Come and get to know us...

This is our story: Ryan and I were set up on a blind date by my sister and his sister-in-law. I was living in Utah at the time and he was in Washington. We went on a fabulous date to dinner and an Arena football game. It was great and Ryan loved that I knew what was going on and loved sports. At the end of the date he asked if he could see me the next day before I left to go back to Utah. We played games with his family the next night and had a great time. We talked for a long time that night and wondered when we could see each other again. And he kissed me good night!
Ryan called me every day that week and one day he asked if I would go to a concert with him on a Tuesday night. I didn't think there was anyway that I could fly up and go, but I worked it out that I would fly there on Tuesday and fly back to Utah on Wednesday. It was great to see him again. He flew to Utah a couple weeks after that. We were just hitting it off so well. One night as we were talking he opened up. I knew that he had had cancer and had been through so much a few years earlier. We had talked about that, but this night he went into much more depth--especially the side effects of all the treatments that he had undergone. He told me how he would probably never be able to have biological children and he asked how I felt about adoption. This kind of shocked me, but I cared about Ryan and wanted to pursue this relationship. I wasn't going to end things because of this news. And adoption had always appealed to me.
We continued our long distance relationship. In June, after about 6 weeks of going back and forth, I made the decision to move to Washington to be closer to him. Timing of the blind date was perfect so that I could make this decision. I had recently graduated from BYU and was working at two part time jobs that I could easily leave. In July I moved to Washington. I found a job and in August Ryan proposed. We were married in October. From the first date to our wedding was not quite 6 months. I swore I would never do that, oh well, he was the right one, at the right time, in the right place. We went on a cruise for our honeymoon. It was awesome! After being married for about 6 months, we both individually decided that it was time to add to our family of two. We knew that we would need to see the fertility specialist and do in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in order to have a baby. As we went through the IVF treatments, we had all the faith in the world that it was going to happen. The doctor told us that there was not a very good chance, but we had faith. Unfortunately it didn’t work. We were completely heartbroken.
Over the next few months we had to grieve with the loss of the child we never had.
We eventually felt blessed that without being married a year, we knew that we were infertile and didn't have to deal with the month to month pain of not being pregnant. By the end of the year we were ready to start the adoption process. When we called LDS Family Services, they told us that we would have to wait until we had been married for two years before we could proceed. We asked for them to make a special exception, but they couldn't. So we waited.
Ryan and I filled out all the paperwork and did all the necessary things to get approved for adoption. After we were approved we told everyone that we knew that we were trying to adopt and asked them to help spread the news. A little over a year after we had been approved we got an email from my aunt who lives in another state. She told me that she knew someone that was pregnant and not married and was considering placing her son for adoption. My aunt had shared with her our blog and information. Our sweet Julie read it and felt like we were to be the parents of her little boy. She emailed a couple of days and we read the sweetest words: “I've read your blog and it really touched me. Ever since I found out I was pregnant I never felt much like it was supposed to be mine. Please let me know if you can consider adopting my son. I know you will be a great choice.” We immediately felt so peaceful. We started emailing back and forth and building a relationship with her. We visited her a few weeks later and she immediately felt like family. About 3 months after she contacted us for the first time, she called us to let us know that the baby was going to be born that day. We jumped on the next flight and made it to the hospital a few hours after our sweet baby Lucas was born.
We spent time in the hospital with Julie and we met Lucas’ birthfather. We had a great time getting to know him and his family. We really cherished the time that we got to spend with Julie and Scottie and their families. When Lucas was 11 days old we flew home to Washington. We were so happy to be a family of 3!
Lucas is such a happy boy. We love being his parents! He is now 2 years old. We are now hoping to add another child to our family. We want him to be a big brother.

We have met with our caseworker and filled all the necessary paperwork and completed the background checks. We are now approved for adoption and looking for our next child! We are so excited for what the future will bring!
"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude." -Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin "Come What May, and Love It"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

And His name shall be called Wonderful.

I am ever grateful for a baby that was born so long ago.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

6 months closer

Today is officially 6 months since becoming approved for adoption. Tonight we celebrated our infertility and that we are 6 months closer to becoming parents by going to dinner at Qdoba.

We got to babysit our 6-week-old nephew, Oliver, on Saturday. It was so fun to have a little baby in our home. He got lots of cuddle time and kisses. He was so sweet and happy. If I ask Santa for a baby like him, do you think he will bring me one?

We taught him to love football.

