Posted in Adoption

Adoption Mindset

*This post was written July 2016*

Going into adoption THIS TIME, I knew what I was getting myself into. But that’s not what I want to talk about today. I’m going to talk about the FIRST time we started the process.

When we started the process with a different agency in Colorado, I was SHOCKED by the amount of paperwork. Background checks from EVERY state we’ve lived in the last FIVE years? Fingerprints, what are we criminals? And then just ALL the paperwork. Fill this out about your childhood and background. What about your parenting and discipline views? List EVERY address you’ve lived at in the last FIVE years, I’m supposed to remember all of those? Describe ALL of your relationships, with your parents, siblings, friends and spouse.

Just take a look at this mountain of paperwork and keep in mind that’s not even all of it:

paperwork

Then you HAVE to attend 27 hours of training. We’ll tell you how to be a good parent. Oh, and you HAVE to get CPR training.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t shed A LOT of tears that first time. I’d also be lying if I said that one day I didn’t take all the paperwork and throw it all on the floor because I was so frustrated. I’d also be lying if I said my husband didn’t look at me like I was crazy when I did it.

I was frustrated and more importantly I was ANGRY. While I was filling out paperwork, all I could think was “If I was pregnant I wouldn’t have to do ANY of this. The state doesn’t care where you live, what your background is, what your relationships are like and what your parenting views are if you get pregnant. They don’t care where you live or if you have CPR training. You don’t have to go to parenting classes if you get pregnant. IT’S NOT FAIR!”

Which honestly, it was probably good that our caseworker got transferred and we began to feel uncomfortable with the agency. My mindset was NOT RIGHT.

ADOPTION IS NOT PLAN B. If you are thinking about adoption because you CAN’T get pregnant, then DON’T do it. At least not until Adoption is your Plan A. Give yourself time to mourn your infertility and move past it. Don’t adopt because you can’t get pregnant. Adopt because you WANT to give a child a loving family and home.

I didn’t have this mindset the first time and it would have been a HUGE mistake to adopt at that point. I thank God that He didn’t let us go through with it.

But my mindset is RIGHT this time. Adopting is not my Plan B, it’s my only plan. Unless God surprises us, we have no plans to ever try fertility treatments again. We want to fill our home with kids who NEED us. And you know what? We need them too.

xoxo

nikki

July 2016

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Posted in Adoption

Come Home

*This post was written July 2016*

I’m impatient. There is not a person who knows me who would say I’m patient. I don’t like waiting. I like things NOW.

Adoption is teaching me A LOT of things but I would have to say probably the MOST important one is: PATIENCE.

I don’t have a lot of control in this thing. I can’t hurry the background checks along. I can’t hurry the home study process up. I can’t do the training in one day (it’s six weeks!)

When I’m talking/emailing our caseworker and getting our paperwork lined up, in the back of my mind I’m screaming “I JUST WANT MY CHILD TO COME HOME!” And to be fair, she’s doing everything she can. She’s just as fast if not faster than I am about getting paperwork to me.

I’m on my knees every morning and night telling God to please let our child know that we are coming for them and we love them. I’m also asking for patience. Actually I’m asking for patience every second of every hour of every day.

I was complaining to Cliff one day about how it felt like everything was taking SO LONG and it hit me. How long has our child been waiting? Years? And I can’t wait a couple months to a year?

That thought has slowed me down a lot in this process. How can I complain about it taking SO LONG when our child has been waiting EVEN LONGER?

I’m still impatient but I’m learning to be more patient. I never thought adoption would teach me SO MUCH.

I still want my child home more than anything but I KNOW it will all happen in God’s timing. I just pray they know that they are wanted and they are loved SO MUCH already.

xoxo

nikki

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Ramblings

Life just seems to be hard lately.

The Adoption just seems to be hurry up…and wait. And wait. Annnnnd…..wait some more. I know it’s all in God’s timing but I’m just impatient. Sometimes I wonder why we even went through an agency. WE are doing all the work! We are keeping in contact with the out of state social worker and adoption worker. Why am I paying these other people?!?

