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!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Sealing and Blessing.

Well, we did it! Saturday we were sealed to our beautiful baby girl! It was a beautiful moment. The day started out rocky. As usual we were running late. I never used to be late, but it seems since moving back to Utah, I am always running late. Saturday was no exception. So, after checking and double checking to make sure we had everything we needed, I drove like crazy to get to Provo on time. I didn't speed, I just drove crazy (while not breaking any laws of course, but I only just barely didn't break laws). And I only just barely got us there on time. It was raining and snowing and cold and wet. So we knew with Emily having been sick on top the weather, a lot of pictures were definately not going to happen.

Emily did great. My mom had her in the nursery until it was time for her to come up. When they brought Emily in she was mesmerized by the chandelier. She did fuss a little, but that lasted only seconds. She was really tired though because when we went back to pick her up from the nursery, even though she had 3 of her grandparents with her (my mom and both of Jacob's parents took her back to the nursery), she was crying. Jacob took her from his dad and she kept crying. So I took her and within minutes she put her head on my shoulder and fell asleep. So the few pictures we did get outside had Emily sleeping.

Kristina was there. She waited outside in the car until we were ready to come out (she didn't want to wait in the waiting room). We got several pictures with her and several more of her with Emily by themselves. It would not have been the same without her there.

Sunday was Emily's blessing. She did great! Jacob was starting to get emotional before he even took her up. I'll admit, I was too. It was short, but beautiful. My sister-in-law Janele (Jacob's oldest sister) knows short hand and so she wrote Em's blessing down, well, most of it. Which is good, because I was too emotional to know much of what was being said. I didn't take any pictures on Sunday, which is sad. We had a luncheon open house at our house Sunday afternoon after the blessing. Our house was filled to the brim with our loved ones. I didn't know we could fit so many people in our house. And it was so great to have all of them here to love and support us.

It was, as I thought it would be, a bittersweet weekend though. I missed Tamara at the temple and I missed her at the blessing. I understand that she is uncomfortable with religious things. And I wouldn't have wanted her there knowing she would have been uncomfortable (to say that she would have been uncomfortable is an understatement). But still, my heart ached to have her there. I'm glad that those who were able to make it, and brave the weather on both days, were able to be there. What a beautiful special weekend it was.

Tamara is taking photography in school and she is going to take some pictures of Emily in her blessing dress for me. I really wanted to get pictures of all of us, but the money just isn't there to hire someone, so we will make do with what we can. And Tamara has the eye so I know she will do great. Until I have those to share, here are a couple of pictures that I got from Saturday at the temple. A few of these are from Kristina's camera. Thanks for letting me use them Tina!

Jacob, me & Emily outside the Provo Temple after the sealing.

The one who made it all possible. Kristina holding Emily.

My mom made Emily's dress and a bib to match, my aunt made her sweater, a lady at church made her hat, and my sister Ginny made her blanket.

Emily and I after the sealing in the entrance of the temple, waiting to go out for pictures. She was soooo tired! Right after this picture was taken she laid her head down and went to sleep.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Am I excited?

So this is the weekend we have been waiting for. As members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we beleive that families can be together forever. This is called a sealing. Tomorrow we will be going to the Provo Temple and will have Emily sealed to us as our daughter for eternity. And on Sunday she will be given a name and blessing that will go on the records of our church.
I've had a lot of people tell us how excited they are for us, and ask if we're excited. Honestly that's a loaded question. Don't get me wrong, I am sooo excited! I mean, Emily will be our daughter for eternity. This is a day we have been waiting literally years for. When we were married we wanted to have children right away. That wasn't in the Lord's plan for us. There were times we thought this weekend would never come. But it's here. Emily will be our daughter for eternity. However, Tamara will not. And that, is heartbreaking. Our eternal family will not be complete until she is. So tomorrow will be a very bittersweet day. It's hard to explain honestly. And it will coupled with the fact that she won't even be there in the waiting room. I explained to her why I wanted her to be there, but left it at her decision to be there or not. She chose not to be there. I respect that. She has reasons, ones that I won't go into because they are her personal reasons. They are between her, me and Jacob. And I respect her reasons. But that doesn't dull the sadness of her not being there. I'm not sure if her being there would make it easier or harder honestly. For those who don't know, Tamara is my daughter from a previous relationship. I had her when I was a teenager, and not having alot of support, and not really knowing about adoption, I chose to parent. Tamara was 6 when I married Jacob. She has grown up being shuttled back and forth between our house and her dad's house. The only time she learned about the church was when she was with us. Now, Tamara's dad is a great guy. He is an amazing father. He is not, however, active in our church. I don't think he has even set foot on church grounds in probably over a decade or two. When Jacob and I married and he joined the Army we gave Tamara the choice on who she wanted to live with, knowing we would be moving around a lot. She chose her dad, so she could stay in one place. Being a child who moved around a lot, I don't blame her. But this means she didn't grow up learning about the church. She was given the choice on whether she wanted to be baptized or not when she became a teenager. She chose not to. So not really beleiving in the gospel, or in the sealing power, she has chosen to not be there at the temple when Emily is sealed to us. Like I said, she has other reasons, and we respect those reasons. Still, I am sad....
So I'm trying not to think about it. I'm trying to think only of Emily. This is her day after all. And for that I am truly grateful. And who knows, maybe..... maybe someday.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Guest bloggers wanted. :D

