Thursday, June 30, 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...I am starting a series of posts with  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 it...be 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

EXPERIENCE: Candace

Meet Candace....she had Sawyer placed with her...

(Excerpt taken from my own blog a month after Sawyer was born.)

One thing I didn't expect when I took Sawyer home was all the emotions I experienced this past month. I know what I am about to share is personal but I think it is important for people to know that are also choosing the adoption route. The first week was the hardest. I was so full of guilt. I knew Sawyer's birth family was hurting and I felt like it in some way was all my fault. I felt like the bad guy. I had this beautiful baby in my arms that I absolutely loved and I knew that could have never been if it wasn't for Sawyer's wonderful birth parents that were hurting so badly. I felt like I was so horrible for taking this baby from the only voices he knew. The only heart beat he knew. The only scent he knew. I was a complete stranger to him and I "took" him from his parents. It just didn't seem fair. I love Lauren and Jason so much and I just wanted to take them home with me. 

The next feelings I felt were jealously. I was so jealous of Lauren and Jason. I wish I could have given birth to my baby so bad. Every time I looked at Sawyer, I saw their faces and not ours. He has their hands, not ours. He has their toes, not ours. I admit, it was even hard for me to give Lauren updates a little bit. It was hard trying to feel like "Mom" when I was often reminded that I wasn't his "Real Mom". I didn't know anyone that had been in my shoes and had also done an open adoption that I could talk to so I felt so horrible for having these feelings. I felt like if I said anything to anyone that it would make me look ungrateful and I was so far from being ungrateful. I felt these feelings beating me down and making it hard for me to bond with my baby. 

Then one day one of the social workers came over and I just unloaded my feelings on him. He told me that all these feelings were COMPLETELY normal. I felt so relieved. He assured me that things would get better in time. The day after he left I met someone that had been in my shoes, twice. She has two adopted children that are both open adoptions. It felt so good to talk to her. We shared stories and she was a major help. She helped me see things in a different light. She told me to continue to be completely honest with Lauren and I have. She understood me so well. I love the love and relationship she has with her children's birth mother's. She said the birth moms are like sisters or sisters-in-laws to her. I understand that love and I look forward to the day Lauren and I have that kind of relationship.
Bonding with Sawyer was different for me. I didn't carry him for 9 months so it didn't just come the minute I held him. This may sound silly but the first real bond moment I had with him was about a week after I brought him home when I tried wearing a baby wrap someone got for me at my baby shower. I was trying it out, put him in it, and felt so close to him. I felt his little tummy move with each breath and I know he could hear my heartbeat in my chest. I felt so close to him and I didn't want to take him out of it. It was an emotion I have never felt before and I loved it. From then it just grew a little bit each day. I still put him in that wrap and just wear it around the house for no reason other than to feel close to him. I also have him sleep on my chest at night. He sleeps on Brett's chest sometimes also. It's moments like that and feelings like that that really help me feel like a mother.
 He is a very alert baby and he will just stare into my eyes sometimes and make me melt. He is gaining control over his head and will follow my voice when I talk to him.
Sawyer also love just being held. He cries when I lay him down so that makes me feel like he misses me. He is happy again when I pick him up and hold him in my arms. Sawyer is a special baby. He is helping me feel like a mom more and more every day. I have realized that even though I didn't carry him for 9 months, I am still his Mom... his Real Mom. Lauren will always be his Birth Mom and that makes him extra special because he has not only a mom but a birth mom too. He will always know his belly button is extra special because it was connected to Lauren's belly button.

My life has changed so much in the past month and I am happier now than I have ever been in my whole life. My love for Sawyer and his birth family grow every day. The jealously has been replaced with more honor and more gratitude for them. I feel so lucky to have an open adoption plan. 

It's been 19 months since Sawyer was born and life couldn't be better. There is more love than I ever thought possible. It DOES get better each day. Just be patient. I wouldn't have done adoption any other way : )


P.S. If you are interested in sharing this part of your adoption with others on this blog email Deanna at ldsadoptionconnection@yahoo.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Meeting my birthfamily

Hi everyone, this is Elise. I'm in Aurora, CO blogging on my aunt's computer (who I just met for the first time yesterday!). It has been a wonderful visit so far in fact we even decided to stay an extra night. Yesterday when we arrived, we saw my birthfather who I haven't seen in about 6 years and then I met two of my aunts, an uncle and four cousins that I have never met (well not that I remember). It has been so great getting to know them and I always wondered what things I had in common with all of them that I never knew. My mom remarried when I was 3 and I didn't grow up really having a relationship with my birthfather or his family so now as an adult I am working on building one. When Josh and I started the adoption process I was unsure about open adoption and how birthparents and other relatives involvement in our child's life would be. But now I am seeing it from a totally different perspective, as an adopted child (my stepdad who I grew up with adopted me when I was 10). Meeting this side of my family has shown me that birthparents and their families can really be just an extension of the family that I have always known. They love me and accept me just like the aunts, uncles and cousins that I grew up around. It is awesome! Anyway, I want to get back to visiting with them so I will give you a more detailed rundown with pictures next week. Open adoption is a huge blessing in my life! :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Have you Heard!

