Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Unsuccesful Adoption Story

Although this story does not have the happy ending we planned for, it is still our story and a big chapter in our life book.  With that said I look forward to writing this out and sharing this process and emotions.

Brandon and I had discussed options for expanding our family in late 2013.  After lots of discussion Brandon finally told me to request all the paperwork we needed to get certified for adoption again.  I quickly requested the papers from LDSFS.  As soon as I got them I printed them out and sat at my desk at work to start filling them out.  Before I could write I single thing down I was completely overcome and knew that the timing just wasn't right to move forward with this.   I went home and told Brandon and he agreed so we put those papers away and felt at peace.  The discussion was put on the back burning for the time being.

March 28, 2014 - This was just any ordinary day.  I was at home working on a birthday cake and it was consuming most of my day.  That afternoon I sat down to take a break.  I got my phone and checked facebook and then decided to check my email.  Most it was junk that I was quickly going through and deleting.  I came to an email that just showed it was from an email address, no name and the subject just said, Hello.  Most people know emails that come across like this are usually just junk.  So I slide the message over on my iPhone with the delete button on my screen ready to delete it. For some reason I hesitated and decided maybe I should just look at it.  So I open this email and much to my surprise, it was not junk!  It was a quick note from a girl named C telling us that she has been thinking about giving her baby up for adoption and she saw us online and was looking for a couple like us.  I was shocked!  It took me be complete surprise.  I called Brandon in and read him the email.  He to was surprised. I didn't know how she saw us online so I asked.  She told me that her Dr had given her an LDSFS card and she googled it and we popped up.  Now I have no idea how that happened since we have not had a live profile since Jordan's birth mom picked us in January 2012.  But somehow we came up and she was able to look at our profile and contact us.  Miracle? Maybe!
 C and I sent emails back and forth for a bit and then I left the conversation open for her to contact us again if she wanted to.   Brandon and I talked about it and kinda just decided that we would leave it up to her to contact us again if it was meant to be.  Well after a couple days and she continuously being on my mind I decided to send her an email just to see how she was and to see if she was able to contact an adoption agency yet.  A few emails later we both felt as though we were the family for her baby and made plans for us to come meet her and go to her next Dr. appointment with her to find out the sex of the baby. 
We were excited and nervous and anxious and knew that we had a lot of work to do before September.  We weren't even certified to adopt!!  There was a lot of decisions to make at this time about weather to use attorneys or use LDSFS again.  Once we made the decision, then the paperwork began.  Anyone who has done this process knows that it is not an easy one.  It requires LOTS of paperwork, fingerprints, background checks, homestudys with multiply visits.  And although money doesn't matter in a time like this, it does require a nice chunk of money.  But we started all this and we were excited to do it!
The time finally came to meet C.  I was a ball of nerves.  Being nervous makes me sick to my stomach, literally, so it was a LONG morning.  We decided to meet her for lunch before her Dr appointment to kinda break the ice.  So we meet her and her friend and her son at Paradise Bakery on April 28th.  It was a good lunch, not tons of conversation but good.  Then we went to her Dr appointment.  I was so grateful she allowed us to be there for this.   It was so awesome to see this tiny baby up on that big screen and after awhile they finally said it was a BOY!!  I would of been excited either way but since our family is mostly full of girls, I was excited for it to be a boy!!
From that point on we continued to have almost daily contact with C and continued to attend another 7 of her 9 appointments with her.  Even if it was a 7 hour round trip drive for a 20 minutes appointment, it was worth it every time.  We developed a great relationship with her and my love for both her and this sweet growing baby boy grew stronger and stronger every single day!
During these 5 months we did everything we could to get ready for this baby.  We got certified, we got out all the baby stuff we have, we moved back into out bigger house for more room, bought a bigger car to fit 2 car seats, we bought, received and washed lots of super cute baby boy clothes, we decorated a nursery and mostly prepared our hearts for the amazing gift we were going to receive.

Jordan was excited to have a baby brother and spend time practicing her big sister skills.