And the Mariners...which includes the Ken Griffey Jr doll that we have.

Ava, our 4-year-old niece, came to play and make cookies after Church on Sunday. We had lots of fun. She is always my favorite helper. We then settled down and read some books while the cookies baked.

We love all our nieces and nephews. And we love when they come and play! They are welcome anytime, (just let us know beforehand because our Christmas tree is blocking the front door!).

Monday, November 30, 2009

Growing up adopted

I have 9 cousins who were adopted and one of my cousins has 2 daughters who were adopted. My family loves adoption. It has been such a blessing to all of us.

I asked one of my cousins, Leslie, to help out by answering some questions about her adoption. She is a super cute 17-year-old. She was adopted from Guatemala when she was a baby. I remember she was the most beautiful baby. She was so happy and loved to laugh. And she still does. She recently won Miss Idaho Days. She is an amazing dancer.

Ok well first of all i think it's amazing that you're doing this!

How do you feel about being adopted?
I was so young that it didn't really have an effect on me because when they were still getting used to me i was too little to remember it. So i've never felt like i didn't belong or i wasn't loved. I love the fact that I'm adopted and different. I'm proud of who I am!

When did you first come to know that you were adopted?
Ummmm I don't really know. I've always known I was adopted so it's just always been normal there was never a shock

Did you ask questions about your adoption?
I always ask questions about being adopted. My parents can't always answer them but I know that I'll find out my answers someday.

How would your parents explain to you about your adoption?
They would always tell me how my birthmom loved me so much that she placed me with a family who could take care of me and love me. It's never been a bad thing that I've been adopted, it's always been positive.

Is there anything you wish your parents had done differently?
All kids have problems with their parents so of course there are things I wish they'd do different but nothing about my adoption. I just wish they'd take me back to go see what it's like. But i also with they would have kept for the the culture with me. I don't know that much about it and I wish I did.

Is there anything else that you would like to say about adoption?
Just love your child as much as any kid. Some times you have to love adopted kids more but Ithink if you get them where there younger it's easier. I'd say shoot for before walking and talking stage so you can raise them how you want them to be raised the older you get the harder it is. I wish you the best of luck! Send me a picture when you have your baby! I want updates on all of the adoption! Love ya, Leslie
Thanks Leslie! Love ya too.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

71 people, 41 pies, and so much fun

Pies, pies, and more pies
Lots of us playing games

I love Thanksgiving. I love going to my Grandma's for Thanksgiving. She lives in a small, small farm town. Ryan and I decided last minute that we were going to go, and luckily it all worked out so that we could go. There were 71 people for dinner! And we had 41 pies! We played lots of fun games. It was a great time to be with my family.
Another great part of this year is that my best friend and family just moved to the same small town as my Grandma. Random and crazy that they live there. I got to hang out with her and it was so fun. I went to visit them in Indiana last year and now it is so nice that they live closer. I can't wait to go visit them again.
We also have a great family tradition for Black Friday...We go to the temple and as a family we participate in sealings and the younger kids do baptisms. There were 49 members of my family that attended the temple. We did 221 sealings, 240 baptisms, and 240 confirmations. We were in a sealing room with my parents, three of my sisters and their husbands. It was such a great experience. We got very emotional as we thought about taking our children to the temple someday and being sealed to them. What an amazing blessing that will be. I love them temple and I am so grateful to know that families can be eternal because of the temple.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


While I am eating turkey and ice cream and pie at my Grandma's...

I am so thankful for adoption. It is the way that we are going to be able to build our family and I am so excited.

Wanna read some good heart-warming adoption stories???

Go here

Or here

Or even here

Or here

This one is good too if you have a few minutes and some kleenex

Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Adoption Advocacy

At the adoption conference I went to a few weeks ago I went to a class on adoption advocacy taught by Lindsey. These are the things that she presented:

What does it mean to be an adoption advocate?
  • Dispelling myths and clarifying misconceptions
  • Opening your mouth
  • Helping people use correct terminology
  • Sharing your passion for and testimony of adoption
  • Educating
  • Increasing awareness of adoption

Even busy people can advocate for adoption

  • Everyone is busy, but everyone has time to be an adoption advocate
  • "The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities" Stephen Covey
  • If you feel that it's important, you can make time for it

Anyone can advocate--no matter how much time you have

  • Anything you do--no matter how big or small--is better than nothing
  • There are things that you can do by yourself, with family, with friends, with your community or neighborhood

A couple things that you can do now:

  • Keep adoption info in your wallet/purse to distribute when prompted--pass along cards
  • Talk about adoption/Pass out materials to doctors, hairdressers, waiters, teachers, friends, family
  • If you already have a blog: Add a list of couples who are hoping to adopt (or just my little button I give you permission to use that picture); link to their profiles or adoption blogs
  • Add the Its About Love button to your blog

I know that adoption is on my mind a whole lot. I really want to help out and not just because we are desperately wanting to adopt. I just think that it is a great thing to be involved with. I know the struggles we have been through and are going through and if I can make it easier for another couple, that is awesome.

