us II

More on what makes us tick!

  • We love music. Both of us. It is not unusual for Christian worship to be playing in the living room, 80’s rock-and-roll in my office and Christian hard-rock in Adam’s office. All at the same time. Throw in a little bit of Beatles, Bob Marley and IZ and we are happy, happy happy. We usually have spa-like music (think running water from a river-type of music) playing on pandora while reading before bed at night to wind down from the day.
  • Our nieces and nephews have been perhaps the biggest thing in our lives for well-over a decade. Aside from occasionally traveling by ourselves, our time has been spent going to football, basketball, and volleyball games, even a little track and a few plays here and there. Throw in a graduation or five and we have enjoyed watching these little people become big people.
  • There are perhaps two things that we are most proud of. First, how successful my baby brother (AKA Boy) is as we like to think that we played a (teeny) role in helping him become who he is. Secondly, we are very proud of the financial strides we have made in the past five years. This is big for us. Really big. We used to be credit-card people. That is a thing of the past and we are very proud of this.
  • We don’t have TV. Well, we have lots of TVs in the house (exercise room, living room, our bedroom) but do not have cable. This is something we started several years back after we realized that we would just sit and stare at the TV, doing nothing with ourselves. For a few years we would still get cable from August to February so we could watch football but this year we didn’t even do that. I WILL admit….it sucks not being able to watch football right now. We do watch shows or movies on netflix or vudu, though so we are unfortunately not completely disconnected!
  • We love to garden together. We never had a garden until we moved to our current home where we started above-ground square foot gardening and we have loved it! We mostly do it all together, including canning. We’ve canned peaches, stewed tomatoes, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce and pickles. Every year we put up carrots, peas and corn and store our potatoes in the crawl space for the winter.
  • We love to work on our home. Whether it is completely repainting a room a different color together or making projects together. We are a good combo. Adam does the sewing and sawing, I do the putting-together of things.
  • We flirt. Adam more than me. With each other, of course!! Adam is very grabby and teases me relentlessly. I love that guy.
  • We sleep with a box fan. This is something Adam “brought” to the marriage but is a staple now. Whenever we travel (even in Mexico!) we have our taxi take us to a walmart or somewhere similar to get a box fan on the way to our hotel. We finally smartened up and now keep a box fan in our car for when we travel that way. I can’t tell you how many box fans we have bought over the years because we “forgot” to bring one. I think we have at least 5 or 6 of them in storage! Every night when I turn the fan on Adam says it’s “the best sound in the world!”.


Go to the Next Post In Our Adoption Journey


I’ve been thinking about the things that make Adam and I us. What has made our marriage be as strong and awesome as it is after over 18 years? What makes “us” tick.

Things you may or may not know about us:

