Friday, December 16, 2011


Busy baking sugar cookies today. I put on Christmas tunes by Perry Como and Bing Crosby to get me in the yuletide spirit and it actually did the trick. The cookies are rather crumbly as I substituted white rice flour for all-purpose flour as I am on a gluten-free kick. Maybe I won't be giving these away this year. Looking for a good gluten-free sugar cookie recipe.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Surviving Christmas Time

Saturday night was DH's work Christmas Party, which consisted of a cocktail hour and dinner at a golf club. We were both dreading it for different reasons, but made the effort to get off the sofa and dress-up for the 'free meal'.

DH will normally warn me if there will be a pregnant woman at social functions, so I was surprised when I saw a woman with a pregnant belly arrive. Luckily we were mingling at the other side of the room during cocktail hour, but later found ourselves sitting at their end of the table (it was one long table). I chose to engage in conversation with people on the other side of the table, although I could hear bits of the pregnancy talk that consisted of baby names, cravings/what to eat while pregnant, and general kid stuff. I managed to survive thanks to DH and gin. Meanwhile, I discovered that parents with teenagers enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages and prefer not talking about their kids.

Needless to mention I was a tad cranky when we finished our Christmas cards on Sunday. Then a good friend phoned and wanted me (solo) to join her for dinner the week before Christmas, but this girlfriend really seems to hate doing stuff with us as a couple. I am always surprised since she is single and DH may know of other guys that we could bring along. Anyway, I agreed to meet her for dinner that week and wondered where she wanted to go and she suggested a restaurant in my old 'hood from my single days. I vehemently said no I won't go to that neighborhood anymore because of what it has become: what was once a funky street with antique and consignment stores, and mom&pop shops is now full of trendy baby toy/clothes/furniture shops and Starbucks and the stroller-brigade. I then suggested going for sushi in a funky area near downtown. She was shocked by my bitchiness and lack of Christmas spirit and told me that I should 'get out more'. Ummmmm, my hating the Holidays is tied up with my infertility and she, like most people, does not understand this. I decided not to fight with her, but my inner voice thought 'whatever'. This lack of understanding underlines how isolating infertility can be...especially at Christmas.

This morning DH was hanging out at home a bit longer since he was going directly to the airport for a business trip. We were talking about the Christmas cards and the new address we are waiting for from an old college friend of DH. I then reflected that this friend and his wife (who were married about a year ago) might be good to hang out with since they are in their early forties without children. Surprise, surprise, DH then tells me that the friend's wife is pregnant. Oh, God. Oh, God. My stomach turned sour. The tears began falling down my cheeks upon realizing that we are the only couple without a child within our social circle. The only consolation was that DH told me that he found out the info from Suit Guy when we met up with him the other week for drinks after Christmas shopping. Suit Guy told DH the news when I left to go to the restroom. Suit Guy reasoned that "Life really is unfair if **** can have a baby and you guys can't." At least Suit Guy feels a bit of our pain. (And yes, Suit Guy is a lot like the Barney character from 'How I Met Your Mother', except the women ask him out, and it was interesting -- and strangely comforting -- how they made the Robin character infertile.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It's Christmas Time Again

Yes, it's Christmas time again. The time for trimming the tree, singing carols, joy, happiness, and time for families. Maybe it's the emphasis on families, or maybe the loss of two uncles this past year, that is making me feel left out this holiday season. Christmas time is here but it has passed me by.

We have the tree up and decorated, the outside lights have been carefully 'strewn' on the shrubs, presents have been bought, and we're in the process of sending out cards. These rituals are more like chores on a to-do list this year. I do not want to do them but I feel compelled to complete them so no one will think we are lacking in holiday spirit (although we really are).

I finally saw my doctor last week about my missing menstrual cycle (last seen in April) and she ordered blood work and an ultrasound before she can refer me to a gynecologist. But of course Aunt Flow shows up three days later with a vengeance...or maybe it has been so long that I have forgotten how awful it can be. Not sure whether to go ahead and make an appointment for an ultrasound since it appears I am in perimenopause limbo instead of the big M. I mentioned all of this to my Mother who told me that for four or five years before she hit menopause she would have one cycle a year. Fun times ahead.

Friday, October 28, 2011

In a Funk

Since Labour Day weekend I have been in a funk about the whole adoption process. In September we met with another adoption licensee to register with her, and she told us what a 'sweet couple' we were and how she would try and help us find a birthmother. Yeah, we've heard that story before. Then, after we had given her our profile (and registration fee) we cannot reach her for comments for over six weeks. DH thinks the adoption licensees are a racket and I have no words to defend them.

