Thursday, September 30, 2010


We have filled out all of our paperwork. We have attended classes. We have spoken with other adoptive parents. We have even been told of a few birth mother situations. The problem is, none of them feel right. When will we know? No situations are perfect. No situations are without issues. So, are we just being picky? Or are we doing the right thing? I have to admit, when I hear things like, "Birth father isn't willing to relinquish rights, and please see our attorney" or "Birth mother smokes a pack a day and birth father is bipolar", it makes it a little.....daunting? Uncomfortable? I don't know the right word to use here. The only thing I know is that none of these situations feel right, and I am really tired of waiting for my baby. *sigh* More waiting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another Step Closer!!!

Today I got a call from Jeri at Act of Love. She told me that our application was approved by their committee, and that the file is now moved to the active status, and is being given to another agency worker. Our file is now ready to be shown to birth mothers!!! I am so excited!! And scared, and nervous, and anxious. Are we ready for this? Are we prepared? We have the furniture, sitting in our front room, waiting for a baby to place in it. But are we, as a family, prepared for this new little life to join our family? I think so. No, I know so. And I am so excited!!! I can't wait to see his little face. Will he have hair? Or will he be bald? Will he be chunky? Or will he be skinny? I honestly don't care what he looks like. I just want to hold him in my arms, and maybe, just maybe, let the rest of our family hold him too.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

One More Step

So the other day, I was on the phone with a friend, when I noticed that our Social Worker was walking up our porch steps. "Oh, wait. I see Isaac. Can I call you back?" "Of course! Call me back and let me know what he says." I was so excited. We had made our $$$huge amount processing fee, and the agency had already taken it out of our checking account, so I was very hopeful. Unfortunately, this visit had nothing to do with our baby, and everything to do with our son and the church program, Duty to God. That's okay, I told myself. As he was leaving, I mentioned that we made the processing fee, and he said "Yes. And now it only has to go by one other person on the committee." After that, our profile will be shown to birth mothers. I am excited, nervous, and scared all at the same time. But mostly, I am just anxiously waiting to hear, "So we have this birth mother....."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

How did she know?

Do you ever feel, when you are working on something, that you keep taking 2 steps forward, and 1 step back? Or maybe not a step but a huge push back? That's what's been going on here for a little while now. This process all started because of a strong feeling, or prompting, I had in church. I have realized that the farther away we get from spiritual experiences, the more we allow outside influences to interfere with our goals. We fight more as a family. Family prayer doesn't always happen, and neither does couple prayer. Church becomes more of a habit instead of a spiritual experience surrounding our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. And you start to question things. Are we doing the right thing? Is this really God's plan for us? Are we being fair to our children? These are the things that have been going on in our home. It's been 7 months since we decided to start this process. 6 months since we started the process with our agency. I really thought that by now, we would have another wonderful blessing in our home. So I start to wonder, Have my actions made me unworthy for this blessing? Am I doing everything in my power to bring our son home? Have I not been the example and leader to my children that I need to be? I'm not sure about the answers to these questions, but I did have a wonderful experience lately that helped me see that we are on the right path, still.
Last month Kyle and I had a discussion about our adoption, and where we felt we were at and what we needed to do. We changed or prayers from "Please help us find the money" to "Please help us know what we should do." Meaning, should we keep going or stop? I personally prayed that we would know what changes we needed to make, and whether or not we were still supposed to keep going with the adoption. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church listening to the speakers, praying about our dilemma, when the most amazing feeling of peace came over me. I felt that we were back on the right path, and that we needed to just keep going forward. That week, as I continued to pray about what we should do, I had another wonderful experience. I had gone to the gym one morning, and when I got home I decided to eat something healthy and watch a little TV before I took a shower and got ready for the day. As I was sitting in my family room, I heard this huge thunk in my front room. We don't have a mail box, we have a slot in our front door, and occasionally I hear a thunk when we get a catalog in the mail. Thinking nothing of it, I just finished my show and my snack. When I went upstairs, I decided to look in my front room, and see if maybe something fell. There was a big manila envelope on the floor, with my name on it from my BF Christy. I call her My Chris, because we've been friends since college. She is one of the most Christ like people I have ever met, and is a huge inspiration to me. My birthday was the week before, so I thought maybe it was a little something for my special day. When I opened it, there was a book on adoption stories, and the most wonderful note inside. As I looked at the title to the book, I started to cry. Was it possible that God answered my prayers through a friend? I had heard stories of things like this happening to people, where they were in total despair, and someone just "had a feeling" that they needed them. But never has that happened so obviously to me. Inside the book, she wrote, "I hope this brings you the joy and peace that you need." How did she know? How did she know that peace was exactly what I needed? How did she know that I was seeking confirmation that this was still the right thing for us? How? I was too emotional to call her that day, so I waited. When Kyle came home that night, I showed him the book, and told him some of the beautiful stories I read. Stories about adoptive parents, praying for a child, and God hearing their prayers and performing miracles. And heartbreaking stories of young girls, loving their babies enough to give them to parents who could give them the things that they couldn't. It was beautiful.
The next day, I called My Chris to thank her. I asked her, "How did you know?" Well, it turns out, she had had that book for a little while. She didn't read it, and wasn't sure if it was good, and she wasn't sure if she was even going to send it to me. But she had this strong feeling that she needed to send it to me, and she needed to do it then. I thanked her for this book, and we had a wonderful talk about family, and prayer, and staying on the right path. It was exactly what I needed. So now, our prayers are, once again, "Please help us find the money." We know what we need to do. We know that there is a baby waiting for us. We are making different choices. We are doing things as a family, and trying to not let outside influences affect us. We are trying to be patient. And, we are waiting for our baby.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Teen Father's

