Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Still On Hold

We were kind of hoping that transitioning from infertility treatment to adoption would put us in less of a hold, free us up a bit to live our life as is until that amazing call comes. And it's true, to some extent, but in many ways we are still stuck on Pause, needing to weigh every decision with the "what if" of adoption timing.

With IVF, it was impossible to plan anything. Vacations had to be planned around cycles, and in our last year I actually brought Lu.pron with me on a Maine vacation. It was depressing to have to find hotels or inns that had refrigerators in the room not for delicious leftovers or cooking sprees or even a bottle of Sancerre, but for injectible medication that makes you feel crappy while you're trying to enjoy yourself. Everything was "well, with this cycle we might be pregnant for that event, so we can't plan on it," and then it became, "Well, that event falls right after we find out the results of a cycle, and since it will probably be bad news, we don't want to sign up for anything when we'll probably be deep in a pit of despair at that time." We planned vacations for summers, but we never flew anywhere fun or exotic because we needed that money for IVF. And IVF is not cheap.

Then we moved to adoption, which doesn't have the same kind of timeline, and no injections (such a plus). Adoption has no protocol, no calendar with an end date. It's a big amorphous (and expensive) mystery. Once we were homestudy approved, we did not want to travel anywhere too far, just in case we got a call and had to fly back, or fly to another state, or have to go to the agency to meet with a prospective birth mother. The agency wants you to live your life, and you can call and say "I'm going to be on vacation these dates" or give the phone number for the place where you're staying so that they can reach you if there's limited cell coverage. So it's possible to live our lives as normal and maybe free ourselves up to take a vacation while waiting.


I can't help but feel like it's taking a chance. Like you could be somewhere else, and get The Call, and not be able to get there in time, or have to cancel a vacation that costs a couple thousand dollars just in time to spend a whole lot more money related to adoption...including more travel.

We had a vacation semi-planned for my break in March. (Insane that Spring Break is in March this year, but that's where Easter falls, so that's where it is.) This is the break where I can truly relax and enjoy myself, because all my paperwork is done.

It just so happened that Bryce was going on a conference that landed him in southern California, and the last day of the conference was my last day of school before break. So our thought was that I'd fly out and meet him in San Francisco (he'd drive up the boring highway to get there), and then we'd spend a couple days in Napa, at least a day or two in Monterey and see the aquarium there, and then drive down the coast to L.A. to see my dad. My dad who I saw in NYC this past April, but that was the first time I'd seen him in 7 years and it's been over 8 since I've been out to L.A. So this was a very appealing option. Also, Bryce's airfare would be at least partially paid for, since he'd already be out there for work. It sounded great -- a little extravagant, but there's cell coverage and hopefully we would be okay to receive profile calls and if needed fly back east.

I am terrified of flying, and so flying out to California all by myself was not super attractive, but if it got me to a fantastic vacation of driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and a visit with my dad, then it was worth it. Gives me the shakes just thinking about it, but I was all set to put my big girl panties on and do it.

But then... we got our second profile call during February Break, right on President's Day. And this expectant mother was due March 15th, which meant that if we were chosen, Bryce couldn't go on his conference and we wouldn't be going to California...because we'd have a little tiny baby to care for. Not a bad trade whatsoever, if it worked out. Fortunately, we hadn't booked anything yet, and we realized we really couldn't book a thing, not when being chosen would mean a high probability of parenthood over Pacific. So we waited, and as the wait stretched over a week we realized that even if we weren't chosen (which we ultimately weren't), it would be hard to go ahead and make those plans with so little time before. Plus we were smacked with the reality stick a bit when it comes to the fee totals not including our own attorney fees and travel costs, and all of a sudden a wondrous traipse down the California coast seemed more extravagant than practical. Especially when we also have that six months when I am on leave to plan for, too.

So we decided not to go.

Instead, we decided to go to our favorite spot in southern Vermont. I checked out their reservation calendar online and there were exactly TWO nights available that week. Sometimes they have more when you call than what's online, so I called.


Apparently those two nights are actually the only ones available, but they weren't sure if they were ACTUALLY available because Vermont Public Radio has booked up the inn for an annual retreat and so one night there was only the Pub available for dinner and the second night nothing was available, we'd have to go elsewhere.

Which doesn't seem like such a big deal until you realize that one of the many reasons why we love this inn is that it's tucked in a valley, and there is NOTHING within miles. There's one town with restaurants about 10-15 minutes away, down winding hilly roads, but otherwise you're going 45 minutes to an hour through ski mountains to get to other options. Which is fine, because there is a Tavern for fancy dining and a Pub in the barn for more casual dining and bar, and you can have your bottles of wine in your room and sit and read by a fireplace and not ever have to drive if you don't want to. There's trails and hiking and snowshoeing and snowtubing within walking distance, too.

But if the dining options aren't there, then there isn't much sense in us going. And it's going to be really busy... so maybe the ping-pong table will be booked as well and then we'll just be sad and hungry in our room, drinking wine and eating the cheese that's made in that town.

