Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Class # 2!

Wow!  All I can say is wow.  You know the class you're attending is going to be interesting when there are not one or two, but five Kleenex boxes on the table!!  Tonight's class was all about the loss and grief we experience with infertility.  This topic is close to our heart since Ben and I have been trying to have a baby for three years now.  It was so cool to hear everyone share their stories and their infertility struggles that led them to choose adoption.  Everyone had a different twist to their story, but yet so many of the themes in our stories were the same. 

Ben and I have never been able to conceive, but several families in our class have experienced the thrill of pregnancy only to be devastated with a miscarriage or stillbirth.  I sometimes wonder if God knows that I would really struggle with that type of heartache and thus has protected me from experiencing it thus far.  In our first class everyone was pretty quiet and stuck to small talk--tonight it seemed like the floodgates were opening--especially after sharing our stories!  Infertility can be a very lonely and private journey--I am so thankful that I have a close friend who has also struggled that I can confide in, vent to and cry with!  (You know who you are!)  It's exciting to be getting to know seven other couples who have driven down the same path as us and are now speeding down the highway of adoption!

Tonight we talked about something called the grief wheel (I tried finding a picture to post but nothing fit the one we looked at tonight).  It was eye opening for me as we talked about each stage to reflect back on all the emotions I have experienced in the last three years:

Denial:  At first I didn't want to believe that anything was wrong or that my biggest fears were actually coming true.

Anger: During the last three years I have ranted and raved to God crying out "why me?" (Especially when it seemed everyone around me had no problem whatsoever getting pregnant)

Bargaining:  I remember making promises to God: "If I get pregnant I'll never moan or complain" etc...

Loneliness:  I remember feeling like no one else could possibly imagine how I was feeling and that no one had ever experienced what I was going through.

Guilt/Shame:  My strong desire to have a baby and start a family has made me feel guilty and very selfish at times. 

Depression:  There was a time when I had pretty much given up hope of ever conceiving or starting a family.  The depression overshadowed everything I did for a while.

And finally...Acceptance:  When a close friend of my mind announced she was pregnant it brought me to an all time low.  But during that low God met me and with perfect timing allowed the adoption information packet to arrive when he knew I would be open to what it had to say--and low and behold the depression lifted--I am truly EXCITED to adopt and start a family!

Grief and Loss was described in many ways tonight:

A river without a bridge.  You can't go over it, around it or under it--you must go through it!

An emotional roller coaster with a blindfold--you never know what's around the corner that might devastate you or draw you to your knees once again.

The adoption specialist tonight shared that often times when we are struggling with grief and loss it's because a crisis has occurred.  The word crisis in Chinese means opportunity.  Every crisis is an opportunity, from God to grow, succeed and draw closer to Him!  She also shared that the grief wheel doesn't flow from one stage to the next--it goes back and forth--and takes a while to conquer.  She shared you can't put a lid on grief--at least successfully!

One of the couples, while sharing their story, used a phrase to describe how it felt to finally focus on and choose adoption.  I love this phrase: Choosing adoption is how it feels to finally get a positive pregnancy test!

I have a positive pregnancy test in my hand but it isn't my own!  I am so excited to start this adoption journey!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo Shoot!

Our friend, Stacey was kind enough to take time out of her busy day (as a mother of two!) to take some pictures of us at Mesa Center for the Arts. We hope to use some of these pictures in our match letter down the road!

Our First Class!

Ben and I had our first class last night.  A lot of information was given out, some of it kind of scary!  Ben and I were thankful we had talked to friends beforehand who went through the adoption process themselves. We didn't feel as overwhelmed as some of the other couples looked! We covered a lot of topics: 

When a birthmom gives her consent for her baby to be adopted she doesn't do so until at least 72 hours after the birth and she can't be on any pain meds.  A lot of times it takes longer for her to sign, especially if she's had a c-section.  The agency has to do everything possible to locate all possible birth fathers as well since they have a right to parent their child.  I like the fact that they do this--can you imagine being a Dad and never knowing about it?! Even though a birth mom might be 100% sure she wants to give her baby up for adoption before the delivery, the agency warned us that everything can change once the baby comes.  This scares me a little but the agency also said that when a birthmom struggles with her decision it's a good thing because it means she's bonded with baby and is attached.  Bonded and attached babies are healthy babies!  I had never though about this before and it really reassured me. 