Nathan and Holly have Adopted!!!  So Excited for them! 
  If you want to see their cute little one go visit their blog!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature Dan and Emily

Dan and I have been happily married coming up on 8 years now, this month! We met in Moab, Utah on a river rafting trip. By the time it had been a week of knowing one another, my mom had a framed picture of us displayed in her living room.


This is a week after meeting each other...

Days after we met, Dan and I had a heart to heart. 
 I told Dan that I had always felt that I would adopt ever since I was a little girl. Although I did not entirely know what adoption meant , it has been a word that has circled my mind since I can remember. 

Forward, almost a year later from our heart to heart conversation.... 


 Emily proposed to Dan! 
Then Dan proposed to Emily



 I had surgery for endometriosis. Dan went with me to get my surgery results from my doctor.  The doctor told us that if we wanted children we needed to try as soon as we were married and the sooner the better.

Dan and I left his office, feeling.... overwhelmed, it did not feel like the right time to start our faimly. 


We put everything aside and we planned our wedding... 
 We were sealed in the Jordan River Temple

In April 2006, we began our path to grow our family. We didn't get pregnant. Optimism past and sheer despair set in. After what was meant to be a fun weekend away and a visit with one of my best friends, I felt like I was turning inside out. I got down on my knees and prayed.... I felt to start the adoption process. After six short months Dawson came home a week to the year we started trying to grow our family in April. 

We are hoping to add to our family again through open adoption. 

You can read our blog here: itsusdanandemily.blogspot.com to learn more about our story.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Two Miracles through Open adoptions


Hello to all the amazing women and men out there that are involved in the adoption world!!
My name is Jaymie. I am a woman of MANY words. (I talk to much) I have debated on how to write our beautiful story of our family in a few paragraphs! Hey who says it has to be a few paragraphs? I will try and keep it as short and sweet as best as I can. 
1st greatest blessing of my life: My Hubby
 I married my high school sweetheart & the love of my life.  The man I KNOW I will be with for the eternities. The man that lights up my life.  The man I know my life will be filled with HUGE amounts of happiness, because he is a part of it. The man Heavenly Father knew I needed by my side to get through life’s ups and downs.  The man that held me while we dealt with our infertility, but also gave me the strength to strive to make a hard situation one that we could learn & grow from.
                                                      
2nd greatest blessing of my life: My Daughter Henslee

After going through all the “fun” infertility treatments over and over we decided that if we were not pregnant by Jan 2009 we would start the adoption process.  Oh wait, did I say "fun" I meant the worst not fun thing of my life! Well, January came around and no pregnancy. The adoption process started. We were so excited.  We planned on going into it wanting a very closed adoption. We wanted to be able to have our “Own” family. We wanted to say Thank you to the birth mom and then run with our little bundle of joy in the other direction.  We were able to attend the adoption academy in February to start our adoption journey. After the academy our hearts were changed. We came away wanting so bad to have an open adoption. I wrote in my journal that night............Today I was able to gain a greater understanding of Birth mothers. The love, sacrifice & uncertainty of placing their baby for adoption. I have a new strong love for them. I now realize this is a journey we will do together with our Birth moms. I want them to be a strong part of our family an important part. I am so lucky to to become a part of their lives and make it to the eternities with them. I couldn't do this journey without them. My family cannot start without them.

 We were then certified July 21st 2009.  Our profile went up and the very next day we were contacted by Lindsey a Birth mom. We quickly emailed her back. No response back from her. A few weeks later we were then chosen by another Birth mom in California. We were so excited. A few weeks went by and we were then contacted by our caseworker and were told she changed her mind and was not going to place with us. 
The very same night Lindsey emailed us back. A few days later she asked us to be the parents of her daughter. We were able to build an amazing relationship over the next few months leading up to the birth of Henslee.  My hubby and I were in the room when our daughter was born. It was the most incredible experience of my life. Words cannot describe the feeling I had when my daughter I had waited for looked at me for the first time. Time stood still.  
Henslee & her birthmom Lindsey
 Over the next few months we were able to continue our open adoption with Lindsey.  We were in love with our little Henslee and enjoying every second of being parents. Lindsey came over and visited frequently. We loved that Lindsey would be a part of Henslee’s life. We love Lindsey. We couldn’t imagine our adoption journey without her being in it.  Henslee is now 18 months old and getting cuter by the second. Lindsey has been an important  part of our lives through the entire process.We get to see Lindsey once or twice a month and look forward to seeing her each time..

