Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I want to hear from you!

Hello readers, I know that I have been a bit absent as far as posting my own thoughts but I have been busy keeping up with my little man (see above), celebrating his birthday, then mine, traveling to help take care of my new niece (who is just adorable p.s.) and featuring families and other guests. I love hearing from you all in email form but I would really really really (is that enough reallys?) love for you to comment on posts and let me know what you would like to see more of or what you think of the changes that I've made. I see that people drop by but very rarely say hi! Seriously though, I know there are lots of great adoption events going on out there and I want to let others know about them so please send me info if you are a part of something awesome and adoption related that we can all support.
Speaking of which, have you heard about this fantastic adoption walk coming up next weekend in AZ? It is called the Big Tough Girl Adoption Walk ("Royally Blessed" is the theme) and it is being put together by Blessings In A Basket which is an awesome organization that provides support for birthmoms. Just click on the link above to find out more about what they do.
Anywho, they are hosting this walk that is going to start off at Mountain View High School in Mesa, AZ. I might add that Mtn. View is my alma mater, GO TOROS!!! The walk will be on Saturday November 10th from 9 am to 12 pm. Mtn. View High School is on the corner of Lindsey and Brown, address 2700 East Brown Road Mesa, AZ. There will be amazing raffle items and raffle tickets will be sold for $1.00 each to raise money to help this organization continue to provide support for birthmoms! Participating in the walk is free but you gotta come sporting your purple. There will even be a contest with a $50 prize for the best purple outfit! Doesn't this event sound like a blast? I know I will be driving up from Tucson to participate. Hope to see you there! You can contact the  great people at Blessings In A Basket for more info at bibsupport@blessingsinabasket.org.
Hope to see you there. I will be the  super tall one. Does someone have a purple boa I could borrow? :) -Elise

Monday, October 29, 2012

Feature Post: Greg and Heather

One of my favorite parts of administrating this blog is getting to feature hopeful adoptive couples. If you would like to have your family featured and you are currently certified to adopt, contact me at ldsadoptionconnection at yahoo dot com. Thanks! -Elise

 Meet Greg & Heather:
We are the Spencers: Greg, Heather, Eliana, and Lynlee.  We have blessed by the miracle of adoption twice and are hoping to adopt again.

Greg and I met in 1993, when I was a freshman in college.   After 8 years of marriage, including 6 years of infertility treatments, we reevaluated our plan for building a family.  Adoption was the best choice for us, but it took me another 6 years to complete the adoption paperwork.  After approval, we waited for about 2 ½ years for our first birth mom, T, to find us.  She was looking at profiles on itsaboutlove.org and would click “random families” to have some profiles come up.  She said that a few days in a row, every time she clicked “random families” our profile was there.  Then she went to the search feature and put in every picky thing she wanted in a family, and 2 profiles came, 1 of which was ours.  What a miracle!  We love T so much and are so grateful to be a part of her life.

When Ellie was about a year old, we started the paperwork process for adoption #2.  We were about halfway through the process when we got a call from the adoption supervisor at our agency wanting to know if an expectant parent could contact us.  Um, yes, please!  M has a close relationship with T and had watched our family for a year, and ultimately chose us to parent her baby.  Another miracle!  Our daughters are 15 months apart and it is so much fun.We love to hang out as a family and with our extended family.  Greg is one of 10 children and I am one of 5, and there are lots of cousins and in-laws close by.  We love taking road trips and going on walks and playing at the park.  Maybe our favorite thing is to cuddle up by the fire and play with our daughters.

 Check out our family blog at http://tendermercies1.blogspot.com/ and our adoption profile at https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/27354129/ourMessage.jsf -Heather

Monday, October 15, 2012

Happy News!

We are so excited for Travis and Michelle and their new baby girl Kenzie!!!! Kenzie was born on Oct. 3rd.  Congratulations, adoption is awesome!

