Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Woah. I am a terrible blogger.

OK, so it's been like FOR-EVER, EVER, EVER (sorry, totally just had a Taylor Swift moment) since I wrote in this thing. I don't know why I don't keep up with this blog very well? I start off with the best of intentions (much like with my diet and exercise) and then fall off the bloggin' wagon.

I'm not sure where to start...uhh pick up at. I mean I was going to do this journey of his life so far, but I can't remember half of the milestones. Mother of the year, right here. :/

So let's just start with where we are now or semi-now (I can back up a few months).

The past few months have FLOWN by. Zaden is now 10 months! Can you believe that? I so can't. Everyone said it would go by so fast and that we should cherish every moment. Part of that is SO true. I mean the time going by so fast is an understatement. The cherish every moment part...ummm...how about cherish MOST moments? I don't miss the waking up every 2 to 3 hours and I don't miss the spit up. I do miss him being so tiny that he fit so perfect in my arms. I miss his little new born outfits and the small little baby coo's that he would make. Oh and I definitely miss the many naps a day he would take! Haha! I look back at pictures and can't believe how much he has changed and grown. The best thing though is he is starting to LOOK like Gerald and I! He is the black version of us and I LOVE it. :)

He is the funniest most smiliest most happy baby on the planet. He is also the most stubborn and independent. He is perfectly, Zaden. I never imagined the amount of joy he would bring to our lives and others. He truly makes everyone he comes in contact with smile. That blesses me so much. I prayed for a healthy, happy and beautiful baby. (OK, I realize that some of that was selfish and a little shallow...however I tried so long to have a baby that I figured if God would allow it, I would be a little picky with my prayers.) He totally answered them! Gerald said that's what took so long! Haha! But Zaden was SOOO worth it. Every single broken heart. Every single tear. Every single loss. Every single year that went by. He was SO worth it. It's funny, Gerald and I spent 9 years with out him and now we can't even remember what life was like before him. Funny how that works.

This Christmas season was AMAZING. I was so looking forward to this Christmas because last year was so heartbreaking. As you know the week before Christmas we were going to adopt a little girl. We were so ready for her. The day before we were to drive to Amarillo to get her, her father stepped up and chose to parent. A bittersweet moment for sure. I mean obviously it was bitter because our hearts were broken. We want to be parents so bad. Sweet because her father wanted to parent. It's so rare when the father steps in, so kudos to him. So Christmas 2011, I stood in my parents kitchen cutting up potatoes and sobbing tears of pure sadness. I had envisioned this amazing Christmas with our precious baby and in reality we were celebrating empty handed. Ugh. I threw myself many a pity parties for sure. I even quit my job because I couldn't stand to go back to the high school and be my happy cheerful self for all the students and staff. I just didn't have it in me. So I quit. I sat around and moped and moped and moped. Then I thought "I need to get over myself and get some dang help!" Therapy...here I come! I found a great Christian counselor because I wanted someone who shared in my beliefs and who would help me really go to God. I went for about 6 weeks, I think? Maybe it was only 4? You know what, I think it was! Yup, I only saw her 4 times. She really helped me snap out of it and then God did all the rest! He is so amazing isn't He?

OK, back to Christmas. This year was full of JOY! Pure joy! Ahhhh. This year we were parents!! This year we had a little boy to read the Christmas story to and to buy presents for! We have a wonderful tradition that we started with Zaden. He will only receive 3 presents from us at Christmas, just as Jesus only received 3. (gold frankincense and myrrh) We have only celebrated one Christmas as parents and I already LOVE our 3 gift rule. It's amazing because I don't have to run around like a maniac purchasing entire stores. Believe me I would actually love purchasing entire stores. But we don't have the funds and I don't want to raise a spoiled brat. So really not only does this tradition save us from raising a hell-yun (yeah I think I just made up my own spelling) but it also saves mommy from turning into a big spender with little pockets (and I am no mathematician, trust me I can barely figure out the tip on our dining bill, but I do know that big spending with little pockets doesn't go well together). I do not want to have to go sell plasma to save for Christmas presents. Catch ma drift, yo? It really savors the meaning of Christmas and our children (yup we plan on adopting at least one more, a girl, totally going to be specific b/c with adoption you can and you better believe I am going to take advantage of that) will ALWAYS know what to expect from us. Let the Grandparents and Aunt and Uncles go crazy if they want. :)

So, we now have a 10 month old. I am already starting to plan his 1st birthday. Tear. I can't believe that. We are going to have a Cheerio's themed birthday! I couldn't be more excited. Cheerio's are like his favorite food. Pinterest is SO my friend. Like it really is. It has helped me become and better wife and mother. I love Pinterest. I want to pin all the things! It gives me such confidence that I can do things I never thought possible, like cooking dinner! And a GOOD one. That was such an issue for such a long time. That issue is now non-existant. Thank you, Pinterest. I love you, Pinterest. You're the best friend I ever had, Pinterest.

