Sunday, July 31, 2011

Did you Hear!!!

Drew and Kristine Adopted!!!  Just this past week!  SO exciting for you two!  Make sure to read all about it by clicking here for their blog!  So Awesome!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

blog links...

Hey it seems as if I will never know where my blog link list that had so many of you went so if you would like me to re-add you to my new one can you please comment on this post and I will add it...this is what I need:

1. name of you and your hubby
2. your full blog address

Again, I am so sorry it has not been there and I have tried to have blogger fix it but it has been to no avail so I will just have to do the next best thing and that is to redo it...

Thanks for all your help! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The raw emothions of Placement - an Adoptive Mom's perspective

Sarah emailed me recently to share her story and I just love it so much...I know you may think it is a little lengthy but it is sooooo good!  You will love her story as much as I do...Thank you so much Sarah for sharing this with all of my readers and me!  And on a personal note...thank you Sarah for your wonderful words of has helped me so much... -Deanna

My name is Sarah and my husband is Alex. Our adoption and placement story with Evan was very unique and came at just the right time in our lives. We had been on the adoption journey for 2 and 1/2 years before he came to us. It was a long wait but worth it. I still haven't written down our whole adoption story on our blog because I was under so much stress and disorder after placement that to process it would bring back some of those painful memories. Sometimes I wonder how I lived through those weeks following being placed with Evan. Reading the stories on here made me realize I need to tell our story and our situation.

My husband and I had been approved to adopt since fall 2008. For one full year we had no hits, no questions, and no interest. In fall 2009 we were finally contacted and a few weeks later we got the "call" that we would be parents. We had 4 months to go. At this time we felt strongly for the birthparents and truly loved them. S and J are wonderful people that we talked to and met several times. A few weeks before the birth we were told that they were reconsidering. It was a blindsided moment for us. We felt for them and knew that the decision had to be completely theirs. One day later, we were told they were parenting. We felt sorry and heartbroken for us but they are still together today and have a wonderful child. They are great parents and made the right decision. A month later we were chosen again and almost the same thing happened. We met, loved the birthmom, supported her, and then a week before birth she chose to parent. She too is doing well and is a great mother.

As you can tell we were so heartbroken and didn't know if we could go on or needed to take a break. When we went to the temple and prayed we were told to keep our profile up. We didn't have any other guidance. We just knew to trust it. Later on we found out that this is when Evan's birthmom found out she was pregnant. We hit our 2 year mark of "waiting" that fall in 2010 and it was extremely depressing. We had friends that started the adoption process with us now approved for a second placement. We wondered what seemed wrong with us. At this time we thought maybe we should try IVF again. Maybe this is a sign that adoption isn't meant for us. We prayed together again and we're told that adoption is where we need to be. This still was discouraging because we had no interest from anyone and felt burnt out from promoting ourselves. 

A week before Thanksgiving we received an email from a potential birthmom, Amanda.  It was short and sweet and asked a few questions. We sent one back and felt good about it but no more. We were preparing for the holiday and gearing ourselves up to make it through another childless Thanksgiving and Christmas. A day before Thanksgiving I saw that our caseworker was calling. I wasn't even excited because he called every month to see how we were doing, he is such a sweetie that way. I almost didn't answer it. Once I picked up the phone the first words out of his mouth were, "I have good news, you have been chosen." I feel guilty that I didn't have a "spiritual" moment telling me this was going to happen like other adoptive parents do. He told me the details, when she was due, and that she would contact us later. I called Alex and a few close friends and family, but kept low with the news. We had been un-chosen twice and it is hard to have hope that it would actually happen. Especially because we hadn't met her or knew anything except due date and it was a boy.

It took a whole week before Amanda contacted us again. At this point we were going crazy because we wanted to meet her and find out more. She told us that she didn't know how open she wanted the adoption to be. She also told us that she wanted to meet once to make sure. Between this time and when we met I lived in shock. I think this helped me to cope if it wasn't going to work out. I really hid my emotions from family and didn't talk about the baby. We had been waiting for this for so long that I was protecting myself.

On December 14 we met Amanda. When we met I immediately recognized her. She looked like she could have been Alex's sister! She had a familiar face and spirit. It was a wonderful experience. We went to her house and met some of her family. Everything was very comfortable and as we left Alex and I knew beyond a doubt that she was carrying our son. We also talked her into a more open adoption because we didn't want to lose contact with her ever. We loved her on first sight. Something we didn't experience with the last potential birthmoms who came into contact with us.

