Sunday, May 17, 2015

Adoption Moves to the Back, Epilepsy Moves to the Front

This might very well be my first post of 2015......to be honest with you, I don't know. There is nothing to report and I have been feeling a lot like I did before I knew I was infertile, in fact I am even feeling better in some ways!! When nothing is happening and things are OK, I lose my zeal to post. Perhaps my zeal to be a male infertility crusader has waned considerably, I don't know.

I do know that I am still not a parent.

In about a month I will call IAC and begin the process of renewing our home study. Home Studies last only one year.

AdoptHelp called us several weeks ago to tell us they need more profiles, so it looks like we have been shown to a number of birthmoms but have not yet been chosen. The new profiles have already been sent and I made sure that more were printed up this time. A box of them sits in my office so when they run out, I can drop more in mail to them the same day.

Looking at everything tat has gone on the last few months, I know that now is not our time to be parents.

My wife's epilepsy is back on the forefront. This is actually great timing as the parenthood/infertility journey is in a holding pattern right now with nothing significant to report.

E (my wife) has been undergoing tests for her epilepsy as she did 8 years ago. he seizures had been acting up again so she was placed on new medicine and had to undergo an EEG, PET scan, and MRI. She also spent a week in the hospital at UCLA so that they could further examine her brain functions and capture three seizures on video. I spent a few nights with her in the hospital and visited frequently.

The medical expenses we have been incurring as of late make me glad we have not yet been matched with a birthmom.  Paying medical bills coupled with the stress of it all makes me glad that we do not have to add adoption stress to the mix. I am glad that we have no significant adoption expenses right now. WE are focusing on E's health right now.

New week will will have to drive up to San Francisco for an MEG test at UCSF. UCLA does not do this test so we must go up north to have it done.

For the time being E's health is going to be at the forefront of our efforts. I am personally hoping that after 9 years of dealing with epilepsy, she can try brain surgery to try to improve her quality of life once and for all. I am tired of her being on medications with all their negative side effects. I am tired of  having to worry if she will have a seizure and possibly injure herself.

It is for the best that we are not parents right now. Perhaps E's quality of life must improve first before she is ready to be a parent, I don't know/ Maybe we need to find a permanent resolution to epilepsy. I do know that when we put off having kids for six years it was so we could focus on E's medical treatment.  Looking back, delaying having kids was probably a good thing.

I have often said that although many of us are going through the stress that is infertility, I have it much worse!!  We are dealing with  very stressful conditions instead of one. I like to believe that if a couple like us can go through infertility, than anybody can.


Friday, December 12, 2014

How Ironic!!!

I just got rejected by another charity that helps people adopt. Within a couple hours I get an email asking me to donate to that same organization!!! They picked the wrong person to ask!!! See the entire email below.



Impact of Helpusadopt.org Adoption Grant Program

“Without Helpusadopt.org, I would not be standing before you as a mom. I would still have a giant hole in my heart; I would still be broken and losing hope. Helpusadopt.org isn’t just about bringing children home, it’s about restoring hope, healing hurt, and creating loving forever families. These grants that Helpusadopt.org gives change life trajectories with a single act of kindness and generosity.”- Emily and Eric, Helpusadopt.org grant recipients

Dear -----,

The only organization of its kind in the country, Helpusadopt.org is a national 501c3 financial grant program that helps couples/individuals (regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, marital status, gender identity or expression or sexual orientation) with the cost of adoption by awarding life changing grants up to $15,000, without charging its applicants to apply.

If you ever needed a reason to donate to Helpusadopt.org here are five:

1. You Care
Giving to Helpusadopt.org reinforces what you already know about yourself – deep down, you care about children who need homes and building families – one grant at a time.

2. You know the power of Helpusadopt.org grants
We just awarded another $150,000 in adoption grants which put us over the ONE MILLION DOLLARS awarded mark!! If more funds are available we will change more lives, bring hope to a hopeless situation, and put children in the arms of loving parents.