I have writing ADD if you haven't noticed. I just go off on a tangent that has nothing to do about anything. And with that, I am done. I have no more to say. I lost all my train of thought. But it's not all my fault. It's Zaden's. I know I am blaming my sweet child, but it's true. Basically b/c I am tired and have been writing this blog for over 24 hours. Well not consistently because that would just be crazy and dumb. So, in the middle of this thing my son proceeded to throw up continuously for like 5 minutes. So weird. He has never done that before. No fever or anything and he seems to be fine now. Maybe he had a little tummy bug.? Maybe it was the 2nd half of the flu shot that he had earlier? (even though the first half didn't affect him. Oh can I just add that Z is a CHAMP when it comes to shots? He doesn't even cry! He does let out a quick "owww" type sound but that's it.) Or maybe he ate something off the floor he shouldn't have. I am constantly finding paper, leaves, dog food, cardboard and all other kinds of things in this child's mouth. He's too QUICK. I don't even know where he finds this stuff! I think like at LEAST once a day I have to stick my finger in his mouth and force whatever it is that he is chewing on, out. I swear I am watching him. He moves so fast and finds such small things. He has Superman vision or something. Oh the joys of motherhood. I love him. He is my world.

Wishing you JOY and lots of LAUGHTER,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Oh...your adoption is open?"

Yup! We have an open adoption. :) It is a wonderful thing! So many people are so surprised that we have an open adoption. We get lots of weird looks and opinions about it. Which is totally OK with me. I like when people ask or share their opinion. I just share mine right back. I think that we fear what we don't know or understand. Open adoption is nothing to fear, it is extremely healthy and beneficial for everyone involved. It's not a co-parenting situation. It's not a Lifetime movie situation either, the birth mother is not going to show back up and steal her baby. (You would be surprised at how many people ask if we are afraid of that happening.) The answer is NO WAY! When a mother places her child it is out of pure deep love for her child. She wants the VERY best for her child that she unfortunately is not able to provide at the time. So she chooses to place her child with a family who can. She knows that it is a forever choice. She knows that there is no changing her mind. Just because a mother places her child doesn't mean that she doesn't want the child or she doesn't love the child. In fact it is quite the opposite. No mother ever wants to place their child. It's the ultimate selfless sacrifice. The birth mother loves her child so deeply that she put the child's needs above her own feelings. The love she has for her child is so deep and so real that she is able to make and go through one of the most if not the most painful and hardest decision of her life. Just because she can't provide what her child needs, does not mean she should never be able to see her child again. That is too painful and not fair. I don't think that she should ever have to wonder what happened to her child. She should always be able to know if she wants too. (I am not against closed adoption if is something that the birth mother chooses or if it is in the best interest of the child due to mental instability or criminal history, so please don't misunderstand me here.) Open adoption is a beautiful way for the birth mother to see that her child is thriving and doing well. It  really helps her to know that she made the right decision. It's fabulous for the adoptive child as well. I know that it was important for my husband I to have our child always know where he came from. We didn't want him to have the questions of who he is and always wonder where he came from. With his birth mother T in the picture he will never have to wonder that. He will always now how loved he is by his birth mother and what an amazing and selfless sacrifice she made so that he could have the very best. He won't have to wait until he is 18 to start looking for her. He will never have to start that painful journey b/c he will always know from the very beginning. We also believe that it was important for us b/c our son is African American. So he obviously has a culture difference. How great it will be for his birth mother and birth grandmother to teach him things about his heritage that we could not. Open adoption is truly a healthy beautiful relationship.

Our relationship with Zaden's birth mother and birth grandmother is very open. We see them 4 times a year (every 3 months) and I email them once a month with and updated and tons of pictures and videos for them to see. We text often and call each other occasionally. It's a wonderful easy relationship and we are truly blessed by that.

We are about to see them next month for our 2nd visit! We are too excited and I know they are too. Our first visit was great! We went to their home. It was so nice! L, cooked for us and man can she cook! Shout out to L! Holla! :) It was so neat to see T, hug and kiss Zaden. We love knowing that he is extra loved! His birth grandmother was just so in love with him. He definitely felt comfortable with her as he fell asleep often in her arms. We had a great time together. We just chatted and chatted. I also took their pictures with Zaden. (If you don't know me I am a photographer.) I enjoyed taking their photos and editing them and getting them printed for them to have. It is something that I plan to do every visit. I am looking forward to seeing how the relationship will grow. I wish I had more to share, but being that Zaden was only 3 months old during the visit he didn't say or do much! Haha! So it was just a lot of holding and cuddling and ooohing and aaahing over him. He has more of a personality now so I am excited to see how he interacts with them at the 2nd/6 month visit. I will definitely keep you updated on that.

