Our Adoption.com Profile

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Need to Remember

Throughout the process and struggle of infertility and grasping at every thread of hope you can, it's easy to lose your self and forget the #1 reason you started this journey.  It's important to remember that you are a couple in love with each other that is so wanting to start a family.  Michael and I got that reminder last week.  We had the opportunity to go on a mini vacation to the beach with friends of ours.  Although we were in a house with other people, we definitely still made time for us to share alone and to just be with each other.  A walk down the beach, a bike ride through the neighborhood, even just walking around the shops.  We left out fur pups in the capable hands of a friend and left the world behind us. 

Another important moment was celebrating our anniversary.  Remembering the hustle and bustle of one of the most important and memorable days of our lives as we came together as a union.  It seems like a lifetime ago that we were married, but in reality, we only have 4 years under our belts.  We've been through hell together and we know that we still have many trials ahead of us.  The one thing that has remained constant is that we are each others strong points.  We are the rocks for each other.  There's not doubt in my mind that I was blessed with a husband that can handle my emotional turmoil through the hard times with such unwavering love and understanding.  He has been the strength I have needed when I thought all was lost.  Last week, vacating our lives, was such a wonderful reminder of the vows that we made to each other and to God to love, honor, and cherish each other.  He is the world to me.  I couldn't imagine a better husband and future father.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

We're Live!

About a month ago LDS Family Services announced it's partnering with Adoption.com, a website used by many prospective birth parents and adopting families.  They're fees, like many adoption advertising websites, are pretty high for a middle income couple.  The partnership would provide free services to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This was a huge announcement and I may have cried a few tears over it.  To give you an idea, they're basic profile costs $200 per month.  Yes, that is per month.  Multiply that by a year.  We're definitely not poor, but we are in no way right.  That's like having a car payment.  We're already trying to save up for the adoption itself.  $2,400 wasn't an amount we were ready to pay.

When you choose not do a private adoption and only rely on word of mouth, it makes advertising for a low cost practically non-existent.  After our profile on It's About Love (the church's website that has now been taken down) was live for about three months with no bites, we started to really reevaluate how much we wanted to be seen.  We decided that if after 6 months no one had contacted us, we would consider going with our agency that completed our home study.  We were pretty set in that decision.  It's funny to me that just two months after that conversation, this partnership happens.  It couldn't have been a better answer to our prayers.  It refilled us with a hope that we were slowly beginning to lose.  Now, we just need to hang on!

It took almost a month to get everything approved and checked over, but we are finally live!  Our profile can be seen here.  Please feel free to share with friends, family, co-workers, whatever.  In all of the stories I have heard about how couples are found for private adoptions, it is definitely by our friends and family that we get the most exposure.

We love you all.  We are so appreciative of your support and love as we proceed down this road.  Hopefully, we'll have good news to share this year!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When one door closes...

It was an early and exhausting Tuesday morning in October 2004.  I had decided to move back to the hometown for a bit while I figured out where my life was going.  I had just turned down a temp job thinking I wouldn't be back for it, but called the Friday before to confirm they still needed someone.  So I showed up...after only about 2 hours of sleep.  You see, I was only 19 and still very much so dumb.  I had met up with friends and stayed out entirely too late.

Now, here I am, rolling my butt into this new job and trying to hide every dreary line of sleep still swarming around my head.  I needed a job; therefore, I knew I needed to put my best foot forward.  Did I do that?  Well, let's see.  Within the first half of the day I managed to get called out because I was on the phone during work hours.  I think the second half of my day was my shining moment of brilliance.  While standing around with the boss {mind you, I just met that day}, someone cracked a joke.  He did not respond quick enough for my liking, so I followed up with a, You're not too quick are you?  I think it was in that moment I thought I was fired.  I think it was in that moment, Kevin knew he found his work match.  Ü Who knew that tall, pasty red-head would come to be one of the most integral people in my work life {and yes...in my personal life too.}

It's been 10 1/2 years since that day.  Ten and a half years of in by 7 am and out by 4:30 pm.  Ten and a half years of half day Fridays {those will be missed!}.  Ten and a half years of learning, growing, and becoming a person I couldn't have imagined on that day in 2004.  It's crazy to look back and see what all I have accomplished in that time.  A decade.  A third of my life.  Did I ever imagine on that day I would be here, 10 1/2 years later?  Well, certainly not after that comment...but not even when I first walked in.  I had other plans.  Funny how those never work as we'd like them to.