October is the month we were married. With each anniversary comes celebration, but it also highlights what is not there and the years we have been busy trying to create a family. In nine years I truly thought we would have at least two children, but it is what it is. We have each other and we are closer than I ever thought we would be on our wedding day in 2002.

DH and I have begun talking about what ifs and a Plan B. If this adoption thing does not work out for us (no child) what will we do. It gives me hope that there may be new things ahead for us if we do end up childfree. At the moment our Plan B is to eventually buy a lot/property in the countryside and build a bungalow/craftsman/master bedroom on main floor, which seems like a dream to us much like adopting a baby is now. Instead of searching for baby stuff on the internet I have been checking out home design websites like this one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Not The Chosen Ones

Three weeks ago DH came home from work and informed me that he had heard back from the adoption agency we had signed up with in July. Our profile had been presented, but the teenage girl and her boyfriend chose another couple as adoptive parents for their baby. Wow. Three weeks later I still feel a sting.

We knew the odds were against us as the birthmother wanted a younger couple, but we let hope creep in and before we knew it we were excited. I know I was anticipating positive results and had started thinking about baby names and even decorating the room next to ours as a nursery. Now I am thinking about making that room into a sewing/craft room.

Three weeks ago reality hit home and brought with it a touch of the blues. Not being chosen brought back ancient memories of past rejections. You know the ones I mean. The ones that befall a geeky teenage girl, like getting picked last for teams in gymn class, or sending a note declaring my admiration to the cool guy a grade ahead of me only to have him not respond because he is in love with my best friend (and will go on to date her throughout our college years). Not being chosen does not get any easier.

We have decided that not being told when our profile is being presented will be easier on us emotionally. Next Tuesday we are meeting with another adoption licensee as we think being with three might increase our chances. At least that is what I thought in July, but now I am not so sure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moments of Weakness

Dinner last Saturday went well. While drinking a glass of red wine I decided to reveal our adoption plans. Actually I was asked what I had been up to these days and asked DH if I should tell them about our 'project', and then I told them we are thinking of adopting.

The two of them were very excited and happy for us. Then I had to keep reinforcing that even though we are hoping to adopt we may not end up adopting because not many women choose an adoption plan for their babies. We were asked how we came to this decision and then I revealed our previous pregnancy losses...that was difficult and I could feel my eyes filling with tears. She then told me about her own miscarriage a few years before their son was born so she said she could understand our feelings of loss. They asked questions about the adoption process, but I am not sure they quite understood it because they kept asking why we were focusing on 'local' adoption and I was confused.

I was nervous bringing our hopes for adoption out in the open, although the red wine did help. Infertility was glossed over and I just mentioned that we had undergone some fertility treatments that were successful but ended in pregnancy loss. The clinics and fertility treatments are topics I would rather leave in the past and not be required to tell friends in detail. After they left with their little boy I felt a huge sigh of relief because it felt so freeing to tell people this aspect of our life that we had hidden from view. My only hope is that they do not become like my friend A who begins each conversation with "So, anything new with the adoption?" And I must go through the whole process over and over again.

Even though I felt wonderful emotionally this week thanks to opening up about our adoption quest, I did have a moment of weakness today when I was getting groceries. Beginning in the produce section I noticed the young mother with a toddler son and a baby. From that point it was my mission to avoid them, but it seemed like just as soon as I had forgotten about them there they would be coming down the aisle. Then when I was in the baking aisle and there was another mother and her two beautiful toddlers and then the first mother walked by singing to her baby. I looked away as my eyes began to water but I told myself I was NOT going to cry in the grocery store, so I tried to finish the groceries as fast as I could while avoiding these two women and their children. It seems that just when I think I am strong and over sad thoughts that is when I am vulnerable. At least I did not have a meltdown at the grocery store.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Know or Not to Know

On Tuesday DH spoke with our contact at the adoption agency we recently signed up with. We sent an updated version of our profile (more action photos) to her last week and had not heard from her. She confirmed that she received our profile and was going to present it to the pregnant teenage girl she spoke to us about a few weeks ago. Um, what?

We have no problem being presented, but we are really confused by this agency's process as we were told that they do NOT notify couples when their profiles are being presented. Perhaps it is because this woman spoke with us in her office regarding our level of acceptance regarding birth mothers alcohol and marijuana intake, and then questioned us whether we are musically inclined. The birth mother wants a couple who are musical (now I am thankful for those four years of piano lessons, and that I moved my Great Grandmother's piano across North America when DH wished to leave it in California). We appear to be this birth mother's ideal couple except she wants a childless couple who are in their early thirties and we are early forties. Our age could be our downfall in this whole private domestic adoption pursuit.

