Monday, September 3, 2012

Guest Post: Elizabeth

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and my husband and I recently adopted our daughter through LDS Family Services. My world seems to have an adoption theme running through it, as several of my extended family members are adopted or have adopted, I spent much of my off time in college working in international orphanges, and I worked as an adoption social worker for several years (in foster care adoptions and international adoptions).  

In a fateful turn of events, when I was dating my husband I told him I never wanted to have biological children because I felt a strong call to adopt. Flash forward several years to when we discovered my husband had azoospermia, rendering us 100% infertile. If that's not destiny, I don't know what is. So why would we choose to go through LDS Family Services when my experience was in other types of adoption? Well, mostly due to cost and wanting to parent a newborn. But I still think ALL kinds of adoptions are awesome and plan to adopt through those avenues in the future.

Anyways, we started the adoption process in late 2010 and were placed with our beautiful daughter Soleil on Thanksgiving day of 2011. She wasn't due until December 5th but decided to come early, which meant catching some very pricey (due to the holiday) last minute flights to Kentucky, where she was born. During the waiting process I constantly prayed for the "right" baby to join our family. I didn't pray for a girl, or a baby with blue eyes, or even a healthy baby. Just the "right" baby. 

When her birth mother chose us, my husband and I both felt a deep sense of calm and peace and....."rightness." As if that was not enough, as we were driving to the hospital on the day of Soleil's birth, my husband commented that it was a nice coincidence Soleil was born on my favorite holiday. Then I noticed we were driving on Turkey Foot road. I thought that was funny too. But when we pulled up to the hospital and noticed she had been born at St. Elizabeth Hospital, I felt the most indescribable sense of the Spirit telling me He wanted me to know that this was all His doing. And of course it was. We love our little daughter and love that we were able to develop a relationship with her birth mother and have openness in her adoption.
Due to California state requirements that you must wait 6 months post placement to finalize an adoption and a hefty backlog for available court dates, Soleil's adoption was not finalized until August 15th of this year. We will be sealed in the San Diego temple on September 8th and are so excited for this day to come! Of course our adoption process wasn't perfect, there were many irritating and frustrating complications with our paperwork and out-of-state clearances. Not to mention the emotional fall out from investing much energy into a situation where the birth mother eventually chose to parent (which ended up being a wonderful thing for her and we are still friends!). 

In the end, it is my belief that all of these things happened for a we would be led to Soleil. So whether you wait 3 months or 3 years, have a failed placement, or have glitches with your paperwork, I hope you find encouragement in the idea that maybe these things happen for a reason, which is to lead you to the right baby for you. Just as we feel we were lead to Soleil.

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Elizabeth. So excited for your family to be sealed this weekend, what an amazing experience for your family! We look forward to a future post from Elizabeth with advice (as a former social worker) on creating profiles!  -Elise

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