Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Hello!  My name is Brittnee and I’m so excited to write for you every Tuesday.  My husband and I have been married for over 6 years and have been hoping to adopt for a little over a year.  We have a dog named Boomer, just purchased our first home, and are still working towards our college degrees!  If you want to know more about our crazy life you can check us out here, but don’t mind the mess.

Having only been in the adoption world for a little while now, I’m quite a novice.  Because of this, I’m hoping that as I share and educate others, I might learn and grow myself.  Bear with me.

Today, I’m going to talk about what I’ve learned on my journey.  Because this has been personal to my experience, it might not work for everyone but it’s something worth sharing, all the same.

I've learned, and am continuing to learn, it is ok to feel.

No matter what grief or upset comes in one’s life, we feel like we have to trap it in a box just to survive.  We feel alone and we feel ashamed for hurting.  We justify that no one can understand how we are feeling and we become afraid to talk about it.   We forget that hurting is human, feeling is human, and we are human.  That’s not to say that is easy to allow ourselves to hurt, but it can pay off in the end, if we can only empower ourselves.  We were chosen to adopt.  There is something in you that makes you strong enough to face the ups and downs and Heavenly Father knows that.  

In order to benefit by our trials, we should treat our pain and suffering more like muscles, the more we break them down the stronger and better they become.  We can grow from our trials if we allow them to transform us through the hurt and sorrow.  Remembering that without hurt and sorrow there is no joy can help on the darkest days. 

Because much of our experience is searching and waiting, completely relying on the Lord’s timeline, we forget to enjoy the experience.  Adoption is a beautiful, miraculous thing and we should LOVE it!  I actually once wished everyone could experience the wonderful thing that is adoption, but I’ve come to appreciate that it is a unique experience given to those of us who have suffered.  It is a blessing, it is a reward for our perseverance through infertility, and it is our right to feel excited and unsure just as any new parents might.
Even though it may hurt, even though a placement may not happen like planned, it’s okay to prepare.   It’s okay to feel the joy and excitement.  Plan a baby’s room.  Paint those walls; paint colors can always be changed.  Buy that onesie you absolutely adore and have been eyeing for months.  Pick out names and then pick out some more.  Live your lives as if that child is only a moment away.  It won’t be easy every day.  Walking by an empty room might stir up emotions, but seeing those beautiful colors and little furniture might also spark hope in your hearts.  Pray for your baby and your birth families.  Pray for peace.  Most of all, feel the emotions.  Embrace them in your heart and take a chance to grow and love your situation.  Do what feels comfortable for you but if I can get you to do one thing, I’d plead with you to talk about it.  Make friends.  Find support.  Teach people about the adoption process.  Be involved. 

Just as every pregnancy and every child is different, every adoption is different.  We all will face our own trials, pain, joy, etc…, but we can band together as an adoption community, gain strength from one another, and share in the beauty and miracle that is adoption.

I look forward to writing for you every Tuesday!  If you'd like to hear about certain topics, have questions, or would just like to make another friend in the adoption world you can email me at shaneandbrittnee@gmail.com or just comment below.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature

