Friday, March 9, 2012

Adoption Journey

Well it has been about 6 months since I last posted so I decided maybe it was time for an update. :) I just wanted to record how the whole adoption journey has been so far. Anyone who has been through this knows that is a happy, sad, exciting, frustrating, overwhelming but full of joy experience and ours has been no different. My last post said that we were certified and shortly after that our profile on the website went up. I was so excited and couldn't wait to get our first contact. I also started to quickly get our profile up on LDS family services highly recommends putting your profile on here. It does cost money but it worth it. On Oct. 11 our profile went up on that website. When you read some of the success stories, people talk about being contacted within hours of their profile going up. Although I knew this was unlikely, of course I wanted that to happen. We have waited 7 years, why should we have to wait any longer right?!?! Well we didn't get contacted within hours but we did however get contacted within days. So here is the journey from our first contact to where we are today.

Oct. 13, 2011 - My work day had just started and I was back in the lounge making copies when my phone rings. I didn't recognize the number but I answered it. There was a lady on the other end who asked if this was Jessica. I told her it was and then she says to me "i saw your application online and I liked it." My first thought was, my application? what application? And then she said the one on parentprofiles. So now I am catching on. But at the same time as I am catching I realize oh my gosh this is our first contact! What do i say? What do i ask? So I told her I was glad she contacted us. I asked her where she was from, if she knew her due date and if she had any questions for me. The only questions she had is what now?? Well I don't know what now I have never done this before! lol. But I tell her that if she would like I could have my case worker call her and they can discuss what needs to happen since she was in another state. She told me that she was due end of February beginning of March. Well over the next week we text a couple time and worked with our caseworker to try and get her connected with the case worker in her state. Let me tell you this was mass confusion!!!! Hannah, our case worker, is telling me that the office in her state has been calling her but they just get her voicemail. M, the birthmom, is telling us that no one has called her. Finally I guess she got one of the voicemail and called them back but only to get the office voicemail. So now they are playing phone tag. Talk about frustrating when there is nothing you can do about it. Anyway, finally after about a week Hannah tells me that the office has tried to contact M 4 times and have not heard back from her. So I text M just to ask if she had got the messages and at this point I got a rather rude response basically telling us that if we were really interested that we would of made this work a little better. Ugh! I didn't even know what to say. I had done all I could. Needless to say, this contact did not work out. Surprisingly, I was not that sad over it. You know I never really got like the real excited, oh my gosh this is our baby feeling. And when Brandon and I talked about it, he said the same thing. Which this might sound crazy because you would think, after waiting 7 years who cares where the baby comes from, just give me one. But trust me when I say that is not the case. I have heard several times through out this adoption process, " You are not looking for A baby you are looking for YOUR baby." I realized with this 1st contact how true that is.

Nov. 7, 2011 - We got a message from a friend on facebook about a baby that was needing a home. She said she didn't know much about it but gave me the information I needed to find out. It was for a little baby boy who had been born 5 weeks early. He was doing remarkably well and the birth parents were trying to find an adoptive family while they were in the hospital. I contacted the agency who was helping this couple and I got all the information regarding it. Because it was not through LDS family services we would have to pay all fees associated with this agency. So we had the caseworker send us everything so we could make a decision. After reading through everything and some prayers again we did not feel like this was our baby and choose not to submit our home study. It is amazing how much more you have to pay when you go through anyone other then LDSFS. Sometime it is hard when you hear about these babies because you want them to have a great home and even though you don't know them or their families a part of your heart still wants to make sure they get to a good family. Obviously we will never know what become of these children but through lots of prayer I am sure everything works out for each of them.

Dec. 1, 2011 - I was sitting at home alone watching tv because Brandon was working when my phone beeped that I had a text message. When I looked at it, it was a text message from Parentprofiles. I read it and it said that we had just been contacted through our profile, please log on to read message. My heart totally jumped when I read this. Excitement quickly filled my body and then I thought to myself, don't be silly you haven't even read the message yet! I also thought it was weird that I got a text message. I didn't know that it worked that way. Anyway, I quickly log on to our account and sure enough we had a message. It was just a short message from a girl that said something to the effect of, "My name is A, I am 5 weeks pregnant and I am seriously considering private adoption. i saw your profile and wanted to get to know more about you guys and see if you are the parents for my bundle." My heart was racing a little bit after reading it and I was bummed that Brandon wasn't home for me to tell him. So I quickly responded to her message and just prayed that night that we would actually here back from her. This was on a Thursday so Friday came, then Saturday, then Sunday and then Monday and we still hadn't heard from her. So I was getting a little bummed at this point but figured I am sure she has a life and maybe just hasn't gotten around to it. So I tried to just forget about it but that so wasn't happening. On the contact screen from her original message, her phone number was on there and I kept going back and forth on whether or not I should send her a text. Finally I decided what the heck. What would a simple text message hurt. So I did. I just said something about Thank you for contacting us. I just wanted to make sure you got our message and it didn't go to your junk mail or something. Hope to hear from you soon. I told Brandon, she probably thinks we are crazy since I responded to her first contact so quick!! She probably thinks all I do is sit by the computer waiting for someone to contact us. lol but that is not the case. I just happened to get the text on my phone and that is how I knew about it. If I hadn't got that text I wouldn't of seen it til the next morning when I came to work. Anyway, I was so excited when she text me back. She said that sure enough our message had gone to her junk mail and that she was glad I text her cause she was starting to think all those profiles were fake or that she was scaring people away. So we talked over text message for that day and learned a little bit more about each other. She did tell me that she was on facebook so I told I was too and she was welcome to add me as a friend. She did and it was fun to be able to look at her pictures and read her info to learn a little more about it. I had sent her a message on facebook just thanking her again for contacting us and for adding me as a friend on facebook and just let her know that if she has any questions to please feel free to ask them. Well we never heard back from her after that. :( By some of the comments that had been left on her page, we assumed she had just decided to keep the baby. I was bummed. I had aloud myself to get so excited over this contact. But she had told us that she was just considering adoption so I guess I knew that this could happen. But something just felt right so I was bumming over it. But through everything in adoption you just have to pray for strength to make it through and you have to have faith that when the timing is right it will all work out.

