Monday, October 26, 2009

Placement Day

by Brittany M. of Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal.
If you would like your placement story featured, please email either Amanda at or email me at

This adoption (everything included, the whole process) has been the most spiritual experience of our lives. Adoption is a difficult, yet beautiful thing and we are so happy that we chose this route to build our family.

Brad and Brenda were right when they said this while being interviewed on KSL Studio 5: "Regular families out there that give birth to their children- they don't know what they're missing! We've got 3 beautiful children along with their birth parents in our lives."

We knew it had the potential to be such a wonderful thing, but we had no idea how much and to what extent it would change us for the better.

Both our birth mom Brie and her best friend Danielle have said that too about their own lives. Adoption really is about love; the love that our Father in Heaven has for us. It is amazing to see the Lord's hand in this and it is such a testament of His love for all of us.

The four of us have had so many sacred experiences throughout this process, some too personal and sacred to share here, but I can tell you a little about Placement Day.

If you are new to the adoption world, Placement Day is the day that the birth mother signs over her parental rights and places the baby into the arms of the adoptive couple. Our placement took place 2 days after our baby was born.

It was both one of the best and worst days of our lives.

Brie asked that Que and I be present in the room when she answered out loud the (horrible) questions in front of witnesses and signed the relinquishment forms. The caseworkers couldn't believe she invited us in, apparently neither one of them have ever seen that happen before. I think she did it because she knows how much we love and support her.

It was so rough to watch her do it (Danielle, Que and I all stood near her and sobbed) but seeing her do it reiterated to us how much she loves this little boy. In the room, the Spirit of the Lord was so strong and you could tell by Brie's countenance how at peace she was with her decision. Even her caseworker remarked to us outside the room how at peace she was.

During the placement, we gave her a stuffed elephant (the baby has one too; it goes with the matching elephant quilts we made her and gave to her last month), this Willow Tree figurine (because she gave us this one when she told us she had chosen us to be Liam's parents), a copy of the book and CD From God's Arms, to My Arms, to Yours, some letters from us and other family members, a birthstone ring (with her birthstone and his), a digital photo frame (with an SD card loaded with her maternity photos and photos of Liam and her in the hospital) and some other stuff we thought she'd like (like Season 1 of The Office). We also gave Miss Danielle this Willow Tree figurine and a letter that we wrote to her, thanking her for being such a good friend to Brie and to us.

Brie dressed Liam in a going-home-outfit that she and Danielle bought for him. It is SO cute, I think I'm going to put it in a shadow box and hang it on the wall.

This is a picture of Brie's hand (wearing the birthstone ring) cuddling Liam in his going-home-outfit while he is sleeping on the baby blanket that Brie was taken home from the hospital in when she was born. (We put the blanket over him and his car seat on the ride home.)

After that, it was time for her to place Liam in my arms. Again, she just had this peace about her (we know it was so difficult for her, we're not saying that it wasn't at all) (there were tears and all of our emotions were running high) but the pure love she has for her son was showing on her face.

Because she sacrificed her own heart and her wants, and put his needs above her own (which is what a true mother does), he will never doubt the love she has for him.

Right after she handed him to me, she looked at him and told him she loved him and then she tenderly said "See ya later." She is so strong. All I wanted to do was sit and hug her for hours, but it was time for us to let her to go home.

This picture (above) is of Danielle getting Brie ready to leave the hospital. As she was tying that balloon to Brie's wrist, Danielle said "Now if you lose this, I'm not buying you another one." Haha.

This is the two of them right before they got into Danielle's car to go home. This picture makes me tear up- I wish we could have just taken them both home with us!

***The above photo was taken July 3rd, the night that Brie told us she had chosen us to be Liam's parents. (You can see the Willow Tree figurine on the table.)

The below photo was taken on October 17th, the day our family officially grew from 2 to 5.

We are so grateful for the chance to have an open adoption with Brie. We know that open adoption works well for us and our situation. There is nothing wrong with having more people in a child's life who love him.

We are excited to see what the future brings for us.
All of us.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Adoption Success!