Be an adoption advocate.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 161 Approved and Searching

Truthfully, I thought that once we got approved something would happen quickly. Or at least that is what I really hoped for. That is one of the reasons why I was so urgent to become approved. Our caseworker at the time didn't "get" that urgency that we were feeling. Now after 161 days being approved, I don't really know what to think or feel. I know that our baby is going to come to us at the right time, but I just didn't think that we wouldn't know when that right time was by now.

161 days

23 weeks

5 months, 1 week, and 1 day

We continue to pray that we will be parents. We continue to pray for the birth mother of our child that she will have strength and courage to make the right choice. And that she will be supported in that decision. We continue to pray that she will come in contact with our information and recognize us when she does. It will happen, I just know it. Please pray with us.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pass Along Cards Part 2

Pass-Along Cards are a good way to get the word out that we are hoping to adopt! We pass them out to family, friends, coworkers, ward members, college roommates, doctors and nurses, the lady that cuts my hair. My sister has given them to her ob/gyn.

I have given out many pass along cards to family and friends. We don't expect that every single one given out will result in a baby, but we have faith that somehow they will get to the right person. I still have lots of cards so if you need more, please let me know. I will send you some.
Right now I have a stack of my pass-along cards as well as a few other couples' pass-along cards in my purse. So if they don't like us, maybe they will like some of my friends who are trying to adopt.

Please help spread the word.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Adoption Process

The following are just some of the things we did to begin the adoption application process through LDS Family Services.

  • Obtain 4 non-family references + bishop's reference. (Our bishop had to verify we had current temple recommends.)

  • Complete a series of interviews with an LDSFS case worker (both as a couple and individually).

  • Complete the online application (this takes days to complete: it asked us about everything about us and our entire life and our entire family including the heights, hair color, professions of siblings and parents. It also asked our preferences for a child and birthparents.)

  • Fill out separate paper applications that include questions about our household's income, debt and tax info.

  • Pass an FBI background check with fingerprints.

  • Pass a state criminal background check. And if we had lived in another state for the last five years that state's background check. Since I had been a missionary in Hong Kong in the last five years I had to show proof that I was honorably released.

  • Pass a Home Study, where our case worker visited your home for an evaluation.

  • Pass a physical.

  • Provide state certified copies of both of our birth certificates, marriage license, and a copy of our temple sealing certificate.

  • Complete our online profile, I also created this blog.

  • Write a letter to prospective birth parents.

There are so many waiting couples (currently 925), birth parents can basically make a "wish list" of what they want in a couple and then most likely find the couple that fits it. They can narrow down a search by which state they live in, their ages, their willingness to have an open adoption, if they already have children, if they have a family pet, education/degrees, returned missionary status (for husband and/or wife), etc.

with help from here

Friday, November 20, 2009

Emotional Rollercoaster

This article features a couple that had struggled with infertility and chose adoption. They were placed with two babies born only six weeks apart.

"Many Mormon adoptive parents ride an emotional roller coaster as they try to find the child or children meant for them. They wait for months and even years for a placement only to find they have to hurry to catch a plane, file last-minute paperwork or decorate a nursery.

The Los Angeles couple say the secret to achieving a successful adoption lies in not giving up, not becoming bitter and not getting angry at God for one's circumstances."

At the beginning of this month I thought it would be a great idea to feature things about adoption all month long to celebrate National Adoption Month. Yesterday I was having a terrible, no good, very bad day and didn't have anything uplifting to write.

Today is a brighter day.