  • We both know every (I mean EVERY) line to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and we often use it casually in our everyday discussions. “I don’t knoooow, Margo” or “bend over and I’ll show ya” are both classics.
  • We own a sign-repair company (the kind of digital signs you see at gas stations, malls, schools etc). We were blessed with a tremendous opportunity almost two years ago and purchased EDS/SignCo-a company Adam had worked for off and on for many years. This is (for the most part) Adam’s baby but I have learned more and more the past year and now help with much of the billing, paper-work, ordering, etc.
  • We sleep in our own beds. Ha! I am a horrible sleeper and there are nights that Adam is very busy in his sleep (not too long ago he dreamed he was running on ice…literally). Did you know that two twin XL mattresses=king? Well, they do.
  • Adam proposed to me in 1994 at Dumb and Dumber. Well, not literally. He took me to a nice dinner and proposed at the restaurant and after we went to the movie. The lines from this movie are also commonly used in our home day-to-day. And, yes we did see the sequel a couple of months ago and boy was it disappointing!
  • Our first date was on March 10, 1992.
  • SHMILY: For one of our first anniversaries we received the book Night Light: A Devotional for Couples by James Dobson as a gift and SHMILY (See How Much I Love You) was mentioned. We embraced it and it has been “our thing” ever since. From emails, love-letters or chicken-scratched notes, almost everything we have ever given one another says SHMILY. (Last year I found an artist on Etsy that made me the SHMILY art you can see in the upper right corner on this wall in our happy room).IMG_5447
  • We are healthy wanna-be’s. We eat only organic, free-range, hormone free meat, milk and eggs and try to purchase all of our other food organically also. We don’t buy canned goods with BPA in the lining and do not drink out of plastic containers, nor have anything plastic in our kitchen actually. On the flip-side, we are both overweight and love to eat out! Go figure.
  • We are huge animal lovers. We would do anything for our fur babies and we have. We’ve done CPR on a cat on the way to the Hospital (and did revive him for a brief time) and tried to save our first love, Hastings (a border collie that we got when we first were married). Hastings had a pulmonary embolus and we sped the 60 miles to the nearest Animal ER/Hospital before we lost her. We watched while they did CPR and did labs, EKGs, etc on her but were unable to save her. We both remember seeing her eyes right before they closed for the last time. Years ago we paid for our kitty Corona (Miss Corona Barona!) to have a root canal (I’m serious). She was our 20-year old that we had to put down last spring for cancer in her airway. Boy, we loved that old gal. We once had a beautiful orange cat that had renal failure from getting into some lillies that we literally gave IV fluids to for days at home trying to save his little kidneys. Mr. Pepper, our 18 year-old siamese had an over-active thyroid about ten years ago and we sent him to K-State for radioactive treatment. Again, I am serious. Ha! He had to stay there for several weeks under quarantine before we were allowed to go pick him up. We have cared for this same old guy since May when he suffered a stroke. He is blind and deaf and loving life now but it has and still is hard-work for us to care for him. We love him so. Two of our cats are buried on my Father’s property in Montana (both with their own headstones!) and our beautiful Hastings and other cats are buried on Adam’s parent’s property in Mississippi-all in oak boxes lined with velvet that Adam made for them. Yes, we are well-experienced at shipping our animals on dry-ice. Weird, we know. I work with a woman who often says that when she dies she wants to come back as one of  our pets. Not a bad idea at all.

Check back tomorrow for more!

Go to the Next Post In Our Adoption Journey


Our appointment with the fertility specialist last Thursday was postponed until the correct chromosomal testing results on our baby from December are back.

As we wait to find out if we really had a Lainey, or perhaps rather a son, I feel like we are in an alternate universe of some sort. We are stuck in the middle and the world is continuing to go around us. I wish I had it in me to just jump and join everyone. I wish I had the emotional energy.

We have had a couple of people mention that perhaps we just need to stop and breathe for a bit. Four babies, all lost in 2 years is difficult. Emotionally on both of us and physically on me (the hormones alone!). The problem is that I cannot seem to go on with life simply putting all of this aside “until we feel stronger” and more ready to cope with things. It feels like if we know what we are going to do with our future that we can maybe heal quicker, or at least move forward with other things in our life. I want us to soon be able to make the decision as to if we are going to adopt, go down the surrogacy road or remain child-less forever. This is actually something that we both agree on. We need to move forward on this decision soon.

If we are going to adopt we have a lot of work ahead of us and the wait will likely be long as we would be more picky than what others have recommended.

If we do surrogacy….well, that is for an entire different post. What type of surrogacy? Do we make an embryo out of my eggs and his sperm or do we adopt embryo’s? My guess is this is why our appointment with the fertility specialist last week was put on hold. I imagine if we didn’t really have Lainey-if it was not a normal little girl or boy-that the specialist is going to recommend against using my eggs…and perhaps Adam’s sperm as well. Then what? If it isn’t even a child of our genes, why not just adopt? That brings us full circle to how fearful we have been previously about our (albeit minimal) education on adoption we have had so far.

Finally, we could choose to remain child-less. This is an option I cannot even imagine but we are discussing it every day. We’ve discussed changing our lives drastically enough to do mission work in other countries to fill our time that way instead of with a family. Perhaps we could open an animal shelter and devote our days to saving those innocents (we love our fur babies so very much). Maybe we could just travel the world….plan one or two big trips per year and do this every year until we are too old to travel any longer. These are all things we talk about but none of them seem fully satisfying to both of us. None of them will be with us holding our hand saying they love us when we are old and gray….