Please welcome our son

Liam J

9:59 pm
7lbs. 11 oz.
18.5 inches long
Salt Lake City, Utah

Placed in our arms

Proud Parents: Que and Brittany
of Que & Brittany's Adoption Journal

Friday, October 9, 2009

Adoption Facts

(This is a photo of me and my husband's hands on our birthmom's belly.)

Children of Married Parents
Children who live with married parents tend to have higher grades, are more likely to attend college, and experience lower rates of unemployment.

On average, children of married parents experience better physical and mental health, have lower rates of substance abuse, experience less child abuse, and are less likely to commit suicide or engage in criminal behavior.

“What has been shown over and over again to contribute most to the emotional development of the child is a close, warm, sustained, and continuous relationship with both parents.”

Children of Single Parents
Children raised by a single mother are six times more likely to live in poverty, twice as likely to drop out of high school, and two to three times more likely to have serious emotional and behavioral problems than children who grow up with both parents.

During middle childhood, children raised by single parents have high rates of chronic health and psychiatric disorders.

On average, teens from single-parent homes are more attached to their peer groups and less attached to their parents’ opinions.

As teenagers and young adults, “being raised in a single-mother family is associated with elevated risks of teenage childbearing, . . . incarceration and with being neither employed nor in school.”

Children of unmarried women are likely to need to assume adult roles prematurely.

“Single mothers . . . report less perceived social support, fewer contacts with friends and family, and lower levels of social involvement than married mothers.”

Benefits of Adoption
“On an index of self-esteem, adopted adolescents compare favorably to” those who were not adopted.

Children who were adopted as infants have better health, see mental health professionals less often, have fewer behavioral problems, and do better in school than children born outside of marriage and raised by the unmarried mother.

This information was from

Friday, October 2, 2009

Adoption Success Story: Importance of Following God's Will and listening to the Spirit

Jennie Smith from sent me this wonderful success story to share with all of you. She is a true example of following the spirit and having faith in the Lord.

Miracles? Do I believe in them? Yep. Does faith precede miracles? Yep, I don't have to look any further than my home. I guess the place to start is the beginning. We had gone through 3 years of infertility testing and treatments. At each test the words were the same "you guys are young and everything looks great. I am sure you will be back here in 3 months and be pregnant." Well, those months always came and went with no hint of a pregnancy. We were at a crossroads. Do we pursue further infertility treatments or adoption? We did not know what to do. We feasted on the scriptures, especially D&C 9

"Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…"

We felt the stupor about more fertility treatments and adoption. The only thing we did not feel a stupor on was waiting. We prayed, fasted and cried some tears and then prayed some more. The answer was very clear. We were supposed to wait.
What?...that is the last answer we wanted to get! I wanted to be proactive. I wanted to be in control and now, I am supposed to do nothing? Don't take my temperature in the morning anymore? Quit researching infertility and all of it's (sometimes hilarious) cures? Don't think about adoption? Keep hoping that every month something was going to happen? But at the same time just do nothing? It was the hardest answer to a prayer I ever had to accept. After many tears I KNEW that answer was correct. I just had to have the faith that this was all in Heavenly Father's hands. Like it says in Alma 32:21, "If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." We for sure could not see anything. Was pregnancy in our future maybe? Adoption? We thrust our efforts into our jobs and experiencing life with each other. We spent a couple of years working and living in a motor home traveling around our beautiful country. We kept waiting for further instruction and of course hoping each month that something was going to happen. We ended up moving back home to Utah and we started pursuing different careers. My husband went back to school and got his teaching certificate. At the completion of this, we felt a spiritual urge to move. We started looking and the place that felt right was on the opposite coast from our whole family.


