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"

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

1 comment:

  1. I have read the above blog. It is really interesting one. I got the information about the adoption language. Is there any more explanation ? If yes, post here.