She wasn't due until the end of January but told us he might come a little early. On January 1st she called to say her water broke. I didn't know much about pregnancy, but thought this meant you were in labor. She said they are trying to stall labor for one week. At this time we thought we had one week. That night I went crazy and started cleaning everything and taking things out of closets. It resulted in a huge mess. I had one week to clean and prepare in my head that I started that night! A word of advice, DON'T every do that! She went into labor the next morning and Evan was born that afternoon. Her original birthplan was for us to come at 48 hours after when placement would happen. We thought this a great plan and respected her wishes. When she called that morning and told us she was getting an epidural she told us, "Get here ASAP! I changed my mind and want you here after he is born to hold him." At this time she asked us what name we had chosen. We said Evan. She was silent for awhile and it was later that she told us the Spirit was so strong at that point to her. That was the name she had secretly called him. It was the name she had chosen just for him from her. It was another confirmation that God was at work in putting us together.

We hurried and packed and left for the hospital which was about 4 hours away. We stopped at Target to get a few things to pack in a diaper bag. When we got there we went to see her and the baby. No one can adequately describe the love we had for her at the moment. We loved her. We loved that little boy and we're so happy to see him. He was hooked up to an IV because of low blood sugar but otherwise was doing great. We stayed an hour and then left to stay at her parent's house for the night.

This is where the story turns. The next day was Amanda's day with him. We planned on going to IKEA and hanging out with extended family. We weren't nervous, just happy that they both were OK and healthy. When we were at the store we received a call from Amanda's mom. She said that the doctors wanted to check out Evan for malnutrition because he was refusing to eat and threw up green bile. They did an x-ray and we waited for results. I can't tell you how terrified we were at this point. When we got to our extended family's house I went to the bathroom to cry and pray. I was reassured he would be fine and healthy. A peace came over me at this time. I'm so thankful for that because the next 30 minutes were the scariest of my life and I had to keep remembering that peace. Amanda's mom called again and said he was being lifeflighted to Primary Children's Hospital. They didn't know what was wrong, but it was beyond the scope of the doctor and he needed to see a specialist.

We weren't the official parent's of Evan yet. We couldn't make medical decisions for him or get updates straight from the doctor. Amanda's mom and her kept us updated and always told what was going on. We were so grateful for this. It was passed 11:00 that night when we got to Primary Children's. We went in to see him. He looked so little and scary hooked up to the IVs. It is such a helpless feeling to see your child in this situation. At this time we couldn't even call him "our" child either.

The next day was placement day. The strength that Amanda showed placing a child that was in the NICU will always amaze me. We didn't know what was wrong or if things would get worse. The specialists were still looking for what was wrong. This amazing woman came into the NICU to say goodbye. She did this in a room full of other sick babies and nurses. A curtain was the only privacy she had. She was only allowed to bring one person in at a time, so not all of her family could be there to support her and say goodbye together. We signed the papers in the hallway of Primary Children's NICU. This wasn't what we planned. This wasn't a hand over ceremony that was envisioned. It was heartbreaking and inadequate to what she meant to us. After signing, when we met together tears were everywhere. Nurses in the hallway were crying. Strangers started crying because they thought we just had "bad" news. Amanda's face spoke volumes to me. Her love for her little boy was written on it and I will never forget the love in her eyes or the extreme heartbreak. I struggled to speak. When I hugged Amanda's mom I remember telling her, "To take care of Amanda, we love her so much and she is so special."
That night we were at Ronald McDonald house and hoping we could leave soon. Our little boy still wouldn't eat and had bad jaundice. For two days we couldn't hold him for very long because he needed to be under lights. We texted Amanda and sent her pictures throughout the day and days that followed. We also stated updating our blog and facebook with what was happening. Evan had lots of people praying for him and the blessings we received from this were felt. He slowly started to gain strength and eat on his own. He still needed a feeding tube and at two weeks old we had hoped that we would be released soon. We let Amanda have access to come and see him whenever she wanted and she came during this time. We left her with him because we knew she didn't have as much time to hold and kiss him as she had wanted previously. The next couple of days Evan started coughing. It turned into RSV. We were devastated. My worst nightmare of calling Amanda and telling her that something else was wrong with Evan had happened. I had so much guilt over this because I was sick too with RSV. We don't know who got it first and gave it to each other. In a few days Evan was put on oxygen but eating on his own finally. After a week he got better and we had the go ahead to go home with an oxygen tank. At this time Amanda came for one more chance to see him. She had some precious time with him before we left. We were under strict orders that when we got home, that he couldn't leave the house for 4 months.
We spent 3 weeks at Primary Children's and the Ronald McDonald House. We are so grateful for the wonderful people that helped out during this time. That hospital will always be special to us and is truly one of the few places where you can feel the presence of angels. To us it is as sacred as a temple. NICU babies have a certain spirit and the love of the nurses and doctors that care for them are truly inspiring.