3rd greatest blessing of my life: My Son Nixon

Henslee's birth mom Lindsey let me know in July of 2010 that her good friend Olesia was pregnant and thinking to place her baby for adoption. Lindsey told me that she was going to "talk" Olesia into placing her baby with us. We didn't think much of it because we were parents to a 7 month old baby : ) . The amazing thing is that we knew Olesia. She came to the hospital when Henslee was born. We have a picture of her with Henslee when Henslee was 2 days old. Lindsey and Olesia grew up across the street from each other. Well so a few months goes by and I was out to lunch with Lindsey. She brought up Olesia again. I have never felt a feeling so strong in my life, I knew that if Olesia was having a BOY I knew he would be a part of our family. So we didn't get our hopes up. But I did continue thinking about Olesia, constantly she was on my mind. A few months went by and I sent Lindsey a text message asking her if Olesia knew what she was having yet?? Lindsey then told me she just found out and that it was going to be a Little Boy! Wow chills all over my body.  Olesia wanted to meet and a few days later we went to dinner with Olesia. It was an amazing night. We felt like we had known Olesia forever. Olesia was also adopted from Russia a few years ago, so she is very familiar with the love, heart ache and feelings regarding adoption. After meeting with her I knew in my heart that she would be in our lives forever. We went to dinner a few nights later and that is when she asked us if we would be the parents of her Son. After a few months of getting to know Olesia, going to dinner, movies and ultra sounds we were able to gain a strong relationship with her.  Olesia gave birth to our Son Nixon in April of 2011.  She gave me the opportunity to be in the delivery room when he was born. I gained a deeper love for her watching her go through what she did to get Nixon here. Olesia took Nixon home until she signed papers.  The day she went home from the hospital we received a call from our case worker telling us that Olesia decided not to place and was going to parent instead. We were heart broken to say the least. Olesia decided she would think about it and let us know a few days later what her final decision was going to be. After a lot of prayers and miracles she signed papers at 72 hours.

Nixon & his Birthmom Olesia

We love Olesia. She is a strong person. Not alot of women are strong enough to do what she did. She loved Nixon more than anything in the world. I love that Nixon will always know of the love she has for him.  Nixon is now 8 weeks old and the cutest little man ever.

My Hubby, Me, Henslee & Lindsey
Olesia (pregnant with Nixon) Me, Henslee & my Hubby


Wow the adoption process is a roller coaster!! There is nothing anyone can say or nothing you can do to prepare your self for the emotions, good and bad that will come with your adoption journey. Having had 2 adoptions you would think we would’ve been better prepared  for our second adoption.  NOPE. Every Birth-mom is different, hence every adoption is different. Having an open adoption is a work in progress. We have had our fair share of ups and downs with both of our Birth-moms. But like any other relationship you have to work on it. We have worked and are still working on it and I can say we have an incredible relationship with both of them. I have a deep love  for each one of them and I cherish my  relationship with our Birth-moms. They are the reason I am a mommy today. I will forever be grateful to them for allowing me to raise and be the mommy to their precious children. The journey of adoption is Incredible. You will see the hand of the Lord through the entire process.  He gives us trials to test our faith, to build our relationship with him and to help us grow.   We are truly blessed to have the opportunity to be apart of the adoption process.  We love our OPEN adoptions.  We love our Birth-moms. 

Please contact me with any questions you have. My family blog is http://jesseandjaymie.blogspot.com/. I love to talk about our adoptions. I wish I could share it with the entire world how Amazing adoption is.  Good luck in your adoption journeys! It will be the greatest journey of your lives.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Question from Tuesday...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
 
We are going to meet our birth-mom for the second time, but we are also meeting her 3 kids and her mom and dad. What is appropriate, to bring them a gift or not. Do we bring our birth mom a gift again or not. We are meeting her this weekend. Thanks
This is a great question and I wanted you to know my thoughts before you meet them this weekend...I say do what you would normally do...If you want to get something, then do...I am not sure if you were meaning that you have already adopted and am meeting your birth mom of your adopted child or the birth-mom of the child you are going to adopt....I am going to assume it is she is carrying still and she has 3 children previously...I would probably get something small for the kiddos...nothing major but to show you were thinking of her and them..  
I think that sometimes we as hopeful adoptive couples are so worried we will do something wrong and mess it up but be who you really are...that is who you will be to the child they place with you so why be someone different before or to their birth-mother.  If it is supposed to be she will know the intentions of your heart and if you are unsure say that very thing to her to explain...they want you to love them too just as you will love their baby.  
I really feel that it is soooo important for you to be you...so if you want to get them a gift do so...if you normally might not don't...but also think of if you were her....that has helped me in this journey...I have tried put myself in her shoes and thought what would I want and then I have listened to her and taken mental notes of things she says...she will tell you what to do inadvertently.  Be yourself...she has chosen you because of you so be you...   

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hello to all!

Hello, this is Elise. I wrote awhile back about my husband Josh and I's experience with a failed placement. It has been about three months since that happened and we are still actively pursuing adoption, searching for the precious spirit meant to be in our home. It has been a difficult time, full of the whole range of emotions. At times I was angry, sad, disappointed, excited, full of anticipation and hope. It was tough, to say the least. Also it was hard to always be an adoption cheerleader, when inside I was feeling a little disheartened with everything we've been through. I felt like after all the years of trying to conceive, fertility treatment, a miscarriage and lots of nights of crying myself to sleep, that adoption should be a little easier and that I was entitled to have it happen quickly and smoothly. Then, I realized that nothing in life that is worth having happens easily. We experience persecution in all things to make us stronger. Lately, on a good day, I have found myself in awe that Heavenly Father has so much confidence in me, to allow me to have these difficult challenges. That he knows me and that I can do all things with his help. It is amazing what we can get through that we never thought we would be able to. 

