Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Forms

We went into the weekend feeling a little better, now that we have a date for our initial visit and mock transfer at NEDC for May 22nd, as well as knowing that our current agency will complete our home study and transfer it to the new one.

Going forward, to make things less confusing, I will refer to my current adoption agency (the one that will complete our home study) as Old Agency, and the new one that we will transfer to, as New Agency (very original, I know!).  At this point, I am not going to specifically name the agencies, but maybe down the road, I will call them by name.

On Monday, I received a packet of forms and information from the IVF nurse at NEDC. I was instructed to call her, so I did.  I am told to call the clinic again when on the first day of my period in April.  In my packet, among other things were a prescription for Es.trace (estrogen) that I am supposed to start taking before my appointment, patient information sheet, medical history forms, fee schedule, list of hotels, and a map to NEDC.  I have started looking into hotels and flights now.  Our appointment is on a Wednesday.  If we flew in on a Saturday, it would save around $180 EACH compared to if we flew in on a Tuesday.

Yesterday, I received and email for New Agency with our adoption application forms and istructions.  It is pretty similar from what we did at Old Agency.  Actually, a few of the forms were the exact ones I had already filled previously for DHS (Department of Human Services).  I think there were less forms, but maybe because previously, we had applied for international adoption.  I mentioned this to a friend today, and she said, New Agency sends their forms in stages, so maybe I am not getting all the forms.  On the other hand, I may have less forms to fill because we are transferring our home study (when completed) from another agency.  So we will see.  I was assured by the social worker supervisor there that this home study process will be a lot quicker, and they will also try to request as many documents that we have already done from Old Agency.  I will still have to do the Adam Walsh background checks again, that's $70 per person.

On the other hand, the good news is, Old Agency said our home study should be completed in a couple of weeks!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

"Good News"..... Kinda.

As you know, we have encountered a roadblock with our current adoption agency who has told us that we cannot complete a home study for embryo adoption.  This morning, Babe and I met up with the domestic adoption manager to talk things through.  She also invited the international adoption manager to the meeting.  We had a very good discussion and they were very willing to work with us within their agency's policy.   In the end, the decision was made that the agency WILL complete our international adoption home study, but they will then transfer the completed home study to another adoption agency that can work with NEDC.

So, the good news is they will complete our home study for us.  The not-so-great news is we still have to work with another agency to be able to adopt with NEDC.

We are OK with this.  At least we won't have to redo our entire home study again, and don't have to waste time and repeat the costs associated with things like fingerprints, background checks, training, etc.  We will still have to pay a home study fee with the new agency, though it is a little cheaper, around $1,000 cheaper.

I'm not sure yet what all the details will be yet with the new agency since we were playing phone tag today.  Also this new agency is only open Monday through Thursday.  So it won't be until Monday before I can speak with them.

The better news is NEDC has confirmed May 22nd as our initial visit. They will be sending me a packet of forms to complete and instructions to speak with the IVF nurse.  Hopefully I will get that on Monday.

Yesterday was kind of a hectic day, so when I did my post last night, I forgot to mention that I had an appointment with my gynecologist.  In the past, I've had a couple of surgeries to remove polyps in my uterus as this can interfere with implantation for pregnancy.  I had been going in annually to get ultrasounds done to make sure I don't have any polyps as they can return even after removal.  I skipped last year since I didn't do an IVF cycle.  My doctor said I have a "beautiful uterus," just waiting for a baby to implant an grow in there.  No polyps or other growths, and my lining was great.  Yay for my beautiful uterus!!  I'm all ready for NEDC!

The ultrasound tech also found that my right ovary was in a peculiar position.  It was sitting below the uterus.  This would make it difficult for natural conception if I had ovulated from the right ovary.  I vaguely remember this issue too, since at one of my IVF cycles, the doctor was not able to retrieve any eggs from the right ovary.  Well at this point, it doesn't really matter where my ovary is, since I won't be needing it for NEDC.

February 2013 ICLW

Happy ICLW everyone!

