Served On A Silver Platter

Happy 2014! Merry new resolutions and half-ass attempts at healthiness to you all. I for one have not really made any resolutions because they are made to be broken. I just can’t do that to myself this year, it’s exhausting. On the the other hand I have plenty of crafting projects, home upgrades, family events, a back log of recipe testing and last but not least the deepest most pertinent desire to have a little one running around this house! While I have many diversions and tasks to keep my mind from drifting off into the sea of sadness and “why has no one picked us??” thoughts; I am fueled to wholly focus on what needs to be done to become a mom.

Leading up to the fantastic moment I get to become a member of the mommy club and spend my life catering to another beings every need and wish…I decided it’s going to be all about me for awhile. Yes that’s right I’m just gonna do things for me, cook things for me, read things for me, buy things for me and serve everything to myself on a silver platter…literally.

After this last year of waiting to adopt and the pain and the losses and the depressing-ass-shit that all went down we decided (my husband and I) that we have nothing to lose in trying to conceive through IVF. This is a bit of a 180 from exactly one year ago when I was so certain, so very sure that adoption was THE WAY to start our family. I have always felt like we are meant to adopt, that not getting pregnant naturally was a sign. I still feel that it WILL happen but it just won’t happen in the way I romanticized it in my head. I’ve had my reality check. So we are doing this thing backwards, a reverse order of steps that most people take I suppose. We are not putting our adoption plan on hold but we are concurrently doing IVF and waiting to adopt at the same time.

This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections
This is how my first cycle of IVF meds came delivered with a cooler pack for the HCG and Gonal-F Injections

It’s all happened pretty quickly once we decided IVF was a go. We got our financials lined up to do a multi-cycle plan. Basically we will have the option of up to 2 fresh and frozen embryo transfers that we paid for up front to get what I would sum up as bulk discount. We decided it was wise to plan on multi-cycles since my doctor will only be implanting one embryo at at time due to a condition I have called unicornuate uterus. With this condition I have half the size of a normal one. Carrying one child is already high risk, having twins is not an option and therefore implanting only one embryo. This is combined with my husband’s 1% normal morphology issue and my PCOS…all contributing to the ineffectiveness of natural conception.

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The week leading up to my trial embryo transfer, sonogram and consent form signing I was completely freaking out. I had started birth control which they use to take control of the hormones. My first day of the pill was the day I flew home from California after Christmas, the 27th. The nurse has instructed me to continue taking it until the 6th of January which is today, woohoo. Of course for me, birth control drops my estrogen levels and is a sure-fire way to a migraine. I endured a 3 day hell in which I had a hormonal migraine and had gotten a flu/cold from my family while visiting. Nothing like your head pounding to make you second guess everything you had set out to do. That was a fun pity party and no I was not excited about starting IVF. I was just plain terrified.

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Then I joined a group of women through my fertility med website. http://www.freedomfertility.com There are forums and monthly “cycle buddies” so I can talk with other women going through the same thing as me at the same time. Several of these women have already done multiple cycles and some it’s their first like me. I can not say how thankful I am to have these women, total strangers, to bring me out of my cloud of negativity. They shower each other with wishes for “lots of baby dust”, they are hopeful like me, nervous like me and having lots of emotions like me. It’s so easy to think things are only happening to you when going through such a difficult time. It’s so easy to believe absolutely no one understands what you are going through and you are alone in this crazy, isolating journey while the whole world is happy and couples make babies just looking at each other. It’s so much easier to just not try, I’ve thought, because trying and failing over and over again will break me into a unglueable amount of pieces. These women are doing it though, THEY are trying and they are EXCITED! I’m trying to be excited with them and to let myself believe that this WILL work. We hope for the best and plan for the worst, it’s excitement tempered by self-doubt.

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And so here are all these drugs and needles before me, staring me down. I will serve them up to myself on a silver platter because during this time I want nothing but the best. I want everything around me to be aesthetically pleasing, to be a stress-free zone, a zen sanctuary. I will take them and be thankful that we have a chance to try and try our best. Bring on the 4 times a day stabbings in my stomach, the steroids, the catheters, IV’s and probes. I’ve made up my mind and I’m doing it, despite my intermittent terror. No one dare tell me they know it will all be fine and all work out because the truth is it might not be fine and it might not work out and for a lot of people it doesn’t. It’s life and it’s reality. People just can never think of anything else to say. The point is for me that I’ll give it all I’ve got and there is nothing else that can be done.

Waiting in our Hearts: Our open adoption search begins!

Waiting in Our Heart- Love Shutter2

Dear Friends,

As many of you know Chris and I are growing our family through open adoption. We have finally completed our state approved home study and can now actively search for a birth mom in any US State.

Check out our online profile at http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/chrisandkendra.

