Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More difficult than we ever expected

It's been a while since I've posted - we've been living in the "end of the road" malaise for the past several weeks, trying our best to accept our new reality and move on to adoption. I must say that personally, I am handling it quite well. My wife on the other hand is having a very, very difficult time. It breaks my heart to see her so down, and I worry about her every second of the day.

We have been getting educated about adoption and have sort of narrowed our choice down to Korea. The primary reasons have to do with age restrictions (my wife is only 28 and most countries require both adoptive parents to be at least 30) Korean infants are available, are raised in foster care (as opposed to orphanages) and the wait times are reasonable (6 - 18 months) All of these criteria are important to us, thus our preliminary decision.

We went to two meetings with adoption agencies yesterday - very exciting, but equally sobering. I knew this process was expensive, but when they plainly stated it will cost about $30,000 to adopt from Korea (comparable for domestic) it sunk in just how financially challenging this is going to be. I'm a financial nut ... I am very rigid about paying off debt (car and student loans), funding retirement accounts and sticking to a monthly budget. I do ALL of our finances so I have a very good idea of where we stand and what we can take on. Bottom line is this: $30,000 is simply too much for us right now. We have the cash, but it would put us so severely behind on a number of other goals and add so much stress to our lives that I am really uncomfortable moving forward with adoption at the current time. So, I have no choice but to strongly urge my wife to defer our adoption plans until we are on more solid financial footing. Fortunately I have a good job and we can get to solid financial ground in relatively short order (~8 months) but needless to say my wife is taking it unbelievably hard. Last night she sat on the couch and cried for the entire evening. I went home for lunch and her eyes were red and swollen. She is devastated not only by the diagnosis of our bleak chances at conception, but even more so at the potential three year wait we have ahead of us before we receive an adoption referral. I fear she is already depressed, and that it could get worse, and the worst part is that I have no idea how to help her, to give her what she needs, to maker her feel better. I'm giving it my all, and I will continue to do so, but calling it difficult is a huge understatement.

I've always thought that difficult times are an opportunity to prove your decency as a person. My role in this one is to be a good, supportive, patient, understanding husband, regardless of how my wife handles it. I'm doing my best, but it's hard to not feel like it's good enough.

We've wasted over half of our marriage and nearly $30,000 trying to concieve ... I need a break from it, and need to enjoy life for a while. It seems the only thing that is going to snap my wife out of this is a baby - right NOW - and here is where my best efforts will always fall short. The road ahead of us appears to be long and jagged.

14 comments:

Kat470 said...

I'm so sorry about your current state. I am also in shock of the cost of adoption! I know people who adopted for less than $10,000, but I guess those were maybe special circumstances.

Just know there are a ton of people thinking of you and your wife.

kjames106 said...

Women take infertility so different than men. Just keep holding her. Women grow up with yearning to be a mother and when you are told that it's not going to happen or maybe it's going to take a lot longer than you thought, you don't feel much like a woman anymore. You feel inadequate and maybe that you are letting your husband down. Just cling to her, that's all you can do. I'll be praying that the Lord fills her with peace as she waits through this time of hurting and waiting.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

You are being a great husband and the fact that you realize just how badly she is hurting right now is probably very reassuring and less lonely for her. Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you and your wife are going through all of this hardship. My husband and I know all too well that it stinks.

Just as a bit of info. for you guys. There is about a $12,000 tax credit when you adopt domestically (
I'm not sure about internationally) and you can also call your employer and see if they will help towards your goal of adoption. My husband's company has the worst insurance when it comes to fertility treatment but they are willing to offer $5,000 in tax credit when it comes to adoption.

Jill, Mommy of Tanner and Josie, our Clomid baby. :o) said...

Long time reader, first time commenting.

I am not going to give you the lame reponse of, "good thinsg come to those who wait", "God just doesn't think this is the right time."

The situation sucks, plain and simple and I will tell you that I am sorry. I hoped for a BFP every month!!!!

I am not sure if your employer offers any financial assistance but I hope they do!

Best Wishes and Many Prayers!
Jill

Crysbena said...

Oh, I'm so sorry... I know how you're wife must be feeling and God it's shitty. We can't help but let ourselves fall into despair. I don't know why we do it. Personally I used to think that if I felt bad enough and was hard enough on myself that it would happen. We're all different, but I think you need to just let her know you're there. No matter if what she's going through she needs to know you're there and you're both in this together. It's a sucky alone feeling otherwise. I think we women forget that you men aren't superman and we expect you to be able to take our crap...and while most of the time it's not okay. This is one of those time you got to give her a pass.

Remind her that this doesn't define her because if she let's it happen, it's as if her life stopped right there and you want to continue growing with her... together. Good luck.

Katie said...

Please remember that although adoption looks (and is) very expensive, it is not all paid at once, you pay it over time so you don't have to have all the money up front. For example you need a home study before you do anything else besides choosing your adoption agency- this will cost $1000-$2000 and takes a month or two to complete.

Adoption requires a lot of waiting my advice is that if you are ready start the process-start the process, you will glad you started when you find yourselves waiting for months/years.