Too often, we focus on teen mom's who place their children in loving homes with adoptive parents, never thinking about the birth father's and their sacrifices. The main reason, I think, is because most of these father's find out about their children, and take off physically or emotionally. They say things like "Take care of it," or, "It's not my kid." However, this is not always the case. There are several instances where birth father's are torn, and devastated with the thought of "giving up" their children, yet they agree to place their baby in a home with a stable couple who can give their child everything they can't. So if these "Dad's" are out there, why don't we ever really talk about them? Is it because emotionally we can better connect to the mother's? Or is it because while pregnancy is obvious in women, you can't tell by looking at a man if he's about to have a baby? Whatever the reason, whenever we hear of teen pregnancy, the first thing we picture is some poor girl, wandering the halls of her high school, her books in her arms and her belly protruding and leading the way, as other girls look on, judging her for her obvious poor choice. Why do we never picture the father, running around the track or practicing on the football field with his teammates? No one looks at him with judgment in their eyes, thinking things like, "What a waste", or "How tragic".
Well, this may no longer be the case, thanks to shows like Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. I admit, I have watched these shows, late at night on On Demand, while my children were asleep and my husband was working late. I watched as one girl fought with her parents, and her baby's father was no where to be found. I watched as another couple were drifting apart, which is normal with most teenage romances, but complicates things when a baby is on the way. I watched as another couple were trying to figure out career choices such as joining the military, a dream that both of them had, now changed with the birth of their daughter. As I watched these couples, one thing really struck me. Why haven't any of these couples thought of placing these babies in homes where there are 2 parents who have already made a commitment to each other, and are desperate to share their love with a child, but can't have one of their own? Am I being to judgemental? Some of these couples are trying desperately to stay together, while other's are so obviously falling apart. And it's all very complicated by the obvious fact that they are teenagers. Teenagers are very famous for being, um, selfish. I admit, I was the most selfish teenager I knew. It was always about what I wanted and how I felt and if it worked for me. I never gave much thought to the future, or how my actions affected the people around me. I would have made a terrible mother. Now, this is not the case for all of the mothers on this show. And, to be fair, I haven't seen every episode so I can't say for sure how all of the parents are, especially since we all know that television shows are edited. But what I do know is that at 16, most of us are not emotionally capable of the responsibility of raising a child.
Which is why I applauded one young couple on the show who decided to place their baby for adoption. The ultimate sacrifice. I can't tell you their exact reasoning, because I wasn't there. What I do know is that they wanted their daughter to have a wonderful life, one that they knew they couldn't give her. So they did the best thing they could. Words cannot fully describe the emotions I felt, watching this young couple describe what it was like to place that baby in another couple's arms. I still tear up, just thinking about it. The thing that was truly unique about this situation, was that it wasn't just the mom that discussed her feelings, but the father, as well. This boy is only 17, and he was mature enough to take responsibility for his actions, as well as make a decision based on the needs of the child, not his desire to play house. Harsh words, I know. And to anyone who I might offend, I am truly sorry. But I have to admit, I believe that in these situations, the best thing is to think of what's best for the baby, and not just what the parents want.
Okay, enough soap box moments. The reason I was writing this post is because of an episode I saw of Teen Mom not that long ago. In this episode, Tyler and Catelynn have been going through some things that no teen couple should have to go through. I won't go in to detail, but if you want to know, feel free to click on the link above and you can watch episodes of the show. The main thing that struck me was when Tyler talked about how guilty he felt placing Carly up for adoption. He felt that he shouldn't be going out and having fun, because essentially he still felt like a father. OMGOSH! I was floored. He discussed his feelings with Catelynn, and they agreed to meet with a social worker from their adoption agency, and talk about why they feel this way. This kind woman gave Tyler the number of another birth father, and they showed him on the phone, talking about Carly, and how he felt about her being gone. As the tears were streaming down his face, my heart broke for him. He didn't agree to place Carly simply because he wanted to have fun and move on with his life. He did this because he loved her, just as much as Catelynn does. So my question is, why don't we ever think about the birth dad's, and their sacrifice? I always picture the birth mom daydreaming about her baby, picturing what they would look like 10 years later, with tears going down their face. (Yes, I know, I'm very dramatic) So why do I never picture the dads? Do they dream about what it would have been like tossing the ball back and forth with their sons, or taking their little girls out for ice cream? Am I the only person who does this? Well, I will no longer only think about our baby's birth mother. I will also think about the father, and hope that he's like Tyler, who loved his daughter so much he wanted to give her more. Thank you, MTV and Teen Mom, for opening my eyes, and making me see that there's more to adoption stories than birth mother's. These children have birth father's, too. And they deserve to be recognized as well.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

