Friday, July 31, 2009

TGIF...Wait! Already?!?

I cannot believe it's Friday already. Yesterday when Cupcake reminded me it was Thursday I was shocked. But it's Friday. It's also CD4.
Tuesday after lunch I found out that Cycle #9 was a bust. I was upset, cried a few tears in the bathrooom, but then got back to work. The hardest part was going to agility after work because I knew, but Kevin didn't. I was more upset about having to tell Kevin that it didn't work than I was about it actually not working. He was so vocal and optimistic this cycle. When I did tell him once we got home he admitted to me that he was hoping for a BFP for his birthday. It broke my heart.
We have decided to take a break from TTC. We might start again in October, but for now, we're going to focus on adoption. Our homestudy appt on Wednesday went well. My individual interview went really long because our SW realized that morning that she hadn't gotten my autobiography. So it ended up being about an hour long. The couples interview was next and it was pretty short so I got out of there around 10am. Kevin's individual interview was about 20 minutes. The SW said that all our paperwork and clearances are in and everything cleared. So now we're waiting on our reference letters to come in. My friends tend to be procrastinators (like me) so I sent them all a text message reminding them that we had our appt and that the letters would be the last thing. I'll email them next week again. I don't want to be THAT friend that nags you when she's asked you for a favor but seriously, it's all our approval is contingent on. Get it in people!
About an hour after I found out about the failure of cycle #9, that lawyer I mentioned before called me. About a week after getting in touch with him, I called him again and told him that we were probably going to go with someone local but that we would keep him in mind in case we changed our mind. Well Tuesday he called to say that he's got a couple of birthmothers that he's getting ready to match up and wanted to give us a chance to be considered. Of course to be considered we'd have to pay him a retainer ($6,000) and that doesn't even guarantee that we'd get picked. It seems a bit much to me but our SW told us that's the norm when dealing with adoption attorneys. Kevin is still hesitant to use him because of what we learned on the internet about him (not good stuff). But then my Tia's co-worker swears by him and even went back a second time because she was so happy with the first. I'm going to try to call her again this weekend. Last time I never actually got a hold of her.
J's special mass is this weekend so it's off to exciting, exotic Trenton. But I'm really looking forward to seeing my cousin T. About a year or so ago, she had brain surgery to remove a tumor. J shaved his head bald when she did to show his support of her. RR told me that she's doing a lot better but I'm glad to be able to see her.

And now for a pick me up. Kevin was working from home on Wednesday and so he got to observe Dave & Les doing what they do when we're not there.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Kevin and I had a good weekend. I convinced him on Saturday to go clothes shopping for him. And a few items for me. I used the excuse of getting him clothes for his birthday as well as clothes for the cruise to get him to go. I use to hate shopping with him. We'd make a list of all the stores we would need to go to and then we'd get to the first store and he'd complain that he had a headache and was tired and wanted to go home. Yes, this is my husband, not my three year old child. It got to the point that other than the grocery store and's Cl.ub, I refused to go anywhere with him. But he's gotten a better attitude and I've gotten better at stragegically planning the trips. Like I always end the trip with a visit to K.ohl's which is Kevin's favorite department store. He'll go in there and come out with at least 3 or 4 shirts for work. Even if he doesn't NEED any new ones. Strangely, they are a weakness for him.

So I shaped up pretty good at taking my bbts this cycle. I got in IUI day, 1DPIUI, 2DPIUI, 5DPIUI, 7DPIUI, 8DPIUI, 10DPIUI, 11DPIUI and today. IUI, 1DPIUI, & 2DPIUI were normal, with normal ovulation shifting temps, but then on 5DPIUI there was a huge jump and I started to get excited. These temps were the highest of any temps I've ever gotten since I started charting last October. So last night I was looking at the pattern rather than the temps and there's not a second shift. I doubt implantation would have occured before 5DPO so I would have needed to see a second shift sometime between 5DP0 and 10DPO and there hasn't been. And then this morning my bbt plummeted. 97.93°. Still above the coverline, but I think it's on it's way down. AF will probably arrive on Wednesday or Thursday. Or maybe even tomorrow as I'm starting to feel AF/uterus pains. But I'm hoping Thursday because then that will mean another normal LP.

