Friday, November 18, 2011

The Unknown

[source]

There are so many unknowns when adopting. You don't know what your baby will look like, when they will come, what their story will be. You don't know what the birth parents will be feeling. Or the family of the birth parents. But for me right now, the scariest unknown is I don't know how Nathan will feel about being adopted.

We've met a few adoptees (right terminology?) since deciding to adopt. One of Gavin's grandmothers was adopted. Nathan's birth mom was also adopted. All of these individuals have different feelings about being adopted. Some struggled greatly with being adopted. Some were totally ambivalent. All of them were closed adoptions. I don't personally know anyone grown up who has an open adoption. So what does that mean for Nathan? Will he struggle? Will he not care? I know there's a fine line between him caring for his birth parents and not struggling with being adopted. I have no idea where that line is, but I'd love to hope he'd end up there. Ideally I'd love for him to have a healthy love and respect for his birth parents, while not struggling with the bitter side of adoption.

Right now he jabbers non-stop about everything he sees, but it's still baby jabber. That baby jabber should turn into real talking over the next few months. What questions will he ask? What connections will he make? When he finds out he didn't grow in my tummy but in my heart will he feel special or defective? I haven't worried about these questions until lately, as he moves closer and closer to toddlerhood and real talking. I just hope and pray that Gavin and I can teach him about the miracle of his birth, the beauty of his coming to us, and just how loved he is by all his parents effectively enough to grow up to be a stable young man, secure in knowing that God had a plan for him.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Magic Writer

So the year prior to Nathan being born saw me enrolled in classes at the local community college, 
still plugging away slowly at a degree. 
I was enrolled as an English major and was taking a few writing classes. 
I remember writing a paper on infertility, using 4 close friends in it and telling the story of their 
struggles to get pregnant. 

Not a single one of them was pregnant when I wrote that paper. 
They all, like I, were dealing with the worry that it might never happen. 

Shortly after that paper, two announced they were pregnant!

I was overjoyed for them!
I also had jokingly wondered at the time whether I should've put myself in the paper...
And of course started to attribute their pregnancies to my magical writing skills.
Because recent studies show that college English papers and pregnancy share a
cause and effect relationship.
You didn't know that did you?
Well now you know.

Shortly after our pregnancies were announced, as in a few months later,
we announced our being chosen by Nathan's courageous birth mother E. 

Later that winter, the third woman in my paper announced her pregnancy!
I was pretty positive I had magic skills at that moment.

Well imagine my surprise when earlier this year, the final woman in that paper announced her pregnancy!
I was overjoyed for her!
And convinced at that point that my paper did indeed hold magic powers.

I reflected on all this today.
Still laughing to myself about not being written into that paper.
When I suddenly realized-
Sure I hadn't magically become pregnant, like the other women had.
But a mere months after that paper I too had gotten to rejoice in becoming a Mother.
It just struck me today that God knows exactly what He's doing.
I arrived at the same destination, along with the rest of them, but with a different route.
I felt so blessed.
And ready.
Prior to this I have been so apprehensive about Baby #2.
Lovingly referred to Holga at present.
But after thinking about all this today,
I finally feel at peace about whatever God may hold for the future.
This isn't an announcement.
We still have not decided any course of action to add lil Holga (an endearing name, no?) to our family.
But I finally (finally) stopped worrying about it today.

And there was a lotta worry folks.
I remembered all too well the anguish that preceded Nathan's beautiful adoption story.
And I wasn't all too keen about diving back into those waters again.
No siree.
But now I feel ok.
Whew.

Infertility tests?
Pfft.
Adoption paperwork?
Give me a pen.

Remembering that God's in charge today has made me feel at peace.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hitler Who?

I was sent this amazing video today.
It's called the 180 Video.
Why?
Because in it, people's hearts do a 180.

I was appalled that some people honestly didn't know who Hitler was.
And I was stunned to see footage of the Holocaust that I had never seen before.

So what's a video about the Holocaust doing on our adoption website?

Because really, it's about abortion.

Please take a minute, or 33, to watch this eye opening video.

Did you know that over 53 million babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade?
Astonishing.
And heart-breaking.
Grab a kleenax,
prepare to be appalled at people's ignorance,
and cheer for those whose hearts are changed.

