was that instead of giving time-outs, having them do a chore with the parent, like washing the car or gardening, gives them the lesson that negative actions have negative consequences, but also gives them an opportunity to attach to the parent, and discuss the negative action. Another extremely valuable tip was to make sure that any therapist you choose has experience in adoption counseling, and understands that you need to know about everything discussed in therapy, and will not challenge your control as a parent. I could go on about the suggestions for hours. There is a lot of good information in this book if you discount the holding suggestions.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I am still dealing with these feelings of loss. That's the best way to describe it. I will be gaining soooo much, but in doing so, I will be losing this closeness and freedom with my husband. I will have to share him, and I guess I have to wrap my head around that some more.

Remember how I mentioned that there was a little boy we were interested in, and then his picture was gone? Well, now he isn't even listed anymore. I am assuming that means he has been adopted, and that is just awesome! I am a little sad, because I guess I had a sort of weird attachment to him somehow. I have learned that I need to keep my head open, and not get so ahead of myself!

I finished my last course of Femara a couple days ago. My period is over. This morning, I had a slight cramp in my lower right abdomen..right where my ovaries are...could it have worked? Do I have a maturing follicle? Time for OPK's!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Last night, I had a realization;

One way or another, Greg and I are coming to the end of our time of being "just us". Where we are the center of eachothers worlds. We don't have to worry about anyone else's feelings, ideas, plans besides our own.

I guess I realized this at some point, because we have talked about it before. It just became....real. What if I don't want to share this magnificent, wonderful, handsome, sweet, amazing man with anyone else. What if I want to keep being the center of his world? And keep him at the center of mine? It actually brought me to tears last night. I have been so gung-ho about the whole process, adoption and fertility treatments and thinking about what we would be gaining, that I didn't think about what we would be losing.

For the first time since we started pursuing having children, I am scared.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Before Greg and I decided to start the adoption process, we had a long discussion about finances, work and how that stuff would work. We knew it would be a little tight, but we can definitely do it.

Today, I had a discussion with my boss about us adopting. I basically was letting him know that it was serious, and that there may be some changes. He was SO happy. He was really genuinely excited for us, and wanted to know all about it. That felt.....GREAT. Then, after he left, he called me to let me know that when we did have a placement, that he would do everything he could to make sure I get the hours I need and work with my schedule. I didn't even have to ask. That felt....amazing.

We are so lucky to have the support system that we do. Not everyone does.

Monday, August 13, 2012


So usually my period is absolutely horrendous. This time, so far, it hasn't been so bad. I mean, this is only day three, but I am not keeled over in pain so that seems great!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


So one of the kids that we are interested in possibly adopting...I search him every day and read his description and look at his picture...he is just so beautiful. Anyways...they took his picture down yesterday. I know he isn't my kid, and I know we haven't gotten anywhere close to being ready to adopt yet, but I like to dream about being his mom. There is a sibling group we are interested in too. A brother and sister. It's really exciting/nervewracking to think about.

We are heading to Ikea with a couple of friends today. I am pre-shopping for furniture for the guest room. If we adopt a sibling group, it will be one of our kids bedrooms. If we just adopt one child it will stay a guest room. I have to think about furniture versatility! We decided to put a bed in only one of the extra bedrooms so that we can let our kids (!!!!!) pick out their own rooms when they move in for good. For now, the non-guest room will have bookshelves (that can be moved around the house later) and a table that I can use as a desk.

We could start meeting kids before the end of the year. That is mind-blowing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

MAPP Class #1

Well, despite being 30 minutes late because we had the wrong address, MAPP was great. There are 3 other adoptive families in our group. We did an overview and talked about strengths and needs for children in foster care, our family, and birth families. We talked about what we will go over on the course, and how important participation is. We got our first homework, which is an overview of psychotropic drugs, a family assessment and a hypothetical case meant to make us think about the people involved in the process from removal to reunification/adoption.

I am super excited to continue the class!

Last night was the last night of Provera for this cycle. I am really hoping this cycle I ovulate!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

MAPP and what to expect.

We start MAPP tomorrow.

I am super excited. I have been researching and what not for weeks! It's really hard to know EXACTLY what it will be like, but I did find this outline. I am sorry to say I did not save the website from which I got it (duh).


Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting

MAPP provides a structured format through which prospective foster (and adoptive)
parents can be selected and prepared to work with child welfare agencies as team members in helping troubled children and teens. It provides these parents with information about children’s feelings regarding their birth families, the realities of separation and attachment, the impact of a new child o one’s own family, and how to parent children who have been sexually abused.

MAPP is designed to provide a foundation for foster parents as they move through this
selection process to the placement of children in their homes and, hopefully, placement stability.
Welcome to the Group Preparation and Selection Program
Acquaints leaders and participants with the Group Preparation and Selection Program and each other. Explanation of the process; discussion of foster care, adoption, and permanency planning; outline and discussion of the roles and responsibilities of foster parenting and adoptive parenting; communication skills building.

