Saturday, December 17, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
The biggest relief came the day after Desi was born. Instead of having to go to court and sign my relinquishment papers in front of a judge, I was able to have our Utah lawyer and a social worker come to the hospital. David, Jessica, and I gathered with the officials in my room. We were read the documents by the social worker, and I signed all my parental rights over to the people I trust the most with everything I have inside me. This beautiful, intimate ceremony is a memory I will always treasure. No one outside of this adoption circle will ever know what a positive thing it was for all of us. I am so grateful to Merrady for connecting us, and for everyone who has and will continue to support the love that we all share. Such a beautiful, sweet boy came into our lives and has connected us all forever.
After placement, I spent some time at my sister's home. She took care of me when I developed serious infections from the after birth complications. She took me to the hospital for doses of IV antibiotics every 8 hours for 8 days. Not to mention she had a spirited 2 year old and was rather pregnant at the time. She was there for me when I cried and made me laugh in the way only a sister can. She is the definition of an angel. After I felt well enough to return home and back to my life with Brynn, Tyler drove the 6 hour round trip to pick me up. He has been there for me through my saddest and darkest times during my healing process. He has brightened my everyday just with his presence. I can't even tell you how much I love this man. Not only to I love him, but so does Brynn. And everyone else who is blessed to know him. Seriously, this man is amazing. I love open adoption! The relationship I share with Desi and his parents is fantastic. They are so open and honest with me. They will work with whatever I am comfortable with as far as contact goes. They understand when I need space to process my emotions, and are there for me to share in all of our happiness too. I couldn't have wished for a better outcome in all of this. Desi is blessed to be surrounded by love. I am thankful to his parents for making it so important that he will always know about me, my love for him, and the beautiful story of how his life began. Seeing pictures and hearing updates on his progress and life is so blissful. Soon, I hope to be able to travel to New York and visit the Eastern division of Team Desi. I miss that sweet boy, every minute of everyday.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Because this story is not fully mine I am asking Sharon to not use my name, and will change other names so as not to cause pain to anyone who knows me and this story is partially theirs. See, the thing I have learned about adoption is it is never just one person’s story. Adoption has come a long way, and many people now give more credit and love to birth mom’s. That wasn’t always the case. But there are the “forgotten family” in adoption too. These are the people that aren’t allowed to feel, hurt, miss, long, share, etc in the process. I am part of that group. But there are others who are even more. My mom is the one I am really writing for. But let me back up and tell the story that isn’t mine to share, yet is so much mine it has defined me...I think you will understand more when I’m done.
When M got pregnant and struggled with what to do, certain things were expected of those around her. She had been engaged to the dad for a couple years. He wasn’t making progress towards the date part of the wedding though. So when she got pregnant she figured that was the next obvious step. They were practically living together anyway. But he had other things in mind. His answer and the advice very vocally given from his family was to abort the pregnancy. I can’t remember how many times M was told, “No one would want your baby anyway”. This all proved one thing to M; not to abort but not to marry. So the question M struggled with was do it on her own, or give her baby up for adoption. M turned to her family for advice. But no matter what her family said they seemed to be judging and wrong. It got to where M’s family did not feel like they were allowed to have an opinion. M’s family understood that this was her choice, this was something she would need to live with for the rest of her life. They really didn’t want to make that decision for M, they just wanted to support and help her through the process. It was not easy for M, no one will deny that, in fact everyone was very sensitive to that. But NO ONE thought about how difficult it was for M’s family. If you tell M that you would support her though the adoption if that was what she choose, then you were pushing her to give up her baby because you felt you were better than her with the choices you made. If you told her you would do what you could to help her raise the baby if that’s what she choose than you were agreeing with his family that the only place the baby would be loved was by those who gave him life since they “had to love the child”. I knew through all this that she was struggling, but it was heartbreaking to watch my mom no longer be allowed her opinion. My mom has always felt that giving a baby up for adoption was the correct thing in a situation. But if she said anything about the possibility of adoption she was pushing her belief on M.