Will yours be?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why I'm Not Bitter

I've been feeling the need to blog about this for some time now. But when my sweet friend Jessa posted this, it gave me that final nudge I needed to sit down and type this out.

Once we adopted our lil Nathan, I took a huge step back from the online adoption community. 
One, to simply savor finally being a mother. But also because I felt whole now. 
More on this later. 
Lately I've noticed a lot of non-positive emotions from some of the adoption blogs I follow and that's what originally led me to start mentally writing this blog post. Then my sweet friend Jessa was verbally attacked for complaining about things related to her pregnancy. 
At first I was appalled.
How could someone actually have the audacity to tell someone "be quiet and be thankful"?? 
I felt sad for that person. 
Sad that they are so consumed with their bitterness and longing for a child, that they can't bear to hear anyone complain about their pregnancy. 

Obviously, I can understand their pain. I've been there. 
But I'm sorry, morning sickness and vomiting - 
even coupled with the gratitude of being pregnant - would still suck.

As I've reflected on my reaction to her experience and the attitudes of others I've realized,
I'm not bitter.

Let me rewind to a few years back.
We were still trying to get pregnant.
We were hopeful but seeing that period show up every month was starting to really hurt.
To my surprise, every one of my sister-in-law's got pregnant that year.
I was upset we hadn't,
but my emotions didn't turn to bitterness against them.
One sweet sister felt she needed to tell me privately before telling the whole family.
Until she did that it never occurred to me that anyone would need to do such a thing.
And she still didn't need to do that, though I appreciate her sweet thought in doing so.
It hadn't occurred to me until that moment that others might be anxious of being pregnant around me.
I was surprised. But also now aware.
I didn't want to be one of those people who bitterly attended baby showers.
Or that people avoided inviting altogether.
So even though we were struggling to get pregnant, surrounded by those who were blessed to be so, 
I chose not to take out our struggles on them. 
Fast forward to one Monday evening in April 2009.
Gavin lovingly told me he felt we should adopt.
My very first reaction was that I was crushed.
And I cried.
I honestly had felt like I had failed as a woman right then.
Like I had been given a pink slip for womanhood.
"I'm sorry, you're no good. You can't have babies.You're fired."
Obviously, I knew that was the complete opposite of our situation.
I felt the Spirit calm my heart. 
I felt then that there was a special little someone who needed to come to our family this way.
So I let go of my pride.
But not yet my sadness.
After our decision I had some really short menstrual cycles.
It was crazy enough to get me to a new OB/GYN.
He was awesome and gave us new hope of getting pregnant.
We did more tests. Found some more answers. And got more questions.
At that point, one of the answers we received indicated that we may never be able to get pregnant. 
Ever.
We were both devastated of course.
Thankfully we came across some literature that told us it was okay to grieve.
To grieve for the special journey of procreation that we may never be able to take part in.
To grieve for the mini-Gavin and mini-Shauna we may never have.
I'm so grateful we took that advice and let ourselves grieve.
It made all the difference.
I personally was able to say to myself,
"Okay self, we may never have an adorable mini-Gavin with red hair running around. Or a mini-you with a head of curls. But we're ok, right?"
And amazingly I was.

Wanna know why?
Because I realized we hadn't been trying to get pregnant for the sake of experiencing pregnancy.
We had been trying to get pregnant to become parents.
And I felt someday, through the blessing of adoption, we would be parents.

Less than a year later we were in the hospital holding our son.
Despite what we all had thought he would look like, he came out looking like Gavin, with red orange hair.
Who knew God cared so much about us to bless us with that miracle? 



One thing he said was "forget not to be happy now". He talked about the children's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and how all the people were searching for that golden ticket in the chocolate bars.
They became so obsessed with finding the golden ticket that they stopped taking joy in the actual chocolate bar itself.
This sums up perfectly what I feel right now. 
Pregnancy wasn't my golden ticket.
Being a mother was.
And I am one.
Would I like to be able to bear our children?
Sure!
But instead I take shallow comfort that my hips are the same as they were when I was 18 (except with maybe a little more padding),
that I have a beautiful son I get to play with every day, 
a loving and wonderful husband who happens to be my best friend,
and a home of our own.
And, with the exception of the hips, aren't those the things most important in life? 
They're the things most important to me.
And they're why I feel happy every day.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

N stands for

Hello everyone! The dust is settling from our move and things are starting to feel more homey. I was looking over this blog and decided it was high time I finished my play on A-D-O-P-T-I-O-N.

