Monday, May 15, 2017

Today is a BIG Day

It never fails.  The minute you start dating someone, people start talking marriage.  The second the honeymoon is over, people start asking babies.  And so on, and so on.

I realize this blog is mainly designed to talk about our desire to grow our family, but today, I'd like to focus on the current family for just a second.

Today is our 7th anniversary.

7 years ago today Mr. A. and I stood up in front of family and friends and tied the knot.

I think about that time in our lives so much.  We were (and are) so happy with each other.  After almost a year of long distance, we were in the same place and pledging to love and honor for the rest of our lives.  And after that we got to be together!  No more planes or phone calls, but actual face to face time.  It was amazing.

The wedding was perfect and everything I wanted.  Dramatic (of course), full of fun, personal and meaningful.
Yes, that is a backdrop in our church.  Are you surprised?!!?

There are some parts of that day that I remember with perfect clarity.  I remember my bridesmaids looking so beautiful.  I remember putting on my blue shoes that the wedding party had signed the night before.  I remember my sweet wedding planner Jayne, who passed away this year, giving me a pep talk right before the doors opened.  I remember just grinning.  No crying, no emotions other than pure joy at marrying my best friend.

I remember the reception as one big blur of dancing, hugging on friends and family and celebrating life.

I remember looking at my parents and realizing very clearly that a shift in our relationship had just happened.  I was still their daughter, but now I was married and part of a "we" moving forward.

I remember our family and friends coming from all over to be with us.  Our camp friends, NYC friends, theatre friends and family all in one space- it was so perfect.

There are plenty of times these days when it's easy to feel down and depressed.  Infertility, trying to patiently wait on the next steps with adopting, and the feelings that go with this can be so hard.  But I have to remember that I'm the lucky one here.  I already have a family and that began 7 years ago.  Together, Mr. A and I have created a life that is not perfect, but one that has been such a blessing to me.  I don't take our marriage for granted and I am very aware that I am in a minority these days.  The wedding was amazing, but we've been blessed beyond that.

Our newleywed life in NYC...

Our trips and adventures...

All our moves...
Macon...New York...Baltimore...Houston

And now getting ready for this next adventure...

I love you Mr. A.  HAPPY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!  Here's to MANY more years to come!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

National Infertility Awareness Week

In honor of National Infertility Awareness Week...

Man I wish I was a better writer.  If I was, I might be able to express all of this on my own, but instead, I'm borrowing from others.

I wanted to share an article that is a small portion of what USA Today is covering this week.  The struggle is real.  The heartache is real.  And even when there is resolution (adoption, surrogacy,  successful IVF, etc) it doesn't take away from what the journey looked like to get there.

I get it.  Unhappy subjects, murky areas that aren't full of sunshine, and talk of things that might get you a frowny face on Facebook are more taboo than just sharing the joy.  But there is power in letting these things out.

For a long time I internalized my grief and disappointment.  I projected a happy outside while inside I felt like a failure.  It's always my hope that while people can follow along with our journey, it will also give some courage and hope to some other woman out there who may be silently struggling.  If this is you, please know you are not alone.  Sharing these stories and talking in the open air takes away some of the power that grief and disappointment can carry.

There are so many things that people are hurting over these days and so many statistics that are staggering.  For those of you who have been praying for Mr. A and I as we have battled this issue, I can't thank you enough.

Check it out.  There are videos and stories, statistics and cold hard facts.  And many of what you will see are situations, statistics, facts and feelings that we personally have gone through and are still battling.  I'm thankful that I know God has his hand in this and there is light at the end of the tunnel, but the struggle is so real.

If you are also struggling, please know you are not alone.

National Infertility Awareness Week- read all about it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Baby Carr Update

Hi friends and neighbors and the internet!  Katy's Neverending Story has been on a bit of a hiatus lately with no good reason except life has been BUSY.  Here's an update on our crazy lives:

March- performed back in our hometown to help raise funds for Baby C.
March- work travel piled up thanks to weather delays and snowstorms
April- more work travel (trying to fit in as much as possible pre-baby)
April- weekend getaway to Austin with Mr. A to celebrate our early anniversary

Here are some adoption updates:
No news yet!