I get a lot of facebook messages, texts and face to face questions about our adoption journey. I want to answer any questions that anyone may have. We are pretty much an open book when it comes to our adoption story. So feel free to comment here (I do accept annonymous) or email me at lovesowins@gmail.com and I wold love to answer your question. I will post the questions and answers at the end of each blog that I write. :)

Here are the 3 most recent/common questions.

What made you adopt a black baby?
God. That is the baby He made for us. :) We didn't specify a race in our paperwork, we stated that we were open to any and every race. God wanted us to keep that open and we did. We trusted Him and knew that the baby for us regardless of race would be the perfect child for us and he is!!

Was it hard telling people that you were having a black baby?
Nope. Not all. We weren't ashamed. :)

Do you ever want to have your own child?
I have my own child, I just didn't give birth to him. ;) I understand this question and the heart and intention behind it. I know it isn't meant to be hurtful, but it is. Zaden is and always will be our own child regardless of biology. As far as having a biological child, I don't know what the future holds. We do want to adopt in the near future. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breathe...just breathe.

So it's March 23rd! The day we take home our precious son! We have been waiting for this day for SO long. It's finally here. Woah.

So that morning before Zaden's birthmom, T signs the papers relinquishing her rights, we have an entrustment ceremony in the chapel at the hospital. It was beautiful. For those who don't know what an entrustment ceremony is, it's a ceremony where the birth family gives the baby to the adoptive family. Beautiful, emotional, symbolic. Normally it happens AFTER the birth mother has relinquished her rights...but the hospital we were at doesn't allow adoption paper work to be signed on the hospital property. So T actually had to be discharged and we had to go to the agency to sign the all the paperwork. A little nerve wracking and inconvenient...but we made it work.

So after the ceremony, we drive over to the agency to sign the paperwork. I don't think that I took a breath the whole way there. Because when I got out of the car I felt weak and let out a huge breath. I have got to remember to breathe. I don't want to pass out! Gosh, I was so nervous. I mean T could still back out. I knew deep down that she wouldn't, but nothing is 100% until those papers are signed. So we walk into the agency and my legs are feeling like noodles I am so nervous. They told us that we would sign in separate rooms. That kind of freaked me out b/c I was thinking that the baby would go with her because technically he isn't ours yet and she was going to look at him and change her mind. I mean I wouldn't blame her. It's not the easiest thing to do. T was so brave and so strong. I admire her for that. But much to my relief, Zaden got to be with us! Which duh...that makes sense. I don't know why I even worried about that. But heck I was worrying and panicking all week long. I'm not gonna lie, it wasn't my best week. I was a total basket case. At one point I was up for 48 hours straight and I forgot to bring shoes! So the only shoes I had were the shoes I wore up to the hospital and let me tell you they didn't go with a single outfit I brought. Not good...not good at all. LOL! I can't even begin to try and describe all the emotion I was feeling so I am not, but I can tell you anxiety was at the top of my emotions. I mean I know that I wasn't the one pregnant...but my hormones most definitely were. Haha! OK, so back to the signing. Wow. We were carrying our son into the room. It was overwhelming. It was such a weird position to be in. Bittersweet I guess you could say. Bitter because T is having to make the hardest decision of her life. Her greatest pain is my greatest joy. Sweet because I was finally becoming a mother. About 30 minutes went by (longest freaking 30 minutes of my life I might add, I kept checking the clock and the clock was totally irritating me! Only moving a second at a time and all.) the caseworker came into our room and said "she signed...now it's your turn." I can't really explain the relief I felt when I heard that she had signed. Once again I believe that I forgot to breathe in there because I let out this huge sigh and I felt the blood flow through my body again. It's amazing how much better you feel when you breathe. I could see my skin start to pink back up...that's a good sign. So we sign the papers. No wonder it took T 30 minutes to sign. This was a LOT of paper work and we had to sign 3 copies of everything. My hand was about to fall off. I'm pretty sure my left wrist stayed bent for a week.
AND WE ARE DONE! Zaden is ours! He is really ours!! Another huge sigh of relief (mostly because once again I wasn't breathing). I have really got to stop holding my breath when I am nervous, it can't be good for you.