After much time, M decided that the right thing in her life was to give the baby up for adoption. This brought on months more of pain and heartache to our family. M was met by more struggles in this process than I’d ever heard anyone. She tried to go through reputable agencies but was met with obstacle after obstacle. We learned that no agency, no matter who it is run by is immune from bad employees. This was particularly hard when she was met by so many obstacles from the agency run by our church. Our church feels very strongly in adoption, so why would they make it so difficult for her to place her baby with them. She finally found a family she was happy with. She spend the last 3 months of her pregnancy communicating with them through the agency. M had one seemingly strange, but very important request to any family who adopted her child. They couldn’t have a pet cat. It’s a long story, but M is severely allergic and the dad’s family spent years trying to convince her she was crazy and it was all in her head, just move in with his parents and their 10 cats, you’ll grow out of the allergy. So this became a huge issue. What if M’s baby was allergic, what would the family do given the choice of pet cat or new kid. I know, to all of us out there whose lives are touched by adoption on the receiving end you think, that’s just crazy who wouldn’t choose the baby over the pet. The family she choose had a pet cat, but they said it was an outdoor cat and they weren’t really attached and they would give it away not a big deal. They had three dogs also so it wasn’t like the other kids would be loosing their only pet.
But then the unthinkable happened. One week before her due date, the family contacted her and told her they decided they just couldn’t give up the cat for the baby. It was too much to ask of them. She shock M and those around her felt was overwhelming. She then was posed with all those same questions she had struggled to come to answers with all over again. Did I make the right decision to place, how do I know that I’m making the best choice for my baby, would no one really be able to love my baby like I can, can another family really think of my child as theirs not just a gift/pet they are to take care of. It had taken M months to find this family that she felt good about how was she supposed to do this with only a week until the baby was set to arrive. That’s when I really got drawn into the mix. As you probably have guessed, I’m M’s sister. But I moved away from the family years before all this so I wasn’t really “in” the situation like everyone else was who lived there with her. M called me and asked me if I could help her. She didn’t know how to even start this over again and couldn’t bear the thought of fighting with adoption agencies again to get info on families with so little time while she was working full time. So the matter was turned over to me to help her find a family for her baby.
Talk about the weight of the world being put on your shoulders. I prayed about what to do. The answer was strong and clear. Tell everyone you know about her and ask them to tell everyone they know about her, DON’T waste your time with agencies. It was not the answer I expected, yet it was the most clear answer I had ever gotten. So I emailed everyone I knew, I called everyone I knew, I asked them all to email and call everyone they knew. The info we gave out was simple. My sister M was looking for a family to adopt her baby. Anyone who is ready to have a baby in their home in a week to please get me a copy of their profile info or to know how to find their profile info online. I was just litterally in the information gathering person who then would spend hours going through each family with her. I never had anything to do with the choice of who ended up with her baby. I was on the phone from 6 am until 10pm with out breaks almost for days straight. Emails were coming in like crazy. I don’t remember how many families we got info for. It was easily in the high hundreds if not the thousands. Most were from people who knew someone who was looking. Only 1/3 or less was I actually contacted by those who wanted to adopt. It was the greatest answer to her prayer. She went from no one wants my baby to this. It restored her faith in the human race.
In the end the family who ended up with the baby was not actually one that anyone told us about, yet she would not have found them had it not been for my pleas. See a I was told first names of a couple and the number of kids and the agency to see the profile online. I’m not sure where the mistake was made but the number of children was changed. She couldn’t find that family. But she found another one that just seemed right. She talked to them and it felt right. She asked them, “What are your feeling on pets” She didn’t want to guide the answer. But their answer was, “We have a dog, and like animals but since “Dad” is allergic to cats the kids have to be content with that.” That sealed the deal. Someone could understand her child and put a possible allergy above other needs. Less than 6 hours after that decision was made she went into labor. It took some phone calls to high officials including the president of the church to get their profile released from the agency to do an adoption through a lawyer. Contrary to what they had been told, it actually cost the family less than had they gone through the agency. The family hopped in a motorhome and drove to the state where M lived to meet their new baby. They did not arrive until the day after. I hopped in a car and drove up to be there with her through it. I took some very special pictures of my nephew and his “first family” . These pictures are the most precious things to my siblings and my mom.