The other thing I've been thinking about is the twinges I've been having in the left ovary area. I looked back at the blog and realized that around 9-10DPO last cycle I was having the same thing and if I had to describe it the best description is that twinge you get before you're about to ovulate and your follies are growing. Last cycle I just dismissed it but then this cycle ended up being delayed because I had a 15mm follicle on the left side at my menses test. And this cycle I've had the same twinges around 9-10DPO so I'm thinking if we did a menses check we're prolly going to find another largish follicle.
Now I'm about 95% sure this cycle didn't work. It was the best shot we've had since we started this whole TTC thing. I've been a little emotional about it but mostly calm. I decided not to say anything to Kevin until AF shows up. Usually in the mornings he'll ask me about my temp but this morning he didn't. Maybe he can tell.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tagged again.

A gave me the Honest Scrap award recently and I'm just now getting to doing my part.

Here are the Honest Scrap stipulations:
  1. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find interesting and engaging *I'm gonna do 8 so that I fulfill my duties from the 8x8 award earlier with this one
  2. Show the 7 winners names and links on your blog and leave a comment informing them that they have won the "Honest Scrap Award" or "8x8 Award"
  3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself
Here are my 10 honest things:
  1. I'm a tech junkie - if it's new and improved and a gadget, I probably own it.
  2. I'm not a big fan of chocolate, especially plain chocolate. However we have to keep a huge stash of it around because Kevin is a chocoholic!
  3. I was a biology & chemistry double major when I started college but after two years (and only being a year away from graduation) I changed my major to Graphic Design.
  4. If I had stayed in college one more semester I would have come out with three minors - Biology, Chemistry & English.
  5. Kevin and I still refer to the dogs as yours and mine. If I say "Your dog is under the bed," he knows I'm talking about Les. If I say "My dog needs a good brushing," I'm talking about Dave.
  6. Until Kevin and I got married we didn't have pet names for eachother. We never called eachother Honey, Sweetie, Darling or anything else. Now we often refer to eachother as Husband and Wife. For instance if I need something I'll say "Husband, can I have a glass of orange juice please?"
  7. I call Chicken "Chicken" IRL. When I introduce her to anyone I have to force myself to call her by her real name.
  8. My sister and I are power houses at any board game we play together. Pictionary, Cranium, etc. If it's a team board game and we're on the same team we always win.
  9. I suck at Scrabble and my husband and in-laws love playing it. They have score sheets from years and years ago in the box and can recall any game they've played just by looking at the score sheet.
  10. I know how to code HTML by hand. I was taught that way and I really struggle using WYSIWYG editors. I've had dozens of website over the years that I've designed and coded and when I had my own business, that was the bulk of the work I would do.
And for 7(8) blogs I nominate: *you can choose whether to do this one or the 8x8 one from before.
  1. Lucy
  2. Amanda
  3. Hilary
  4. Becky
  5. Jess
  6. Andrea
  7. Beth
  8. A
If you're interested here's a past "10 things" that I've done.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

kroh-shey blang-kit

Chicklet got to go home today. Chicken was kind of relieved, only because she thinks this means that she'll get more than two hours sleep at a time. Between Chicklet, the doctors, the techs drawing blood, the nurses, visitors and phone calls she wasn't able to sleep very well. I don't think it's going to be much different at home (except the doctors, nurses and techs part), but we'll see how that goes. Chicklet is the first grandchild on both sides and both grandmas live pretty close, so maybe that will help?

Anyways, I wanted to show you all Chicklet's blanket. I ended up getting it done by my second deadline (mostly cause of my layover during my June trip down there) so Chicken had it in plenty of time.

This is the blanket with all 80 squares but pre-border. I did about 9 rows of treble cluster crochets all around.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished blanket but luckily Chicken posted photos of the nursery on her blog and a couple of shots had the blanket in it.

When I go down in September, I'll try to get a photo of Chicklet in it or if Chicken sends me a photo I'll post it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Chicklet was born this morning! I got a text message from Peeta that she came out weighing 9lbs 10 oz and 20 1/4 inches long! Holy crapola, that's a big baby!

My cousin J is taking his first set of vows next weekend in Trenton, NJ. Since we live relatively close to him (the rest of our family lives in Texas), we decided to head up there for the big event. J told me his parents and two of his sisters (he's got 4) are coming. It will be good to see them all. Mostly. I don't really get on with Uncle D. I might have mentioned I was a bit of a trouble maker when I was little and somehow I always dragged RR, J's oldest sister, along with me. But I'm sure it will be fine.

