Welcome to our corner of the web! Here you will learn about our family and our journey of a family member adoption. In July of 2010, after 9 years of trying to add to our family and 5 years after we started our adoption journey, we welcomed baby Emily Rose. Emily's birth mom is Sharon's adopted sister. We look forward to someday adopting more children but for now, we are enjoying our time together as a family of 4!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blogger: Gavin and Shauna's Adoption Journey

I think it was in May, I could be wrong, but I think it was in May when I got a message from a sweet lady by the name of Shauna, on Adoption Voices asking me if I would add her blog button to my blog. I very happily agreed. We became friends, and then started chatting on Facebook. We have shared in the joys, and ups and downs of adoption, the waiting game and now motherhood. When I asked Shauna if she would share her journey of how her little man joined her family, she happily agreed. Thank you Shauna for sharing!
Ok, so like most adoptive couples our story spans over several years of trying to get pregnant on our own. After being married 2 years we moved into a ward where there are quite a few families with adopted children. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but now I definitely know that Heavenly Father placed us in that ward for a reason.

After 4 years of fertility testing we stopped trying. We needed a break, bad. Trying to have a baby that long definitely takes a toll on you emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. During that time I had to opportunity to be a Visiting Teacher for a woman who adopted and whose son adopted as well. The story of her first grandchild’s adoption brought tears to my eyes. I remember saying something to the affect of “Families are supposed to be together, no matter how they come together.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Five days later, Gavin and I were having Family Home Evening. At the end, he got serious and said he wanted to talk to me about something. That definitely scared me, he’s normally not so somber! ;)

He said that for the past year-ish he’d been feeling like we needed to look into adoption. I was shocked. I felt like considering adoption was closing the door on possibly getting pregnant. I wasn’t ready for the finality of that. It hurt. Bad. I made myself open my heart and my mind to consider it. The words I had spoken only five days ago came back into my mind. I had to stop and ask myself if I believed what I had said. I decided I did. We prayed about adoption that night together and both felt that we should proceed. What a night.

Over the next several months we filled out endless paperwork, crossed our fingers, prayed our hearts out, and went through all the legal hoops necessary to become approved to adopt. I really appreciated the sweet support we had from the few people who knew.

During this time I discovered the wonderful support network of adoption blogging. I met some amazing people whose friendships I absolutely cherish. I honestly don’t know what I would have done if not for these wonderful friends.

About 11 months after we made the decision to adopt, we were approved through LDS Family Services for adoption. We were thrilled but I tried to restrain myself from getting too optimistic. I knew it could take years to be picked. But then I’d heard of couples getting picked in 1 month! I really tried not thinking about those couples too much lol.

Well, 3 months after we’d been approved my husband called me at work one fine Monday in June. An attorney had called him, who knew a birth mother who was expecting in August. Could we meet tonight to talk more? Oh heck yes we could! Turns out, this attorney was the father of a friend who had our blog button on their blog. We will forever be indebted to those sweet friends who helped spread the word of our adoption plans!

I was incredibly nervous prior to meeting the attorney. I really didn’t want to get my hopes up. But as soon as I saw him, I felt instant calm. We found out more about the birth mother and that she was expecting a boy. Yes I definitely destined him for soccer cleats and football before I even knew he was ours! I couldn’t help being excited and hopeful!

Two days later we met the birth mother. It was ironic because my husband, normally the calm one, was nervous and I, normally the very nervous one, was totally calm driving to meet her. The meeting went well and I totally felt like we hit it off. I felt we could have been sisters. We clicked. She told us she wanted us to be the parents and I squeezed Gavin’s hand under the table. She then gave us ultrasound photos from his 2 month appointment. I can’t describe the wonder and love that washed over me as I looked at his precious photos. I couldn’t believe, looking at the photo of that tiny lil boy, that he would be our son.

After we left we headed home to pour out our gratitude in prayer to our Heavenly Father. Then we hit up my fav restaurant to celebrate! I couldn’t stop staring at one of his photos. I think I even had it propped up near my napkin lol. We started spreading our good news. Definitely one of the best days of my life. Ever.
Our birth mother is absolutely amazing. She invited us to the rest of her Dr’s appointments, which we loved! I loved hearing his heartbeat and seeing the ultrasound and just being there. It really made us feel involved and we’re very thankful to have been invited into those private moments.

I laugh every time I think of the day our lil man made his arrival. It was Wed Aug 11, 2.5 weeks before due date. She was having one of her last checkups before his arrival. Gavin and I were leaving work early to be there. That morning she passed her mucus plug. Up till then I had been on edge over every single Braxton Hicks contraction she had. But that day I was totally calm and unruffled. I kept telling myself it would probably be soon, but not today so I wasn’t worried. Later when leaving for the appt. I had the feeling to take my personal belongings home from work with me. I followed the prompting, but still didn’t think anything of it. Silly me.
At the Dr’s appt there wasn’t any reason to suspect he would be coming later that day. Afterwards we stood in the parking lot talking for an hour (we had become best of friends). She kept telling me that it felt like he was pushing down on her “down there”. I joked maybe he was trying to find the exit. I still didn’t think anything was going to happen. All the way home she texted me that she thought I was having real contractions. Still no worry on my part. At home I felt like I should get our stuff ready for the hospital. She had been sweet enough to invite us to be there for the birth. I still didn’t think anything about it. Notice a theme here? I’m apparently none too bright lol. At around 5pm I was done packing and told my husband I was going to go run some errands. At 5:02pm she texted me that her water had broke. I stopped midsentence and told my husband there was a change of plans and laughed at how ironic it was that I had our stuff packed! We got in the car and I called her to see what the plan was. She was in labor and how! I felt so bad for her & the pain she was going through! She was waiting for her Dad to get home so we planned on meeting her at the hospital. On the way I felt we should stop at the store to grab some snacks. I’m very connected to my stomach people, ya never know how long these things take and I wasn’t going to let us go hungry! Ironically, the store was closer to her parent’s house, where she was, than the hospital. Can you see where this is going? Yup, walking towards the store I get a call from her that the baby is coming NOW and could we possibly drive her FAST to the hospital? Uhm. YES! We ran back to the car and flew to her parent’s house. Then we broke a lot of laws speeding, no, flying down the freeway to the hospital. There were definitely angels surrounding our car that day!
We made it to the hospital around quarter to 6pm. I rushed her to her room while Gavin parked the car. She got changed and on the bed and the nurse announced she was already dilated to a 9!! A NINE PEOPLE! The poor girl got NO MEDS. A couple minutes after that she screamed that she needed to push. The Dr rushed in and no joke, 12 minutes after her arriving he was born! At 6:02pm. It was an amazing experience, one I’ll never forget.

I remember the nurse putting him on the warming table to clean him up and it was like time had stopped all around me. As corny as that sounds it’s so true. I just remember walking over to him and looking down in wonder. I’m pretty sure I was crying. I held out my finger and he grabbed on. He had been crying but calmed down then. In my heart, that is when I became his Mother. I had always been told of what becoming a parent felt like, but I can’t find the words to adequately express the love and wonder of that moment.

The pain I felt during the 5 years of trying to get pregnant has been completely erased and filled with the joy of being a Mother. Every moment is precious, every day wonderful. I wouldn’t trade any of the pain or trials that led us to our son. They are part of the beautiful story of how we became a family.

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