Now I've talked about the waiting game before and I am still pretty proud of myself for dealing with all this with patience- or as much patience as I can muster.  We're lucky in that we get regular updates from our caseworker (even if there are no updates to give) and we have our awesome tracker.  We can view in realtime the number of "hits" to our online profile.  I may or may not check every day.

So as of today, here's where we stand:
Now these could be skewed- it could be other prospective adoptive couples trolling to see how profiles need to be written (no judgement cause that's exactly what I did), but I do take comfort in the fact that people ARE looking at our profile and they are looking pretty regularly.  These views also don't take into account the other websites where our profile is listed- this is just the views for our specific agency.  April is a little slower than March, so I'm trying not to stress about it, but all in all, I'm feeling good.

So, between checking on our status and working like crazy, so far Mr. A and I are handling the waiting game pretty well.

We're getting noticed online.  WIN.
We've taken a couple's weekend away just for us.  WIN.
We've "tested" every glider in the state of Texas on it's baby-rocking aptitude.  WIN.
We've slowly started to add to the nursery.  WIN.
We've talked semi-seriously about baby names.  WIN.

I've also recently dropped some of the adoption groups and boards I originally joined when we started this process.  I've found that for the most part there are just too many opinions to go around.  And with opinions comes judgement and with judgement comes guilt and stress and that's not something we need when we don't even know what type of situation we are going to be presented with.

Here's the one piece of advice I'll ever give.  If you are considering adoption, talk to your friends and family about it.  Get the story from someone you know who's been through it.  Your situation may not be the same, but there's a bunch of "stranger danger" reading and taking to heart the opinions and situations of complete strangers.  Use your own network of people who love you.

So, we continue to wait.  We continue to pray.  Financially we are in a good place.  We continue to add to our fund and feel confident in what we've been able to raise/save.  We continue to be overwhelmed by the shows of support we are still receiving from friends, family, and complete strangers.

You can follow our journey here:  www.youcaring.com/carradoptionfund

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Post-Show Show Part 1- a BIG thank you!

In theatre, there are stages to every production:

Pre-Production- this is where you have to be at your most organized.  There are so many details, rehearsals, final checks, notes and all around stresses to deal with.  Your mind is constantly spinning and working in circles frantically trying to ensure no detail is missed.

Production- this is where adrenaline and sheer determination kick in and all of the details fly away in the face of the lights, the actors and the audience.

Post-Production- this is the dreamlike euphoric state of emotions you didn't have time to process during pre-production.  You accomplished something amazing!  You bonded with people for life over this one event!  You keep creating conversations that start with, "Can you believe this happened?" or "Do you remember when...".


Well folks, I'm still in that post-production haze.  I truly meant to write about our show the next day, but several things happened:
1. A VERY early flight home.  Followed by a VERY long nap.
2.  A VERY busy workweek (probably making up for a previous very distracted workweek).
3. A VERY busy second workweek.
4. Figuring out the new routine post-production.

So, I am so sorry that it's taken me a couple of weeks to regroup.  My mom said I shouldn't stress too much about it, but I don't like silent cyberspace, so please accept my apology!  I promise, regular blogging is resuming!

So, we are working on the production video (yes there is video, and yes, some of it is so adorable I can't wait to share, but in the meantime, I did want to share a couple of stories and thank you's about our show...just in case you missed it.

So Once Upon a Time, I was a floundering 20-something single gal struggling with school, struggling with life and struggling with my place in the world.  I'll admit- I was not a rebellious teenager- instead my rebellion and angst happened in my early 20's.  I was lost.  Fast forward a couple of years to me assisting with my alma mater's one-act theatre production of West Side Story.  We won state (go Trojans!) and as an encore, we booked the Theatre Macon stage for a final performance for friends and family.  That was when I first met Jim Crisp, the artistic director.  I'd known who he was, I had seen his shows, but this was a big moment in my life- even if I didn't know it then.

