Saturday, September 21, 2013

ICLW -FIrst time for a year!

Welcome to anyone visiting me from ICLW, as well as anyone who just stumbled by (although, after all this time, I can't imagine that happening)! This is my first ICLW in a year! I'm really rather looking forward to it =D I guess it's time I get started back blogging regularly anyway.

Let's see. I think I'll start by giving you a bit of our history. The Hubs and I met online in August 2000. He's from England and I'm from the US, so for a couple of years we visited back and forth across the Atlantic. In June 2002, I went to England for what was supposed to be a 2 week visit and, while there, The Hubs asked me to marry him. I said yes and in November of that year, we were married in my hometown in Georgia. We chose to reside the first few years of our married life in England. In January 2006, following a year-long immigration journey, we moved to the USA to live. We've been here ever since.

On our first anniversary, we decided we were ready to be parents, so we stopped preventing a pregnancy. After about a year with no sign of pregnancy, I began temping and charting my cycle. That carried on for the next few years. We were convinced it would happen, but it never did. In September 2008, I carried my concerns to my OB/GYN. She diagnosed me with Type II Diabetes and started me on Metformin. After a few months of that and still no pregnancy, she prescribed Clomid for me. Four cycles of that and still nada, so she prescribed a round of Femara at my request. Still nothing. It was time to look at the next step. We were referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist with our first visit in April 2010.

During the first few visits with our new RE, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Endometrial Hyperplasia. I was prescribed Synthroid, referred to a regular endocrinologist and had a D&C. I was also advised to lose weight. A year and a half of visits with the RE failed to produce a pregnancy - in fact, due to my failure to lose weight, the treatment we were given was minimal. By September 2011, we were ready to move forward with a different path to parenthood.

Earlier in our journey, we had two failed private adoption opportunities. I won't go on in length about those because they're still very painful (particularly the first one), but they are part of what led us to our decision to adopt through foster care. We sat down and looked at all the options available to us for adopting. We knew we didn't want to try private adoption again at this time, so our decision was between adopting through an agency or foster adoption. After discussing it at length, we decided the children in foster care had less of an opportunity to find an adoptive family than those through an agency, so that was the option we went with. We had viewed the "My Turn Now" list of children in Georgia who were available for adoption and we found a 14-year-old girl we were very interested in adopting. We called the State hotline to start the process of becoming foster/adoptive parents in October 2011.

In November 2011 we still had heard nothing back from our request for further information, so I called again and found there had been a glitch and we had not been added to the list. This phone call, we were added. A few days later, we received an invite to an orientation class, which we attended in late November 2011. We turned in consents for background checks at that meeting and then had to wait for a call back to start IMPACT training classes. By February 2012, we'd heard nothing more and several phone calls to our caseworker had not been answered so I called again directly to the local DFCS to find out what was going on. I was redirected to another caseworker as our original one was no longer employed at DFCS (hence the reason we'd had no further contact) and was told she didn't even have our names or our file. She went in search of said file, found it and sent our invites for IMPACT training. We had our first class at the end of February 2012. We attended 10 weeks of training classes and finished our last class on April 10, 2012. Our next step was to proceed through the home study process. We did this throughout the summer of 2012 and, in September 2012, our homestudy was submitted to the State of Georgia for approval. We received a call from our caseworker on September 26, 2012 saying that our homestudy had been approved and our home would open on October 1, 2012.

We were awaiting a call back from the caseworker of the girl we were hoping to adopt when, on October 9, 2012, we received a phone call from our caseworker with the words "Look, I know this isn't what you signed up for, but we have a 2-year-old little boy we need placement for. Is there any way you could keep him?" Those are the words that would change our lives forever. We told her we definitely could and 2 hours later, we picked up our Monkey Man (or MM). He has been with us ever since. In May 2013, his birthmom sat down with us and told us she was thinking of voluntarily relinquishing her rights if we would adopt him. We had hoped for the opportunity to adopt him anyway, so this was a complete blessing. We told her yes and agreed to an open adoption with her. We are now waiting for his birthdad's rights to terminate, which should happen in October. His birthdad actually spoke to MM's caseworker recently and requested for surrender papers to be sent to him as he no longer wished to be involved (which he basically hasn't been anyway). Once those rights are terminated, we just have to wait for all the legal time frames to be met and then we will finalize his adoption! We are so excited!

Additionally, on May 24, 2013, we had two more children come to live with us temporarily, a 4-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. They are quite the handful, but we're making it with each other. Their mom voluntarily surrendered her rights in July and their dad's rights are set to be terminated in November. Their maternal grandmother has petitioned for custody, but we don't know if this will work out or not. In the meantime, DFCS is looking into other possible permanency solutions for them. We are not being considered a permanent placement at this time because of their more extensive needs, however, we are hoping whatever permanency they do have will allow us to maintain visitation with them.

As for the girl we originally hoped to adopt, we were informed she cannot be in a home with other children and we would not be considered a placement for her. This was heartbreaking news, but we only want the best for her and the other children in our care, so we will forge on. We do hope to adopt at least one more child, but we will see where our path takes us. For now, we are just enjoying life.

So, that gets you up-to-date with me. We actually have a visit planned with MM's birthmom for this afternoon, so I will be able to update you on that situation later on. I'm looking forward to blogging more regularly once again and I hope you'll join me!

11 comments:

Sadie said...

Happy ICLW Lynne! What an incredible story you have - you've certainly been through your fair share of twists and turns on the road to meeting your little Monkey Man!

My husband and I currently live in England, although niether of us is English (he's Austrian, I'm Canadian). Transnational marriage sure keeps life interesting, doesn't it?

asteriskmama said...

Hi Lynn, It's nice to meet you! It sounds like you guys have been on quite a roller coaster, but you have a lovely family now!

Heather said...

Wow, what a story, and congrats on not giving up and keeping phoning! My hubby and I also met online and I also had thyroid and endometriosis problems. But I did manage to conceive in the end with medical help. Good luck with the adoption process further! Onestepatatime.co.za (thanks for the comment on my blog)

Kasey Attianese said...

It is so nice to meet you! What a story and journey you have been on so far. Can't wait to follow along and see where life brings you on this journey! Wishing you all the best!!

Hilary said...

HI! So nice to meet you! And thanks for sharing your story... I feel like i know you now..

Happy ICLW

emmainmommyland.com said...

Wow! What a journey! I hope you get your little girl soon.

My mom is from England and my dad is from the US. I wish I could visit there more often :)

Happy ICLW!

Jess @ LifeintheWhiteHouse.com said...

I haven't done ICLW in at least 2 years. I just didn't feel that parenting after infertility would fit well...for others. I've missed it, so decided to sign up for this month.

Such a long journey you've all been on. Wishing you the best!

Here via ICLW

Megs said...

Happy ICLW! What an inspiring story! Look forward to reading more about your adventures as a new parent.

knoelle said...

Happy ICLW! So excited to have found your blog, I haven't found many that speak to adopting through the foster care system after IF. Looking forward to learning about your journey!

mylovelosslife said...

Hi from ICLW...you def have been thru a long journey

Melissa Long said...

Hi Lynn, happy ICLW! Congrats on your adoption and your foster kids, I really admire your strength and all you do for your kids!! Truly inspiring!

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Please be sure to let me know you dropped by! I love comments and I'll definitely try to get back around to visit you :D