Thursday, 17 April 2014

Winner winner, chicken dinner!

Murray and I have extraordinary good luck when it comes to competitions. I received an email today to say that I won a facebook competition I entered on a whim a couple of weeks ago. The prize is two tickets to see Jason Derulo in concert, as well as a pair of Monster DNA headphones! I am super excited as I wanted to go to the concert but have been trying to save money for some renovations around the house, so was very pleased to get the email!

Over the years we have had lots of luck on our side. Here are just some of the competitions we have won:
  • Trip to Sydney to judge the NBL All Star Slam Dunk Competition (Foxtel competition)
  • Murray came 4th in an Rugby League tipping competition and won $6000!
  • Last year I won movie tickets to our local cinema for a year for tipping all the Oscar winners correctly - 2 free tickets each week for a year!
  • Tickets to the Rugby Union game between the Western Force and Waratah's this past weekend (competition at a pub, put your name in the barrel each time you buy a drink)
  • VIP Box tickets to the Wildcats game a few weeks back (RAC twitter competition)
  • A beautiful framed one-off print by Rebecca Wetzler through a City of Perth / Instagram competition
  • Murray is a bit of a tipster with the horses and his local betting agency ran a local comp to tip all of the placegetters at Ascot Racecourse which Murray tipped perfectly twice - around $2000 each time!
  • Murray has also been on a couple of radio competitions and won CD's and cash
  • I won a couple of crafting competitions which snagged me some pretty fabric and patterns when I first started quilting.
So we have definitely been lucky!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Wedding weekend

Murray and I attended a beautiful wedding on the weekend, which was perfect for getting some new photos of the two of us. I hired a dress from a friend who has started a designer dress hire business, and it was sooooo amazing! Something I could never have afforded to buy for myself, but was pretty and made me feel great - I will definitely be doing that again!

#Selfie!

Murray with his parents and sister

The back of this amazing dress

Absolutely adore the colours on this. It is a Ginger & Smart dress

Murray and I together outside the church

More selfies

I had my hair curled for the day and I loved it! Will definitely have to try this at home

Friday, 4 April 2014

An update from the adoption agency

I rang the adoption agency this week to have a chat and see what was happening. We have been in the approved pool for four months, and we know that it could take a long time, but I want to try and keep in contact with them so that I have an idea of what is going on. 

Our adoption officer was really lovely – he is the same guy who gave me the good news that we were approved which is nice. As usual, he reminded me that it is an unpredictable thing, but that they have been very busy this year, busier than they have been in the three years he has worked there.  He said there is the potential for 6 or 7 placings to happen in the next 6-8 months, which is a lot compared to 6 placings last financial year, and only 3 the year before that! Two children were brought into pre-adoptive care in the last week and a half alone, although of course some of those will choose to parent and not proceed with adoption. 

Our adoption officer gave as an anecdote of someone who was approved around the same time as use and was matched only 6 weeks later, so he said things can move quite fast. Something very exciting was that he said at the last matching, we were in the last seven or eight couples that were discussed. Eventually we weren't put forward for that child, but it still gives me a lot to be excited about that we are on some of the shortlists. 

As of April, there are 46 approved applicants/couples in the prospective parents pool, and only 6 in the special needs pool (including us). The officer said that "we have a lot going fo rus" as we are in the right age bracket, and that if our name has come up once in the short-listing process, there is a good chance that it will come regularly. The officer is happy for me to call every few months to check in and gauge the numbers, although they aren't allowed to tell us if our profile has been presented to birth parents unless of course we are chosen. I imagine it is too emotional a process if you get that much information.

All in all, I think it was good for me to get some extra information, just to keep my hopes and energy levels up.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

99%

I'm struggling today. 99% of the time, I am happy, and my childlessness doesn't impact my mood or how I feel. I am grateful for what I have in my life, and that we are adopting.

Today I felt my empty womb screaming at me. I was sitting in church, surrounding by children and new babies, watching a little baby have their dedication. They read a verse from Psalms where it says that the fruit of the womb is a blessing and a reward.

I know I have been blessed. I have so much good in my life. But there is still a part of me that screams out - why am I not worthy of this particular blessing.

It was also the first time that I think I really acknowledged that I will not have a child from my body. There will be no heart beat that co-exists with mine. Although I have dealt with the theoretical side of things, of not having a biological child, I hadn't really brought that to a practical level. No giving birth. No child from my womb. I can deal with it if I KNEW that we would have a child through adoption. But relinquishing the hope of having a biological child for the HOPE of an adopted child, is so much to give up.

I'm okay with it. I've had a lot of time to grieve. But there are moments like today that grab me, and I imagine will always grab me and be a punch straight to the guts.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Waiting some more


On the 29th November our adoption profile went live. We are coming up to four months in approved applicant pool.