What sucks is that they decided that maybe they wouldn't have the Pub available on the first night, either, but they weren't they need to call us back. Which they haven't. And now we need to figure something else out, just a few weeks before we go.

I have a bad feeling.

I know these are decidedly First World Problems, but at the same time, I get so frustrated that we can't even plan a vacation without our family building efforts reminding us how stuck we are. People who insinuate that we "don't have kids yet and should live it up" don't understand just how this all works. I don't feel free to just go fly off somewhere and risk that we won't have the funds available or the ability to get where we need to be fast enough. We haven't received any last minute calls, but have friends who have, and in those cases the baby was either already born or the expectant mother was in labor. Do I really want to be snowshoeing in Vermont, with no cell service, if that happens?

It puts a cramp in my attempts to live in the moment, to shove those "what ifs" away. I know this is temporary, but it's been "temporary" for six and a half years. It's beyond frustrating.

Now we have to check in tomorrow with the Vermont inn and see if they will have any dining options that first night, and if not, we're out. And left to decide if we try to find another new place that has those features we enjoy, or do some sort of Staycation here, spending a luxurious night in a hotel with a restaurant and pretend we're elsewhere, kind of what we did for my birthday a few years ago.

I feel stuck, even though we could get a call tomorrow that makes all this moot. Or we could not go on a vacation and find that we're waiting another year, and we should have just gone and enjoyed ourselves. The uncertainty kills me. One way or another, we will find some way to make March break amazing for a few days; I just wish it wasn't so hard to finagle around a mystery.


  1. Can really relate with this as I remember all too well postponing vacations and travel due to infertility and treatment. It sucks in a way people don't understand unless they've gone through it. I have zero advice or thoughts on this other than that you need to do what you need to do.

    May your trip be a relaxing one and uneventful.

  2. Not being able to go on a vacation is totally a first world problem, but it still sucks when said vacation might be essential to your mental health. I hope you find something, even if it's not the ideal scenario originally predicted.

  3. This all sounds so incredibly frustrating. From having done some research before on adoption and knowing some who have, the whole "just adopt" attitude has no clue about the ambiguous wait. As you said, at least you do not have meds to contend with physically or emotionally. Then just as you guys were going to risk it and take a trip you most certainly deserve, you get a maybe call with a timeline that fell smack in the middle of your plans. It may feel like this proves your point in staying close to home.

    However, as you said if you can plan to go somewhere with better cell coverage and can communicate an alternate number to call, you should be okay. There have got to be other people in waiting who have traveled. Even if it was a last minute match, the child would need to stay at the hospital for medical reasons and you may have to wait until discharge anyway. That should buy you time. As for your current situation with spring break, if things don't work so well with this inn, could you go explore another town? You might be able to find a last minute deal on something like AirBnB. Or at least it might give you some suggestions or ideas. Maybe go somewhere a bit ridiculous that would not be on someone's typical radar. Lake Chautauqua in New York has a bunch of wineries, not sure if they are open, but seems more of a summer spot. Maybe go to Annapolis, Maryland. Historic, good crab, boats. Go to DC for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Go to Delaware or Oklahoma or Kentucky, I don't know. Get out a Mao, close your eyes and point. You can still have a lovely break and be in a place to get the call for future baby. Maybe not for this trip, but in the summer, if you fly you should be able to buy flight insurance to have that flexibility to make changes stateside. Hugs for you as you figure out how to spend your break! This could be your opportunity to recharge, but it is you all who have to weigh the risks and benefits. Good luck!

  4. I'm sorry Jess! The uncertainty is SO hard to live with. I definitely think you should do something fabulous. Not suggesting you fly to Australia or anything. I think I would feel like you do, not wanting to be too far away or hard to reach. Instead of spending the money on a flight, why not find a fancy hotel nearby and book some couples spa services? Or book a room at the Waldorf and go see a Broadway show? Spring break might not feel too Spring like this year, so it's hard to figure out. I hope you guys find something that is restorative and fun!

  5. That's so hard. I was a big proponent of still going on vacation and doing things even while going through treatment. I thought that it was important that it didn't take over our lives. That being said, adopting sounds like a whole different animal because you never know when you will get the call. If I were you I would still do something- but I would probably drive (NYC? Canada?). That way you are still able to get home with relative ease instead of trying to rush to get on a plan, but you could still do something for Spring Break. And as far as any future plans, that is what travel insurance is for. :-)

  6. It doesn't matter if this is a First World problem, or if it's been going on six days, or six years. It's beyond frustrating when you encounter roadblock after roadblock while trying to move forward in your life. I really hope you and your husband catch a break in the very near future. *hugs*

  7. How frustrating! I really hear you on this one...there just comes a point in infertility treatment or adoption where it feels like things need to be settled already. Hope things reach that settled place soon and that you are able to cind something enjoyable for the break.

  8. That's so tough. I believe you'll be in the right place when the right call comes through. But, of course, it's way harder to believe that for yourself. I've put plenty of things on hold for nebulous IF-related reasons. Being in limbo sucks.

    On a lighter note, that's interesting your spring break moves around with Easter. Here in Arizona, it's always in mid-March.