Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Unplanned Life of a Perpetual Planner

My 27th birthday - a month before my official diagnosis with endometriosis and uterine fibroids.

I like to plan. I have already planned my funeral. I have planned exactly what I would do with a windfall of money. In fact, I have several plans ranging on the amount—anywhere from $10k to $5 million (yeah, I’m an optimist!).  I have our whole ten-year anniversary trip to Venice planned (which seems doubtful we can afford unless the aforementioned windfalls happens within the next ten months). I have a backup trip to Myrtle Beach planned. I have the entire menu planned for the breakfast restaurant I dream of opening someday. I’ve even picked out the name. I have detailed outlines of three to four novels I’ve already planned on writing.

See what I mean? I am a planner.

(I am not always the best at following through, but I am trying to get better at that.)

Planning a family is hard when you’re infertile. I think my biggest jealousy of the fertile masses is because of their ease in family planning. I had to give up some of my planning OCDness when we adopted Jocelyn. It was totally out of our hands. Talk about a nightmare for a planner! But as soon as we had Jocelyn, we started planning our next adoption. We already had planned the number of children we wanted and how far spaced they should be.

But like I said before, planning a family is hard when you’re infertile.

I am feeling so impotent lately.

Jocelyn is 15 months old now. We’ve been thinking about a lot about a sibling for her lately.  It’s hard to plan an adoption. It took us a little less than a year to get Jocelyn. But the wait for baby number 2 could be much less—or much more. So we have to plan for that. Once you’re on that adoption list, you could get called any time. I know people who have literally only been on the list two weeks and been called. And I’ve known people who have waited several years. Do you see my dilemma?

We’re thinking the time to get back on that list is fast approaching. We talked about being on the list when Jocelyn was 18 months old. That way, if we got a baby right away, we could handle it. Sure, they’d be close, but we don’t have the luxury of planning. And if we had to wait a couple years, they wouldn’t be obnoxiously far apart.

But, alas, there are more things to consider than just timing.

Money.

This time a year ago, we were in a pretty tight spot. After a year of expensive fertility treatments, then extending ourselves for adoption expenses, taking the maximum maternity leave, and then paying for all the new baby expenses (not to mention Justin having to take an unexpected and unpaid leave of absence for work), our savings were depleted and our debts were high.

We’ve recouped a lot in the past 12 months. Which feels really great. Our budget is in much better shape. We have slashed some debts and have saved a few meager pennies.

Still, I’m afraid we are in no shape to do that all again. We could probably afford the homestudy and fees related to getting on the list. With some creative budgeting and allocation of assets, we could maybe manage the placement fee…and possibly the medical expenses. But then when I think about taking 3 months off work…and subsequently enrolling another child in daycare and doubling that bill, my heart sinks. It seems impossible.

I know all things are possible. I know that sometimes you have to take a risk and just figure it out. I know that if you wait until finances are all ready, things probably won’t ever happen. I know that Jocelyn’s getting older every day—and I want our kids to be no more than 3 years apart.

But I also wanted to have my first kid by the time I was 25. That didn’t happen, and it wasn’t the end of the world. I also really wanted to not have to work and be able to stay home with daughter. That hasn’t happened—and I’m still trying to convince myself it’s not the end of the world.

Frankly, I have to work to afford my child(ren). Justin’s job took a lot of education—and doesn’t have the highest salary. We have issues like broken cars. We have the same issues as everyone. And we’re better off than a lot of other people out there. I am so lucky to have a good, stable job with generous benefits. But still…I would rather be at home with a messy little toddler. I worry that the fact that I work and don’t stay home will deter other birth moms from picking me. If I were hand-picking a mother, I’d want a stay-at-home mom.

This post is kind of meandering. And kind of whiny. But I am just having one of those moments. See what happens when a planner can’t plan? Everything turns into a whiny mess.

Sometimes I wonder if we need to scale back our family dreams. Less kids. Maybe just be done. Maybe it’s not something we can think about for five or six years. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll get that windfall I’ve planned for. J





P.S. I like the name of this post. I think that's what I'll title my autobiography.

7 comments:

Groff Family said...

Awwwww. I understand when life is out of your control, and I empathize. Love you!

Beckie said...

Oooh what a dilema-- but like you said-- if you wait till you can afford it all- it will never happen-- -- but have faith it will happen -- you are a great mother-- and more babies need you!!!

Liz Smith said...

im a planner too. life does have a way of taking you on lots of random paths. it can be frustrating, but exciting too. im sure you never planned on adopting way back in the day, but now that you have joci, im sure you can't imagine life without her. :) i know you'll get your windfall. You guys are amazing people and parents. I hope everything falls into place soon. *HUGS*

p.s. i love the title too! :)

Kristy Skoy said...

That is the exact reason why there is a 7 year span between our 2nd and 3rd child. I finally said who cares about money or anything else. If we are going to have a kid we have to at least try and it will all work out in the end. Good Luck! I hope it all works out for you.

Ashley said...

We've had to take up the motto "If you want to make God laugh, make plans and try your darndest to stick to them."

I have friends who have complained that they got pregnant a month sooner than they wanted to.

One. Month.

After saying this, I pick up my "waited three years and had no idea" child and say "that must be rough..."

The closest we came to having control was when we were doing the fertility treatments and agreed that if I wasn't pregnant by September, we'd stop until February.

I'm also a planner (and an organizer; my Franklin Covey day planner is arriving today *SQUEEE!!!*) and being totally fuhshneggered in this area is maddening.

Cure them ferts! Curse them! I'm putting them on my (highlighted, color coded, indexed, laminated) list!!

The Gotch Family said...

Stop planning, just have faith. Maybe that is your life lesson. We were in no financial situation to have two babies when we decided on the ridiculous amount it cost for in-vitro. But having twins just worked out, the best thing that EVER happened to me. Somehow we are able to pay for daycare for two babies and still have money for food (and lots and lots of diapers :). If you guys are emotionally ready then put your name on the list, if a baby comes too soon, and isn't meant for you, you'll know. I imagine there is a reason you are being prompted, maybe your baby is ready for you a little early.

Wsbirthmom said...

I am happy to have found your blog - and this post I can totally relate to. I too am a planner, so how I ended up in this scenario frustrates me to no end.

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