Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Adoption pass along cards- YAY!

I'm SOOO excited!!

We won a FREE hour photoshoot with this way talented artist!!!
~Elle Imagery!!

Now we are going to have the *cutest* photos for our adoption pass along cards!

Did I mention how excited I am?!?!?

Cuz I feel pretty excited right now ;)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What? Parenthood isn't a bed of roses?

I wanted to leave my husband's blog post up a little longer because I love everything he wrote and its very educational to those not familiar with adoption. So please! Scroll down and read it if you haven't already! (He'd also love any comments or questions!)

But I wanted to share something I came across today. I am an avid reader of this fabulous blog.  I love her sense of humor and straightforwardness (is that a word??) Today she posted something that hit home. I'd encourage you to all check it out here, especially if you are not adopting but know others who are! (*cough* like us haha)

It's all about how it's often assumed that infertile or adopting couples don't know what they're getting into when they're trying to become parents. But does anyone really? Until they're there? But the blogger goes on to say that we don't assume it's going to be a party. We are well aware that life will change! Date nights will change. Making out and other amorous activities will change. Me being able to look decent during the day will totally depend on how much time I have while I'm caring the baby. We know all this. Promise ;) We aren't mistaken what line we're in, we know this ain't the line to a fabulous Mexican cruise, but the ride of Parenthood.

Why do I bring this up?

Lately we've been getting some remarks along the lines of "You just wait..." and other remarks implying we'll regret becoming parents. Regret becoming parents? Is that possible?  I find it very irritating that someone would assume that after fighting for 5 years to become parents that we would expect a perfect non-crying, non-vomiting baby who always sleeps through the night, never becomes sick, and never interferes with our current social life.

haha

So please, read the articles I've added links to! We are so excited to become parents and are so grateful to all our loving friends and family who have been so sweet throughout all this! While we're definitely enjoying the luxury we still have to get a full nights sleep (insert laugh here, b/c what college student really gets a full night's sleep?), nothing will be better than when the emptiness of our arms is filled and the ache in our hearts is abated.

Thanks you guys so much!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An insight to Adoption, What you probably don't know

This post was inspired by an email that Shauna got. Well in fact it was actually a facebook post but I say it as an email. Any who, the post pretty much asked: When does the adoption stuff all start for us? Well in answer to this question I would like to explain the adoption process more. To set right some myths, and how all of you can start today on being apart of our adoption process.

Well first some facts about adoption. On average, throughout the nation, unwed mothers that place their child for adoption is about one percent. Those that choose to abort their child are about 50%.

Now How Adoption Works.
For the adoptive couples: first you go through loads of paper work and interviews and all sorts of stuff to reveal every aspect of your life to show that you are qualified, according to "a professional", to be a parent. Not a fun process but Shauna and I have finished that process and have been approved. Approval is when a committee of case workers get together and go over all of your info and deam you "OK" to be a parent. What does it mean to be approved? It just means we move to the next step of the adoption process- the finding and being found stage.


The Finding and being Found Stage.
This can be the fun and exciting part for us. But at the same time can get emotional and depressing at times. This is where pretty much we wait for a birth parent to pick us.

What this means: With adoption the placement of children with adoptive couples is pretty much left all up to the birth parents. They choose who they feel will be the best parents for their child. If you think about that deeply you can now see the great responsibility and love that these birth parents have. Their child's future is in their hands. They go through much work and prayer to find the right couple. God bless them for all they do and who they are.

So you may ask why do we call this the finding process. Well we, Shauna and I, try to do everything that we can to get our names out there so that birth parents will have us as a choice to be their couple. We have done this by creating this blog, joining different adoption networks, (going to) distribute pass along cards, and have our LDS Family Services Adoptive profile. The biggest is by word of mouth. Of course a lot of prayer and fasting so as to be led to the right places so the birth parents of our future child will find us. Yes, we believe and know that there is a particular child that is suppose to come into our home, so the finding that we are doing is to find not just any child but to find the right child.