Adoption is amazing, it is a wonderful miracle that is going to allow us to start our family. However, realitiy is that it's not always glamorous or perfect like it is made out to be on tv or on the some of the adoption blogs out there in blogland. Yes, there are wonderful relationships to be made with birthmoms, women that bond instantly with their new babies, open adoptions that last for long after the child's first birthday with positive communication between the families and children that grow up totally well adjusted to the fact that they were adopted. But, that is not always the case, in fact every adoption is different, just like every family is different. Each experience (even different between each child that you may adopt) will be custom for what your family needs and what the Lord wants  for you to go through to make you who you need to become in this life.

Lately, the best thing that one of my adoptive mom friends told me  is to go into each new relationship with a birthmom with excitement and joy, anticipating each baby that we have the chance to adopt as though it were the very first. This has been especially helpful after going through a failed placement because it's easy to be discouraged and want to guard your heart. So, as I move forward in my journey to adopt, I go forward with a lot of love in my heart and an overwhelming desire to show our birthom and baby every bit of hope and faith I have to give. I don't expect to have a relationship with our birthmom exactly like any of my friend"s birthmoms because she will be unique to us and what our family needs. I no longer have put a timeline on things because I recognize that my life is in the Lord's hands and he has a perfect plan for my husband and I. I know that he is aware of me and my family. He loves me and really wants the best for me. Each time I come to him in prayer, he wants to bless me with my righteous desires because I am his daughter and he wants me to be happy. But, he knows that I must have opposition to learn and become a strong woman.
 
I am looking forward to posting more about my journey to adopt as well as things that I've experienced along the way. I hope that the things I will say will help some of you in your journey of building your family! See you next Wednesday, where I will be blogging from Colorado or Wyoming. I am going to go meet my birthfather's family for the first time since I was little. Come on over to our blog if you would like to hear more about us!

Love, Elise

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Topics...I want to hear from you...

 Picture via online

Hey everyone...I hope you have been enjoying the topics of the posts we have been giving you to read lately...I really want this blog to be unique and not like what everyone else typically talks about....well some stuff will be the same but I want it to have a different flair to it...I want it to address real questions and real concerns that you as adoptive mom's and hopeful adoptive moms are curious to know even if it seems "taboo."  This is your family after all and I want you to feel that this can be a resourse to help you know stuff that we don't really even think of until we read it or stuff that we don't know where to find the info. 

I am really thankful for Candace and her posts re: feeding her baby breast-milk and sharing her journey to do so with us.  Many of you might not of even thought that you could do that too or where to even turn if you wanted to. And it's not exactly like anyone really talks about that UNLESS you happen to know someone.  These are the things I want to know too...the stuff no one tells you  when you decide you are going to adopt...

So with that I ask you this...Please post comments today on this post with topics that you are curious about...even if you think they sound stupid or weird or you think you should know already or you just don't know where to find the answer or you think they are considered "taboo" to talk about.  You can even post anonymous if you are embarrassed to ask about it and I will do my best to research it and use my resources to help us all on here...Sound like a Deal?

So excited to hear what you all come up with!


p.s. even if you are reading this after today's posting please feel free to comment too!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature!

Kelly & Stephanee

"HI! We are Kelly and Stephanee. We met in 2007 in sunny St George, Utah. We dated for 5 months, got engaged, and married 3 months after engagement in the Manti Utah Temple. We bought our first home in 2009. We welcomed a tri-colored beagle into our home a few months after buying our home. His name is Oakley (but also goes by the name "Hey You, No No, Get out of that, Get over here, Get IN here, Bad Dog, Go Away, Stop Chewing That, etc). He is the most mellow dog I have ever met, and LOVES children! Whenever our nieces and nephews are around we get ignored and he follows them around.

We have always known that we wanted children. We tried for one year and after failure to become pregnant, we went to a fertility specialist. After some testing, they found we are unable to have our own children. We knew that adoption was our next step. We took the step with both feet in even when we both knew little about adoption. Now that it has been one year since we were posted "live" online we have learned a lot about the adoption world and love every minute of it!

In the meantime of waiting patiently to bring a child into our home, we try to enjoy our favorite activities such as fishing, camping, hunting, hiking, swimming, sports riding bikes, jeeping, and any other outdoor activity we can find! We get the opportunity to spend a lot of time with nieces and nephews, who range in the ages of 3 months to 5 years old.

We are grateful to be able to participate in adoption and look forward to starting our own family one day!

