March 27, 2010

Our Forever Family

Today was a special day. Today we took our little Drew to the Draper, Utah temple to be sealed to us for time and all eternity. This is the day I've been anxiously waiting for for over a year. I've been imagining what it would be like, imagining who would be there. Nothing could have prepared me for the day that was today. It was a day I'll remember forever.

We were so blessed to have family and a couple of close friends there with us. The temple workers were so sweet and so helpful helping us get ready. I knew I would cry during the sealing, but I didn't realize I'd start crying while we were walking to the sealing room. I didn't realize I'd have to do all I could to not bawl so I couldn't even speak. I didn't realize just how strong the spirit would be in that temple, in that room. I didn't realize just how I would feel when I saw my family and friends who are my family and how I would feel so much love for each of them. I didn't realize just how much love I could possibly feel when my mom walked into that room holding my little baby boy in all white. That's when it hit me. He was so sweet and he was so good.

I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father that allows us to feel things like this. I'm grateful that we've been able to experience this. I'm so grateful for Johnny and Kaitlyn and their selflessness. I'm so grateful for my sweet little boy that I get to be with forever. And of course I'm grateful for my Dan. There are no words.

Here are some pictures that Brenley took for us today. She was so great to get them to me so fast so that I could post them.

Thank you again for all of your prayers, love, and support. We couldn't have done it without you. This has been such a great experience for us and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I'm going to miss the adoption process and I hope we'll be able to be blessed by adoption again.
This is the end of the beginning of our adoption story, and the beginning of our lives together forever.

March 16, 2010

Adoption Finalized!

We got to finalize the adoption today! It was a great day! We had the option of going in to the courthouse or to do it through the mail. I am so thankful we chose to go in. It made it really special for me. Hearing Judge Merten say all those wonderful things - such as: it's as if he's been born to us, the courts approve the name change (last name) - was so amazing and emotional for me. I feel so blessed. It really was a neat experience for us. My parents drove all the way from Utah yesterday (and were even stuck in Twin Falls for 3 hours getting a new alternator) to be there. I'm so grateful for them. I love that they were there. Our good friends, the Johnsons, got up early, got their kids ready to come be a part of this. So sweet of them. Stupid security line made them miss it by mere minutes. But I'm still so grateful that they were there. I'm going to miss the adoption process so much. This has been so life-changing, there's no way I can even begin to describe that. I have grown so much. We have our sweet little boy. I am so thankful!

March 10, 2010

Court Date

We have a court date!!! I can't believe it!! (Especially after I whined in my last post. You'd think I'd be punished for that.) So next Tuesday (we were so blessed to get a court date so soon - our attorney told us we were "lucky," but I'd say we're incredibly blessed) we'll be there at the court house finalizing our adoption so that our little guy will be legally ours! I can't wait! I can't believe it's finally here. And in 13 months, no less. It's amazing. Miracles left and right. Heavenly Father carefully planning this and with us every step of the way. Amazing, amazing. I feel so blessed. I can't wait to be in the temple with Dan and Drew. I was looking at Drew today and thought about that special day that will come soon and teared up, as I'm sure I'll do for a long time. How did I get so lucky? It's been a long time comin', but I wouldn't trade a second of it for anything!

March 6, 2010

Almost There...

SO EXCITED! We got an email from our caseworker yesterday with good news.

We've been waiting to hear back from DHS - the state of Oregon has to approve the adoption. We had to wait for them before we could finalize the adoption. They have been taking forever. Surprise, surprise - something from the state is taking longer than expected. :) Oh well. So far everything's worked out perfectly.

So we got this email yesterday saying LDSFS heard back from DHS! Yay! Finally! So she mailed all of the paperwork from LDSFS to our attorney, who has been awesome so far, by the way. He has everything ready on his end so when he receives the paperwork from LDSFS, he'll submit it and we'll just have to wait for a court date and then it'll be finalized! I've been told this part takes a couple of weeks. We'll see how long it really takes.

I sound like such a whiner in this post. And I don't mean to be. I'm just so incredibly anxious to take our little guy to the temple to be sealed. It's the part I've been imagining since the very beginning. Everything so far has worked out great and things have gone so smoothly for us and I know it will continue that way. I know I have absolutely nothing to worry about. I'm just SO EXCITED!

February 5, 2010

Last Meeting

On Wednesday, we had our last meeting with our caseworker! We met her up in Salem at the library and she asked pretty much the same things as our last meeting. Basically to see how we're doing, how we're adjusting, and how Drew's doing. I can't believe we're already this far!

Now we're just waiting for the state to approve the adoption and when they do, our caseworker will send all of the paperwork from LDSFS to our attorney (who is awesome!) and he'll submit it to the courts so we can set up a court date to finalize! (At least this is my impression. I could be terribly wrong, but I think this is how the rest of the process goes...)

We're getting there! It's all gone by so quickly. It's so hard to believe that this all started one year ago. It's gone by so fast for us! I think about how long we've wanted a child and know that our little Drew was definately worth the wait!!

January 24, 2010


I haven't been good at blogging lately. And for that I feel really bad, especially with this blog because this blog is so special to me and I've done such a good job of keeping exact track of everything. Hopefully I'll do better.

We had placement on December 28, 2009. It was up at the hospital in the afternoon. I had my friend, Brenley, come up to take pictures for us. I didn't want to have to worry about taking pictures, but I knew it was something I would want to remember. I also knew she'd do a fabulous job, not only because she's an amazing photographer, but also because she adopted her little boy just over two years ago, so she knew what moments to capture. I was right - she did the BEST job.
Anyway, that morning I was so nervous (yes, again..), that I literally made myself sick. I felt sick all morning. Not because I didn't think it would work out, but because of the sacrifice Johnny and Kaitlyn were making and I didn't know how I would handle it.

Everything went really well. We did all the paperwork and then Johnny and Kaitlyn went to check out of the hospital. Johnny's parents were there in the room with us. Johnny's mom looked at me and, with a smile on her face, said "congratulations." That was the exact moment it hit me. I just started sobbing. It didn't seem real before then (sometimes it still doesn't). But that one word was all it took. It was such a special moment for me.
I was finally able to compose myself and then a minute later, Brenley was across the room and when she caught my eye, she mouthed to me "You're a MOM!" The tears flowed again. :)
Here are a few of the photos Brenley took that I'll treasure forever.

{Kaitlyn holding Drew}

{Our sweet little boy}

{Spending precious moments with Johnny and Kaitlyn}

{This is my favorite picture - it's so sweet}

{Sweet Johnny}

{The moment it all hit me}

{Our new family of three on our way home}

January 19, 2010

One Step Closer

Yesterday, we had our first post-placement visit from our new caseworker, Julie. She came to our home to see how we're doing, see how Drew's doing, and to see how we're all adjusting. It went really well! I was hoping Drew would be awake, but he slept the whole time instead. :)

Our next step is to have one more visit with Julie - probably in Salem or Tigard. Then, she'll send all the paperwork to our attorney (who is great!) and he'll get things finished with the court. We'll meet with a judge from there and it will be finalized! Then we get to do the fun stuff. The thing I've been the very most excited about is taking Drew to the temple. It's what I've been picturing in my head throughout this whole process and I can't wait!

But that'll all take a little time. For now, though, we're one step closer!