congratulations to...baby hopes at chasing our stork: our journey with infertility!
What an honor to be nominated for this tremendous award! Thank you, Carlia, for putting together this award to encourage us. Your creativity and thoughtfulness amaze me. I have been so inspired by each of the heroes named, and it is truly an honor to be considered among them! Thank you also to the ALI blogging community for nominating me for this award! You have all been an incredible source of encouragement, insight, and inspiration!
And now on to a quick snapshot of our journey through infertility:
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at the age of thirteen, and have known since then that I would face a long, hard battle with infertility. In April of 2002, I met a tattooed, hard rocking, weight lifting, bad boy engineer with a heart of gold: Mech. Five short months of a whirlwind romance later, he proposed. Before he did, I told him that if he wanted to spend his life with me, it may mean not having children by birth. He didn't even blink and said it didn't matter how our children came to us - we would be a family. We married in May of 2003.
We continued seeing specialists throughout our marriage. After two years of trying (without success) to get a more exact diagnosis other than "unexplained infertility with primary amenorrhea," we decided to move forward with trying. Six years later, with numerous unsuccessful treatments behind us (most recently, IVF this past May), we've decided to move forward toward the children we have always planned for: a son and a daughter brought home through international adoption! We are currently in the process of completing our home study. We are also working to regulate my rare form of Hashimoto's and recently have been given hope that in doing so, our chances of success with treatments after our son and daughter come home will be drastically improved.
While infertility has been one of the most difficult aspects my life, it has also given me opportunities I would not otherwise have had. I've learned much about my own strength, faith, marriage, and friendship that I doubt I would have had Mech and I not shared this struggle. I've become part of the incredible online ALI community and have been inspired daily by others who have experienced the same. I have a new found hope now that we are on our way to bringing our son and daughter home. And I am encouraged by each and every individual that takes on this horrible disease with determination and endurance!
A few other, things about me:
1. I love to travel - especially to the Mediterranean and Middle East. For obvious reasons, I'm eager to travel to Africa!
2. I'm a PhD student in International Relations. I love what I do - it allows me to combine my passions for studying ethnicity and statistics with my love for travel.
3. I went for nearly six years without driving. Between owning only one car with Mech that was a stick (which I deplore driving!) and living in cities with fantastic public transportation, I didn't have cause or opportunity to drive - until we bought my dream family SUV in February: our Murano (which we call Nissie).
4. Speaking of cars, I *love* N.issans but *hate* C.adillacs. It may have something to do with growing up with a father that loved buying used C.addies... at least three of which started on fire while my sisters and I were driving them.
5. I worked on my dad's civil engineering crew throughout high school. I've had a hand in building roads in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. During the school year, I was in classical dance, a cheerleader, and on the dance squad and flag corps... so I was what you might call a seasonal a tom boy and a girly girl.
6. I have two older sisters and one younger brother. My sister and I that are closest in age were often taken for twins and frequently mistaken for each other by our teachers in high school (both our graduating classes had less than 70 students).
7. The greatest joy for Mech and I is our seven nephews and two nieces (with another little one due in August!) - we can't wait to be parents!
8. My favorite way to unwind is to cook an elaborate meal with Mech and a glass of wine. And I love cleaning the kitchen... I can't explain it.
9. Mech and I are currently learning French with the intention of raising our children in a bilingual household.
10. I have a love/hate relationship with birds. A family of barn swallows nested above our door when I was young and terrorized us by swooping at our heads any time we left the house or came home. Later, I contracted histoplasmosis, so while I think birds are beautiful, I'm also afraid of them and have to avoid them.
And last, but certainly not least, a message to my readers:
The most important thing I've learned along the way is the importance of being your own advocate and self-education. There are so many things I would have missed had I not taken the initiative to stand up for what Mech and I want for our family, and to learn as much as I could each step of the way. The choices we have to make along the way are deeply personal - take the time you need to search out your own answers and come to decisions you feel at peace with. Then, take your stand and do whatever is in your power to fulfill your dreams. Surround yourself with those that will stand behind you and lovingly support you - this community is a tremendous source for it!
now, stop by baby hopes' blog and show her some love.
don't forget to email me your nominations at storkdropzone at gmail dot com!