So it's time to go. It's time to load Zaden up in his car seat and put him in the car to go home. So we put him in the car and close the door. Holy crap things just got real. Another dramatic moment for me b/c I'm a nut case and start panicking. All inside my head of course. I can't let anyone see me falling apart here. I have to pretend like I know exactly what I am doing. But inside I am freaking the frick out. So this is what is going on in my head: "What are we supposed to do with him? How do we get him home? We have to drive him ourselves? Where are the nurses? What if he cries on the way home! Or poops! WHERES THE MANUAL?!? SOMEBODY GET THE MANUAL! AAAAHHHHHH! Calm your self down woman! He's a baby not an alien. You will be just fine. Just breathe! Why do I keep forgetting to do that?" Those are the irrational thoughts that went through my head in the 2.5 seconds it took me to close the back door and get in the passenger side. I mean I was really dramatic all in my head for a second. I tend to do that. It's a flaw, one of many. Hey, I'm working on it.

So I calm myself down with a little pep talk and off we go! I don't think we even make it out of the parking lot before I start using my imaginary brake. No one warned me how scary the drive home with your new born would be. And we have to battle Dallas traffic on a Friday afternoon. Not the best scenario. Did you know that the crazies are out then? Yes midday drivers may seem like innocent and law abiding citizens, but don't let their normal appearance fool you. This could turn into a scene from Speed at any moment. I don't know how many times I gave "the stare" to innocent old ladies for just being in the lane next to us. Yeah that'll teach 'em to drive next to us! Ha! I'm not even going to mention the amount of times I gasped in horror and slammed on my imaginary brake (yeah, I'll warn you now that happened a lot) because traffic was slowing down 10 miles ahead. I mean you can never be to prepared to stop. I quickly learned that shrieking in fear is the best and fastest way to get my husband to hit the brakes. It's definitely isn't the happiest way or the gentlest. He doesn't like the over dramatic shrieking much. I was just trying to help...I mean what if his eyes can't see that far and BAM we are in the persons backseat in front of us. It's called being a smart and cautious drive...errr...I mean passenger. Look I'm just trying to be a good parent and get our son home alive, don't judge me. OK...so he doesn't like the gasping and shrieking. Fine. Fair enough. I will stop. So the next gradual choice was to flinch and grab the door handle until my knuckles were white while pushing my imaginary break. Oh and stop breathing. I'm beginning to do that really well. I am also turning around every 3 seconds to see if he is still breathing. I don't know why I think he would just stop on the ride home but it's better to be safe than sorry right? I'm not gonna lie...my neck hurt the next day. I probably just slept (sleep? haha! I meant laid awake) on it wrong...there is no way it could have been becasue I turned aroud 863845 times on the way home to see if he was still back there. Where was he gonna go? I don't know. But I became a really good checker upper.

After the longest drive home of my life (1.5 hours) we made it home. I wanted kiss the ground when we got out of the car. I didn't though b/c that would have been really unsanitary. I'm all about hygiene. I hear that is a good mom quality so I can check that one off the really long list. :)

Bringing our sweet baby boy into our home for the first time was indescribable...but I will try. First I felt a wave of tears coming on and I just bust out crying. Like the full blown ugly cry. I was crying for several different reasons 1. B/c our son was finally home 2. B/c I was coming down off that ridiculously never wracking drive home and 3. b/c I was so sad for T. I was bringing home a baby and she was going home empty handed. I'm not going to lie. It was tough for me. I had extreme feelings of guilt. To the point where it took me more than a week to fully bond with my son. I seriously felt like I taken her baby. The guilt was suffocating me and I felt like I couldn't breathe. That's the real raw honest ugly truth. That is not something that I expected to struggle with so it caught me totally off guard. I guess it was b/c I knew that T, was grieving her son. I love T, so that rocked me to the core. I'm one of those people that if you are hurting, I hurt with you. So I found myself taking on T's grief. Not healthy. Here I was holding my precious baby boy that I prayed for, for so long and I finally had him in my arms and in our home and I couldn't allow my self to fully bond with him b/c I let the guilt consume me. Obviously that wasn't healthy for me, Zaden or Gerald. So I needed to snap out of it get past this feeling. T, wouldn't want me to feel that way.  So, I prayed and prayed to God to help me. The phone calls with my Mom telling me to stand in my power as his mother really helped. She really coached me along on how to be strong. She is an amazing life coach and mother. I am so blessed. (Shameless plug: If you are are in need of a life coach check her out at www.awakeningslifecoaching.com ). My sister was a tremendous help as well. She would call and check on me everyday and she would tell me her advice and stories and we would laugh a lot! Laugher is the best medicine and it has to be true b/c we are like never sick! It's so funny how God works...my sister has always come to me for advice being that I am the older one and now here I am coming to my little sister for mother/parenting advice. I couldn't think of a better woman to go to and wouldn't want it any other way! She helped me feel like I wasn't a crazy woman. Being that she is nuts really helped. Haha! J/K sis! You know I love you. (Seriously....she is cray cray). I also really leaned on my husband for emotional support. He was so amazing to me AND to Zaden. Seeing him become a father was one of the most amazing things to ever witness. I love him so much more...I didn't even know that was possible! So with God's help and my mothers, sisters and husbands help, I was finally able to let the guilt go. Then once it was gone the most beautiful and overwhelming feeling of love just entered my heart for Zaden. That feeling that I had been waiting to feel just came and it came freely! It was an amazing moment. One that I will never forget. I cried tears of joy and just held my son. I finally knew he was mine. I was a mother. I could finally breathe.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Our Journey. (Part 2)