3. It’s a family thing
Your support has allowed Helpusadopt.org to help build 124 families. Whether you have a direct connection to adoption or not, your gift to Helpusadopt.org says “I believe my gift makes a life-changing difference and allows deserving couples/individuals to adopt the child they have sought for so long.”

4. Adoption is expensive
Through IAC, the average adoption costs $25,000 and up. The enormous costs of adoption do not discriminate, they affect everyone, everywhere. Your donation helps break down the financial roadblock to adoption.

5. ONLY place to turn
Helpusadopt.org is the ONLY place many of applicants have to turn. We are the ONLY adoption grant program that provides large, impactful grants, up to $15,000, doesn’t charge an application fee, supports all types of adoption and doesn’t discriminate on any basis.
By joining Helpusadopt.org and IAC's fundraising efforts and making a generous gift today, you can enable Helpusdopt.org to build more families through adoption.  The biggest challenge facing Helpusadopt.org is the increasing demand for our crucial services.  Today Helpusadopt.org receives almost 800 applicants seeking $6M in adoption grant funds each year.  At this time, we are able to annually provide 25 – 35 grants (depending on grant size awarded per couple or individual) and $300,000 in adoption grants.  There are too many couples and individuals we have to say “No” to and this is just unacceptable.

Helpusadopt.org and IAC have partnered so no child or potential parent has to have financial circumstance stand between them and the human right to be a family.  Please make a donation today of $50, $100, $250, $500 so more families can receive a life changing grant from Helpusadopt.org.

Big or small, your contribution will help form new families through adoption.  We hope that you make a donation. Your gift can allow Helpusadopt.org to build another 124 families and give away another MILLION DOLLARS in adoption grants! 

Thank you,
Ann Wrixon
Ann Wrixon
Executive Director, IAC
Becky
Becky Fawcett
Founder - Executive Director, Helpusadopt.org

Rejection Number 3!!

We just got yet another rejection on a grant application. At this rate we have two possible application left. I am betting we get rejected on these ones too making it a clean sweep. The next step for us will be looking into interest free loans to fund our adoption. There are organizations that do this and I just have to find out which ones they are, I probably have them bookmarked somewhere. The good news is that we came into a little money which helped us to pay down some the adoption debt we have incurred thus far. At this rate we will most likely pay off that loan early.

The latest rejection letter is below.

December 12, 2014


 Dear ----- and ------ -------,

Thank you for applying for a grant from Helpusadopt.org.

We received an overwhelming response to our call for applications and had a limited amount of funds to disperse. Unfortunately, we are not able to grant your request.

This grant cycle we received almost 400 applications with financial requests approximating $3.6 million dollars.  We had $150,000 to award.

Though we understand that it is no consolation for the disappointment you must feel at receiving this news, please know that we are actively working to increase the amount of funds we can grant in the future. Our commitment to helping families grow through adoption only becomes stronger with each letter like this that we must send.

We sincerely wish you all the best as you continue your adoption journey.



Kind Regards,
Rachel Shea
Program Manager
 


Friday, November 21, 2014

One Last Thing

Last week, my wife and I went to UCLA medical center for an appointment with her neurologist.  Over the last month or two, my wife had been having more seizures than usual. One incident was pretty bad  as described in  a previous post http://onemansbattlewithmaleinfertility.blogspot.com/2014/09/confirmation-that-it-right.html.  At the appointment her doctor put  her on a previous medication that she had been off for a couple years

At first we could not quite figure out why the seizures were returning. Then we remembered that prior to our plans to stat trying for a child, her doctor had taken her off one of the medications she was on for her seizures.  The doctor stated that this medication is risky and can result in birth defects. This was in 2012 so for the next year, she was off that medication with no trouble. We BD'd to our heart's content in order to conceive a child. When that did not happen we saw doctors until I was diagnosed with male factor infertility. I was treated by a urologist until we decide to adopt. When this happened I immediately went  back on my propecia medication (to grow thicker hair) since I no longer had to worry about sperm count. On the other hand, my wife did not go back on that second seizure medication ( she was doing just fine on the one she kept taking).

