Thursday, August 19, 2010


Before I left for Phoenix, John and I watched the movie Adopted. You can watch the trailer below:

I highly recommend this movie to anyone involved in adoption. At the beginning of the movie, there was a quote from "Beyond Good Intentions" by Cheri Register. It said,

"The joy and the tragedy coexist. That is the paradox of adoption, and we are all caught up in it."

It was so validating to see this quote. So often over these last few months, I have wanted to write about what I am learning about adoption (and I still hope to do so), but I haven't been able to. I think this is what I have been wrestling with - in adoption joy and sorrow intermingle - and this is very different from the view of adoption many have. I think many people see the positive side of adoption (and there is much that is wonderful) and fail to see that there are losses, especially for birthparents and adoptees. It has been quite a process to begin embracing both the joy and sorrow of adoption and realizing that they can and do coexist. I have always thought that you either have joy or sorrow, and have done everything I can to avoid sorrow and control the losses in my life (as if I can control them). Through this process, I am become much more accepting of the fact that tragedy and sorrow are unavoidable in life. They will both be part of our child's life, and my life, and there is nothing I can do to change this. And that is okay. Because there will also be joy.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Our "Dream Sheet"

I have been busy, busy, busy. Last week I was in Phoenix, AZ for work. It was my first trip to Arizona and I must say I liked it. The people were so friendly (especially compared to DC). It was great to have a chance to check it out because it was one of the places we selected as a potential next duty assignment for John. John graduates from Family Nurse Practitioner school next May and so we will be moving shortly thereafter. We recently had to give the Air Force a list, often called a "dream sheet" of the places we would like to go. Of course, the Air Force is free to completely ignore this list, and it is entirely possible it will amount to nothing more than a "dream." Our primary consideration in selecting places was where we feel we can best complete our adoption with as little trouble as possible. Basically, this means places places where our adoption agency has a partner agency within driving distance and preferably one that also has a Korea program. An agency with a Korea program is a plus since they will be familiar with doing home studies for Korea and there will be other adoptive families with whom we can connect. We eliminated Air Force Bases that are in the middle of nowhere (which is quite a lot of them) and tried to choose places where there is a decent sized Korean community. Basically, we ended up having to select places that are near or in metropolitan areas. This list is probably mainly of interest to my family, but since some of them read my blog, here it is:

1. Davis Monthan AFB, AZ (Tuscon)
2. Travis AFB, CA (northern California near San Francisco)
3. Buckley AFB, CO (Denver)
4. Patrick AFB, FL (near Melbourne where my parents and most of my siblings live)
5. MacDill AFB, FL (Tampa, about 3 hours from my family)
6. Luke AFB, AZ (Phoenix)
7. Hill AFB, UT (Salt Lake City)
8. Lackland AFB, TX (San Antonio)
9. Langley AFB, VA (Virginia Beach)
10.Robbins AFB, GA (about 100 miles from Atlanta, 6 hours from my family)

To be honest, I never thought I would choose to live in Florida again, but I like the idea of our child being able to see grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins more often. I have found myself imagining my family being able to meet us at the airport to welcome us home from Korea and meet our little one. I am just praying we get sent to the best place for our family and the adoption process.

We are off to Hawaii tomorrow! I am so excited! I managed to finish one other post which I am setting to post while I am gone, but otherwise I won't be posting for the next week.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beginning to Heal

I had a wonderful visit with Wendi. It did my heart good to visit with her and her hubby and kids. While we share a struggle with infertility; our connection goes way beyond infertility and I have been so blessed by her friendship. She has been gone for a little over a week now.

The visit was good for me in another way also. For a few days, I got to go to the playground at the end of my street; I had little boys rolling their cars on my table (Wendi, I have found 2 so far!), and the movie Cars on the DVD player. We have been waiting to be parents for so long that sometimes I worry that I will not know how to be a mom when the times comes. The world of playgrounds and playdates is so far removed from my life right now that I often wonder how I will transition. This is especially true for me here in the DC area because most of my friends here are single without children and so I am rarely ever exposed to moms with kids. There are times when that makes things easier (less painful), but at the same time, I don’t think this is entirely good for me. I worry I will be completely clueless since I am not around a lot of moms like most women my age. Time with Wendi and her boys helped me see that I will do just fine when the time comes. Certainly, there is much I will have to learn, but I think that is the case for any new mom. I think the visit also helped to open my heart and enable me to see myself as a mom-to-be. I love being around kids (especially toddlers) and it is good to know this hasn’t changed.

I have also been doing much better as far as “letting go.” This month’s cycle did not bring the grief the previous ones had. In fact, I was able to immediately think about the fact that every time I start, it means we get to meet our son (or possibly daughter) in Korea. Recently, our adoption agency reiterated the pregnancy policy of the agency in Korea. Basically, if you get pregnant you lose your referral. I think this is absolutely helping me to think about things differently. I know this will be difficult for many people to understand, but I would be devastated if we lost our referral (no we haven't gotten one yet!), even if it meant pregnancy happened.

As part of this change, I am really making a point to force myself to interact with new moms and pregnant ladies if the opportunity arises. Normally, I would just ignore or avoid them, but I think it is important for the healing process to no longer do this.

By the way, this has never been the case for me with women I have formed a connection with through blogging. I have always been able to read pregnancy blogs if it is someone I have already been reading and praying for. I wanted those of you who have recently announced pregnancies (Lisa and Hannah), and Stacey (due in September) that I am not avoiding your blogs. I have been a terrible blogger lately and really haven’t been commenting on anyone’s blog (mostly due to lack of time and somewhat due to lack of energy – half marathon training has been wiping me out). I continue to rejoice in what God has done in your lives and pray for healthy pregnancies. Just wanted you guys to know this. I had to write this post during lunch at work on Thursday and am just now finishing it to post it.

In adoption news, we received a notice that the “FBI was unable to process” John’s fingerprints for our I600a immigration application. Really? They only have 2 sets from previous background checks. He only has a secret security clearance as a military officer. Okay, I’m done now :) They gave him a new appointment, but it is when we will be in Hawaii. I emailed our agency and they didn’t seem too concerned about it, but I would love prayers for him to receive a new appointment very soon. John has to go away for 10 weeks in the fall for clinical training, so we are hoping for an appointment before he leaves.

Speaking of this, I realized that John may not be right there with me when we get our referral (he will be in FL). I feel like this is almost the equivalent of him missing the birth of our child, the equivalent being if he couldn’t go to Korea with me for some reason. With the military, these types of things are always possibilities. There are many guys in Iraq and Afghanistan missing the births of their first children and even the first years of their children’s lives. We will just have to figure out how we can make it special for us in a different way.

I am off to dinner with my dad - he is in town for business. He is bringing his co-worker who adopted from China so that should make for some great conversation. Tomorrow I am taking part in a yard sale fundraiser for Team in Training. Hope everyone is having a great weekend!