Friday, April 29, 2011

NIAW: Bust a Myth

For those of you who don't know, it's National Infertility Awareness Week.
This week RESOLVE has issued a challenge to bust an infertility myth to help spread awareness and educate others.
I wasn't sure I was going to do it, since there are already so many blogs out there, including this one, that have addressed so many of the myths already.
But after reading some of my friend's blogs I realized there are still some myths I can address.



1. Infertility is a real disease, not a worry-induced state that's preventing conception. Infertility is very real and people aren't going to claim infertility unless there's medical reasons behind it. So please know that when a couple comes out and says their infertile that they've already worked with doctors to determine that there are very real medical causes for not being able to get pregnant. And all those causes do not end up being solved by relaxing or taking a cruise :)

2. Infertility is a real obstacle to becoming pregnant, no matter which half of the couple has it. My most recent pet peeve is I've noticed that when a woman claims infertility, the world shows no sympathy and starts offering all their advice on what to do to get pregnant. It seems people are completely unwilling to believe that a woman may be infertile and unable to have kids. But, when it's the male counterpart that's infertile people immediately drop the subject and accept that the couple is indeed infertile. WHY? Why is infertility more condemning for the male than the female? Why is there more acceptance of the couple's plight when male infertility is involved? In our case people would not stop telling me to relax and I'd get pregnant. Or the famous now that you've adopted you'll be able to get pregnant. But as soon as people find out that our infertility is a shared challenge, then the advice stops. Please please please, recognize that infertility for a woman is just as much of a disease and a medical hindrance to getting pregnant as it is for a man.

3. Infertile couples are super touchy. If you read any infertile couple's blog it can seem that it's full of complaints of people saying the wrongs things or not saying the right thing. It seems there's no right thing to say to a couple struggling with infertility. You're inconsiderate if you open your mouth and inconsiderate if you don't it seems. Please know that despite our frustrations with the lack of education surrounding infertility, most of us vent these frustrations only on our blogs. And try to do so in a calm educated manner so as not to cause offense. All the couples I've met, including Gavin and I, mostly bite our tongues when faced with hurtful comments. If anything, I've learned patience, understanding, and meekness during our trials of infertility. We obviously know that most comments are meant with no ill will towards us. But we use the medium of blogging to correct and educate wrong assumptions regarding infertility.

Gavin and I feel incredibly blessed to have such supportive family and friends surrounding us during the difficult trials of infertility. Hearing other couple's stories, any hurtful comments or questions posed to us have been pretty mild or average in comparison to some.
So, THANK YOU!

Now get out there and bust an infertility myth! ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking for their second lil angel

I love to help spread the word for people who are adopting! Thanks to the word of mouth and blogging we have Nathan. I am so excited for my friend Jewls as they embark on the adoption journey once more!

Meet the Andreasens! 


Well, hello! We are Lance, Julie and Zachary. We're a happy family, blessed by adoption. We love long walks on the beach, sunsets...errr...wrong post, sorry! ;) We DO love walks to the park, hiking, and anything outside!  We love to play games, watch movies, and hang out with family. We love all kinds of sports. Lance especially loves basketball, soccer and golf, and Julie loves to run. We have very active lifestyles and hope to pass that on to our children.

We were married in 2007, and 'Z' joined our family in 2010 thanks to his courageous birth mom. We have an open adoption and we LOVE it. Zachary's birth mom is one of the most amazing people we know and we love having her in our lives. We are excited to be starting the adoption process again so that Z can be a big brother! Although life hasn't turned out like we planned, it is better than we ever imagined it! We're thankful every day to be a part of adoption, because it truly has blessed our lives.

We'd love to get to know you! Come visit us on our adoption blog, our everyday blog, or send us an email (lance-julie@hotmail.com)!

Much Love,
The Andreasens

Friday, April 8, 2011

O is for Optimism

Optimism is a must for life, but a huge must for anyone going through infertility or adoption.

To put it point blank, the odds are against you ever becoming a parent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of married women (between ages 15-44) who struggle with any kind of infertility is 2.1 million. 

2.1 million

And that's not even including the men folk.

Then there's the odds of being able to adopt a newborn 
(if you're like us and didn't want to go severely into debt)

According to the site Adoption Under One Roof, for every newborn available for adoption there are an estimated 10+ families hoping to adopt them.

And the waiting period can vary hugely.

So optimism is essential during this process.

For us, maintaining optimism meant stop focusing on what we couldn't control:
like when the baby came

And to focus on what we could control:
like spreading the word that we were adopting
recruiting others to Team Holt to spread the word
blogging
getting awesome photos taken of us for pass along cards
networking with other infertile/adopting couples
etc

We also enjoyed doing things as a couple for "the last time for a while", knowing that we could still have a while till we were picked.
But it made all our fun times during "waiting" that much more meaningful.

There is so much you can do to maintain productivity while you're "waiting" and thereby maintain a sense of optimism for the future!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I is for Inspiration

I had come up with the idea for this series back in November 2010 and thankfully had written down what every letter in ADOPTION means to me. 

Today I feel it especially fitting for me to be on the letter "I" because I feel that "I" in adoption stands for Inspiration.

It's fitting because I was blessed to hopefully be of help to someone today in sharing facts and our adoption story.
Today I was told of my friend's younger sister, a girl who has just turned 15 and is pregnant.
She is considering abortion as one of her options and her loving older sister has been talking to her about adoption. 
My heart goes out to this young girl and her family.
I can only imagine what they all must be feeling!

I was ecstatic to be able to express my love for adoption and 
discuss our open relationship with Nathan's birth mother.

We love adoption!

So with those things in my mind I feel that,

I is for Inspiration
It's been almost exactly 2 years since my husband and I prayed as a family and decided to adopt. We had been struggling to get pregnant for nearly 5 years. We'd been through lots of tests and there would be more to come later that year. 

It was after spring General Conference during our Family Home Evening that Gavin said he wanted to "talk" to me. Of course, I was nervous! What could he be so serious about? He then told me for quite some time he'd been feeling like we needed to adopt. I was stunned. Floored more like it. We had already both thought about adopting in the future, you know after we had had kids of our "own". I hadn't considered starting our family with adoption. 

Remarkably I had been visiting teaching a mere five days before this to a woman who adopted one of her sons and whose daughter-in-law cannot bear children of her own and has adopted two children now. I was so touched by the story of her daughter-in-law's first adoption that I remarked something along the lines that "Families are supposed to be together no matter how they come together." 

When Gavin brought up us adopting my mind immediately reflected back to my statement to that woman. We then prayed as a family if this was really what our Heavenly Father wanted for us. I felt so strongly that He had a specific child that was supposed to come to our family. I was overwhelmed. Of course, I cried. 

During the adoption process we felt inspired of more choices we had to make regarding Nathan's adoption, as well as our interaction with Nathan's birth mom. Believe you me, we were on our knees quite a bit!

I'd say absolutely that every adoption story starts and 
is filled with continuous inspiration, to all parties involved.

From the birth mother's decision to adopt, 
to choosing the couple, 
to the couple choosing to adopt,
to what agency they choose, etc.

Adoption is an absolutely beautiful experience. No matter what side you are on, there is bitter and there is sweet. But throughout the road there is inspiration from a loving God throughout the way.

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