Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my request for sisterly advice. I appreciated some of the points and questions brought up, such as expense and how much I want to have the experience of pregnancy (not sure on that one yet). I have already begun researching, considering, and discussing with S both embryo adoption and foster adoption. In good news, I am not starting at ground zero in terms of knowledge. I actually completed the foster adopt training classes when I lived in central California. I believe they are different here, and I would have to complete them again, but they provided good information.
From that class, for example, I learned what they want in terms of finances and home study preparation. Before we jumped in wholeheartedly to trying to adopt and/or follow through on embryo donation (I will be doing initial research/taking first steps), I think it would be best if either S or I find a full or close to full-time position. S is working full-time right now, but he is a contractor with not much security. He is the better candidate to land a "solid," full-time job, and I believe this would be best in the long run in terms of child care. But in the short-term, I could take something more full-time, as well. Even if I simply made more money through another part-time position, this would likely help.
On top of the employment piece, we both would benefit from bettering our savings discipline. I have retirement through my work, which feels like something. My goal is for both of us, hopefully, to start putting away more each month and investing in CDs, or whatever will earn the most interest in savings and allow smaller lump sum investments. I have also decided to rejoin a support group around money, which is no cost but provides tools and focused group
I believe it would be helpful on multiple levels (of course necessary after a child arrived!) if we also were living together. We have been talking about this for some time, and it would be the next step for us, assuming we can work through some of our communication difficulties. We have discussed moving in during the first part of next year, maybe three to five months.
In talking to him the other day, I realized that a lot of his reticence, and even some of the fighting that's been happening, is related to his concern about finances. I currently have a very reasonable rent situation. His is not great, but okay. If we move in together, it will likely be a higher cumulative amount. Also, Zoey ideally needs a backyard. I guess I could make it work with dog parks and walks, but it would be far less ideal than the current situation.
Another worry that came up for him - I also worry about this but less so - is having less time for himself and the writing work he does outside of regular work. He already feels time scarce, as it is. As an introvert, myself, I get this. I tend to land on the optimistic side of things, however, and imagine that we could negotiate this and still do things on our own and make boundaries around needed alone time. Any coupled or previously coupled introverts out there with any advice how to best do this? An ironic sidenote: when we have conflict, it often tends to be about wanting more attention, communication, connection!
I need to run now and finish getting ready to leave for my conference. A co-worker is picking me up in and hour and a half to head to the airport! Yikes! The conference is in Palm Springs and will hopefully be fun, as well as work. More when I return...