Brett, Candace, & Sawyer

Our story begins 7 years ago. Brett and I met in an unusual way when we lived on total opposite sides of the world. I was at church one Sunday and I asked my friend if I could borrow a pen. She tossed me her purse and I started digging. I found the pen and I also stumbled upon a small photo album. I did my business with her pen and held on to the photo album. As we sat there, I started looking at the pictures and one picture completely jumped out at me. There was a
picture there that looks so familiar to me but I had no idea who this person was. I took the picture out of the plastic, studied it, and immediately told my friend that THIS was the man I was supposed to marry.
(This was the actual picture)
I knew nothing about him but I felt like my soul recognized exactly who he was. It was the strangest feeling in theworld....yet an awesome one! When I shared with my friend my intentions to marry this cute guy, she told me it would be pretty hard considering he was on a MISSION! What... cute and LDS?? That combo didn't exist where I came from.He wasn't just on any mission either... he was on the London, England mission and that was the same mission my father had served 20+years earlier.
That night, my friend called me with this missionary's address. She felt like I needed to send him a post card or something. By the time I had come home from church, I had already accepted my limitations and put the thought of this mystery man and I out of my mind. I wasn't about to disrupt a man on a mission. Plus I thought it would be awkward if just out of the blue I sent a stranger some mail. My friend kept calling me and bugging me to do it so I decided, what the heck, and sent him some mail. Missionaries love mail right?
Long story short, he loved the random mail from the random girl in Texas. I didn't send him any pictures for a while. We became pen pals and wrote back and forth. After about 6 months of mail, I finally sent him a picture and I was no longer just words on a paper. I had a face. We continued writing back and forth for 9 more months and then he came home. We met at the Dallas airport for the first time. 13 months later.... we were married in the Dallas Texas Temple : )
We both knew we wanted kids early on. After about a year, we really started trying to start our family. After one year goes by, then two, then three, we started getting worried. Everyone around us was popping out babies left and right and we had no answers. We both got checked by several doctors. I had every procedure done in the book including a surgery to get a better
look at what was going on inside my body. No doctor, fertility specialist, acupuncturist, etc, could give us a diagnosis. We tried diets, teas, and more praying then ever! Still nothing. After 6 years of heart break and no success, we decided to try more invasive routes. We saved up enough money to do In-Vitro fertilization. We had an appointment set and at the last minute I just felt completely wrong about it so we backed out. We rescheduled for the following month and when that day came.... once again.... I had the feeling that this was wrong again. I didn't get it.
I was so frustrated with myself. I knew that this was a very righteous desire so why was the Lord "denying" me of my want? (At least that is how I felt.) We had wanted this for so long and now that it was time, I just couldn't do it. My family and the few friends that knew were all telling me that I just had cold feet and that we just needed to go ahead and do it. I couldn't make any sense of it, however, I knew this was not the right plan. As I set there confused and a mess, I just asked myself, what was most important to me. Being pregnant or being a Mother. The answer was simple, I just wanted to be a Mother and Brett a Father.
Adoption was something that I knew was out there but I didn't really know anything about it and it kind of intimidated me. I had heard "stories" but they weren't the most positive ones. After we canceled our IVF for the 2nd time, adoption would not leave my mind. I started
googling agencies to get more info and LDSFS popped up. I requested to be contacted for further info and the next day I got a phone call. Within minutes of talking to LDSFS a girl from work called. I told her about how our plans had changed and we were now going to try the road less traveled..... adoption. She was excited for us and went and told another co-worker of ours our news. When she told this co-worker, this co-worker shared with her that her daughter was pregnant and working with another adoption agency... still in the search for a family for her baby. It was fate.
A week goes by and and then I got a call from my co-worker about her daughter. We talk for a long time. This was all so new to both of us. Her daughter and I became friends on facebook
and we emailed back and forth almost every day. A month later we met with her daughter and her boyfriend in person. Awesome Day!!! There was instant chemistry and love from both sides. By the end of our double date that night, they asked us if WE would be their child's parents.
(Candace, Lauren, Jason, & Brett)
About 4 months later, Sawyer Jonus Frandsen was born : )
Adoption is the best thing that has ever happened to us. We have a very open adoption with our sons birth parents and I wouldn't want it any other way with them. They are family to us.
It's been almost 2 years since our son was placed with us and every day has been the best day of our lives. After lots of thought and prayer, we feel very strongly that it is time to help our family grow again. Sawyer filled a huge hole in our hearts but now that our hearts have grown so much, there is more room needed to be filled. We fill that way is through adoption. Our profile is finished and Sawyer is very excited to be a big brother.
We love life. We love everything life has to offer. We are dedicated animal lovers and enjoy trying amazing foods! We love to travel and travel often. We've learned that sometimes getting lost can help you find yourself. We know life is short so we live our dream and share our passion. We document lots of our adventures on our youtube channel and our blog. We hope you check them out. We still have a great relationship with both sides of Sawyer's birth families and we communicate often. We are so grateful for them every day for taking the road less traveled with us. It has made all the difference : )
Here is our profile on itsaboutlove.org and our email address is ouradoptionoption1@gmail.com if you would like to contact us directly. Feel free to ask us anything you like!
Lots of Love, The Frandsens


Thursday, August 25, 2011

How FSA is Saving My Sanity

Hi, my name is Sally, and I’ll be taking the Thursday spot.  My husband, Brigham, and I adopted our daughter, Olivia, four years ago.  You can read about that here.  We’ve just been approved to adopt again and are anxiously working toward finding our next miracle.

I recently became involved in my local FSA chapter.  My advice to hopeful adoptive couples is to be an active part of FSA.  If there’s a chapter near you, join.  If there isn’t, start one.  I wish we had known the first time around what FSA was all about.  We didn’t receive any information or encouragement from our case worker.  In all fairness, both adoption workers in that office were new to the area and to adoptions.  And we didn’t wait all that long for Olivia to join our family.  So we got our baby and moved on.

