Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Adopting our Miracle

I have struggled knowing where to start telling our story. There have been so many different emotions (good and bad) and aspects of our adoption journey. I know I'm weak in writing and hope I can only convey how truly miraculous, how grateful we are and that we know that adoption is apart of Heavenly Father's Plan.

Neal and I knew we wanted kids and started trying to get pregnant after being married six months, little did we know we were headed into two years of heartache and sadness. We both wanted a family so badly, but found that for reasons we didn't know or understand the Lord needed us to wait. We began many medical procedures and infertility treatments. So when we found out in January 2009 that we were expecting we were ecstatic and we knew Heavenly Father had granted us a miracle. 

Then on May 30, 2009 we welcomed our sweet son Jayden into our lives but he came 4 1/2 months early and was just too small to pull through. It was the sweetest yet most bitter time for us.  The hardest thing was to leave the hospital with full hearts and empty arms.  He is still very much a part of our lives and there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of him.

We continued to have infertility issues since Jayden was born and came to the crossroads of deciding if we wanted to do IVF(In vitro Fertilization) or start the adoption process. I knew emotionally I could not handle another let down or negative pregnancy test and we had always considered adoption as a wonderful option. We have a niece and nephews that were adopted and they are the greatest blessings to our family!

 So after praying we turned it all over to Heavenly Father and started the adoption process. I am one that loves lists and plans and being organized so it was hard to get me to the point that I turned it all over and had no control but oh how grateful I am that we did!

In October of 2012 we started the adoption process. This is a time line of what we had to do in order to be approved as adoptive parents.
10/31/12 First meeting with LDSFS (LDS Family Services) scheduled but caseworker had to cancel due to illness
11/27/12 First meeting with LDSFS
1/30/13 Background Checks completed
2/25/13 Adoption Online Courses completed
3/11/13 Individual Interviews at LDSFS
4/1/13 Home Study
4/1/13 Approval for Adoption
4/4/13 Profile went Live
5/6/13 Birth mom contacted us by email

We were ecstatic when we received her first email. We continued to email back and forth and got to know each other really well. We learned she was pregnant with a baby boy and due end of July. 

Over Memorial Day Weekend we flew out to California to meet her and her family. I was so nervous to meet them, but my fear quickly faded when we embraced in a sweet hug. While we were there Grayson's birth mom and Neal and I went to the San Diego Temple grounds and visited and walked around and took pictures and as we got back to the car, she pulled out a box wrapped in blue wrapping paper with daisy's on it and a sparkly blue ribbon tied around it with our names on it. She said to open it, we lifted the lid and inside was ultrasound pictures of the baby and a bag of skittles shaped in a bow with ribbon that she had written “Congratulations it's A Boy!” on it. We were ecstatic to say the least, we couldn't stop smiling! It is definitely a day we will never forget. 

We visited with her and her family through the weekend and then continued to keep in contact through e-mails and texting. As I visited with Grayson’s birth mom over the course of a few months, I came to know and love an amazing young woman, who is courageous, unselfish and beautiful on the inside and out. We truly admire her and the amazing person she is.

On July 21 We had the opportunity to talk with Grayson's birth father over the phone and learned about him (aka: I drilled him with questions like his favorite things, hobbies, etc. so we could tell Grayson about him). We told him how very grateful we were for him allowing us to be parents to this child. He was very nice and we felt lucky to have had that opportunity.

As we continued to talk with Grayson's birth mom, she told us the doctors had changed her due date from July 31 to August 8 and on July 25 Grayson's birth grandmother called us and told us that his birth mom had been in the hospital with heavy contractions the night before and was dilated to a 2 and that they didn't think she'd go another week. She told us they would call us after her doctors appointment the next morning. So Neal and I decided it would be a good opportunity for us to drive down to California. We left that night and stayed in Idaho Falls that night and waited to hear from them, she told us that she was still having contractions but nothing had changed. We continued on and drove to St. George and stayed with our good friends the Smith's for 2 nights and then headed the rest of the way to California. When we got there Sunday night we let his birth mom know, she invited us to go to her doctors appointment with her the next day. We were thrilled to see her again and be apart of this amazing miracle. We found out from her doctor that she was actually not dilated at all and that the plan would be to induce August 14 if she hadn't gone into labor by then. We were a little shocked to say the least but decided we would stay down there until this little boy decided to arrive.

We were able to meet Grayson's birth mom's family (her two brothers, mom and dad and grandma) for dinner Tuesday night and can we just say how awesome her family is. They welcomed us with open arms and it was like we had never left and we instantly felt a connection. We planned to watch the Bachelorette finale the next Monday together.