It was through that performance that Jim later called and asked me to choreograph their Youth Actor's Company production of Brigadoon.  I said yes, and that started my relationship with Theatre Macon, the Youth Actor's Company, the Board of the Theatre, and my friendship with Jim, my relationship with Mr. A, and so many other friendships and partnerships that are so meaningful in my life.

It was Jim, this past Christmas as we were catching up over lunch, who had the idea to have some sort of a performance to assist in our fundraising.

Jim was at our show and gave the most moving curtain speech.  It's hard to express what he means to me, and how that one meeting so many years ago shaped so much of where I am today.  The performance last month will go down as one of my most special memories- and it wouldn't have happened without him.

I can't wait to tell our baby one day about this theatre and this man who changed my course.

Jim, you have always been a driving mentor in my life.  I'm so thankful our paths crossed when they did, and so grateful for your direction, your friendship, and your generosity.  Adam and I love you so much.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What Happens While You Wait

If you know me at all, even a little bit, you probably know that patience is something I struggle with.  I'm a "get it done now" type of person and very often, if we're not getting done quickly enough, my Type A-self will swoop in and try to take over so we can get it done more quickly.


So it's no surprise that even though it's been 2 months, the waiting piece of this adoption journey has been a killer.  In an effort to curb this impatience (although let's be honest- there are plenty of things on my plate to keep me busy--it's just that Type A roaring it's sometimes-ugly head), I've been really digging into the adoption internet land and soaking up as much information as possible on anything and everything adoption.  I've joined (and left) adoption groups, I've posted stories and articles, I've downloaded books, I've read poems and quotes...and what I discovered is a common theme about what happens during the "waiting" period.

There seem to be two schools of thought on how to handle the waiting:  1. Do everything that is easier to do pre-baby (work, vacation, lose weight, etc) and live life to the fullest pre-child OR 2. Prep and learn all you can so you are ready when baby comes.

With the first school of thought (pre-baby bucket list), there's this thought process that in order to wait, you need to distract yourself.  Distract so you don't think of baby all the time.  Distract so you don't look at the empty nursery and cry.  Distract so you don't annoy your social worker with your weekly "Any news?" emails.  Jump into Pinterest for hours searching for any tips an tricks on what to do while we wait because you're a person of action and waiting is not in your DNA.  And yes, waiting for something so big with no end date in site does require a fair amount of distraction.  If I was truly in my normal mind, I would be calling the social worker daily.  I would be crying in the empty nursery...probably daily.  But, does distraction also boil down to not WANTING to think about the waiting and not WANTING to think about the "what if" that is such a huge part of the adoption process?  Does that distraction have to do with the fact that even though we're hopeful and even though our outside shell is confident, there's a little piece of us that is lacking in the Faith that is needed when this is so out of our control?


 That second thought process is a little of the opposite.  We have so much faith and so much confidence, we are controlling what we can of the situation because we KNOW it's all going to work out.  Instead of the distraction, we are MAKING things happen.  Every nursery purchase feels like a victory and every new chapter on the newest book of baby expertise makes us a ready expert.  Every time we post an "answer" or "opinion" on the adoption blogs, we feel vindicated that we are moving in the right direction. And yes, #2 can (to some) feel like a more productive use of that waiting time.  But, really and truly, doesn't this process need some sort of a realization that you actually can't do it and you need help and support outside of yourself?  Is trying to control what you really can't control a little counter-productive?
Now granted, these are extreme schools of thought, but lately, I've found myself smack dab in the middle of these two groups.  On the outside, I'm a #2 all the way.  I've gathered the info, painted the walls, commented on the blogs, read the books, educated my friends and family- I'm on top of it.  On the inside, I am a mess.  I cry at the commercial where the mom has the new baby and does the skin-to-skin contact because I realize even when this whole thing works out, that's probably not going to be in the cards for me.  I get upset because there are times when I feel so helpless about this whole piece, I have to distract myself with what my current success is- my job- instead of acknowledging the fact that I'm a failure as a mother (and I know that's not true, but you know how our minds go, ladies).  I purposely avoid family situations and instead try to find activities for Mr. A and I that are childless so we can have fun and celebrate our pre-parent selves...and to keep me from the jealousy and the grief that still comes up from time to time.  I'm terrified of Mother's Day on one hand, and on the other, I'm so happy that one day I can celebrate that day just like everyone else.