It felt like someone kicked my stomach when DH told me we were going to be presented to this birth mother. Since we know that she wants a younger couple I do not have much faith that we will be chosen. Every now and again I will think of baby names or check cribs online, but then I have to tell myself that we are a long-shot. It makes me wonder whether it is better to know if your profile is being presented, or whether it is better not knowing to relieve the nervousness. I think I would prefer not knowing, although I guess there is the issue of one always wondering if your agency has forgotten about you. At this point I am hoping for the best, but realizing that we may be too old for this particular birth mother.


DH and I are having a couple over for dinner on Saturday that we used to chum around with while we were dating and newly married. We have drifted apart due to our time in the US and the fact that they had a baby two years ago. They had us over for dinner in January and we wanted to wait until our home study was finished before inviting them. I am also feeling emotionally stronger regarding others with babies and it will be good for us to maintain friendships with couples that have children even if we never do. Must admit that it may be difficult, and I am really scared in case they have a pregnancy announcement (as it took them a long time to confirm a date with us), so I am mentally preparing myself for one. Also, we are prepared to be open and possibly share our hopes for adopting, but I am not prepared to go into our medical history of infertility...of course, after a few glasses of red wine who knows what might come out of my mouth. Hopefully I will get the first floor of our house child proofed before their arrival. Should be interesting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


It's been so long since the last time I posted that I forgot my password and had to reset it. June and July have been busy.

The first week of June another uncle died. As life goes, we had agreed to host DH's buddy from Vancouver for a couple of days around this same time. DH offered to cancel but I knew his friend had been driving across the U.S. and Canada on his motorcycle and probably would like to stay in a house and not a tent or motel. The whole wake and funeral made me unglued with grief and my Mother was totally shocked losing two brothers in four weeks. I've been trying to phone and visit more often this summer.

Around this same time in June our social worker finally finished our homestudy, and we had our last visit with her after we got back from California. Oh, yeah, we were on the west coast for 10 days and got back a couple of days before Canada Day and shared a flight from Chicago with some reporters from Sky News who were on their way to cover the royal tour. DH had work meetings in Californa and I joined him and then we took a few days and went to Sonoma and then down to Carmel/Big Sur. Lots of shopping, wine tasting, and relaxing.

We had an awesome Canada Day as it was our first time celebrating back in Canada since 2005. Spent the afternoon hanging out at a pub in Ottawa with DH's old friend Suit Guy, who shocked us by not wearing a suit. My friend A joined us for dinner and we headed to the War Memorial to see the fireworks. DH and Suit Guy managed to embarass us as they drunkenly wielded toy light sabres on the way back to the pub. Luckily we crashed at Suit Guy's place so no driving home that night. (On a side note, Suit Guy is such a character that DH and I are thinking of starting a blog/website for him. The latest is that he was ticked off when a young woman at a bar approached him and told him how much he looked like Anderson Cooper...not sure why this would upset him, but that's Suit Guy.)

Back to adoption news. The first week of July we found out that the Big Adoption Agency had openings for the Vietnam wait list, so we are now on a 'call-back' list for this program. Honestly, I am still confused by the process because it may be six months to a year until we receive a call about getting our 'dossier' together and sending it, and from there it could be two years. DH and I decided that there's no harm in being on a wait list while we pursue a domestic adoption.

We have visited and signed with one adoption agency and one adoption licensee. It was wonderful to receive feedback on the profile we have been working on for the past couple of months. Surprisingly (or maybe not) each wants different changes made to the profle, so it looks like we need two different profiles. One wants more photos of family/friends and more talk of 'openness' regarding the adoption, while the other wants more action photos. One woman spoke about a pregnant teenager who had recently contacted her, but she told us that we are over the age range that the girl requested (30-35). Yikes. I told this to my friend A and she compared it to online dating and how subjective it is regarding age, race, financial status, looks, interests etc. Online dating sites can't guarantee you'll meet someone you'll fall in love with, and adoption agencies can't gurantee that you'll be chosen by a birth mother.