I have three siblings adopted from Korea they were all healthy and are so special to me, I cannot imagine my life without them. Now one is married and in the air force, one is off to college in the fall with a full ride, and one is off to high school. You can see pictures of them at the bottom of my blog http://katie-familymemories.blogspot.com/.


Good luck to you both!

Heather said...

You are doing your best. It just may take her some time. This is a lot for anyone to handle. I'm sure she appreciates all you are doing, it just may be hard for her to express that right now. Especially when things aren't going how she had hoped.

Thinking of you guys.

littlezen said...

Everyone else said what I was thinking. We're doing domestic (BTW, you get the adoption tax credit for domestic or international). I know you don't think you're ready yet, but it take a LONG time to gather all the paperwork for the homestudy and such. Especially if you're working full time. So if you want to keep things moving you an take care of all that. You'd have to do it anyway and it's annoying if you want to keep photocopies or scan documents or whatever. It required mega-organization. With the HS you have to get a variety of clearances (child abuse, FBI, finger printing, etc) and all of that takes awhile. Then you have to provide all your financial and personal information. They want to see you're happily married, blah, blah, blah... Again, it takes a while and every agency had different rules and requirements. I remember feeling like the fertility clinic was more "under my control" because with the adoption stuff I'm depending on others to do the majority and I'm always trying to obey one rule or another. Good luck with everything!!

melody said...

I'm sorry for what you and your wife are going through. We can relate as we too did IVF twice and had to stop after that. Finances were a huge issue for us. We did adopt twice (domestic/closed adoption). Each adoption was 10K and the tax credit has been helpful. It's true you really do get up to 10K back, depending on how much you make. My husband is a pastor and we didn't exactly make the income range in order to get the full 10K back but every bit helps. I can say this; after we did IVF for the second time and knew we were finished with the IF intervention road, it was pure relief to just get our paperwork done for the adoption process. For me, I felt like it was now just a matter of simply waiting for God to bring the perfect child, He was forming or going to form, to us. Everyone has differing opinions on these criticaly huge issues and the inbetween time is quite a journey. But it all comes together in time. I pray that you and your wife will soon be united with your child of destiny...however that comes.

itsazooaroundhere said...

Oh, I'm so sorry this has been such a hard time for you and your wife. There was a time in our diagnosis when we were told of a 1-2 year wait before we could move forward, and it was crushing. My despair and depression was pretty bad (looking back I can see this). Talking to a therapist absolutely saved me, so I would encourage your wife to find someone she can talk to. Sometimes I would talk, sometimes cry, sometimes plan my next move. It was (and still is) invaluable.

It's wonderful that you are so supportive and there for her. This might sound like the most awful and irresponsible advice possible, but if there is any way to consider starting the process now, that might be worth it. Like you I HATE being in debt and financially insecure, but we decided (and my therapist agreed) that taking a financial risk and going into debt was worth it, basically for the sake of my mental sanity/health and our marriage. I just could not take the wait. I would rather lose the house and sell my car, etc. than wait another six months to be a mom. Crazy, I know, but the desire to be a mom and be taking action was SO strong and overwhelming.

Ugh, I hate giving assvice - just something to consider as you work through this. I'm wishing you all the best, and please tell your wife that we're thinking of her and sending big hugs.

hopeful said...

your blog mimicks my life exactly. im the wife in the situation and i find that this whole issue is so much more difficult for me than it is for my husband. i have waited my whole life to me a mother, and its crushig to have absolutely no idea when it will happen to me. my husband seems to cope much better than i do. his challenge in this process is dealing with me, more than it is dealing with the issue.
all i can say is that when im miserable everyday i just want gentle love and affection and sincere care from my husband. i dont want lectures about positivity and hope, i dont want advice, i just want love, and phonecalls during the day and understanding.
hope this helps!
holding thumbs for you and for me and for all other couples going through this horrible challenge
...

Steph said...

Thank you. I one day would like to adopt! This is great to help others who may be in your situation!

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for publishing this. I firmly believe that IVF is one of the most taxing experiences a couple can put themselves through. There is not only significant financial cost but severe uncertainty, social stigma, and intensive drug regimens that can produce extreme mood swings and irritability in the woman. I cannot understand why IVF clinics do not make it a policy to have mandatory counseling (or at least strongly push counseling) as part of the procedure, but I suppose they are in it primarily for profit.

My wife and I have been married for almost 9 years. We have always had a strong marriage and are each other's best friends. We are now on our 4th IVF attempt. We are fortunate because the first attempt resulted in a beautiful baby girl. The second and third attempts did not succeed. I think we both realize that the fourth attempt will be our last, success or fail, but the realization is creating real challenges in our relationship. What should have been a relatively minor disagreement has mushroomed into my wife shutting me out completely and not wanting to talk to me for a week. I cannot decide between whether my wife is unaware how much pain she is causing me, or whether she is purposely doing it is a result of her own anger, resentment, and frustration.

My wife is a very very strong woman. But IVF is a very difficult process. I really wish the clinic had better prepared us for the emotional challenges that attend to the treatment.