When we were driving back from Portland, we decided to stop at some waterfalls. We decided to hike up to the falls. We didn't know how far it was or where the path ended up, we just kept going. We enjoyed the hike and there were beautiful views. There were many steep parts of the hike with switchbacks, but when we made it and realized how far we had come, we were happy that we did it. Our path to grow our family so far has had many switchbacks. We don't know when the chance to be parents will happen. We are enjoying what we are doing right now, but also looking forward to what is to come. We are realizing how far we have come and know that we are stronger because of it. It will happen...eventually.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Article: Old Thinking vs. New Thinking

Old Think vs. New Think
*The OLD think is in BLUE.
If I find myself unexpectedly pregnant, abortion and single parenting are my only choices.
There is a third choice, one that has proven to be a success for birth mothers and children–the adoption option.
I would never consider adoption–it would be too hard.
Which ever choice you make will present many hardships–adoption may be no more difficult than abortion or single parenting.
My friends and family will think I'm terrible giving up my own flesh and blood.
Adoption is not "giving up," it is giving to–a decision you have carefully made out of love for the future of your child and yourself.
I'll never know what happened to my baby. I simply couldn't live that way.
The old way of doing adoptions (secrecy and no control) is out. The new way–open adoption–allows you to make the decisions regarding the future of your child and yourself.
Why adoption? Isn't it just for people who can't have their own kids?
Not necessarily true. Yes, some people cannot biologically conceive, but adoption provides a family for a child, not a child for a family.
Kids who are adopted have lots of problems.
Not founded in fact. Refer to the Search Institute Study. Children who are adopted have, among other characteristics, high self-esteem and positive identity concerns at rates as high or higher than their peers.
What about me? I feel it's my responsibility to raise my child.
Your responsibility is to make the very best and informed decision that you can for your child. Studies show that birth mothers who make an adoption plan typically move on with their life, finish their education, have a career, and eventually marry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Superman was adopted

"Even those with only a casual knowledge of Superman knows he was born on planet Krypton, and was sent by his parents in a ship to Earth, right before the annihilation of his home planet.
Superman crash lands, is taken in by a kindly couple, and raised to adulthood.
Now think for a minute if Clark Kent’s adoptive parents hadn’t done a good job raising him, or if Clark had moped around feeling sorry for himself. What if he had decided to find a darker purpose to use his super powers? Lex Luther would be the least of our worries."
Read more about what Superman and Little Orphan Annie have in common
Here is an another great article:

Monday, November 16, 2009


Elder Russell M. Nelson: Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless
Talk given October 2008 General Conference

With that understanding and reverence for life, we deplore the loss of life associated with warfare. The data are appalling. In World War I, more than 8 million military fatalities occurred. In World War II, more than 22 million servicemen and women died. Together, these two wars, covering portions of 14 years, cost the lives of at least 30 million soldiers worldwide. That figure does not include the millions of civilian casualties.
These data, however, are dwarfed by the toll of another war that claims more casualties annually than did World War I and World War II combined. Worldwide reports indicate that more than
40 million abortions
are performed per year.
This war called abortion is a war on the defenseless and the voiceless. It is a war on the unborn. This war is being waged globally. Ironically, civilized societies that have generally placed safeguards on human life have now passed laws that sanction this practice.

Why destroy a life that could bring great joy to others? There are better ways of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. When a life is created by sinful behavior, the best way to begin personal repentance is to preserve the life of that child. To add another serious sin to a serious sin already committed only compounds the grief. Adoption is a wonderful alternative to abortion. Both the baby and the adoptive parents can be greatly blessed by the adoption of that baby into a home where the child will be lovingly nurtured and where the blessings of the gospel will be available.

Adoption—A Loving Decision That Blesses the Child
“We … express our support of unwed parents who place their children for adoption in stable homes with a mother and a father. We also express our support of the married mothers and fathers who adopt these children.
“Children are entitled to the blessing of being reared in a stable family environment where father and mother honor marital vows. Having a secure, nurturing, and consistent relationship with both a father and a mother is essential to a child’s well-being. When choosing adoption, unwed parents grant their children this most important blessing.
Adoption is an unselfish, loving decision that blesses the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents in this life and throughout the eternities.
We commend all those who strengthen children and families by promoting adoption.”
First Presidency statement, Oct. 4, 2006.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Adoption Books

My children are going to know that they were adopted. At the adoption conference I went to, I heard from a few people about their adoption books. Their mothers had put together their own adoption story and it was a bedtime favorite. I want to do that for my kids and help them feel the love that their birth mothers had for them.

Here are some other great adoption books that you can check out from your library:
"Tell me again how you couldn't grow a baby in your tummy, so another woman who was too young to take care of me was growing me and she would be my birth mother, and you would adopt me and be my parents."