See here is what I told that whole story to tell you about. My mom and I never got to see another picture of him. We never have gotten to read letters about how he is doing. This was M’s baby and her loss, and so everything has been done according to her needs and desires. She receives pictures but it’s too painful for her to share them with us. I understand that, and honestly I don’t begrudge her that. However my mom lost her grandson, and I lost my nephew that day. Knowing he is where he is supposed to be does bring us much peace. But I still miss him. I know my mom misses him like crazy. But we aren’t allowed to miss him, we aren’t allowed to have comfort in seeing and hearing how well he is doing in his new family, every is quick to offer support to my sister, being extra sensitive when they talked about babies, pregnancies etc. But no one thought about my mom and how many nights she has spent crying over the loss of her grandson. No one thinks about how hard it is on her. My mom knew this was the right decision. She has supported the decision and has no regrets on the decision. That’s not it at all. But she still misses him and longs for him at times. It’s been 8 1/2 years since he was born. It’s not something that is consuming to us. It’s just periodically my mom will call me to talk about her grandson she knows nothing about. My mom did the right thing in letting my sister make her own decision. She did the right thing in not fighting against it for her own desires to see him overrule what was best for him. Yet, in the end she is left with just an empty spot in her heart for her grandson she can never know and that can never know her love for him.
So my desire to share this story that isn’t really mine I guess is to point out that no matter where you are in the adoption “family”, my belief is that it is still your story. My nephew being placed for adoption has changed and defined who I am today. I am a stronger better person for having supported my family through the process, and worked not to judge even when I don’t understand all the decisions that are made. But, no matter where you are, take a minute to remember the forgotten members of the adoption family..the grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, sister and brother of the birth mom. They all sacrificed their heart for the process too.
Loving Aunt, sister and daughter in a birth family
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
were married Dec. 2006. We went into our marriage knowing having
biological kids were out of the question for us (yes, yes we know we
are super blessed like that). With that in mind, Jan. 2009 we started
the adoption process and got approved through LDS family services
Sept. 2009. Now, if you really want to know more of our story, please
email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or check out our blog
(http://jndpayne.blogpsot.com). In this post, I would like to focus on
Birth parents are one of my heroes! I know there are a lot of them out
there and comparatively I only know a handful, but every single one of
them are my hero. The selfless sacrifice they make for their child is
beyond comprehension in my opinion. In general, birth parents are the
nicest, most giving people EVER! too. It breaks my heart to hear of
the things people say to and about them. No one deserves to be treated
disrespectfully, but especially not birth parents. If it weren't for
their ultimate gift there were be countless couples, like us, that
would never have the chance to be parents.
I actually have all 3 of the adoption triad involved in my family. I
have an aunt who places a baby boy about 31 years ago, I have an uncle
who was adopted, and we are hoping to adopt. Jared has a brother or
two hoping to adopt as well. Not that this makes us any more educated
in adoption, but I do think it helps us get at least somewhat of a
good perspective on all three ends. I think the end that deserves the
most respect and honor is the birth family end! The things they go
through. Not to say the other two ends are all "peachy keen". There is
just something so ... angelic and heroic about birth families though,
in my opinion.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope I was able to at least somewhat
related how special birth families are. Like I said, please feel free
to contact us or follow our blog!
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I was very excited to be asked to share our story! I tend to be long winded when I talk, so I will try to make this post short and sweet!
My husband and I were marred in 2001. We soon wanted to start a family. We learned this may be a little more challenging than we thought. Through fertility treatment, our daughter, Morgan, was born in 2004. With no fertility treatment, we were surprised with our son, Maxwell in 2005.