(Sorry for the naked pictures.  I swear she does wear clothes)
September seemed to take forever to get here and baby boy pretending like maybe he was going to make his debut in August but he stayed in and finally C's Dr decided we would force him out on Monday, September 15th. To say I was excited was an under statement.  Finally, we were going to have another baby.  Jordan was going to have a sibling!!!
I talked with C daily the weekend before her scheduled induction.  Although I knew all of this was becoming very real to her and she was starting to freak out, all still seemed to be OK.  We did all the last minute preparations that weekend and finally loaded up the car and headed to Phoenix Sunday evening so we would be there and ready as soon as the hospital called when they had a room ready Monday morning. 
Monday is when everything started to change.  I messaged C that morning just to tell her how excited we were and although this was going to be a hard day that it would also be great and I couldn't wait to hear from her.  We sat around all morning anxiously waiting to hear from her.  After several hours has passed I decided to message her and at the time her friend let me know that they were already at the hospital and she didn't want anyone there.  Although with adoption you prepare for bumps in the road, I immediately dropped my phone and went to the bathroom and just sobbed.  I think I knew right at that moment that things were over but I was still holding onto hope.  Well to make this extremely long story a little bit shorter... after waiting all day, finally a little after 1am Tuesday morning, I found out that a perfect baby boy had been born at 8:56 pm.  The emotion that came with this news is a little indescribable.  I was so excited that he was finally here but my heart was breaking because I wasn't there and really didn't have any right to be there.  I wanted nothing more to hold him and love him and be there for his sweet mommy but instead I just had to lay in bed and do my best to sleep. 
The next day and a half were so hard and sad and confusing and I know they were for C as well.  I know this wasn't an easy decision for her and it caused her a lot of pain and heartache as well.  I cried a lot in those couple days, I questioned a lot, I was sad and angry and confused. 
Finally Wednesday came.  This is the day of discharge and I knew this was the day we would finally get an answer.  I already knew what the answer was going to be but part of me just was hoping I was wrong.  I was hoping she remembered all the reason she choose adoption in the first place and that these reasons would out weigh the thought of her broken heart.  But I knew and I think that helped me once the answer was finally given.   There was just no way she could give her baby away.  It was to much and she couldn't do it.  Some people would think that this news should of made me angry.  It should of made me hate her for putting me through this.  But that is far from the truth.  I loved her and I loved that sweet baby.  She was placed with the hardest choice a mother could ever have and at this time she decided that parenting her child was the best choice. 
I decided that I still wanted so bad to see her and to hold that sweet boy and I was so happy that she allowed me to come to the hospital.  I was so excited to see him and to hold him. Her was cute and perfect and amazing!  I took her the basket we had made for her.  this was meant to be given to her when we all left the hospital and even though circumstances had changed, these were items purchased specifically for her and I still wanted her to have them.  It was a great visit.  No tears were shed and no angry was present.  I was 100% truly happy for her and so glad I got to snuggle this sweet baby.  Of course, out of love for them, I am concerned about the struggles they will may face.  Being a single mother of one is hard enough but now to be a single mother of 2 I know she will have hard days and that is one reason I will always continue to pray for them.   But this is a day I will forever be grateful for.

Going home with an empty car seat and placing it in an empty nursery was hard!  Even though I was at peace with C keeping her sweet baby, I was still empty inside.  I was ready to have a baby in my arms and that didn't happen.  I was down in the dumps for a couple of days for sure.  I felt a bit numb and just didn't really care to do anything.  But through my prayers and prayers of many others I am also filled with peace knowing that everything would be okay.  I have no doubt that this nursery will be filled again.  That car seat will be used at some point.  I don't when and I don't know how that child may come to be but I know it will.  I have faith in our Heavenly Father that he will bless us with our righteous desires. 
I don't know the reason for this trial.  I don't understand how so many miraculous things had to happen for this women to come into our life just for this adoption to fail but I do know everything happens for a reason and someday we will know the meaning of all things.  My faith is not lost but strengthened. I will forever love sweet C and her baby L will always hold a special place in my heart.  So although this wasn't the ending we hoped for, it is the ending that was meant to be in this story. :)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Grandpa Alec