Coming home and bonding with Evan over what had happened was difficult for me. I still feel guilty for not being able to hold him or feed him as much as he needed during that time. Especially when we were both sick. When we were at home and taking care of him is when the "true" bonding happened for me. I remember him looking into my eyes and I saw Amanda's eyes. He looked so much like her at that moment that my heart was filled with overwhelming love. I knew I was his mother. Those eyes will always remind me that he was loved and taken care of by her first. I'm grateful that she trusted us to care and love him as much as she would. Everyday I wake up to him and marvel that I get to care for him. He truly is a joy of a child. 

Every adoption story is different and I wouldn't trade mine. It was full of heartbreak, sacredness, sadness, guilt, shock, sickness, and overwhelming bittersweet joy. Now we have a strong 6 month old who is loved by many people, he is our miracle and blessing. He is who we waited for for 7 years. He came at a low point in our life when we had lost hope. He brought joy and the knowledge that "god is good", which the name Evan means. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Knowing I should say something...

Picture found via online

Hey everyone...normally on days that I do not have something planned for this blog I just wing it...but today and yesterday has been hard for me to wing see in my personal life I have had sad news come (our birthmother changed her mind) and I am taking a little bit to take it in...I know I will be better next week...and today is much better than yesterday but still is hard... when I read all of my friends wonderful comments to console me, even though hurts they have helped more than any of my dear friends and readers may ever know...I know it is ok and I know it is how its supposed to be and I know that Heavenly Father knew she would make this decision but it is still sad.  So I figured I would just say something to all of you so you don't wonder why my blog is a little slow for the next few days....also, I will be on the road driving back from Kansas City to Phoenix from Sunday til Tuesday...But the blog must go on and I have a post scheduled for Monday and may have a guest post on Tuesday when I am still on the til then thank you so much for your understanding...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Advocating for Your Adoption

Something important that I wish I would have known when I started the adoption process was that my husband and I were going to need to be our own advocates. What I mean by that is, we would need to be proactively looking for our baby-that no one was going to just drop off a baby at our door or call us to come pick up one from the hospital the day after we were certified, that we would need to do research on adoption law in our own state as well as other states that we might adopt from, that we would need to ask questions, voice concerns and check in frequently along the way to make sure that we had dotted our i's and crossed our t's. You MUST be involved in the process, if you sit back and wait for someone or something to happen, opportunities might pass you by or fall through or you may miss an important step or paper that needs to be submitted or filed with your adoption agency. You and your spouse need to be your own advocates, fighting for whatever it takes to get you to your baby. Don't be afraid to ask your caseworker or your friends or family that have adopted about questions or concerns you have. It can help alleviate alot of stress or unneccesary worry as well as helping to prevent any problems that could occur in your adoption plans. Be honest with your caseworker and your birthmom, be upfront, be yourself! Flex your "adoption" muscles, stand up for what you want and persevere and when you are standing at the end of the road with your sweet baby in your arms, you will be glad that you spoke up and got involved in the process because it will mean more to you and you will feel like an adoption warrior! -Elise

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

blog bumps

Hey everyone...I just wanted to give all of you a heads up that blogger is having issues with link lists not showing...Hence you can see that I have a list of hoping to adopt couples that is missing...this gadget had been giving me issues for a while and that is why I had started the one with more couples hoping to adopt (which today was giving me the issues the other one had) and then I was trying to correct it today...I had decided to look up the issue with blogger and that is where I learned I am not the only one with this issue so hopefully it will fix on its sorry if your blog link is missing at the moment...if it doesn't fix I will let all of you know so we can get a new list on here... :-(

Monday, July 18, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature!

Dustin and Andrea

Our story starts nearly 8 years ago. Dustin and I were married September 18, 2003. We had planned on waiting a few years to have to children so we could get done with our education. However, after being married only a year and a half, we felt very strongly it was time to start a family. Like most couples, we thought and hoped we'd get pregnant very quickly.