In 2007, we wanted to add to our family again. All fertility treatments we tired failed. It was a very hard time for us. One night I was up looking at blogs and came across an adoption blog. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The baby that was coming into our house was NOT going to come through any amount of medical treatment. There was a sweet birth mother out there that was going to bring this child into our home. Our heart had always been open to adoption but we were now financially more prepared for it.
We began to look into what agency we wanted to use and we found Heart to Heart. I knew our baby was there. We began filling out the endless piles of paper work and became an “active family” in January of 2011. I was sure our baby would come into our home in days (a girl can dream, right?). I was wrong. We had 10 birth mothers look at our profile from January to April. We would get our hopes up every time we got a call only to find out they had chosen another family. I was about at my limit. My husband and I talked out pulling our profile until we moved in July and just resuming our adoption process once we had gotten settled from the move. We felt that would be best. I got on the computer Friday morning to email our case worker and let her know we wanted our profile put on hold for a while. Much to my surprise, there was an email from Heart to Heart in my inbox. It was a birth mother profile and I glanced over it. I didn’t give it a second thought and just replied. We would love to be shown, but I think this is the last one until we move. I also had a few questions about the birth mother I wanted answered and asked if she could call us on Monday with more information.
We went about our weekend and had a really late night Saturday night. The phone rang at 3:00 AM Sunday morning. My husband works at a hospital so it isn’t unusual to get random calls that early in the morning! I heard him say “I will go get my wife” I remember being confused at this point! He came in the bedroom and said “Kim is on the phone, the baby we heard about on Friday was born this morning!” I quickly answered the phone and Kim told me the birth mom we had received information on went into labor early and delivered a healthy baby boy. We were the family that had been chosen and if we didn’t think it was too fast, we could come and meet him! Too soon? Are you kidding me? I said we would be there and jumped out of bed! Our kids were soon woken up by all the excitement and we celebrated as a family. We knelt in prayer and thanked our Heavenly Father for this blessing. The spirit confirmed this was our baby. Our little guy was born in Utah and we were living in Missouri. We loaded our van as quickly as we could and raced to Utah to pick him up. We drove straight through and arrived in Utah late Sunday night.
Monday morning we drove to the hospital to meet our sweet birth mom and baby. I was so nervous walking into the hospital. The second I saw our birth mom, my nerves were put to ease. She is amazing. Words can’t accurately describe how we feel about her. She is strong and has been through a lot. She told us that she knew her baby was meant to be a blessing for someone else. How awesome is that? We felt nothing but pure love for her. She was truly doing the most selfless thing and brought this miracle into our home. We walked in together, my husband and I hand in hand, and our birth mom by our side to meet our baby. It still makes me tear up to think about it. Here was a perfect miracle. It was more than we could have asked for. Our hearts almost burst with joy. We named him Isaac and thank the Lord every day for the joy and blessing he has brought to our home. We share an open adoption with our birth family and it works well for all of us. We love having them in our life and sharing the miracle of adoption. I love that as Isaac grows, he can get to know the people who created him and brought him into our home. Without them, none of this could have been possible. We love our open adoption!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
With in a week, before we had the chance to schedule appointments with agencies in our area to get the ball rolling, we got a phone call from Matt's mom, you know the kind that changes your life forever. She had gotten a phone call about her niece from her sister in law. Her niece was pregnant with a little girl and they had two choices, find a home for this little one or the state would. Because our families knew that we wanted to build our family through adoption they thought of us, and it didn't hurt that Matt is her favorite cousin.
Five of the fastest weeks of our lives later we were parents, and two of the slowest days after that we met our Sammy.
Open adoptions were just starting to become something that were being chosen by birth parents and adoptive parents alike. Because we hadn't been to any agency orientations let alone spoken with any case workers we had no idea that open adoptions even existed. Before we said OK to being Sammy parents we sat down and decided what kind of relationship we wanted to have since our birth mom is family, and had older children. We knew that our relationship could take one of two paths; we could still be one big happy family with no secrets as to how Sammy came into this world, or we could become this once close family that had nothing to do with each other over fear that the secrets we were keeping would come out. In our minds it was a no brainier, we would be one big happy family with no secrets.