Round 9 v2.0 is going well. I've been having weird pains and stuff in that lower area. Mostly on the left side, but some on the right. I'm not sure what it is. Last night Kevin gave me the HCG booster shot. It was the worst shot he's ever given me! Oh! The pain! I also haven't taken a good bbt since the morning after ovulation (thurs). Friday morning I was moving around a lot and then remembered to bbt. By that time I was way up. Sat and Sun I didn't bother. Monday morning I slept in a hour past my normal temping time so it was high again. Then I took it downstairs to record them on FF and forgot to bring it back up for this morning. Kevin offered to go get it, but I just told him not to bother. I'm going to try to get in a bbt tomorrow.

I've got to go to the dentist tomorrow to get some fillings redone. I'm tempted to reschedule. With the way irregular schedule I had last week, plus knowing that next wednesday I'm going to be late because of the homestudy, I think I should hold off on any non-necessary appointments.

Okay SPOILERS here if you haven't seen HP6 (or read HP7). Highlight from here down to the next paragraph if you've seen HP6 and want to read my take.
Overall I thought the movie was good. The kids are better actors, most of the over-acting is done by insignificant side characters (*cough*LavenderBrown*cough*) and they've gotten better at cutting out the things that don't really need to be in the movies. There were just two things I didn't like. First that Ginny was the one who hid the potions book. In the book, Harry hides it, intending to retrieve it once the heat is off and so marks the spot with a bust, wig & tiara (which we learn in HP7 is a diadem). He recalls seeing the tiara in HP7 and so knows where to get it from once he realizes what it is. If he didn't hide the potions book in the this movie, how's he suppose to remember about it in HP7? The other problem I had was that there was no Hogwarts fight scene at the end. My dad saw the movie this past weekend and as he's never read the book, he thought this one was a boring. He said it needed a fight scene. I agree. Get rid of the unneeded attack on the Burrow (Hello! Where's the escape from Privit Drive/Wedding going to take place then?) and the anachronistic bridge collapse and put in the Hogwarts skirmish. Then it would have been much better. But other than that, I didn't really mind any of the other changes and thought the movie did a good job of carrying itself, both as the 6th movie in a series and standing alone.

Sunday we celebrated the 3 year anniversary in our house! These past three years have been filled! We got engaged, got married, found ourselves battling IF. I lost a grandfather and Kevin lost both his grandparents. We hosted the inlaws with no major catastrophes. We're still trying to tame the front garden and haven't gotten grass to grow in the back yard. Oh yeah, it was filled. We went to Red L.obster to celebrate. We have friends who make fun of us, claiming that RL is not real seafood, but I remember when I was little we only ever went there for special occaisions. My birthday or Dad's. And so now, when I think of special occaisions, I always think Red Lo.bster. I always get a half order of crab legs and Kevin always gets the Alfredo Linguini with Chicken. If you can't tell, we're creatures of habit.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I was tagged a while ago but I'm usually bad at these things and then I was tagged again the other day so I figured I should do this one first. This one is called 8x8.

The Rules:
Mentioned who tagged you: Lucy
Complete the list of 8’s
Tag 8 people


  1. Getting a BFP
  2. Finishing our Adoption Homestudy
  3. Start coaching again in the fall
  4. Going on our honeymoon(ish) cruise!
  5. Having a kid(s)
  6. Visiting my parents in September
  7. Seeing Chicklet (and Chicken) in September
  8. Standing with Chicken at her wedding in June 2010.
  1. Went to a game night where I hardly knew anyone
  2. Went to work
  3. Posted on my blog
  4. Went to agility with Dave & Les (and Kevin)
  5. Had a really good agility class with Dave
  6. Started my 2ww
  7. Called R for the third time to get my follie measurements cause I kept losing them
  8. Realized I needed to have sent out my passport renewal like last week and it's still sitting on the nightstand.
  1. Have a kid
  2. Work from home
  3. Play soccer better
  4. Reach 12,000 steps in one day
  5. Buy CS4 for home
  6. Have a kid already
  7. Make this IUI work
  8. Be done with the 2ww (but only if IUI was successful)
  1. Lost
  2. How I Met Your Mother
  3. Medium
  4. United States of Tara
  5. True Blood
  6. Survivor
  7. Amazing Race
  8. Real World/Road Rules Challenges
  1. clementines
  2. strawberries
  3. green grapes
  4. cherries
  5. Bananas
  6. pomegranite
  7. pineapple
  8. tamarindo
  1. Italy
  2. Greece
  3. Egypt
  4. Galapagos Islands
  5. Japan
  6. Australia
  7. Vermont in winter
  8. Trenton, NJ - to watch my cousin take the first of his priestly vows.
  1. L,Tx
  2. EP,Tx
  3. T,Fl
  4. R,Fl
  5. C,UK
  6. S,Fl
  7. D,Oh
  8. R,Va
No one only because I'm doing this so late, but if you want to do it, then I'm tagging you.

