Do you have baby names picked out?
We do have a name picked out for a boy or for a girl...not ready to share them yet - but both names will have special meaning and connection for us.
I know John is adopted; was his an open adoption?
No, John actually doesn't know much at all about his birth parents - only that they were an older couple that already had two teenage daughters.
How does his experience affect your decision to pursue an open adoption?
Initially, we both had some reservations about the open nature of our adoption agency - but God has been working on our hearts, and we are much more excited about it now. One of my best friends is a birth mother in an adoption like this, and watching her family over the last few months has taught us that this could be much more of a blessing than we realized.
After unsuccessfully pursuing fertility treatments, do you consider the time and the expense (monetary and emotional) of the treatment to still be worth it?
Obviously, everything in life has a purpose and a reason for happening... it is all a part of God's plan for us, and I wouldn't change a thing. I've got some distance from it now, and I really believe that - I think that if things had gone differently - we might not have had the change of heart or the spiritual growth that came out of the fertility treatments and ultimately ending them.
Have you encountered any flack for changing from fertility treatments to adoption?
Absolutely none at all. Everyone we know in all aspects of our life has been completely and 100% supportive of us every step of the way - through the treatments and through this process to date. I couldn't ask for a better support system.
This may be too personal, but are you willing to share how much the adoption costs? Or at least compare it to the infertility costs?
It isn't too personal...our adoption will cost us $18,000 plus another $1,000 6 months after the placement to finalize the adoption with the courts. If it is twins, it will be $27,000. There is another option that is cheaper, but it's too hard to explain it in this format.
It's hard to answer the comparison with fertility treatments - it all depends on the treatment you're doing and for how long... I honestly can't remember what we were quoted for IVF - but it is either roughly the same as one cycle with that or two... they say that it can take three or more cycles with IVF to make it work, unless you're incredibly lucky... so I'd say that it all depends.
For us - it is a better option - because after all of those months of not being able to make any progress with my ovaries... we just couldn't justify putting the money towards an "IF" anymore. It wasn't a matter of when... it was very much a matter of they didn't know IF they'd ever be able to make my ovaries produce a follicle.
What are your greatest fears about the adoption?
I am doing everything I can to try to take it one step at a time... but obviously so much of this is out of our control. With a pregnancy - some of the choices are yours... in terms of the health of yourself and the child - we just have to trust God that our baby and birth mother are being taken care of. We also ultimately don't get to have the experience of being pregnant and sort of knowing who our baby will be - or when it will come...
My biggest fears are probably similar to fertility treatment fears - to a certain extent. I still worry about if it will happen... when it will happen... and the ultimate fear would be being rejected. Since the birth mother gets to choose us - I worry about not looking like the ideal couple... meaning that we're both still overweight... would someone reject us because of that? I don't know. I hope not, but I just don't know.
I know all of the sayings - I mean God has a plan for us and a baby chosen for us... but knowing that we'd been rejected would be a little disheartening. Finally, having the birth mother change her mind in the process would be pretty crushing too - same thing goes - ultimately that wouldn't have been our baby... but I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster that would come with that information.
It is scary to think that the birth mother could choose us before the baby is born... give birth, wait the 48 hours before signing the paperwork, and change her mind...to be that close to having our child to bring home - and not be able to... would certainly be another test of our faith.
What kind of parent do you think you will be?
Funny, this is basically one of the questions in the home study - they frame it differently - it's more of a what would you do differently than your parents sort of question in the home study...but I'd like to think that I'll be consistent, firm, fair, and loving... Our pastor's wife, Lisa, has talked to me a little bit about how they "parent to the heart" and teach their kids the reasons behind why things are right or wrong and then they learn to govern themselves. They have 4 amazing kids - and I'd be thrilled to have children a fraction of as awesome as I think theirs are.
I've got some amazing women in my life that are mothers - so I'm sure I'll be asking for an getting some great advice every step of the way.
What is your maternity plan at work and is it any different from someone who is pregnant?
I am entitled to the same time off as a pregnant woman - the main difference is that I get zero compensation... NONE - if I were to give birth while at my company... I'd be entitled to my short term disability benefits for those 12 weeks and make 60% of my salary. Which at least would help - since we can really only afford for me to be off for 6 weeks... that would have gotten us to the 12 weeks without any worries.
We are still working on how this will work for us - if I use all of my vacation time for the year - I can take 8 weeks without a problem, it's just a matter of if we want to do that... John has 6 weeks vacation time - so if we did, it would mean that if the baby got sick at any point during the year - he'd have to take off to be the caretaker. I also can use my sick time, which right now I have roughly 2 days (I think) and we gain almost a full day every time we are paid. So it just depends on when it happens...maybe I can eek out another week.
Will you change the baby's name once you are officially the adoptive parents? Or is that something that is left up to the birth mother?
Oh, absolutely we will be changing the name... actually the birth mother never files a name if it is done in their normal process - she gets to choose a portion of the name, and depending on what she chooses - we will make that the middle name or a second middle name.
Does your church do baby dedications? If so, will you participate?
Yes, I believe that we do them. We would absolutely love to have our child dedicated in front of the congregation that has prayed for us all throughout this process. I think it would be an honor to share that moment with them!
Will you have your baby baptized early on or wait for them to make the decision on their own once they receive Jesus into their heart?
We don't believe in baptizing babies - so we will wait until the child accepts Christ through their own decision.
What is your biggest fear about the day you bring baby home?
Oh girl, so many things... mostly the normal things... will I break them? will it come as naturally as I think? will I crack under the weight of all the sleepless nights?
That is it for this week - hopefully I'll be back with this again next Wednesday to see what questions you guys have for me...