N stands for Never Giving Up
A lot of us, but not all, embark on the road to adoption due to infertility, I felt that the letter N best could be summed up as never giving up. Never giving up on your dream to become a parent. And never losing faith. Gavin and I actually aren't 100% positive whether we can (with a team of specialists) or cannot get pregnant. But we knew we were supposed to be parents. And in April 2009 we felt strongly we were supposed to become parents through adoption. It was 4 months later we found out some more answers regarding our infertility. Answers that had led to more questions and us wondering again whether we could or could not get pregnant. We searched our hearts at the time and what we knew and decided we'd go forward with faith towards adoption. We had felt so strongly then that there was a lil someone that was out there for us through adoption. We couldn't ignore it and went that route. Through all the paperwork and agonizing wondering we never lost faith and never gave up. After we adopted our lil Nathan (my own lil personal letter N!) I felt a huge relief. We were parents now. And as a result I took a long break from the adoption community. I disconnected and just enjoyed having arrived at the destination I had longed for for so long. Now, as we look forward to a #2, the myriad of questions and emotions have reappeared. Part of me would love to not go through it all again. I felt so completely drained after the first time. But we know our family isn't done. When or how #2 will come to our family I don't know and I'm not really thinking about right now. It's a ways away. I just know that I need to rely on never giving up or losing my faith to keep moving forward.

Monday, August 15, 2011

One Year Ago

One Year Ago
How time flies!
How is our lil baby already ONE year old?


One year ago Gavin and I left work early to go to Emily's second to last Dr's appt.
Earlier that morning we had discovered she lost her mucus plug (I know I know, ew)
so we were now anticipating his arrival within the next couple days to a week.
Before leaving work that day for the appt, I felt I should finish packing my desk and take my personal belongings, just in case he was born later on in the week or during the weekend
It was a Wednesday so I could have easily taken them home Thurs or Fri, 
but I went ahead and did it anyways
Which is good because I didn't go back to work that week

The Drs appt went well.
E was worried he was coming that night.
We didn't get our hopes up & the Dr didn't think he would be coming that soon either. 
After the appt we chatted in the parking lot for a good hour
E said it felt like he was pushing down on something
I still didn't get worried
On our way home she texted us that she was possibly having contractions - real ones
I still didn't get worried
I got the feeling I should get everything ready for the hospital, though my brain didn't register why.
I was planning on doing more shopping for him and E after I was done.
I had just finished packing & walked into our room to tell Gavin I was headed to the store when I got a text
"My water just broke we are waiting for my dad"
It was 5:02pm
I told Gavin "Just kidding change of plans! Her water just broke! We're going to the hospital!"
I called her to see what the plan was and the poor woman was IN FULL LABOR
and screaming in pain
but had enough in her to let me know the plan
We'd meet her there, she was waiting for her Dad to get home.
We hopped in the car and started to drive when I thought, maybe we should get some snacks? you never know how long these things take!
-Yeah, my stomach is pretty important-
We decided to head to a Smith's that happened to also be in the direction of her parents house, and away from the direction of the hospital.
As we were walking into the store she called me again
still screaming in pain, she asked if we could pick her up & drive her there since her Dad wasn't home yet & she was worried he would come en route if we didn't get moving!
We ran back to the car and sped (and I do mean sped, through a construction zone no less) over there
We got to her and I helped a woman in full labor into the car
That was an experience
I've never felt so bad for our sex than seeing her like this!
Poor E was worried about the possibility of getting, er, bodily fluids on our car seats.
HA!
I told her I really didn't care but let's not get the BABY on the car seat
We again sped
(sped as in I'm honestly surprised we didn't get in a wreck. The car felt almost aerodynamic. Not our safest day as drivers)
And got to the hospital a lot faster than should be physically possible
We drove up to the door and got her into a wheelchair
Gavin parked the car while I ran/wheeled her into the hospital
She's still in labor during this the poor thing & freaking out that he's coming soon
The nurse has her change into their highly fashionable no-back gowns and get her on the bed to check her
She was dilated to a NINE
She started crying and it hit me a second later why
NO MEDS!
I felt so bad for her!
She was already in so much pain
and now to find out she has to do it natural?!
I promise this woman has a wall of gold stars in heaven

