Saturday, April 12, 2014

Advancing!

We continue to make progress with our adoption.

We have finished gathering photos and writing text for our adoption profile. We have hired a graphic designer who will put it together and send us a proof. Also, we have made great progress with the homestudy. Rather than tell you about in writing (which might bore some of you) I wanted to post a picture of the checklist that will give you a good indication about the progress we have made and what we still lack. The only thing not included on the list is the home inspection and interviews with the social worker. Please see the picture below.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Sentiments Exactly!

I saw this and had to share it. It perfectly describes my feelings on fatherhood and what I want to accomplish when I am finally a dad.


Letter to Abigail



April 3, 2014

Dear Abigail:

I can’t believe it has been three months since my last letter to you.
Your mommy and I are settled in are new home and anxiously awaiting your arrival. Your room has some of your daddy’s office furniture. He cannot wait move out to make room for you. We got some stuffed animals for you that I know you will love. They are sitting against the wall right now and are waiting for the day when they can sleep next to you in your crib. We keep those animals out as a constant reminder of what we want more than anything—you as our beautiful baby girl.

Right now we are trying to work on our profile. A profile is something that adoptive parents need to show to birthmothers. Birthmoms choose the couple they want to adopt their baby based on these profiles.  The profile includes pictures and information about you mommy and me. We seriously hope that your birthmom will choose us so that we can become your parents. When you are old enough, we will show you our profile.
We are also going to start the homestudy process. A homestudy is what anyone who wants to be a parent must go through in order to be able to adopt. They want to see if we are OK to be your mommy and daddy.  It is scary, but all worth it if it means we become your forever family.

As a teacher, your daddy gets one week off every spring. Today I was thinking that it would be so much better if you were around. I have free time this week that I would much rather spend with you. I am already thinking about all the fun daddy-daughter activities we can do and cannot wait to take you out on your first “date”.

I think about you a lot. When I eat at our dining room table, I imagine the day that you will be sitting in your high chair while I feed you. I look forward to sharing meals with you.

Easter will be here in a couple weeks. If I don’t write to you before then, Happy Easter!

I love you baby girl!

Love,
Your  Daddy

Monday, March 31, 2014

Making Satisfactory Progress

I have been pretty "cool" about this whole adopting thing lately. Things were moving a bit slow as far as trying to get picture together for our profile. I felt ok with it because I still felt like progress was being made and my mind was not obsessing over infertility/adoption. There were times I felt anxious last week because we had a photo shoot with a photographer and we had to cancel it. That kept me up  for a lot of the night until I finally broke down and took two sleeping pills so I would fall asleep. Needless to say, I quickly rescheduled it. This afternoon dressed in our nicest pairs of  jeans and dressy (but not too dressy) shirts/tops, we will go to a local park and have pictures done. The photographer is doing them for free because we are a part of a book she wants to publish documenting adoptive/surrogacy couples. It is interesting to note that she is an adoptive parent herself! She will also document our first meeting with out future kid as well as the finalization. We feel very blessed in this regard!

Also, we are taking the first steps in the homestudy. I have spent the morning filling out the initial  paper work (I am on spring break this week, so no work!). I have a few more short sections to fill out before we can sign it and mail it in with our 2,000 dollar fee.  This is exciting because once the profile and homestudy are done, we can play the waiting game.

Progress gives me peace and I hope to make  lot of it over the next several weeks.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Family Building Method that is not OK

This is terrible. I recently read an article that I have decided to share below. It has to do with a man who offers a free sex service to anyone who desires to have children.  For the first time in my life I am going to make a public statement and say that there is one way of family building that is not OK. I can't fathom how any man would give his wife over to another man under any circumstances. It would absolutely burn me up to let my wife sleep with anyone. Whatever happened to just plain old donor sperm through IUI, IVF or something else? This moves beyond family building and into the realm of illicit sex/adultery.

 Another thing, as a man with Non-Obstructive Azoospermia (with a zero count), his 100 million sperm count almost makes me envious.

Some of you from the school of post-modern thought will say that I have no right to judge. Well, I can tell you that there are absolute truths in this world and that is one of them. I can think of at least one example in history where illicit sex resulted in the birth of a child. This couple was barren so the husband slept with the maid. The maid gave birth to a son. Years later the couple miraculously conceived a son. The child became the blood line through which the nation of Israel was born. However, because of one bad choice, we have no peace in the Middle East today.

http://nypost.com/2014/03/21/man-who-fathered-98-kids-offers-free-sex-service/?utm_campaign=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_medium=SocialFlow

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Infertility Anniversary

This month marks my one year anniversary as an infertile person. Oddly, I cannot remember the exact day, which is probably a good thing. I remember beginning 2013 with optimism and not realizing it would actually turn out to be the most tumultuous year of my life. My wife and I dealt with money problems, unemployment worries, family strife, AND INFERTILITY!

I have been through a lot and learned more about infertility and adoption than I ever wanted to know.