Here’s a quick run down of what is going to happen next:
We are working with a nationwide nonprofit adoption agency specializing in open adoption, Independent Adoption Center. To learn more about the IAC, visit their website at http://www.adoptionhelp.org. Their toll free number 1.800.877.6736 is available to call 24 hours a day for expectant women in search of options and they can speak with an intake counselor who can answer their questions and provide free counseling. We also have an adoptive parent counselor who acts to facilitate our communication and meetings with a birth mom once a match is made. A birth mom may be in any term of her pregnancy when she makes her plan for adoption and when she matches with us. She may pick us for any number of reasons but it is by her choice, not the agency or anyone else who makes the match. It is then akin to dating and after getting to know each other we must both choose each other to finalize the adoption once the baby is born. There will be a period of time, varying by state, after the child is born and the paperwork is signed to wait. This is called the reclaim period. In North Carolina it is 7 days and in Florida it is 30 days for example. During this time the birth mom could reclaim the baby and void our match. If the baby is out of state we must wait in that state until this period has passed. Once that time is over we would be the legal parents of the child permanently.

The beautiful thing about open adoption is that we would make a plan with the birth mother, based on both of our wishes to continue a relationship with the birth mom. She may not wish to remain in contact but she has the options to receive letters, emails, phone calls and in person visits. All of which we are open to for the benefit of the child. There are no secrets in open adoption and our child will know they are loved by everyone and that every decision made was one made out of love. This is why we chose open adoption because it is the highest good for the birth mother, for us and most importantly our child.

We need your help to find women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy to let them know about open adoption and to know about us.
You may not think you can be of any help, but a surprising number of adoptions take place through networking: about 50%!!! You may not think you know of anyone experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, but it could be that a friend of a friend, someone through work or distant relative you may come in contact with someone who is considering adoption. Many women do not announce what they are going through but they need to know about their options. They need to have the information that there are people who will love their child like their own and provide what they are not able to in the present time.

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Help us spread the word. If you are inclined, here are 4 easy ways:

(1) Send Emails To Your Contact List
Tell everyone you know, in case they hear of someone considering adoption, that you know an awesome couple ready to adopt a baby. Email specifically people who may work with young women considering adoption for an unplanned pregnancy. Email generally everyone you know and ask them to do the same. At the bottom of this email I have provided some paragraphs you can copy and paste into an email to send to your contacts.

(2) “Like” our Facebook page and share the link on your facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisandKendraAdopt . Share this note. Encourage others to Share.

(3) Distribute our printed brochure and/or business cards
I have attached our PDF of our Dear Birth Mother Letter. You can print this and distribute (we had it professionally printed on glossy folding brochure paper) or Email me and I will get copies to you. Take them to places where young women might receive health care or health care education, to people who may work with young women considering adoption for an unplanned pregnancy. For instance,
– Your doctor, or doctors’ offices near you
– Hospitals and community health centers
– Your church, bible study, or friends churches. Churches have large outreach and support groups.
– College campuses, especially college health centers
– Pregnancy crisis centers and Planned Parenthood. Sometimes they will keep Birth Mother letters on hand.

(4) Pray and actively talk to others about open adoption
We believe in the power of prayer and the law of attraction. This process could take a few months or a few years. There is plenty of time to help spread the word and to support our intent with prayer or blessing. The more positivity we can surround ourselves with the better!

We are excited about open adoption because we can become parents together, and we can know the birthmom (dad, other family members) and form relationships that serve her, us, and most importantly our child.

We are endlessly grateful to you all. Whether or not you choose to act on this invitation we very much appreciate your support throughout this journey.

Thank you and warm wishes!

Chris and Kendra

=== PARAGRAPHS TO PASTE INTO AN EMAIL TO YOUR CONTACTS ===

Dear Family and Friends,
My friends Chris and Kendra are seeking to adopt a baby and have asked me for help networking. If you are inclined, take a moment to read their message below and then help spread it by passing it on to your network. Your help may bring them one step closer to the contact they need to realize their dream of starting a family.

** Message from Chris & Kendra **
We are creating our family through open adoption. This means a pregnant woman making an adoption plan will choose us to be the parents to her child and maintain a relationship after birth if she chooses. Check out our online profile at http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/chrisandkendra. We need you to get the word out to everyone you know because we want women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy to know about open adoption and to know about us.
You may be wondering why we asked our family and friends to forward this message to you. After all, you probably don’t think you know of anyone making an adoption plan. However, you would be surprised to learn how many adoptions come about from networking with family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. You might know a friend who knows a friend who knows someone who is looking to make an adoption plan. This is why we have asked all of our family and friends for help.
We would be so grateful if you could pass on our information. To learn more about our family, see our adoption profile http://www.iheartadoption.org/users/chrisandkendra.
You can email us at LarsenAdoption@gmail.com or call toll-free 1-800-951-2996. We are happy to answer questions and provide more information.

With much gratitude,

Kendra and Chris Larsen
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