Feature Post: Matt & JeriAnn

One of my favorite parts of administrating this blog is getting to feature hopeful adoptive couples. I remember two years ago when we were starting the process and were looking for all the help we could get in spreading the word about our desire to adopt. If you would like to have your family featured and you are currently certified to adopt, contact me at ldsadoptionconnection at yahoo dot com. Thanks! -Elise
Matt & JeriAnn
I just wanted to do a little intro about us and get the word out there that we are trying to adopt. Matt and I met in San Francisco, California, while serving as missionaries. We served together for about a year and during that time we became good friends. Matt completed his mission and returned home before I did. When he got home, he moved to Utah to attend college. He started hanging out with some of our friends from the mission and when I came home, Matt and those friends came to see me. Our friendship quickly developed into a relationship. We lived about two hours apart, but we saw each other every weekend and we talked for hours on the phone. After three weeks of dating, Matt asked me to fly to Georgia to meet his family. We had a great trip and I loved Matt's family immediately. We decided that we wanted to get married and we got engaged after the trip to Georgia. We were married four months later in the Salt Lake temple. We have now been married for six years
I am from a small town in Central Utah, I come from a large family of nine children (I'm number 8). I have 23 nieces and nephews with ages ranging from 6 weeks old to 16. All of my family is close and we get together often. I like to run, hike, do yoga, swim and almost any other outdoor activity. I have participated in several races including 5k’s, a 10k, a half marathon and two triathlons. I have a passion for reading and my favorite books are the Harry Potter series and I have read them each a dozen times. Currently I am enjoying being a house wife. I bake bread and have time to try all of those recipes that I've always wanted to make. Matt is from Georgia. He is the middle of two brothers. Matt and his brothers were adopted as infants. We've seen the miracles that can happen with adoption. Matt is shy at first, but quickly becomes the life of the party. He always has a funny story or experience to share that makes everyone laugh. Matt loves to go swimming, cliff jumping, and swimming at the beach. He enjoys watching almost any sporting event and does so often. He also loves to take pictures. Every time we go on a trip we take hundreds of pictures. We’ve taken over 15,000 pictures in the six years we’ve been married. Matt graduated in April with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has a job working as an engineer in the oil and gas industry. He also loves to work on cars and motorcycles. He enjoys helping others with their cars and is usually the person people call when they have a car problem.
We love to travel together. Every long weekend we have, we are taking a trip somewhere. Since being married, we have been to 35 states and we would love to visit all 50. We have been on three cruises; two to the Caribbean and one to Alaska, we have another family cruise planned for Christmas. We love to see new things and have new adventures. Matt likes to drive. We will pick a place, get a good book on CD and go. I love our traveling adventures together. It gives us time to be alone, have fun, and see new places. We also like to go camping. We will spend several nights in the mountains camping and having fires. We enjoy being outdoors and seeing nature. We recently moved to Texas and we love it here. It's fun to start exploring another part of the country. We've been here for three weeks now and we have already been to the beach twice. 
Why adoption? I was diagnosed with endometriosis a few years ago. After my diagnosis, we prayed about what we should do, and we know that adoption is the way we were supposed to build our family. We are excited about starting our family and can't wait until we witness the miracle of adoption in our lives. Please come and get to know us better. Here is our blog.
www.mattandjeriannadopt.blogspot.com -JeriAnn

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Birthmom Guest Post

Hello readers! Today we have the pleasure of getting to hear from a birthmom named Chelsey. I met Chelsey at the Southwest Regional FSA Conference in 2010 when she was still pregnant. I saw her again last year at the conference and since placement she has met her eternal companion and they were recently married this summer in the Mesa Temple.  A few weeks ago, I was contacted by an adoptive mom named Vanessa and after visiting her blog, I realized she was the adoptive mom of Chelsey's little boy. Small world! Anywho, Vanessa and her hubby Justin are hoping to adopt again and were interested in being featured on this blog. I told her to go ahead and write up something and send it to me. I was pleasantly surprised when she wrote me back and said that Chelsey had actually wanted to write something about the couple for all of us to read. I love getting to share different perspectives and really value the point of view of birthmoms so I was thrilled to feature this family and to share their birthmom's thoughts. Enjoy! -Elise

