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, 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.

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