Where MAPP Leads: A Foster Care & Adoption Experience
Overview of a foster care and adoption experience from the perspectives of clients (children and parents), foster parents, adoptive parents, and child welfare workers. Demonstrates the stresses and losses which can lead to foster care placement or adoption; what happens if a foster home placement or adoption does not work out; how families are reunited; how children are moved into adoption; and how some youth in foster care move into independent living.
Losses and Gains: The Need to be a Loss Expert
Explores the impact of separation on the growth and development of children, and the impact of foster care and adoptive placement on the emotions and behaviors of children and parents. Examines personal losses (death, divorce, infertility, children leaving home) and how difficult life experiences affect success as adoptive parents or foster parents. Emphasizes the partnership roles of foster parents, adoptive parents, and social workers in turning separation losses into gains.

Helping Children with Attachments
Explores the subject of attachment and child development. Focuses on how attachments are formed and the special needs of children in foster care and adoption (especially in the areas of building self-concept and appropriate behavior). Discusses the partnership roles of foster parents, adoptive parents, and child welfare workers in helping children form new attachments.

Helping Children Learn to Manage Their Behaviors
Discusses techniques for managing behavior, with an emphasis on alternatives to physical punishment. Topics include special issues in discipline for children who have been physically or sexually abused or neglected. Techniques to be discussed include being a "behavior detective," reinforcement, time out, mutual problem solving, structuring and setting limits, negotiating, and contracting.

Helping Children with Birth Family Connections
Examines the importance of helping children in care maintain and build upon their identity, self-concept, and connections. Considers issues such as how children's cultures and ethnic backgrounds help shape their identity; the connections children risk losing when they enter care; and why visits and contacts with birth families and previous foster families are important.

Gains and Losses: Helping Children Leave Foster Care
Discusses family reunification as the primary case planning goal as well as alternatives like foster care, adoption, and independent living. Examines disruption and its impact on children, families, and agency staff. This meeting also focuses on the partnership role of child welfare workers, foster parents, and adoptive parents in helping children move home, into an adoptive home or into independent living.
Understanding the Impact of Fostering or Adopting
In the previous meetings, we discussed and "felt" what foster care and what adoption are all about. We learned about separation and attachment, how to build and maintain relationships with children and how to support them in working out the emotions they have for the important people in their lives. We've devoted a lot of time to the roles of both the foster parents and the adoptive parents, and the special way they will improve the lives of many children and families. But what will be the impact of all this effort on the foster families and adoptive families? How will this experience affect their marriage, children, relatives, friends, job, and income? In Meeting 8, we find out!

Perspectives in Adoptive and Foster Parenting
This meeting is open to all members of prospective foster and adoptive families, especially children, grandparents, close friends—anyone who will play a major role in the foster family or adoptive family. This meeting features guest foster families and adoptive families. The guests will talk about their personal experiences in fostering and adopting. Some of the topics include: impact on marriage and family, visiting parents, discipline, searching, helping children with family reunification, and making adoptions work. Other panel members may be attorneys, social workers, and birth parents.

Endings and Beginnings
The important tasks of this meeting will be to assess group members' strengths and needs as foster parents or adoptive parents. There also will be some time to say good-bye ... the ending. As the preparation/mutual selection process is coming to an end, so begins the transition into becoming a foster family or adoptive family ... the beginning.
Each class is about 3 hours long, once a week. I have heard that you have to watch a lot of videos that have some pretty gruesome stories from children about the things they came from, and that there is a lot of discussion and role-playing. I am excited to learn about all of this. I also have read that you start your homestudy process while in these classes. You get all your doctors notes, marriage and birth certificates, and other documentation out of the way, start writing bios of yourselves and your family, and are assigned a case worker. I am really excited!  We are also still working on getting the house in order. Greg finished painting, and now we need to furnish and organize. Yeah...there's still a ton to do!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Docta Docta, Gimme The News!

Lamest. Title. EVER.

Anyways...I have a doctors appointment at 4. We are doing another cycle with Femara, but he wants to talk about the next step, which is injectables. Greg is coming, so that makes me happy. I am glad he tries to make an effort to be involved in this process. He told me the decisions are up to me, but its nice to have someone to bounce my thoughts and concerns off of. I will update later.

BTW...the Provera, so far, is not affecting me NEARLY as bad as it did last cycle. From the first day or so that I started taking it last cycle I was a wreck. I am tired, but that is because I didn't get to bed late. I can tell my cravings are all over the place...I am constantly eating, but I am trying to make sure its fruits and veggies mainly!

*Update* Ok, so basically, the doctor isn't super optimistic about this round of Femara. He did agree to do progesterone test on CD24 instead of 21, to see if I ovulate a little later, or if my progesterone numbers are any higher. THEN...we will do the fun stuff. Injectables. I will probably take a max of 1 ampule a day, with a lot of monitoring to make sure I don't become octomom. He said that my insurance *should* cover it, but that the hospital he is affiliated with has a pharmacy that sells it for relatively cheap, so I could buy it out of pocket there if I don't want to push my maximum. He also wants me to do all the testing we had skipped before...fallopian tube check, more hormone check, Greg is getting a semen analysis (luckily I already scheduled this, since it took almost a month to get the appointment!), just to be sure that before we do this, everything else okee dokee.