We stayed with our good friends the Larson's the next few nights and throughout the next week we went to the beach twice, attended a session in the temple and fasted for Grayson and his birth mom and their family, went to a couple of movies, did lots of shopping, were able to attend our old ward in Fullerton and see old friends and our old primary boys, stayed with our friends the Egbert's two nights. We were getting nervous that Neal might need to fly back to work but decided to wait because they were going to try and see if they could induce her the day after her due date at least so we continued to enjoy spending time together and anxiously waited for our little man to arrive (we told them he's already showing us how stubborn he is going to be by making us all wait)

On Monday August 5 we were making our way back down from Fullerton to San Diego County for the Bachelorette Party and got a call from Grayson's birth grandmother that his birth mom's water broke and was in the hospital but she wasn't dilating so they were giving her medicine to help her dilate and that she was in for a long day and that she would keep us posted. We checked into our hotel and were driving ourselves crazy just waiting for news so we decided to go to a movie. We didn't sleep well that night as we kept wondering how things were going for Grayson and his birth mom. At 6 am the next morning her mom texted us telling us she was dilated to a six. Her mom called us around 10am and told us that at 8:48 am our sweet baby boy came into the world on August 6, 2013.

She asked us to come to the hospital at 1pm and when we got there we went to Grayson's birth mom's room and hugged her and asked how she was doing and talked with her family a little. She wanted to see our reaction to the first time seeing Grayson so they wheeled him in a few minutes after we arrived and he was the most beautiful boy! I started bawling and just couldn't believe she was giving us the most amazing gift we could ever be given. It was love at first sight! He was absolutely perfect and darling!Grayson's placement took place in the hospital later that night and it was such a bittersweet moment. There are so many emotions involved. You are filled with love and joy and such gratitude but at the same time we ached for our sweet birth mom and her family. Being in the hospital brought back a lot of memories from when we were in the hospital with Jayden and having to the leave the hospital without him. I was so glad that she had friends and family there to support her in this decision. Grayson's birth mom was released later that night and after she left I just bawled and ached for her and her family. We had the amazing opportunity to stay in the hospital with Grayson that night and got to bond with our little munchkin. 

We have been so very blessed to be apart of the miracle of adoption. This sweet kid is my world! I know I can speak for Neal as well when I say that he truly make us whole. He is EVERYTHING to us. I am so very grateful for adoption, for our sweet birth mom and her family.

 On February 21, 2014 we finalized the adoption and on February 22, 2014 we were able to be sealed to Grayson for time and all eternity in the Idaho Falls temple. It was one of the best days ever. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dear Jayden...

Through 4 miscarriages (one a set of twins after our 2nd round of IVF) and the loss of Jayden. I just want to add our story to all the others out there to provide hope. I never stop aching for and loving those babes and I think about them often, but I'm holding out for that joy that has come through my Savior Jesus Christ, and the knowledge that I will be with them again in heaven. Sending all my love and a big bear {hug} to all who have suffered loss. 

In honor of Pregnancy and Infant loss Awareness month I just wanted to share with you all a letter we wrote to our son Jayden who was born early and passed away the same day he was born. <3


Your dad and I just wanted you to know that we have a testimony of Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and of eternal families, although this one is written, we hope that as you watch us you will see we have a testimony. We love you so much and are so proud to be your parents. Even though your life was short here on Earth, you have had and will continue to have a huge impact on us. Through this amazing journey of bringing you here, we have learned and grown so much.

We learned patience and to trust in God’s will and timing when we were trying to have children. After 2 years He blessed us with you. We learned more love as we heard your first heartbeat, felt your first kick and got to hold you the first time. We never fully understood the power of prayer until we felt the faith, comfort and sustaining power of the spirit through the prayers of ward members, family and friends. Our faith was strengthened through this experience as you and I had priesthood blessings and we learned to trust in the Lord with all our hearts.

Heavenly Father loves each of us and knows us personally. We have felt Heavenly Father’s love through the service we have received from all of the people who have reached out a loving hand without any hesitation. We know service brings us closer to God and this is how we receive true happiness.

Your dad and I have come to more deeply appreciate our marriage in the temple and the blessing it brings. You have brought us closer together and we have truly come to know that families are eternal and are so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. This is something we had taken for granted up until now. What a wonderful Plan Heavenly Father has for each of us so we can return to Him and if we are faithful we can be together as a family forever.

We know Jesus Christ made all of this possible and because of his infinite sacrifice. His Atonement and Resurrection has taken on a whole new dimension and meaning through this experience. We are eternally grateful for our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ who has brought us this joy of knowing we can be with you again. Jayden, may you know, our greatest blessing was having you!

All our love,
Dad and Mom

If you would like to learn more about what we believe you can check out this link here.