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"

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Adoption Fundraising Yard Sale

I added balloons to the signs and arrows before we put them on the street

A couple of months ago I felt like we should do a yard sale to raise money for our adoption. I started formulating the plans and thinking about what I needed to do. I read all kinds of tips for garage/yard sales and tried to use them. We asked family and friends to donate to the cause by cleaning out their closets and houses. We received tons of donations and were so happy. We were so grateful. I made really cute signs for the road and really advertised it on Craigslist and Facebook. We had hundreds of people show up. Lots of them said they saw the signs and wanted to come support us. Some said they saw our ads and wanted to come. And some were professional garage salers. We set up a table for a lemonade stand and a bake sale. We also had a raffle and raffled off 3 prize baskets. My sister was in charge of that and my nieces and nephews helped sell tickets and bake sale items.
Some people were so nice and just gave us donations. There was a family who are teachers/missionaries in the Dominican Republic and are hoping to adopt a set of siblings from the DR and bought a couple dollars worth of stuff and ended up writing a check for $100! People are so nice and we immediately feel a bond with other adoptive families. We talked to quite a few other families who have adopted. We feel so blessed and happy with the outcome. We had a woman come by and then later she came back and said she felt like she really needed to come back and get some of our cards. She didn't know why, but felt like she should. I feel so happy that she did. Another woman saw my post on Facebook, followed it to my page and saw our blog and then read our story. She told me that she knew us and our story even though we didn't know her. I feel like this was a good opportunity to talk and share our adoption story and our hope to adopt again.
We are exhausted to say the least. I had been working non stop on organizing and collecting things. We got up before 6 and started getting it all set up. I was on my feet until 5 and took over 13,000 steps! It was a great day and I am happy it is over. We were incredibly grateful for the support that we got. We raised more money than we thought, but more than that, we raised awareness about adoption and that we are still hoping to adopt again.
The garage the night before, organized chaos?

Bright and early in the morning

Driveway sign

Bake Sale and Lemonade stand

Raffle table

Take a card, pass them out

End of the night hugs

And kisses for mommy

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