Little did we know what the next few years would bring. As each month passed we thought it wasn't "our time" and the Lord would make it happen when the time was right. It was heartbreaking with each failed attempt, but we continued on with faith that things would work out. When the times got really tough, we started to travel together to take our mind off things and enjoy our time together. It was therapy for the both of us to be able to get away. I felt every emotion you could imagine. I had feelings of inadequacy, denial, fear, guilt, and utter sadness. Thank heaven for a husband who is kind, loving, patient and really good at wiping tears.

After 2 years of trying we decided to see a fertility specialist. The doctor told us our chances of conceiving on our own were less than 3%. It was going to take divine intervention for a miracle to occur. We were given two options, artificial insemination or invitro. We thought and prayed about it and decided we would start with our first round of medication and artificial insemination. We both felt really good about it and for the first time in 2 years felt confident again that we would get pregnant. Sadly, it didn't work. We were devastated. Out of frustration we began to look into adoption, but didn’t feel like it was the right time. We tried artificial insemination again a month later, took a pregnancy test, and found out we were pregnant. Dustin made me take 4 more because he couldn't believe it. Each one came back positive. We were so excited. There was a huge weight lifted off our shoulders. All of the heartache and confusion vanished. We called the doctor and set up an appointment. We couldn't wait to see our little baby.

Two weeks later our world came crashing down. I woke up one morning and knew that something was wrong. I called the doctor's office, they ran some tests and we found out that I had miscarried. On top of that, the doctors found a grapefruit sized cyst on my right ovary, which was caused by the fertility medication. It was horrible. The weight was thrown back on our shoulders and there was more confusion than ever. I have never been so devastated and sad in all my life. I felt that my dream of being a mom was slowly slipping away. Who can mourn the loss of someone who has never been born? The fact that there is nothing tangible to represent the loss actually intensifies the pain and makes the loss more difficult to understand.

The next couple of months were a fog. We spent a lot of time praying and going to the temple trying to figure out what the Lord wanted us to do. We didn’t feel good about going through with any more fertility treatments for the time being. We then seriously began to pray about adoption. A couple of weeks before Christmas things started to fall into place for us. The spirit confirmed over and over we were making the right decision. In December 2007 we met with LDS Family Services and began the necessary paperwork for adoption.

We were approved for our first adoption March 17, 2008 and were chosen just 4 weeks later! Did we just get lucky? I wouldn't call it luck at all. God is in the details of our lives. He has a plan for each and every person on this earth. He knew we needed to move quickly because there was a birth mom who needed to find the parents of the child she was carrying. She needed our support and the Lord knew how much we needed hope back in our lives.

Our daughter Avery was born October 28, 2008. She is a ray of light and energy in our home. We share a very open adoption with her birth mom Andee. She has become a dear friend of ours and a huge blessing in our lives.

We have been approved for our second adoption since May 2010. We are hopeful and humbled to be going through this process again. We love being a part of the adoption community and are grateful for the opportunity adoption has given us to be parents. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has chosen us to be recipients of such a miraculous process.

Please help us spread the word!!

Our Profile:

Our Adoption Blog:

Our Family Blog:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taboo or Empowerment

Picture via online

The other night my husband and I were out to dinner with another couple and the topic turned to our adoption.  As usual we were talking about how it was going and they were asking questions...then they brought up that they knew a family member and their spouse that had been stuggling with infertility and considering the possability of adoption.  They said how it was hard to relate for them to their family member since they themselves have never had a struggle in this arena...I respected that...It takes alot to realize you don't know how it feels and to admit you don't know what to say.  They also mentioned how this family member didn't really know anyone in this arena...

It was so interesting how I felt so alive speaking openly about adoption and our journey with it thus a year ago I wouldn't have known what to say and would have felt embarrassed or awkward to talk about it.  It is crazy how time and awareness changes us.  I felt like I just wanted to reach out to their family member and hug them and tell them it was going to be ok...That God has a plan for their family and if adoption is the way that is going to happen, then I want them to know where to look and help them to know others who have been where they are and felt what they have felt too...