To learn more about us visit our blog here...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Breast Milk For My Baby - Part 3



Sawyer and I with his primary milk donors : )

Our story got out there and I started getting contacted more and more by people telling me how they never considered donating to adopted babies. It reached a pediatrician from California! She had a sister that worked with Brett and had also just adopted a baby. The pediatrician had just had a baby herself and decided to start pumping for her sisters adopted baby that lived in Texas. By the time that milk got to Texas, the adopted baby had already gotten used to formula so the baby refused the milk. So instead of it going bad, they offered it to us. We willingly took it! (It was also milk bank approved.) When Sawyer was about 11 months old, he was still going strong on the breast milk. We were getting low again and I wasn’t scheduled to see the out of state donor for a few more days. I again thought to my self, this is it isn’t it. At his doctor check-up I asked the doctor if it was ok to start him on cows milk early instead of switching him to formula for a few weeks then moving to cows milk. He told me no. The Minimum age to start Sawyer completely on cows milk was at 1 year old. We were almost out of all the donor milk with no more scheduled visits to the out of state donor. I had been mixing cows milk and donor milk to spread it out as much as I could. The Dr. did approve that ; ) We made it to 11 and 1/2 months and we were down to about one more bottles worth of milk. Again, I thought, “this is the end isn’t it.” Nope, I was wrong again!


Meet Erin!


She didn’t even know if we were still giving Sawyer breast milk but she still felt impressed to ask. I am so glad she did! We planned a time to meet and Brett and I picked up a weeks worth of milk. She said she will pump more milk and we could come back in a week to pick it up. A week later we picked up more milk and that lasted till 1 day before his birthday. WOW! We made it 364 days on breast milk! 1 day shy of a year!


The last bottle from the out of state donor....
Sawyer’s first birthday party was 2 days before his actual birthday. All of Sawyer’s families were there, (our family & both sides of his birth families) and then we got a surprise visitor! His out of state donor and her son (Sawyer’s lunch buddy) completely surprised us at his party! When I saw them I just started crying! I couldn’t believe they flew all the way here to be here. “I just couldn’t miss it”, she said.


We spent the next couple of days with them as well as some other friends. She pumped for him those last few days and on his actual birthday, she fed him his very last bottle. It was perfect!
We made it! An ENTIRE YEAR!

Sawyer and his buddies that shared their lunch with him every day.
All of us together!
I can’t express enough how much that meant to me. How much it meant to Sawyer! People who I once thought of as strangers, kept my child alive, healthy and full. They answered so many of my prayers. From one Mom to another, they were there when I wanted to be and I couldn’t. They didn’t have to do it. They never charged me a dime for the milk. They sacrificed hundreds of hours during the day and night for us. I am so grateful Heavenly Father heard my prayers and led me to them. To this day, I still get people telling me how they never even thought to donate to other babies until they heard about our story. If you are in the process of adopting and breast milk means as much to you as it did to me, there is a way. It doesn’t hurt to ask someone. Some women would even feel honored to do it. I never thought we would make it an entire year but I am so glad we did.
If you would like more info on finding donors, I have a lot of sources! Feel free to ask me anything you like. Good luck!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Breast Milk For My Baby- Part 2


I started reading the ad and it was posted by a Mother who regularly donated to the Mother’s Milk bank of North Texas. She had also been donating to an adopted baby on the side as well as currently nursing her son. She produced TONS of milk and wanted to put it towards a good cause. I called her the next day and we talked for a bit. She asked lots of questions to make sure I was legit. She had already been screened, tested, and approved to do be a milk donor She also included that she was a non-drinker, non-smoker, and non-drug user.

When asked why she would donate, her reply was, "I am very passionate about pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Besides why not help a baby in need if I can?" She told me she would be glad to donate to me! She immediately started pumping and freezing. My baby wasn’t due for another month or so so she could have a good supply ready for him when he arrived. She gave me updates on her progress and we had every oz counted. When the time came closer for my baby to arrive, I went to pick up all she had pumped so far.



My first pick up she had 732 oz of milk for my baby ready to go.

That was enough to feed him on breast milk only for an entire month! I never ever thought she would be willing to donate me so much. I was thinking she would maybe donate me a few bags that I could give to him one feeding a month for some antibodies here and there, but never this much. I was sooo extremely grateful!




One thing I didn’t know about this donor was that she was also a avid video maker that was partnered with youtube. She made lots of pregnancy and parenting videos for the world to see. She had thousands of subscribers and millions of view from all over the world. She even made some videos about herself donating to me. See Here!

She taught me a lot about video making and so I created my own youtube channel to make videos on. I thought it would be a good way for my friends and family out of state to see Sawyer grow up. It was also a good way for his birth families to see him too : )


My First Video!


A few days before Sawyer was ready to be here, I got a random message from a woman who lived 5 states away from me. She was one of my donor’s best friends. She introduced herself and told me she too was a certified milk donor for a milk bank. I had seen some of her videos before so I kind of knew a little about her already. She told me that she had some colostrum ( the extreme nutrient rich milk that comes before the full on milk supply) stored in her freezer. She said that for some reason she kept feeling compelled to save it. She had donated thousands ounces to milk banks and kids in Haiti yet for some reason she felt the need to hold on to this particular milk. When she heard about our story and how we were receiving donor milk, she felt that THIS was why she felt compelled to save it. She told me she would be glad to over night it to me. 2 days later it showed up on my door step : ) I was so grateful!!!