The Meeting:
So meeting day comes and it was PERFECT. :) T (the birthmom) and L (the birth grandmother) are wonderful people. We are definitely blessed. 
I am going to do my best at describing how the meeting went. But we met for 2.5 hours and a LOT was said. So this is definitely just going to be the gist of it. 

So Gerald and I pull up to the place and we get out and go the bathroom. As we are walking out T and her Mom walk in. They immiediately recognize us from our pictures. I assume that it is them and I look at T and I say “Are you T?” She said “I sure am.” So I immediately went to her and gave her a hug and told her how excited I was to meet her. I then turned to her mom L and gave her a hug a too! She said that she was so happy to meet us and I told her the same. Then Gerald gave hugs. 

C, the caseworker, wasn’t there yet b/c we were all about 30 minutes early. LOL. So we just go and sit in the waiting room and we all start chatting. It was small talk like oh your boots are cute and oh I love you earrings and stuff like that. We were joking and kidding around and laughing and just talking like we had known each other. It felt easy. 

C arrived and was surprised to see us all already meeting. We got a good laugh about it and we moved on into the meeting room. It was a nice cozy room with couches and such. Then L started off by saying that they had looked at over 20 profiles and every profile was a no. They started to get worried that they would never find a family. At first they had originally wanted an AA (African American) family to raise him, but there weren’t many AA in the mix and then they realized that they just wanted a family that would love him and raise him in a Christian home. So they look at several profiles and they don’t like any of them. So C starts calling around to other agencies and ours was one of them. So we tell them yes to send our profile. L saw our profile first. She said the first thing that caught her eye was our beauty and our eyes! She said “Lord please let their inner beauty match their outer beauty.” So then she started reading our profile and said that it was like I was speaking to her…not her reading a letter. She said that she could FEEL our hearts through the page. She immediately asked T to come to the computer and read. So she did. T said “Wow Mom, they are BEAUTIFUL!” and L said “I know and just wait to you read this.” So T read it and they both had tears in their eyes. There was another couple that they liked as well. They said their profile wasn’t as strong as ours but she felt that she had to meet them and us before making the decision. They were an AA couple and they met with them Friday night, the night before our meeting. She said the meeting didn’t feel right. She said they didn’t seem to like the idea of an open adoption. They were also talking about moving back to Chicago and other things that. She said there were 4 red flags. I have no idea what the other 2 were. 

We went on to tell her that we would LOVE an open adoption and prayed for one. We told her we felt it was important for a child to know their birth mother. She started crying b/c she NEEDED to hear that. She said she felt the other family was going to take off and she would never hear from them again. I told her that would never happen with us. Even though we would be his parents she would still and forever be his birth mom. L said “Thank you, that is what my daughter needed to hear.” It was a really special moment. 

They asked us a lot of questions and we answered openly and honestly. They really respected our answers and even said that we answered every single one of them perfectly. About an hour into the meeting T said “I know you are my sons parents. I feel SO at peace with the decision and I love you both so much I would be so happy if you raised my son.” I burst into tears and told her thank you from the bottom of my heart. I told her that this meant the world to us and that we would be honored to raise her son. I then went on to explain how she would just be an extended part of our family and her and L started crying and saying how much they would love that. They just kept telling us over and over how beautiful we were on the inside and out and how amazed they are that God led us to them. It was just an amazing meeting. Simply amazing. We felt so at ease and at peace the entire time! 
We then discussed what we would name him. T and L already had a name picked out and so did we. T and L had chosed Elijah Isaiah and we had chosen Zaden James. So we chose the name of Zaden Elijah together. It was a great moment. 

We ended the meeting with hugs and tears and prayer. It was just a beautiful moment. We exchanged names and information.

Sunday, the next morning I got a call from L while we were in church and she left a voice mail saying how she was up all night thanking and praising Jesus for us. She said she couldn’t believe how blessed they were to end up with us. She said that T went to bed and rested peacefully for the first time in 8 months and that she had a smile on her face that she hadn’t seen in a really long time. It was a beautiful message.
We continued to text and talk almost daily. We got really close to one another. It was wonderful! We felt peace about the entire process. A peace that we hadn't felt before. It was God. We knew this was the one. 