For now we will stay stuck while the world goes ’round until we know more about the baby we lost on December 2, 2014. We will continue to thank God for the blessings He gives us each day and pray for guidance in the coming days.

I, personally, am also looking forward to the first day I make it without crying.


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I am….

My Sister posted this on facebook in reply to my Lost Identity post. I am all of these things, I just need to remember it. And, remember to not let our infertility identify me. Thanks, Kim.

You are…

♡An impassioned medical care giver to many, many patients. ..

♡A supportive co worker to several nurses and doctors ..
♡A partner in life to your husband. ..
♡An adoring aunt to 12 nieces and nephews. ..
♡A warm – hearted sister in law to four…
♡An irreplaceable daughter. ..
♡An appreciated daughter in law. ..
♡A doting animal mama…
♡A faithful friend to countless people. ..
♡A caring cousin to numerous relatives. ..
♡An adoring niece to dozens. ..
♡A loving granddaughter. ..
♡A devoted sister to three. ..


Go to the Next Post In Our Adoption Journey


It is awful that money plays a role in so many decisions in our lives. Money can be the root of a lot of good….and a lot of bad. Infertility is expensive. I have had people tell me “well, you know…kids are expensive”. This, we realize. But if you have not struggled with infertility, you didn’t struggle with these type of expenses before you had your child. (note: we have not endured the bottom three…..yet).

  • A D&C after a miscarriage is about $6k….we’ve had two in the past year (partially paid for by insurance)
  • Chromosomal testing of your baby that you lost: $2300-we’ve done this twice. (not paid by insurance)
  • Chromosomal testing of parents: about $2k (not paid by insurance)
  • Genetic counseling: $500 (paid 50% by insurance)
  • Fertility specialist consultation: $75-$150 each visit (not paid by insurance). And yes, phone calls cost-but thank God phone calls are an option!
  • Pelvic MRI: $2k (paid partially by insurance)
  • Fertility testing (HSGs, ultrasounds, blood work, hystersonograms, etc): in the thousands and NOT paid by insurance.
  • IUI: $500 (not paid by insurance)
  • Laparoscopic myomectomy with morcellation/endometriosis removal: $75k (praise the LORD for insurance-mostly paid for!!!!)
  • Fertility medications: $500 (not paid by insurance)
  • Missed wages for time off for both Mother and Father: A LOT.
  • Travel for above testing, appointments, surgeries (gas, hotels, food): A LOT.
  • IVF: $31k and $7k more for each additional attempt (this is going to a reputable facility that will do testing of your embryos before implantation). If for some reason they cannot use my eggs, this goes up to $44k initially instead of the $31k (not paid by insurance).
  • Surrogacy: $100-150k
  • Adoption: $36-52k (it can be done cheaper but the wait will likely be longer. These amounts are from the two agencies that if we were to proceed with adoption, we would likely utilize).

Amazing, isn’t it. These are costs before you bring your baby home….then there are the diapers, baby furniture, clothes, college, weddings!!! =) Would we do anything different? Absolutely not. Would we do it all again? Absolutely. Do we regret the money we have had to come up with? No, no, and no. Otherwise, we would be living with an even bigger “what if” in our lives. “What if we had tried _____”….”what if we saw Doctor _____”….”what if we had gone to a different city”. So far we will never say “what if”-because we did.

The question for us currently is “what now?”. As you can see the cost of adoption and surrogacy is absolutely nothing to take lightly and no matter what route we go will dramatically affect us financially. No matter how we try to look at it. Any of the bottom three things listed are overwhelming financially and we aren’t even sure if they are doable. Of course, just like with anything, there is a loan for EVERYthing, including babies! Is this how we want to start our family, though? In an amount of debt that is life-changing and will certainly affect the lifestyle you provide for your child?

But, ultimately our (future) family is worth it.

Please continue to pray for us to know what direction He wants us to go in and for insight on how to possibly finance upcoming steps we may take.

Let me leave you with one last thought:

Having a baby in our arms: PRICELESS


Go to the Next Post In Our Adoption Journey