The store is slow and although that’s to be expected, it’s still hard to see every day. I just keep trying to get through these holiday months where everyone is shopping every where else and not planning parties.

The Dementia is getting worse. To make a (really) long story short, last week at about 6pm  I was ringing a strangers door to see if they had found my grandpa. (They had and everything was ok). But since then, I’ve just been….I don’t know. It seems like I can’t get over it. It seems like everyone else in the family is past it and moved on and I’m stuck. I don’t know if it’s because I was the one knocking on strangers doors or what but I just can’t get past it. And I can’t even explain my feelings about it either. I can’t describe how I’m feeling besides blank. It’s not fear or anger or frustration I’m just blank about it all. But when I close my eyes I relive it. I’m not sleeping well. I’ve told myself to just get past it and let it go but somehow that’s easier said than done. I’m really, really struggling and I don’t know what to do. I’ve talked it out and still…not over it.

I’m trying so hard to focus on the good in my life. All the blessings. I’m just really struggling. A part of me just doesn’t care about any of this. I just want to crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and wake up when everything is better. All I can do is really push through the hard times in the hope that better times are ahead.

Depression is ugly and awful and part of me is thankful I can’t have children and pass these genes on. There are times when I so WANT to be happy but yet my depression won’t let me. It always focuses on the negative even when I try and try to focus on the positive.

Writing here actually helps more than anything else. Just getting everything out into the universe is good for my soul. I feel slightly better after writing, which probably means I need to do it more often!

*I’ll be sharing some more blogs that I wrote about the adoption this week, so stay tuned for more interesting (and not so depressing) blogs!*

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Uncategorized

Infertility Struggle.

I realized that I mention my Infertility Struggle a lot on here and always refer to it as in my past but I have never talked about how I got past my struggle.

It seems to me that it has been a long time since I really struggled with my infertility but in reality it has only been about two years since I stopped feeling depressed about it and about a year since I knew I would be okay (happy even!) if I never had kids.

Honestly, the best thing that could have ever happened for me and my infertility was the change of scenery. Moving from Alabama to Colorado. And opening up a party store.

In 2013, we went through a fertility treatment. It failed. I was devastated. We had really felt like it was going to work. The doctor was incredibly positive and never showed any signs that it would fail. When it did, he couldn’t even explain to me why. That was the last straw for that clinic. We knew we would never go back there.

So we were stuck. The next closest clinic was Atlanta, GA but we were both TIRED. We needed a break from the treatments, the shots, the dr appts, the ultrasounds, the invasiveness of it all.

I took a trip to Colorado to visit my Grandparents and Uncle. And six months later, we were so so blessed to be able to move out here AND open our own party store! It was exactly what we needed. It felt right.

Once we were out here, the party store took over our lives. It is tiring to open and run a business. It took more out of me than I even knew I had. But it has been so worth it. So for the first six months I didn’t even think about infertility or kids. But then the thoughts started creeping back in. I wanted kids. I wanted somebody to leave our legacy to. But it had only been a year since the failed treatment and I didn’t want to go through that again. Before we had left Alabama, we had started looking into adoption and it felt right to look into it again here. We found an agency that we thought we liked. But things started feeling weird, people were transferred on and off our case and it didn’t feel right. So we left that agency.

And I struggled to know what was right. Did the agency not feel right because we weren’t supposed to adopt? Were we even supposed to have kids? I struggled to know what to do. My husband had left the decision up to me, he said he would be happy with or without kids, he just wanted ME to be happy.

So one day I was up in my craft room and the question hit me:

Would I rather have kids with someone else or have no kids with my husband?

The answer was SO easy I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it all along. I would NEVER change my husband and if that meant I would never have kids, then that was it. It was a no-brainer.

And it feels right. I feel good about my decision. The fear, anger, frustration all disappeared. I knew that no matter what happened in our lives, kids or no kids, we would be fine. We would be happy because we were together.

