Friday, October 29, 2021

Finding Fridays, 2021 - October 29th

 


For our final Finding Friday, I wanted to share the letter we have written to prospective birth parents. Please share it far and wide so that we can extend our reach and continue this adoption journey!


Friday, October 15, 2021

Finding Fridays, 2021 - October 15th

 


Daniel's birth mother, Mimi, gave us the gift of a lifetime when she placed Daniel in our family. The relationship we have with her is something that we treasure and are so grateful for. Open adoption is truly beautiful. It can be difficult for people who aren't in an adoption triad to really understand the symbiosis that can be experienced. In this blog entry, I tell Daniel's adoption story from my perspective and Mimi tells it from hers. I hope that anyone who reads it can feel the mutual respect and love we have for one another and can see how that benefits Daniel.


Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday, September 24, 2021

An Adoption Story: Hope, Grief, Love and FAITH

 


As you can tell from these last few posts, this process was anything but easy. We often found ourselves feeling like, “If this doesn’t go through, we’re done. We just can’t do it again, it’s too hard.” But then we found ourselves there, solidly on the “it didn’t work out” side of it and we realized that we can’t give up. There’s a child out there who is meant to complete our family. Daniel is meant to be a big brother. We just can’t give up.

Although things did not turn out the way we expected them to with this situation, we find that our faith isn’t shaken. We had so many significant experiences along the way that told us we were on the right path. And we trust those. We trust that our Heavenly Father knows us and knows what’s best for our family. We don’t always understand His plan, but we do trust it. And grieving doesn’t mean a lack of faith, either. Because I struggled with that. Even though I 100% trust Heavenly Father, I was still sad. And I wondered if that meant I wasn’t really as faithful as I felt. But I learned that grief and faith CAN and DO coexist. And I don’t have to kick myself when I am overcome with that grief, I can just let myself feel it, acknowledge it, and move through it. It’s been a valuable lesson.

And so, here we are. Again. One year ago we were planning our big adoption push, full of faith that our child would be coming soon. We formed our Adoption Army, made t-shirts, and recruited your help to get the word out. Remember how love begets action? We saw that love, and have continued to see it, in your actions as you supported us this last year. And we are so, SO grateful. We know that many of you have been aware of situations and recommended us and we have never even known. We know that you have been fighting for us. And we need you to continue to. Because WE ARE NOT GIVING UP. There *is* a baby out there who is meant to be our child, meant to be Daniel’s sibling. And we are ready to fight for that child, our child, again.

So, we are going to re-launch Finding Fridays this October! But we’ll do it a little differently this time around. Every Friday we will post an image or meme, along with a link to our adoption profile or blog, here. All you need to do is share it! And if you’re comfortable, ask others to share it, too. We will keep spreading the word far and wide and I am confident that our faith and efforts will be rewarded.

Friday, September 17, 2021

An Adoption Story: Hope, Grief, LOVE and Faith

 


The day after we got home from Arizona, we still hadn’t heard anything from the agency. The failed match wasn’t technically official yet and we didn’t know where to go from there. We had been told that a director from the agency would reach out to us, but we hadn’t heard anything. That afternoon, we received a bouquet of flowers from the agency with a note saying how sorry they were and that they were all grieving for us. That bouquet made me so *angry*. Was that it? Is that all we were ever going to hear from them?? So, Brian called the director and he said he’d talk with us the next day so that he could set aside some time to listen to and answer our concerns and questions. That phone call ended up being 3 hours long – and it was anything but pleasant. The director was gruff and dehumanizing. He told us that the agency had a conversation with birth mom and told her that we might sue her and if we did, the agency would support us. And that floored me. Why would he say that to her, especially when they still hadn’t even spoken with us yet?? It seemed so cruel.

I was angry. Angry with the agency for dropping the ball with birth mom’s care, angry with the agency for misrepresenting us to birth mom, angry with the director for not seeing us as human beings, angry with birth mom for choosing to let her child go into the foster care system instead of home with us. But here’s the thing about anger. Anger is a secondary emotion. We often feel anger when we’re trying to deal with other vulnerable feelings, like hurt or fear. And yes, I was hurting. We all were. And it didn’t take long for that anger to turn to deep sadness. I felt sad for birth mom, who wanted to be able to parent her child but had that choice taken from her. I felt defeated with having used so much of our adoption savings on a situation that didn’t work out. I felt anxiety at the prospect of starting our adoption journey over again.

What does all of this have to do with love?? Well, I firmly believe that you don’t experience that level of sadness without also experiencing intense love. To paraphrase President Russell M. Nelson, “The only way to take sorrow out of [life] is to take love out of life.” We did love birth mom. And we had poured love into that baby, even though we’d never met him. We prayed for both of them constantly. We sent notes and gifts to birth mom and planned and prepared to have that baby boy in our home. We even named him, for heaven’s sake! So of course we were sad, and even angry, that this didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to. Because the love that we had for both of them was so very real.

And, lucky for us, we are surrounded by an army of people whose love and support for us is very real, too.  So, when we were feeling all our feelings, they gave us the time and space we needed to be able to deal with them. A group of friends got together and brought us meals every day for a week, so we could just focus on our family. Other friends arranged playdates for Daniel so he could spend time playing with friends while Brian and I dealt with the agency. Another friend worked and prayed for our family to be able to have a very special and sacred experience, which was amazing. And we received many texts, emails, and FB messages from friends who expressed their sadness and love for us, too. We felt the love very strongly. It allowed our grief to be cushioned a bit. And it helped our circles grow so the grief didn’t come around as often.

Interestingly, it was the love that we have for birth mom that finally brought us to peace with the situation. It was really upsetting to me that she was out there with this threat of a lawsuit hanging over her head. The agency never facilitated any kind of direct communication between us and I didn’t know how to reach her to tell her how wrong they were. But it dawned on me that I could reach out to Arizona’s Division of Child Services. I knew she had an open case with them and I thought that maybe I could get in touch with someone there who could pass the message along. So I did some searching, found an address, and sent an email explaining the situation and the message I would like to have passed along to birth mom. I heard back *very* quickly! The social worker said that she could not confirm or deny that that birth mom had an open case with DCS but if she did and she was assigned a caseworker, the message would get to her. I cannot begin to describe the relief I felt!! Both Brian and I felt like a weight had been lifted from our shoulders and we felt so much peace. It felt like we could finally let go of this situation and begin to think about moving on.

Just as anger and hurt are linked, love and action are linked, too. True love begets action. It’s that love-driven action that has allowed us to feel peace with the end of this chapter. And it’s the love that each of you have poured into us that gives us the faith we need to continue on in our adoption journey.