Surprisingly it hasn’t been too difficult just yet. I would go so far to say that it has been a blessing not to have been selected at this stage. I am weeks away from having worked for my employer for 12 months, which will entitle me to workplace maternity leave (28 weeks at half pay), on top of the federal governments maternity leave (18 weeks at minimum wage, which is around the equivalent of half pay). That will mean I can take at least 46 weeks off while still covering all of the bills and mortgage.

In the first month after putting our profile up, I went into crazy preparation mode. I put together the change table, cleared out the spare room, considered colours for the nursery walls, and became baby obsessed. That dissipated quickly as I realised that I wanted to take my time and enjoy this period of waiting. This isn’t a race. We will get the child that we are meant to have, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the first child that is up for placement. All in God’s timing. But that means learning to be patient and that has never been a strength of mine. This isn’t something that I can ‘achieve’; something I can plan, work hard at and then get as a prize at the end of it. I have to relinquish control. I am learning to do that more and more each day.

Murray and I are happy. Things are great in our lives, we have no complaint or quarrel. Having a child would bring so much more to our lives, but even as a family of two, we are good. For now.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Great expectations

Each day brings with it an expectation of how the day will progress.  Get up, go to work, cook dinner, go for a walk with the dogs, go to bed. Occasionally there is a movie or uni study thrown in, but our lives follow a fairly steady pattern of activity.

For the last three months though, there has been something different. We have Great Expectations. The sort where you are waiting for something amazing to happen. It's coming, I know it is. I can feel it.

A beautiful friend sent me a surprise gift in the mail that made me anticipate that special moment even more.
The Squirrel bookends are the same ones that Siobhan has for her twins and they will go so perfectly in our nursery. It was such a wonderful surprise; I cried for a good five minutes when I opened the parcel and read the heartfelt card.

Not only was it a lovely gift, but it is a reminder that we are not on this road by ourselves. Murray's school colleagues are always asking about how we are going, and every facebook post that is even slightly excited is met by 'did you get the phone call!?'. That phone call hasn't come yet, but knowing that people are waiting excitedly with me makes it that little bit more bearable.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Holiday photos

With our holiday over Christmas, hosting a new years eve party at our house, and returning to work on January 2nd, I've been a busy little bee. My blog is suffering somewhat, but I promise there are more posts in the works!

For today though, some photos from our trip to Singapore and Indonesia will have to suffice. Enjoy!

The pool at Turi Beach Resort on Batam Island Indonesia. We stayed here for 4 nights
The signs outside our room

The open air reception

My first teppanyaki experience - awesome!

We spent Christmas Eve at the resort and they put on a lovely evening, even if the singers didn't know any of the Christmas Carols they were singing!

Spending Christmas dinner at a little Italian restaurant on Batam - one of the best meals I ate on the entire holiday
Our favourite day of the holiday was visiting Singapore Zoo

Back in Singapore, enjoying our club level cocktails



The white tiger was prowling and roaring when we visited - very scary!

We got to see the polar bear! Absolutely incredible!


The view from the infinity pool at the club level - We highly recommend staying at Oasia Hotel

All the beautiful Christmas lights on Orchard Road

Even the shopping centres have amazing decorations

We went on the Singapore Flyer which was nice, except that it was rainy, and I was suffering from dizzyness and low blood pressure- not great timing!

We still managed to get a nice photo though

Then we did a DUCW tour which is an amphibious truck that drives on the road and then turns into a boat!

On the cruise part of the tour

More zoo

More zoo

Even more zoo

Can you tell we loved the zoo!

Chinatown

Heading back to reality - goodbye Asia, hello Perth!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Christmas Holiday

I am starting to get excited that Christmas is right around the corner! This year we are having a different sort of Christmas, and heading overseas for a spontaneous Asian holiday! A new airline has just started flying to Perth, and we managed to get very cheap flights to Singapore a month or so back, so we are going to be spending eight nights over the holidays in Singapore and Indonesia.

We fly to Singapore this coming Saturday, and then catch a ferry across to Batam Island, an Indonesian island that is only 45 minutes away.





We will spend Christmas Day there, and then ferry back to Singapore on Boxing Day for a few days of sightseeing! We have already booked tickets to go to the famous Singapore Zoo and go on the Singapore Flyer, as well as a hop-on, hop-off bus and river cruise. I'm looking forward to playing the tourist!

This will be our last holiday for quite some time, as we want to spend next year focusing on saving money for when we are placed with a child, so we are taking this opportunity with both hands.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Public IVF clinic - an updated

Just spotted this article which talks about the dramas we have had recently with the public IVF waiting list. Frustrating, but at least for us it is not the end of the world. I feel for those people whose lives are now being placed on hold, where this is there only option.

