Happy ICLW!

To those finding me through ICLW, hello there! I thought I'd give a little introduction.  So here's the short version of a looooooong story, for your reading pleasure.

I'm Amber and I was born and raised in Alaska, where I still live now. In 1996 I met my best friend, who I later married in 2004. Okay, MUCH later! He was a slow learner! Ha. Anyway, we have two female black and white Chihuahuas, Minnie & Tori, who are seven years old. They are our first "children" and served as lovely little stand-ins while we waited for our two-legged child.

As far as our quest to become parents, that started in 2005 when we bought our first home. I went to the doctor for a sort of pre-pregnancy checkup, make sure everything's good to go, that sort of thing. Except that I already knew everything wasn't good to go. I'll spare you the gory details, but it took the doctor under three minutes to diagnose me with PCOS. I was both thrilled and horrified; the diagnosis provided a cause for all the weird problems I'd been having, but it was also a confirmation that having children would be extraordinarily difficult.

Over the next three years, we did a few dozen cycles of Clomid, with and without trigger shots, with and without IUI's, with and without mid-cycle ultrasounds and bloodwork... we tried everything up to IVF. (Unfortunately, no one in our state does IVF, so that wasn't an option in our case unless we wanted to fly back and forth to Seattle for a 'maybe'. Frankly, it's something that still interests me, but I'm just not sure it's right for us.)

On April 10th, 2008, we decided we'd had enough and we decided to pursue domestic (in-state) adoption instead. Our home study was completed in October 2008 and we expected a 1-3 year wait for a match. Much to our surprise, the phone rang three months later, in January, and we were notified that we were chosen by a young woman having a baby girl in March. We spent the next two months taking her back and forth to her doctor's appointments, planning the hospital routine, getting to know each other (including her other children), and so on. The day before her scheduled c-section, the birth mom changed her mind and decided she wanted the supposed birth father's family to take custody of the baby instead. Her plan was to let the birth father raise the baby... once he got out of jail.

The next morning, the c-section went as planned and the healthy baby girl was born. Soon after that, we got another phone call. Apparently, the baby came out looking much different than the birth mother had expected, therefore she suspected a different individual was the father. She felt that it wasn't right to let the other man's family take the baby after all since the baby may not be his, so she asked if we would still adopt the baby. We accepted and spent the rest of that day at the hospital with baby and birth mom. The following day, she changed her mind yet again and we walked away empty-handed.

The next activity came a year later, in January of 2010. We were chosen again for another baby girl, this one due in April. Birth mom lived a few hundred miles away. We traveled to a midpoint for a meeting with her and it went extremely well. Baby came early on March 24th and we were summoned back to the midpoint for placement. We brought her home and had her for 14 days when we got a call saying the birth mom had changed her mind and wanted the baby back. We drove her back to the midpoint and relinquished her to her mother.  It was completely devastating.

Much to our surprise, we got another phone call from that same birth mother in August 2010. She said she made a huge mistake taking the baby back and was overwhelmed, and wanted to know if we'd still adopt the baby, who was now 4-1/2 months old. We said yes and traveled quickly back to the midpoint. We took custody of baby Allie (the name we chose, which birth mom had chosen to use on the birth certificate, though she now calls the baby by another name) on August 7th, a Saturday. We stayed in the area for a few days in case of a change of heart. It's a good thing we did, because on August 10th, there was yet another change of heart and with tears in our eyes, we walked away without Allie for the second time.

Just days after giving Allie back again, we were matched with a third birth mother. Talk about a shock! This one was due in September, a baby boy this time. It's hard to explain, but we just had a different feeling about this birthmother from the start.  We told people with every scenario that each birthmother seemed very sure of her plan, but this one was sure on a whole new level.  She knew why she was choosing adoption and she was at peace with it already before we ever met her.

Just three weeks after we were matched, in September 2010, our sweet baby boy was born!  I was so fortunate to have been invited into the delivery room for his birth.  His birthmother insisted well before his birth that we accompany him to the nursery and be his parents from the moment he took his first breath, so that is what we did.  We now have a wonderful and healthy open adoption.  We talk with his birthmother on a regular basis and send pictures often.  We also visit as much as we can (she lives several hundred miles away).  I wouldn't trade my son, his birthmother, or our open adoption for anything in the world!

If you made it through all that, I applaud you! Thanks for swinging by; pull up a chair and follow me if you'd like to come along on our crazy ride. I use my blog-roll (in the right column) more than I use my following list, so I may add you there. Feel free to do the same for me, or grab my button over there. Happy ICLW, and I hope you have a good one!