Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Story

So, it's been a little over two weeks since our big news and life is moving forward.  It has been an amazing couple of weeks and we have felt so much love and support.  We have always known that we have a lot of people rooting for us, but it's almost overwhelming to really see and feel the excitement of so many people.  One of the things that is hard about infertility is feeling like there are so many other people that are affected by our inability to have children.  It is hard to continually feel not only your own disappointment, but to know that you are also causing sadness and disappointment for others.  Now we are seeing those same people who have hurt with us and mourned with us share in our excitement and joy.  It is an awesome experience!

We have already felt the Lord's hand  in this experience.  Through this whole process of us deciding to come home from the Philippines, to move forward again with adoption, to contact a private agency, and so on and so forth, we have both felt the spirit guiding us.  I know there are people reading this that maybe don't believe in such things, but I do.  I know that the Lord wants each of us to be happy. I know that He guides us when we let Him.  He lets us go through sorrow that we may feel joy.

Eight months ago I had an experience that solidifies this knowledge for me. We had returned  to the Philippines after Christmastime in the States and I was excited to be back in Cebu.  I had been visiting with the poor people in the ward, I was given a calling, and I felt like I was good to move forward with our plan to stay for two years.  But then I got sad.  It was that weird kind of feeling that something was just not exactly right. It had only lasted a few days at this point, but I was really feeling down.  I was sitting on my bed feeling this way while Ben was at work one day and then a thought came to me.  "I want to go home".  It was like a light bulb went on.  I felt happy.  I thought it was crazy.  I had been the one that would not even let such thoughts cross my mind.  We had made a commitment to stay for two years and were going to stick with it.  I was feeling good there, so why would I want to go home?  But, it just felt good.  When Ben got home from work that day I told him "I want to go home.....to Utah".  I think he thought I was kidding.  I wasn't really sure what I was thinking, I just knew how I felt.  We talked about it a little bit but he felt like maybe it was just me having a bad day and we didn't need to really entertain the idea.  I started thinking about adoption and the fact that we would be able to move forward if we went home and I felt such excitement at the idea.  I thought to myself "maybe this is that sense of urgency that you hear adoptive parents talk about".  It felt good, but I felt like I should not push the idea with Ben (this is new for me, I ALWAYS push my ideas on Ben).  So, I didn't.  I waited a few days and then one morning he said to me "I feel like this is our chance to move forward with adoption.  I can't get it out of my head."  I knew we felt the same thing.  We started talking about how we felt that if we went home it could happen pretty fast.  We also both had the idea/thought that it would be a boy.  I remember telling my sister in law, Tiffany, that we were thinking about coming home.  I wrote to her on skype, "I feel like if we come home now we will have a baby by the end of the year".  Her response was, "that would be all the confirmation I would need."  I still was worried about moving forward with such a big decision and about the disappointment of not having things happen like we were hoping. We fasted, prayed, and went to the Temple with this in our minds.  I think we both knew we were leaving, but it wasn't until I was in the Temple that I felt a complete sense of confirmation that this was the right thing.  I let my boss know and at the end of May we came home.  It was hard to explain to people why we came home early since it  really was to move forward with adoption. We had already been on that path, why would we have left if we were just to come home and do the same thing?  We had the same questions, but we just felt like it was the right time and that we would have an answer to those questions in time.  For now, we just moved forward with what we felt.

