44 days

Life is going to change in 44 days, and I have to say I am so excited about it.

Myself and Heidi have wanted a family for such a long time, and now we are so close to it.

Infertility was incredibly painful, I think it has been the most challenging time of my life. It pushed me, my wife and our relationship to the edge. While we are that much stronger for it now, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that there were moments where I wasn’t sure if we would make it.

I blamed myself, said I wasn’t a man, wasn’t good enough.

I blamed my wife, and then hated myself for doing that, so once again felt I didn’t deserve her and didn’t deserve to be happy.

I spent time thinking about karma, and all the crappy things I have done in my life o why I deserved this pain.

So basically I buried myself in blame…

And yet, on reflection while incredibly painful we had to go on this journey, to be able to start the next chapter which is only 44 days away.

I am so grateful to my wife for being being by side and being my rock, she is going to be an amazing mum, and I am hoping to learn how to be be a good dad…

44 days and counting

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It’s really happening

A couple of weeks ago, we had our niece and nephew over for a weekend which was lovely, and a bit of preparation for what is now so close I can almost touch it.

After what seems like a life long journey, myself and Heidi have been officially matched to adopt two young boys, which means within the next few months we could get our family.

I have to say, as well as being incredibly excited, I am now more nervous than anything else. Over the last few years I have focussed on what I want, what we want, and now the realisation is kicking in that maybe , just maybe I might get it.. but what if they don’t want me.

Questions like, am I good enough, will they like me, will they hate me, can I cope, do I know how to be a good dad, will I step up and help more, can me and Heidi cope, all these questions are now running through my mind on a daily basis.

I suspect I will be posting a bit more over the coming days as I have so many things racing through my mind, I find just writing about them seems to help ….

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Progress

green-tick

It’s been a while! Since our last post in January I’m pleased to say that we have been approved as adoptive parents!

The panel day itself went well. They really tried to make it friendly and welcoming. Several panel members were adoptive parents themselves so they’d been there and know how nerve wracking it can be. We were invited in, introduced to everyone and then asked three questions. Once we had answered them, we were shown out whilst the panel discussed our application. At this point we were expecting a 20/30 minute wait. But in reality this was no more than 5 minutes before we were called back in and given the good news!

Whilst the approval wasn’t a surprise (they only take you to panel if they are fairly sure you will get through), it was certainly a weight off our shoulders. Our allotted time was at 11am and we had booked the remainder of the day off, so we enjoyed lunch out with a glass of bubbles to celebrate; some new TV shopping and then also dinner out! It was a rather indulgent day, but we feel we earned it!

We had so many lovely messages of congratulations that day. It really made me realise how many people are behind us and keeping their fingers crossed for us. We have so many good friends, many of whom have helped in one way or another along our adoption journey so far. We are so grateful for all the support we have received and will continue to receive in the run up to and once children have arrived.

We are now in the waiting period for a match. Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long. I can’t say much at the moment but there is a potential match on the horizon, which we are very excited about. There will be lots of meetings over the next few weeks. If all goes well we could be looking at a matching panel date in the first half of April with a view to start a transition from foster care by the end of that month!

It’s incredibly exciting and we are really keen to get all the relevant meetings booked in and to hopefully meet them very soon! That will be an incredibly surreal day, full of emotions no doubt! But for now, we are trying (successfully so far) to restrain ourselves from buying all the kiddie things we will need for our new family!

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Breezing Through?

Up until today I genuinely thought that I was ‘breezing through’ this whole adoption approval process. When anyone asked how it was going I whole-heartedly answered “It’s fine thanks, almost enjoying it – it’s kind of like therapy”.

I don’t know why but today it got to me a little more. We had our 4th home visit from our social worker, which on the whole, was fine. She basically comes over and we sit and chat about every aspect of our lives from childhood to now and everything in-between. And I mean everything. All the historical stuff I find almost therapeutic to talk through – what happened and how that’s shaped who we are now. Even talking about the difficult stuff, the relationship breakdowns, the deaths and the infertility and miscarriage – whilst emotional, it felt like a good process to talk it all through.

We’ve now moved on to discussing children. I was quite excited initially to start talking about our future children – what we would like, what we think we could cope with, what would be too much for us. But actually, it didn’t feel particularly good. I felt very judgmental and very selfish specifying exactly what kind of child we would like and what we wouldn’t. I feel like a horrible, shallow person for admitting that I don’t know how much I can cope with when it comes to learning difficulties and that more or less any physical disability is a no for me, because I like to be active and outside and that wouldn’t fit in with me. It feels pretty selfish.