When we first decided to adopt, we knew nothing, we had family that adopted but that was like 20 yrs ago and it was closed and adoption is so different now, and then we had like one couple friend who had adopted but at the time it wasn't like they were our best friends ya know...I just feel that if I had only had someone to help me along at the begining to know it was encourage me to be proud of the fact that our child was going to come through adoption...that God was in charge...that it wasn't taboo to talk about...that I wasn't the only one to feel weird at first to talk about it, it would have helped me soooo much at the beginning...

**disclaimer - now yes I know I have lots of friends now that are amazing but sometimes we really need somebody to get really real with us and tell us the raw stuff and help us be strong...or at least maybe "I" just did...but again I can't possibly be the only one...

I have decided that THIS is a topic I wish adoption conferences spoke more about!  ADOPTION EMPOWERMENT (How to feel about Adoption - How to talk about it with others at the "beginning" - How to be proud and Excited in the Beginning and not be scared or feel weird).  How much easier would it have been for you if you had others to really sincerely help you in the beginning to be ok with not feel like a failure since this is your path...that this was God's plan for your family right now and to help you be proud to talk with others not feel ashamed.  I know I struggled sooo much with this at the beginning and I know it does take time to come to terms with things but I also feel that when we have strong friends and guides, it makes everything all the much better :-)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Raw Emotions of Placement - An Adoptive Mom Perspective

Dayna emailed me last week after I posted Stacey's experience and all I can say is wow!  Heavenly Father truly is amazing...I got her email when I was in the car about to go to an appt and I started to read it and was so engrossed in it that I could not leave the car til I was done was so good and I am so thankful she felt compelled to email it to me and to share it with everyone that reads my blog...It is so touching...Thanks for sharing this Danya! - Deanna

Experience: Danya

I call our placement story unique knowing all placement and adoption stories are. But ours is unique in a different way then most since it was a constant stream of pure beauty and treachery (in my own mind and heart anyways). Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change a thing! But it was also pretty hard and scary. So here's our story.

My husband and I were elated when we were matched with a set of birth parents only 4 short weeks after our profile going active with LDS Family Services. As we got to know the situation and birth parents we become slightly hesitant; perfectly amazing birth couple, supportive birth family, wanting the same amount of openness as us - it seemed too good to be true! But we trusted in Heavenly Father and the strong feelings of love he was placing in our hearts for this birth family and baby girl. Our little one wasn't due for about 6 weeks so we started to cultivate a relationship of trust and openness with her sweet birth family. Time was an interesting mix of going way too slow and way too fast during those weeks but everything was falling into place so perfectly. Together with our birth family we made a hospital plan that did not include my husband and I being there for the birth. We were slightly disappointed but knew it was for the best since our birth mother, N, and our birth father, C, had such a large supportive family that would be there at the hospital. We agreed that we would visit the day after she was born to start bonding then have placement shortly after.

We began to fantasize about our baby girl and what she might look like. We picked out her name. We would dream about touching her soft skin and bundling her up for her first car ride home from the hospital. I even packed up her coming home outfit. So you can imagine the shock that followed when our dear N called me about a week before Little Lady L was due to let us know that they had not changed their minds about the adoption plan, they were still firmly committed, BUT they needed more time with Little Lady L to say goodbye. Instead of having placement from the hospital they planned to take her home for a week so that they and their family could process their goodbyes. I remember that phone call all too clearly. Fear shot through me. I trusted N with all my heart but just a few months earlier a close friend of ours had experienced a particularly devastating failed placement. It started with the birth mother saying she needed just a couple more days, taking the baby home, and then deciding to parent. My husband and I were so torn between trust and fear that we hardly knew how to react. We told N that we trusted and supported their decision. To be honest, we were dying inside. Was this the beginning of the end? Maybe things were too good to be true.

After a phone call of tears to our amazingly patient case worker we began to pray... hard. In our minds we didn't have a choice, we just had to trust N and C that they did just need some time and that they would be honest with us if they were changing their plan to place. I became exceptionally defensive (and still am) of N and C's decision to keep her for a week. We decided we would only tell our closest family of their choice until after the fact. The last thing we needed was a barrage of well intended yet hurtful reminders of what might happen.

Finally Little Lady L's induction date came and N was put into labor. N and C were so sweet and kept us posted via text message all day long of changes in labor. At 8:41pm our Little Lady made her grand appearance into this world. It was a small picture and message but it was the sweetest one we had ever received. We were completely smitten. The next day we went to the hospital to meet our daughter. I cannot express the peace we felt as we walked into N's room and held our baby girl. In those moments we knew things would be OK. The following day N was released from the hospital and took Little Lady L home, to her birth home, in an outfit picked out by her birth mother. That hurt a little. Part of me wanted that experience so badly.