When we got home we proceeded quickly.  We felt that we would adopt through a private agency so we didn't even look at LDS Family Services at first. We met with two private agencies in the first week we were home.  I decided to call LDSFS just to check and the timing of everything was amazing.  We were right on time for their once a month orientation to happen the next week and their once a quarter training weekend just two weeks later. It was like everything was just falling into place.  Of course, it couldn't go fast enough for me.  I just wanted to be done with our paperwork and our home study and get ourselves out there.  We worked with an amazing caseworker who helped us make our profile the best it possibly could be.  There were moments I almost hated her for not just letting us be done, but her expertise and advice were just what we needed.  Finally, on August 31st, our home study was approved and our profile was up online.  We were ready!  The whole adoption process is a scary one.  We had been here before.  We had been approved before.  We had talked to a birth mother before.  She had chosen another family. It is scary to put yourself out there like that and go through the disappointment and discouragement of not being chosen. We had our days when we felt that fear grip us and make us feel like the whole things was hopeless, but we moved forward.  I knew what I had felt, we both did.  I knew that this was our time.  I felt that sense of urgency that I had heard about so many times.  Ben and I discussed and decided we would stick with LDSFS until the first week of November and if nothing happened we would work with private agencies and their outreach programs.  Our drop dead date was November 4th.  Three days after our profile went online we had our first contact from a birth mother.  We emailed back and forth and even met her and her family.  It was exciting and scary all at once.  The situation was a little odd and we didn't feel extra comfortable about some things.  Then she stopped contacting us.  That familiar feeling of frustration and sadness came over us. We didn't tell most people we had even been talking to her.  After that I got inpatient.  I called a few private agencies and just felt frustrated with their lack of helpfulness as well as overwhelmed with the costs.  I had just finished three months of paperwork and processes.  I wasn't sure I could handle anymore, so I never moved forward.  I did go online and search for available adoption situations.  I emailed a few agencies about these and didn't hear back.  Then, at the beginning of October I saw a few situations with an agency in Nevada that looked like they could be good fits for us (and us for them) so I called this agency.  The person who helped me was so sweet and helpful.  She said she would love to present us to these couples and asked us to send over our profile.  They were so easy to work with and we felt excited again.  Then, the couple we really were excited about stopped contacting the agency and never saw our profile.  We were disappointed but knew this was just the world of adoption.  About two weeks after first contacting this agency I emailed them again, just to see if they had ever heard from the first couple.  She let me know they had not, so I asked if they had any other situations available.  She immediately wrote me back with a situation, pictures of a birth mother and asked us if we would want to be considered for this situation.  The girl in the pictures looked completely Filipino.  I kind of laughed and showed Ben and asked him what he thought.  She was due with a baby boy on December 30th.  I thought of that feeling that I had had that we would have a baby by the end of the year.  Wouldn't that be cutting it close?  Also, that it was a boy.  A few of the other situations we had been considered for were for girls and I would think to myself, "maybe the whole boy thing was just me imagining things, it probably wasn't any type of impression".  So, we wrote them back and told them we would love to be presented to this mother.   They let us know the caseworker would be picking up the profiles the next day.  Let's just say I was anxious!  Every time my phone would ring I would think it might be them letting us know what she had decided.  Every time I saw someone else's name on the caller id I would get upset.  haha.  I was definitely not patient.  So, when the caseworkers name came up on my phone that Friday, October 14th I was ecstatic .  I will tell you though, there was that complete doubt that came into my mind that made me think "she is just calling to tell us in person that she chose a different family."  I was preparing myself for bad news so when she said "she really liked your family", I was just waiting for her to say "BUT....", but that never came.  She proceeded to say how she was going to have the birth mom's caseworker contact us to set up a time for a conference call and maybe even a meeting.  I didn't even know what to say.  Tears came to my eyes out of pure excitement.  We still weren't out of the woods, but this was moving in the right direction. She wanted to talk to us, maybe to meet us!  Woohoo!  I had just returned to work from my lunch break when I got the call but I didn't care.  As soon as I hung up the phone I RAN out of the office to the car and drove straight to Cascade golf course (Ben's work) to share the good news.  He was extra busy and I just wanted to yell at him "She LIKED us!  She wants to meet us!".  But, I had to wait my turn.  I quickly shared the good news and Ben was extra excited, but had to get back to work.  I drove directly back to work.  Ten minutes later my phone rang again and it was the birth mothers caseworker.  She was so nice.  She asked me "have your feet touched the ground yet"?  I let her know we were extra excited and starting getting to know her a little.  We found out she is from very near to where I lived growing up in Eastern Canada.  We talked about S (the birth mom) and her situation and then I proceeded to ask "what happens next?  We have been here before  where a birth mom liked us but decided to move forward with another family.  Is she still looking at other profiles?.."  J, the caseworker, kind of stumbled over her words and said "Oh, my gosh, I thought you knew.  No, she is not looking at any other profiles.  She PICKED YOU!!!!"......um, not even sure how to explain the emotions I felt in that moment.  I was in a conference room at work and all I wanted to do was DANCE or SCREAM or something!  I honestly can say I had doubted we would ever hear those words.  Someone was telling me I was going to be a mom!  It was the most amazing feeling!!!  We talked a little bit more and then I got off the phone and tried to call Ben.  No answer.  I texted...no response.  He didn't contact me back for hours.I walked around in a daze.  I wanted to tell someone, but it had to be Ben first.  I wanted to yell through the office "WE"VE BEEN PICKED"...but I couldn't.  I was getting texts from the case worker with pictures of S and her pregnant belly.  She was beautiful! It was all completely surreal.  It continues to be completely surreal.  I could not concentrate one bit the rest of the day at work.  I was finally able to tell Ben on our way to dinner that night.  I bought him an early birthday present, THOR on Blu-Ray and gave him a card.  In it said "She didn't just like us, She PICKED us.  You're going to be a daddy".   The tears in his eyes said it all.  This was the moment we had been waiting for.  We are going to be parents!!!!

