Thursday, December 30, 2010


 It is official- the state of Tennessee has approved us as potential parents! This should have been done about a month ago, but there were some bumps on the road. We got through it though with lots of prayers from friends and family. Within the next couple of weeks we should be activated as potential adoptive parents with American Adoption! I will let everyone know when that is!!!! (Side note: So much has happened since my last post. We had talked and interviewed with a few adoption agencies. It was so hard to find an agency that really fit our profile. After much research and going through adoption blog sites we chose American Adoption. They have an agency in just about every state. So hopefully our chances of finding our baby will be quicker).

My Aunt Vicki sent this poem and prayer to me. This poem is so accurate. Every day I wonder if my baby has been conceived yet. I wonder about my baby's birth mother. Who is she? Is she young still in high school? Does she already have other children barely making ends meet? I love this woman for carrying my child. We will forever be linked. We are so much closer to our baby. We love you, Little One, wherever you are.

Oh Little One
Oh little one, where ever you are,
Near to our heart, yet distant so far.
Have you been born yet...I wonder each night?
Or have you yet to experience that journey of might.
We've waited so long to share our blessing with you,
Our heart aches with joy of the thought coming true.
I want you to know how excited we are,
To meet you and love you; our precious little star.
Thrilled of the thoughts of watching you grow,
Teaching and learning from each other you know.
Please never forget this one promise to you,
We'll always be your parents and unconditionally love you!!!

Adoption Prayer
Lord, you say that if we believe, you will give us what we ask for.  Help us to desire what you know is best for us.  It is the desire of our hearts to open up our lives to the joy of adopting a child.  Lord, if it be your will, would you fill our home with a child's laughter and joy.  Help us to nurture and lift up a sweet little one unto you.  Give us courage to do what is right in your eyes and guide our every step so that this child can come to know you as their Lord and Savior.  Help us to always be a blessing for that precious child you bring into our lives.  In Jesus name.....Amen.
 On the back of the heart it says: "Pray without ceasing" 1 Thessalonians 5:17

This adoption prayer bracelet was designed by a lady who after 7 miscarriages finally became a mother through adoption. My mom gave this bracelet to me, and I will not be taking it off until my baby's adoption is finalized. See you soon, Little One!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Initial Home Study Interview

         Today, Lee and I had our first home study interview with our social worker. We decided to have Jewish Family Services do our home study because we got so many wonderful recommendations from people who have used them. Our interview was only suppose to last about an hour, but it ended up being 2 hours. She asked if any one of us was adopted and I told her that I was. She said that was so wonderful because 9 out of 10 birth parents prefer one of the adoptive parents to be adopted. She said that the birth parents feel that that gives a connection between the adoptive parent and the child.
         Everything went very well. We talked about how Lee and I met, and why we went the adoption route. She asked about which agency we were thinking about and we told her about the one in Utah. She said that that one was a good one and she has worked with families who adopted from there (which was a plus).

         Like I said everything went well until we went through the paper work and she talked about everything that we needed. It was all doable until she said that she needed 5 letters of recommendation which 2 of them had to be from both sides of the family. Well, for those of you who know me there is no side of the family on my side. I really did not want to bring up my situation about my adoptive family because I didn't want anybody to put that against me. I know I am a good person, my family (on Lee's side) knows I am a good person, and my friends know I am good person, but on paper the judge and the agency see that I haven't spoken with my adoptive parents in almost 13 years because they were not good people might judge me and think that there might be something wrong with me. So I looked at Lee and started crying. I saw this as an obstacle that I might not be able to overcome. Just when I lost hope, my sweet husband briefly explained to her what kind of adoptive parents I had. Then when I looked at her to see her reaction, she was crying....with me. I was relieved. I knew then that we had chosen the right agency to do our home study. She told us that unfortunately not all adoptions have happy endings, but what I overcame had made me a stronger woman. It didn't hold me back. That situation will actually make me a better parent than most. She told me not to worry about that letter of recommendation and that my parents (Lee's parents but now mine too :) will just explain in the letter what happened. I already have great people who have known me a long time lined up to write the other letters of recommendation. far what we have set up with the social worker is:
                     on September 15th at 9:00 Lee will meet with the social worker at 9:30 for the individual interview
                     Then that afternoon, I will meet with her at 4:00 for my interview.
                     Then on September 29th we will have our first home visit. She said that all living at the home must be present...meaning Lee and I and.....our 4 pets!!!!! Ha! Ha! She said that my dogs and cats also have to be present. Oh heaven help us. I hope it's not going to be a mad house. We will need to have a come to Jesus meeting with all 4 of them.

So in the mean time prayers need to be continued. We are so excited that this has finally started. We discussed as a family ( Lee, my parents, and I) that we will be choosing the Utah adoption center as our adoption agency. Lee is going to ask them a couple more questions before our final decision, but I think that will be our agency. Hopefully we will be done with our home study in about 3 months, and by then I hope we have our portfolio for the birth parents finished and who knows in a few months we will have a baby Raney in our home!!!!! Let's all pray for that!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Beginning...