K-fed Kevin left in 2010.  Just a month after I came back from Italy.  I still curse him for leaving me, but I know that he needed to be closer to his family.  I make the joke that it took him leaving for the love of my life to enter the picture.  My oldest relationship with a guy ended and a new one started just a month after.  When Michael proposed, Kevin's first comment was, Wait, I wasn't asked for permission!  He was the best boss a dumb, screwed up teenager could ask for.  And he turned out to be one of my most trusted friends as well.  He taught me a lot about our side of the business especially how to treat people.  Vendor-client relationships have always been my #1 priority because of him.  And I can confidently say, most of my vendors would bend over backwards for me.  I have grown {a lot!} since starting here.  Hard to believe that I started at the bottom.

Even today, Kevin has his hands on the pot.  He's always tried to get me to move and work with him again.  And it's always been tempting, but in the end, it just didn't feel like where we needed to be.  Besides, Michael has a really good thing going and I don't want to end that for him.  He loves his job.  He wants to make a career out of it.  And even though I do take pride in my work and my loyalty, at the bottom line, my job will just be a job.  So, when the news broke that I may need to look for another job, I was kind of relieved.  This has been a good place for me to grow, but my growth stopped the day Kevin left.  So I focused on keeping my job while I finished my degree.  When that was done, I looked for another job, but not really hard.  At that point, our focus was on a family.  I didn't want to get into a new job just to have to leave soon after.

I had every intention of seeing this place to the end.  I came in only a few months after it opening, but I still watched it grow.  I've seen people come and go from here.  Some people that are very dear to me, some I never particularly cared about.  {Can't always love the people you work with, right?}  But when I got that call for a better opportunity, I knew I'd be dumb {again} not to at least hear it out.  And it definitely peaked my interest.

So here I am.  Less than a week away from starting a new venture.  Closing the door on the last 10 1/2 years of my life to begin something new and exciting.  Am I scared?  Well, I think I'd be naive to say I'm not.  Of course I am!  I'm heading into an office where relationships are already formed and integrate my life into it.  I'm about to work with people I really don't know.  But I'm excited!  I'm excited for the new challenge because I know it's another part of this amazing experience called life.  It's another thing that I get to learn with and grow from.

I'm thankful for the last 10 and a half years here.  I'm thankful for what I've been taught, the people I have connected with, the experiences I've had.  And I've had a lot here.  It's crazy to think it's the end of an era.

Change brings opportunity.
Nido Qubein

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those."



Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.
- "The Laborers in the Vineyard," Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
April 2012 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I started this post months ago, but it never came to fruition.  Funny, as I look back over the many saved drafts I have, this is the one that caught my eye.  Mainly because it is very real with feelings lately.  We have had a lot of emotional roller coasters over the last few weeks.  No, we're not ready to share about those, but I do feel the need to share my feelings about one thing in particular.  It seems like a lot of things have come up that have helped the validity of my feelings, so I'm hoping that I can put my emotions into words that people who have not experienced these feelings can understand.  And this can be applied anywhere in life, not just infertility.

Imagine wanting something.  Not something material.  I'm not talking about that new TV or car or even house.  I'm talking about something that will completely enrich and change your life in ways you can't imagine right now.  Maybe it's a life changing surgery.  Maybe it's that promotion you have been working your butt off for.  Maybe...in our case...it's a child.  Now imagine the feeling that everyone around you is getting what you have wanted and desired and prayed so hard for.  Maybe it's not really everyone, but it sure does feel like it.  Do you feel happy for that person?  Sure.  Do you feel left out even more?  Of course.  Do you feel like crap for feeling bad about it?  Definitely.