Tomorrow I'll do the next one.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Dr. Grrr didn't show up to my appt till 1pm. Apparently the ER he had before my appt hadn't gone very well. I could tell he was upset because he didn't have the usual edge that he normally does. I forgot to check on Kevin's numbers, but they didn't seem concerned. We even got to see the little swimmers under the microscope.
Before the IUI Dr. Grrr did an u/s and he said that he thinks one of the follicles might have already ovulated. My measurements were 21mm & 18mm on right and 17mm on left. I was a little sad when he said this (I'm not sure why) but then he said maybe was all very weird, especially considering the mood he was in.
Afterwards I went home and read (laying down of course!) my latest book and then prepped dinner. Kevin got home and we cooked. We watched Eag.le which was a fun movie. Not nearly as scary as of the S.tate.
Tonight I'm meeting some friends for a girls game night. It's crazy because the girl who is hosting it (I don't know her) lives on the other side of the creek that runs behind the houses across the street from me. Got that? Anways, her house is like 1300 ft away from my house (see google map picture) but because of that creek, the shortest street distance is 2.5 miles. I could walk to her house but the creek doesn't have a bridge or steady crossing. I'm looking forward to tonight. It will be a nice break I think.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

IUI #2

I'm sitting here at work counting down the minutes till I can leave for IUI#2. Kevin's going with me but I'm meeting him there. Then I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off. I was willing to come back this afternoon, but Cupcake told me not to bother. I'll still sign in from home cause I'd feel guilty if anything came up.
Monday's u/s appt was scheduled for 3:30pm. But since my boss was leaving for a week long sales pitch trip he needed tons of collateral and sales material from us marketing people before he left at 2pm. I managed to get it all done (cause I skipped my lunch!) by the time he left and then with finishing up all the other things that needed to be done Monday, I ended up not leaving till 3:30. Luckily Dr. Grrr's office was nice and they saw me as soon as I got in (around 4pm). We did the u/s and they found a 22mm & 16 mm on the right and the 18mm on the left. Now I know the drugs are strong but somehow I don't think that follicles can grow 4mm overnight. It's always fustrating to go to the coverage RE's office because stuff like this always happen - they can't find my ovary, measure wrong, or I end up having to see Dr. Grrr the next day anyways. What's the point? Anyways, Dr. Grrr told me to trigger as late as possible on Monday night and then scheduled the IUI for 12:15 today. Pray that he can stay on schedule. He has an ER this morning so we might have to wait a bit. Hopefully not though.
One thing Dr. Grrr was concerned about was my E2 levels. From what I can find on the internet they should be around 150-200 per mature follicle. I had them checked on Friday and Sunday and they were 229 and 378 respectively. He said they weren't terrible numbers, but a bit low considering I have 3.
My bbt (yes I'm back at it again!) this morning was 97.45° which is a good pre-ovluation reading for me. Hopefully tomorrow it will rise! I wonder if it will be higher than normal because there are 3 follicles? And of course I'm freaking out that I won't have a temp rise. But I've made the decision that I'm going to temp the whole 2ww. I need some kind of hint which way things are going.
In other news, Chicklet will be here in less that a week! She's weighing approx. 7lbs 6 oz already! So they're planning on doing a c-section a week before her due date. I'm sad that I'll be missing it, although not having to be right there might be better for me psychologically. Also it's a bit of a relief that she's coming a week early. Otherwise she would be being born right around 14dpo. If I got a BFN it would be a double blow. I know, it's a bit selfish, but these are the thoughts in my head.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Morning