One of my favorite parts from Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born is "Tell me again about the first time you held me in your arms and called me your baby sweet. Tell me again how you cried happy tears."

And here is Ryan's favorite part, "Tell me again about the first night you were my daddy and you told me about baseball being the perfect game, like your daddy told you."

Today we have been approved for 5 months. 153 days approved and waiting

Saturday, November 14, 2009


hope [hohp] : 1. the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; 2. to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; 3. to believe, desire, or trust; 4. to feel that something desired may happen

I wear this necklace almost daily to remind me of what I hope for the most. As I put it on and hold it throughout the day, I think of a sweet girl who is making an incredible decision that will help us become a family of three.

On other days I wear this one:

When I wear this one people comment about my necklace and then I can share my testimony about adoption. I love adoption.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Empty cribs and hearts

Something devastating happened this week and it has been weighing on my mind all week. My cousin passed away. He was younger than I am. I haven't seen him since Thanksgiving at Grandma's three years ago. Through this tragedy, I have realized just how much I love my family, my entire family. My mother has 10 brothers and sisters, and so I have many, many cousins. I want to be with them and tell them how much I love them. And just cry with them. I tried to figure out a way to make it down there and support them, but it didn't work out. I love my family and am so happy to have the family I have. Tell those around you that you love them often. And find joy in the journey as President Monson says.

If there are people reading this, you may have noticed that I am supporting National Adoption Month by posting things about adoption. Today I am going to post something a little bit more personal; some of my feelings.

We put up the crib and did a few things to the baby's room recently. I don't know if this was a good idea or a bad idea. It is nice to have things in there to remind us that this is our goal. And maybe to exercise our faith that we will be parents. It is a reminder that there is an end in sight and that this is what we are hoping and praying for everyday. Some days I just have to shut the door and not look in there, because it stings that we have not been blessed with children, yet.

My heart yearns to be a mother. And although that is my #1 goal right now, our infertility and adoption status do not define me. These things weigh on my mind very frequently, but I am able to enjoy other things. I definitely cry more than I want to, but I am so happy. I feel so blessed and know that the blessings keep coming. The Lord has a plan for us and our little family. My family will be created by divine design. We plead with Heavenly Father daily that the birth mother of our child we be courageous and that she will be supported in her decision to place. We plead that she will be able to recognize us and know that we are the right family and we will know that that baby is the right baby. I know it will happen, and it will happen in the Lord's time. Our baby will come to us and fill that crib and our hearts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why LDS Family Services?

As we were deciding to adopt, we automatically thought of LDS Family Services. We knew some about their services, but as we have gone through the approval process, we have understood more and more about what they do. We are grateful for LDS Family Services and the workers. After expensive fertility treatments, we knew that LDSFS adoptions were subsidized by tithing and are so grateful for that or else I think we would have to waited a lot longer to save enough money.

LDSFS has a new, revamped website called Its About Love

Here are some excerpts from a great article on the new website:

Not just an adoption-only resource, includes content on single parenting, marriage, abortion and adoption. It includes information about pregnancy trimesters, answers frequently asked questions about pregnancy and adoption, and dispels many myths. While the LDS Church opposes abortion -- with possible exception to extreme circumstances -- and strongly supports two-parent families, alternatives like abortion and single parenting are discussed because "making a good decision means honestly considering all possible options," the Web site states. "The greatest peace of mind comes from the certainty that you have been thorough and honest in considering every possibility."

While the changes are clearly attracting new individuals to the site, the agency is far from abandoning its roots. also includes updated resources for expectant mothers and fathers who plan to place their child with an adoptive family. Videos from birth mothers offer real-life stories and experiences. Couples looking to adopt a child also benefit from the new site and its increased capabilities.
Unlike the old Web site, includes information for everyone impacted by an unexpected pregnancy.
"My Pregnancy," "What Are My Options?" and "Real-Life Stories" are geared mainly toward expectant mothers. "Our Daughter is Pregnant" reaches out to parents. "My Girlfriend is Pregnant" supplies information and lends support to birth fathers.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adoption Language: Promoting a Positive Image Article

Poor adoption language can really hurt a child and a family. Adoption affects so many Americans. At least 6 million people in the U.S. were adopted into their families, and the number of Americans touched by adoption exceeds 100 million. Journalists need to describe adoption accurately and objectively.

