New year, new opportunities

It was January 28, 2016 and we were off to Calgary (again) for our follow-up appointment at the Regional Fertility Program (RFP). Like most of our drives to Calgary in the recent year and half, it was filled with a variety of different emotions…sadness, worry, hope – just to name a few. We both knew this meeting would be completely different than our past follow-ups. We no longer had any remaining frozen embryos to use and we were literally starting from square one. I remember pulling up to RFP, walking towards the large clinical building, and wanting to run as fast I could in the opposite direction. What once was a place of hope and optimism, turned into a place that only made me feel sad and angry.  After a short wait it was our turn to speak with our specialist. I can’t remember the details of that conversation as my mind was elsewhere, and perhaps deep down I really didn’t want to hear any more bad news. To sum it up, she basically told us that she did not understand why it did not work. We appeared to be the ideal candidate for this procedure – young (well relatively lol), healthy, etc. and she recommended we try again. Try again? Like start ALL OVER AGAIN?….back to giving myself daily injections, back to the horrible hormone medication that made me feel like I had zero control over my body, back to the three weeks in Calgary as we went through the egg retrieval process, back to feeling nauseous almost every day….NO THANK YOU!! I knew deep down there had to be another way, another option for us to become parents.

Drew and I had talked about adoption long before we entered into our journey with IVF. I had always imagined (or hoped), we would be able to adopt some day and provide a child(ren) with a loving home. I had this yearning to experience pregnancy and birth but adoption was always in the back of my mind. We made the decision prior to arriving in Calgary that day that it wouldn’t hurt to get some information on adoption. Without knowing how our follow-up appointment would go at RFP we booked an appointment with an adoption agency in Calgary immediately following that appointment. Although we were both very nervous (as we had no clue what we were getting ourselves into), I couldn’t help but also be excited. We sat down with a social worker for over an hour and she provided us with as much information as she possible could. We asked questions, she answered them, and we left that appointment with a new found hope and opportunity that wasn’t there before.

January 28th was an overwhelming day for both of us. After we left the adoption agency we decided we would go for lunch before we headed home to process all the information we received today and make a plan moving forward. We were at a crossroads and had to weigh our options, start drafting a pros/cons list, and make a decision that would the best for both of us and our future family. What would seem like a hard decision for one to make, actually was an easy one. We both looked at each other, and without saying anything, the answer was written all over our faces, and most importantly felt in our hearts.  Adoption…that was the answer.

The process to adopt is not an easy one. Our first step was to attend a pre-placement workshop. We connected with our social worker the next day and let her know we were interested in moving forward. The next available date for the pre-placement workshop was in March. We waited for those two months to pass, and before we knew it, we were on our way to Edmonton for the weekend. We spent Friday night, and all day Saturday connecting with other prospective adoptive parents, absorbing as much information from the social worker, and meeting an adoptive family that was blessed with three beautiful children. The workshop wasn’t easy. There were many moments of fear and doubt, but I knew as long as I had Drew by my side we could get through this next adventure we were about to embark on.

After the workshop was completed the next step was to complete an application. I thought filling out University applications were hard haha. We needed references from close friends and family. I’m so thankful for those who helped us with that process. After completing criminal record checks, child welfare checks, taking copies of other confidential documents we were finished and ready to fax to our agency. Another checkmark was placed on our “to-do” list. The third step was to have a home study report completed by a social worker. This was definitely a grueling process. I know they have to do it (and for good reason), but I felt like I had “convince” someone I was suitable to be a Mom.  The social worker sat down with Drew and I together, then we had separate meetings one-on-one. Looking back now it seems like such a small piece of our journey, but in the moment I was completely exhausted. Before our one-on-one interviews, I remember trying to go over every little detail about how Drew and I met, what was our first date, etc. What if our stories didn’t match up? What if I said we went bowling and Drew said we went for supper? What seems so trivial, was a big deal for us in that moment. Ever try to sell your house? Making sure it’s squeaky clean and staged oh so perfectly….that sort of like going through an adoption home study, except well…your selling YOURSELF, and trying to prove your fit to be a good parent. In the end, being ourselves was more than enough (which deep down is what I already knew). The social worker told us she couldn’t be happier to file our report and give us a great recommendation to birth parents moving forward…phew!

After a long 6 months, on July 3, 2016 we were officially placed on the long waiting list. Before you advance to the final and most important step, matching and placement you have to endure the hardest “in-between” step…waiting! There is no telling how long you will have to wait until a birth mom/dad picks you. It could be months, or years. We have done everything we possibly could to get to this point. Going through all the steps above was not easy, but let me tell you, the waiting part is without a doubt the hardest step of them all. Every minute feels like an hour, every hour feels like a day, every day feels like forever, but I will wait forever and a day for you my future child.

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