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!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jennifer -- The Revelations That Led Us Here

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a sweet new blog reader. She had stumbled onto my blog through the blog of a mutual friend. I invited her to be a guest blogger and share her journey of bringing, not 1, not 2, but soon to be 3, children to her family through foster care adoption. She asked me what she should write about. I told her that she should write about what she wanted to. I really didn't have a topic to give her. And I am so glad I didn't. The following is in her words, exactly as she sent it to me. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your journey. And congrats on the upcoming finalization of your little man! Jennifer is going to be on the adoptive parent panel, representing foster adoption, at the upcoming Adoptive Parents retreat! Can't wait!!! To follow Jennifer's journey, check out their blog here.


I am so excited to be invited to share our story with you & yours! We love spreading the good word of adoption, and we love sharing the tender mercies that foster care adoption has to offer.

A little about me: My name is Jennifer (aka Mama Lark). My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years. 4 1/2 of those years we have spent as foster parents. We have been blessed to be able to adopt 2 beautiful daughters, and will be finalizing our little man's adoption in April. Enough about that... if you want to read more of our adoption story, please feel free to check out our blog.

I feel prompted to share the revelations that moved us to become foster parents.Foster care is hard. It has its tough moments. It also has its amazingly spiritual moments! My husband and I have always been very QUICK folks. We don't wait around for anything.(We knew each other 7 days before getting engaged!) We started planning for a family immediately. The Lord had another plan for us... After struggling with fertility issues for 12 months, I begged my Heavenly Father to provide us with an answer. Why were we struggling to have a baby?!? The answer came in the form of a blessing I had received weeks before our wedding. I stumbled across my patriarchal blessing in our dresser drawer where I had left it for safe keeping. Without divulging the specifics, part of my blessing indicated that I would raise children carried in my heart. What the heck did that mean? I found out what the Lord had planned for us late one night while I scoured the Internet for "cures" for our fertility woe's. There was a small Google ad on my screen about adoption. What the heck, I clicked on it. My heart became full when I read the adoption agencies mission statement, and it read WORD FOR WORD what my patriarchal blessing had promised me... children carried inside my heart! The bells went off, and the next morning we were calling every adoption agency in the Yellow Pages.

Much to my dismay, we did not meet the requirements of most agencies because we had not been married for 2 years. After another prayer to my Heavenly Father, and another Internet search, we learned about foster care adoption. Within the week we had contacted the Utah Foster Care Foundation, met with a recruiter, and signed up for the required 36 hours of training. Everyone thought we were crazy!! People told us all the time, "Just relax. The babies will come naturally if you just chill out." To them I would respond, "Adoption is NOT our second choice."

After completing half of our training with the state, we were dismayed when both our trainer and our caseworker told us the likelihood of us getting an infant was very low... Not that we were against raising older children, but we didn't want to have the children dealing with looks and hushed questions when we had only been married for 2 years but had a ten year old. We knew we would get them. So, we gave up on the idea of foster care, and continued living our lives as newlyweds. There was nothing I wanted more than to be a mother. After spending a weekend crying to my husband about our lack of babies, I thought it would never get any better. My infertility was controlling so many of my emotions! We knelt together in family prayer and studied the scriptures and went to bed early that night... I woke up covered in sweat, crying out in panic. I shook my husband awake and told him that I KNEW our baby was out there! They needed us to find them as soon as possible, and that we needed to be ready. (He thought I was insane, but went with it.)The next morning, I contacted the Foster Care Foundation, and scheduled us to finish our foster training.

September came, and I went back to work as a pre-school teacher with our school district. A job I LOVED! My husband lost his job and was working temp agencies in the area. It was a stressful time for us. We still had not gotten our child, and we were still waiting anxiously. We were prompted to finish a nursery, and have everything ready. In October, I lined my cute pre-schoolers up to take them out to the playground. I reached out and grabbed my cell phone off my desk to use as a clock, and we were off. I helped toddlers cross the monkey bars and played kickball. When my phone started ringing, I felt the urge to answer. I had my assistant take over the class and stepped away. It was my caseworkers voice on the other end. When I realized I was on speaker phone, the tears started streaming down my face... I don't remember much from the phone call except the part where she told me I was going to be a mother. We brought home our beautiful daughter and our adoption was finalized 7 months later.

During the summer, we fostered a sweet little boy. He was so much fun! Our hearts were broken when he left our home on October 2, 2007. I found myself angry with Heavenly Father for taking this sweet spirit away from our home. With prayer, came comfort... After a week of tears, we received the call that our daughters biological sister had come into custody and she was coming to join our family. (This was almost EXACTLY a year from receiving the first phone call about our oldest daughter.) She joined our family and her adoption was also finalized quickly. We were so happy! We decided that we were content as we were, and we closed our file with the state.

Fast forward a year... I had been spending lots of my time thinking about our daughters birth mother. Where was she? Was she safe? Had she had more children that were in danger? We toyed with the idea of finding her, but decided that it was not in the best interest of our girls. They had been removed for her lack of parenting skills because she was a drug addict and a petty criminal. Not what we wanted for our girls!! The promptings got stronger, and my fears got worse. When studying my scriptures, I came across this:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

With faith in our Heavenly Father, we began searching out our Birth mother. We had no luck with conventional methods, and we started searching social networking sites. I found her!! I panicked because she had another baby... but everything on her site seemed like she was doing better. I contacted her, and agreed to meet up with her. I was pleasantly surprised when I did! She was a totally different person. She had stopped using drugs, she had gotten a job and was attending school. Her spirit was amazing! We now share an amazingly close relationship, and enjoy having "Tummy Mommy" as part of our family. We are proud to say that we are one of the few families that have an OPEN foster care adoption!

When we felt prompted to open our file back up, we did not question our Heavenly Father like we had always been so quick to do in the past. Within a week of an approved home study, our Little Man came into our home. We were told that this would be temporary, but He calmed our hearts and minds and assured us that this sweet child would be ours for eternity. He was right as usual. We are so thrilled that we will be completing our family in a matter of weeks... unless Heavenly Father feels that we should be blessed with just one more sweet spirit. The revelations we have enjoyed, have truly been great blessings!

For the most part, we have had nothing but support from our family and friends when it comes to our adoption decisions... I can actually only think of a few people that were not supportive. They think that we just "fly by the seat of our pants". Well, honestly, we do! But believe me, its not without much prayer and much divine intervention from a loving Heavenly Father. For those of you struggling with non-supportive family/friends, I close with this quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley...

"Let us get on our knees and plead with the Lord for direction. Then let us stand on our feet, square up our shoulders, and march forward without fear..."


Jared and Devin said...

LOVE this!! Jennifer has such a way with words. I'm so excited to meet her. Makes me excited for when we can open our foster care file too!!

ME!! said...

Your story touched my heart. My patriarchal blessings says something similar... you will be blessed with spiritual children of your Heavenly Father. I know part of my calling when I get married will be to adopt. I am excited for the moment when I can be a Mommy. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.