The problem is widespread. Think back to recent media coverage. For example, many obituaries of Maureen Reagan mentioned that her brother Michael was adopted. The fact that he was adopted 50 years ago was as relevant as information that someone else was born prematurely or by C-section. Coverage of the Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman divorce has typically described the couple as having "two adopted children." Again, the fact they were adopted is irrelevant. A spokesman for Cruise and Kidman said this kind of language is insulting. Through their word choices, even well-meaning journalists can and have inadvertently conveyed the misconception that adoptive families are somehow less genuine and permanent, and that people who were adopted --and their role in a family -- remain somehow different. The reality is that adoption is as valid a way of joining a family as birth.

Specific suggestions for change as it relates to the media:

1) As in the case of race or gender, the fact a person was adopted should be mentioned only if it is absolutely essential to the story. If it is mentioned, the relevance must be clear in the context of the story.

2) Mentioning adoption when it is not relevant wrongly implies a separate category of family relationship. Adoption is a legal event, not an immutable personal trait.

3) An adopted person's parents (those who are raising the child) should be referred to simply as father, mother or parents. The man and woman who shared in the child's conception can be referred to as the birth, genetic or biological parents (not "real" or "natural" parents, etc.) We are the child's parents.

4) The media should avoid terms such as "abandoned" or "given up," both for accuracy and sensitivity reasons. It usually is inaccurate to refer to children available for adoption as orphans. In many cases, the birth parents are alive.

5) Children also should not be referred to as abandoned or unwanted, unless they were actually found abandoned. Sociological or legal factors often force birth parents to relinquish their parental rights and make a child available for adoption; that is very different from abandoning them or "giving them up." In the interest of accuracy, birth parents can be said to have placed the child for adoption, made an adoption plan, made them available for adoption, or transferred parental rights.

6)The reason why people adopt is not usually relevant to a story. Infertility often plays a role, but so do other factors, and many adopt simply because this is a joyful way to make a family. Language suggesting that parents "couldn't have a baby of their own" is inaccurate. These children are our own by law and by love. Such language suggests adoption is second best, and that can be hurtful.

7) The phrase "a child of their own" is an inappropriate reference to birth children.

8) Adoption stories should never imply that adoptive parents are unusually selfless or otherwise saintly. In most cases, we adopted simply because we want to parent children. We are no more saintly or selfless than any other parent.

Read the full article here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Love adoption.

Love it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Dispelling the Myths

Today as I was telling someone about the adoption conference I went to. I explained how I was uplifted and felt support from so many others: people who have adopted before, are trying to adopt, were adopted, and placed for adoption. I was inspired by the birth parents who told their stories and "just knew" that adoption was right for them. As I told this person all of this, this person said, "Well don't they feel guilty about giving (cringe-see previous post) their child away?" I had to take a deep breath and not lash out but use it as a teaching moment about adoption.

Here are some myths about adoption:

Most birth mothers who place their babies for adoption are teenagers. Most birth mothers who choose adoption are in their early twenties, although women of all ages make this decision.

Birth parents who place their babies for adoption are abandoning their responsibility and taking the “easy way out.” There is no easy way out of unplanned pregnancy; any option involves emotional pain. Most birth mothers who do not choose abortion make the choice initially to parent their babies. Those who choose adoption do so after taking some time to carefully consider their options and the best interests of their child. Adoption is a courageous, loving choice which shows that the birth mother takes seriously the responsibility to be a parent.

An adoptive parent cannot love a child as much as a biological parent can. Love is not based on biology. Many loving relationships are between individuals who are not related to each other, such as husbands and wives. The love of a parent comes from preparing for a child and selflessly nurturing and caring for that child.

A birth mother can reclaim her child after adoption. Once a birth mother’s rights have been terminated, she cannot reclaim her child. Cases of birth parents obtaining custody after adoption are extremely rare and are exaggerated by the media.

After a child has been placed, a birth mother cannot have any contact with the child. Adoption practices have changed over the years. Today most birth mothers have some contact with their children. Arrangements are agreed upon by the birth mother and the adoptive parents and are based upon the needs and desires of all concerned.

Children who were adopted are more likely to have physical or emotional challenges. It is impossible to predict how any child will turn out, whether biological or adopted. Generally, children who were adopted as infants are as emotionally healthy as children who were not adopted. Children who were adopted when older may have challenges resulting from adverse conditions in their early lives, such as neglect, abuse, or lack of attachment. These challenges do not result from the adoption itself.