For real- right now, I'm a multiple-personality parent to be!

Now, I know this isn't everyone's journey, but I did promise honesty in mine, so it's important to keep you updated on it all.  And, if you are also in a waiting period, I want to encourage you that waiting is hard and figuring out how to deal with it without losing your mind is not easy.  Here's the thing, though.  Waiting is part of it.  Crying is part of it.  Distraction is part of it.  Resolve is part of it.  Faith is part of it.  Needing support outside yourself is part of it.  Moving forward is part of it.  And waiting a little more is part of it again.  This is not a journey for the weak and we have to figure out in a trial-by-fire fashion how to deal with the waiting with as much grace as we can.

So, I'm probably going to keep looking on Pinterest.  And I'm probably going to work late every now and again.  And I'm most certainly going to change the channel when that commercial comes on. And I'll continue to be so appreciative of the friends and family who are waiting with me.  But seriously, let's keep the remote going so we avoid that commercial, ok? :)

*Adoption isn't without it's joys and struggles.  But it's so much easier having our friends and family as our support system.  To learn more about our journey, click here:
www.youcaring.com/carradoptionfund

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lights, Camera, Adoption!

We are less than 2 weeks away from the big show, and I am feeling so many emotions right now-- the principal one being extreme excitement!

For those of you planning on attending, I don't want to give too much away, but I have been so amazed at how this evening is turning out.  We have right around 20 people who are helping in an on-stage or back-stage capacity and my heart is SO FULL!

Back in the day, when I lived and breathed live theatre, it was no big deal to jump on stage, belt out a number and go on with my day.  These days, those "performances" are limited to singing in church next to my hubs in the audience, or belting in my car during rush hour, so it will be fun to jump back onto the stage again.

It's a little surreal thinking about our child and where their interests and talents will lie.  I used to joke that my kid would come out of the womb singing as I'm pretty sure that's what happened to me (or so my mother tells me).  Even if you are not musically talented, working in a live performing environment is supposed to teach leadership skills, self-confidence, teamwork and respect for those around me.  While my child may not come out of the womb belting show tunes, I hope that this upcoming event can be the start of a life where the arts (in some way, shape of form) is represented in their lives.

Are you in Georgia and looking for something fun to do on the 18th?  I hope you'll consider spending your evening with us!

As always, thank you for being a part of our story.  To pray, give or share, you can do so here:

Friday, February 24, 2017

Show Tickets and Specifics

Now that the announcement is out about our upcoming performance, the interest and support has been overwhelming!  I sang extra diligently in the car this morning prepping for the big day. :)

My mom reminded me that some people may not be as familiar with our adoption fundraising website, and that is the way to purchase advanced reserved seat tickets.  Tickets will also be available at the door, but if you want to skip the wait and have a nice center section reserved seat, here's how to do it:

1. Go to our page: www.youcaring.com/carradoptionfund
This is what you will see:
2. Click on the big RED button that says "DONATE NOW"
3. Fill in the information- Name, Amount (Tix are $20 so do the math on however many you want) and under the comments, let me know if you need anything special (aisle seat if we have it, or maybe you just want to donate tickets for someone else)
4. Fill out the CC or Banking Information (this is a secure website) and you are set!

So, advanced tickets- it's as easy as 1, 2, 3.

More to come on the show later- thanks again for all the support and continue to follow the blog for updates.  I will be posting more next week about the conversation I had with our caseworker- exciting!