Dec. 11, 2011 - I checked my email that night when I was at home and we had another contact. Brandon was home this time so I told him to come over to the computer so we could read it. So I open the message and this is what it says,
" I like to be u child becoz I wish to all to be happy thogh I have parents I want to satisfy u."
WTH?!?! umm okay. I have to say this one freaked me out just a little bit. I just looked at Brandon and said, " oh sweetie, how much more of this can I take!!" Lets just say we didn't even bother responding to that one.

Dec. 17, 2011 - We had another contact through parentprofiles. It was for child with Aspert Syndrome which is a syndrome that causes significant physical deformities. Now we are completely open to special needs children but after doing some research and praying about it we just didn't feel like we would be able to provide the necessary needs for this child. Let me tell you the guilt you feel when you pass up a special needs child. You really have to look deep within yourself and make sure you are making the right decision and not a selfish decision. Even when you know that you are making the right decision there is still a sense of guilt and wonder for this child.

Dec. 19, 2011 - I received a call from a lady named Gina. She worked for a down syndrome association and works with placing foster children who have down syndrome. She had received our number from a lady in our ward and wanted to talk to us about some children. She said that she had a group of siblings. 3 kids. The older 2 were girls and the baby was a boy. The baby had down syndrome and just had open heart surgery. She said that the parents rights were going to be taken away. The kids were split up right now in foster homes but they really wanted to find a family who would take them all so they could stay together. She wanted to know if this was something we would be interested in. ummmm.......well that was a lot of take in. I told her obviously I would have to talk to Brandon and we would have to do some praying but we are open to everything. She was excited to hear that. The one main problem was the fact that these kids were in the system and we were not foster/adopt certified. That could cause some problems but Gina said that miracles happen and that the Judge would probably just be happy to hear that someone is willing to take them. Hearing her say that kind of broke my heart. That someone would be willing to take them. Who wouldn't be willing to take them?!?!?! Anyway, she told me that she was having a meeting regarding these kids the next day and she would keep in touch with me regarding what happens. Well weeks and weeks past and I never heard from her. I never really thought this one would truly work out just because of the fact that we were not foster certified through the state and once the kids are in the state system that is usually the only way they can be adopted. But after this contact it made us reconsider taking the foster classes to become certified. We figured that if we are praying so hard for the Lord to give us a child that we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to make that happen. So I started the process of finding out about the foster program.