If you have experienced this cycle of emotions, you know what it's like.  We have had more baby announcements and births than we know what to do with lately.  Are we happy for our friends?  Of course we are!  But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.  It's such a crazy conflicting set of emotions that only people that have experienced will ever truly understand.

So what do I feel?  I am so happy for my friends.  But I am also sad...and a little angry...and that feeling of hope dies just a little bit more.  I'm envious and jealous for what they have that we still haven't achieved.  My heart breaks a little bit more after each announcement because of what we lack.  And then there's the guilt.  The guilt makes it so much worse.  You feel guilty because of all of these negative feelings.  You should be celebrating, right?!  You should be elated!  But it's so hard to feel that way.  Deep down, I am happy.  But the feelings that are rising to the top are completely contradictory.  That's what makes the cycle.

There's really no way for friends to alleviate the negative feelings.  Not really.  We have very dear friends with the most adorable and empathetic 7-year-old.  There are days I feel like he just knows that his hug could cure my fragile heart.  And getting one is like winning the lottery.  It's the unconditional love that we need so bad sometimes.  Those help.  But at the end of the day, we are still our small little family and we are still lacking the one piece we so desperately desire.  It helps for the time being, until another cycle starts...

I could be angry all the time.  I could be mad and curse God for blessing an amazing gift with people that seem so undeserving.  But then where would that leave me?  Angry and bitter and with a complete lack of faith.  We do pray...often.  But I don't pray for a child anymore.  What I do pray for is understanding and support and love and comfort in knowing that we haven't been forgotten.  We want to understand His plan.  We know that God is foremost in our lives and that He has the ability to make anything possible.  But we know that we are given these struggles for a reason.  Yes, it's cliche and I absolutely hate when people say it while trying to comfort us, but we do know that God doesn't give us things we can't handle.  We do know that He has reasons.  Which is why we stopped praying for a child.  We just pray to understand His timing.  And we pray for His love and comfort.  We pray for His guidance toward whatever path He needs us to take.  In the end, He's the only person that can give us what we desire.  We know that...I know with every emotion and heartache that I have felt.  I have felt His love and comfort when we needed it most. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year, New Beginning

Every year I would write up an end of the year post.  How things went, things I wanted to focus on, etc.  I don't particularly like making resolutions so I don't.  I just try to remember things to better myself.  This last year has been a crazy one.  We have had a lot of ups and downs.  So let's recap, shall we?

January
We opened the year with a bang!  Literally.  A loud pop and a rush of water coming from our closet door.  The elbow joint on our line to the washing machine cracked and water went into the garage and into the foyer.  It was stressful and cold and just an all around pain in the butt.  But it was a blessing in disguise.  We did the work ourselves and were able to put that money saved into other things.  It also taught us to rely on others when we can't always rely on ourselves.

February
I spent a week in Guatemala getting an orphanage ready to go through inspections.  It was such an amazing and rewarding trip and I was so happy to have experienced that with my parents.  It was the longest Michael and I have spent apart and the longest we had gone without speaking, but it's an experience I'll cherish.

March
I had my surgery...and we all know how that went.  Let's just say that March could suck it.

April
Because of my surgery, April wasn't too exciting.  It was kind of great getting 6 weeks off from work especially when I could actually drive myself around again.  April was a pretty tough month for me spiritually and emotionally as we were really trying to figure out what next.  I mean, for everything.  Not just family.  After a lot of prayer and discussion, we decided I'd put the next phase of my education on hold and we'd pursue adoption full force.  At the same time, we were assigned a new case worker who was amazing!  It couldn't have been better timing!

May
We traveled to Illinois to watch my big brother graduate Law school.  It was so awesome and I was so touched to have been there for it!  We also took the opportunity to visit Nauvoo which was incredible.  I was released as a teacher in Relief Society and asked to be the new Primary secretary.  It was a crazy switch but I was very excited to do something new.

June
I honestly don't recall anything of importance happening in June.