We had to follow our feeling, so we did it. We left all that we knew and loved and moved to South Carolina. At this point we had been married for 7 1/2 years and trying for 6. As we got to our new home, I specifically remember we were hanging out at the beach one day and I told my husband, "I don't think we are going to have to wait much longer to have a family. I just have a feeling like something is going to happen." He asked if I thought I was going to be pregnant. I told him I didn't think so, I just felt like something is coming. He asked when I thought this was going to happen, to which I confidently replied, "In the middle of November." The spirit was speaking to me in such subtle way, still small voice.
At this time I knew I needed to make my yearly OB/GYN appointment and of course I knew it had to be in the middle of November. I called a place that was highly recommended to me. They wanted me to come in the first of November, but I said "No, do you have something around the 15th?"

As the day approached, I was so nervous. What was going to happen at this appointment? Anything? Nothing? Is this another test of my faith? As I got into the old elevator that slowly made its way up to the office, the spirit said to me, "GET READY, YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE."

I brushed it aside. My stupid hope again that something was actually going to happen. As I proceeded through the appointment, I acted cordial and tried to keep my emotions in check. I handed the new doctor all of our past infertility paperwork to which she replied, "Well, you guys look fine, there is nothing else I can do for you." I expected that. Then I told her we had been thinking about adoption. She looked at me and then said, "Hold on a second." She called her partner and turned her back to me. Even though she was trying to hide the conversation, I tuned my ears in and heard, "Have you found a family for that lady yet?"

My heart burst out of my chest it was beating so hard.

She then got off the phone and proceeded to tell me that her partner had been trying to help this lady find a home for her child. She had a family all lined up and ready to go, but just the week before the family backed out on her. This, of course, broke the mother's heart. She was envisioning a great life for this child and now she did not know what to do. The baby was due in 2 weeks.

The partner-doctor came into the room and we talked. He told me more about the birth mother and father and about the baby. It was a boy! The doctor had called everyone on his list of people that were interested in adoption and no one was interested. The mother was heartbroken and not sure what to do. He asked me if I was interested in speaking with her and of course, I said "Yes!!" We exchanged phone numbers and he told me he would call the mother and have her call me if she was interested.

I left the appointment trying not to be too excited. I told my husband the story and he was so elated. We waited and waited for the phone to ring. It eventually did. We were to meet that Sunday.

That Sunday came and I remember it being a perfect day. I shocked myself with the peace I felt. I was calm and happy. We meet the birth mother and birth father. It was like we had known them for years. They were so nice. They knew what they wanted for this baby. The birth father made me cry when he said, "You guys looked like angels walking to us. You just shine"

There was no question in their minds that we were the couple that was going to have the great privilege to raise their son.

The next couple of weeks were a whirlwind of getting a social worker to our home to do the evaluation, find a lawyer, just trying to get it all done. Well, everything happened so smoothly and by the day of the delivery, we were all ready legally. They wanted us at the hospital so our little man could meet his family right when he was born. It was a sweet day. We, of course, loved him immediately and also loved our new friends who gave us the gift of being his parents.
Everything went smoothly and now it has been 3 years and we have this little toddler running around the house. We cannot say enough how much we appreciate this great gift that was given to us. We have a semi-open adoption with this birth family. They love being able to watch Cedric grow up. We love being able to keep in touch with them and let them know what is happening in our child's life. Cedric is wonderful! He is so full of life and love. He loves other people so much and has a light that is contagious.
I have learned much from infertility. One of the lessons that sticks out to me now is how much we have to rely on the spirit. As we are currently waiting for our family to grow, we have to be worthy to receive His answers and know HIS will in our lives.
"The Holy Ghost . . . is our comforter, our direction finder, our communicator, our interpreter, our witness, and our purifier—our infallible guide and sanctifier." Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1996
*On a side note, I am a total believer in passalong cards. I recently returned to the aforementioned doctor's office. They had told me that they had my name on a list of people that were interested in adoption, but somehow I was not really on that list. They had another situation arise in which they were looking for a family and they could not remember our names! They searched everywhere in their office and could not find it. If only they had a passalong card! As soon as we were approved I sent them a huge stack :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Adoption Success!

Congratulations to Dave & Holly who just flew from Utah out to North Carolina to meet their new baby boy, Miles. He is SOOO cute!
Congratulations guys!

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House