It all started Aug/Sept of 2008. My husband, Lee, and I had been trying to have a baby on our own for a while and nothing was happening. I was 29 years old and Lee was 28 when we were referred to a fertility specialist. We had our first IUI (artificial insemination) on Feb. of 09. On the day that I found out it didn't work, I was presenting a workshop along with my co-workers on teacher inservice day (on President's Day). I was so devastated. I couldn't stop crying and I was hysterical. Only God gave me the strength to stop crying and go on with the presentation. We did another round of IUI the next month. Again it failed. I was sad but not like the first time. I was hopeful that the 3rd time would work (3rd time is the charm). It didn't. I was once again devastated. Our doctor had said that our only option would be invitro. My eggs were just too small. To me that was just too much money to risk it at the time. So the next couple of months I continued to take the medications without doing the IUI. Of course it didn't work. All those medications and procedures had brought me nothing but added weight (I had gained 16lbs). I felt hopeless. 
Working at an elementary school with (mostly female) teachers my age or younger, there were a lot of pregnancies. Every time someone announced it, I smiled and congratulated them. Then I went home and cried like a baby. Going to baby showers was so hard. I was happy for them, but it brought me sadness and anger at God and myself. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Why I wasn't special. Then my mom saw an article about accupuncture and how successful it was with infertility. I started accupuncture at the end of July of 09. I went once a week for about a year. My infertility issue must be severe because it has not worked...yet. However, it has helped me in other areas- digestive system, loss of weight (the 16lbs in a couple of months), and my anxiety. Perhaps if I stick with it, who knows it may end up working. 
I was feeling hopeless. My husband told me that nothing truly mattered in life except us. He was completely happy with just me and someday traveling the world together (with what money I had no clue). I love my husband more than anything else in this world, but I felt like there was a huge piece of me missing. I wanted a baby- a result of our love....well it wasn't happening. We started talking about adoption. Since I was half Korean, I really wanted a baby from either Korea or China. Well, that was in the ball park of 25 to 30 grand with a wait time of 4 to 5 years!!!! Then we looked into domestic adoption. There are so many red tapes to go through in adoption. Not only that, I hated the idea of selling myself to the birth mother. (My confidence level was very low). Then my family and I broached the subject of fertility treatments again. I was apprehensive. So after school was out for the summer, my mom, my husband, and I went to Arkansas for a second opinion. The doctor there confirmed that my only option was invitro. After a couple more family discussions. We all decided to give invitro a try. That was May 27, 2010. 

Invitro Procedure

Our invitro process took about 7 and 1/2 weeks. We started June 3, 2010 with birth control pills. After a couple of weeks on the pills, I had a procedure where they found two pollips (no clue about the spelling). I got that removed July 2nd. Then a week later, I started my daily injections- once in the morning at 8:30 and twice at night at 8:30. Then I had blood work and an ultrasound every two days. The results of my first ultrasound was disheartening. My follicles were not reacting to the drugs. They upped my dosage of follistim from 200 to 275 units. Two days later, I went back and they still were not reacting quickly enough. So my dosage went up to 300. I was so anxious and sick to my stomach going into my next appt. But much to my surprise, my follicles were growing. I continued my bloodwork and ultrasound every two days for the next week and half. My arms looked like that of a drug addict. It was embarrassing. Anyway the results after each appt. were frustrating. I had great results one day and bad results the next. I was driving my family nuts. Then on July 20th, my nurse called and said that I was ready for the egg retrieval. That night my husband injected me with the HCG drug. I was told to take a pregnancy test the next morning (due to drug). I was positive (of course it was false positive but I was excited to finally be able to see that extra line). Two days later on July 22nd, my doctor put me in twilight sleep, and they took out 3 viable eggs. My husband took me home, and took care of me and never left my side. The next day the embryo babysitter (I don't know the technical name) called and said that all 3 eggs fertilized and were looking good. So they told me to come in the following morning for the transfer. 

On July 24, 2010 at 9:00 in the morning we went in for our final procedure. My parents went with us. We were all so excited. I knew this was going to work. (It had to! My wonderful parents paid $13,000 for this procedure! What lucky grand kids!) Our doctor came in and said that one of the embryos did not make it, but two were still viable. They transfered my babies at 10:00 am and it was over in a few minutes. I was on bed rest for two days and my sweet husband once again took care of me and never left my side. I stayed in bed or on the couch for 3 more days. I was so careful in what I ate and drank. I drank a lot of water. I talked to the embryos and I had a whole army of friends and family who prayed that this was going to work. When I talk about an army, I had a whole lot of people praying for us- even people we didn't even know. This had to work. I had hundreds of people praying for me. We've all heard of miracles and power of prayer. 
Everyone was so good to me. We had to treat this as any other pregnancy. I couldn't lift anything, and I couldn't clean my cats' litter box. (My husband hated that job. He used a towel to wrap around his face as a mask to do that dirty chore. I've been doing it for 9 years!) My awesome mom and friends helped set up my classroom, and I started inservice week back at school on Aug. 2nd. I mean I felt stuff going on in my uterus. I knew I was pregnant, but I was still apprehensive. I had been disappointed so many times before. One of my coworkers and friend asked me to present a workshop the day I was going to find out if I was pregnant. I said yes because I knew that would keep my mind occupied and not as anxious that day. I had been praying (along with my army of people) that I would hear the wonderful, miraculous words "Congratulations, Mrs. Raney, you are pregnant" on Aug. 5th. 
The day before I was going to find out, I was feeling great. I was at school, and my friends and coworkers were all giving me words of encouragement. On my way home, I nearly had a nervous break down. What if it didn't work? I no longer could feel anything in my uterus, but really they would have been too small anyway. I went straight to mom and dad's house. My aunt and my uncle were there and I broke down and became hysterical. I was so scared and didn't know what I was going to do if the test was negative. My mom and aunt and uncle held me and told me everything was going to okay, and if it came back negative, we always had another option. This was not the only option. I didn't want to hear that. I wanted them to tell me that this was going to work. 