The extended family took a bit to warm up to the idea, it was about three years later that they finally grasped the concept. We were setting up for a celebration for one of Sammy's aunts, her birth mom's sister, the little ones were running around and like most three year old kids, Sammy's legs sometimes moved faster then she realized and she fell. The nearest person to her was her birth mom, Jennifer. As Jennifer scooped Sammy up to comfort her there was an audible gasp from our family, the moment of truth had arrived! What was going to happen? Would Crystal run and snatch Sammy out of Jennifer's arms complete with stink eye and wagging finger? Would Jennifer take Sammy and run? Because we had a solid relationship with Jennifer, both she and Crystal knew who they were in Sammy's life, and Sammy knew who they were, neither of those things happened. Crystal looked over towards Jennifer, asked if Sammy was OK, got a nod from her, then went back to the conversation she was having.
Almost two years ago, when we started the process to be approved to adopt again, and learned about open adoption we realized that we had "fallen into" an open adoption. We know that having extra branches on your family tree full of people that love you is never a bad thing. While it can be "fun" at times trying to reign in three sets of grandparents, explaining to the teacher at parent teacher conference that Sammy really does have a brother and two sisters that don't live with us, that she wasn't making it up, and lining up schedules so we can visit as many times a year as possible with Sammy's birth family, they live a few states away, we wouldn't have it any other way.
You can read about getting the phone call from our friends point of view, the pure awesomeness that is our family, and our adoption journey with an agency this time at our blog http://mattandcrystalsadoptionjournal.blogspot.com/
Thursday, November 3, 2011
As the months passed, we let our guard down more and more. We were so excited. We were going to be parents!! We started buying a few things, our friends and family were giving us baby clothes, furniture, diapers, etc. We opened up a baby registry and were even discussing a baby shower. Things were going according to plan.
In mid September, the day finally came for us to pack our bags and go meet our son. We drove straight through the night (our birth mother lived out of state) and arrived about 2 days before he was born. I felt honored that she wanted me to be in the delivery room for the birth. After he was born, I was chosen to cut the umbilical cord and she asked the nurse to hand the baby to me first. I was beyond words. I was finally a mother!
The baby and our birth mother were released a few days later and she allowed us to have the baby the first night. I didn’t sleep at all. I was in heaven. I was holding my son and in a few short hours we all would be signing paperwork and we would be a family.
The next morning, we were preparing to go to the appointment to sign placement papers. Our birth mother came and took the baby out of my arms saying she had to stop by her house and that she would see us there, and then she left. Although I didn’t have a good feeling, I said OK and we decided to run some errands to kill time before the appointment.
That was when our world fell apart. During one of our errands, the adoption caseworker called my husband on his cell phone and I could tell by his face, that it was not good news. After the phone call, we got into the car and I found out that our birth mother never went to the appointment. She called the caseworker and said that she couldn’t go through with it.
Needless to say, we were stunned. I usually am not at a loss for words, but I was so shocked, that it actually took a couple of days for me to comprehend what was going on.
We waited a few more days before we came home, hoping she would change her mind. She didn’t. So, we packed up and came home.
It has been just a little over a month since everything happened. We had to undo everything we had done for the nursery. It was too difficult to look at all the baby stuff every day. My husband put everything he could into the garage. For now, that room is back to being the guest room.
This past month has been one of the hardest in my life. I cry on a whim and some days it is all I can do just to get out of bed in the morning. Some days are better than others, but I am still coping with the loss of our son. The hardest part is that he will never know us. Someone else will be wiping his tears, rocking him to sleep, and watching him grow. He will never know how much we love him and all we sacrificed to be a part of his life.
We still have not heard from our former birth mother. We never will. The day it happened, that she changed her mind; the first thing we did when we got back to the place we were staying was to get on our knees and beg the Lord to help us forgive her. Are we angry, hurt, and devastated? Yes, of course. Even though we don’t agree with her decision, we are trying to understand. We don’t know the pain of placing a child for adoption, but we think that we deserved to have her tell us of her decision herself.