It has been almost a year since the last time I participated in ICLW.  Many things have changed since then.  I haven't been in the blogworld for a while, and now I'm back.  If you've been here before, welcome back!

The short version of our story:  Babe (hubby) and were married in the Fall of 2002, and started actively trying for a baby in February 2004.  We were first diagnosed with "unexplained infertility".  Since then, we have tried just about everything..., surgeries for uterine polyps, 4 IUIs, and 4 failed IVFs, with the last one in July 2011.  My RE determined that we have low egg quality, probably due to age.  However, we have been trying for a baby since I was 30, so I wonder if it had alway been an egg issue.

Since then, we have gone down the path of international adoption.  However, over the course of the adoption home study process, we have decided to pursue embryo adoption instead.  Since my absence from the blogworld, I wrote a catch up post here.  We are still working on completing our home study when we just found out last week that our agency will not allow us to complete it for embryo adoption. Since then we have looked at another agency and the thought of having the redo our home study process over again from scratch both infuriates and upsets me.

To find out the latest updates, read the last few posts.  I will be posting more updates soon (I will be writing another post about today's update)!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

About Our Roadblock, Plus Updates

As you know, Babe and I have encountered a roadblock to our embryo adoption process.  If you have been praying for us, thank you.  I really appreciate it.

At our home visit with our social worker on January 24th, we told Ms. J that we have decided we want to pursue embryo adoption.  We would need to have a completed home study to be able to adopt with NEDC.  We had struggled with when to tell our adoption agency that we wanted pursue embryo adoption.  And honestly, we ourselves struggled with the decision whether to adopt embryos for a very long time.  We could have just waited for our home study to be completed, and then tell them, or we could be upfront and tell them right away.  So at the home visit, we told Ms. J.  Since this agency has never done embryo adoption before, she wasn't sure how to proceed.  She would speak with her manager and get back to me.

After waiting for 3 weeks, we found out that a home study completed by agency our cannot be used for embryo adoption.  Their reasoning...... they do not have expertise in embryo adoption.  They cannot approve us for embryo adoption and cannot use a domestic adoption home study for embryo adoption purpose.

This was such a shocker, and so frustrating!!  We were so close to getting our home study completed and approved.  We feel like we were being punished for being honest!  We could have kept them in the dark, completed the home study, and then told them, by the way, we want to adopt embryos with someone else!  Now we will have to find another agency and start our home study again from scratch.  Just thinking about the time, cost and effort we would have to put into it again totally upsets me!!

We still don't understand entirely why they won't let us do it.  It sounds like this issue has been discussed quite thoroughly with the managers and board of directors, and it sounded like the decision come from the directors.  It doesn't sound like much is going to change in this area.  We have a meeting with the domestic infant adoption manager tomorrow just to talk things through, try and understand where they are coming from, and where that leaves us.

I looked around for other agencies that will do just a home study, and we found a few.  We found one that was $2,100.  Most other places, the home study (including application fee) comes up to $3,400 or $3,500.  We found an agency that we are comfortable with, where a few other couples from our support group have gone through.  It's tempting to just go with the agency with the cheapest home study fee, but we are looking at things in the long run.  If embryo adoption does not work out for us, we will continue our adoption process with this agency.

So this morning, I dropped off our application, including our $400 application fee at the new adoption agency (will talk about them in another post).  I had a chance to meet one of the ladies that I spoke to on the phone.  They seem really nice there, and I hope we will have a good experience there.  My friends who adopted their babies from there really like the agency, so that's a good thing.

Then this morning, I also received an email from NEDC with a few dates for our initial appointment in Knoxville.  We have picked the first date they have available for us.  May 22nd!  Now we wait for a confirmation from NEDC and we will have to start looking at flights, car rental and a hotel!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Woman Gives Birth to TWO sets of twins

I woke up today to this posting on  A woman gives birth to not one, but TWO sets of twins on the same day!  They were hoping to grow to a family of 4, instead now they are a family of 7.  And no fertility treatments either.

Sigh.... fluke of nature, or blessing of God?