Yesterday, July 12, 2014, I attended my Grandpa Alex Gibson Hunt's funeral.  This was a day I had just convinced myself would never happen cause my Grandma and Grandpa were just going to live forever.  Sadly, that didn't happen.  Grandpa got sick a little while ago.  There was several issues but one of the most serious was Cirrhosis of the Liver.  With this diagnosis and the other medical issues he was having we knew his time here on this earth was limited but still I wanted to believe he would just get better and live forever.  But after suffering for some time our Heavenly Father decided it was time for him to return home the morning of July 6, 2014.  Even though it was expected, it didn't make it any easier.

I have never really had to experience death.  I have known people who have passed away but I have been blessed to never have had someone close to me pass away.  My grandmother (my mothers mom) passed away when I was 5 but I was to young to remember.  It was a different experience being on that side of a funeral.  Being the ones in the Relief Society room for the family prayer, the one following the casket into the cultural hall and sitting in the reserved seats up front.  It was a very different experience for sure. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to handle the viewing.  It was hard to walk in and see this man I love more then word can describe laying in that casket.  But at the same time, it wasn't really him, it was just his body.  And even though I knew that, I wanted so bad to wrap my arms around him and hear him tell me,  "you get prettier and prettier everyday" while giving me a kiss.  I wanted to smell him and feel his warm embrace and see that smile and look of adoration on his face as he looked up at me.  But of course none of that happened. I just had to look at his body and imagine all those things in my head and heart.  It was really hard to do, harder then I thought it would be.  I held my emotions together the best I could but inside I felt like I was breaking.  When someone that close to you leaves this earth it truly feels like a piece of your heart goes with them.

From the moment he passed I quickly started regretting all the questions I never asked or the visits that never happened.  Did he know how much I love him and how much he meant to me?  Did he know how much I looked up to him and how much his love and approval meant to me?  Did he know how much joy and happiness his love for my grandma brought me?  I'm sure he did but how I regret not taking time to open up more when I was with him or how much I regret never having him come to Thatcher and teach me about my heritage. Or at least sitting with him at his home while he told me all about it.  However, regretting won't change anything so I know it is silly for me to dwell on that. 

Grandpa's services were wonderful.  I recorded Justin as he gave Grandpa's life story and as my dad and each of his sisters shared their thought and memories of him.  I plan to transcribe those so I can add those memories of him to my own book of memories.  My grandpa was a wonderful man filled with so much love.  There is not one single time I can remember seeing him that he did not give me a hug and a kiss on the lips and tell me I was pretty or beautiful.  I never had to wonder if he loved me cause he always told me he did.  Even though he has 10 other grandchildren who I know he loves just as much as me, he always made me feel like maybe he just loved me the most, that I was the most special and I am sure all of his grandchildren felt that way. 

Seeing my Grandpa throughout my life and then hearing so many wonderful things about him yesterday really makes me want to be a better person.  His love for my Grandma was incredible.  I'm not sure I know of a stronger love between spouses.  He adored my Grandma and wasn't afraid to show it.   I want to be that kind of spouse.  I want my husband and anyone who ever sees us to know just how much I love him and how strong our marriage is.
Grandpa made everyone feel special and beautiful.  I wanna be that type of person that can always make someone feel better about themselves.  I may not tell everyone that they get prettier and prettier everyday but those were some of my favorite words out of my grandpa's mouth.  There have been times in my life when I have felt far from beautiful but he would always change that.

Grandpa was good with money and he used to tell me, "If you are every in a bind financially, double your fast offering." Of course at first that did not make any sense to me.  How would paying out more money in fast offering give me more money.  But knowing he is a smart man I have used this advice for many years now and every single month I pay my fast offerings I think of my Grandpa.  I always have and I probably always will cause thanks to always paying my tithing and taking his advice with my fast offerings, we have never been in a financial crisis that we were not able to get ourselves out of.  Something always works out and we are able to move on. 