A couple of weeks later (2 weeks before T was due) T and L met us in Waco for lunch in which my parents and Geralds parents attended. It was a great lunch! It lasted almost 4 hours! We just talked and talked and talked. All of our family got along so well!!

Soon after that we discussed a hospital plan and the entrustment ceremony. It was becoming more and more real!!

On March 19, T called to tell me the good news! She was going to have a c-section the next morning! EEK! WOO HOO!! So we decided to pack and leave that afternoon and head to Dallas. We were going to go to the Olive Garden and have dinner with T and L before the big day. So we are on our way when I get a text from T saying that her water broke!!! She called her doc and they told her to come in. So we get to Dallas and check into our hotel and head straight to Labor and Delivery to see T. We get there and T is doing great and in no pain. She looks beautiful. We hang out until it is time. 

Our son Zaden was born on March 19, 2012 and 9:45PM and he was 7lbs 150z and 19in long. He is absolutely perfect!!!

We were with T every day at the hospital until it was time to take our son home. It was a very long and emotional week. Beautiful and hard all the same time. Very bitter sweet I guess you could say. 

We took our son home 3/23/12. It was a great day! Z is now 3 months old and the most joyful beautiful child. We are SO very blessed. God is SO good and knew exactly what He was doing the entire time. Zaden was supposed to be our child. Going through all the disappointment led us to him. Our journey, was bumpy and beautiful. :)

Always trust God...He will never let you down.  

Our beautiful family...

Our Journey. (Part 1)

My goodness did my husband and I have one heck of an adoption journey. But now it's a testimony. :)