DH and I have agreed we will give the domestic adoption route a year and see what happens with it and we will also see what happens with the international adoption route. At the moment we still have to make changes to the other profile, but I am feeling too burnt out at the moment to even look at it.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Not the End of the World

Sunday afternoon I popped over to the corner store for milk and the following headline: "Will & Kate's Baby Heartbreak - She Can't Get Pregnant" caught my eye. In fact I bought that trashy magazine because they put a story about a Royal Family member's possible infertility on the cover.

So, there I was checking out and doing the debit thing when suddenly the teenage girl working the cash checks the headline and makes a comment: "Oh, my God! Isn't that awful? I hope it's not true because that would just be terrible not being able to have children." It was like she hit me in the mouth. I didn't know how to reply to this as she just described my life situation as terrible and awful, so I just nodded and said, "Oh, yeah." Whatever. I was shocked by her negative reaction to infertility and I really did not feel like pouring my heart out to someone who can't legally purchase alcohol.

What I should have told her (if there hadn't been three people lined up behind me) was that it is terrible and awful not being able to get pregnant, but it is not the end of the world. My heart has been shattered but it still beats and I still love my husband with a love that grows with each passing year. In fact, I had no idea that I could love my husband this much when we got married, but infertility has brought us closer. It is awful not being able to create and give birth to a baby, and I thought I would die from the grief of five pregnancy losses, but it is not a death sentence. I don't have Cancer. I will live.

I should have told her that even if Kate Middleton has problems conceiving her husband's family will be able to afford the top fertility specialists that money can afford. With their oodles of wealth they can pay for endless rounds of ivf. If they end up with twins (wink, wink) we'll know they had a bit of help.

I should have told her that not being able to have children is not the end of the world, but it's the beginning of a new adventure for those not faint of heart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy Day Monday

The last time I posted Aunt Flo had just paid a visit and now I'm waiting for another visit. She's late but I'm not expecting any miracles this month (or at least I haven't bothered to test) as I've had a few hot flashes -- and I've come through a stressful month -- so, it's just a bad mix of hormones and stress.

The evening after my last post I phoned an old friend hoping to chat and to ask if she might be able to provide a letter of reference for this other adoption agency. She finally got back to me the week after Easter. We caught up on each other's news and I vented about the big international adoption agency in town and mentioned how it was 'driving me crazy.' Her reply was: "Well, you could have a baby and going crazy too." Hmmm, wasn't expecting that retort. Then I told her about the out-of-town adoption agency and how they want five letters of reference, and asked if she could possibly write one. Her reply was: "Well, I don't know." I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. I came back with: "But, you told me last summer that you had written numerous reference letters for other friends applying to adopt; couldn't you just use an old one and change it to fit DH and I?" Her reply was: "But, I don't live in the same city as you two so it's not the same." My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. We've known each other since 1976 when we were in grade 2 together. She's one of two friends that I've poured my heart out to regarding my infertility.

I quickly changed the topic of conversation and we talked on the phone for another hour and I did not mention adoption again. For a week I felt rejected and depressed. How could she not recommend us as parents? I realize she lives in another city now, but we've kept in close contact by phone and she's heard everything about my relationship with DH from the moment we met through our struggles with infertility, and now trying to adopt. DH told me I was taking it too personally, but how else can I take it? Yes, I am personally insulted that this old friend cannot write a letter recommending that my husband and I would be good parents.

Now DH and I will have to ask a few other friends for references. The problem is that throughout our infertility struggle (almost 9 years) we have kept our troubles to ourselves. Most people don't ask us anymore about babies because they assume that we do not want children. When we tell people our situation then we can't take it back because it's out there and I do not want them to pity us. I am afraid they will be constantly asking us about how the adoption is going and why it's taking so long (as my sister and brother-in-law already do). When I bring this up with DH he is pragmatic and says we should just go ahead and write the reference letters and then send them to our friends to sign.

A week after the telephone chat with my old friend I was feeling better. The tv show 'Glee' had an episode featuring music from the Fleetwood Mac album 'Rumours', and there's nothing like the song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" to make one feel better. The next day I woke and was ready to start preparing our profile and birth mother letter for the out-of-town adoption agency. Then, while I was on the treadmill, my Mother left a message telling me to phone her immediately. I knew by her voice that something was wrong...someone had died. I automatically thought of her two older brothers who both had suffered strokes within the last ten months. When I phoned her back I was shocked to learn it was another uncle who had been in hospital for a procedure and had died the next day. The family still doesn't know the cause of death, although the coroner did request an autopsy. Very sad news. His funeral was the weekend before last and many more tears were shed.