July
Several things happened in July.  We celebrated my birthday and another brother's wedding which we got to attend in NC.  We also celebrated our 3rd anniversary.  It's weird to think it's only been three years. Through all of this struggle, I feel like it's aged our relationship so much more!  We spent our anniversary fighting Atlanta traffic to do our joint interviews for our adoption.  I couldn't have imagined a better way to spend our day!

August
More interviews and our home study.  What a roller coaster it all was.

September
We held our first fundraiser: a yard sale.  Looking back, I would never do that first again.  It totally burned us out...quick!

October-December
Honestly, not a lot occurred the last three months.  We have spent more time with friends and trying to enjoy the time that we have right now to do that.  It's been such a blessing having amazing people in our lives to help keep us going.  It definitely hasn't been an easy year, but they've made this last little bit incredible!

So what do we have to look forward to for next year?  Well, hopefully a kid!  We'll keep our fingers crossed.  :)  We're really not sure.  Michael is planning a guys' camp out in the spring which I'm pretty excited he's doing.  We're also planning a beach trip July with friends.  The last couple years we had been talking about a trip to Italy in the fall.  I would LOVE to still do that, but considering the financial strains we have of procuring a child, that may come later.  Overall, we're just trying to keep up the positive morale.

I haven't really posted a lot lately because I still struggle {almost daily} with bitterness towards the situation.  Unfortunately it isn't going to go away, but I'm trying to help keep it under control.  It's really easy to look up and scream, "Why me?!"  I just had to remember that this is such a small part of life and that everything happens for a reason.  I whole-heartedly agree with that!  It doesn't mean that my faith wavers from time to time.  It just means that I have to get through and become a stronger person for it.

I am so grateful for an incredible husband.  Through all of this, he has been such a rock!  He's been my support and my shoulder.  He grounds me to help keep things in perspective.  He's truly the best part of me.  I am so grateful for wonderful parents that are always there for me whenever I need them.  Through the spring, they were incredible!  And every now and then my mother does something new that makes me so proud to be her daughter.  I am so so grateful for remarkable friends.  Friends of our faith and friends that aren't.  It's amazing to have people in your life that understand your values and beliefs and love you for them.  Friends that respect us enough to not try to get us to do things against those beliefs.  Just more people who love us.  We are so blessed with love all around us!

This last year was a bit of a crap shoot...in the middle there.  But I'm actually pretty excited for this next year.  I feel like it would be a really great one!!  So happy new year everyone!  Good luck with all your future endeavors!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Be ye strong therefore...

...and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
2 Chronicles 15:7

We had our yard sale this past weekend and let me tell you, I think I'm more excited it's over than I was for putting it on.  Yes, it was successful and in the end, looking back, we had so much support and love from our friends and family.  But man, it was difficult putting that all together.  By  Wednesday night I was struggling to get through the day on very little sleep trying to get last minute details together.  Yes, I may have gone over the top with designs and marketing, but we thought that having good looking marketing material would be worthwhile.  I think it was.  Ü

We ran it from 8 am to 4 pm.  Weather Channel forecasted rain pretty much all day over the last few days, so by Friday I was ready to break down if it had rained.  It did rain while Michael and I moved stuff from our garage to his parents'.  We couldn't use the trailer {and get it all in one drive} because of it.  Saturday morning we awoke exhausted and in a literal haze.  At that point, I just completely surrendered it all to Heavenly Father.  I figured, okay, if this is supposed to happen, then He's heard my million prayers this week about holding off on the rain.  We kept going and set up as we had planned.  And wouldn't you know it...prayers are answered.  We didn't get a single drop and by about 2 pm {I think} the sun was out. 

Overall, we had such amazing people come shop in our yard sale.  A lot of people that were adopted or had adoption stories to tell.  Those are the people that I want to remember most.  And I really hope they follow our story on Facebook!  Saturday night, after a much needed shower and dinner, we totaled everything up.  Our goal was to be able to pay off our $1,500 loan that we took out for the home study.  We came to $1,112.  No small feat, that's for sure!  As we were totaling it all up, I about broke into tears!  Still a little shocked I didn't! =P  I can't begin to explain the gratitude I am feeling for everyone that donated either with baked goods, items to sell, or even donated a little bit to our donation jar.  I know Heavenly Father answers our prayers.  And I know that this is a prayer that we've had for such a long time that He is helping us answer.  