When we started the adoption process, we didn’t have any idea what to expect.  And we had no idea how blessed we were to have things turn out like they did.  It would have been nice to associate with others who were in the same position and still others who were better educated and had experienced an adoption.

The FSA chapter here has an adoptive moms’ group.  We (I can say “we” because I’ve been twice now) get together once a month for dinner and adoption talk.  I would have poked my eyes out for that last time around.  (Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic.  And it wouldn’t have served any purpose, anyway.)  Sure, our families and friends were 100% supportive, but it just isn’t the same as having a support network of others who have been there, who are there.  It’s like free therapy!  I’ve already learned so much from the other women in the group.  As a result of our conversations, I’ve done more research (not about baby gear this time) and feel much more comfortable educating those around me about adoption as I am educating myself.  We are definitely going to be more proactive this time around!

So there’s my plug for FSA, and they didn’t even bribe me to do it. 

If there are topics you’d like to have addressed, please leave a comment.

And if you’d like to know more about my family, check out our blog: http://www.brighamoliviasally.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 22, 2011

Looking for two inspired Ladies!

Hey everybody...I am looking for 2 adoption inspired Ladies to help me with my blog...I have been a little busier and am wanting to make sure that all of you have amazing things to read on here...What I am looking for is for each Lady to be responsible for posting once a week on Tuesday or Thursday every week.  Please let me know if you are interested...you can leave a note in the comment section or just email me direct so that we can chat more...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hope to adopt features!

Matt and Crystal

We met in High School...at band camp. The singing angels must of had the day off because they did not show up, so we decided to be friends instead. A couple of years later we went on our first date, now the where and when this first date occurred depends on who you talk to, both versions are on our blog if you want to take sides.

When we got married, twelve years ago, we knew that our family would be built through adoption. The when to get started down that road was the question that was always answered " not yet". While we waited we went to school at Southern Utah University. Matt studied Biology and Crystal studied Music Performance. A Few months before Matt graduated he was offered an internship with the government just outside of Washington D.C.

After graduation we packed up the essentials in our car, made a comfortable place for our fiddler crab, Loly, to hang out and embarked on what was to be a four month adventure. Matt went into the internship wanting his boss to wonder how they would get things done when he was gone. Two months into the internship his boss started asking what it would take to keep him on full time when the internship was over, so we made a permanent move to Virginia.

About two years later the answer to our constant prayer of when to get started on our family changed to " it's time". Within a week we got a phone call from Matt's Mom about her niece who was pregnant with a little girl. This little girl needed a Mom and Dad, and her niece was wondering if we would like to be them. Five weeks later we were driving to the hospital to pick up our daughter Samantha.

Having both grown up close to our cousins we wanted the same for our kids. Both of our families were living in Utah and our parents wanted to be able to visit without taking potty breaks, so when Sam was a few months old we moved back home.

Six and a half years later we enjoy a very open adoption with Sammy's birth family. They live a couple of states away so we don't get to see them as often as we would like, so in between the visits we keep in touch with pictures, letters and lots of phone calls.

We feel that birth families are another branch in our family tree and look forward to adding those branches. If you would like to learn more about us you can visit us at http://www.itsaboutlove.org/ , search Matt and Crystal, follow our adventures at http://www.mattandcrystalsadoptionjournal.blogspot.com/ , or contact us at mattandcrystal@rocketmail.com.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

FSA National Conference

 August 11-12th

Hey, are there any of you that are going to this?  I wish I could but it was not in the cards for me since school for my daughter is always starting when things like this are happening in Utah :(  If some of you are going can you let me know in the comments...I wanted to have some posts about the conference and your experiences there...please comment if you are willing to help and your email and I will get in touch with you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Features!

Hey everyone...I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  For today's Hoping to Adopt Feature we are going to feature our list!  There are so many of you that are so amazing and if you haven't looked at other's blogs you are missing out for sure!  And even bigger if you aren't on this list you need to be!  Just post your blog and names in the comments of this post and I will add you for sure! 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thankful for mother's who donate what an adoptive mama usually can't give...

So today, I met up with a woman named Jen who I had found this summer.  She was willing to donate breastmilk to our baby...In our process I have decided I would like our baby to have breastmilk and had begun the search for women who are so amazing to donate/share what is so precious for their babies to others who can't (usually) produce it for theirs.

I have been amazed at how many women have had such compassion for us and our adoption process.  I still met with Jen (even though our placement has recently failed - FYI it will keep for a year in the deep freeze) because, you see, now she is moving out of state and I said I could pass it along to a dear friend of mine whose baby is about to be born and Jen didn't want it to go to waste in their move...She was so amazing to say the least.  I felt like I knew her and she did with me due to our blog. She recognized me right away go figure...