These past few weeks have been stressful, sad, and difficult. Oh, and I forgot to mention that DH and I invited our families over for dinner just this past weekend: his parents on Saturday evening; and my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew on Sunday. Oh, and for some strange reason on Saturday morning DH accused me of not wanting to adopt anymore. Huh? I have no idea where that came from except that when I am depressed I lose all interest in everything except eating comfort food and watching movies. I was offended, but told him frankly that I had been: freaked out about my mammogram just after Easter (it was okay); depressed by my old friend's rejection of me becoming a mother through adoption; sad by my dear uncle's death; and stressed about entertaining both sets of parents that weekend. Then I added that I was not a robot and that I had feelings. Finally he understood...I think.

Today is a new day and, apart from the endless rain, I can see bright sunny days in our future. They may not be here now, but their time will come, and until then I will try to be optimistic.

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Visitor This Weekend

Bright and early at 5am this morning Aunt Flo came to visit. AF's appearance may explain why I have been on a major crying jag for two days -- or, ever since our appointment with the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Hormones can really mess up one's emotional state. I'm just thankful that I didn't breakdown in tears during our appointment at the agency.

Yesterday I listened to the Des'ree song "You Gotta Be" while on the treadmill. I kept repeating it as part of the chorus really hit home for me: "you gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger, you gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together." This should be my mantra while going through the adoption process. I've really got to get tougher and stronger to deal with these agencies while DH and I have our marital life scrutinized by strangers.

Yesterday I emailed an out of town agency that handles open adoptions. DH and I went to one of their workshops last November (just over a week after we moved back to Canada). I received a reply today that we could go ahead and register with the agency before our homestudy is completed if we are finished our sessions with our social worker. This has really brightened my day, but the only drawback is that we need to write a birth mother letter, a profile with photos, and get 5 reference letters. The reference letters may be the problem because it is one thing to ask friends to be a 'reference' and it is quite another thing to ask them to put this in a written letter format and have them follow through with it.

Oh, well, guess I must try to be harder, tougher, and stronger if I want to survive this adoption process with both my sanity and marriage intact. Fun days ahead.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Levels of Frustration

This morning I realized why infertile couples choose not to adopt, or give up on adoption. DH and I had an appointment with a woman at the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Our social worker had suggested that we could get on a waiting list for international adoption while pursuing domestic adoption, so we decided to look into it.

Our goal this morning was to get basic facts and find out how to get on the waiting list for the country we are interested in, which is Vietnam as DH's good friends from childhood are Vietnamese and they are more lenient with adoptive parents' ages. Since Vietnam recently ratified the Hague Convention on international adoption the 'big' international adoption agency in town has adoptions currently on hold. The woman mentioned that we could possibly get on the call back list in 2012. We asked what the difference was between the call back list and the waiting list and she said they were the same thing. Then we asked if we could get on the call back list and she said they were not adding to the call back list until she could go through the list of names she already had, but she would keep us in mind or we could keep inquiring, or keep checking their website. DH and I were completely baffled by this response as there is no logical process to getting on the call back list as it is all left to chance.

This 'big' international adoption agency in town is going to begin processing domestic open adoptions as soon as it receives a license, which is any day now, but, we can't get more information from them until they receive the license. The woman did tell us that the agency would require a 2k non-refundable retainer when we 'register' with them, but she would not answer DH's question of whether this retainer is included in the agency's estimate of total adoption costs.

DH and I were frustrated after we left the 'big' international adoption agency in town. Especially after finding out that they require us to take a workshop with them after we just finished our PRIDE course a month ago. My other frustration with them is that the woman pushed special needs international adoptions. At this point I had to share my late sister's story and how I spent half my childhood being dragged to hospitals and doctors appointments along with my sister. But, the woman seemed to gloss over my history and said that "if we really want to parent" that these international children are available for adoption without a wait list. She then said we could specify what kind of disability we would accept for adoption. So, how does one exactly prioritize what kind of disability is acceptable? That one makes my stomach turn. I am also irked that we came in asking questions about a specific nation for international adoption, and we were side-tracked to special needs adoptions.

I cried when I got home. When will it get easier? First infertility, then fertility treatments, then recurrent pregnancy losses, then kafkaesque adoption procedures and agencies. Oh, and I haven't even mentioned how international adoptees do not automatically become Canadian citizens when adopted by Canadian citizens. We must apply for citizenship/sponsorship for the child when he/she is brought back to Canada, and therefore must obtain (and retain) a passport from his/her birth nation until the process is completed. I wonder how much more frustration I can deal with before I break.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Waiting For Spring

Today is the first day of spring, but where I am right now it is snowing so I am still waiting for robins and daffodils. I really hate March in Canada.