I got to thinking a lot about the birth family in class.  Although I really want a child and haven't been able to conceive I also need to put myself in the birthmom's shoes.  She is having a child but isn't able to parent her own child--that's a lot to deal with!  She may have wanted to have kids, but just not this early.  The agency talked about how when the baby is born the most important thing we need to remember is to be flexible.  Although this is an exciting time for us, it's a heartbreaking time for the birth mom.

Because our agency endorses open adoptions they talked about covenants, or agreements, that are made between the birth family and adoptive families.  The covenant specifies the type and frequency of visits once the baby is adopted.   They urged us to make these covenants with the birth family before the baby is born, if possible.

They also talked about what happens once we are in the matchbook.  A birth mom is given a book to look through with profiles that match her baby and situation.  For instance we are open to adopting a baby of any race--but if someone only wants a Caucasian baby and the mom is Hispanic, their profile would not be included in the ones the birth mom looks through.  Once she finds a match letter she likes a match meeting is set up.  When that match meeting is set up they call us with all the details about the baby and birth mom and let us decide if we want to meet or not.  Once we meet they make us wait for 24 hours before deciding if we want to go forward with working with the birth mom or not.  Although our profile indicates what kind of child we would like, they sometimes will present us with situations that do not match our profile but we will always have the right to turn down the match if we are not comfortable.

They did talk about the fact that, in rare cases, a birthmom changes her mind and even after you've taken the baby home (but consents have not been signed) the baby must be returned.  Although this is hard to think about, it may very well be reality for us one day.  I've chosen not to worry about it but trust that the Lord knows EXACTLY what he is doing! 

I'm sure there's more information they covered that I didn't mention above but my brain is on information overload.  Hopefully this gives you a glimpse of what we are learning and processing and can direct you specifically how to pray for us! 

Thanks for your support everyone!


A lot of you have been asking us about the timeline for adoption and all that we have to do.  Here's what the agency has told us:

1.  Complete the homestudy process (lots of paperwork and interviews!)
2.  Complete Adoption Certification Classes (7 weeks of classes, 2.5 hours each)
3.  Match Book Placement (This is the book that birth families look through to pick out an adoptive family for their child).

Once we are in the matchbook the average wait for a baby is 12 months.  Although 12 months may seem like a long time, to Ben and I it's just exciting to be moving one step closer to becoming parents!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


For three years I have patiently (okay not so patiently!) waited to start planning, painting and decorating our future baby's room.  No more waiting!  Today my Mom, Grandma and I went looking for fabric for the baby's room!  We found a pattern that includes everything you might want or need for a crib and a bunch of diffferent fabric swatches.  I'm pretty sure I've finally settled on three of them--I'll try to post pictures soon.  I've found a crib and dresser online that I like (Thanks for your help Stacey!)  And my friend, Crystal and I plan to start painting next week!  Even though there are still many unknowns when it comes to our baby I'm excited to finally let loose and get busy preparing !  Yippee!

Monday, March 14, 2011


In order to begin the homestudy process we are required to fill out a TON of paperwork!  Ben and I have slowly been working our way through the pile.  We are answering questions about our childhood, our marriage, our opinions on discipline--you name it!  We'll be heading to the doctor for physicals and be going to the police department to get fingerprinted as well.  Although it's a lot to do, each paper we fill out gets us one step closer to adopting a baby--exciting stuff!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Exciting News!

If you're visiting us on our blog than you've heard our news: we are starting the adoption process!  We had our initial meeting with our case worker today from Christian Family Care, the agency we'll be working with.  We now have a pile of paperwork to fill out and submit in order to start the home study process.  We also will begin taking adoption certification classes on March 22nd.  We are excited to embark on this journey!  Your prayers are appreciated!