Wow, what a difference a year makes. So much has happened in the past year – mostly good stuff!
A year ago, we were just going live with our adoption profile (being shown to expectant parents), we were having our fingerprints done and working on myriad home study details.
Last Jan 7th, I wrote about a fortune cookie fortune that still remains on my desk to this day. It says “Where there is a will, there is a way.” At the time I pondered it and wrote: “I am hoping that the fortune is true – and that somehow (hopefully soon) we will fulfill our dream of being parents. And that through all of this effort and heartbreak, the sheer force of my ”will” can help us find “a way”. Little did I know how quickly that would come to fruition.
A year ago on New Years Eve, I forced myself to go to a NYE party (I was still deep in grief and didn’t feel like celebrating anything). You can read about that evening’s events in this post. At the stroke of midnight, while everyone else was celebrating, I was in the bathroom sobbing. It was just days before the twins’ original due date and all I could think about that night was that I should have been home taking care of my sons that night, not at a party feeling lonely and sad while in a room full of people.
Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that just one year later on New Years Eve, we’d be sitting at home by choice – but this time with our 17 month old daughter asleep in her crib, and us marveling at how lucky we feel to be her parents. We are still amazed that it was just 3 short months after starting our adoption process that we brought our daughter home. We were fully expecting a 6 – 18 month wait when we started the paperwork. Truly, at the time I didn’t feel like we were quite ready to be parents, but we thought we’d have a lot of time to get there. I feel a little guilty sometimes with how easy our adoption process was, knowing how much longer and harder it has been for other friends in their own adoption journeys.
For anyone trying to follow along, here is our timeline:
- Dec 9, 2010 – signed with our adoption organization
- January 12, 2011 – delivered our profiles (info about us for expectant parents) to the organization so they could start presenting us to expectant parents
- March 1, 2011 – home study was approved
- March 15, 2011 – our adoption organization contacted us to let us know we had a potential match (it turns out the birth mother picked us online, then they sent her printed profiles and she picked us again – this was all before we knew anything about her). The baby was already 8 months old.
- March 16, 2011 – our initial call with the birth mother where we got to talk for the first time and subsequently we each agreed to the “match”.
- March 28, 2011 – our first meeting with the birth mother and baby
- March 29, 2011 – our first time alone with baby
- April 3, 2011 – first overnight with baby
- April 4, 2011 – paperwork signed making us her parents and we got to bring her to her forever home
- December 9, 2011 – adoption finalized
As you can see, it was a whirlwind year becoming parents of an 8 month old baby – a crash course in instant parenthood. Not always pretty, but full of love, hugs, giggles, and a few sleepless nights (us not her).
I’m not sure why I feel the need to say this, but I still do. Having an amazing beautiful daughter does not take away the pain of losing our sons. It does not “fix” things, and having her doesn’t make losing Trace and Quinn okay. But over the course of this past year, I have become better at allowing the grief and joy to sort of co-exist. Usually not at the same time exactly, but in the course of a day, I can have my ugly sad cry in the shower and minutes later feel extreme joy at our daughter’s latest antics, kisses and hugs. Loss and joy are complicated that way.
Another interesting milestone this year was finally launching a business plan based on the work I’ve been doing the past few years helping others travel abroad for IVF treatments. The organization that I worked with previously (they subcontracted to me) changed their business model, and suddenly were no longer including my services in their treatment package. That gave me the opportunity to reimagine how things should work and launch a business model that I felt would be unbiased and provide the best solution for me to continue to be able to help people who wanted to travel abroad for IVF, donor egg IVF, and donor embryo treatments. A few weeks ago, my new Website was finally launched – www.ivftraveler.com.
I am excited and energized by the opportunity to continue to help others achieve their dreams of building or expanding their families. In a recent week, I had the joy of receiving birth announcements for five babies conceived from treatments that I had the privilege to faciliate. And it is days like those that fill my eyes with happy tears and reinforce my feelings of being so lucky to do a job that I absolutely love.
I hope that 2012 brings you all good health, dreams fulfilled, and new dreams created. I hope you can find precious moments of joy and peace in what otherwise may be hectic and often challenging days. Happy New Year!
PS – if you made it this far, you deserve a little something extra, so here is an image of our first Christmas card with our daughter.