You may notice that I have had a little makeover on my blog.  Changed my background... it's about time.  I've had the same look for quite a while.  I also went and updated the blogs I follow.  That was quite hard to do.  Going through and deciding which blogs I no longer wanted to follow was quite emotional.  The blogs I used to follow were mostly infertility and IVF related.  It's hard to see most people have moved on to blogging about parenting, with lots of updates and photos about their babies and toddlers.  Some even moving on to their 2nd or third child.

It is a great blessing to see that people have moved on and fulfilled their dreams.  Yet at the same time, though I am not in the very same position as I was a couple of years ago, I still don't have a baby in my arms.  I can't help it, but the feeling of jealousy, anger and frustration just pops back up.  I have to remind myself that God has a plan for my life, and it is good.  This is the journey He has chosen for me, and I will walk it in faith.

So, I've updated my list to follow more embryo adoption and traditional adoption related blogs.  I know that some of you that used to be on my list of blogs I follow still stop by here.  I hope you understand and are not offended that I am no longer following you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Non-update Update

Sorry to leave you guys hanging.  Still can't spare too many details about the roadblock with our embryo adoption process. I will say though that it has to do with our home study.  I'll just leave it at that for now.  Will give more details when I am able to.  We could still use prayers in this area.

On the other hand, I did hear back from NEDC (National Embryo Donation Center).  The coordinator is waiting to hear back from 2 other embryo recipient families before she can give me any dates for our initial appointment at NEDC.  It probably won't be until sometime mid next week before they get back to me.  So things are still going OK on NEDC's end, even though it is slower than I had hoped.  Maybe that is for the best, with the hurdle with the home study and all.

I came across this article "Nine People You Should Know Who Were Adopted" on a blog today about people that were adopted.  Found it very interesting, and especially love that the article also covers embryo adoption.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Prayers Needed

Just found out this morning that we are encountering a pretty big roadblock in our embryo adoption process.  I can't talk about details right now, but if you can keep us in your prayers, we could definitely use it right now.  I'll try to update with more info when appropriate.

Thanks everyone.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year 2013 - Year of the Snake

Today, February 10, 2013 is the Chinese Lunar New Year. It is also the year of the snake.  Someone posted this picture on  I think it's pretty cool.  

What do you see? A snake?  The year 2013?  What about the word "love"?  Appropriate since Chinese New Year is so close to Valentine's Day this year.

Babe and I decided last minute to go out and have Chinese for dinner tonight.  Of course the discussion of embryo adoption came up at dinner time.  When the check came, guess what was in my fortune cookie?

"You will embark on a long and wonderful journey"!

It must be a sign!  Come on embryo adoption!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Waiting.  Again.

Ms. J, our social worker was supposed to call me today.  She was supposed to meet with the domestic adoption program  manager at our adoption agency to figure out how to proceed with our home study.  Received an email from her yesterday that RMI (Marshall Islands) will not let us proceed to adopt from there if we are planning on doing embryo adoption.  Sounds like none of the international programs would either, so we are probably going to have the home study written as a domestic adoption.  Maybe.  This is what I was supposed to find out.  Ms. J was supposed to call me today after she met with the program manager.  Nothing.

Also waiting to hear from NEDC.  On Tuesday, I received an email from the patient coordinator that they will get back to me within one week with a few dates for our initial appointment at NEDC.  I know, it's not a week yet, but was hoping to hear back from them before the one week is up.  Nope.

Now I will have to wait over the weekend to hear about either of these!

Catching Up

Apologies are first in order..... last blog posting, August 2012!

