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, July 14, 2014

Our family is growing!

I am updating this blog in a month since my last post instead of six months since my last post. That must mean that there is some kind of news, right?! Right!

We received word that we were licensed for foster care on June 20. Home finders (the group that finds homes for foster children) called us and said that he saw that we had been licensed and that he was looking for respite care for 18 month old twins for a week while their foster parents went on vacation. I told him that we would do it if he couldn't find anyone else. He ended up calling back and so we took in the twins for the week. On Tuesday, June 24, we started getting more phone calls. The first phone call we got was about a little boy about to turn one. We got a phone call about triplets just born in May and the first one was being released from the hospital. We got a few other phone calls about other children that needed a home. 
Since we started getting licensed we started praying that we would be able to discern what situation was right for our family and be able to discern quickly since they would need an answer quickly. We knew immediately that the triplets weren't right and that the other children weren't right. We felt good about the little boy that was about to turn one and we got more information about him. He was in a foster home and they were needing to transfer him to a permanent foster home that would also be able to adopt him. With the state they always have 2 concurrent plans: reunification with the biological family and a permanent plan usually involving adoption. The other thing about this little boy is that they needed a home that would be able to take in his baby brother that is going to be born within the next couple of weeks.
By the end of the week (we still had the twins in our home) we were in contact with the current foster family. We set up a time to come meet him and start the transition for him into our home. We met Isaac (that is what we are calling him) and he is a sweet, smiley, happy little guy. Lucas was pretty excited to see him and meet him. He came over to our house for a few hours on Tuesday of that week and then he went on a trip with the foster family. Julie was able to come over the weekend (another post for that visit!) and so we got to spend the weekend with her. After she left we got to work to putting our house in order to accommodate a year old and eventually a newborn as well. We turned Lucas' bed back into a crib and moved Lucas' big boy bed upstairs. Lucas and Isaac are going to be sharing a room. I bought a dresser and refinished it. I sorted through all of Lucas' old clothes to find things that would fit. He didn't come with anything except for what he was wearing. He came to our home permanently on Thursday, July 10. Ryan had work off on Friday and we were all able to start adjusting to our new normal. Isaac is a happy little boy and we are so happy to have him in our home. We celebrated his birthday on Sunday, July 13, with his previous foster family. We will have a party for him next week with family. We are now waiting for the baby to be born. His due date is July 28, but she has always gone early with her babies.  
We aren't going to give specific details to Isaac's situation and his biological parents. It is a sensitive issue and confidential. We will probably not post pictures of him facing the camera. After talking with the caseworker, we are hopeful and  confident that this will lead to adoption of both boys. We do not think it will be an easy journey and it will probably be a long road ahead, but we feel like we can enjoy this and love and welcome these children into our home and into our family.

Meeting cousins for the first time
Brothers at the park
This journey of adopting for a second time has been a long road (and it is not over and might be more than a year longer!). We felt like we should open doors by getting licensed through the state. In all honesty, I hoped that while we were doing this we would be contacted by a potential birth mother and we wouldn't have to go through the state and foster care. It scared me and still does a little bit! It is different. I have had to change my dream of having a perfect open adoption like with Lucas. I had to change my dream that we would get a newborn. We have had to open our hearts to a new dream. We think that this situation is perfect for us: Isaac just turned one and a newborn that we will be able to take from the hospital. It is not going to be easy and I am sure that there will be bumps in the road, but we are ready for this and ready to jump all in. I have heard that some people get wrapped up with the courts and the process and forget to see the joy that comes with the children. We are already in love with Isaac and we want him to feel wanted and loved and protected. He needs that and he deserves that. We are putting our whole hearts into it and if the worst case scenario happens and for some reason the courts allow him to return to his biological family, we will be heartbroken, but hope that he will have felt loved and safe in our home and family.

"If you came to me and said 'there are two people in the world who want you more than anything; they'll do their best, they'll make some mistakes, and you'll only get them for a short time, but they will love you more than you can ever imagine.' Well, when that's true, I'd say 'so much is possible.'" ~The Odd Life of Timothy Green