One Step Closer

Well, it's been a while since I last updated. Not much has happened on the baby front. We're still waiting, but we have finished with our paperwork, and our social worker came over for our home study. He actually prefers for your house to not be spotless, so he can get a sense of how you really live. I did clean up, though I didn't do a deep cleaning where everything is perfect because that's just not realistic. The nice thing was he gave us a heads up at a church function. He tells me, "Your fingerprints are done, so we can do your homestudy now." Kyle looked at him and asks, "So how many carbon monoxide detectors would you like to see?" "At least one." That afternoon Kyle did a run to Wal-Mart and picked one up. He also picked up a mini safe to go in our larger safe for important paperwork like birth certificates, life insurance info and our marriage license. After we put the paperwork away, Kyle put all of his ammunition in the safe, so it wasn't lying around our bedroom. Isaac came by the following evening, walked through the house, and told me that he would turn in his report that week. And for now, that's it. We still have to take a couple of parenting classes, but they aren't offering anymore until later this month. And the fire station isn't offering a CPR class until September, but those 2 things won't keep us from getting our baby if he comes soon. And if he comes tomorrow, well, even though the house isn't completely ready, I have a place to put him! My wonderful sister-in-law gave us some of her old baby furniture. We now have a crib, a bassinet, a stroller/carseat combo, and a jogging/walking stroller. And a sweet family in our church gave us 2 totes full of baby boy clothes. Most of it is 3-6 months and bigger, but I was able to find a few 0-3 month and some newborn items. It was so fun to go through everything, and show it to my kids. "When are we getting our baby?" is a question I hear daily. My standard reply is "When Heavenly Father is ready to send him to us." I love the fact that they call him "our baby". They pray for him and for his birth mother every day. "Please bless us that he will come soon. Please bless his birth mom that she will be healthy." It's so sweet.
I had a conversation with another adoptive mother who strongly urged me to make sure that the day we bring him home, we don't invite anyone over who has given us cause to doubt, or who hasn't been supportive. She said to surround ourselves with people who love us, and who have supported us through this process. She said, "Have your husband park far away from the house so people think you're gone. Take the phone off the hook, and turn your cell phones off. Bring your children on your bed, and have family bed time, where you just snuggle together with the new baby. Have your hubby get takeout, and spend the evening being alone. Then invite people over the next day." I'm really starting to like this advice. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of it being just us for his first 24 hours home. She also encouraged us to do skin-to-skin. I first heard of this when our oldest was a baby in the NICU. They have the mom's take off their tops, only leaving on their bra's, and have the dad's take their shirts off. You strip your baby down to his diaper, and lay him on your bare chest. Since adoptive parents aren't usually there when the baby is first born, they don't get to bond immediately. Skin-to-skin helps with the bonding process, and I can attest to this from my past experience. It's a wonderful feeling, and I can't wait till we can try it with our baby boy.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Still, still waiting

Sigh...... Still waiting. So what do I do to keep my mind from going to this adoption 24-7? I go to the movies with my kids. I do laundry, although not nearly as often as I should. I hang out with friends and family. I watch TV. I cook. But it's still there in the back of my mind. When will we find our baby? When? I honestly don't know. I do know that life goes on. Things need to get done, laundry needs to be washed, kids need to be fed, and bathrooms need to be cleaned.

I had the opportunity to talk with the mom of one of my daughter's friends, and we spent about an hour just visiting about families and adoption. She mentioned that families usually adopt more than one child. Is that true? I'm not exactly sure. Although I was able to mention two of my besties who are adopted, who were the only ones adopted in their families. Now, having said that, I knew several more who adopted more than one. So, the question is, are we going to be done with just the one? Or is there going to be another baby coming in to our family? I have a hunch, but I'm not going to say either way, because I don't want to focus on that now. I want to focus on my 3 kids at home, and pray for our baby who is coming and most especially pray for his birth mother. I can't tell the future any more than the average person, so I'm going to live in the present, and take care of the things that are right in front of me. Sigh...... I hate waiting.