Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Single's Day - Felicia

Linking up to Kelly's Korner Show Us Your Life – Singles! 

Meet my sister, Felicia. She is 34 years old and currently lives in the Northwest Arkansas area.

Felicia is grounded in her faith and volunteers at her church in the children's ministry and the church's art ministry. A world traveler at heart, she loves to learn and experience other cultures. She has even taught English in Korea for a year. 

When she isn't traveling she spends time with her family, friends and Rose, her new puppy!

She enjoys watching college football (Go Big Red!) and partaking in the art and food scene in NWA.
And if you thought that was enough, she loves the outdoors and challenging herself. She's a runner, and completed her first half marathon this year and has competed in the Outback in the Ozarks.

She truly is a catch and we would love to find her a person to live her life with! If you are interested please leave a comment with your email address and I will get it to her.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Patience

We had our in-home consultation back in September. Everything went well. She mostly asked us questions about the paperwork that we had already filled out and then some additional things. She gave us some more forms that had to be filled out as well. When I scanned everything back to her it was around 100 pages.

We received our acceptance letter through the state for our training. You have to be approved in order to start it. Once they have enough people to make up a class, we will begin that, not sure when that will be. More patience.


We are very excited for the next steps and to be able to get placement as soon as possible. This has been something that we have been longing for, for a long time.

As we approach the holiday season it makes me so sad. Another set of holiday's without a child. I have never wanted something so bad in my whole life. I had a little breakdown last night. It all comes on so fast. I have so much sadness and hope in my heart. I'm normally busy and dealing with the day to day of life...and then you just remember. Those words that forever changed our lives. 'You will never be able to have children' Infertility is definitely a greaving process and hits you when you least expect it. I still don't know how we are almost 3 years in to this. I look back at that and feel like we have come a long way but then we aren't where we thought we would be either.

It is so hard being patient throughout this process. Especially when everyone around you has what you want. I never imagined myself being 31 years old and not having children yet. Yes, children. I've always wanted at least 2 kids. Then, when you go through something like this and the process is so long, you have to think about living life with one child. What if we get one and it takes this long to get another one? I know I should be patient and focus on the now. But, it's hard not to have hopes and imagine your future. 

I saw this picture online this week and it is so real and true in this season we are in. 



I will never understand it. Why should it cost so much to adopt a child and so less to get rid of one?! It makes my heart sad. Life just isn't fair. I know so many people that I have met through my journey that would do anything for a child. And I would do the same. Somethings I'll just never understand...





Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Our Adoption Journey

We have been going through our adoption journey since this past October. I can't believe that it has already been a year, in some ways it has gone by so fast and others it is slower than molasses. We are still hopeful that by word of mouth we will get a match. Since it has been so slow we decided to take the next step in July and we signed up through the state for the foster to adopt program. In the state of Arkansas they don't have just straight adoption. You get placement through foster care and you have to have the child for 6 months before you are able to adopt.

We received our packet of paperwork in the mail after filling out an online application
More paperwork. We have become pros at filling it all out. We had previously done it privately through a case worker. Of course none of  the private translates to what has to be filled out for the state so we are starting from square one again.

When I talked to the Little Rock office she told me that from the time you turn your paperwork in it takes approximately 6 - 9 months for placement.

We filled everything out and mailed our packet in mid-July.

All the pamphlets and paperwork 
We went on vacation and had family in town, so the time passed pretty quickly. I followed back up with them again and they had sent everything off for our background checks.

When I spoke with the lady in Little Rock she told me that she wanted me to understand the ultimate goal of the state is to reunite children with their biological parents. I asked her what our odds were and she said 70% go back to their bio parents and only 30% get adopted. Not the greatest odds for us, but we'll take it. Whatever it takes for us to finally become parents.

We have now been assigned a case worker that is local. Our appointment for our fingerprints will be next week. And our in home consultation will be this Friday. We are hopeful that this will finally work out for us and we can reach our ultimate goal of becoming parents.


This quote is really ringing true for me lately. Adoption is the hardest thing that I have ever been through. That and infertility. The waiting process is hard, although we have been trying to adopt for the last year, it has been in our hearts to be parents since we very first met. Even as a child I always dreamed of being a mom. I am hoping this is getting us closer to our end goal and can't wait for that very special day. I do believe that we will soon be truly blessed!

HRT and Cycles

Wow, I can't believe the summer is almost over and it's been April since I last wrote a blog post. Way too long!

Back in March I got my first cycle, after having nothing since being diagnosed, this was a huge hope for us. I had some normal cycles (28 to 30 days) and then in May/June ended up having a menstrual cycle for 21 out of 30 days, yikes! After talking to my doctor he decided to take me off my bioidentical HRT to see what happened with my cycles after not taking the medication. They thought that I was possibly in remission from POF. Music to my ears.

