Sunday, June 15, 2014

APPROVED!!!

As of right now, we have been officially approved to adopt!

If you had asked me a year ago if this was to be the case, I would have said you were crazy. I was less than six months into my infertility diagnosis as was trying to see if drugs would help me produce sperm. I had my heart set on a biological child. In roughly one year, we have made so much progress. I am in a better place, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I have a peace about childlessness right now and know it is in God's timing. The waiting is not bothering me at this time. I have done all I can for now. The only thing left at this point is to seek more funding sources for phase two. I hope to secure some interest free loans and/or grants from non-profits organizations.

News of you approval makes this just about the best Father's Day weekend I ever had. Last year, Father's Day was bittersweet for me since it was my first as an infertile person and my wife was not with me. Having the news of our approval at this time makes the weekend more bearable and enjoyable. I will always remember that I was officially approved for fatherhood on Father's Day weekend. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Male Infertility: Guys Deny It; Wives Carry the Burden May 29, 2014

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/male-infertility-guys-deny-wives-carry-burden/story?id=23910816

The link about is to a great story on male infertility. I am an exception to the title. In my case, I did not deny my condition and I even carried most of the burden.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Adoption and the Campaign for Parenthood

The path to parenthood continues.  We have had our first homestudy visit. The visit consisted of a joint interview and walk through our home. We did well in the interview and the only thing we need to do to prepare for the second interview is purchase a car seat (which did Saturday) and make sure that our water is no hotter than 120 degrees (the social worker will bring a thermometer and test this on her next visit). The second visit will also include separate interviews, one with my wife and one with me. I cannot be within a earshot of the interview which means that I will have to take a walk around the block and have my wife call me when she is done.

The home inspection just checked to make sure we had first aid supplies, a fire extinguisher,  CO and smoke detector, and that hazardous materials, medicine, and sharp objects are stored properly (either elevated or locked up). The interview was basically a repeat of questions asked on our application. Among other things we  were asked about our parenting style, how we as a couple resolve arguments, and they even asked questions about the open adoption book we are supposed to be reading.

After the visit concluded, I remarked about how I felt like I had just taken part in a presidential debate. It was somewhat exhausting and the stakes were high. The more I got to thinking, the more my political side began to rear its head. If that sounds strange, let me explain.

In my former life, I ate slept and breathed politics. I have both a BA and MA in political science, I was a delegate to the state party convention, I served on the platform committee of the state party, I was a caucus chair in the local party, etc. I have volunteered on many campaigns, I have been employed by a State Senator, County Supervisor, and done legislative work for a private organization.

Please humor me!

Why do I tell you all this? Because I have come to the conclusion that the adoption process is like a presidential campaign. First, you need seed money to get it off the ground. next you need to get together your campaign team which in the case of adoption, is your agency and/or attorney, the person who will be designing your profile, and maybe your therapist. In all of this, you need to be finding sources of money to fund your campaign.  If you can rake in big bucks, you can really ramp up your outreach to birthmoms with a website and other extra to publicize your desire fora child. The homevisits are the debates, where you must "defend" your "record" and "taut" your "experience". getting approved for the adoption after the homesutdy is like winning the primary and formally clinching the nomination of your party. I can picture myself saying something like "Mr. Chairman, fellow delegates, and my fellow Americans, with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for awesome responsibility of the office, I enthusiastically accept your nomination for ...." (I know that sounds dumb and cheesy!!)  You need to have a good design team and run a slick campaign throughout the adoption process. Your message needs to be clear and resonate with the "voters" you are trying to reach (young birthmoms). After you are approved to adopt, you are in the general election campaign. You cannot afford slip ups as you march toward victory in November. Winning the general election involves being matched with a birthmom and making sure that the match does not fall through. between that and finalization, you are parent-elect ( like president-elect). Finalization is inauguration day. You take the oath of office and officially get sworn in.

My campaign slogans will be:

"Ready to parent on day one."

"Experience fertility can't buy."

I was thinking about a campaign commercial that sums up my feeling on marching toward parenthood. I found one which I have posted here. It has parallels to my own life leading up to this adoption campaign. When I first got married, we were in debt from the wedding and my reckless spending as a single guy. Also, my wife had just been diagnosed with epilepsy. We had to work toward getting both epilepsy and spending under control. With our experience, we can handle parenthood. We are a couple whose time has come.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Further Progress

At long last our adoption profile is done. I would show it here, but then Infertile Male's identity would be shown--and we can't have that!! Now, we must have it printed. We will probably do about 55 copies to start.  These profiles will be shown to birthmothers. If a birthmom likes us, she will select us.

However, we cannot go "live" until our homestudy is done. After our homestudy is completed, then they will begin showing us to birthmoms. As far as our progress on the homestudy, we have all our documentation in except for my wife's pay stub and a letter from her neurologist discussing her epilepsy and its impact on her ability to parent. The social worker is currently looking over our paper work and will schedule our interviews and home inspection soon.

I recently bought a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detectors, and a small first aid kit.  During the home inspection, they will look for these things. We must begin to think like parents. We recently took all our household cleaners and other dangerous substances and moved them to a higher shelf in our hall closet. When the inspection takes place, there are a few items we will move or hide. We need to get in the mind set of child proofing our home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Forward

I just sent our paperwork to the adoption agency that is doing our home study.  The only things we are still missing are copies of our driving records and a pay stub for my wife.  Once the agency receives the paperwork, we can can schedule interviews and a home inspection while we wait for the last couple of items to come in. In addition to that, I have ordered carbon monoxide detectors and bought a fire extinguisher.  These are items a social worker will want to see when they inspect our home.

When I hear about how long it took for others to complete their homestudy, I feel more optimistic. Compared with many, we have made lightening quick progress. After we are approved by the social worker and our profile is done, then we can only sit back and wait. During the time we wait, I will begin seeking out new sources of funding for phase two. This time, I am going to apply for grants and interest free loans.

Making progress gives me peace. When I am not having difficulty and are doing everything I can, I do not worry because I know there is nothing else i can do.