I want to start out by saying that our journey is NOT a typical journey what so ever. So if you are considering adoption, I can almost assure you that you wont go through as much as we did. :) 
A little background...I suffer from PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). So it makes it very difficult to get pregnant and lose weight. It's not impossible to do those things...but very difficult. Gerald and I have been married 9 years now. We met in 2001 through mutual friends and married in 2003. We always knew that we wanted children, we just didn't know how difficult that would be. I will save my PCOS journey for another blog entry. After much prayer and discussion and tears we decided to forgo fertility treatments and adopt. We both felt that God calling us to adoption. That decision didn't come lightly. At first I felt broken, less of woman. I felt that I didn't work. I mean after all God DESIGNED us to be fruitful and multiply. I felt that I was letting my husband down, my parents down and his parents down. I wanted SO badly to provide my husband a child. I want to give my parents and his parents a grandchild. But biologically that just wasn't the plan for us. I had a moment or two or three of self pity and then I got over it and got God. I finally started to realize that I was special. I was hand picked to love a child that God would hand pick for me! How cool is that?!? Adoption is not for everyone. It's not for the faint of heart. It's hard and emotional. The paper work is SO time consuming. The waiting is excruciating. The wondering is heart wrenching. But the end result is nothing short of amazing. As hard as all of it was, I would go through it 10x over again just to have our precious little son, Zaden. 
OK...so here we go:
We signed up with our adoption agency in November of 2010. After all the paper work and the home study we were finally done and eligible for our profile to be viewed by potential birthmothers at the end of March 2011. The process to get approved is tedious to say the least. But I wouldn't change the process one bit. You actually learn a lot about yourself and your spouse in the process. So finally in March our profile is active! Woo hoo! OK, now time to hurry up and wait. Haha! We are with a wonderful Christian agency called Generations Adoptions. They are fantastic and always help us with any questions we may have. They are also phenomenal with the birthmothers. 
I wish I could tell you that our journey has been easy and full of joy, but it hasn’t. We have had 5 failed matches/placements. This journey has been so full of joy and heartbreak.
We tried the private adoption route before we went through an agency. A friend of a friend was pregnant and was wanting to place her baby for adoption. The whole time we are told that we are the family and that all is good. Then their lawyer contacts us and has us fill out an extensive questionaire. It was LONG but it was worth it. He then contacts us to let us know that the parents love us. Then he tells us that we need to pay $30,000 by September. This was in July. Uhhh where were we going to get $30,000 in 2 months. We were honest and said we didn’t have that kind of money but we could probably come up with it. We NEVER heard anything back. So I contacted the lawyer and got the coldest response. Basically it said “Sorry the family chose another family.” We then found out later that over 30 families were in the mix. We just felt lied to and betrayed. We wanted to give up. This was to hard. I did NOT like the feeling of rejection. Ugh. It's the worst. But after a few weeks or so we started talking about adoption again. So we said that we would pray about it and wait to hear from God. We definitely decided that if it was the route we were to take we would go through an agency. So one Saturday evening we are praying for a sign from God. We ask Him to show us what He wants us to do. Is adoption for us? The very next morning when we walked in the doors at church there was a booth for Generations Adoptions! We both looked at each other like "Really?" Haha! Umm a sign from God? I think yes! :D 
So we gather information and ask a few questions from the girl at the booth. We don’t sign up right away b/c frankly we are nervous. I mean this is a big step! Not only would it be life changing, but a challenge financially as well. One great thing about the agency is that it has a flat fee. If the adoption doesn't go through no money is lost and it just goes toward the next adoption. So we pray about it and talk about it and a couple of months later we finally contact the agency and start the application process. 
So while we are in the application process we are chosen by a young teenage birth mother very early into her pregnancy (December of 2010). But she wasn’t through the agency b/c we weren’t able to be shown to birthmothers at this point b/c we hadn't finished our extensive paperwork. She was a BYOB (bring your own birthmom LOL! Cute right?) through another friend. Even though she was brought to us by a friend we still choose to have her go through the agency b/c it protects us and her. The agency would meet with her and counsel her and make sure this is the decision that she really wants to make.  Well we got to meet this young mother and get to know her, we went bowling and to dinner and things like that. She shared her ultra sounds with me. He was a boy. We were getting pretty excited. We were pretty sure this was going to happen b/c the baby was bi-racial and her father wasn't really supportive of that. Her mother was supportive either way. She met with her adoption caseworker often. All was going well until about 6 months (we had known her about 3 months) into her pregnancy she changed her mind and chose to parent.  We were SO sad. But we also understood that she wanted to be a parent to her son. How can we blame her? Placing your child is the hardest thing in the world. So we continued to pray for her and her son. Sometimes God puts people in your life just so you can pray for them. We believe that is why she was in our lives. We still keep up through FaceBook. She gave birth to her son in late July. He is a beautiful baby boy and she is doing really well. We are very happy for her.
So it’s April of 2011 and we are finally active! BM’s and BF’s can view our profile. HOLLA!!!! 
In May 2011 we get a call saying that we have been chosen! I was SO excited. But to our surprise this was another BYOB situation. A friend of mine (who is a teacher) had been talking to this girl about her options and adoption came up. They talked about it for months and with about 2 months left before she was to give birth, she finally settled on adoption. Our friend gave her our adoption agency information. (she didn’t want to tell us first incase the girl changed her mind) She called the agency and said she wants us! She was due in July with a baby boy.  We communicated often! All was going well until one day I just stopped hearing from her. So I called our friend and she said she hasn’t been in school and she would call and check on her. She didn’t get a hold of her. Well she finally text me back and told me that she had been in a car accident with her mother. Her mother didn’t survive but she and the baby were ok.  She then told me after what has happened she couldn’t part with her baby. She said she was so sorry. I was SO sad for her. I told her that I totally understood. I asked her what hospital she was at and what room so that I could send her something. She said that she is fine and doesn’t need anything and wouldn’t give me any info. I thought it was weird. So I called my friend to let her know what was going on and so she could check on her student. She freaked out and was right on it. She said she hadn't heard a single thing about it and she thought that was weird. So she called her house to check on her and her mother picked up. Her mother was not dead at all and there was never an accident. The whole thing was a lie!!!! I was so hurt. I mean all she had to do was say she didn’t want to place her baby and would like to parent. We would have totally understood that. But instead she chose a horrible lie. I guess she thought that would be easier than telling us the truth. It made it harder. But we realized that she is a very young girl and she just didn't know how to handle the situation. She definitely went about it the wrong way, but we hope that she learned a valuable lesson. We continued to pray for her. We hope that she and her son are doing well. 
