In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Pregnancy and Adoption Update


Hello there dear readers.  It's been awhile.  I've been MIA on the blog the past several weeks, but I'd say I have good reason. Last time I posted, I was sharing about beginning our journey into international adoption.  It was literally not even a week after choosing an agency and sending out adoption applications with our first non-refundable checks that I discovered I was four weeks pregnant!



All I can say is that God has a real sense of humor sometimes.  We had been trying to get pregnant naturally for several months without any luck, as we knew we did not want to seek any fertility treatments this time around.  In September, we decided to focus on adoption and set the pregnancy thing aside for a little while.  Due to my husband traveling for work that month, when I look back on it there was honestly only one day that we could have conceived this pregnancy.  To be quite honest, I must have had a really early ovulation (which I wasn't tracking, so I don't know for sure), because the dates on my calendar would not have been the dates that I would have normally used for TTC.  But anyway, sure enough, we were quite surprised with this pregnancy!


I'm currently 12 weeks pregnant and looking forward to being done with the first trimester.  The pregnancy itself has been....well, a typical pregnancy.  For me, that means I feel nauseous the majority of the time and am extremely fatigued most days.  I nap when my boys nap to get through the day.  I am more than looking forward to getting that second trimester burst of energy.  This also explains why I have been MIA on my blog.  Nap time is usually blog time, but for me lately, it's been my nap time too!


As far as the adoption goes, there was never a doubt in our mind that we would not move forward with it even though we are pregnant.  I know this doesn't make sense to a lot of people.  But for us, adoption was not because we have trouble getting pregnant.  Adoption is something that we knew we wanted to do, particularly through China, as that is where our hearts are leading us at this time.  We knew we wanted to a grow a family through both biological and adoptive children, and in some ways, getting pregnant after officially beginning the process of the adoption, only confirmed to us that the timing of this adoption was exactly what God wants for us.



We did run into a few hurdles with the adoption process after we got pregnant.  We told our agency and home study office about the pregnancy before we even made the pregnancy public, as we knew this news could effect our adoption process.  Sure enough, this pregnancy will have a significant change on the timing of the adoption.  To make a long story short, our agency informed us that we could not apply with them until the new baby was six months old.  This is their agency policy, but we soon learned that this is most agency policies, as China has an unwritten policy of not wanting children in the home to be less than a year apart.  

While the news from our agency had us trying to find a plan B, our home study office told us that they would work with us while pregnant, if we could find an agency that would also work with us while pregnant.  And so I joined a China Adoption Questions Facebook page to find answers.  I was thrilled to get immediate responses, as that FB group has given me a wealth of knowledge on the China adoption process.  I soon learned of an agency that would work with families, even if they were pregnant.  I contacted the director, and while I was excited that they would work with us, I was discouraged about their average timeline from application to completion.  On average, they were telling me it takes two years to compete an adoption through them, and because we are hoping for a girl with minor special needs, it could take even longer.

With that information in mind, we were scheduled to have our first meeting with our home study correspondent for our adoption orientation.  At that meeting we learned that even though our original agency couldn't take our application until the new baby is six months old, that agency has a fairly quick timeline once our home study is completed and our dossier is sent to China.  The agency claims that depending on how quickly we are matched after dossier, it is usually about six months from the time China receives all of our paperwork to the time we get to travel.

With that information in mind, our home study office suggested that we do things a little different given our circumstances.  Basically, we are going to keep our original agency, but while people usually apply to an agency and then begin the the daunting piles of paperwork and home study process, we are going to have our home study completed before we officially apply with our agency.  This should mean that when the new baby turns six months, one year from now, we will have everything ready to be sent to China at the same time we officially apply to our agency.  While there is never a clear timeline for adoption, we are hoping to get matched next spring of 2017 and travel to complete the adoption in the summer of 2017.  That is the goal, but like I said, there are so many unexpected things that come into play with the adoption process.


My only current concern with this unusual flip-flop of events of the home study process and agency application, is that I have recently learned  we can not apply for any financial aid or grants until we are accepted by an agency and have a completed home study.  Not having an agency and not being matched with a child for well over a year, also puts a damper into fundraising, as it is awkward to fund-raise without some of this basic information.  

Please pray that we figure out the financial aspect of everything.  We know we will meet our $6,000 out of pocket maximum in 2016 with the birth of baby.  We are also in need of a van before the baby gets here.  Even with those two big expenses in 2016, we feel we will be able to save 50% of the $30k we will need to complete an adoption on our own.  It's the other 50% I was hoping to be able to get by applying to charitable grants or by fundraising.  Plus, we know we will have medical expenses post adoption, as we are applying for special needs child.

On top of those expenses, our insurance is just ridiculous.  I feel like we have been fighting them on a regular basis since Obama Care became a reality and our insurance now only gives us a high deductible with minimal coverage.  As I said, we have $6k annual out of pocket max that we have paid the the past three years, due to horrible insurance coverage.  And even though we've met our maximum out of pocket this year, we've been billed an additional $1,500 from our OBGYN offices, because they have coded everything from my annual checkup to my first pregnancy blood work as "fertility", even though I HAVE NOT HAD ANY FERTILITY in this pregnancy!  It has been extremely frustrating going back and forth with insurance and the doctor's office, and it looks like we are just going to be stuck paying it all.  Apparently, when I mentioned my infertility past with my new doctor at my annual checkup, the visit was no longer coded an annual visit for insurance purposes, but was coded a fertility visit.  And then from there, all of the blood work that I had after that was coded the same.   And we know from experience, fertility is not covered by insurance, but this is extremely frustrating to us, because we have not had any fertility treatments this time around.  Please pray for our patience in this matter as we deal with all of these additional expenses.  And continue to pray for a healthy pregnancy.  I go back to the doctor next week for a 13 week check up.

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