"We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands." ~ Anonymous.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Infertility and Adoption

I don't really discuss this topic anymore, because quite honestly I thank God every day for our infertility. I cannot imagine my life without E and I cannot imagine any other journey to my children than adoption. Our infertility and the path we've chosen to take to our children has changed us profoundly and I think, made us stronger, more appreciative, more compassionate individuals and pretty great parents, too.

There was a time, however, when I struggled everyday. I hurt, and cried and asked "why me?" over and over again. I wanted to share this beautiful poem that someone posted on a group that I belong to. Perhaps it will touch someone else and help them work through the painful feelings infertility evokes; maybe it will even provide a little hope......

There are women that become mothers without effort. Without thought, without patience or loss. And though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books, but because I have struggled and toiled for this child. I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed. I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams. I will notice everything about my child. I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him, and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense: that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I give birth to or a child that God Leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed. I have succeeded. I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, morn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine and when life is beyond hard, I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes, I will be a wonderful mother.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Money, money, money.....

People always ask "how much did he cost" or say "well....if you can afford it, great". While I kept close track in the beginning of E's adoption process, once you've gone over many tens of thousands of dollars, you stop keeping track. So, I've come up with a very accurate breakdown of our expected expenses. Let me set the record straight about 2 things - HE did not cost anything - the process did; and we cannot afford it because we're sitting on a mountain of cash, we work our tails off every single day and go without all of the things many people consider "necessities" because we love our children (even the ones we haven't met yet).

Here it is in a nutshell - of course, as is common in International Adoption, this could change at any time with no notice:

Agency fees: Home study, facilitation, post placement - $6500
USCIS: I600A, fingerprinting, citizenship paperwork - $1800
Dossier: Documents, translation, authentication, Embassy fees - $3300
Kyrgyzstan fees: Government fees, document preparation, facilitator, humanitarian aid, medical exam - $13,400
Travel: Airfare, lodging, food for 2 trips- $10,600
Total: $41,650

So far we have paid out $5000, leaving us with the daunting task of raising another $36,650. There are days, believe me, when it feels completely hopeless and impossible, but most days I feel like somehow we will make it happen. We have no choice - our child needs us!

Am I bitter? No, I honestly am not. Wouldn't it be great if it wasn't so expensive? Definitely! However, it is what it is. It is our life. It is our chosen path to our kids and we will walk it together with the help of loved ones (and sometimes even strangers). We will stumble and fall, but we will always pick each other back up. When that day comes that we meet LP for the first time, memories of the road travelled will be tucked away and in their place hopes and dreams for the future of our family will rest.