So this morning was planned down to a T. We woke at 6am and got ready. Then Kevin drove me to the hospital (for the E2 blood draw) and we were there by 7:20. I was the first one in and done quickly so that we were out the door by 7:35. There were already two other couples when I got out! We drove south of town near where the coverage RE's office is. However since we had an hour & 20 minute wait between we decided to go to IH.OP. It's one of Kevin & my's favorite breakfast venues. We stalled as much as possible but eventually we just made our way over to the RE's office. We got there around 8:40 and there were 2 ladies ahead of us. The RE was there but his nurse wasn't. She showed up about 10 to 9 and all three of us went into rooms. I was hoping that the other two would go quickly and that maybe I could make it to the river by 9:30 but of course that didn't happen. So I waited and waited and eventually around 9:30 they came in. Two follies on right, measuring 18mm and 15mm. Not much growth, grrr! And one on the left measuring 15mm. Sigh. The RE told me that he was going to call Dr. Grrr with his findings and that Dr. Grrr would give me a call to let me know what to do.

I started panicking at this point because I thought I was going to be triggering today! I was all out of HMG but I hadn't bothered to say anything to Dr. Grrr because he said we were going to trigger. So Kevin said he'd take my phone and when Dr. Grrr called, if he wanted me to do another night of HMG he would tell them I was out and arrange to pick up extra.
We left the RE's office around 9:40 and made it to the river by 10am and I just caught the rest of the class as they were preparing to go in the water. So all was good.
The class was awesome! If anyone lives in the RVA area, this is deffo a must do! At least once. Kevin and I are planning on going back for some play days if they can find room for us. And we're going to take an advanced kayaking course this winter. I'll write more about it later though.
Kevin and the dogs picked me up after the class and he told me that Dr. Grrr had called and wanted me to do another night of HMG. So he had to pick up the extra. He also said that Dr. Grr wanted to see me tomorrow. This was annoying as I have a busy day at work planned for tomorrow. Kevin was able to get me a later appt though so I should be able to get away. Hopefully.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I lied to Dr. Grrr

On Monday when I went to go see Dr. Grrr he asked me to come back on Thursday. I said okay and got a 3:00 appt. Then I got to work and realized what this meant. Come in late Monday, come in late Wednesday (for homestudy), leave early Thursday. So for some reason I thought it would be better if I could spread out the days more and really, how much could change by me coming in for a follie check the next morning instead?
On Tuesday I called R and told her that I had an out of town meeting on Thursday and that I wasn't going to be able to come in. At first she said it should be fine to come in Friday morning, but then suggested I come in Wednesday. I told her that I wouldn't be able to do Wednesday (because I'd be preparing for my OOT meeting) and so I got the first appt on Friday. I felt bad about lying, but what was I suppose to do? Every time I hesitate because of work, they act like I've got my priorities in the wrong order. Having a family is important to me but I need a job to afford these expensive cycles (and expensive kid eventually). Also I haven't told anyone at work what's up (I work with mainly men), they just see me coming in late, taking long lunches and going outside to talk on my cell phone. Nothing to be suspicious about. Right?
And then, at this morning's appt, R tells me that yesterday around 3PM they lost power for the rest of the day! So I would have left work early, arrived right as the power went out, waited around for nothing and then would have come in late today anyways! So see, it all worked out for the best.
So the follie check showed the two on the right measuring 15mm and 13mm. And then he looked on the right and there were only two! One was measuring 14mm and the second was 9mm. So he's not worried about the second one catching up to the other three so I'm all go for an IUI next week. Dr. Grrr said that we'll do another follie check on Sunday morning with a possible trigger Sunday night and IUI on Tuesday. Annoyingly the earliest appt available on Sunday is 9:20 am. This weekend I'm taking a Whitewater Kayaking course which runs 9am-5pm on both days. Hopefully the instructors will work with me on being late on Sunday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Homestudy Home Visit