I started HRT back in October, nothing happened until March...5 months. Based on that information they didn't think it was the HRT causing the cycles. The one thing about POF is that you can go in to remission. The doctor was hopeful that is what happened, my ovaries decided to wake back up and work. The only thing they warned me of is that we don't know for how long or if anything will work while it is happening. With this disease there are a lot of questions and a lot of unknowns. At the beginning I struggled with this a lot. I like to know what is going to happen, I am a planner and an organizer. There was a little sliver of hope that something might happen. There have been cases that women who are in remission have a mature egg that drops and pregnancy happens.

After quitting the pills in June, nothing came in July...nothing came in August. Failed pregnancy test and I was back to the doctor. We chatted about what it all meant, again so many unknowns. All I want is an answer. I had my blood work redone to test my hormones. They all came back the worst they have ever been...Blah!


April 2015
August 2015
Estradiol
35.2 pg/mL
17.5 pg/mL
Progesterone
3.2 ng/mL
.9 ng/mL
FSH
58.4 mIu/mL
127.1 mIu/mL
LH
22.2 mlu/mL
47.5 mIu/mL

Estradiol goal is 50, Progesterone goal is 10, FSH is supposed to be under 10 and LH is supposed to be less than 7 in order to reach pregnancy. Definitely not where I wanted to be. But, it is out of my control. I understand that but it still doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

So, I went back on HRT starting in August.

Friday, April 24, 2015

RESOLVE - You Are Not Alone

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). This is something that has become very near and dear to my heart. The theme this year is "You Are Not Alone". I am participating in the Bloggers Unite Challenge to help spread the word and to show women that are battling this disease that they in fact are not alone.

Love this image that is on their site
From the beginning of our infertility journey, we knew that we couldn't do it alone. We slowly started to tell our family and close friends. It was embarrassing to me, knowing that my body couldn't do what it is supposed to. That every other woman in my life is able to do. It took me awhile but I finally realized that it wasn't my fault. It wasn't anything that I did.

I have had many people tell me that they wouldn't be able to be as strong as me if they were going through the same thing. The truth is I have no choice but to be strong. You have to fight for yourself, become an advocate for yourself, especially in the doctor's office. Because, at the end of the day only you know your body.

One of the things that has helped me so much is the local support group that I became a part of. We have a private social media group and about a year ago met face to face for the first time. Through this past year the women in this group have become some of my closest confidants. They just get it. Unless you have gone through infertility it is hard to explain. You just don't know the feelings, the havoc that it can wreak on your body let alone your mind. These women have been my saving grace and for that I am so very thankful. I am a true believer that God brings people in to your life at the right time. Even though I don't necessarily like the reason why we were brought together, I am so grateful to have them in my life.


Our meeting for the month of April
It has also been a huge relief for me to be public about our journey. Not only does it keep friends and family updated that don't live close, but it helps bring those awkward conversations to life. Things that most people would be scared or nervous to ask me about. Through my blog it gives a starting point. It also makes me feel not so alone. The encouragement that I have received from people is an amazing feeling. As well as the notes that I get that tell me that I have inspired them. It makes all of this worth it.

I want anyone to know that is suffering in silence through infertility that you are not alone. There is a huge community out there for you to lean on. And more than likely, someone that is sitting next to you at work, at church, etc. is probably suffering from infertility as well. 1 in 8 is more than likely someone that you know. No one with infertility should have to walk it alone.

I am also extremely grateful for my husband. He is there for me day in and day out. Always there to give me a hug or talk when I break out in tears for no reason or maybe a big reason. I always knew we were the right fit for each other, from the day that I met him. This journey has made us so much stronger as a couple and I couldn't image this struggle without him.




Friday, April 10, 2015

Where There Is Hope...

I found this quote and it is so true for me this week...

Through our entire journey I have tried to never give up hope. That is the one thing about it, always something to hold on to. When we decided to start our adoption journey after struggling through our infertility journey we had to lay some things to rest. 

Things that most people our age don't have to do. Infertility is such a grieving process. I don't think you truly know unless you have gone through it. You have to grieve a baby you may never have. Just like a death. Except you have to say goodbye to someone that you never even got a chance to meet. Which may sound crazy to most people, but it is the truth. And it is so sad, you never know when the end of the road is. There is always that little glimmer of hope that you just can't give up on.

When you are growing up you picture what your family will look like when you are grown. That your children will look like part of you and part of your husband. You hear it all the time; he/she looks so much like you. That is one of the many things that infertility strips from you. That we may never have someone say that to us about our future children.