One thing that was said at my Grandpa funeral was that when asked what he cherished most his answer was his Temple Recommend.  What an amazing answer and another amazing example he is.  Just hearing that made me want to strive and be better about my temple attendance and doing the work for my ancestors who have passed on. 

I could probably go on for weeks about my Grandpa but I just wanted to get a couple thoughts down before to much time passed.   Although yesterday was one of my hardest days ever, I am blessed to have so many amazing memories of my sweet Grandpa.  I am grateful that when I think of him that I don't see the body laying in that beautiful casket, instead I see one of the most handsome guys around with the sweetest smile ever.  I was so grateful I was able to visit him in the hospital 2 weeks before he passed.  He was awake and alert and me, him and my aunt were just able to sit and talk for awhile.  I had planned to take Jordan to see him on Monday cause he just loved my Jordan so much.  The fact that she is adopted never matter one tiny bit.  He would always just say, "I love my babies no matter how they come to us.  She is truly your daughter."  Unfortunately, we were just a day late for that visit but I will cherish that last time I got to spend with him and to hear him say, "there's my beautiful girl" one last time.   He has left a lasting impression my heart and has inspired me to be a better person.   I hope as he looks down on me that he will continue to be proud of the women I have become and the better women I continue to strive each day to be.  I am beyond grateful for my understanding and testimony of the plan of salvation and eternal families. Although I will miss him so much during my remaining days here on this earth, I know that this is just a temporary separation.  I know that I will one day be able to greet him again with a big huge and kiss and hear him say, "Hey Sugar, hows my beautiful girl?"  Til that day comes I will try to be the best person I can.  I will remember him each day and be happy when I think about him and cherish the times we had together.  He is one of the greatest men who ever lived in my book.  Til we meet again Grandpa.............

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day!

I decided that I wanted to start celebrating all the holidays and not just the big ones that everyone celebrates.  St. Patricks day isn't normally celebrated in our family so I decided to change that this year. I wanted to make pretty decorations, yummy food and fun memories. 

We made a table setting with gold under our rainbow.  Jordan loves balloons so I knew she would like this table when she woke up in the morning.  We have bags of rainbows and gold (skittles and rolos) waiting for us when we woke up in the morning. 

I invited my mom and Terry over for our St. Patricks Day dinner.  I was a little nervous since I wasn't sure how anything was going to turn out but in the end I think it was a success. 

One tradition we started was the clover under the plates.  Everyone has a clover under their plate but only one had a 4 leaf clover.  That person was Lucky enough to get to bless the food and they also get a special treat.  This year it was a large bag of skittles and a package of Rolos.  My mom was the lucky one this year.  Before we ate we also learned who St. Patrick actually was and what he was known for.  That was interesting to learn since I never really knew why we celebrated this day.   Then it was time for dinner. 

 We had a yummy rainbow fruit tray to snack on while we waited for all the food to get done.
 As well as spinach dip and crackers.
 What would St. Patrick's day be without Corned Beef and Cabbage.  It turned out so good!!
 Green Jello Salad
 Clover Rolls
 And rainbow ice cubes.  I was the only one who chose to have colorful soda but I thought it was fun.
It was so nice to have my mom and Terry there and make new traditions on this day.   We also had some yummy green rice crispy treats with marshmallows in them
We then ended the night with some green candied popcorn and an Irish movie called Waking Ned Devine.  It was an interesting movie. 
We continued the festivities into the next day for family home evening.  After our lesson we made St. Patrick Day pictures.

We look forward to celebrating more St. Patrick Days with our new traditions and more holidays to come. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Our 10 year old Love Story and how we celebrated!!

