Before we adopted Penguin, we had a group of friends from church that we'd hang-out with for Sunday dinner, birthday parties, etc. It's been fun to watch each of our families change & grow over the past 7 or 8 years. One friend, who has since moved away, makes all our blogs beautiful ... isn't she so awesome & talented. In honor of my Penguin's "Gotcha Day" tomorrow, I'd like to share another good friend's adoption story. Just think of her as my guest blogger for the day. :) Thanks for sharing your story with us!!
from Gods arms, to My arms, to Yours.....
LONG POST WARNING!!!
I was asked to write my adoption experence for an adoption newsletter, so I thought I would include it on my blog. (don't feel obliged to keep reading)
Mark and I were married quickly after a long distance courtship. I moved to Arizona after our Scottish wedding.
We wanted to have children right away but after months of disappointment and negative pregnancy tests, we knew something was wrong. We spoke to the doctor who referred us to a specialist. It was then that we discovered that it was going to be imposable for us to conceive naturally. Everywhere I looked there seemed to be pregnant ladies. And every conversation seemed to focus on labour stories and epidurals. I felt so lonely.
We threw ourselves into adoption. I was completely obsessed with getting paperwork done, making profiles, doing fingerprints, EVERYTHING that needed to be done. It was HARD work but my fuel was my desire to be a mother. It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning, and my last thought of the day.
On Aug 6th 2003 We raced to Iowa to meet our birthmother Sandra, We were nervous and excited all rolled into one, we went out for dinner and got to know each other. It was so exciting. The next day, We got the call. He was born! Our son. We raced to the hospital to meet him. We named him Jacob. We fell in love with him instantly. The hospital set us up in a little side room off of the nursery where (for the next 3 days) we stayed with our boy. We fed him, we changed him, we cradled him, we loved him, we sat in the rocking chair and planned our future with our new precious son.
Nothing could have prepared us for the news.... Sandra had changed her mind! She had decided that she did not want him to be placed for adoption. We were devastated beyond belief. We returned home to arizona with an empty car seat and a broken heart.
Three months later, We headed to Utah where we met Ann. We had planned to spend the day getting to know her, but the baby had other plans. She went into labor through the night and we got an early morning call and raced to the hospital. When we got there, she was in labor and invited us in to the room to witness the birth. We were honored. We sat in awe as we watched his amazing birth and then the doctor placed him in my arms. It was the best feeling in the world. We named him Kyle (a family name of the birthmother). I was very worried that history would repeat itself and that she might change her mind. But this was to be our child and we were able to take our boy home to arizona and raise him. Six months later we finalized the adoption, and a week later we were sealed to our son. It was one of the highlights of my life!
A year later we had a successful round of fertility treatments and I was able to carry a pregnancy and delivered a beautiful son we named Brody. Two years later with more fertility help we conceived and delivered our third son Owen. Life with three boys was busy but perfect. Life was full and happy beyond belief.
In February this year we learned of a situation that involved a friend of ours and her sweet sister Tia (from Puerto Rico). She came to stay with her sister here in Arizona to have the baby. Her plan was to place the baby for adoption so she could be sealed to a family. We were not looking to adopt at this time, as Owen was very young and also, we had found the fertility route was working well for us in our desire to grow our family. However I could not get this girl out of my mind. When I saw her at church I felt very drawn to her. One evening I felt very prompted to volunteer ourselves as a potential option Tia could consider. There are so many small details that are too sacred to share.
Very quickly we found ourselves "matched" with the birthmother. There was a special connection there that nobody could deny. The baby was due in about 2 months, We were not home study certified there was soo much to do! We were able to move fast and got through the stacks of paperwork in just one week! LDS adoption said we might have broken the record for the fastest submitted paperwork EVER! We both felt that this child was meant to be part of our family, and we were determined to bring her home.
In April of this year, we were informed that the birthfather was making plans to come to AZ to contest the adoption! We considered the emotional and legal risks and both felt that we wanted to proceed. On April 23rd Tia went into labor and was rushed to the hospital she was given an emergency c-section due to the breech presentation of the baby. Mark and myself waited outside the room until it was time to meet her. I was allowed in first and as I held her in my arms the tears fell from my eyes. She was the most beautiful little girl I have ever seen! We named her Ava Grace. We took the baby in the nursery and fed her and cuddled with her. When Mark's dad got there Tia had requested a blessing so we all went in to her recovery room to be there for the blessing. This was potentially an awkward moment for us all, as this was the first time Tia saw the baby. We were all in the room together, but the only thing anyone could feel was complete LOVE and PEACE. It was such a beautiful and special feeling.
I spent the next few days in Tia's hospital room with her. Me Ava and Tia. It was soo comfortable and special to be able to have all this time together. I felt like I needed to be a sponge and soak up as much of Tia as I could, so that I would be able to give it to Ava. Oh I forgot to mention Tia speaks fluent spanish and her english is extremely limited, but this was not a problem for us. We found ourselves communicating without any problems. It is especially interesting as I have a thick scottish accent and people usually struggle to understand me, but this was not a problem for Tia. Infact I found myself translating for her often!
When we left the hospital Mark and I took our new baby home. It was a beautiful day!
That same evening, we got a phonecall from LDS social services, telling us that the birthfather was in town! He had flown in from Puerto Rico. We were stressed and anxious that this baby girl that we loved so much, might not get to stay! The birthfather had 30 days from the time of being served notice to file a petition with the court. We were to wait this out acknowledging the fact that she might be removed from our home, leaving behind a painful hole in our hearts. It was the most intense few weeks of our lives! But on the 31st day after his notice was served, The agency checked the court and there was nothing filed! The adoption could proceed! It was the biggest relief of my life! I was literally dancing about in my living room!!!
We met with Tia where she signed away her parental rights, and we signed our adoption placement papers. We explained to our boys that Tia was agreeing to give the baby to us, and that we were promising that we will always love and care for the baby. (an adoption covenant)
The next day Tia was to fly home to Puerto rico. It was an emotional day for us all. We had gone through this intense few months together, and had felt such an emotional connection to each other. There were many tears and hugs. She flew home that night!
We are currently in the adoption process awaiting finalization. We have our courtdate set and our sealing is scheduled. This is what JOY feels like!
So here we are now, our family. Our special little family. Each of our children came into our family one by one. Each with their own amazing stories. One thing that I have learned throughout this experience is that Heavenly Father has a plan for each of his precious children. He is in charge of where they go. I am grateful that he has trusted me to be the mother of these precious spirits. I love my amazing children and am honored to be their mummy. I love our birthmothers and their courage and strength. They are both hero's to me. We will always be grateful for the amazing sacrifices they made on behalf of these children. My advice to anyone anxiously waiting to be parents is, do your part, then let the Lord do his part. It will happen in His time. Only in His time. Be ready!
It is worth the heartache, the pain, the hard work, the waiting, the disappointments. It is WORTH IT!!!!
(The names of our precious birthmothers have been changed to respect their privacy)