Archive for April, 2012

On top of everything we’re doing to become parents, and on top of Mike’s two jobs, my one job and my freelance work, we decided to also look into buying a house. Because there was definitely not enough stress going around already, we thought now was the perfect time to take on more.

I know some people enjoy house hunting. My sister and her husband said they loved it – hopping in the car every weekend, driving around neighborhoods, scoping out For Sale signs. And another brother-in-law loves real estate. He and my sister bought a HUD home, turned it into something lovely, and are looking to repeat the whole process a second time. But us? We are just not that into it. We’d rather spend our weekends on other things, and we are absolutely NOT handy people. Like, at all.

But we decided we want to be in Grand Rapids for awhile. A long while. And with the market the way it is, if we know we want to buy someday, we’re kind of silly to not buy now. That’s why we’ve both been earning extra money – to save for a down payment and for a potential adoption.

So we contacted a realtor, a friend of a family member, and we’re working on a pre-approval from our credit union. So far it’s all a bit daunting, but fortunately we’re not in any hurry, so we don’t have to settle. And if we get worn out, we can just take a break for awhile. We’ve seen a few houses already. Unfortunately the homes in our price range aren’t quite large enough for us. I don’t mean they don’t have enough square feet, I mean they’re mostly one and a half story houses, and Mike is well over six feet tall. In that style home, the bedrooms and main bathroom are always upstairs with slanted ceilings, and he doesn’t want to spend his life hunched over. We did see one house we liked a lot, but it was above our price range and didn’t have any appliances.

Any tips on home buying you can share with a couple of novices?

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While we’ve been dealing with this arduous process of trying to become parents, I’ve become incredibly sensitive to other people’s good fortune in the kid department. I’ve had a really hard time expressing why that is, and I think a lot of people misunderstand where I’m coming from. I tried to write about this elsewhere once, and I don’t think I did a very good job.

But a friend just pointed me to this infertility forum called Clomid and Cabernet (how apt), and the first thing I read was very appropriate for how I was feeling. It’s called Sensitivity Matters, and if you know anyone who is or may be struggling with infertility, or even if you don’t (because you probably do know someone, you just don’t know it), you should check it out.

I admit, I was pretty oblivious to all of this before I had my own struggles, so there’s no judgment or reprimanding here. Just education.

“While I don’t want to make unequal comparisons, there are some things in life that you just don’t joke about.  There are some topics that can only be taken seriously.  We all know what those are. I think that it’s time to increase our collective awareness about infertility, and take note of the fact that people around us are struggling.

While some of you will argue that those struggling with infertility should simply avoid things like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, I believe that that mentality leaves these infertility warriors feeling even more isolated than they already are. “

(It should be noted that Mike and I are simultaneously pursuing conception, adoption and foster-to-adopt options. We are very open to how we become parents. But there seems to be more frequent disappointments with conception, and there seems to be more misunderstanding and insensitivity around that struggle than the others. Hence my sharing this.)

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Happy belated Easter

Want to see how adorable my nieces and nephews are?

In bunny ears! They kill me. I want to cuddle every single one of them all day long. For Easter, we all gathered at my Grandma’s house. After an easter egg hunt for the little ones and an oh so delicious meal, we headed outside for a family photo. Minus a step-niece and step-nephew, this is the whole gang on my mom’s side of the family:

It looks like a nice day, but in reality it was windy and bit chilly. In fact, a split second before this was taken, several of us were holding our hair out of our faces. Couldn’t even tell could you?

If you celebrated, I hope you had a happy Easter! (Yes I realize I’m a week and a half late. I’ve been a little slow on the photo uploads lately.)

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Quick update. We’re not intentionally being silent, we’ve just been busy and stressed and therefore haven’t gotten around to writing here. I’m still not pregnant. Last month was a tough blow to the psyche because it was the first attempt after the ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. But we’re rallying and trying again, this month with the help of Clomid* which we used in December, the month I got pregnant. We are hopeful but cautious. Nothing seems to work out easily for us, so for Clomid to work twice in a row would be asking a lot of the universe. We’re doing everything we can to make this happen, but mostly we can only wait.

We finally heard something from the adoption agency we applied through. After a month of hearing nothing, I reached out again and got word that they are going to “check it out.” So, we wait.

We also were invited to participate in a training to become certified foster care providers. We are working with an agency that generally doesn’t place many young children through foster care, but has a specialized program that places young children whose parents have lost their rights. There is a waiting list to join this program and to be on the list of people they call when these types of situations arise. We got on that waiting list in October, and because we hadn’t heard anything, I recently followed up to just to remind them of our interest. Turns out they sent us an invitation letter for the training back in January. Which we never received. So we’re instead invited to participate in May. Until then, we wait.

In addition to the many attempts to become parents, we are also looking into buying a house. It started as a half-hearted idea to maybe purchase the home we’re currently renting, and it has quickly spiraled into a full-on house hunt. We’re only at the very beginning of this process, but if you’ve ever bought a house, you know the loads of fun we’re having.**

On top of all of that — Yes there’s more! — we’re also trying to make some extra money. Mike is currently working a second job as a line cook three nights a week. And I’m doing a hodge podge of random things (proofreading, transcription, home listings for a realtor, etc).

We’re busy and stressed and tired. I hope someday we can look back at this time and be thankful we’re past it. I hope someday we have a child (or two or three or whatever), we own a home, and we don’t have to work four jobs. But for now we’re just trucking along, waiting for that to working our asses off to make that happen.

*Clomid helps stimulate ovulation, an essential part of conception. A thing my body doesn’t seem to want to do on its own.

**That’s sarcasm, but apparently some people actually do think it’s fun…

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