August 5, 2010

My friend and I gave 4 presentations that day at Bellevue to teachers from grades 3-5. During the presentation, I was fine, but as soon as I got some down time, all I was doing was thinking about the phone call that was coming. That morning at 7:30 my blood was taken for the pregnancy test. I told my nurse not to call me until 4:00 that afternoon. That would give me plenty of time to get to my parents house and await that phone call. I left Bellevue a little early to beat the traffic. I got home about 3:45. My husband and my parents were there. Our eyes never left the clock. 4:00 came and went. 4:10 came and went. The minutes went by and I thought I was going to lose my mind. At 4:20 I called them and left them a message to call me with the results. The phone call came at 4:30. When I heard the voice on the other end and she wasn't my nurse I knew that I was not going to hear those words- "Congratulations, Mrs. Raney, you're pregnant." What she said was "I'm sorry the test came back negative." I didn't hear the rest of what she said. My heart broke. I hung up the phone and looked at my mom and cried. How was I going to come back from this? I continued to cry for the next couple of hours. I didn't and couldn't hear the words of comfort from my family. I didn't want to talk to anyone. What had I done wrong? What was wrong with me? Why did God do this to me? Why was I not deserving especially when there are crazy women out there popping out babies right and left. All these questions were going through my head. My doctor called to talk to me but once again, I wasn't listening. He talked to my husband instead. The doctor told him that he and the other doctors were going to review my file and see what went wrong. He was going to call me in the next few days for the next course of action. I wanted to scream at him and say what course of action would that be? Nothing will ever work!!!! I wanted this baby, and I felt like God was punishing me. Did he not hear all our prayers????
I cried off and on the rest of the night. My husband updated one of my closest friends and she told everyone so that I didn't have to at school. My husband even posted it on facebook so my other friends and family members would know and not ask me about it. (I really didn't want or could talk to anyone. I wanted to hide). She even called my principal and she was so understanding and said to stay home the next day. For some reason I didn't want to go home that night. I just wanted to be at my parents' house. With some coaxing, my husband took me home and gave me a sleeping pill. I cried myself to sleep. I woke up the next morning crying, and my mom came and got me. Off and on I cried throughout the day. My mom never left me. In the middle of the day, I heard knocking and the door bell ringing. I didn't want to see anyone. Then I saw my sweet and close friend Ali. Then trailing behind her were my other close friends and two new coworkers. I started crying again because I felt so much love from them. How sweet were they to use their break time from school to come see me especially when school is 25minutes away! My mom and I were so touched.
We had phone calls, emails, and facebook messages and more visits for the rest of the day. I cried off and on. My husband had an event that evening and left early and came over to get me. Once again I didn't want to leave. After more coaxing I left. I took some more sleeping pills and cried myself to sleep. The next morning I woke up and prayed to God. I asked for his forgiveness for being angry with Him. I knew that He had a plan for us, and I needed him to give me peace and comfort. One of my mom's cousin told us about an adoption agency that didn't have all the red tapes that most agencies have. Her brother had adopted two children from there and the wait time was somewhere from 6 months to a couple of years. My husband called the agency that morning. The person he talked to told Lee that someone would call him back later. I wanted to say out loud "fat chance." But somehow Lee taking the initiative gave me a new hope. We went on a family outing.
We went to a mongolian bbq place and had fun there. Then we went shopping since it was a tax free weekend. Then Lee got a phone call from the agency.
Lee had a 45 minute interview with our representative, Dave. He told us that generally the wait time was 9months to 2 years. The less restrictions we had the less time it would take. We really didn't have much restrictions except that the mother needed to be healthy and we even said yes to twins! He said that as long as we stayed with him, we will have a baby. Their agency has 100% placement rate. So now Lee and I are waiting for the paper work and will be starting with our home study. We will keep everyone posted with each step. I know now that this is God's plan for us, and we will soon have our little angel in our arms. I can't wait to meet him or her. To our little baby- mommy and daddy will see you soon!

JEREMIAH 29:11 "I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out-plans to take care of you not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for."