Info
Well from the statistics as shown above there aren't a lot of birth parents that place their children for adoption. My own personal feelings to the reason for those low numbers is from the lack of knowledge about adoption not only for birth parents but for the world as a whole. With our wonderful media that we have... they have shown many negative sides about adoption that are not true. Adoption is a wonderful thing for all involved. Because this post is getting long I'm not going to go into all of that, but in a later post I will talk more about it- giving stories and more info so stay tuned for that. But as far as the LDS church goes adoption is the encouraged solution to a unwed pregnant mother, so that as per the Proclamation to the Family a child can have both a father and a mother to raise the child.

How do You Get Involved
Get the word out. Mention to your family and friends that you know this "amazing" couple that is adopting and that they are looking for birth parents. The way most adoptive couples find their birth parents is because they know someone that knows someone that knows someone that was considering placing their child for adoption. Also nicknamed FOAF- Friend of a Friend. This means we need you to be that someone. Also you can write your own little post about adoption on your blogs or Facebook, send emails out to families and friends, you can help us pass out pass along cards, pray that more birth parents will go to the LDSFS (LDS Family Services) offices, etc... and whatever other way that you think you could get the word out. One huge thing that you can do though is talk to your bishop about having LDSFS come out on a fifth Sunday lesson and do their presentations they do for wards. You, and your whole ward, will learn so much from that meeting that you never knew about adoption. That's when I learned tons about adoption myself and many misconceptions were set right. In fact one of our case workers said in our last FSA meeting that her husband loves going with her to those meetings because he learns so much and they are great meetings. And if your bishop has questions you can have them get a hold of us at gavinandshauna@gmail.com and we will hook them up with the right people to make it happen. I know that typically the LDSFS agencies have surges of birth parents after those ward meetings.

LDSFS
LDSFS is a wonderful organization the church has made. It is not only the agency that we are going through but for birth parents that are members of the church they offer free support and counseling to birth parents. They help them discover all the options they have before them. They have group meetings for them were they can interact with other birth parents going through similar circumstances. There is a new Riverton office that just opened up at: 3740 W 13400 S, Riverton, UT 84065
phone number 801.566.2556.
For those on the south west end of the Salt Lake Valley, and to find other agencies in your area, please go to www.itsaboutlove.org for more information.


So in conclusion of my book I just wrote, please please help us in our process by getting the word out. There is so much all of us can do to increase this wonderful work and to help couples, like us, find their children.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First local caucus

Gavin and I went to our local caucus tonight, first time! Check out the post! :) We love our country and love getting involved!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

FSA meeting

We attended our first FSA meeting Thursday night! I wish we could have attended the first meeting but my school schedule normally doesn't allow it. This week was my spring break so we jumped at the opportunity to go.

It was a good experience. We met at the new Riverton agency office and lemme just say, WOW. What a beautiful building! Not only is the Riverton agency located there but a lot of the Church's worldwide offices. Pretty neat. 

We learned in the FSA meeting that there is so much work to be done to get the wonderful word of adoption spread more widely and to educate the public more. We signed up for some things and can't wait to help!

We also met some new couples. One has been waiting for a year for their first child. I hesitate to say this but I just hope that if we have to wait that long that I can always remember to be happy and optimistic. It's hard to stay optimistic while you're waiting, there's a lot of support groups FSA offers in fact for the "waiting period". However, since we've not even been approved for a full month yet we're still full of optimism!

Also, we've been contacted by a birth mother. It happened yesterday. I won't divulge a lot of information yet except that we'll see what happens.  This may not lead to our baby but at the very least its really good practice for us to learn what to do when we're contacted. When the email came through we just stared at it for a while, like "now what?" lol. On a more serious note, I can only imagine what a hard decision this must be for any birth mother and I do not wish or want to force that decision on anyone. It's definitely something between them and Heavenly Father (and the birth father if present). We just continue to pray for all the women out there struggling with this decision.

We'll continue to keep you updated as things progress! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photos from the bday party :)

As I mentioned in my last post I have photos from my sister's bday party!

Here they are!


so tender

haha, wow am I smiley :)
but look at my nieces cute curls!!

FSA: Families Supporting Adoption

Most of you probably have never heard of FSA before, but it's a wonderful organization!

We have a meeting tonight with our agency's FSA group and we're excited to get involved!