The nurses were trying to call the Dr, who'd already left for the day, while getting everything in the room ready
All of a sudden E yelled that she needed to push
I don't think the nurses believed her
So she yelled again
You'd really think they would have listened the first time

A second later a different Dr showed up and got her ready to push

Uhm, if I hadn't felt bad for our sex before I definitely did then.
About 3 - 4 pushes later and he was crowning
She wanted to stop
I don't blame her
But since he wasn't going back in she had to push again!
1-2 pushes later he was out and on her chest and looking gray/purple and slimy
They whisked him away to the warming table to get cleaned and warm

And my whole world stopped
It was the weirdest thing I'd ever experienced
I'm not sure what Gavin had felt at that moment
Because everything else in the room had disappeared for me
All I saw was this little orange haired baby, crying on the warming table.
I walked over and gave him my finger
Which he promptly took and squeezed
And that was it
I was a Mommy



We honestly can't believe it's already been a year.
Where did that little baby go?
Instead of the little tiny baby that used to sleep on our chests
He's now a 3-tooth pretoddler who loves to eat anything we eat and loves to climb stairs
He loves Elmo, teddy bears, Curious George, and puppies
He loves to pull earrings, hair, and the glasses off your face
He loves to splash in the bath tub and to brush his teeth
He fills our home with little growls and giggles
And as of a couple weeks ago, now kisses Mommy and Daddy ever so shyly
And then will growl at us if we beg for more

It has been an amazing first year together
We feel so blessed at the miracle that was brought into our lives!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Be Back Soon!

Hello Readers!
We're in the midst of a crazy cross-country move right now.
I'll start posting again once we're settled into our new home!

Thanks everyone!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Birth Mother and Mother

We love Nathan's birth mom, I can't say that enough.
We feel so incredibly blessed to have her in our lives.
Not just because she's the angel that blessed us with the gift of parenthood,
but for who she is!

I've been reflecting today on our first Birth Mother's Day and Mother's Day since Nathan came into our lives.
I've decided I'm in the camp that wants to celebrate & honor her on both days.
Birth Mother's Day, to honor her brave choice to plan Nathan in our arms.
And Mother's Day because she was Nathan's Mother first.
And she did a dang good job of taking care of him.
Just like I try to do every day!

So Emily - we're happy to celebrate you as both!

Happy Birth Mother's Day!

And

Happy Mother's Day!

Love you!

Always stylin' & smilin'. Even after a rushed 12 minute-no drug labor!
Saying Goodbye - a super hard day

But I freakin' loved his onsie & couldn't wait for her to see it
Pre-birth: Love this girl!
Happy to share Nathan's sealing day with her! It made it even more special!


Adoption Rocks.


My favorite picture ever.
8 months after placement



The card reads: "If I know what love is, it is because of you."

Friday, April 29, 2011

NIAW: Bust a Myth

For those of you who don't know, it's National Infertility Awareness Week.
This week RESOLVE has issued a challenge to bust an infertility myth to help spread awareness and educate others.
I wasn't sure I was going to do it, since there are already so many blogs out there, including this one, that have addressed so many of the myths already.
But after reading some of my friend's blogs I realized there are still some myths I can address.



1. Infertility is a real disease, not a worry-induced state that's preventing conception. Infertility is very real and people aren't going to claim infertility unless there's medical reasons behind it. So please know that when a couple comes out and says their infertile that they've already worked with doctors to determine that there are very real medical causes for not being able to get pregnant. And all those causes do not end up being solved by relaxing or taking a cruise :)

2. Infertility is a real obstacle to becoming pregnant, no matter which half of the couple has it. My most recent pet peeve is I've noticed that when a woman claims infertility, the world shows no sympathy and starts offering all their advice on what to do to get pregnant. It seems people are completely unwilling to believe that a woman may be infertile and unable to have kids. But, when it's the male counterpart that's infertile people immediately drop the subject and accept that the couple is indeed infertile. WHY? Why is infertility more condemning for the male than the female? Why is there more acceptance of the couple's plight when male infertility is involved? In our case people would not stop telling me to relax and I'd get pregnant. Or the famous now that you've adopted you'll be able to get pregnant. But as soon as people find out that our infertility is a shared challenge, then the advice stops. Please please please, recognize that infertility for a woman is just as much of a disease and a medical hindrance to getting pregnant as it is for a man.