This Monday was a HUGE day. After 2 years and 10 months of nothing, no signs whatsoever of my fertile years. I got my cycle back. So many emotions have been involved. I cried, was in disbelief, complete and udder shock. 

I have had two reproductive endocrinologists and two OBGYN's tell me that this will never happen. That I would never get my cycle back because I am in full blow menopause. We have tried everything for almost two years. Countless herbs, supplements, fertility tea, castor oil packs, drinking the nastiest tasting thing I have ever had; wheat grass! And all in one day, everything changed. Just like that. 

I don't know what made it happen, will probably never know. But, I do know that after all of our hard work; it feels like it has finally paid off. 

I am still getting my massages and I feel like that has a lot to do with it. When I called my massage therapist to tell her the news I had tears in my eyes. She was so thrilled for me as well. And has stood behind me every step of the way. Always going the extra mile to help me out and to help me get answers. I am so indebted to her for being my cheerleader. I know that God puts people in your life for a reason and I truly believe she was put in mine for a reason.

One of the things that I have researched that if I ever did get my cycle back was to get cycle day 3 (CD3) testing. I went to the doctor on Wednesday and had that done. Very hopeful for good results. All of my numbers have improved, greatly from what they have ever been before. My FSH which is one of the big factors, the number has always been off the charts. 114, 104 and 94, my CD3 test came back as 58. That is by far the lowest I have ever seen in my results. I wasn't very happy about it at first because it is not what it is supposed to be. It has to be under 10 for a chance of pregnancy. And I feel like I am a long way from that. But, if I look at it as glass half full, it has gone down substantially.

While talking to my sister on the phone that day she told me to celebrate my victories, no matter what they are. I love her and the support she gives me each and every day.

While sitting at dinner on Thursday night after the roller coaster of emotions from the beginning of the week, Benji and I were talking about it. I was being hard on myself and feeling not so happy about the results because they are not what they are "supposed" to be. He is another person that I am so grateful for. He is here for me in the day in and day out of it. And never waivers, always giving me the boost I need. Telling me how proud he was of me and how far I have come, it brought me to tears.

This is a HUGE victory for me. And for that I am thankful. 

Where there is hope, there is faith. Where there is faith, miracles happen. 

So now I get to count my cycle days, something that I have never been able to do since I have been diagnosed. And to still have hope for our little miracle.

I don't know what next month will bring, if it will come back or be non existent again. But I am choosing to be grateful for our victory.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Two Strikes and Approval

We received a phone call around Thanksgiving from our lawyer. She had a potential birth mom for us and said that all of our packet was given to her and that she was going to make her decision by Christmas. Ahhhhh! That made adopting so real to us. Not that it wasn't before but we were just going through all the steps and busy in the process of paperwork and interviews. It is hard when you get news like that to keep it in but we decided we would as to not get anyone's hopes up. Benji and I would talk about it...so many emotions came with it. Happiness, excitement, counting the amount of weeks that she is pregnant as to when the due date would be, etc. By Christmas we hadn't heard anything. We are both pretty patient people and we didn't want to push it. Just figured if and when she decided, or chose us that we could be excited then. 

Needless to say we didn't get chosen. Talk about a punch in the gut. Not only are we not able to have children but the approval part of adoption just plain sucks. You second guess yourself. What didn't she like about us? Why didn't she choose us? After the initial shock and tears wore off we understand that it is not about us. It is about the birth mom's decision. And I am sure that is not an easy decision to make at all.

About a month after Christmas I had someone reach out to me that knew someone that knew someone. I called my lawyer as I wasn't sure how all of that worked out. She said just get the name and number and give it to me and I will be able to ask all the legal questions. Again, the same emotions. The girl that I know was telling me what she knew about the girl. That she was 22 weeks along. Calculations in my head...when will the birthday be, what day will we finally become parents. 

Another dead end. The girl would never give her name and number. 

Some days I wallow in my tears and some days it is not so bad. Some days I get tired of holding my head up high and some days it is just another day.

My infertility journey has been two years long. Part of me hates that I went to the doctor around my birthday that year. Not that I ever thought anything would be wrong or I would get the news that I did. Part of that makes me not like celebrating my birthday because it is a reminder to me of another year without a baby. Without a family. Without the happiness that a child brings to a home. 

We are still hoping and praying every day that we get good news. Every time my phone rings and it is a number I don't know. Every day when I wake up, wondering if today will be the day. We really hope it comes soon but also know that it will happen when it is supposed to. 

In other news, we got the approval from our home study. We never thought that we wouldn't get approved but you just never know. It is good to have that paperwork in our hands and know that nothing is standing in the way of our dream to become parents.

Hooray! Our Adoption home study approval paperwork.