Jan. 3, 2012 - We got another contact from Parent profiles. It was for a little girl who was 4 months old and has Prader Willi Syndrome. I requested more information regarding and her and in the email I got back they explained her condition and even attached a picture of her. If seeing a picture doesn't make you want to just wrap that baby in your arms I am not sure what does. She was such a cute little red headed baby girl! The fees to adopt her were well within our range and again the wheels start turning. We originally said that we wanted a newborn but once I saw that sweet picture my heart immediately went out to this baby. Especially after reading her story. So me and Brandon talked about it and we researched Prader Willi a little bit more and we decided we would pray about it. After a couple days I asked Brandon what his impressions were. And his reply was, "well someone has to be her parents." I was so excited to hear him say that cause I had been feeling so good about submitting our profile. So I sent Hannah and email telling about this little girl and asking her if we could get a copy of our home study to send to the other agency. This was on Saturday and the next day was Fast Sunday. I asked Brandon if he would like to fast with me just to be sure that this was the right decision. So we fasted that day for confirmation on our decision. As the day went on my mind kept turning to this little girl. And the more I thought about her the more I didn't feel right about submitting our home study. I didn't understand this. Why did I feel so good about it the day before? Why had I been so excited and why was I already thinking about her being in our family? Although I had a lot of questions why, later that evening I told Brandon my impressions and we talked about it and both decided that maybe this wasn't for us. Living in a small town away from any type of specialist would of made all the appointments she would have to go to very difficult. I would most likely have to quite my job. Although that is the main goal anyway, for me to stay at home, we knew that we would have no choice because she would of required a lot of time and attention. Now writing that sounds really bad. Of course we would do anything for the health and well being of our children, no question about that. But we really had to look and see if that was something we would be able to do at this time. Were we being fair to her family if we wouldn't be able to care for her the way she needed. Of course all would work out but these are all things you have to really think about when you are taking a child from one home into your own. So the next day Hannah called me and told me that she would be happy to send us our home study. I then told her that we decided maybe this wasn't the best option for us. I told her the guilt I felt and again that I truly had to look at myself and make sure I was not making a selfish decision. i explained all my anxiety over the situation. Hannah made me feel so much better. She said that by fasting and praying that we were doing exactly what we are supposed to do and that every situation is not going to be right for us. She said the once the right birth mom and the right baby comes along that we won't feel any of the anxiety and the decision will be a peaceful one. She told me not to feel guilty but to know that the Lord will direct us each step of the way. Oh man did I feel so much better after talking to her. I then let the agency of the baby girl know that we would not be submitting our profile but that we will continue to pray for her and her family. I hope with all my heart that they were able to find a loving family for that adorable little baby!
Oh that was an emotional one to write.

Jan. 9, 2012 - We signed up for the foster classes!! I was excited. Unfortunately, they were not holding any in Safford. The closest location was in Wilcox. What?!?! Well we figure it would cost about $300 in gas over the 12 week course and we could handle that. The only other thing that stunk was the fact that it was on Wednesday evenings so we would both be missing mutual and Brandon would not be able to work on those days. But it was only 12 weeks so we could endure and once we were done we would be foster/ adopt certified and maybe find our children.
We attended our first class on the 11th and it was interesting. haha. They gave us loads of paper work and sent us off having filled us with fear to make sure this was something we really wanted to do. Well we decided it was and returned the next week with most of our paperwork done. Brandon really thought the whole thing was weird. And well, it kind of was. Well we never completed those classes and my next entry will explain why.

Jan. 15, 2012 - I check my facebook to see that I have a message. I was assuming it was from my grandpa cause I was waiting for him to write me back but when I clicked on it i was surprised to see that it was from A. The birth mom who had contacted us back on Dec. 1st! As soon as I saw it my heart jumped and started racing. I read her message and right away that excitement grew in me. This is what her message said, Hello sorry haven't responded but I needed too step back for a.bit and make sure I was making the right decision aswell as making sure I saw the doctors a few times to make sure all was well and healthy which the baby is great very healthy and energetic lol well all that said I have decided adoption is for sure for me I'm just not financially stable enough to care for another baby and if your still interested please let me know have a great day love A and L
I was so excited to hear from her again. So I responded to her that we were still interested and so glad to hear from her again. We continued to talk and I was able to get her connected with the LDSFS in her state and for the last 2 months everything has been going great!!! She is due July 24th and we are so excited! It is funny when I think back to the first contact from her and the things that happened regarding it. Like the fact that I got a text message that she had contacted us. I never again received a text message when we had a contact. Also the instant joy and excitement I felt when she contacted us. And how bummed I was when we didn't hear from her again. But it all makes sense now. Of course just like all the other potential children we have fasted and prayed and have been assured and comforted over and over in this decision. A is always so sweet to keep us posted on her Dr. appointments and she always send us a picture when she gets and ultrasound. She just found out last week that the little bundle growing inside her is a GIRL!!!! Of course we would be of been excited either way but it is so fun finally knowing!!! I just love to look at the ultrasound picture and try to imagine what she may look like. I love to look at her little profile and imagine kissing her cheeks and loving all over her. I love to look at her little back and her belly and imagine rubbing and burping and tickling. Oh the joy that those pictures bring me. It is hard to imagine being so excited over someone that is growing in another women's belly but the joy I feel is almost indescribable. I love to hear from A. I love to hear how her day is going and how she is feeling. I love to see her posts on facebook and get that small glimpse in her and her son's life. I loved our conversation yesterday when she literally had me laughing out loud.
I will probably never be able to express to A my appreciation for her. I will never be able to thank her enough or repay her for the gift that she is giving me and Brandon. I will never be able to repay her for the void that she is filling in our lives. But I do hope I can do all I can to make her comfortable with us. To make sure she knows how grateful we are and how much we love her for her selfless sacrifice. We are going to spend a few days with her during Spring Break and we are so excited!! It will be a little nerve racking just because this will be there first time we will meet her face to face but it should be so good. She scheduled a Dr. appointment while we are there so hopefully we will get to see the baby. Just writing that make me so excited!! So we look forward to Spring Break and we really look forward to July!! I will do my best to keep this a little more updated as things happen!!!

*If you really read all of that I know that you truly love us!!!