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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"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hope is the anchor of my soul

Family and friends often ask us how the adoption process is going. I am always happy that they are thinking about us, but sad that there is currently nothing to report. We have been "trying" for baby #2 for 2 years. We haven't had any kind of contact from an expectant parent in almost a year. It is hard not having any control over when we are going to be able to add to our family. We continue to hope and pray that we will be blessed with more children.

One year ago I posted my thoughts about infertility and the emotional roller coaster of adoption. A slew of birth and pregnancy announcements have been made since then. I continue to try to not let it affect me, but it is hard. My newest nephews (now 15 months and 7 months) that I wanted our next child to be close in age to are now growing up. I wanted to be wrong about our chance to have a child closer in age, but it looks like I was right. A few months ago my sister called me out of the blue. She was miraculously pregnant. With her first child they had to use fertility treatments. Her son was born right we when got approved for the second time. I am so so so happy for her. There are other pregnancy miracles that I have been made aware of recently.  In some of not my best moments I wonder, "Where is our miracle?" I am not proud of those thoughts and get down on myself for them. I know that I can't tell God what to bless me with and when. But I also know that "Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you."

In my last post (6 months ago), I talked about waiting patiently as Lucas grows up. He is now 3. He is potty trained and he is in a big boy bed. He is now a Sunbeam at church. All things that scared me because I didn't want him to grow up so fast especially because he doesn't have a sibling yet. These were all exciting things and I am so proud of my big boy. Now I have moved on to being anxious about him giving up naps, going to preschool, and eventually school. Once again exciting things, but hard on me because it means he is growing up. He prays everyday: "Please bless that we can get a baby." If we don't say it in our prayers, he quickly reminds us to say it. What a sweet boy. We sure love him and he brings us so much joy even if he is growing up too fast.
Lucas at the dentist for the first time. He did so well!
So what do I do? How do I continue to (try to) wait patiently?

I have been focusing on HOPE. "Hope for a better world," "having a perfect brightness of hope," and having "hope smiling brightly before us." I have a Hope wall next to my bed with quotes about hope to help me "trust in happier days ahead."

Whenever we begin to feel
 as if we can no longer go on
HOPE whispers in our ears
to remind us that we are STRONG
----Robert M Hensel

Don't you give up.
Don't you quit.
You keep walking.
You keep trying.
There is help and happiness ahead....
It will be all right in the end.
Trust God
and believe in
good things to come.
-----Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings a tune-without the words
And never stops at all.
----Emily Dickinson

Hope anchors the soul.
----Hebrews 6:19

A quote that has been running through my head over and over is "The Lord's delays often seem long; some last a lifetime. But they are always calculated to bless. They need never be times of loneliness or sorrow or impatience." I have been trying to figure out how I can make this time to not be lonely or sorrowful and help myself to be patient. This is especially hard during the dreary winter months. I try to stay busy. I make goals for myself to achieve. I play with Lucas. I go to an exercise class. I study the scriptures and conference talks. I serve in my callings. I have something to look forward to (right now it is the Super Bowl--Go Seahawks!)
There are definite times of loneliness and sorrow and impatience, but I would like to think that I am improving. I sure hope I am. My home screen on my phone says: "Believe in miracles" and I do. There are miracles out there for our family. And it will be wonderful and exactly how it is supposed to turn out.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your faith in Christ through this whole process. You are an inspiration to me!