Birth mothers never recover from the emotional pain of placing a child for adoption. Birth mothers who choose adoption go through a grieving process, which is a healthy way of dealing with loss. But most birth mothers also report finding peace in the knowledge that they did all in their power to provide the best life possible for their child. They find that the experience gives them the strength and confidence to face other challenges throughout their lives.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Positive Adoption Language

On the way back from Portland today we stopped and hiked up to some waterfalls. It was so beautiful.

"Respectful Adoption Language is very serious business. Just as in advertising we choose our words carefully to portray a postive image of the product we endorse (selling Mustangs rather than Tortoises, New Yorkers rather than Podunkers), and in politics we take great care to use terminology seen positively by the class or group of people it describes. Those of us who feel that adoption is a beautiful and healthy way to form a family and a responsible and respectable alternative to other forms of family planning, ask that you consider the language you use very carefully when speaking about those of us who are touched by adoption!"
--Patricia Irwin Johnston

Positive vs. Negative

Birthparent, biological parent vs. Real parent, natural parent

My Child vs. Adopted child; own child

Parent vs. Adopted parent

To Place; Choose an adoption plan vs. Giving away, Giving up your child

Finding a family to parent your child vs. Putting your child up for adoption

Deciding to parent the child vs. Keeping your baby

Was adopted vs. Is adopted

Born to unwed parents vs. Illegitimate

Please try to use positive adoptive language. I do not want my children to ever feel like they were given up or given away. I know that the birth mothers are placing their children selflessly. They are tenderly placing with purpose and care.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

I can't wait

My kids are definitely going to be wearing these...

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Gift of Adoption

Click here to read this article about the gift of adoption. There are four stories from a birth mother, birth father, grandparent, and child.

Adoption is a blessing and a miracle.

Birth Mother:
Giving birth to a beautiful little girl was miraculous. I loved holding her and rocking her. She was so beautiful, and I cried many times her first night on earth. I knew that the next day would bring heartache when it was time to say good-bye.
What made that pain bearable was knowing that placing her for adoption was right. It was the hardest—but most right—thing I have ever done. I signed the papers through sheets of tears and then leaned on family and friends for support. My tears weren’t the only ones shed that day or in the days to come.
Birth Father:
The more real to us the baby became, the less our decision was about us and the more it was about our daughter. Andrea and I both acknowledged that many adoptive parents could provide our daughter with things that we couldn’t: a stable marriage, a permanent home, and a temple sealing. We wanted these things for our child, and before long, through LDS Family Services, we found a family we thought might be a good fit.
We felt strongly that our child was to go to these parents, a decision we felt confirmed in prayer and again later when Andrea and I met the family.
The day our grandson was born was a bittersweet one. What a beautiful baby! It would have been easy to change our minds—after all, children are raised by single mothers and grandparents all of the time. Surely we could do it too. But we knew the Lord’s will, and we knew that it was in this child’s best interest for the adoption to proceed. After spending two days with our daughter and grandson in the hospital, my wife and I watched with tears streaming down our faces as Katie handed her son to the caseworker. She exclaimed, “I can’t believe I just did that!” and ran back to her hospital room to cry. My wife later commented that she had never seen greater love than she did as she watched Katie that day. Adoption, she said, truly is about love.
One of my earliest memories is looking up at my mother after she had tucked me in and asking her if she would tell me a different bedtime story. After all, she had been telling me the same story every night for as long I could remember...
It always started with these words: “Once upon a time, there was a mommy and daddy who wanted very much to have a baby of their own.”
Mom’s story always ended—never without a few tears—with the day she and Dad arrived at the adoption office. A woman brought the “most beautiful baby” they had ever seen, and my parents knew immediately that they would love me forever. All of their once-distant dreams were coming true...
Because of this story, I never doubted my beauty inside or out, and I never doubted my parents’ love for me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

5 Comments NOT to Say to a Birthmom

Taken from here

I. "I could never place my baby for adoption."
This one used to make me cringe each time I heard it. I felt like I had failed at motherhood and the person making the comment has succeeded. That I must have been heartless to be able to do such an act. I felt inferior, like I need to prove something to them.
I have since learned I am not inferior, and I do not have to prove my mothering abilities to anyone. I believe now that comment has more to do with the person making it, than myself. Never has a woman secure in her role as a mother said that to me. Only the doubting, struggling-to-get-by mothers who feel that they must make such a declaration.