Some of the things FSA does:
-Outreach: goes to high schools/clinics etc handing out adoption materials to spread the word about the wonderful choice of adoption
-Education: does seminars and workshops to educate about adoption
-Support: plans parties and activities for us adopting couples/families that love being surrounded by those who understand what we're doing!

I know there's more, but that's whats on the top of my mind this morning. Consequently, they're the areas I'm most interested in volunteering for lol. Go figure ;)

FSA is all volunteer, I love being involved in a great cause! We both can't wait to go tonight and find out how we can help!

This is definitely a wonderful blessing to keep us busy while we're waiting for our little one and the wonderful birth mother we'll get to work with. I feel so blessed to be a part of a wonderful thing like adoption. Like we've mentioned before, this is not where we intended to be but we feel so blessed to be here. We've learned so much; about faith, about hope, and about love.

I'll have some recent photos to post soon from my sister's bday party on Sunday. We got to spend lots of time with our way cute nieces! I love seeing Gavin spend time with all our nieces and nephews. He's so sweet and I love getting those glimpses of what kind of Daddy he's going to be one day...which is the best in my opinion! :) [not that I'm biased or anything lol]

Hopefully I'll get to post those photos tonight, I've been meaning to all week.

Hope you're all having a great week and thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adoption Friends

I hope many of you have noticed my list of growing friends who are adopting (in the left column of this blog).

Check out their blogs!

They are all such amazing and sweet couples. It's been such a blessing to have a sweet network of support and understanding as we try to grow our family through adoption.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A sweet poem

Well the first week of having our LDS profile published is over, and our profile stats are doing well! We're hopeful, we've seen that 106 people (current stat!) have looked at it so far. Yay! We know this process will take time to bring the right people together, but we're happy to know at least we're being looked at :)

I came across a sweet poem I wanted to share. It's called "The Legacy of an Adopted Child", author unknown.

Once there were two women
Who barely knew each other.
One is in your heart forever,
The other you'll call Mother.

Two different lives,
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.

The first gave you life,
And the second taught you how to live it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.

One gave you the seed talent,
The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.

One gave you a family,
It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me,
Through your tears,
The age old question through the years.
Heredity or environment...
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling...neither,
Just two different kinds of love.


Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Celebrating our approval!

We were so excited to be approved today! We had been waiting for almost 2 months to be "officially" approved. Hurray!

We decided to celebrate this big event in our steps towards expanding our family!

Gavin donned his nice white polo (hehe) and surprised me by taking me out to Applebee's. Can't beat their 2 for $20! We love it!

Afterward we went shopping for a crib mattress. We're not buying too many things before we're chosen but we have our crib and some other things (like books! Very important!) We also need a dresser (vertical) but that's the last thing we'll buy before we're chosen (since it could take years for all we know).

Here's some photo highlights, we made sure to document it :)
 
in the car, arrived at Applebee's...can you see what I'm thinking? (mmm steak...)


Got Faith? Our table did lol, Gavin was taken back by the huge Faith staring at him. I thought it was kind of her to make it to our celebration. I didn't remember sending out invites! 
My sweet husband :) 
Plate empty!
 
Moi, plate also empty, yay!

 
Sealing our dinner with a kiss lol

 
G'bye Applebee's & thank you for hosting our celebration! woot!

 
Our purchased crib mattress yay! We looked at a couple of places and picked this one. 
Got it at Wal-Mart for $38.47
(Vent: Tax was $2.47!! I feel robbed)

 
Headin' home to study for a test (him) and do homework (me)
I know my eyes look crazy, but there's no photoshop fix for crazy eyes lol

And that was our little party! It has been such a joyous journey! I know that sounds weird because there was infertility & there's uncertainty mingled in our journey but we both feel very blessed! We can't help it! We get to work with a wonderful birth mother (or aka, first mother) who's out there somewhere and get the blessing and privilege of raising that cute lil baby. What's not to feel grateful for?

Visit our daily blog for my mad cooking skills!

APPROVED!!!

GREAT NEWS!!!

*sorry in advance for all the CAPS!

But we are APPROVED!!!

We finally received our approval through LDS today and our profile has been published to their site! You can view it here!

We are so excited to be moving forward. We are so excited to one day meet the wonderful birth mother and hope for the very best!

Thank you everyone for your love and support thus far. It means a lot to us!

Happy Monday!

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