Throughout this whole experience we have felt the hand of the Lord.  As the last two weeks have gone by, we have had more miracles and small moments of reminders that the Lord is very aware of each of us.  We have been getting to know the birth mom, S, her mother, C, as well as the caseworker, J.  All of them are amazing women that we are so amazed by.  We feel a connection with them.  We have been talking, exchanging phone calls and texts, pictures and so forth.  We are moving forward on our journey to being parents.  I was explaining to my mom that I feel very much like I did when Ben and I got engaged.  I was waiting for this HUGE thing to happen, like I was expecting my single self and my engaged self to be completely different.  I wasn't.  It's the same now.  I think I was expecting fireworks when we were picked and the situation was right.  Instead, it's like it was with Ben.  Everything feels the same, but better.  Things are falling into place.  Instead of fireworks, there is a peaceful contentment and feeling of complete trust that this is the right thing.  We have had a few moments of miracles, where each person involved felt that there was something else at play here letting us know this was the right thing, but mostly it has just felt good, calm and peaceful.  It has felt right.

We know that there are many of you who are feeling fear for us that things may not work out.  S always has the option to change her mind.  We understand those fears.  At moments, we feel them too.  But, we also feel like even through the fear we want to feel the excitement, the anticipation of being parents for the first time!  We deserve that.  We feel good, we feel like the Lord has been leading us to exactly where we are.  We know there is the possibility of loss, but isn't there always?  We are choosing to enjoy the experience, the happiness and the joy of this experience.  So far it has been better than we could have ever expected!

Isn't he beautiful?

13 comments:

This is Us said...

starting my morning with tears streaming down my face. I'm so excited for you guys!!! I had a pretty emotional experience telling my boss about this the other day. I was telling her about your decision to come home and the timing of everything. Your faith and willingness to move forward so quickly has put you right where you need to be. Love you guys!!

Sarah Kimmel said...

This is such a wonderful story! I'm so extremely excited for you! I can't wait for your family to move back to the neighborhood!!

Steve and Alli said...

The Lord works in mysterious and awesome ways, and when people follow where He leads, great things happen. You and Ben are such great examples of that, what a lucky baby.

Ellen said...

Congratulations my wonderful friend! You are so awesome and will make an amazing mom!

Amy Sue said...

I have read this more than once today! It's like a fairytale! Amazing things happen when the Lord has a hand in it!

.the palsky's. said...

i can't stop crying! haah. he's so beautiful. alli's right, you guys are great examples of listening to the promptings of the spirit and having faith in everything. this story is even better knowing all of the little details. and you're totally right, there's loss in everything, not just adoption. but we shouldn't worry about the possibilities but what's happening here and now. we love you guys so much! and little baby crisanto too!

Jennica said...

Carm!!! I love your little baby boy. He is ADROABLE! :) Seeing his face took me back to seeing Jonas the first time in the ultrasound. It's so amazing and special and happy! You guys are going to be the best parents. Love you
Nica

Susie said...

So, so amazing. No words. I am SO happy for you!

Whitesides said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am bawling right now!! Truly a faith building story. I am so happy for you-- you will make a wonderful mother.

Angela said...

It does work out wonderfully doesn't it! Your story sounds so familiar to me. I truly understand the disappointment, frustration, lack of patience, and then the excitement! It's just gonna get better! Congrats!!!

Jessica said...

I'm sitting at work, crying. I love you guys and I am so grateful you shared this "little" miracle with us! Congratulations!!!!!!

Susan E said...

I am so happy for you guys!!

Financially Empowered Families said...

I am So excited for you guys and for me too. It's been almost 10 years since the last grandson, so we definitely are pleased you're getting a little boy. I love all the beautiful little miracles in your story. Thank you for sharing. We all need to remember the "tender mercies" each of us receive and where they come from.