3. Infertile couples are super touchy. If you read any infertile couple's blog it can seem that it's full of complaints of people saying the wrongs things or not saying the right thing. It seems there's no right thing to say to a couple struggling with infertility. You're inconsiderate if you open your mouth and inconsiderate if you don't it seems. Please know that despite our frustrations with the lack of education surrounding infertility, most of us vent these frustrations only on our blogs. And try to do so in a calm educated manner so as not to cause offense. All the couples I've met, including Gavin and I, mostly bite our tongues when faced with hurtful comments. If anything, I've learned patience, understanding, and meekness during our trials of infertility. We obviously know that most comments are meant with no ill will towards us. But we use the medium of blogging to correct and educate wrong assumptions regarding infertility.

Gavin and I feel incredibly blessed to have such supportive family and friends surrounding us during the difficult trials of infertility. Hearing other couple's stories, any hurtful comments or questions posed to us have been pretty mild or average in comparison to some.
So, THANK YOU!

Now get out there and bust an infertility myth! ;)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Looking for their second lil angel

I love to help spread the word for people who are adopting! Thanks to the word of mouth and blogging we have Nathan. I am so excited for my friend Jewls as they embark on the adoption journey once more!

Meet the Andreasens! 


Well, hello! We are Lance, Julie and Zachary. We're a happy family, blessed by adoption. We love long walks on the beach, sunsets...errr...wrong post, sorry! ;) We DO love walks to the park, hiking, and anything outside!  We love to play games, watch movies, and hang out with family. We love all kinds of sports. Lance especially loves basketball, soccer and golf, and Julie loves to run. We have very active lifestyles and hope to pass that on to our children.

We were married in 2007, and 'Z' joined our family in 2010 thanks to his courageous birth mom. We have an open adoption and we LOVE it. Zachary's birth mom is one of the most amazing people we know and we love having her in our lives. We are excited to be starting the adoption process again so that Z can be a big brother! Although life hasn't turned out like we planned, it is better than we ever imagined it! We're thankful every day to be a part of adoption, because it truly has blessed our lives.

We'd love to get to know you! Come visit us on our adoption blog, our everyday blog, or send us an email (lance-julie@hotmail.com)!

Much Love,
The Andreasens

Friday, April 8, 2011

O is for Optimism

Optimism is a must for life, but a huge must for anyone going through infertility or adoption.

To put it point blank, the odds are against you ever becoming a parent.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of married women (between ages 15-44) who struggle with any kind of infertility is 2.1 million. 

2.1 million

And that's not even including the men folk.

Then there's the odds of being able to adopt a newborn 
(if you're like us and didn't want to go severely into debt)

According to the site Adoption Under One Roof, for every newborn available for adoption there are an estimated 10+ families hoping to adopt them.

And the waiting period can vary hugely.

So optimism is essential during this process.

For us, maintaining optimism meant stop focusing on what we couldn't control:
like when the baby came

And to focus on what we could control:
like spreading the word that we were adopting
recruiting others to Team Holt to spread the word
blogging
getting awesome photos taken of us for pass along cards
networking with other infertile/adopting couples
etc

We also enjoyed doing things as a couple for "the last time for a while", knowing that we could still have a while till we were picked.
But it made all our fun times during "waiting" that much more meaningful.

There is so much you can do to maintain productivity while you're "waiting" and thereby maintain a sense of optimism for the future!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I is for Inspiration

I had come up with the idea for this series back in November 2010 and thankfully had written down what every letter in ADOPTION means to me. 

Today I feel it especially fitting for me to be on the letter "I" because I feel that "I" in adoption stands for Inspiration.

It's fitting because I was blessed to hopefully be of help to someone today in sharing facts and our adoption story.
Today I was told of my friend's younger sister, a girl who has just turned 15 and is pregnant.
She is considering abortion as one of her options and her loving older sister has been talking to her about adoption. 
My heart goes out to this young girl and her family.
I can only imagine what they all must be feeling!