We are hoping to adopt again. We are going to use this experience as a learning tool. There are things we will do differently the next time. What won’t change is our testimony of adoption. It is a blessing, it creates families.
I hope that no one has to ever experience the pain of a failed placement. If you do, feel free to contact me. Our email is email@example.com
Tammy and Mike are hoping to adopt. If you or someone you know is considering adoption for their child, you can find out more about them at Completeing Our Circle.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
This morning I got a message from an old friend of mine. She and her husband are married, with 3 children. The youngest (we'll call him Colby) being just a few months old. We'll call them Kayla & Shawn (Kayla, Shawn & Colby are not their real names).
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
(Us July 2011~Ray Of Sunshine Photography)
Thursday, July 28, 2011
I'll have photos and an update from her birthday parties later (we did one and her birthmom did one so she had 2).
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Speaking of Tamara, she passed her drivers ed class and her test. Now she is just waiting until she has had her permit for 6 months which will be at the end of this month. The other prerequisite is that she has a job to pay for the insurance for her having a license.
Emily has taken her first steps and is sure to be a lean mean walking machine in no time at all. She is also cutting more teeth so there have been some sleepless nights around here.
As for me, in addition to starting my own photography business, I am going back to school. I am so excited! I will be attending Salt Lake Community College and getting my Associates of Science Degree in Visual Arts and Design with an Emphasis on Photography. I can't wait! I have been wanting to go back to school for a long time. Seriously, so excited!!
Oh! And! Jacob has applied for a new position at his work, that is not only a pay raise, but it's also a day time, salaried, office job. He would have a set schedule and actually be home every once and a while. So hoping he gets it!
See, told you there were a lot of changes! :o)
Friday, July 1, 2011
The day after her first party I went to Utah County to take my newest nephew Sam's newborn photos.
Then Tamara had her other party which was the party for family and friends. We did an open house with cake and presents at the end. I was happier with the cake for this one. She designed this one as well.
Then, we got a new washer, dryer, and fridge. Emily's newest favorite "movie" to watch is watching the clothes go around and around in the washer and dryer. Heck, Tamara likes watching it too! LOL
Then I took my soon to be sister in law's bridal photos.
Then it was time for the wedding. I was able to shadow Ashley with Paramount Photography at the temple and did the reception photos myself.
On top of all this, I am getting ready to start my own photography business. I have been doing photo shoots like crazy to help build my portfolio, and am working on a business name, logo, cards, price list, etc. Stay tuned for more details on that, along with a giveaway!
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Which brings me to a few weeks ago. We got an email from our case worker. She is leaving the agency to become a stay at home mommy. We are so happy for her, but sad to lose her as our case worker. She wanted to set up a meeting with us to discuss when we want to take our file off hold and to also introduce us to our new case worker. So that brings us to now. Our meeting with them is tomorrow. We need to decide what we are going to do as far as our future hopes to adopt. Do we want to pursue adoption again? If you had asked us a few months ago we would have said no. At the beginning when Emily was first born we couldn't wait to add to our family again. As the months went by we had pretty much decided that we were done. Not because we didn't feel we were supposed to adopt again, but because we didn't know if we could go through the waiting process again. So how do we decide. We have no idea..... We have prayed about it, we feel that we should adopt again. But we are just so scared of what the future holds. What if we wait years again? What if we are chosen right away? What if we are never chosen again? And so.... tomorrow, we talk to our new case worker. And we have pretty much decided we will tell them we are ready to start again. We want Emily to have another sibling. She loves Tamara to death, but by the time she is in school, Tamara will be out of the house and either off at college or married or both. We want Emily to have another sibling close to her in age. And we feel like our family is not complete. And so.... we begin again......
We have a family photo session set up for this weekend by the awesome Angie from Ray Of Sunshine Photography. We were originally going to do the shoot to celebrate Tamara's 16th birthday, Emily's upcoming 1st birthday and our upcoming 10th Anniversary, but it's looking like we will also use the photos for pass along cards and updating our profile. Exciting.... but nervous too!