The next day it was delivery day. I packed up the colostrum in an ice chest and took it to the hospital with me. I was so glad that his first meal was going to be colostrum! After almost 12 hours of labor, Sawyer was born. Best.... Moment.... Ever!

When it came time to feed him, we told the nurses that we had brought our own donor milk. However since the milk hadn’t been tested and approved by the hospital, they weren’t going to let us use it. I was so upset. When I had pediatrician shopped, I told the doctor about our milk donors and he thought it was wonderful. He also told me that I could NOT go back and forth between formula and breast milk because that would really upset his stomach. I did not want that for my baby.
I talked to the pediatric dietician supervisor and told them our situation. She told me I could used hospital donor breast milk THEY provided but it would cost me $14.50 per OZ. Since Sawyer’s birth mother was “ABLE” to breast feed and because Sawyer wasn’t a “Sickly” baby insurance wouldn’t cover it. When Sawyer’s B-Ma learned of the situation, she offered to try to breast feed him herself. You are probably wondering why she just didn’t from the get go, well for a few reasons that I can discuss later. One thing I didn’t mention is that the nurse taking care of Sawyer’s B-Ma was also a birth mom!
She totally knew what Sawyer’s B-Ma was going through and knew how emotionally hard it would be if Sawyer’s B-Ma did breast feed him. So the nurse went and called Sawyer’s pediatrician. She told him our situation with the hospital not letting us use OUR donor breast milk and since he had already known about our donors (from when I interviewed him before we choose him) he wrote a “Prescription” for Sawyer to have ONLY hospital donor breast milk! What a relief! Sawyer was the first baby at that hospital to receive hospital donor breast milk that wasn’t “sickly” or had an “Abled Mother”. It was a very different situation but a great one!


When we took him home, we got to start him on the colostrum. That lasted a few days and the we started him on the breast milk that our first donor had been storing for us. I kept in touch with the out of state donor and updated her on our progress. Then she told me she would like to donate MORE milk to Sawyer. My first thought was HOW? How would I get it from where she lives to where I live? I hit the internet and research airlines. I quickly learned I could check it in a cooler as baggage as long as there was no dry ice in it. So from then on she started pumping and freezing for us. We planned to go see her in 2 months and pick up Sawyer’s lunches ; )

About this same time, I got a call from the lady at church, (the first one I asked to donate that had to think about it), and she told me she wanted to try and pump for us. I was so surprised. She told me that back in college, she had a baby and someone had asked her to donate breast milk to them. She turned them down. She told me that she never forgot about that and always felt so bad about turning that lady and her baby down. She felt this was a way she could make things right in her heart and was grateful for the opportunity. She was able to pump about 25 extra ounces and I was grateful for every drop. That was the only donation she made and I was soooo thankful.

Brett and I quickly became pros at thawing and serving breast milk. We didn’t want to waste a drop. Sawyer loved his meals and had a happy little tummy. 2 months quickly flew by and we were almost out of donor milk. It was perfect timing because it was time to fly across the U.S. and get Sawyer’s other milk donors milk.

Sawyer meeting his out of state donor for the first time : )

We flew back and forth every 2 months to get milk. His out of state donor even flew here a couple times. We all became really close friends.


Months went by and there was a time that I was going to run out. Sawyer was about 6 months old. I hadn’t received any more milk from my local donor and I wasn’t scheduled to meet with the out of state donor for another 2 weeks. I thought that was going to be the end of the breast milk for sure. I never thought he would have made it this far on donor milk to begin with so I was soooo grateful it lasted for 6 months. Then out of the blue, I got a message on facebook from another girl at church. She said she had an extra stash of breast milk in her freezer and she wanted to know if I wanted it. I of course said “YES!” I went and picked it up and it lasted EXACTLY 2 weeks! I felt so blessed : )

We went and picked up another round of milk out of state to last him for a while. He was drinking more milk at this age so we were burning through it fast. Every time I left my out of state milk donors house, I thought to my self, “this time will probably be the last”. I know how much time and effort she put into pumping for Sawyer as well as feeding her own son. I expected her to say she was done with donating any day. However, she didn’t. She said she would like to see Sawyer make it to an entire year on breast milk. Again.... SO GRATEFUL!




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Breast Milk For My Baby- Part 1


From the moment we found out we were chosen to be parents, my research began. We had waited for over 6 years for a baby and when our day finally came, I wanted our child to have the best of the best. I called my friends and asked about the best diapers, best bottles, best soaps, etc. I was a first time Mom and so all of this was foreign to me. I researched cribs, creams, teethers, you name it! I even pediatrician shopped and interviewed different pedi doctors until I found the right one for us! When the time came for my baby shower, and it was time to register, and I knew exactly what I wanted. We went down every isle clicking and scanning away. When we went down the food isle, I realized there was one thing I didn’t research.... baby formula. It hadn’t dawned on my until then, that my baby wasn’t going to have the option to have breast milk. That really bothered me.