I was ecstatic to be able to express my love for adoption and 
discuss our open relationship with Nathan's birth mother.

We love adoption!

So with those things in my mind I feel that,

I is for Inspiration
It's been almost exactly 2 years since my husband and I prayed as a family and decided to adopt. We had been struggling to get pregnant for nearly 5 years. We'd been through lots of tests and there would be more to come later that year. 

It was after spring General Conference during our Family Home Evening that Gavin said he wanted to "talk" to me. Of course, I was nervous! What could he be so serious about? He then told me for quite some time he'd been feeling like we needed to adopt. I was stunned. Floored more like it. We had already both thought about adopting in the future, you know after we had had kids of our "own". I hadn't considered starting our family with adoption. 

Remarkably I had been visiting teaching a mere five days before this to a woman who adopted one of her sons and whose daughter-in-law cannot bear children of her own and has adopted two children now. I was so touched by the story of her daughter-in-law's first adoption that I remarked something along the lines that "Families are supposed to be together no matter how they come together." 

When Gavin brought up us adopting my mind immediately reflected back to my statement to that woman. We then prayed as a family if this was really what our Heavenly Father wanted for us. I felt so strongly that He had a specific child that was supposed to come to our family. I was overwhelmed. Of course, I cried. 

During the adoption process we felt inspired of more choices we had to make regarding Nathan's adoption, as well as our interaction with Nathan's birth mom. Believe you me, we were on our knees quite a bit!

I'd say absolutely that every adoption story starts and 
is filled with continuous inspiration, to all parties involved.

From the birth mother's decision to adopt, 
to choosing the couple, 
to the couple choosing to adopt,
to what agency they choose, etc.

Adoption is an absolutely beautiful experience. No matter what side you are on, there is bitter and there is sweet. But throughout the road there is inspiration from a loving God throughout the way.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Moving

Sorry, this isn't a post about where/when we're moving 
but rather Nathan's new found ability to move anywhere he wants!

Last night he seems to have figured out how to roll everywhere!
To where he wants,
and to what he wants.

Cue need to maintain a floor free of clutter!
We've never had to do that before :\

Last night Gavin turned his back and when he turned to Nathan he was across the floor and chewing on Daddy's booklet from a company (dadada)
This guy moves FAST!

And he knows what he wants. 

Nothing is safe.
Not even a basket full of clean laundry.

I have a feeling from here on out I'm going to be on my toes!

As for our family moving, we're still working some things out so no publishing of plans as of yet.
I'm hoping we have everything figured out by the end of next week! YAY!
It's so cute!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Looking back to see God's Hand

It's nice to look back at the process of adopting Nathan and see some interesting things.

We decided to adopt in April 2009. A couple months later I decided to start a private blog to record our experiences and thoughts. Once we made our plans public I created this blog and ceased to write on the other one.


I re-read the old blog and came across something interesting.

Now knowing E's side of the story, it's been interesting to compare what was happening with her with what we were going through at the same time.

For instance, I came across this post logged in our journal:

Sunday, February 7, 2010
Nothing New, So I’m Blue
The title says it all. No news to report as far as our baby progress goes. But! Stayin positive right? We did receive our first baby present last night!

Two days later, E found out she was pregnant with Nathan. 

At the time I assumed we were still far away from becoming parents. How grateful I am to know now that God was already working on bringing us together to E and to Nathan. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dawning Realizations

Today was Nathan's baby blessing at our church and what a beautiful sweet experience that was to top off a great week!

Of course, I cried. Of course. My emotions have been very much on the surface this week. Gavin and I feel overwhelmingly blessed and we've had some "dawning realizations" today.

Dawning Realization Uno:
We feel free(?), for  lack of a better word. We realized that we are done with all the process of making Nathan our son. There are no more steps from here. No more following up with our attorney or scheduling appointments. It feels weird. But we feel as if we've finally arrived at the point most couples do when they bring their baby home from the hospital. We feel as if a huge weight has been lifted as we look to the future and realize that's it! Only parenthood from here on out! We are so excited!

Bring on the joys that parenthood offers! He's ours!