And after realizing that, I didn’t struggle with my infertility anymore. I accepted that it was a part of me. It was something that would always be a part of me but it wasn’t a struggle. It wasn’t depressing. It was just something that I had to deal with and that I did deal with. I’ve realized now that infertility itself was never my trial. Struggling with it was my trial. And with the help of God and my husband, I am past that trial.

xoxo

nikki

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Comforted.

 

I was raised very religious. I went to church every Sunday and Wednesday nights. I did what I believed was expected of me. And then I began to have questions. Questions that no one could answer. So I left the church I had been raised in. But that doesn’t mean I left my faith behind. I still believe in God and Jesus Christ. I believe in the Bible and reading the Bible. We pray every night. I believe God is there and He is listening. I believe in His plan for my life. I believe that He has put me through trials but He has never left my side. I believe that His plan is ALWAYS better than my plan.

I struggled to believe these things during my infertility struggle. I struggled to believe that it was for my best interest. I struggled to believe that His plan was better than mine. I didn’t pray unless it was to beg Him to give me a baby. I felt like He had abandoned me. But He had never abandoned me. He had never left my side. And once I knew that, everything got easier. I gave all my struggles and heartache to Him because He was waiting to take them. He was waiting to show me a brighter path and a better future.

I think I’ve mentioned that this is not the first time we’ve looked into adoption. It is actually the third time. And every time I knew it was right. However, that doesn’t make it easy. It has been an incredible learning experience for me. And one day, when it was particularly difficult, I opened my bible and saw these verses:

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.”-John 14:1

“I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”-John 14:18

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”-John 14:27

They were exactly what I needed to hear. And funnily enough, after reading these verses, we ended up getting some good news that day.

Whenever I’m struggling or feeling upset and frustrated, I turn to these verses and remember that He is there and He will always be there.

Life is not easy. We all have our struggles. Whether it be infertility, depression, loss, divorce or anything else, God is always there. You don’t have to be religious to believe in God. You don’t have to go to church. You just have to be willing to open you heart and your mind to Him. He’s waiting.

xoxo

nikki

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Holidays

The Holidays are geared towards children. It’s the truth.

When I was struggling with infertility, I HATED the holidays. I wished I could just skip from November to January. Thanksgiving sucked. Christmas sucked. New Year’s sucked. They are all centered around children.

The kids table. Making hand turkeys. The Macy’s Day Parade. School plays. Decorating the tree. Riding around looking at lights. Snowball fights. Snow days from school. Making cookies/treats. PRESENTS. SANTA. Christmas Eve/Day are REALLY all about kids. And none of this is fun without kids.

Holidays are HARD for those without children, those who can’t have children, those who are struggling to have children.

Adoption has given me hope again. Something I thought I may never have again. It has given me the strength to get through the holidays. For the first time in what feels like 6 years, I’m enjoying the holidays. Hubby and I put a tree up with lights and everything! We even turn it on! I made the entire turkey dinner for Thanksgiving! I’ve been able to do these things through the gift of Adoption. Knowing in my heart that this time next year we will have children (we may not know them yet but we will get them) has made this year extra special. This is our “practice” year for next year.

If you know someone struggling with infertility this time of year, just give them a hug. There’s nothing you can say or do to help but a hug lets them know you care.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Holidays!

xoxo

nikki

Posted in Uncategorized

Home Study Part 3

*This post was written June 2016*

Well, last night was the last one apparently. At the end of the meeting, she told us the next steps were for her to type this up and then she’d bring it over for us to read. I said “Wait, this is the last meeting?” She said “Yep! You’re done!”

And I should have jumped for joy or been happy or something but all I felt was a little sad and disappointment. I guess it was a little anti-climatic for me. Even though the home study is now done we STILL can’t look for kids because our training isn’t done and won’t be done until August. She can’t send the home study to the state for approval until the training is done. And that’s just really disappointing.

Again, I’m learning patience. Lots and lots of patience. Adoption is not a quick process. And I know God is leading the way but I’m so. over. it. Just bring my kid(s) home already!

xoxo

nikki

June 2016