Saturday, March 12, 2016

State Adoption Match Meeting recap

This past Thursday was the big state-wide adoption event for DFCS called the State Adoption Match Meeting. It's essentially an opportunity for every region and county in the state to present all of their waiting children to families looking to adopt from foster care. It's not just for people with an approved homestudy either, it's for anyone interested in adopting older children from foster care.

Our caseworker recommended we go since we are not exclusively matched with anyone yet and, in the end, I'm incredibly glad we went.

The event was held at the Hilton Atlanta Airport and was much more organized than I was expecting! They had a check-in table for families set up outside of the main event space when you first walked in. Then, there was a space with tables and chairs for families to sit and sort through information away from the matching event space. They also had food, drinks, and snacks. A HUGE perk in my opinion.

Inside the main event space each region had their own space which was decorated in a unique theme. One was railroad themed, one baseball, one was the beach, and there were actually two regions with Star Wars themes! Within each region's area they had their caseworkers and adoption coordinators present to answer questions and help families identify children matching their preferences.

I thought I would be overwhelmed by the event, but it wasn't as crazy as I expected. There were a lot of people and a lot going on, but being able to leave and sit in a separate room to gather my thoughts was incredibly helpful to staying in a clam state of mind.

Major kudos to the state offices for thinking of that!

Our agency and caseworker were also there to provide support for us. We met with several caseworkers about various families and walked away feeling confident that something good would come from attending. We spoke with the caseworker for the kids we currently have a pending match with. She gave us some helpful information about the state of things with that. We also found out about another sibling set we might pursue a match with.

It felt good to walk away from an event feeling so positive after such an emotional week.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

another maybe

I feel like lately Steve and I have been on this weird loop. We get a match, it falls through, we go back to waiting.

We have another match. We are still waiting for confirmation of everything and a "game plan" of sorts. There are many possibilities, of course, but nothing concrete. I am not fond of uncertainty, but I'm told that parenthood comes with a lot of it and to get used to it.

I'm making a concentrated effort.

I also feel like I am annoying the poo out of our caseworker. We have only called her twice this week. But it's also only Tuesday. Once per day isn't too bad, right? Right?!?!?

This month also marks 3 years since we have been actively trying to grow our family. I think that in and of itself is having an effect on my ability to deal lately. I find myself reflecting on the past few years of trying to conceive/ trying to adopt and the years before of patiently waiting for us to be able to try. I go through all of the woulda, coulda, shouldas. I end up being really harsh on myself without really meaning to.

The hardest part of it all? Making peace with my body.

Since starting the TTC journey I have gained 50 pounds. Not that weight is everything, but it makes me uncomfortable. Once we hit the 1 year TTC mark I stopped exercising because I thought THAT was preventing me from getting pregnant. Then, once we realized something was really wrong, I was so angry at my body for what I perceived as betrayal, I stopped caring enough to make healthy choices.

Now, here I am with a large physical reminder of my emotional journey.

Today, I look at myself in the mirror and I see all of the pain and sorrow from the last three years. If it weren't for the tiny spark of hope I have now in the form of being homestudy approved and potentially matched, I wouldn't recognize myself at all.

The red hair doesn't help.

This journey has completely changed me, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. I can admit now that maybe some of those changes needed to happen. Maybe I needed to change in order to be the parent I want to be... maybe even the parent I need to be. It doesn't make the process hurt any less, but I do find comfort in the knowledge that God doesn't allow us to suffer without using it for our own spiritual refinement.

My prayer at this weird, emotional time of my life is to honor the journey I've already gone through and look forward with hope and optimism.