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"

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reflections: Surviving Infertility and as an Adoptive Mother

We have been approved to adopt a second child for 9 months now. It took us 4 months to get approved. If we had been pregnant, we would be snuggling a little baby now. I wrote the following a couple of months ago. It was therapeutic writing down some of the feelings I was having and have. I debated about whether or not share this, but I decided to let others glimpse into what it is like to deal with infertility and the adoption process.

 Sometimes infertility slaps me in the face. I am not expecting it and boom, there it is. It is unbearable. I seem to suck in oxygen, but stop breathing all at the same time. The uncontrollable sobs don't stop for a long time. There is a lot of ugly crying when dealing with infertility and the emotional roller coaster surrounding adoption.

 There are times when I am fine when going to a baby shower or to see a new baby. But there are other times when I have to make an excuse not to go. There are times when I feel fine to go, but then as I leave, my heart breaks a little and my body betrays me and I have to drive for an hour before I can get control of myself. When there is a group of women together, lots of times the topic turns to pregnancy and childbirth. Once again there are times when I am okay with this. I have heard it all, I have 6 sisters! But then there are times when I need to step away from the conversation because I don't always trust my heart to take it in.

 My sister-in-law just had her 5th child. I babysat her kids while she was in the hospital. I took her 4 children to the hospital to see their new baby brother. I was so happy and excited for their family. Their faces lit up like it was Christmas when they saw their baby brother. As I drove them home in their minivan, my throat seemed to close up and the tears started to come. This was a slap in the face. I really was so happy for them, but then the thoughts of infertility came into my mind. I will never have the "hospital" experience when people can come see my new baby. I may never be able to fill a minivan with kids. Yes, I have my little boy, and I am so so so happy about that! I know he is such a miracle and I am so grateful everyday for him.

 Another sister-in-law recently told us, after a very emotional week following the funerals of 2 family members, that they were expecting baby #5. Cue the tears and ugly sob. I am so happy for them, but the thoughts of when it will happen for me can't be stopped.  It is so hard not knowing if and when another child will come to us. Both of these sisters-in-law were pregnant and had babies in the time that we were approved and looking for Lucas. Their children are 1.5 and 1 year older than Lucas. When they told us that time, we were so happy for them and happy that maybe we would adopt a baby in that time frame and they would all be really close in age. As they grew older and older, I got more depressed that our child would not be the same age. This time around, maybe I am more jaded, but I feel like there goes our chance again to get a baby close in age to their children.

 Sometimes men don't understand. I love my husband so much and could not have made it through all this and continue to make it through this without his help. He is so wonderful. He understands the deep yearning feeling that I have to be a mom, but doesn't always know what to say or do when I vent about these feelings. These are natural feelings for a woman and they aren't just going to go away. I think that men and women deal with infertility in a totally different way. I am not sure if the infertility slap happens for men, but I know how real it is for me.

 I see women all around me with new babies or pregnant bellies. Some of them on the second, third, fourth, even fifth babies. I am ready for another baby. I want Lucas to be a big brother. I want my children to be close in age, like I am with my sisters.

 This is hard. It is so hard. But I am grateful for it. I wouldn't have Lucas without all of this. He brings me so much joy.
  Adoption is a hard thing too. The waiting and wondering and waiting. Last year we were contacted by someone and got our hopes up that we would be able to adopt again. We found out that she was lying to us about being pregnant and just wanted attention. That made us feel embarrassed and sad and angry and very skeptical. We worry that we are not cool enough, or cute enough, or make enough money. Sometimes it feels like we are getting rejected over and over. On our profile we can see how many views each section gets. Before Lucas I would look almost daily, but this time around I know better. I only look every few weeks. This time it is a lot easier on our patience. We have Lucas and we are parents. Waiting so long before to be parents was so hard. This time around we are more patient and don't think about it every second of every day. We are trying to be hopeful. We know that things will work out, maybe not the way that we planned, but they will work out how they are supposed to.

 I have been listening to this song by Hilary Weeks. These lyrics really touch some of the feelings that I have.

I had it all mapped out in front of me,
Knew just where I wanted to go;
But life decided to change my plans,
And I found a mountain in the middle of my road.

I knew there was no way over it,
So I searched for a way around;
Brokenhearted I started climbin',
And at the top I found...

Every fear, every doubt,
All the pain I went through;
Was the price that I paid to see this view;
And now that I'm here I would never trade...

The grace that I feel,
And the faith that I find;
Through the bitter-sweet tears,
And the sleepless nights;

I used to pray he'd take it all away,
But instead it became a beautiful heartbreak.
All of this is worth it. It is our beautiful heartbreak.


  1. I can't imagine how hard infertility and the adoption process must be. Although I've experienced infertility, you can't compare it. It feels like a completely different thing.

    I can relate to being happy a sometimes and getting slapped in the face at other times. I find myself crying quite often because even though I have Beck, infertility is still so tender. We don't know if we'll be successful in having any more children biologically and that uncertainty is difficult to face. Our joy with Beck is so great, I want to be able to experience that with other children. It's hard to see something that's so difficult for some, come so easy for others.

    I've been thinking about you guys a lot lately and pray and fast for you often.

  2. Thank you for writing this. Although I have 1 child I am struggling with infertility as well. Most of the time I feel like nobody understands, even my spouse. I have felt the same as you! You wrote it so well! Good luck to you, I hope you are able to adopt soon!

  3. Alicia, I may be the last person you want to hear from...but I just wanted to send you a little love. I had a miscarriage a year ago, and I remember the feelings of...desperation. "But wait...I WANTED that! It was MINE!" It is so easy to get jaded, and to give up hope. (Baby #3 is LITERALLY due any day, and I still can't seem to let myself get excited, or even believe I really get to take home a healthy baby.)

    You are such a strong woman, and I'm just sure you're an amazing mama. "Chi sau dou dai", Baahk. You're a really, really important part of a village. For my kids, their oldest Aunt (my twin sister) is next in line after Mom and Dad in importance. A great relationship with aunts, uncles and cousins is priceless. (I am NOT saying it replaces being a Mom..never give up on that goal. I'm just trying to say that being an aunt is really REALLY important, too.)


  4. We love you guys! And we hope that 2013 will bring a happy addition to your family. I love that you wrote about what you're feeling--I'm a strong believer in giving voice to the things that are hard for us and that hurt us. I think it is important and helps us to deal emotionally with them. I hope you can continue writing, even if it's not in a public forum.

  5. Wow you're really brave to write this.. My cousin is adopted and his parents love him tremendously like their own. We all kinda forgot that he's adopted because really, he's like one of us. No different than any of us. :)

    Stay strong and we wish u all the best! :)

  6. This is one of the bravest, most beautiful things I have ever read. I randomly found your story through twitter and I'm so glad I did. This gives me so much insight into how friends who are struggling with infertility may be feeling. Thanks for your courage!

  7. Good blog and this is the great success has been achieved by having a child in your arms after a long period of loneliness.

  8. Good news for all infertile parents and new ray of hope for them.

  9. Great and informative article on fighting with infertility.

  10. Thank you for this. This was the comfort I needed tonight! I just randomly came across this while googling LDS adoption blog. It's nice to know that someone out there feels the same as I do. And now I know what to call those sudden outbursts of sadness! ��