Category: Other people and how they handle it

Adoption is soooooooooo easy

Published / by sandymichelet / Leave a Comment

Every person or couple struggling to have a baby has heard the same advice. In fact, the advice never ends….and it is usually horrible.

I am not against getting advice. Help me pick out the color of my couch or the flowers for my front yard. I’d love that.

However, I needed a little more space when it came to whether or not adoption was right for us and how to maneuver through the process. We didn’t publically discuss our troubles with fertility until I started this blog a few months ago. Most of our friends and family had no idea of the struggles. We (for whatever reason) kept the fertility problem close to the vest…so when it came to adoption, Craig and I were like a steel vault. We didn’t tell anyone we were considering adoption because it would provide a glimmer of hope….and so far we hadn’t been successful with any other baby-making activity.

I don’t know why….but starting the adoption process and not ending up with a baby seemed like Failure – Level Two.

————————————————————————————————————————————

If anything can guarantee a child it is adoption.  Yep. It’s that simple.

Walk into Target, select the one you want, put it in the shopping cart, on the conveyer belt, load into your car and BAM! You’re a parent.

————————————————————————————————————————————

There are numerous routes on the adoption journey…and many of those end with beautiful, happy families. We know several couples who have adopted and can’t imagine how they could be any happier. We aren’t adoption experts……but this is our experience and 3 options we considered.

Adopt through Catholic Charities

We started here. Just like the maze of infertility…there is a web of processes for adoption…an entire world that no one even knows exists…unless you are one of the *ah hem* lucky ones with fertility issues. One of the women at Catholic Charities realized that we were clueless and walked us through a high level of our options.

Adopt through the foster care system

We had already been warned that the emotion of adoption was going to add a whole new layer to the fertility issues…but were told that adopting through the foster care system would test our patience and strength at every turn.

In the state of Louisiana, you cannot be approved to adopt without also being approved to foster. I think it is called dual certification. I was adamant that I didn’t want to foster…I could not have a child in my home only to have it yanked from me…my emotions were still too raw at this point.

However, to get to the adoption finish line we had to attend classes on “how to adopt/foster”. Our first one was early on a Saturday morning. We were the first to arrive (ok, we were 30 minutes early). We sat with several other people in the room….the woman conducting the class silently walked past the 6 of us and stood at a podium 20 feet away and began a lecture as if we were learning verb conjugation.

I was ready to hear about expanding our family, bringing love to a child who needed, etc. I was on the edge of my seat to hear her first words that would bring us to the finish line….a child. She held up a piece of paper….I leaned forward trying to see if it was a letter from a child, a picture of a happy family, etc. Nope. “To be reimbursed for mileage for your (3 mile drive from my house), fill out this form and send it to blah blah blah.” I could hear Craig exhale next to me because he knew what I was thinking….and terrified of what bit of wisdom/feedback/sarcasm/obvious irritation I would inject into this display.

I sat quietly (no, really!!!) and listened to a few facts. We weren’t allowed to have X number of kids living in the same room, we couldn’t have a child if we didn’t have a fenced in yard, we would be required to allow “inspectors” to come to our home to make sure we weren’t running some type of seedy operation out of our kitchen, etc.

Everyone in the room was interested in foster care…so in order not to slow down the Q&A session, we stayed after class so I could get my 5 typed pages of adoption related questions answered. I wanted someone to listen to me, hear our plight….provide the teeniest glimmer of light after this tunnel of blah. But nope. After years of being poked, prodded, put on medications to make my body do things, put on medications to make my body NOT do things, etc. I was told that I “just had to be patient”.

I am not sure if I blacked out at that point, but I remember climbing back into the car covered in tears and hearing Craig ask me over and over again WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT HER WHEN SHE IS TRYING TO HELP?

Adopt through a private agency.

This was by far the best experience.  I was talking with someone I trusted (I knew her personally). I wish we had started with her….however, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. We didn’t know that every medical test, procedure, etc wouldn’t work. Had we known though, it really wouldn’t have mattered. We initially didn’t have the financial means to even consider a $30,000 adoption fee.

By the time we found this option, we were better off financially (granted, $30,000 was still an enormous amount of money). But….We. Were. Exhausted.  We had spent 15 years researching, trying option after option, etc. I didn’t have any energy left and didn’t have any more tears to cry.