 Vanessa, Chelsey & Tanner

In the year of 2010, the following events redefined what it means to be a mother. In April, I found out I was pregnant. I came to the realization that I needed to place my baby with the family he deserves. I began to look into adoption, I went to itsaboutlove.org and just stared at the computer. Now mind you I had a checklist of things that I felt my baby needed from his parents. They both needed be educated, financially secure, they needed to love going camping, they had to put family first, and live in a house where they didn't plan to move from for at least a few years. When I finally built up the courage to click on the search couples button, the very first couple that popped up was Justin and Vanessa. I distinctly remember seeing this beautiful blonde woman with curly hair with her studly husband. They were the picture perfect couple for being in love. As I looked through every single one of their pictures they had pictures of camping, and just doing so many fun things together. Next I read through their random facts. Vanessa LOVES ice cream..... that's all I ate being pregnant. The way Justin talked about his wife just made me fall in love with them; he is the NICEST man you will ever meet!! I felt that I needed to know more about them so I emailed them, and began down a road that I will cherish for my whole life. We started emailing in June and it was amazing! Every time my phone buzzed with the email alert I would just smile and couldn't wait to see what they had said. The BEST PART about Justin and Vanessa was that they didn't just ask about the pregnancy and baby, they asked about me. What I was interested in and what I loved about life. They love me for who I am, not just because I placed my son with them. As time went along, we became the best of friends! I felt that I needed to meet them in person, I needed to know how they acted together, if they held hands, or just funny things like that. So we decided that Labor Day weekend they would fly out and meet me. We met at the mall, it was a public place so if we didn't like each other we could run away :) But as soon as we pulled into the parking lot, and I'm waddling to the entrance, they spot me and just hugged me. It was like I had known them my whole life. It wasn't awkward or scary anymore. It was just right.
We spent the whole weekend together playing games, going out to eat, and just talking. The best memory I have of that weekend was Justin always held Vanessa's hand, he always held doors open for everyone. He was a Prince Charming! He was everything a man should be. Not sure if I have ever told him this but he set the example for the type of guy I needed to have in my life. When it was time for them to leave, I cried. I felt like a piece of me was leaving. I wanted to pack myself in a suitcase and just go with them. I was having a baby boy, and I asked them what names they liked and all they wanted was his middle name to be Malan after his Great Grand Father. I asked them if we could name him Tanner, after my brother; who also helped me come to realization I needed to do adoption. They Loved it. So on December 8th, Tanner Malan was born at 4:58 pm. He was 9 lbs and 8 oz. 21 3/4 inches long. I spent all three days in the hospital with him. Not sleeping so we could have all the time together. When it was time to place him, I was scared. But Justin and Vanessa were the best support. We signed the paperwork and I handed him to Vanessa, and honestly it was the best moment. Tanner looked at me and if he could have talked he would have said I love you. He snuggled up to Vanessa and they were in love. They spent the next week in AZ so that I could have lots of time with Tanner. Every day I came over, and as soon as I walked in they handed him right to me. I held him from when I walked in until I left. The last night they were here, I stayed the night and had the opportunity to take care of him. A memory that I am so grateful they let me experience. They finally went home and I received picture after picture, almost hourly! We Skyped, talked on the phone, and they sent me packages of print outs. In his bedroom they put up pictures of just me and him together. It was hard placing Tanner, but Justin and Vanessa called me and comforted me.
They always keep me up to date with what he is doing. Even now when he will be 2 this December, I talk with them often. I've had 3 visits since he was born. Every time I come, I always get to spend as much time as I want with him. They even came to my wedding!! I became a real mom when I put the needs of my son above my own wants. I wanted to bring home but I needed him to have everything I couldn't provide a mom AND a dad, a stable life wherehe could grow up and just be happy and safe. Justin and Vanessa not only did that but they also took care of me. I can't even count all the pictures, videos, packages, Skype sessions we have had. If you're expecting and reading this and thinking about adoption, I will never have the words to describe the love this family will have for you. But I promise they will always take care of you through this journey. I love them more than life itself. I love my son more than my own life, and he is the happiest little man alive.They changed my life for the better. I will always love them and have the up most respect for them. I am excited that they are approved to adopt again, Tanner will be a great big brother!
Love their birthmom, Chelsey
Check out their blog at jandvfamilyfun.blogspot.com

An Open Adoption Documentary

Adoption Isn't Selfish

Straight from a Birthmom...

The Open Adoption Project via The R House