I understand why we have to go through this and at the end of the day the agency don’t want us taking on a child or children that we are not able to give our all to and the placement subsequently falls apart. But it still doesn’t make me feel good disregarding some of the children that most need a home.

We now have another three sessions booked in over the next 10 days and that should be it for the home study. Our social worker will then write-up our Prospective Adopters Report (PAR) and submit it to the panel ahead of our approval date on February 14th. Then begins the long (or hopefully short) wait for a suitable match. Which I am sure will be excruciating and probably the hardest bit so far. As in the title to our blog, we are not patient people and this will probably be the biggest test to our patience so far! Having jumped through all the hoops put in front of us, to then still have to wait will no doubt feel like torture!

H

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Excitement… stress…pain

This last few days have been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. My job has a large number of benefits, I know how lucky I am, but right now it’s a pretty stressful environment, and now more than ever I am struggling to leave the stresses at home.

Myself and Heidi are so excited about the next few months and what they will bring, but I know she is worried about me, and I am too a little. When my focus needs to be about adoption and our future family, my mind is pre-occupied.

Yesterday I sat in a hotel restaurant reading the above book, and it’s so interesting and useful, but add in the fact I am not a good reader at the best of times, and work, I kept getting distracted.

Even now, when I write this blog post, I am distracted.

For the last 4 years, all I have thought about is starting a family and how I would prioritise that over work, but right now I am certainly struggling with if I can manage it.

With adoptive children, we’ve been told how important engagement is, that they need to know their adoptive parents are 100% engaged and focussed on their needs, and I am so scared of not being able to give them what they need… but, and this is the important bit, this is not me giving up, this is not me saying it’s too hard, this is me saying I need to change and I need to work harder at my family.

Distractions need to be reduced at home, I shouldn’t be wasting time watching TV or sitting around, not when I can be engaging with my wife.

At work, I need to be 100% focussed when I am there. More efficient than ever, so that I don’t need to bring work home, and if this can not be achieved, then work will need to change as my wife and future family will be my priority.

I have such an exciting period of my life ahead, and I don’t want to miss one minute of it

A

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Stress

Sometimes I just want to scream! This post isn’t about adoption, it isn’t about infertility or the struggles of the journey. This post is about the life that gets in the way of this.

I am incredibly lucky to have the job that I have. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get it through luck, I worked hard and I still work hard… but, since focusing on starting a family, I am finding I am stressing more about work than I used to.

I am not stressing about the business issues, the things that I usually stress about. I am stressing about ensuring I will be able to continue to provide for my wife and future family. Every wrong turn I take I worry, what if I lose my job, what if I can’t provide for my family?

These are things outside of my control, but these are the things I find I worry about.

Common sense says worry about the things you can control, not the things you can’t……but when did common sense ever play a part in how the subconscious works?

So, what do I need to do? Stop, take a step back. Remind myself what I can do, what I can’t, and more importantly don’t stress about things I cannot control…

Easier said than done!

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Still waiting …

So, where are we …

We are 4 days of adoption training down

We sent off our letter to proceed to phase 2 almost 4 weeks ago

And guess what, we are waiting………

We were initially told we would hear within 5 days of them receiving our letter. After 2 weeks I chased and was told it’s with a manger and we should be assigned a social worker shortly. A week later I chased again.. to be told we’ve been assigned a social worker, but they may be on holiday so if we haven’t heard back in 2WEEKS !!!! to chase again.

I was never under the illusion this process would be quick, and I assumed there would be frustration along the way, but for it to start off this slowly has really knocked me back.

I find myself more emotional than I have been for a long time (although as always I am hiding it), I get angry, not for me, but because I think to myself my future children could be out there right now going through a terrible time, and all I want to do is make them feel better, but I have to get through this process.

When we first started trying for a family, I like everyone else never imagined it this way. Some days are easier than others, I don’t get sad about the fact that I won’t have biological children anymore, although the pain is always there. I literally just ache for family I don’t know.

We’ve been spending a lot of time with kids lately as we build up some experience. Nieces, nephews, god children etc. It’s been really rewarding and allowed us to really establish bonds with these kids, that we probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. But every time they leave I am painfully reminded of what we don’t have.

Today, and I never know why, has been a bad day, there have been a lot of good ones.. but today is not one

A

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The next step is getting closer


After a lovely weekend in London with this one and some of our best friends, it’s now only a few days till we start our adoption training.

