I am so excited for you all to meet Brielle! She is Awesome! I have known her for a long time way before we even thought of adopting ourselves since we are currently in the same ward together. She also is the one that helped orchestrate our little Adoptive Mom/Hoping to Adopt group. If you have ever me her or get to meet her I am sure you will all love her as much as I do! Thanks Brielle for sharing your Adoption Story! -Deanna
Where to start . . . I always love when people ask me to tell about our adoption story. I get caught up in day to day life and sometimes forget what a miracle I have right in front of me. Telling our story reminds me of how lucky we are as a family and how we received not just one blessing, but two, through adoption: our beautiful daughter Braelyn and our amazing birth mother Jana.
Being a control freak, I'd like to think that finding Braelyn was "all me" but in fact it was Jana who took the leap of faith to find us on Parent Profiles. Not to discount the fact that you should do everything in your power as an adoptive couple to get your name out there, but it really is up to a courageous birth mother to find you. Saying that, there are many avenues for an adoptive couple to be found from pass along cards, to word of mouth, to online profile sites such as Parent Profiles.
We began our journey to adopt in May 2009 when my husband and I first started talking about adoption. My husband surprised me with his enthusiasm by contacting LDS Family Services the very next day to find out how to begin the process. By August 2009 we attended our first adoption conference as a precursor to certification. We filled out the paperwork within a week and were certified for adoption by October 2009. I remember that day very vividly because it was filled with emotions. Realizing that we were actually ready to embrace a child into our home was so joyfully overwhelming.
As soon a we heard the news that we were certified I immediately went onto the Parent Profiles website remembering that our case worker had mentioned that it was one of the number one sites for birth mothers to seek out adoptive couples. True it cost a little extra money each month, but to me finding our baby was priceless. I joined the website and was so anxious to get our profile up and running that I faxed in my first month's payment instead of mailing it in so we could be viewed immediately.
Four hours later I received a call from a birth mother in Philadelphia interested in choosing Ben and I for placement. I was astonished and thought this must be too good to be true. We referred the birth mother to our caseworker and all three of us corresponded for about a week. One day before this birth mother was to officially decide if we were her couple, I received a heart felt email from a birth mother right in our hometown. I would have ignored the email or referred another couple since we were already working with a potential birth mother, but somehow I could not ignore this email. I called my mom crying because I was so confused and I never thought that I would be put in a position to "choose my baby". She encouraged me to at least meet with this new birth mother if I was feeling so strongly about the email. I decided to call this new birth mother Jana and we set up a time to meet for dinner that night.
From the beginning Ben and I made a promise to be honest with ourselves and our birth mother, so I told Jana that we were supposed to hear from another birth mother the next day. By the end of dinner she let us know that the decision was up to us, but she would love to have us be the parents of her child. I called our other birth mother on the way home from dinner and left her a message to let her know that we had met with someone else but that we wouldn't make any decisions until we were able to talk to her the next day. However, we both felt as though we were going to choose Jana because the connection we had with her was so strong and I truly believe that our Heavenly Father guided her to us in that perfect moment. Unfortunately the birth mother in Philadelphia never received the message and forgot our phone meeting the next day. After praying and talking with my husband we truly felt that we had such a connection with Jana and decided that it was her baby that we were going to call our own. We called Jana right away and asked if she would have us be her daughter's parents. She was ecstatic as well as us.
The next day as I went to put our profile down on Parent Profiles I noticed another email from a couple in Indiana that were interested in us. Without a second thought I emailed her and informed her that we had just chosen a birth mother but that some amazing friends of our were also looking to adopt. She looked at my friend's profile and instantaneously fell in love with her and her husband. Seven months later they received a precious baby boy.
We were able to seal our little miracle in July 2010 and it was truly the best day of our lives. You will never feel so lucky or blessed as the day that your little one becomes a part of your eternal family. It's an experience that I wish every family could have.
I am such an advocate for Parent Profiles. Again, there are so many avenues to find your little angels, but please remember that Heavenly Father expects us to do all we can and then He will provide for the rest. I know that our Heavenly Father helped Jana find us because we were willing and searching. It's important that when you join these websites you utilize all the services they offer. Put up as many pictures as you're allowed with captions, write a heart felt birth mother letter that meets the maximum length allowed, and put thought into filling out your favorites list so that a potential birth mother can really get to know you. Remember that these birth mothers are carrying our children and are making the hardest decisions of their lives. The least we can do is put effort into our profiles to show we care and are dedicated.
Again, I am so grateful for my little angel. Braelyn is the sweetest, funniest, smartest, sassiest, happiest, talkative little toddler I know. I couldn't wish for anything different. I just want to thank Jana for making that wish come true. She is and will always be so special to us for the gift she gave. We love her!
If anyone would like to contact us for advice or questions please visit our blog http://benandbrielleadoption.blogspot.com/