This morning I woke up with a definite list of things to do in my head. Nothing major, most of the cleaning had happened the night before. Mainly cleaning after the dogs - vacuuming their hair up, wet swiffering their drool spots off the floor/window ledge, removing nose marks from the windows. Stuff I didn't want to do till I kicked the dogs out this morning. Dave was a little annoyed with me, but she use to be an all-the-time outside dog so I don't think she's allowed to complain.
The SW got there right on time. The first thing we did was tour the house and she asked a couple of questions about the house(sq. footage, lot size, location of fire extinguishers). Some questions on locations of fire stations/hospitals. We talked about the neighborhood - our block parties, kids in the neighborhood, etc. Then she asked us a few questions about us - most of this stuff were things we put in the autobiographies/application. She told us that our clearances from Florida and Ohio had arrived, she was just waiting on the fingerprint reports. She's sending out the references today, so hopefully those we've chosen will send them back soon. After asking if we had any questions (no) we set the date/time for our last homestudy appt. This part will be the personal interviews (individual & together). We went with the last Wednesday in July. It just happened to fall on Kevin's birthday, but I didn't even realize till afterwards. He didn't say anything about it so I'm assuming he doesn't mind.
Tonight we're going to a Son.ic concert in town. Kevin told me about this concert like four months ago. We haven't gotten tickets yet because he refuses to use Ticket Bastard(his nickname for TM) so hopefully we'll be able to get in.

Monday, July 6, 2009

CD8 appt

Today was the u/s appt with Dr. Grrr. I showed up a little early so that I could read my book so of course, I got seen right away. He found 4 small follicles (>4mm) on the left ovary and one 7.7mm on the right and one slightly smaller. I'm not happy with the results. Today is CD8. Last cycle I started HMG one day later, only had 4 doses (2 of those were only 225iu!) and came in one day earlier for an ultrasound and I had a 9mm follicle. This cycle I had 5 full doses (at 300iu) plus Lupron and all I got was four barely there follicles and two slightly larger follicles. Then Dr. Grrr starts talking to me about things I should start thinking about. He tells me that at most his guideline is for no more than twins. So with these 6 follies, he sees two possible scenarios:
  1. Two mature and all goes as planned.
  2. All six (or more than two mature).
If situ 2 happens, I either
  1. do an IUI and selectively reduce to twins after the fact,
  2. skip this cycle all together,
  3. convert this cycle to IVF.
Hello! WTF! It's CD8! There's hardly anything there! What the heck are you talking about. I tell him that I won't selectively reduce and that Kevin and are uncomfortable with IVF so that if too many mature, we'll sit this cycle out. He then tells me that Kevin and I should come in for an IVF consultation to learn about our options and I again tell him that we're not doing IVF. He just looks at me like I'm being a moron. When I left his office I was so mad. I called Kevin to tell him about it and he was just as indignant.

So I've been reading up on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' teachings on "Reproductive Technologies". According to them there are seven "technologies" that are compatible with Catholic teachings. Looking at the list, we're doing okay. Some hiccups, but mainly okay. Then there's the list of what you can't do. The list is long but basically any procedure which adds a "third party" into the act of conception, or which substitute a laboratory procedure for intercourse, are not acceptable.
I was a little dismayed when I read up on this because we had just done our first IUI. The problem wasn't with the IUI itself, it was more the collection method. IUIs of "licitly obtained" (normal intercourse with a special are still under discussion so I was considering asking Dr. Grrr about that. But judging from his behavior today I doubt he'd be open to it.
The last option we would have which is under discussion is Gamete intra-fallopian transfer (GIFT). Again, it's been neither approved nor dissapproved and requires a laproscopy, but at least I know I have one more option.
So knowing all this, I still think we're going to do an IUI this cycle. It's like Kevin says - If this is it, let's throw everything at it. I will find out about those con.doms though, but I'm not banking on them being an option. And if Dr. Grrr brings up IVF again, I'll bring up GIFT. Or Low Tubal Ovum Transfer (LTOT). Should be interesting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Not-busy 4th