Foot in mouth….the moron’s definition of a family

Published / by sandymichelet / Leave a Comment

In a casual conversation a few days ago, I was talking with someone about careers and laughing about how priorities change. Ten years ago we were climbing the corporate ladder and now we just want to go home and sit in the backyard. How things change! When we were wrapping up he said “I know you’d like to get home to your family….I mean, not your family….but to your husband.” He caught himself when he said family and tried to correct it.

Why would there be a need to correct that!? Uhhhhhh…..I thought that my husband and I were a family. Aren’t we!? I was surprised. Does that mean because we don’t have children together that we aren’t a family? Does that mean every childless couple is just that? A couple?? And they can never be more?

So that got me thinking.

———————————————————————————-

Sandy’s official definition of family:

Group o’ humans joined together through emotional ties; who you can count on at any time, day or night; who care about your existence and will fight to protect you; who know the good and bad about you but still love you; who matter to you; who you want to call when you have a really good day or really bad day.

———————————————————————————-

There are no right or wrong definitions of a family, right? I think we can all agree that blood relatives are not the best indication of family. Maybe on paper, yes. But in reality!? Nope. Some people have blood relatives who aren’t even on their radar. Read the soon-to-be-famous-Sandy’s-official-definition-of-family again. Those who meet that criteria could be extended family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or covered in fur or feathers.

The point is that we shouldn’t define ourselves by what someone else calls us. We make that distinction.

So…do I have a family? Yes. And I am going meet that family at Outback for dinner. Table for two.

Mother’s Day: The Voldemort of holidays.

Published / by sandymichelet / 3 Comments on Mother’s Day: The Voldemort of holidays.

I know…I know…..Mother’s Day is to be cherished. Yeah. Whatever.

Mother’s Day is single handedly the worst day of the year for me and every other person struggling to have a child. Every. Single. Year.

I’ve said previously that church is VERY hard. It should be a place for peace…but the place is full of families with children and a constant reminder of my failure. But church on Mother’s Day!? That is a special kind of torture. Mothers are given flowers, the pastor or priest talks about the value of the mother to your family and to the world. Moms are asked to stand and be recognized. Donuts will be served directly after this service. Oh….(as an after thought/consolation prize)…..those other women who don’t have children!? You can stand too.

I stopped going to church on Mother’s Day many years ago. I realized that instead of listening to the message (you know….about how awesome moms are) I was planning my Jason Bourne escape route. The entire time.

It was a little something like this: Stand up quietly while trying to look invisible > Excuse me > Excuse me > Excuse me > Step over someone’s purse > Excuse me > I’m so sorry > Excuse me > Accidentally step on someone’s freaking bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers > Excuse me > HOW LONG IS THIS ROW? SHEESH! > Thank you > Excuse me >   Leave the pew and start the 20 yard dash. Successful escape!

Ready for bad idea of the day #2?

Like many families, we headed to lunch after church. On Mother’s Day. It was obvious that the 16 year old greeting the customers was told to hand the flowers in his bucket only to the moms. First, bad idea, restaurant. How in the world can that ever end well!?

So he asked each woman who walked in. “Are you a mother? Are you a mother? I’m supposed to hand these to the moms. Are you a mom?” No. But I do have mace in my purse. Ask me again.

I stopped going to restaurants on Mother’s Day the year I threatened a 16 year old restaurant greeter.

The irony of all of this is that I think moms should be honored and cherished. It is a huge responsibility to positively influence a child into a successful, confident and productive adult. That happens with a lot of blood, sweat, tears and “CLOSE THE DOOR”s.  Moms should be appreciated. Especially my mom. She put up with a lot from my brother. I, of course, was an angel.

Mother’s Day will always be a double edge sword for me. I love being able to recognize my mom and mother in law and all of the incredible moms I know. It will always be hard though…..because I have never had anyone call me mom. And that doesn’t seem like a big deal….until it never happens.

For now, I am finding peace on the day which I once despised and feared. And YOU have helped. So has changing the routine. The restaurant thing is obviously a no-go. So, we eat lunch at the house and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes we head to the movies so I can escape into the darkness….Jason Statham has a way of making me forget all of my troubles…….