Realizing that maybe she ought to go back on that other medication brought back memories of our quest to be biological parents. I realized that her being off that second medication was the last vestige of our quest to have a biological child. My wife going back on that medication was one last thing that we needed to do to break free from a painful time. There is no more need for her to off that medicine.  What good will it do? Unless there is a miracle there is o chance of us ever having a biological child.

As of today, I just learned of the monthly cost of both seizure medications with our insurance. Just one more indication that we are meant to adopt (and have only one child).


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rejection Number Two!!!!

The picture below says it all. We have received our second rejection letter for an adoption grant. That leaves about three organizations that we have not yet heard from regarding grant applications. I'm suspecting that some organizations may have rejected us because they  do not have the money to give us in the first place. Many of these organizations rise and fall upon the generosity of others. If nobody is contributing to their organization, then they do not have money to give out in the formal adoption grants to those couples that really need them. In some cases they probably go to those couples with the most compelling story, and I think ours is pretty compelling but I guess it's not that compelling by comparison. 

In the end, I can get the money for this adoption. It's only a matter of how much debt I want to incur. Do I want to take on a lot, or a little?  I suppose I could open a go fund me account. That being said I am not sure how much I want to publicize my family building efforts. My wife might not want to publicize it that much, and if were both not on board it does not happen. Where does privacy come in? There are still some people to whom I want nothing disclosed about my quest for a child. Do I really want to grovel for money? I am not putting other people down who ask for money to start their family. I am not good at raising money and asking for money. I feel uncomfortable asking and I'm very sensitive to rejection in this area. 

I can hear it now, " if they have to ask for money in order to adopt how on earth are they ever going to be able to afford a child?" Problem with that statement is that people don't understand; those of us who are infertile don't have the luxury of having one night of passionate sex with our husbands or wives and then getting pregnant. On top of that, these fertile types go to the hospital and have the baby and the insurance picks up most of the cost!!! So what are they really getting out of this whole thing? Very little debt, a night of great sex, and a new baby! What do we get? Well I will say that intimacy does not have to suffer just because you are infertile and in fact it is guaranteed to be consequence free. On the other hand, we get to grow another day older and eventually, deeper in debt. We sit and wait while a lot of these fertile types pump out  3, 4 and five kids and then throw it in our face. 

To be honest, I am at peace for the most part. I don't spend a lot of days being sad or worrying too much but I'd be lying if I told you there are not times when our situation does not affect me.







Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Confirmation that it's Right

Tonight I received another confirmation that we are called to adopt. I was out campaigning for a friend who is running for office in November( it sure does feel nice to be back in politics, even if only a little bit), and came home just after 7pm California time. My wife was standing in the dining room and looked like she had just been beaten up!! Her right eye is/was swollen and she had scratches on her face. I come to find out she took a two hour nap while I was out and had just woken up as I came through the door.  She had another seizure!! My wife has lived with epilepsy for years. We altered her meds when we began trying to conceive. We did not want our kid to have birth defects. For the last couple years things have been ok. In the last day or two, not as much. 

When I saw her beaten up like that, it was terrible to see but it also made me glad she was not pregnant.  What if she was pregnant and took a nasty fall out of bed ( which she did) and hit the night stand!?! Yes she would still be injured, but that baby would also be at risk! It might be injured or premature labor could have been induced. And then what?!?

For health reasons, it is better that we adopt. Unlike most women, my wife has epilepsy to think of,  that cannot be good for a pregnancy. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rejected!!!

We have received our first official rejection of the adoption process. I just heard back today about one of the grants we applied for, and they have told us that they are unable to help us. That's one less gift I can count on in helping me fulfill our dreams of parenthood. I guess the the good part is that least I've got something to share unlike my last post where I had nothing. I'm going to share a picture of the rejection letter right here. That says it all.