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8:07 am

I texted Tracey to update her on everything.  

"Application is in and I spoke with Shelley late yesterday.  She sounded really optimistic that Kendra will like us.  I'm exhausted though.  I was up all night with Sara again.  She has gone vampire on me.  Can you believe I actually want more of these creatures?"

Tracey wrote back:

"I feel the same way about wanting more!  Must be crazy!  Adoption is easier than pregnancy though.  Trust me."

Tracey was quickly becoming my lifeline.  It was a total role reversal.  During my pregnancy with Sara, Tracey was going through the adoption process.  I'd text her complaints about nausea and fibroids; she'd text me about their birth mother.  Now, she was puking daily and I was already imagining our (hopefully) birth mother:

Pick Me!

I had so many questions for Tracey.  I felt awkward asking about the cost of adoption, but I texted away:

"Dude!  I hate to ask about money, but what kind of cost should I anticipate?  I'm sure we'll be fine, but I just want an idea of what it cost you guys."

I was curious because Shelley said this adoption would bear a relatively minimal cost.  Since Kendra was due in a few short weeks, we wouldn't have the expenses typically involved in supporting a birth mother through pregnancy (i.e. rent, healthcare, etc.).  Tracey and Jim were involved with their birth mother from a much earlier point.  I wanted to see if the price, as "quoted" by my attorney, was truly a significant difference. 

Tracey was helpful:

"In general, I think the cost is usually around $30,000.  But it should be much cheaper because Kendra's practically due now."

Shelley had told me this adoption "bargain" would empty our bank account by at least $40,000.  Perhaps she'd made a careless overestimation.  Still, adoption was turning out to be an expensive means of growing the family.  On the other hand, the long term health consequences of another pregnancy were priceless, perhaps even fatal.  

I sent Tracey a reply:

"Well, adoption is quite inexpensive, actually, when you consider the cost of a new bladder if I attempted another pregnancy:  'It's a Boy!  It's a Girl!  No, sorry Mama, but we just delivered your bladder.'  Sorry for that image--hope it doesn't get you too nauseous."

I was only half joking about the bladder.  Sara's labor & delivery left me with the horrifying diagnosis of Detrusor External Sphincter Dyssyngeria (DESD).  Read about that here:  http://www.americanmedicalsystems.com/conditions_detail_objectname_mens_desd.html 

And that's not all.

In the two years following Sara's birth, I've spent over 10 hours getting MRIs.  I've had multiple CT scans and X Rays.  I've been tested for Lupus, among other autoimmune disorders.  I've developed strange rashes, am subject constantly to sudden outbreaks in hives, have experienced nocturnal vision changes, cardiovascular issues, and to top it off, I cannot lose any weight.  Those who know me from an earlier life will not believe the size of me now.  Those who never knew me before tell me "Oh, you're just big-boned."  My entire endocrine system is messed up:  I now have hypothyroidism, empty sella syndrome (yes, a part of my brain has actually shrunk), and pre-diabetes.  Add sleep apnea to the list and I'm a freaking nightmare.  In the interest of moving on, I will simply note that my current medical state includes but is not limited to the above mentioned conditions.

I was beginning to realize that adoption was hardly pricey; in fact, it would be like winning the lottery.

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