I will say what she had to give me is the liquid GOLD of the breastmilk community...colostrum.  She had recently had her third child and was hoping to be able to nurse her and began to pump and did for the first week or so of her baby's life but unfortunately her daughter has some restrictions in her diet and would never be able to nurse due to this but they didn't know right away thus she pumped.  I was soooo thankful that she was willing to give this to me and she has graciously held it during the summer for me since I have been in KC.

I am still so amazed at how connected people feel to me when they read our blog...even when I am getting something off craigslist!  I have my blog address in my email signature even on my phone (of course I omit it at first when I first ask someone about something on craigslist but once I feel ok I let it stay in my responses to them).  So many people have read it this way and they always have compassion and want to help.  I am so thankful for all these wonderful people I have met (due to breastmilk inquiry, an adoption topic, or something even like craigslist) who otherwise I would have never known in a million years! 

p.s. if you are interested in finding breastmilk donors for your baby there are links on the lower left column to help you

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finding our Family: Adoption

I just read this on Jake and Terri's blog and it is so good I have to refer all of you to read it too...(Terri, I hope you are ok with me sending everyone to it...I am sure you are!)

Finding our Family: Adoption: "You hear talk about adoption in the news. There are famous people who have adopted-Mariska Hargitay, Sandra Bullock, Denise Richards, and ma..."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Good Things to Come

I know many of you may have seen this video but last night when I saw it again (my mother-in-law posted it on FB) It made me think of our road that we are on with adoption...right now I feel like Elder Holland did with his drive and his car breaking down...Our adoption gets going, we get chosen, we think that placement is about to come and then it all comes to a grinding halt...I know it is part of Heavenly Father's master plan and that allows me to be able to start from the beginning once more and be ok with that...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature!

 Shane and Brittnee

Shane and I met in a fast food restaurant he was working at and settled the arrangements for our first date before we even bothered to ask each other’s names.  We had an instant connection and were married on July 1, 2005 in the Columbia River Temple just four short months after meeting. 
After marrying, we had the plan to finish college and wait at least two years before starting a family.  After taking a course at BYU-Idaho though, we both agreed there was no reason to wait and we wanted to start our family right away.  Months into our marriage our journey to bringing children into our family began.  Naturally, as most of us do, we assumed it would be months before we became pregnant and we figured in a few short years we would have one or two little ones running around.  
After about a year of trying we realized something was off.  It was impossible to prepare for the possibility of not having children and as each month began and ended in frustration we became a little desperate and started convincing ourselves that this time it would happen.  We continued with this line of thinking for the next year.  Finally after two years, we knew something was definitely wrong.  We fought our grief and our grief hardened our hearts, blocking us from making any decisions.  We were not ready to accept defeat and so we pushed on, bitterly, for one more year, doing more damage to our spirits then we realized at the time. 

Finally we understood that we needed to see a doctor.   Little knowledge came from our visits and we felt hopeless.  We didn’t understand how we could pay a doctor so much money and not have an answer as to why we couldn’t bear children.  We went back and forth between decisions and were literally missing each other by weeks in our decision making.  Shane would be on board to try something and I wouldn’t and then I would be on board to try something and Shane wouldn’t.  We wrestled between adoption, further testing, giving up, and traveling aboard to run away from our pain.  We even tried to start adoption processing twice before backing out because something was off.  We learned that the timing for us just wasn’t right.
On March 16th 2010, our stars finally aligned and we both were reading from the same page.  We were ready and adoption was absolutely right for our family.  Like a clap of thunder, we were sitting in Sacrament meeting and peace washed over me as I knew our family was waiting for us, but that it would be through a different means than we expected.  I turned to Shane, with tears in my eyes, and told him it was time to adopt.  It took him a few days to have the strength in conviction as I had, but we contacted LDS Family Services right away and they were having their first orientation meeting in a few short weeks so we hit the ground running. Within nine weeks we were approved and online waiting on May 18, 2010.  Everything came together and just clicked. 
We look forward to starting our family through such an amazing way.  We look forward to bonding with and loving our birth family.  We understand our road has been a long one, but we pray for our birth mom and our baby each and every night as we wait for the next set of stars to align.  In our six year struggle, we’ve learned some things are worth waiting for.

If you’d like to know more about us you can visit us at itsaboulove.org, profile ID 24679131, or follow the link 

You can also follow us on our blog at www.shaneandbrittneefamily.blogspot.com

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House