So a few months later our agency emails us about a high risk situation. We go over it and pray about it and we agree to it. She said that other families did too and they would be in touch with us. Well the family adores us and another family. They need our link to view our profile on line b/c the BM and her family can’t come to the agency to get our printed scrapbooks. So we submit it. We are excited!! We find a few days later they chose the other family. That was hard. We felt like we weren’t good enough. We felt rejected again. Yet at the same time we were SO happy for the other family. The other family wanted what we wanted and they were finally going to become parents! That is awesome!! We were so happy for them. 
So fast forward to Thanksgiving. We got the BEST news of our lives that day (well the day before). Our agency said that we were picked not only by one BM but 2!!! WOOO HOOO!! BM #1 is due sometime in late December. She is actually living in Amarillo and working with another agency. She didn’t like any profiles that she was shown there so that agency contacted ours and we were the only profile she likes and she wants US! There is a catch though. The birth father says he wants to parent. They believe it is all talk. But b/c he has said that, after the baby is born it will go with a transition family for 32 days. Basically foster care b/c they have to wait to see if the father files for his rights. The state of Texas requires them to do so in 31 days, if he doesn’t file then the child is ours. We don’t know the sex or race. We do know that the mom is white and the dad is Hispanic.
BM #2 is due ANY DAY NOW. She is dilated to a 3. She has a doctor appt that Monday if she hasn’t had the baby by then. At her appt they will check her progress and set a date to induce they are looking at 12/9. She chose Gerald and I and we are so excited! We are supposed to meet her Monday or Tuesday that next week after Thanksgiving if she hasn’t had the baby yet. Obviously if she has the baby before then we will meet her at the hospital. I was a nervous wreck! If she changes her mind it feels good to have another BM that wants us. Oh and this BM was another BYOB! LOL!!! CRAZY!!! She had heard about us through a friend of ours sister. Crazy small world. We were feeling pretty hopeful. Having been chosen by 2 birthmothers at once was exciting!
The reason we were chosen by two is b/c the other agency forwarded the first BM to our agency and they showed her our profile. Well being that she chose us, our profile would not be shown again. However being that BM#2 was a BYOB they had no choice over her picking us. That has NEVER EVER happened in the HISTORY of the agency!! LOL!! Leave it up to us. Haha!
So a few days after Thanksgiving, I am feeling uneasy about BM#2. I can’t explain it…but I just feel in my heart that BM#2 is not going to work out. So I call my husband and he feels the EXACT same way. So we call the agency and we said we are going to go with BM#1.  We know that BM#2 chose us and she says she is 100% sure…but we don’t feel she is. The agency asks us if we are sure. We say yes. They said OK, they will tell her when she calls. She never called. I found out through my friend that she had her baby boy and chose to parent him. God sure does give us discernment.
So BM#1 it is. We are excited. We feel confident. The BM is excited b/c she loves us. We are a little nervous because the BF is not 100% on board. He was absent the whole pregnancy and she kept him out of the loop. She told him early on that she was choosing adoption and that if he had a problem with it to get a lawyer. Well loooong story shirt he did. The day before she was induced and we were to drive to go get our daughter, he chose to parent. This was the week before Christmas. We were DEVASTATED. This was the hardest to handle. I guess because we were thisclose to being parents. I felt wrecked and like I was never going to be a mom. I didn't understand why we had to go through so much heartache and loss. I knew this process wasn't going to be easy, but I never thought it would be this hard. I never once said this isn't fair. Because our God never promised a fair life. But He does keep His promises and we know that adoption was a promise. We knew it would happen. We just didn't know when. 
A lot of people thought that we should take a break or give up. We didn't though. We didn't want to miss out on what God had in store for us. We aren't the ones in control, God is. So if we put a halt to the process we would have been taking control. We were on a journey. Sure our road was windy and bumpy and full of ups and downs...but it was leading us somewhere. 
Some people even told me that I need to stop putting my heart into every possibility. But how could I not? This was a process full of love and hope and life. It's an emotional process and my heart was in it. I was either going to be all in or out and I chose in. I appreciated peoples concern and advice because I know they were hurting for us and with us. We were an open book through out our journey.  
So here we are a little over a year later from starting the process (with the agency), and we still don’t have a baby. But we know that our journey is teaching us SO much. It has definitely made us stronger in our marriage and in our faith. We love and adore our Lord. We trust Him and we know that this will all make sense as soon as we bring our precious baby home.
In February of 2012 we get an email from the agency. Here is what it says: 
"Dear families,
An agency in DFW area called and has an AA birthmom who is having a boy on March 21. They need more families to show her. She is from a good family and they are supportive. No drugs, no alcohol, no smoking, no emotional or criminal issues. The birthfather does not care and they are serving him to terminate his rights (they expect no problem, he wont respond).
The birthmom would like an open adoption and has requested three visits a year. One could be at their agency’s annual family picnic. The others could be divided between your city, hers, or in between.
The fees will just be the same as ours. You pay Generations and we split the fee with them.

If you are interested in being shown and open to the visits, let me know. You could email me a scanned color copy of your profile front and back as well as a link to your book if you created online or color copies scanned of your scrapbook that I can email them. (this is a good thing to keep on hand for times when another agency needs a family to show. )

Just let me know.
 That was fine with us, so we said sure! Show our profile. We knew that she would have a bunch of profiles to choose from, so we didn't think much of it. The next week we got a call saying that she had narrowed it down to two families and we were one of them. Uh oh. De ja vu. Been there, done that. Only this time she wanted to meet with both families in person. That actually excited us b/c she would actually get to see who we are in person and not just on paper. 
To be continued....