On Friday, January 9, 2004 I walked into a Famous Footwear in Bozeman, Montana and met a boy named Brandon.  My sister had told me a lot about him but I wasn't that impressed at first. :/ (I know, horrible to say but I am just being honest)  Later that night he came over to my sisters, cause he spent most of his free time with her and my BIL, and this time it was different.  I saw something in him and I knew I wanted to know him better.  We didn't see much of each other the rest of the week although I could always hear his car coming and going to work and my heart would jump a little hoping he was coming over.  I say our love story started 1 week later on Friday, January 16th, 2004.  So here we go!!!

Friday, January 16, 2004 -  Brandon and my brother in law Shayne were working this evening so Chelsea and I went to meet them while they were closing the store.  We had decided we were going to go the movies and of course invited Brandon to come along.  Once the store was closed, Brandon kept talking about needing to go to his house to get a hat.  He said this over and over before I finally got the hint that he was trying to get me to go with him.  So we got in his little Mazda hatchback, drove down a long road going a little to fast, awkwardly talking on the way there.  Once we pulled into the driveway, he was nice enough to warn me that there might be dead bodies hanging in his garage.  (Animal bodies of course)  I then waited in the kitchen with a huge mean looking cat while he went upstairs to get this much needed hat.   We then headed back to Famous Footwear to meet back with my sister and BIL.  As we pulled into the parking lot, Brandon thought he would show off his driving skills by doing an E-brake parking job in the icy parking lot!  Embarrassed to admit that I almost just peed my pants, I quickly got out of the car.  :)  We jumped in my sisters car and headed to the theater.  We bought our tickets to watch Cheaper by the Dozen and got our seats.  I purposely left my hand open and available for Brandon to hold it.  He never did.  I was little bummed when the movie got over but was glad that I wouldn't have to be teased my Shayne for holding his hand.  When we got back to the parking lot to drop Brandon off he said 5 words to me that changed the rest of our life.  He said, "Hey, come visit me sometime!"  That sentence sent electricity through me.  The reason I say this changed our lives is because I had my plane ticket to go home to Arizona in the morning.  But after Brandon said those 5 words to me I knew I had to stay longer.  Who knows what would have happened if I would of gone home and not experienced the next 3 days. 

Saturday, January 17, 2004 - As soon as I woke up I called the airlines and changed my ticket to Monday.  That gave me 2.5 more days to see this amazing man.  Brandon told me he was pretty excited when he found out I decided to stay a couple more days.  Later that day, me, my sister and BIL went to visit Brandon at work at the Bowling Alley.  While there Brandon politely told Chelsea and Shayne that he would be happy to babysit for them if they were needing a night out alone. :/  That was a good ice breaker!!  I may of only been 17 but really??  A babysitter??  He just thinks he is so funny!!  Good thing so did I!  Although they did not take him up on the babysitting we did decide that we would go Jackpot bowling that night when Brandon got off work. 
We had a lot of fun and even though I was not technically old enough to even be playing I won a whopping .25 cents.
How cute were we 10 years ago??!??
As we were leaving the bowling alley, Brandon asked me if I would like to go to church with him in the morning.  I consider this our first officially date since it involved him asking me, picking me up, and us not being with Chelsea and Shayne.  I of course said yes and then couldn't wait for morning to come.

Sunday, January 18, 2004 -  I was super excited to get ready that morning and my heart almost leaped out of my chest when there was a knock on the door.  I opened the door and he look so HOT!!  Wearing his vest and sun glasses.  And he smelled so good.  When we got to the church building he held my hand as we walked up to the doors.  I couldn't help but smile.  We turned lots of heads as we walked into church.  Here comes Brandon Little walking into the University ward, holding hands with a girl that no one has ever seen before.  :)  It was fun to see the looks of wonder on every ones faces.  After church we went to his best friend PJ's house and he introduced me to PJ's mom.  He was to scared to take me to his house so he decided his second family would be a good place to start.  When the spent the rest of the night at Chelsea and Shayne's house.  (Our first kiss happened this night.  Nothing intense, just small and perfect)