Dawning Realization Dos:
Gavin pointed out today that it will be 2 years next month since we started on our adoption journey to Nathan.

TWO YEARS

I couldn't believe it. In reality everything seemed to have happened so fast. And indeed, in the adoption world we were picked and he was placed quicker than the norm. I just couldn't believe it had been 2 years that we went from this:
mailing off our adoption paperwork, July 2009
Don't we look nervous?
to this:
Dawning Realization Tres:
Uhm, if it took 2 years to get Nathan, who like I said was placed with us super quick, does that mean we should have started on adopting Baby Holga/Butch yesterday? (author would like to affirm that she has better taste than to honestly name her children Holga, Butch, Eunice, Bob, and Buttkiss. That is all.) 

Dawning Realization Cuatro:
Baby Holga/Butch is in the Lord's hands and I'm gonna say "Hakuna Matata" for now and trust that He has things under control.  

Whew, thank heavens for dawning realizations huh? :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sealing the Deal

Today we "sealed the deal" as today was Nathan's sealing day in the Jordan River Temple.
Together Forever!
 What added to the beautiful experience was Nathan's birthmom was there waiting for us when we were done.

We felt so blessed to have her there. We feel such peace having such a great relationship with her. We really feel strongly that open adoption is the way to go, if possible, for anyone thinking about adoption. What better gift could either of his parents, biological and adopted, give their child than a healthy open relationship with his biological family?
open adoption = love
As we've navigated through what open adoption would mean for all of us, it felt so good to step back today and think that we've arrived at where I'd hope we be, at what I had hoped and imagined our relationship would be. I felt like it was a day of closure for us. We were finally done with the adoption process. Done!



There were so many times today I looked down at him in wonder that he was our son, as if he had been born to us. All thanks to one incredible woman who followed her heart and her head to give him the greatest gift she could, and simultaneously ended up giving us something we could not give ourselves. We truly feel so blessed, more than words can adequately express.
We love this photo because of the words in the background (oh and the adorable baby isn't bad either). We feel we owe everything to our Lord, Jesus Christ. We know where our blessings come from and we acknowledge His hand in our lives. Neither of us feel we deserve to be this happy or blessed with such a perfect son but we're glad God seems to feel differently!

Thanks again to everyone who gave their support to us over the past several years as we walked the bumpy road God gave us to welcome Nathan into our lives. Thanks also to all those who have welcomed him into their hearts. And finally, thanks to everyone who came today! We love you all!

This...

is what open adoption is all about.

Gavin, Me, Nathan, and his wonderful birthmom
More to follow, of course :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nathan's Adoption Finalization - a great start to the month of March

Early this morning we headed downtown to finalize Nathan's adoption into our family! We were so excited and we all wore our Sunday best for the occasion.

Isn't he handsome? :)
Court was ...court. The judge was rushed but amiable. There was another adoption he was doing that morning and they were late, so afterwards we were quickly ushered out of the courtroom to let them in. Hence no judge picture. But one thing he said I'll always remember. He said we were finalizing what was already official in our homes and hearts a long time ago. And that's exactly how we felt.

Since we didn't get any pictures at the courthouse we decided to walk around Temple Square to get some photos. (on occasions like these I ask myself why we don't wear tennis shoes with skirts?? I hate heels!)

I love Daddy-Nathan moments :)

haha-getting ready for Saturday, knocking on the Salt Lake Temple


"Oooh a doorknob"

We absolutely love this picture!

Legal and Lawfully Family


After walking around we took lil man to Build-A-Bear for his very first teddy bear that was "born" the day he became an official member of our family! Once we got home I caught some pics with him and "Teddy" :)


nom nom

Of course we bought the BYU tee for the bear! Are you suprised? ;)
It's so weird to think that we're done with the adoption part now! But we're so happy to have him officially part of our little family!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats "Ryan" and "mommamoo"! You are the winners of our Giveaway!

I'll ship out your book soon (mommamoo I'll see you Saturday haha)

Thanks everyone for the well wishes and congrats!



To prove I didn't cheat or show any bias :)

 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Legally and Lawfully...

A Family!

This morning we went to the courthouse downtown to finalize Nathan's adoption. It was wonderful to walk out thinking "It's official!".