Another 4th of July at home. Sometimes Kevin and I can be really boring. We talk the big talk but we don't actually walk the big walk (actually walking out of the house!). We are such homebodies sometimes and I know we've got to break out of it.
The weekend started good. We went back to Colonial Williamsburg on Friday for their goings-on. It was interesting, the highlights being the reading of the Declaration of Independence and the Fifes & Drums playing. We got back around 7pm and even though we had planned on going climbing, by the time we unloaded and ate, we were both so tired that neither one of us put up a protest when it was suggested that we skip climbing.
Saturday we didn't do much. We worked with Les and Dave on agility stuff. Last Monday, Les was promoted to Level 7. Woo Hoo! She's entering the serious dog levels. A few weeks ago I had a talk with Kevin about his plans for Les. I told him that if he didn't want to compete with Les we were good. However if he did, then he needed to step up his game. Currently the dogs go to class twice a week, one of those times without me so Kevin has to split his time between the two. But outside of class we don't practice with the dogs (we've got jumps and weave poles in our backyard). So he started leaving Dave behind on the night I couldn't go. With Les moving up to Level 7, we talked again about the fact that if he wants to compete then he and Les need to practice every day and that he needs to get more consistent with her training and discipline. Also, he needs to train her to master new "tricks" to keep her brain engaged. So now she's got to "work" for every meal outside with Kevin. I get to watch through the bathroom window (I don't want to be outside since I could be a distraction) and just from his work over the weekend I can already see her being more intuned to his body movements (the type of agility training we do directs the dogs by your body language rather than actually yelling commands at them). Also now that Les has moved up, he can take Dave to the Level 6 class which is right after Les' Level 7 class.
We also watched the Women's Wimbledon final. I love watching matches between those sisters. I'm always reminded of me and Wiki when I see sisters who have a really strong bond but also can just as competitive with each other as they are with everyone else and at the end of the day still be good (and even compete with each other for the doubles championship).
We were going to go watch the fireworks in town, but it would have taken forever to get to, forever to find a parking space, and forever to get out of because of all the traffic. So we skipped it. Then in the Sunday morning paper learned that a park near us had a fireworks show. Bummer! We would have gone to that one!
Sunday we watched the Wimbledon final. It was great! I really wanted And.y Rodd.ick to win and felt so bad when it didn't happen. Four hours though! Whew!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Homestudy Process

Last you heard, Kevin and I were preparing to go to our a meeting with a social worker (SW) at JFS. They had sent us the application packet prior to our meeting so at the meeting if we knew that this was the next step for us we could get started right away. Well the meeting went really well and the so we did it! Back in January we decided to go with JFS mainly for the reason that they didn't require a 3 year marriage prior to application. If so, Kevin and I would have to wait till September 2010. Anyways, in talking to the SW I just felt more and more comfortable with this agency.
That night we had to turn in quite a few things:

  1. The JFS application
  2. A copy of our birth certificates
  3. A copy of our passports
  4. A copy of our driver's license
  5. A copy of our marriage certificate
  6. A personal finance form
  7. A copy of last year's 1040 and a few bank statements supporting the information provided in the personal finance form
  8. A copy of our health and dental insurance cards
  9. Names and addresses of 5 references (they couldn't be related to us and must have known us for at least 4 years)
  10. Autobiographies and a self-questionnaire (this was really interesting to read since we wrote them separately)
  11. A photograph of us
  12. Verification of Employment (a copy of our current paychecks)
  13. Sworn Disclosure
  14. Corporal Punishment Policy Agreement
  15. Information Release Form
  16. Signed Fee Agreement Form (this is agreeing that we are going to pay)
  17. Signed Fee Statement (this was a schedule of their fees that we agreed to)
Over the weekend we went to Pa.tientFi.rst to get our Medical History Forms filled out and our Virginia Child Abuse Check Forms notarized. Then during the week we had to go to the police station to get our Fingerprint Cards (Criminal Record Check) done.

We started working on a lot of these forms before we went to the meeting on the 17th. Everything else we we turned in before our appt with Dr. Grrr on the 24th. We made an appointment for our home visit on the 8th of July.

The cost for the homestudy is $1800. This seemed to be consistent with what others I've heard of have paid. They split it up into thirds that are due at the first meeting, the home visit and the last meeting. Additional costs that we've had - $20 co-pay for the Pati.entFirs.t visit for me (Kevin doesn't have a co-pay with his insurance plan), $10 Child Abuse Check Fee, $20 to get fingerprinted, $100 Fingerprint Processing (by the FB.I) fee.

I liked JFS because they are a smaller agency that tries to empower you through the whole adoption process. One of the things that struck me about both CHSVA and CCC was that after your homestudy was done, you were expected to sit and wait in a pool of all these other potential adopters, hoping that when a birth mother came in she would pick you. JFS advocates expanding your network. Make a "Dear Birthmother" packet and send it to everyone you know, parents, cousins, friends, priests, other agencies (if allowed), & ob/gyn offices. Don't be afraid to cross state lines. They talked about adoption attorneys and online placement services. They said if you knew how to do a website to put one up. For me, this just seemed infinitely better than the process at other agencies. The other two never even talked about what you could do!

So now we're waiting and cleaning! Only a week to go and I'm sure Kevin will come up with a list of things that need to be done.