My husband and I both have careers in the medical field so we are familiar with the many benefits breast milk has over baby formula. We weren’t opposed to formula, but if it were possible, we wanted our son to have breast milk. We know there are many nutritional benefits & antibody benefits that formula just didn’t have. I kept thinking, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

So my research begins. In my research, I read that adoptive mothers can sometimes breast feed their adopted babies if they took a hormone called domperidone. As soon as I heard this I was at my doctor's office as fast as I could so I could start taking the drug and get a milk supply going. At the doctor's office, I was told that this drug is no longer approved in the United States and if I wanted it, I would have to get it from Canada. One of the side effects of the drug was possible heart problems and having a history of heart problems in my family, we didn’t want to risk it. I read about certain herbal teas and creams that supposedly induced lactation and those were a dead end also. By this point, I had several friends helping me in my research. One friend found a study on induced lactation by stimulation. She loaned me an electric pump and I let the stimulation begin. I painfully “pumped” several times a day for weeks. I even took it to work with me and tried on my breaks! However, sadly it was another failed attempt.

My aunt was the first person that told me about milk donors. She had been a milk donor her self to a local milk bank when she had her son. She told me how some people just have a huge oversupply and either “pump and dump” or donate to milk banks. I called around to local milk banks and asked how much it would cost to purchase it. I didn’t realize that breast milk is pretty much liquid GOLD. I could buy it, however it would cost me $4.50 per OZ! I thought it was CRAZY that they charged that much for this milk when it was in fact DONATED to them. However, it is thoroughly screened and that cost money and then its donated to hospitals. It is given to premie babies and is in very high demand. I’m not a rich woman so that wasn’t possible.

At first, the thought of accepting another Mother’s milk was a little weird to me. I didn’t know if it was safe and it was so foreign to me. I vaguely remembered learning about wet nurses back in the old days so I knew it was something that has been around for decades. Even if I did want to receive donor milk, where would I get it? Who would I ask? How would I know it was safe? It’s just not something I felt comfortable asking pregnant or nursing Mom’s for.

However, when it came to my child, I was willing to get over my pride and figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.That next Sunday, I started taking “inventory” at church ; ) Who was pregnant or breast feeding? Who did I trust enough to trust my child's nutritional needs with. I kept thinking of one lady in particular. She was pregnant and due right around the time my son was going to be born. After a few days, I mustered up to guts to just call her. I had to do it. When I first asked her, there was a very awkward silence and then she said she had to think about it. I didn’t realize that some mother’s find breast feeding to be a very intimate thing thats special just between mother and baby. I wasn’t wanting someone to breast feed my baby, just donate to me if they had extra.

After a few days went by and I didn’t hear from her I felt it was another dead end. I truly felt that I tried EVERY attempt to find breast milk for my baby and feeling very defeated, I was ready to accept my limitations. That night at work, I was working alone in an operating room and I was overwhelmed with sadness. I kept thinking to my self, IF I ever gave birth to a child, I would do whatever it took to find an adoptive mother and offer to donate to her baby.

I was feeling like I was already starting out parenthood on the wrong foot because I couldn’t provide something for my child that to me was sooo important for him to have. I guess that sadness showed outwardly also. One of my co-workers noticed me in my sad mood and asked what was wrong. Feeling kind of embarrassed to tell her, I did it anyways. She completely understood my feelings. She had 2 boys that were both breast fed and she too had a passion for breast milk. I told her how if I was ever to miraculously become pregnant how I would be very compelled to donate to another mother/baby in need because I knew exactly how it felt to not have that option for my child.

Then she said something that I didn’t even think of. She said, “Well Candace, maybe someone feels that same way right now and you just haven't found her yet.” She had a point! But where would I ever find this generous person? So we turned to the internet. Have jokingly, have serious she suggested I looked on craiglist! She said you can find pretty much anything on craigslist ; ) So just for the heck of it we did and guess what, right there on the screen in HUGE bold letters, there was an ad that said “DONATING BREAST MILK”. My jaw dropped!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Blogger


I just wanted you all to know that my friend Elise will be taking over the Wednesday posting slot!  It's so exciting and I know all of you know her since she guest posted for me a while back and I know her past post of "Finding Faith in the face of a failed placement" helped so many of you and so many more of you were strengthened by her courage to get back up.  I am so excited to read what she has to write on this blog!  Please be sure to welcome her.  If you want to learn a little bit more about her click here to read her blog!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just for thought...

"Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience 

and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, 

and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the 

more precious when they come." -Joseph Smith

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hoping to Adopt Feature!

 RYAN & AMANDA
Ryan and I met in college. Ryan came to visit my apartment one day during the first week of school, and we have been together almost every day since. We have now been married for 8 fantastic years!