Howdy all my bloggy friends! I know you have been waiting for Kristina's story, and that is coming, I promise. She has it partially written and is working on the rest. She has been really busy with school and trying to catch up with everything, but she is working on it. In the meantime, if anyone else wants to guest post, please email me at jandscrown at yahoo dot com. I'd love to share your story. Whether you're an adoptive family, hoping to adopt, a birthparent, birth family member, adoptee, connected to adoption in any way. I'd love to have you! If your interested, email me for details! :D

Friday, February 11, 2011

Registration Reminder for Adoptive Couples Retreat

Just a reminder, there is less then one week left to register for the Adoptive Couples Retreat. This is for anyone who has already adopted, hoping to adopt, thinking about adopting, or just wants to learn more about adoption. We will have a birth parent panel, and an adoptive couples panel as well as Josh & Lindsey Redfern are our fabulouse Keynote Speakers. Not to mention, we are going to have an adoptee, her birthfather, and her adoptive father, all speaking on panels. Seriously folks, you don't want to miss this. And might I say, we are planning a yummy menu too! For more information go here: Adoptive Couples Retreat. Or you can click on the button in the right hand column of my blog. Registration ends Feb. 18, 2011! Don't miss out on this awesome weekend! Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finally, the 6 month post!

Little Miss Em is getting way too big, way too fast. At her 6 month check up a couple of weeks ago she was 19 lbs. 4.5 oz. and 28 1/4 inches. Ya, she's a big girl! She is 96% for her weight, and 99% for her height! Considering she was born in the 95% for both, she is growing right where she should be. The dr. is really pleased with her growth so far. She was impressed that Emily was sitting up by herself for several minutes at a time. Emily now sits up by herself for as long as she feels like it. By that I mean, she'll sit there and when she gets tired of sitting she just lays down. It's too funny! I put her toys around her and she will just play for a long time! She is starting to try to crawl. She will get on her belly and try to put her legs up underneath her and then she'll get frustrated after a few minutes. I would say that she will probably be crawling in the next month or so. She loves to try to feed herself, although she doesn't always get the spoon in her mouth, so we give her an empty spoon. I'll feed her and then give her the spoon when I'm done and she'll play with the empty spoon for a bit. She loves it. She now eats baby food twice a day, and has 3-4 bottles through out the day. We are also trying the sippy cup, but so far she isn't interested. We'll keep trying though.

She continues to entertain us with her cuteness. She says mama, dada, and a lot of other jumbled baby words that no one but her understands, which is to say she is extremely vocal! She loves to blow raspberries in the midst of her babbling, and we have had to walk out of classes at church on more then one occassion (read, it's a weekly occurance) because she's so talkative and is disrupting the class. She is a generally happy baby, still sleeps 7-10 hours at night, still hates naps during the day, wears 9-12 month clothes and size 3 diapers. Her reflux seems to be getting better day by day. We still have to watch very closely what she takes in food wise. I make all her baby food to cut down on the risk of her having an episode (for lack of a better term). We tried her on juice but she had issues with the asorbic acid they put in juices for preservation purposes, so we'll be waiting on juice for a while (the dr. doesn't want us to make her juice, she says just hold off on juice for a while). All in all everything is going great. Emily is a very inquizative child and is always watching what's going on around her, and grabs at everything she can get her hands on. She is drooling up a storm and we're hoping she will be cutting teeth soon (she started teething months ago, but no tooth has broken through yet). Anyhow, there you have it, a couple of weeks late, but that is how Emily is doing at 6 months old. I can't beleive how quickly she is growing up! Crazy!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Signed, Sealed, Delivered, She's OURS!!!

Just a quick note, the judge signed the decree, the clerk stamped it with the court seal, and our lawyer delivered the paperwork to us and..... SHE'S OURS!!! It's official! Emily is now officially, and legally, our daughter! When I picked Tamara up from school today I told her that it was final, that Emily was now legally her sister. Her response was, "She's always been my sister mom". And she's right, Emily has always been Tamara's sister, and has always been our daughter, but, to have it legally recognized now, it's final, well, that is fantastic!