Backstory: Our Road To Adoption

In March of 2008, my husband and I flew halfway around the world to pick up a baby. That baby is now our daughter. One day she is going to want to know her backstory.
This is it:


When my husband, Cody, and I first decided to start a family, our intention was to have one and adopt one. In that order. Adoption was not a back up plan, it was part of the plan. Once we made our decision, I was ready to go. That’s how I am. Give me the green light and I’m off and running.

After three months, I wasn‘t pregnant. [Side note: I am aware that it’s no longer politically correct to phrase it like that. I believe that the current correct terminology is to say: After three months, WE weren’t pregnant, but I won’t say it like that because it wasn’t we, it was ME. When I see a man waddling around in an overpriced empire waist pregnancy top with boobs the size of a cantaloupes, a stomach the size of a basketball, and an ass the size of a Rhode Island, I’ll be happy to refer to getting pregnant as we, but until then, it was me].

Either way, I wasn‘t pregnant and I couldn’t figure out why. We did “it” a lot, on a lot of days. Some of those days had to be THE days, right? Not for me they weren’t. During that time I kept hearing that that it takes some people up to a year to get pregnant. A YEAR? Who has a year? Not me. What I had was the green light and I was ready to go. I had no intention of waiting a year.

One of my girlfriends who was knee deep in fertility treatments told me that as long as we tried for a year, a fertility doctor would likely take us on. I was in. The doctor didn’t need to know that we hadn’t really been trying for a year. It’s not like we had to hand over a punch card. How would he know? As far as I was concerned, modern technology was at my disposal and if it could help speed up the baby process, why not take advantage of it?

We got in to see a doctor at the fertility clinic fairly quickly and found ourselves in the office of a very monotone, very humorless doctor. We nicknamed him “VJ.“ I can’t remember exactly why we called him that, but it’s not what you think. It actually had something to do with the golfer, VJ Singh, I think. We called him VJ, that’s all I know.

VJ asked us to sit down before he proceeded to give what I assumed was his standard fertility speech. It was very boring. I’m sure he said some fairly important things, but I wasn’t listening. Cody was there, and he’s good with smart people, so I left the listening to him.

VJ babbled on and on about statistics and procedures and stuff like that. I was trying to look interested by smiling and nodding but really, I just wanted to know when he was going to bring out the Get-Pregnant-Drugs. I was still smiling and nodding when he said that it could take up to a year for a woman to get pregnant.  I was still smiling and nodding when he said that he didn’t make a practice of working with couples until after they had been trying for a year, but then I stopped.

Uh-Oh. FLAG ON THE PLAY. I sort of never told my husband that part.

I could see Cody stirring in his seat a little bit. Was he going to blow it and tell VJ that we’d only been trying for 3 months? I wasn’t sure what to do, but Cody wasn’t saying anything so I didn’t either. Based on our age, I think VJ just assumed that we had been trying for awhile. He didn’t press us so it didn’t seem like it was going to be an issue.

But then he asked.

“How long have you been trying to get pregnant?”

Damn! I didn’t think he was going to ask. I mean, I knew it was a possibility but I figured since he didn’t open with it, we were home free. I had to think fast so I did what any other green-light-driven, 32-year-old-baby-wanting-woman would do: I lied.

Cody opened his mouth and went to say something but I got there first, and as I started to speak, I gave Cody “The Kick.” I love my husband, and he is a bad ass, but he is no match for me.

I calmly told VJ that we had been trying for a year. Cody gave me a look like You are such a liar, are you kidding me? but he knew I meant business. You don’t mess with The Kick. The Kick is the stopper. Can you think of anyone who has continued with what they originally wanted to say after getting The Kick? No, you can not, because no one ever has. And Cody was no exception.

So that was that. We were VJ’s newest fertility challenged couple.

I went through a bunch of fertility tests and none of them showed any real signs of infertility. They took blood, they checked for fallopian tube blockage, they took some more blood, stuff like that. “Flo” was always irregular, and the wall of my uterus was a little thin, but VJ didn’t seem too concerned. He said we could work with that.

Cody went through his own series of tests and his numbers were off the charts. I’m not just saying that so my husband will buy me a present, it’s true. He was loaded. If the nurses were giving out capes with a big “S” on it for guys with high sperm counts, he totally would have gotten one.

With all the positives in our favor, VJ tried to talk to me about continuing to try and get pregnant naturally, but I couldn’t be bothered with his blabbering. I knew there were drugs somewhere in that office and they were going to get me knocked up.


I continued to whine to VJ…”We really have been trying for a year… it‘s not working… I‘m not getting any younger… I will give you money and candy… KNOCK ME UP!”

VJ caved and I got the drugs.

I hated the drugs. The first drug VJ put me on was a drug called Clomid. Clomid is the fertility “starter drug.“ Clomid can be used when there are problems with ovulation or irregular cycles. Clomid is also an alternative to more expensive and invasive fertility treatments. I thought Clomid sounded perfect, but it wasn’t.

Those pills are small, but they’re packed with all kinds of crazy. I kept trying to convince myself that I wasn’t having the mood swings that were listed as a common side effect, but I was probably in the middle of a mood swing at the time. Cody said they were making me nuts but I told him he was nuts and so was everyone else in the WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. I was totally fine. I told him that I didn’t think it was the least bit noticeable that I was on Clomid and I’m sure I would have been very convincing in my argument had I not been holed up in the corner of my kitchen, crying, clutching my knees and rocking back and forth like a crack addict.

I went back to VJ.

We started Artificial Insemination. In case you’re not familiar with AI, here is a brief explanation: The sperm of a male is placed into the reproductive tract of a female for the purpose of impregnating her. Sexy, I know. AI is more costly than taking Clomid but I figured it would be more effective. It didn’t make me crazy, but fertility treatments do require frequent blood tests and I’m not big on having blood drawn.

I only have one good vein from which to extract blood, and it’s a roller. It will give if you can get it, but it rolls around, so it‘s hard to pin down. Even the best phlebotomists have trouble on the first try and it’s not abnormal for me to end up feeling like a pin cushion during a routine blood draw. One nurse poked me seven times before I finally told her exactly how I felt about her blood drawing skills, the education she received, what she might be better suited to do, and where she should go and live for the rest of her natural born life. She, as a result, got on the speaker and asked someone else to take over. I thought that was a good move on her part.

We tried AI a few times but it didn‘t work. I was starting to get discouraged. I was supposed to be pregnant by now. I couldn’t figure out what the hold up was. Plus, my husband is a director at an overnight camp in Northern Michigan and he was leaving in just a few days to live there for the summer. I was feeling a lot of pressure. We were closing in on his departure date and discouraged was quickly turning into desperate.

To Be Continued…Stay Tuned for Backstory: Part 2!

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