Monday, January 19, 2004 - The day I had to go home.  Although I did not want to leave I had no choice since school would be starting the next week.  Brandon came and picked me up early that morning so we could spend a little bit of time together before Chelsea took me to the airport.  We went to Burger King and shared an order of Cinni minis.  We sat and talked and were sad for the inevitable departure I would have to soon make.  At this point we were head over heels for each other and couldn't stand the thought of leaving.  (I know it is crazy.  We had only known each other for a week and had only spent a total of 4 days together.  Oh and I still had a boyfriend at home.  Whoops!)  We eventually said our goodbyes so he could go to work and me and Chelsea headed to the airport.   I told Chelsea that those were lips that I could kiss for the rest of my life!!  Not knowing at that time if I would ever see him again let alone have the chance to kiss him again. 

Well lots of emails, text message, phone minutes, a move to Arizona, a proposal and temple marriage later, things worked out just great!!!!!  And I can't believe it has been 10 years since that amazing weekend!!  With Brandon working so much lately I knew that we needed a special night out and I decided what would be a better date then to relive the weekend we fell in love.  So after much preparation we went on the best date ever! 

Here is how we celebrated this weekend.
I made little cards for him to open for each phase of the date.  Each one reminding him of an event that happened on the weekend 10 years ago and inviting him to join me on each adventure starting with Fridays event from 10 years ago.  I set up our "Movie theater" at the fire station.  Complete with popcorn, candy and soda.  And what did we watch???
Cheaper by the Dozen of course!!  I think the last time I saw this movie was 10 years ago so it was fun to watch it again.  He laughed cause he had just watched it at work this last week. 
He was super excited!!  He he.  I left my hand available again.  He never once held it!  What?!?!  He did it on purpose and told me afterwards. 

I then gave him his next card which lead us to the bowling alley.  The Safford bowling alley does not do jackpot bowling so I had to make up rules for our own game of jackpot bowling.

We had such a good time!!  Brandon was worried because he hasn't bowled in over a year because of the issues with his back but as you can tell by the scoreboard (224)  he had no problems and he won almost all the money!!  People were probably wondering why I kept paying him after each frame.  At the end of the game, I walked away with $1.00, which is .75 more cents then I got 10 years ago, and Brandon made $15.50!!!  He had a lot of fun and was happy with his score (had he not scored well he would of been sad the rest of the night)  :)   On to the next part of the date.

Like I said earlier, on Sunday 2004 I went to church with him.  Well since we went out on Saturday and there was no church's opened, I invited him to join me for hot chocolate and stroll around the temple.  It was freezing but beautiful as always.  Little did he know that I had printed some emails that we had sent back and forth to each other after I had come back to Arizona 10 years ago.  These  emails were full of sweet words and poems and affection.  I had him read the ones he had sent to me and I read the ones I sent to him.  It was so fun to reread those first words of love between us.  We found ourselves laughing a lot at some of the cheesy things that were said.  Brandon couldn't believe some of the stuff he wrote.  Ha ha.  It was great!  At one point he jumped over to me and was like, "What is the date on this email?"  So I told him and he was freaking out cause we had just met 2 weeks before these email and we were already talking about getting married.  He was saying there is not way Jordan better try to pull that on us.  Ha ha!!  I think he got a glimpse of how his parents were feeling 10 years ago.   :)  But it was great to read those words and remember all the cheesy things we said to each other. 

Now that we were freezing, it was time for our last stop.  I told Brandon he would get brownie points if he could remember what we did my last day in Montana in 2004.  He thought hard but could not remember.  Knowing how well his memory is I gave him a little hint on the card and we soon found ourselves at Burger king.  Although they do not have Cinni mini's anymore, we enjoyed a treat together before we headed home to relieve the babysitter and peek on our sweet girl.

It really was such a great night and a great way to relive that fabulous weekend we had 10 years ago that set the foundation for many amazing years together.  I think it will go down in the book of great dates!! 

Love you Baby!!!  Thanks for an amazing 10 years.  Can't believe how fast it went.  Can't wait for the next 10 years!