WA's only publicly funded fertility clinic at King Edward Memorial Hospital has stopped referring patients for in-vitro fertilisation, amid claims of cost cutting.

The hospital says it has not referred any patients for IVF since July because it is tendering for a new contract with a private clinic, but doctors say it is more about saving money.

A spokeswoman said KEMH had an arrangement with a private provider to offer IVF treatment to public patients who met the hospital's referral criteria. "This arrangement now requires renewal to ensure the ongoing quality and sustainability of the service and KEMH is now in the process of determining an appropriate provider to continue providing these services," she said. "During this process, the Reproductive Medicine Clinic at KEMH is temporarily unable to refer women and couples for publicly funded IVF in the community."

The spokeswoman said couples attending the clinic would be sent letters explaining the process and would remain on KEMH's waiting list.

The hospital would tell patients, via their GPs, as soon as new arrangements were in place.

"The Reproductive Medicine Clinic continues to provide advice to and assessment of couples with fertility issues and, where appropriate, clinical intervention," she said.

To access publicly funded IVF services at KEMH, women and couples have to meet conditions about age, weight, number of previous children and the type of fertility treatment needed.

Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Michael Gannon said it was worrying that IVF had not been available in the public system for almost six months. "It has implications for the training of obstetricians but it also means infertile couples are waiting longer," he said.

Dr Gannon said there were wider concerns about plans to close down the KEMH clinic.

Source: The West Australian online

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Preparing the nursery

I am planning this nursery to the gazillionth degree and am loving it!

My first decision to make was colour. The room was already painted a pale lime green (oxymoron I know!) from when we first painted it as a nursery when we bought the house 7 years ago. I thought that I was sick of it and wanted a fresh start, so tried some sample pots on the walls. Turns out I still love the green and hate the sample pot colours! Rather than repainting the wall that I painted the samples onto, we have decided to wallpaper two of the bedroom walls instead.

So that sent me down the rabbit hole of what theme did I want and what wallpaper we should get.  After lots of to and fro-ing, we decided on this gorgeous tree print!



So our nursery colours are green, white and cream, and the overall theme is trees and birds.

Then in a kids store, I came across this gorgeous Cocoon Couture Early Bird hook that you can hang things from. It was on sale - bargain!

Now I want the matching book ends, but unfortunately they will have to wait - this little birdy needs to watch the pennies and spread out the fun of setting everything up!


Some more things on my nursery wish list:
   
Skip Hop Treetop Friends bedding set

These gorgeous storage bins from JungleJackNursery on Etsy
Another Etsy choice - the Forest baby mobile from LovelySymphony

Now to get out my sewing machine and start working on a baby quilt!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Our adoption profile - a pic!

I realised that although I have mentioned what we had to include in our adoption profile, I didn't pop a copy up - let me remedy that now! It's not something to distribute hence it's just a photo, but we got to choose lots of pictures of us and our families and tried to make it personal for the potential birth parents to get a feel for who we are.



Monday, 2 December 2013

Hypothetical Future Baby

I've been reading this fabulous book I picked up from Book Depository, and some of the writing is like it came straight from my head. The book is called Hypothetical Future Baby by Claudia Chapman

It's one of the few books where I have dog-eared pages to go back and re-read because they resonated with me so strongly. I've included a couple of lines, but I highly recommend reading it if you are interested in learning more about the topic.

On adoption after infertility:
This couldn't be any less like having a baby the usual way.... I know it's a very specific, Western, middle-class experience of pregnancy that I am craving... I have been surprised by how much it hurts not to be part of the collective female experience of giving birth to the next generation. p48
On adoption not being a replacement for doing things 'the normal way':
I feel intense joy about the family that we are going to have, but I still find myself mourning the losses of what we won't have too, what we won't be, what I can't do. I expect our child will feel the same. However joyful our lives are together, he should never have had to feel the loss of one set of parents before gaining a second. p49
My Mum recently said to me that she was worried about how I am going to cope when we have a baby after we have built up all of these expectations. The book expands on that:
...the fact that I will  have waited so long for this child, and I really hope he or she will change my life for the better, but the consensus seems to be that parenthood involves a lot of hard work and sleepless nights and is not just about cashmere blankets and sunny days... At the moment I just can't reconcile that knowledge with my intense longing to finally meet my child, and the heartache that I don't even know when that will be. p89
The problem with adopting is that the process is so awful, you convince yourself the end must be really amazing to make up for it. But then when you get there, I suppose that parenting is just going to be really ordinary.  p119

So much of what Claudia wrote was on the mark, even though her experience was inter-country adoption from the UK. It's always helpfulto read others experiences and help me to plan and work out how we can be the best parents possible to our own 'hypothetical future baby'.