I don't know how but Heavenly Father helped us find patience and peace that week. We kept busy as possible preparing for our daughter's arrival home, to our home. We visited again that Thursday at N's house and for the first time I was able to step outside of my own selfish desires and realize why this time was so desperately needed by our birth family. I'll never forget as we were saying goodbye and walking out of the front door when our visit ended I nearly burst into tears. Not of fear or pain but of joy! The Spirit spoke so strongly to my heart that this was right. That if we were patient our time with our daughter would come but they needed her first. I was so indescribably grateful that they had chosen to take this week with her! Even today it fills my heart with joy that they had those few precious moments to cherish. 

Sunday was finally here. Placement day. How do you describe placement? Pure joy for yourself. Guilt for that joy knowing your joy meant someone else's hurt. Someone you loved, no less. We arrive at N and C's LDS Family Services office and waited patiently in the lobby. They were already in the back having their last moments as Little Lady L's parents. My heart hurt so bad for them. My husband, and I sat silently across from our caseworker. I don't think words were needed as we waited. After a while N, C, their mothers, and our Little Lady entered the room. Those were tearful consuming embraces we exchanged. We sat for a while and talked about Little Lady L's health and schedule. We took some pictures and hugged some more. It was time. N was ready. I could see determination in her pained face as she gently placed our daughter in my arms. Pain, joy, and everything in between. Emotions were palpable. There weren't many words that could be said after that. Everyone could feel it. It was time to go. N and C wanted us to leave first. I don't think they could stand walking away. We understood.

Once we exited the building I stopped being strong for everyone else and cried for the first time during placement. First they were confused tears, not knowing how to feel, not knowing what I was allowed to or should feel. Finally I allowed myself a few moments of unrestrained, guilt-free joy. I wanted to jump in the air do a fist pump and yell, "Whoohoo!" I didn't. I felt the urge to run to my car and speed away so I could show my beautiful baby to the world. I didn't. I just sat down, buckled Little Lady L in snugly, kissed her cheeks, and told her how much her birth family loves her.

In the end I realized that what placement came down to. It was an act of complete and pure love."

Mrs. D
"The Adoption Advocate"
on Facebook

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Back to Reality

We are back from vacation, had a wonderful time. We drove over 3,000 miles, went to New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Nevada. It was a wonderful trip and I had many opportunities to enjoy nature and to realize what a beautiful country we live in. While on vacation, we got the most glorious news, check out our blog to hear more!

This week I wanted to tell you all about a special fundraiser that my friend Brittany at 41 West Designs is doing. Her friends Matt and Tara are raising money to go to Taiwan and pick up Baby Annie. Brittany is donating $2 from every sign purchased between now and September 1 to Matt and Tara's adoption efforts. Feel free to stop by 41 West Designs Etsy Shop if you would like to help out the cause. Always willing to support someone working to unite a family! And just because she is such a cutie pants, here is a picture of Baby Annie. :) Congrats Matt & Tara and good luck! Love, Elise

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I am not sure if all of you know but I wanted to make sure you did if you live in the Phoenix Area....

Information about this event was found via 

 Adoption academy

Saturday, august 6th
8:00 A.M. - 4:30 P.M.
4901 W Union Hills
Glendale, AZ   85308

Please register through the Phoenix Office no later than July 29th  by calling 623-878-2037. Registration is $20 per couple and must be paid at time of registration. Food will not be provided for anyone who registers after July 29th.  
Check-In and Breakfast 7:45 A.M.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Features!

Hey everyone...Sorry to say I didn't have a couple to feature today so there is no feature.. :-( ...I would like to feature a couple every week so please email me if you would like to be featured because I know there are many of you out there and so want to help you find your baby!...also, for all of you looking to adopt please email me your blog link if you would like me to add it to my hoping to adopt links...If you know of others that would like more exposure please let them know and I will be sure to add them!

Send all emails to:

p.s. if you are reading this post way after this post was posted feel free to still totally email me...I am always wanting to help...and I know I am not the only one who would LOVE to hear your story and help you...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fresh Air Fund...

This week I had a woman named Sara contact me re: the Fresh Air Fund. In her email she said a little about what it was and gave a website to peek I did and WOW! You might be thinking what is the Fresh Air Fund just like I did. So I clicked on their site and then clicked into their You Tube channel and saw this video...