Although we do have some separate interests (I love dancing and reading, Ryan LOVES sports – watching, playing, reading about, etc.) we also share a lot of interests and would be happy if we could be together 24/7. We love anything nature – hiking, rock climbing, rappelling, camping, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, plants, and animals. And we love to travel and find new opportunities to experience nature. We also enjoy playing games and have a closet full of them. But we are most passionate about our families and our faith.

Ryan’s family is on the small side. He has is parents (of course) and two sisters – one older, one younger (they are both single at this point). That’s it – maybe it’s a normal family size, but compared to mine, it is small. I have my parents and 6 sisters; all are married, all have children. So far we have 19 nephews, 6 nieces, and another nephew due the beginning of July. We live within 45 minutes of all Ryan’s family and so get to see them often, which is great. We live about a 2 hour flight from my family or a 20 hour drive. Considering this, we see my family quite about, probably on average 4 times a year. We love spending time with both of our families and are so grateful to be part of them.

We were both raised as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and are grateful for it. We both served missions. And we both having strong testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel and try to keep our Savior Jesus Christ as the center of our lives.

When we found out about 4 years ago that we would likely not be able to have children without serious interventions we were first shocked and extremely disappointed. But after the shock wore off we realized that it didn’t matter to us how our children came to our family. We wanted whatever children were meant for us, whatever children Heavenly Father chose for us. And we were willing to pursue any options to bring those children to us. We chose adoption when Heavenly Father confirmed to us that that was the way we would receive our children – and we couldn’t be more excited!

We do not resent our infertility. Because of it we have had opportunities we would not have had otherwise. We have met wonderful people we never would have had we not had this experience. Our understanding of and faith in our Savior’s love for us has increased as a result. We have become part of a new community. And because of it we will be able to receive the children meant for us. And so we are grateful.

To learn more about Ryan & Amanda click here

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Series to come....

Hey everybody...I am so excited to tell you that my girl Candace will be guest posting this month!  Candace and I are as "we" call Kindred Friends...lol...we have so much in common it is hard to explain.  I know her because of adoption!  She is awesome and I am so lucky to have a friend like her.  I am thankful for that connection we have. 

I am so glad that when I asked her she was willing to guest post for me.  I know she has worked so hard! Since she has a lot to say on a very important subject that many of you may have questions about but may  have no idea of who to ask or feel awkward talking to someone about it...at this point you are probably wondering what is the subject?  You will just have to wait...We hope to have it done real soon and you all will love it. We will be having it posted in a series and I am so excited for you all to read...SHE is Awesome...If you would like to have a sneak peak about her...she has a you tube channel and you can click here to visit it.  After watching a few of her vlogs you will see why I think she is soooo awesome!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Being ALL IN!!!

 Picture found via online
p.s. I don't promote gambling I just needed the pict...lol

Recently, I have had quite a few people ask me if we are nervous K ( K is our birthmom) will change her mind since K has chosen us to place the sweet little boy she is carrying or ask "well are you sure about everything?"...and all I can think and say is "I am ALL IN."  I want our little boy to know that we loved him so much from the start...I don't want him coming to our family and us not have put our hearts into preparing for him 100%.  I want K to know that we are "ALL IN" for her.  That we care sooo much about her!  It is crazy how strongly I already feel about her...and this is probably be cause we are "ALL IN."  When thinking of how I should be with her, I have tried to put myself in her shoes and truly think and focus on her...yes this baby boy is what brought us together and is our focus too but she is really my focus right now.  If I am focused on her I am focused on him too...  If it wasn't for her choosing us, he would not be coming into our family.

I know that before K found us I struggled a little bit with this too...I mean I was worried about what if they end up not liking us or don't like something we say or they are a scam or worst of all, our hearts gets crushed!  Then when I was with my adoptive Mom group and we were talking about this...my friend Jaymie said no "we have to be all in"...that baby deserves for us to be!... and then my friend Mandy said some things re: if it is meant to be it will be and if not its not...the part I got out of this is that no matter how things turn out it is important for us to be present in the moment and not be doubtful...Any time we have the fear we must push through with Faith.  Faith and Fear can not co-exist.  I can't be "ALL IN" with fear present... 

 Picture found via online
Since having K choose us, I too have felt this fear...it comes alot since it is uncharted territory for us...but I will say that when I have pushed through with Faith it has been to my benefit many times already...now I know that not every thing is like this in life...but the feeling of knowing I was true to me and how I would be if their was NO Fear at all is so much more reassuring...So with that all I can say is that "I am ALL IN"...we should all be "ALL IN" no matter what stage we are in...

Stepping Down

I have enjoyed the time that I have spent here on this blog. You are all such amazing women- you birth Moms and adoptive Moms. I have been touched by your humility, by your strength, by your willingness to follow Heavenly Father's plan for you and by your patience.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your world for a brief period of time. From now on, I will be letting Deanna do everything for this blog. If any of you feel that you have some extra time on your hands and a special desire to blog about adoption besides your own blog, let Deanna know and she can work things out for you.

I've loved writing and posting on here. Thank you for you all that you do.

In adoption love, Megan

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House