Sorry for being silent here.  Nothing was going on, and then so much happens once the ball gets rolling.  So I started a making a list of significant things that have happened since the last my last postings, considering we are already into the second month of 2013.  So here's what's happened:
  • After sitting on our adoption paperwork for months, we finally submitted the paperwork for international adoption for the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) in September.    I have to say that this was a lot harder than I thought it would be.  My initial plan was to just sit down, suck it up and just push through all the paperwork quickly.  However, the hardest part was answering all the personal questions.  My hubby and I had quite a few fights about it.  I think he had the hardest time with it.  After trying so hard and long for a child, now the adoption process interrogates you on all the things that most biological parents never have to even think about. Its like putting salt in the wound. 
  • After thinking about embryo adoption for months, we finally submitted our application to be an embryo adoption recipient with the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) out in Tennessee.  This was done by submitting an online application and paying the $300 registration fee.  One reason it took us so long to get that done was we had to write a letter to the donor couple as part of the online application.  I was not emotionally ready for to write the leter until now.  So we have officially applied to adopt embryos!
  • We met with our social worker twice in November for our home study.  But in December we found out that we were being reassigned a new social worker because our original one went on leave because her sister went missing.  That was quite shocking.  I can't imagine what it would be like to have a loved one go missing.  They have yet to find her.  On January 24th, we met our new social worker, Ms. J during our home visit.  It was quite nerve wrecking.  I spent the few weeks before de-cluttering our house, cleaning and turning our "junk room" back to the future nursery.  You know how that happens, when over the years of hoping to fill your nursery with a baby turns into filling the nursery with junk.  Anyway, the home visit part went well and was very brief.  She just really wanted to see where we live and to make sure it was safe (no wires sticking out, have running water and heat, etc).  We really like our new social worker.  She is really easy to talk to.  This was when we dropped the "bomb" - that we wanted to pursue embryo adoption.  We struggled with when to tell our adoption agency that we are want to do embryo adoption.  We finally decided it is best to just be upfront and honest with them from the get go.  To adopt embryos from NEDC, we would still need to have a home study completed, so we would continue to have our adoption agency complete it.  Ms. J has never heard of adopting embryos, so she is in the process of trying to figure out how to complete our home study.  Most international programs will not let you continue if they know you are pregnant, or are actively trying to get pregnant.  Ms. J is in the process of checking with the program managers for both the domestic and international programs on how we should proceed with our home study.  It does not matter to NEDC what kind of home study it is, whether domestic or international.  We just need a completed home study.
  • We received a packet from NEDC with more forms and some instructions.   We returned some notarized forms, 3 photos of the two of us, an updated letter to the donor couple, got some lab work done, and forwarded our medical records from our previous IVF clinic.  On Tuesday, I received an email that they received our packet, and will be getting back to us within a week to schedule our first appointment at NEDC.  It could be months before our first appointment, but I am hoping that we can get in soon!
  • A while back, I wrote about my dear friends Jack & Ellie (not their real names).  Jack was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer two and a half years ago.  After going through surgery and multiple rounds of chemo, he went into hospice care last fall.  Sadly, he succumbed to cancer in December.  He was only 45 and left behind a wife and two little kids, ages 3 and 5.  Please pray for Ellie and the kids.
  • I have not been working since December 2011.  It's been more than a year now.  Right before Christmas I had a job interview with a large multinational corporation.  It went really well, and everything looked really good.  I was very hopeful that I would be back in the job market.  Unfortunately, I was not offered the position.  I found out later that the manager wanted to hire me to replace a consultant, but due to office politics (contracts with the large consulting firm), he was not able to replace the consultant.  So, I am staying unemployed for now.  During my home study meetings, I found out that once a home study has been approved, we would need to update our home study if we have a 10% change in income.  10%!  That's not much at all.  So, that means we would need to pay a $500 fee to update our home study.  So for now, I will continue to live my "life of leisure".
  • To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this year, Babe (the hubs) and I went on a Caribbean cruise for a week. Unfortunately, we got caught in the tail end of Hurricane Sandy, but we got to extend our cruise one extra day to wait out the storm, courtesy of Carnival Cruise.  The extra day would have been great, if we didn't spend it rocking and rolling in the high seas of Florida, going around in circles, waiting for the Hurricane to pass.
Here's a small treat, a couple of pictures from our cruise, taken as we were leaving the Bahamas.

Beautiful blue waters of the Bahamas

View from our balcony