Sara had let me know that they ARE still looking for families to help...they still need 850 host families for THIS summer (children stay with their host families for up to 2 weeks) ...I know I usually speak about adoption related topics on here but I know all of us want to have an impact on a child or want to help in some way...ultimately, all of us want children to feel love, happiness, and all they should worry about it having fun and being a kid...for many of these children life is not that easy and the struggles that they face everyday are more than many adults have experienced in their lifetimes...

This is so cool...and if I lived in the areas that this program is available I would so be up for this! Think about how you could help these children and how wonderful they will feel knowing someone else cares about them. You can make such a difference...How would you feel knowing that you were the one that helped change it all for them...knowing that you helped them know that life offered more...You can offer them HOPE...HOPE for their future...HOPE for their family or lack of...HOPE for their current situation...HOPE in themselves...HOPE that they matter...HOPE that they can make a difference...

These video's below shows how one choice to host can make a difference in a child's life...

What an impact this program makes...if you would like to learn more about the Fresh Air Fund Click here

I just have to put a shout out to Sara for emailing me about this and all of the wonderful people that work so hard to make this program possible...Thank you so much for what you do, I am sure it means so much to all of these children, their families and the families that host every year!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Raw Emotions of Placement - An Adoptive Mom's Perspective

Most of us that get on the road to adoption are like a fish out of water...we have no idea of what to expect or what to even ask...we listen and listen and try to learn but all we really know is what we want and that is a baby in our family....I think alot of things are scarier when we have no idea of what to expect, but when we know something it helps greatly...These posts are of  views and experiences from women who have gone through placement. They know what it feels like to see someone make the hardest choice in their life and selflessly place their sweet baby in the hands of another who they chose to raise their baby. They know what it feels like to have a bittersweet happiness...I have asked them to share with all of us their take and how they dealt with prepared they are going to tell it like it is...I wanted them to because that will help all of us...there will be no holding back..just raw unedited feelings... - Deanna


The Baby hunger started and we knew that we had another baby waiting for us.  The emotion started for me in knowing it was my fault we couldn't conceive on our own.  So many nights I had cried because of feeling guilty.  After some time had passed we decided to adopt and then all I could think of was "getting" a baby. As we started our road to adopt, we had a couple of contacts along the way.  I think at first I saw birth-mom's and objects.  They were a baby holder for my baby.  Through the process of waiting my Heavenly Father taught me a lesson of patience and compassion.

Months later we met our birth family. We saw them face to face with tears and all. It was hard to look them in the face while they talked about their baby and how much they love him. They talked about placement and it made me sick to my stomach thinking that I am the person taking this child away from them.
In the few weeks that we had to prepare for this baby boy we had met with the birth family many times and built a good relationship with them. Then placement came... the people that we have grown to love, the people that are giving us the amazing gift walk into the room with their baby. Their eyes so puffy from crying and tears rolling down their cheeks. I wasn’t worried about the baby at that point. I just wanted to hold and hug them and make things better. I wanted to bring the baby home but also wanted them too. They could live with us ... right?

We were so excited to finally have our baby in our arms but we still wept for them and their pain. I emailed the family almost every day for the first couple of months. Every time he pooped, spit up, slept longer than normal. I wanted them to be apart of him, a part of us. I was of course worried that I wouldn't love him as much as my biological kids. Lucky for us that never happened. The first night he was home I knew he was ours and I loved him all the same.

I started to worry around the time he turned 2 months. He didn’t look at us, smile, or do much at all. “Oh no, he really doesn’t like us.” I thought. After meeting with our caseworker she reassured us that if he was snuggling into us and we could calm him just by holding him then we he has bonded with us.

So we went to see his pediatrician. He said that he has some concerns but to wait for his next apt and we would go from there. If I thought I felt guilty before now I really feel this over powering feeling of guilt that I have done something wrong to cause our little boy to be this way. What is wrong? What could it be? I kept this from the birth family for months, I was too scared to tell them. We later found out that he was born with underdeveloped muscles and that he would need physical therapy. I couldn't stop thinking about how I was going to tell the birth family that something was wrong. Did I do this to him? What if I would have played with him more or made him do more tummy time or should I have kept the other kids away from his so that he wouldn't have gotten over simulated? I knew I had to tell them sometime.

