This is a story that has nothing to do with losing weight (kind of), Fat Girl Wunning, or training. In the past, I’ve used this platform to tell stories, that were a little more serious, or had more meaning than my adventures while working out. This is one of those stories.
This is a story about why I have been married for so long, and haven’t started a family yet. A few years ago (beginning of 2015 to be exact), after months (years?) of going through doctors appointments, consultations, meetings, and having serious conversations with numerous people, my husband and I decided that having a child of our own would be a long, costly, emotional, and potentially dangerous (due to my health at the time) journey. After our last appointment with a well renowned IVF doctor, who told me that they wouldn’t do implantation on me because my diabetes was so bad, we left defeated. It was the weirdest feeling though. We each knew that the other one was equally as upset as the other, but we didn’t say much. I remember driving home, and we got on the high way, and he turned to me and said, ‘Ok, let’s do this’. THIS was making an appointment with an adoption agency. An agency that happened to be very special to me. We were going to find out what it would take for us to adopt a child. In the same short, quiet conversation, we also agreed that it was time for me to do whatever it took to get healthy. It wasn’t a long conversation, it was one of those ‘we both just knew’ conversations.
The next month, we were sitting in a meeting room in the adoption agency office. We were talking about the route we’d want to go in an adoption, what it looks like financially, what it looked like time wise, and what it would take paperwork wise. If you have no clue… it was a lot. All around.
Over the next few months, I spent every extra moment in my life tracking down original documents, filling out paperwork, documenting our finances, and getting letters from work/bank/friends/family. We did more background checks then any one could ever imagine. We had our fingerprints taken multiple times, each. We had several in office meetings with social workers, and nerve wracking meetings in our home to prove we were allowed and ‘good enough’ to be parents. Finally, after a lot of work and time, and money, we were approved to adopt.
Next came making profiles to show potential birth moms how awesome we are. Seriously… like online dating. We had videos, pictures, and stories. We had multiple websites, a hard cover copy of our story, and I even updated a blog with life events so that people could see how interesting we were… and maybe they’d pick us. Again, after a lot of work, time, and money… we were live, online, and ready to be the chosen ones.
** Side note: I saved ‘outtakes’ from our attempt at making the video profile. The company needed just 3 minutes of us talking, and it took us about 2 hours to do because we can’t take anything seriously. I will honestly keep those videos for the rest of my life… they just show how ridiculous, hilarious, and embarrassing we are together.
Over the next year we had just a handful of potential placements. None were promising enough to move forward on, even though we tried. There always seemed to be an obstacle in the way. Each case had a new set of things to make us worry, or get us excited, or even make us jump the gun on buying things to ‘get ready’. In fact, after one potential placement, to calm our nerves for the next one, we purchased furniture for a babies room. All of a sudden I became that person. The person who had an furnished nursery and no child to put in it in the foreseeable future.
After the first year passed, it was time to renew some paperwork, get fingerprinted again, do a couple more meetings, and oh… pay some more money.
In the meantime, we were starting to see that we were having issues with the agency. They weren’t working with us the way we thought they should be. They weren’t communicating. They didn’t seem to care, to be honest. At the same time, I had been working to become healthier. I was doing it for my future. My future family, and the future of my own health. Parts of my life were going really well, and parts just seemed to be at a stand still.
At the end of 2017 I had had enough. I decided that 2018 would be MY year. OUR year. I wasn’t waiting around for my own life to begin. I wasn’t going to spend the rest of my life waiting, and taking care of other peoples children (which, btw, I love doing). I had always wanted to foster children, so I contacted DCF to see what that would look like. After a meeting with a social worker, it was made clear to me that I couldn’t work with both the adoption agency, and DCF, at the same time. I had to make a choice.
I don’t tell you this because I want to bore you with details. I am telling you because when people come up to me and say, ‘when are you going to have a family?’ or ‘you’d be a great mom!’ or ‘why don’t you just (fill in the blank)’, they don’t know what the fuck I’m going through or what the fuck I am thinking or feeling… People have no filter, and the thing is, this whole process was so emotionally draining that I couldn’t even talk about it. My own family would want to know what was going on, and I didn’t want to have conversations. I just wanted to fast forward time, be able to say that I had adopted a child, and live a happy life. I didn’t want any ones opinions, or ideas, or comments.
So let’s fast forward a bit. We left the agency, walking away from a shit ton of time/money/emotions/hope, and started to work with DCF. Over the last ten weeks, we have taken classes to become foster/adoptive parents. We finally found a place with amazing social workers, a group of people who were like minded and looking to do the same things we were, and hope. That whole ‘Things happen for a reason” saying, was very clear to us in many ways. In fact, over time, we have slowly told some people that we were doing this. Some of Mike’s customers would share their own stories about adoption or fostering. The more we talked about it, the more we realized that so many people that we know, have been touched or affected by fostering or adoption in some way.
We slowly started to gather some things we would need for a child to live in our home. We have some clothing for boys and girls from newborn to age 5… just a few things, but more than what they will have when they come to us. Toys and books are starting to fill some shelves, and a rocking chair is waiting. People have been incredibly generous, and they fill our arms and cars (LITERALLY!) with stuff! It’s been a pretty eye opening experience to see that there are still some really good, generous people in the world. We are so grateful.
Last month, we finally finished our classes, and graduated as approved foster/adoptive parents.
So, here’s the announcement: We are officially going to be fostering (and hopefully someday, adopting) children! We are looking forward to being able to give a happy, and safe home to a child in need, for as long as it may be. If we become a forever home, we will be forever happy and grateful… but knowing we will be a comfortable place for a child to land, during a time of incredible need for them, we know we will feel like we have made a difference.
Moral of the story: You never know what someone is going through, so don’t assume anything, ever. Years and years have gone by, and many people have had no clue what we have been going through. We are incredibly excited, and scared, and nervous, and thankful, and grateful… and we know we are in for the ride of our lives. On the same note, I have become a healthier ME, and I am no longer diabetic. Yes, I could possibly carry a child on my own. No, I’m not ready for that. Please… don’t ask people things like that. It’s an incredibly sensitive, and emotional topic for many people. I shouldn’t ever have to explain, and basically prove, why I don’t want to carry a child right now. This was our choice. This was our path… and we couldn’t be more excited, for whatever it brings! Everything Happens For A Reason…