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Nov 17, 2005

Comments

Sassy

I'm soo happy you've found a plan that can help you have a baby and be happy & healthy at the same time. You've been so brave to get this far, I can't wait to meet your child.

April

What wonderful news.

I am so incredibly excited for you both.

labia lady

Wow.... just, wow.... you've got a plan...

Isn't it funny (or not) that your collegues thought you had cancer. IF has this huge influence on you that people think you must be dying... if that doesn't say anything about the trauma of this fucking IF nightmare, then nothing does.

Nico

That must have been somewhat shocking to you to find out that people though you had cancer. I'm glad that, if nothing else, that made you realize what your path is. I'm excited too! Can't wait to hear about what's going to happen when.

DD

A *Recovering IF*, that's what you are, and you are entitled to all the empowerment and privelages associated.

Won't your Russion co-worker be so thrilled to know that her pendant has cured the "cancer"?

I'm excited for you and either decision you make.

HoldingPattern

DD, I have no idea what to tell the Russian woman. I still have the pendant in my desk drawer. Should I return it? Keep it?

I've kept it so far because I've so mortified by the rumors, and the lengthy explanation I'd have to make in order to explain why I took the necklace even though I am not sick....

Amanda

Congratulations, Susan. I'm so happy for you. I can't wait to find out the details of the plan.

Mary Scarlet

They do say that people dealing with infertility have stress levels similar to those dealing with terminal illness. I'm so glad you have a plan. I also am facing my last ART treatment, and while I am desperately hopeful for a positive outcome, I am MORE looking forward to having this process behind me. Congratulations -- can't wait to hear more about your plan

Emily

Susan, I'm extremely excited and happy for you and can't wait to hear more.

Donnie

Congrats on a very exciting decision... I hope it brings you much joy. Now get on with the details!!
:)

-D.

wessel

So glad to hear that you have made a decision. I remember when I decided to move on from trying with my own eggs--yes, DE is not guaranteed, as I have already demonstrated--but I just remember feeling such relief that I was getting off the crappy eggs roller coaster and embarking on a Plan B that had better odds. Can't wait to hear more about your plans. :-)

As for the Russian lady, what a sweetie! I would be so moved by her gesture. Could your translator friend write a note in Russian that briefly explains that you didn't have cancer, but that you did have other medical problems which are now resolved? And then, of course, thank her for her concern.

I agree with the above commenter who said that the rumors are a testament to how horrific and stressful infertility is to us, that we actually project such desperation, fear, and sadness to the world. Sigh. I'm better now but not completely--feel like I still have a long, slow recovery up ahead.

Anyway, this is very exciting!

heleen

The Russian woman is great, is she really the only one in the office who shows that she sees your suffering?
Sad detail that comes to mind when I read your story: Statistics show that infertility is more likely to cause serious depression than cancer. (I don't know about terminal cancer though.) Wheather you adopt or give birth to a baby, having a child will cure the depression caused by infertility.
The thing that makes the infertility extra unbearable is the treatment: the waiting, the guessing, the not-knowing, and the chance of another dissapointment. And how many dissapointments can you take before you really hit the bottom?
I think you've made a brave decision and wish you all the best on the new journey you have chosen. I hope it will be a much easier and happier one.

thalia

Ha. I was at least 50% right. Feeling smug now.

Seriously, I'm so pleased you've made a decision which seems to make you so much happier. I look forward to hearing about how it comes to fruition.

Bonnie

Isn't having a plan a wonderful thing? Maybe the Russian woman's gesture is an omen that you should adopt from Russia...!

So glad I didn't win. I really, really didn't want those fertility books.

Deanna

Like someone else said, I'm feeling smug for guessing at least half of the question right. Good luck on this new journey. I won't lie to you and tell you it's an easy road. In fact I think the road is just as rocky as IF but the good news is that there is an end to this journey. With ART treatments you never have a guarantee, with adoption... you'll be able to become a mother.

Sometimes I second guess our decision to adopt, maybe we should have pursued ART more, and then I think about how much damage the ART treatments were doing to my mind and body. Mostly I think back to how much it was hurting my husband to watch me go through all the shots and doc appointments. Nothing is worse than watching someone who loves you worry about you. It made me decide adoption was the next step and the right step. We will continue to try different methods of TTC but I have promised him I will never do the injectable IF drugs that made me so sick. It was a hard promise to make, because I would have endured anything to make a baby, anything but ruin my marriage and hurt the man I love.

Denise

Congratulations on your decision! We gave up TTC after only a few setbacks (nothing like what you have gone through). I found adoption to be a pretty straightforward and easy process, and we are choosing to adopt a second child. Not that it's always straightforward or easy, but it's worked well for us. Can't wait to hear what happens next!

Lisa

Congratulations on your decision! I really loved this post because it describes how most of us who have experienced infertility have lived life, as if we were dying. We don't have to live like that. Thanks for pointing that out.

Jen

Delurking here to tell you I am very happy and hopeful for you. I have been reading your blog for a few months, and I wish you and your husband all the best. Good luck, good luck, good luck....

Jenn

Congratulations! It IS ok to stop.

Molly

Such good news! Won't it be nice to actually turn your face to the sun and KNOW that there's a child on its way to you?

Wavery

So glad you're where you are.

akeeyu

Hmm. I guess I'm the only one who read this and thought "Hey, increased inner peace, AND you got a spiffy necklace out of it, too! SCORE!"

I love your russian woman. Wouldn't it be nice if all awkward illnesses at the office were occasions for jewelry?

"Hey, I heard you had superbad food poisoning over the weekend, so we all chipped in and got you a toe ring."

PJ

How awesome for you Susan. Plans are good. Can't wait to hear whether you're going international or domestic.

Pamplemousse

Fabulous news, sweetie! You do sound so much better already.

Donna

One of my friends also told me that it was OK to stop when I was struggling so hard with that decision -- I'm not sure I believed it at the time but it really helped. If you are feeling relief and happiness at having made this decision then in my book that means it was a good one. Can't wait to follow you on this new path.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adoption To-Do's

  • 

    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!