They were going to see him again at 6 months and he still couldn't hold his head. I told them in an email around 5 months and was so thankful for their response back. They just reassured me that I was his mom and that they know they made the right decision. Still the guilt, what now?

Chris is 10 months old now. His birth parents have started to moved on, but I often wonder why can't I? Every time I look at his blonde curly hair I think of his birth Dad or his eyes and lips that he got from his birth Mom. I want them to be with us, I want them to want to be with him. I want them to be around and a part of our family. Why don't they want that? What if they don't want an open adoption anymore.

It sounds funny, I know! Before placement we were worried that they would want to be around all the time and we wouldn't want it. I guess things change, maybe it is some of the guilt that is still there, the guilt that I get to have this beautiful baby boy to love and to hold for all eternity and they get pictures. But maybe I just want to share it with them...

I love our baby boy and I love our birth family. I also love the adoption and hope to adopt again but I also pray that one day I can too move on from this guilt. I am so thankful for all that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with and the joy that our baby boy brings to my family.

**Just after I was wrote this post I was invited to go and see both the birth mom's family and the birth dad and his family and new wife. Check out our blog for the full story. I am blessed to have so many questions answered through this wonderful visit.**


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thoughts to keep you going!

Elise here, still enjoying a lovely va-cay with my family but I wanted to check in and share some of the things that I have been thinking about  that have helped me in our journey to adopt. Like Deanna has mentioned before, I am a part of a wonderful group of women in an Adoptive Mom Group. These women lift me up, inspire me and encourage me on when I get discouraged or downhearted. They are awesome and are definitely the most courageous people I know. Many of you out there might not be a part of a group like this or may not feel totally supported by family and friends and maybe you don't know anyone who has adopted so you feel alone. I am here to tell you that you are never alone! One thing that these women constantly remind me of is that the Lord is aware of me and that he has a perfect plan for me.

Here are some of the things that I hold onto:

*Although my friend or sister or cousin is pregnant or someone else I know is adopting, they are not having my baby. My baby is still waiting to join our family. The timing and the child that come are going to be the perfect fit for us.

*I don't want to find any baby, I want our baby. I know that there is a special spirit that is being prepared just for us and I want to do everything that I can to be in the right spirit and mindset for them.

*Every birthmom that we talk to is going to be different, none can be compared to another. I should never expect that my relationship will be the same as my friend's relationship with their birthmom. Our relationship with our birthmom will be as the Lord would have it be for the needs of our family.

*Everything before now has prepared me to be the mom that I will need to be for the child meant to be in our home. Even though I am not physically carrying our child, I will have a special bond with them that I will gain from the nights spent awake with them, the soothing that only I will be able to do and the many wonderful experiences that I will get to have with them throughout their life. Heavenly Father has faith in me to be able to be a mom for this precious baby and I need to trust in his faith in me, that I will have the abilities needed to care for and nurture my child.

*I need to be all in. Like Deanna mentioned before, the only way that I can truly be emotionally and physically prepared is to be fully invested. This is really difficult for me after going through a failed placement, but I know that the Lord is aware of my fears and will bless me with the comfort and strength that I need to push forward in our journey. I have to plan as though we are going to welcome a baby into our homes, preparing in every way.

*Adoption is not easy. It is a wild and crazy emotional rollercoaster but it is all going to be totally worth the ride when I am finally holding our baby in my arms and bringing them home to be apart of our family, knowing that they are going to be mine.

These are just a few of the things that have come to mind in the last couple of days. I hope that they help you like they have helped me. Being in nature the last couple of weeks as my family has been in Yellowstone and seeing all of the majesties the Lord has created, I have not been able to keep the saying "seeing the forest for the trees" out of my mind. If I can keep the overall eternal perspective in my mind, keep the thought of holding my baby in my arms as my driving force, I know that I can overcome all things along this rocky road. It is all going to be so worth it, I just know it!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Just for thought...

I just watched this and it touched me so much...I know all of you will like it as much as me...

Friday, July 1, 2011

A call for Birthfathers...

I would like to do a post about the birth Father's perspective about adoption (one of you suggested this and it is a great idea!)...

If there are any of you (birth Father's) out there that read this blog will you contact me if you are willing to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences with our readers...or if you know a birth father could you ask them if  they might be open to this....I am aware of two blogs out there written from birth fathers and would like to more on this perspective...

Please email me (Deanna) if you are interested or you know someone that would be great for input on a post like this...

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House