I have to say I am feeling both nervous and excited about this next step in our journey. 

We’ve both written about the tough times, and I do not believe for one minute that the next 6-12 months will be easy, but I do believe, the moment we get our own family, every painful day for the last 4 years and every day from now until then will have been worth it.

I remind myself every day when I wake up next to Heidi how lucky I am. I am usually the first one up, and Heidi is still in bed when I leave. I look at her sleeping and think, how the hell did you land yourself a person as amazing her and more importantly, what do I need to do to make sure I continue to derserve her.

I am not always the best husband, I don’t do anywhere enough around the house, and I don’t think I’ve cooked a meal in 6 months! So I know I need to do more…

So that’s my challenge I guess, between now and when we get our family, to show Heidi that we will do it together, and to show her that I can and will be committed to supporting her and doing my bit, because let’s be honest, when it does happen, I will be moving down the pecking order.

And that’s what this post is about, a commitment to do better, to be better and to be a man worthy of the most amazing woman ❤️❤️❤️

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Looking forward 

So…

I think the blogging started as we had a story to tell, the original story was that of two people struggling to get pregnant and the pain and stresses this brought along with it.

Our intention wasn’t as much for people to read this, but for us both to have an outlet to share our feelings in a forum where we might feel freer than when talking to one another. At the same time, I know other people are having the same challenges, and if reading our posts helped, then great.

The first few posts were all pretty depressing, I think this is because myself and Heidi just had built up so much pain, that once we had an outlet, it was as though someone had pulled the plug out of a bathtub of dirty water and all of it flowed into our Blogs.

We are in a different place today, but I hope our blog will keep going as this is still a story of infertility.

We have just had an amazing week in Turkey (Oludinez). I don’t think I realised just how I tired I actually was until I got to Turkey and I have slept more in the last week that I probably have in the previous 3 weeks. This was proper ‘quality time’ with my best friend, we did lots, paragliding, boat trips, quadbikes etc, but also found time to talk about the next step in our journey… Adoption.

I am so excited about going through this process, that I know on occasions I am going to have to check myself, slow myself down and realise it won’t happen as quickly as I would like it too.

For me, being able to start a family with the woman I love is something I have dreamt of doing since the first week we met. I knew then, what I still know today, that she is the one for me. I am not always the perfect husband (sometimes far from it) and I will not always get everything right, but I think Heidi knows that everything I do is usually around trying to be the best version of myself, and therefore be worthy of someone like her.

Now Heidi is not perfect either, she can not take a compliment, hates it when I say ‘lovey dovey’ things like this, and is not always proactive in terms of displaying affection, but I know she loves me and I know she will always love me and this is all I need. 

So, back to Adoption….we have started reading a book this week, one chapter at a time, on how we should be raising children, and the impact our actions have on a childs developing brain. Whilst repetitious at points, it has really made me think about how I was raised, and how I need to ensure I learn from my own upbringing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying my parents did a bad job, they did a great job, and brought me up based on the best information available at that time, but we know more now, and we should use this information shouldn’t we ?

Adoption training starts in 3 weeks, I have no idea what to expect, but again, I am looking forward to it, and looking forward to meeting other couples who will be going through the same process, and likely having similar thoughts, fears and concerns etc that we are having. Hopefully this will also lead to a new network of friends once we all have our lovely new families.

While I will not be allowed to post pictures etc when we do get a placement, at least for the first 6 months, I will keep writing in here about the training and my thoughts around this.

Ok, this has been a long post, the joys of a 4 hour plane journey… but the real journey starts officially in 3 weeks, it will be long, it will be hard, but it will be worth it.

Andy

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Drawing a line


I took a pregnancy test this morning. Not because I thought that I am pregnant. But to prove I am not! It’s been about 10 weeks since my last period. But we’ve been here before so it’s nothing new.

Tomorrow I am going back on the contraceptive pill and I have to say I am relieved. No more, am I? aren’t I? Hopefully a regular cycle, maybe clearer skin and less mood swings. Fingers crossed anyway, for Andy as much as me. 

I’m also looking forward to cutting off those people who imply (or just say it straight out) that maybe now we have started the adoption process, I might magically fall pregnant naturally. It ain’t gonna happen.

We’re so excited about our plans to adopt, it feels good, and right, like this was meant for us all along. Going back on the pill just confirms our commitment to the cause, and draws a line under the uncertainty and heartbreak of the last 4 years.

H

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