I couldn't be more grateful for our friends and family that put in time and effort to get our sale going.  I'm also incredibly grateful for the friends that were able to stop by and spend a little time with us, especially those that were able to keep me laughing!  {Many of you know I don't do well in high-stress situations...I'm not good with negotiating or people lying to my face.}  It was hard work, but we did have a lot of fun and we are so grateful for this opportunity to overcome just another obstacle in our path.  Thank you all.  A million times, thank you!!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Our Interviews

There's something about divulging your deepest childhood problems to a complete stranger.  Even more so when that person can essentially stand in your way of getting something you deeply desire.  Our interviews went very well, but they were still incredibly emotional.  I expected Michael to cry a little {he usually does when talking about his sister Sara}, but I didn't expect myself to.  Apparently thinking about how my mother raised me and the memories I have of her being the best band mom ever {slightly biased} left me feeling vulnerable and emotional.  Not at all bad feelings.  I guess it truly showed our case worker K how much I appreciate(d) everything my mom has done for me growing up.  How much she does for me now.

Two weeks ago {hard to believe it was only two weeks} we had our joint interview.  I feel like that was easier since we were together.  Yesterday was individual.  Ended up totaling 3 hours worth of interviews.  I feel like we truly gave K an accurate look into our childhoods and our relationships with our families and with each other.  I mean, the only thing we can be is honest, right?  Part of the process was talking about memories that we have with each family member.  It's wild the memories that popped into my head from out of nowhere.  But through my entire interview, there was one thing that I realized the most...I really miss my siblings.  I'm just glad with technology now a days and how easy it is to stay connected.  I really want our kids to know their aunts and uncles and cousins.

So, with the interviews going well and being able to unload most of our home study packet, we set up our next meeting: the home study.  K will come to the house and check things out.  Look around.  Meet the dogs.  From there she will take everything that she's gathered and put it all together to be submitted to some higher power.  We only hope that this higher power will see what she sees.  The home study is scheduled for Friday, August 22.  Yeah, a week and a half away.  We still have to finish our medical release forms {meeting with the doctor today} and finish up the FBI background check {planning on getting fingerprinted today}.  Oh yeah, and come up with the $1,500 that's due at our home study.  :\  I know we can do it.  We're fighters and we've been fighting for this child for two years.

It's crazy to think how timing plays into all of this.  I've always known that adoption would be somewhere in our life.  But when we started trying to have kids two years ago, I don't think I ever imagined it would be this soon.  Then we started to adoption process.  It was a slow start.  Really slow.  It took us about 8 months to get through with the online courses.  Now that those are completed, it seems like everything else is moving at lightening speed.  I know timing is everything.  And I know that everything is the Lord's time, not ours.  It just makes me that much more eager to meet our child...the one that is being perfected for us at this moment.  Once our approved home study pack goes to LDSFS, we don't know how long it will take from there.  We go into a database with other prospective parents and just wait.  And pray.

Last night Michael and I took advantage of being so close to the temple yesterday that we did a session.  It wasn't our original plan, but we both felt there was a reason we needed to be there.  As we were sitting in the celestial room together, tears just flowed from my eyes and I had this immense feeling of joy, peace, and happiness...like we are on the right path.  We are where we need to be.  I tear up and get goose bumps just thinking about it now.  Right now, nothing can bring me down from that high.  It's such a heavenly feeling.

We're so grateful for all of the love and support that we've had.  You guys are our rock and the people that will help us get through this.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please let us know.  And please remember to check out our Facebook page here for more updates.  We'll use that for little updates and the blog for more elaborate ones.  Be sure to check out the Fundraising page for ways to help.  We appreciate any help we are blessed with!

This man...right here.

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