I will post more of the day's story later but I first wanted to celebrate our blog going public! Hooray!

So how about a giveaway?

How about a book? Or even better, a book about adoption? :)

My fabulous friend Ashley wrote this book and she sent me some to give away to YOU! She was even sweet enough to sign the inside cover!

Reading this story the first time made me teary because it matches our story to adopt Nathan so much. I hope you will enjoy it!

I have two copies to giveaway and you can win! All you have to do is leave a comment offering congratulations to us (haha) or something about your own families. Easy enough right?

I'll close this tonight at midnight- it's a short giveaway - and I'll announce the winners tomorrow.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Oops! I totally spaced this on Monday, and I had even written it on my calendar! Sorry!

The winner is.... Tati!

To prove I didn't cheat or act in any bias :)










Congrats! Jessa from Memories Remixed will contact you to set up your free photoshoot!

Thanks to all those who participated!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Giveaway- Memories Remixed Photoshoot!

Hi everyone! Today is a fantastic day! You know why? 

Because I'm doing my very first Giveaway!

Remember our awesome family photos we got recently? If not, here's a reminder:



Our photos were taken by the fabulous Jessa Bills from Memories Remixed. She does a fabulous job on all her photo shoots and is very accommodating to your schedule.  
We love her! 
So to celebrate her awesomeness we're doing a photoshoot giveaway!

To enter:
1. Simply leave a  comment sharing a favorite family tradition you have. 
2. Like Memories Remixed Facebook page
It's that easy! 
Oh, and you must be in Utah to enter :)
Make sure to include your email address so I can email you the details after you've won.
Giveaway ends Sunday Feb 6th at midnight MST
I'll announce the winner on Monday Feb 7th!

Monday, January 31, 2011

T is for Time

Hello everyone! It's been a while but I'm trying to be a better blogger. It's one of my New Year's goals. You know, one of those goals you forget about till the end of January when you say, Oh yeah! I was going to do (insert forgotten goal here).

So in that vein I was looking over my blog and realized I need to finish my posts on ADOPTION.

So without further ado,  T is for Time.

I think if you're connected with adoption this goes without saying. Although heading into adoption I have to be honest and say that I was rather naive as to how much time adoption can take. The folks at LDSFS were very good at clearing that up rather quickly. So were other couples I talked to. I heard stories of it taking years to find their lil one and complete the adoption. I soon realized what we were in for.

Then I met a couple that had been chosen within the month that they were approved. I could only think of how incredibly lucky they were and how I hoped beyond hope our story would follow likewise. Deep down, I told myself not to expect it. After 5 years of set backs and disappointments who was I to think we'd get so lucky?

Then I realized something incredible about adoption time.

T doesn't stand for my time I realized. It stands for the Lord's time.

Every couple I talked to was blessed to adopt the child/children that the Lord intended for them. For some, that meant years of waiting to be chosen by whom the Lord was inspiring. For others, the time was now or much sooner.

Time is an incredible teacher. It's a teacher of faith, of patience, and of relying on the Lord that it's all in His hands.

Is this hard? Oh you betcha. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Most couples receive the joyous blessing of only waiting 9 months to receive their little angels.But for others like Gavin and myself, it takes longer. It involves Him inspiring the hearts of brave women and men, directing them to the couples He has chosen to raise the precious child they carry.

To you and me, time is measured in calendars, day planners, and clocks. We set alarms, make dates, schedule appointments.

God's time is different. He softens hearts, whispers inspiration, moves people toward the right places and the right Time.

And then the pieces fall into place.

For us, we were chosen 4 months after being approved to adopt. We were overjoyed but surprised. Being the cynic that I am (my bad) I had expected to be in for the long haul.

But God knew exactly who was supposed to come to our family. And He knew exactly when. While we were filling out paperwork, he was instructing a brave young woman.

When I match the events on our side of the timeline to Nathan's birth mother it's astounding to think of what was going on, but I had no idea.

And it's like that for every one of us.

Every one who is waiting for something, or someone, there's a loving Heavenly Father pulling the pieces together. The right person, the right time, and the right place.

T in adoption is indeed for Time. But the beautiful lesson I learned is it's not my time, or your time, or the neighbor down the street's time. It His time and he's mindful of all of us.

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