II. "What a wonderful gift you have given to a childless couple"
Try to see this one from the Birthmother's point of view. Now, I love my daughter's adoptive parents, but by no means did I place my first born child as a 'gift' to a childless couple. I am not that nice, not that giving. When I clutched my nine month pregnant belly with tears in my eyes, I did not recite the phrase, "Just think how I am giving a special gift to people I do not know".
When it comes down to the day when you hold your child for the first time, all thoughts of anyone else but your child and yourself fade away. There has to a higher reason for placement.
I gave Emily's parents as a gift to my daughter. That was my plan. That was my intention. Now, as an added benefit, I see her parents lives enriched by Emily's existence. Together, we celebrate the gift of knowing our daughter, Emily.

III. "You can have other children"
This speaker means well, I am sure, but this comment can strike the very heart of a Birthmother. Other children? You can never replace another child with another! To try and do so is to dishonor the child you have placed for adoption and the child you use to fill the void.
Let us remember our children. Let us celebrate them. We hold a special place in our hearts where their names will be etched forever.
No matter how many babies you carry out of the hospital with you, you never will forget the one you did not.

IV. A lady once said to me, "That sure is 'nice' of her parents to let you see Emily."
My quick reply was, "That sure was nice of me to give them my baby!"
Needless to say she said nothing more. I try to educate people by telling them my story, even on days I do not feel like doing so. Some, I have learned, are not able to be very teachable on the subject.
Her attitude was that I should be grateful, as a dog is grateful to get scraps from the dinner table. I will not put myself in such a position. I refuse to be the silent shadow in the corner with my eyes downcast.
Aside from the fact my daughter's parents would never treat me in such a fashion, I am grateful to God. The open adoption I have with my daughter is like a gift from Him-a gift that I get to open each time I see her smiling face.

V. The fifth response a Birthmother does not want to hear is an ackward silence.
We want to talk about our children. We want to remember them. We know when you are avoiding it, and it hurts.
I love it when others ask me how Emily is doing and to ask to see the pictures from my recent visit. I enjoy swapping my labor and delivery tales with other mothers. By the way, I was in labor for forty-two hours with my Emily! Ouch!
It is okay to talk about the children we placed. We placed them for adoption. We did not place them out of our thoughts and hearts.
I do not wish to offend others, but to educate how a Birthmother may feel about these five comments. Since not every Birthmother is the same, some may disagree or not be affected by the above.
I hope by reading this article you will feel more confident and comfortable when speaking with a Birthmother. Please do not think we would rather not talk about our children. Silence is the first step to many on the road to shame.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Article "What's best for my baby?"

New Era, November 2001

I was unmarried and pregnant. The baby’s father wanted nothing to do with us. Where could I turn? What should I do?

I turned 17 while I was pregnant, and I began working with my bishop so I could take the sacrament again and get my much-anticipated patriarchal blessing. I felt I was doing well and making good decisions for myself, but there was that constant, recurring question of what would be best for my baby.
I knew I wanted her to have a mother and a father, and to be sealed to them for eternity in the temple. I knew the only way to give her everything she needed and deserved was to find a good family and place her for adoption.

Tears showered my face as I walked to the couple, the parents I’d chosen for her. My lips quivered and my hands shook as I placed her in their arms. The emotions I felt were so intense, like none I’d felt before. Inside I just went back and forth, battling how I felt. Was I doing the right thing? Could they love her as much as I did? Then I looked at them. Their happiness was so sincere; their love was pure and true. This was my baby’s family.

I just knew.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November is National Adoption Month

Read this positive adoption article. Lindsey is amazing! Her blog is so great. It has really helped me as we have gone through our infertility and adoption journey.

We are going to the Families Supporting Adoption Conference this weekend in Portland. We are so excited to meet so many people that have gone through or are going through what we are going through right now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Oliver and Halloween

While we were on the cruise, our newest nephew, baby Oliver was born. We were excited to meet him when we got back.

This is about how much we get dressed up for Halloween. Ava, Henry, and Jane wanted to dress up like us.


To celebrate our 3rd Anniversary we went on a cruise. We left from Long Beach, CA and went to Catalina and Ensenda, Mexico. My sister and her husband went too. They were celebrating their 9th anniversary. We had so much fun! The food was so good. Karen and I got the same dessert every night, the warm melting chocolate cake. It was the best!

We are already planning our next cruise. Loved it.