During the first few months of 2013, we realized that months of GOFI, while still relatively enjoyable, was becoming a chore--and we were not getting any results! We got a couple of opinions from OB/GYNs. One doctor just told us what position to use,while the other ordered tests for me and my wife. My wife had an HSG done at our local hospital and an invasive ultrasound in the doctors office. Everything seemed well on her end. I on the other hand was to  go have a semen analysis done. I knew immediately this meant going to some clinic and producing a sample amidst pornographic magazines and DVDs which were supposed to inspire me. I figured I would only have to do this once, after all my semen was just as normal as any other man's (so I thought). I was so confident (and holy spirit filled) that I did not even use any of their material; I just produced a sample, left it on the counter and was on my way. I figured my results would come back as normal--plenty of little swimmers with strong motility and morphology. I was still buying into the misconception that infertility was a women's problem. I had no idea that male factor infertility even existed.

I got my results by mail one week alter and the results were shocking. The only thing that came back normal was the volume of semen I produced (3-6 milliliters is normal for a guy). I logged onto the computer to find out what was happening and found out I had azoospermia. My wife's doctor soon called us in to tell us "lets work on your husband for now". About a week went by. In that first week, I was in a daze and just did not know what to say or feel. I felt nothing.  In that time I eventually said "screw it, if I have to spend thousands to have a child, then I don't want kids, perhaps God is telling us be be childless." After another week went by, my emotions finally got the best of me. My desire for kids was no longer a mental thing--I actually had feelings and an emotional need to be a parent for the first time. My heart broke, and I cried and felt depressed for most of my weekend. I have a yearning to be a parent the same way I had a yearning to get married when I was approaching my late 20s and was still single. It is a nagging feeling that I can't shake. My dream is to have a baby girl. I have wanted a daughter for as long as I can remember. I have a name picked out for her already.

In those next few months, I had found a prominent urologist and began going to see him for treatment. I produced many more semen samples during that time and am sorry to say that I succumbed to the temptation to use the adult magazines and DVDs, (despite my personal objections to them) as producing just became more difficult and less "fun" (even if it felt pleasurable).  I had  peace during this time because I felt like I was making progress toward fatherhood. I was on a drug called clomid which was supposed to increase my testosterone and sperm count (you can't produce sperm without the right amount of testosterone). With the exception of father’s day (which might be difficult for me again this year) I was in a good place mentally and spiritually.  I was part of no support groups and was OK just getting support from family and friends who knew nothing of infertility and could not relate to me or my wife. Around July, the clomid was starting to take it's toll on my emotional well being. I was beginning to think less clearly, was more emotional and our unemployment and money problems were taking their toll.  I found the RESOLVE message board which gave me some temporary outlet and much needed support for other who were struggling with infertility. That helped somewhat, but it was still lacking.  By August, my wife and I had hit a low point in our marriage. I was high up on clomid half the time and even left my wife for two days over a fight about my employment situation, money, and infertility.  The RESOLVE board was a great support, but not much help. Eventually, I found a wonderful therapist who helped me work through problems.

My  emotional state was still problematic. I had no job, little money and felt like my dream of becoming a parent was never going to come true. Despite being on clomid, I still had a zero sperm count. My last option was to have Micro TESE surgery to try to extract sperm from my testicles. At a cost almost 8000 dollars and with a 50/50 chance it might work I was torn. I prayed and thought about it for a few days. I was still out of work and had trouble getting enough financing for the surgery. This depressed me but also make me realize that maybe we are not  supposed to be biological parents. The thought of spending endless amounts of money on treatment and increased emotional strain on my marriage made the idea of fertility treatments less and less appealing.  Finally, I asked my wife if she would be open to adoption. I explained that it would still cost a lot of money, but it would be tax deductible and the chances of us having something to show for all that spending was greater than if we did IVF. I told her I did not want to see her suffer the physical and emotional pain of IVF. After much prayer, we agreed to adopt.

In the next few months, we were overwhelmed. The issue of adoption was enormous. What type of adoption. Domestic? International? Foster care? Do we take a special needs child? Are we open to all races and genders? What is our first step? We could not agree on criteria. We finally agreed after months of back and forth (and a few fights) on criteria. Eventually, things began to get a little better. I found a job and money became less of a worry. I found a wonderful facebook infertility support group that is very supportive and to which I still post things now and then.  Next, we shopped around  and eventually we found a wonderful adoption agency.

We officially signed with our adoption agency in January 2014. Since that time, we have moved to a bigger place, and I am currently in the process of putting together the adoption profile that will be shown to prospective birthmoms.

What I just wrote is basically an overview of my first year as an infertile person. I have been through a lot and have left out some details in the interest of brevity. I am looking forward to what my second year of infertility will look like. I am optimistic that my second year will be better than my first. Let's hope so......

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New Blog Features

I am delighted to announce that we now have two new features on this blog. The first is a tool that allows you to compare fertility clinics. The second is a tool that allows you to compare adoption agencies and foster care. They can be found towards the bottom of the blog. Also, here are links to both tools:


http://fertility-clinics.findthebest.com/

I hope these tools will help our readers to make better decisions about how to build their families.