Our home visit by the social worker went well...I think. She spent two hours grilling us about our childhood experiences and if we'd been hit or abused, and all sorts of fun stuff like that. Meanwhile, she spent all of two minutes checking out our house. Two, all the hours we spent cleaning (and me worrying) amounted to a two minute tour of our home. We have used this clean home as an opportunity to have our parents over to visit...of course not at the same time because that would be insane. Since we've been engaged and married our parents have been in the same room about six times. That's right, six times in nine years (and that includes our wedding rehearsal and wedding day). Oh, seven times if you include my sister's funeral.

Our last meeting with the social worker is next week and I'm working on reading a Deborah Gray book on attachment. Here's hoping we get approved.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Home Study Chez DH & Moi This Sunday

It's official. I am going crazy. Our social worker visits our home this Sunday and I can't relax. In fact, I am burned out from all the adoption stuff. We finished our PRIDE course several weeks ago and I have been diligently working on our birthmother letter/profile. After Sunday's home visit we have one more appointment with our social worker until our home study ends. Apparently we are supposed to be reading adoption books and listing them for the social worker, but I have only read one so far and need to find others.

We went to the police station last Friday to fill out forms for a criminal check, and also went to another agency to have our finger prints done for the FBI screening. Yes, we are getting checked out by the FBI, believe it or not, because we lived in the United States for almost five years. It will take about three months, but the funny thing is that I have almost no prints on my fingers! The woman doing the imprints complained, but what can I do? Who knew that your fingerprints can wear off over time. I told DH it is because of all the housework I do and he laughed and joked that I could be a criminal -- thanks Honey. Just hope it doesn't negatively impact our home study.

I am crossing my fingers that everything goes well on Sunday with the social worker and she's not detracted by clutter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dark Winter Days

Earlier this morning I was shovelling snow on our back deck. For some strange reason the previous homeowner built a deck that went under the gas furnace exhaust/intake pipes. These pipes are six inches above the deck boards situated a couple of inches between a riser for the patio door and the railing. I have no idea what this couple was thinking when they built the deck the way they did as the snow must be cleared from this area all the time, and it is so awkward to get a shovel in this space that one has to use hands to scoop out the snow between the pipes. Guess DH and I will not be going on any trips during winter until we make changes to the deck, which may not be for a few years. Of course, the whole adoption thing is costing more than I realized so we may not be able to afford a sun holiday for a long time. Grrrrr! Just needed to vent as DH keeps reminding me about how much more things cost up here.

We are halfway through the PRIDE course and have completed our second homestudy visit the other day, so there is a feeling that we are progressing through the 'adoption system'. We need to do more research regarding discipline and we realize that we really should be in agreement on how we will discipline. I have also started a birthmother letter, but have an enormous case of writer's block that sent me straight to the internet for inspiration. If anyone knows of any amazing websites/blogs regarding adoption, or writing profiles/birthmother letters, please feel free to comment.

At this moment I am feeling somewhat hopeful about adoption, but we have been forewarned by our social worker that there are not a lot of birthmothers giving their babies up for adoption. The other bad news is that the big international adoption agency in our city has wait lists of a minimum of two years -- and that is for waiting children with special needs. It seems like other countries are not so keen on foreigners adopting their children as the restrictions appear to be getting tighter (eg. age, weight, marital status etc). If I think too much about the mountain ahead of us I get discouraged, so I try to focus on the present.

The other freaky thing that has happened to me this winter is that I had a menstrual cycle in January. I had been on HRT since August, but I had a strange rash around my left nipple that appeared in September and wouldn't go away. Thinking that there might be a correlation between the rash and HRT, I went off the hormones the week before Christmas. Surprisingly the rash finally disappeared two weeks later. The week after that Aunt Flow came to town for a visit, the day I was leaving for an out of town tournament with my sister and niece. I had not had a period since June and it was weird having it again, and I had forgotten how messy and uncomfortable it can be. Since I had a menstrual cycle I decided to skip the HRT and see if AF visits this month, which should be within the next week.

These dark winter days are getting me down, especially with the homestudy, as well as the PRIDE course taking up one day a weekend for four weeks. I am trying to think of spring, but it seems so far away. Maybe I will stay in this afternoon and watch Dr. Zhivago, since the snow will still be there tomorrow. Oh, I think our Mr Plow guy is here clearing our driveway! Think I might leave the front steps for DH to clean off tonight.