December 29, 2009


Dan and I have been really careful about respecting the privacy of our wonderful birthparents (Johnny and Kaitlyn), but they've let us know that they're okay with us posting pictures of them (which I'm so excited about). So I decided to post a little bit about the hospital.

Kaitlyn sent Dan and I text messages at around 7:45 in the morning on Saturday to let us know she was at the hospital. This picture is of us on the way. We packed some things and headed up to meet them. Both sets of parents were there when we got there and Johnny and Kaitlyn were so great to let us hang out with all of them for awhile.

After many hours of labor, Johnny came out to ask if I wanted to be in the room for the delivery. I was so beyond excited. So I was able to be with Johnny and Kaitlyn for a little while before things started happening, which I really loved. Kaitlyn was such a trooper. I was so impressed with her. She was exhausted and still gave it her all. I couldn't believe it. And Johnny was so supportive of her. It was amazing to see the love between these two. This was the first birth I've ever seen and it was amazing. It was the most amazing thing to watch my son being born. I can't imagine anything sweeter. The first moment I held him in my arms, I wept. I felt it. The same feeling I felt all those months ago when this whole process started. All of those years of heartache and pain have been totally and completely worth it.

Kaitlyn holding Drew - isn't she beautiful? Keep in mind this is minutes after giving birth.

Johnny holding Drew. I absolutely love Johnny's hair.

Johnny's dad captured this sweet picture.

December 27, 2009

Andrew Jonathan

Our sweet little Drew decided to make his debut into this world last night, the 26th, at 10:54 pm and we are so in love with him! He is 8 lbs 4 oz and 20 inches long. The delivery went very, very well and both baby and Birthmom are doing great! I may be biased, but isn't he the cutest thing you've EVER seen??

December 17, 2009

Getting Ready

Dan and I have been working to get things ready for our little boy that's coming to us soon! We actually started getting ready around March or so, just getting small things here and there. But in the last couple months or so, we've been doing a lot more to get ready. Our big thing we're working on right now is turning our spare bedroom into a nursery. Here's how it's going so far:

As you can see, it's a complete mess. :) Which is driving me absolutely crazy. I love looking at all the fun stuff we have so far, but I'd love if it was a lot more organized. I think as soon as we can figure out what we're going to do with that bed and the TV that's in there, the rest should fall into place. I think I know what I'll be doing this weekend.... :)

Although, have I mentioned how EXCITED we are?!?! It's a lot of preparation, but worth every second of it!

December 4, 2009


So since I posted the great news last time and some people have asked, I guess I should put some details on here. :) We met with J & K (our wonderful birthparents) last Wednesday for dinner and while we were waiting for our food, they handed us that card with their decision. I absolutely loved that they gave us something tangible that we can keep. After dinner, we played arcade games for awhile - it was so fun to hang out with them in a casual setting, much more comfortable.

Dan and I are both friends with J & K on Facebook so I get to talk to K (the birthmom) on there occasionally. She's doing well, feeling good - doesn't complain at all, she's amazing. She went to the doctor recently and everything looks great. J's working hard. It sounds like he's working all the time. Such great people!!

The little boy is due on December 29. (When we first heard about J & K, the due date was December 24, but I guess it's changed a few times.) We're of course so excited and have been buying a lot of fun things. We have great friends and family that have given us so much already - our spare bedroom looks like a bomb went off in there. :)

I feel so incredibly thankful for J & K. I don't think I'll ever be able to express my full gratitude. I'm grateful that we've gotten to know them and I'm grateful that they chose us and that we get to have them in our lives.

I know I write this all the time, but THANK YOU all for your love, support, and prayers. It's really overwhelming (in the best way possible) to learn and I know this has all happened because of all of you.

November 3, 2009

Face to Face

Today was an amazing day that Dan and I will remember forever. Remember those sweet people I posted about a month ago? We got to meet them today! It was awesome! We found out about a week ago that we'd be able to meet them and I'd been looking forward to it all week. Last night, I was so full of anxiety. I asked Dan to give me a blessing so I would be able to calm down. It worked wonders. :) Thank goodness for the priesthood. I did pretty well this morning - I was able to keep myself distracted. But as the afternoon crept up on me and we were driving to Salem, it hit me all over again. As we sat in the parking lot of the Olive Garden, I thought I was going to pass out. As soon as I saw them and we met, I calmed down. I was right - they are the sweetest, nicest, most selfless people. I loved talking with them - for 3 hours. There are so many similarities. I loved every second of it. Our caseworkers were there for the first half which was really nice and helpful. And then it was nice to relax a little bit more and talk for a while longer. I so look forward to meeting with them again and getting to know them better!

September 22, 2009

A Phone Call

Words can't quite describe how I'm feeling tonight, but yet I want to write something. Dan and I got an exciting phone call today. Our caseworker called to let us know that a couple has expressed interest in us! I feel such an amazing love for these sweet people, and yet I haven't even met them. I can't begin to imagine the courage they have and the feelings they're facing and I admire them so much for it. I know they might not end up choosing us, but I feel honored that they have even considered us. Please keep these sweet people in your prayers. Even if we're not the path they choose, I want them to make the best decision for themselves. Thank you all for your continued love and support! We love you all!!

Prayer Trading

"My mom introduced the beautiful concept of adoption in a very simple manner. She said, 'There is something that is called prayer trading, and we're going to trade prayers with somebody. Somewhere out there is a girl praying for a good family for her baby. We are going to pray for a good tummy with a baby in it, and we are going to answer each others' prayers.' "
-Troy Dunn
I've seen this quote a couple of times now - from my friend, Brenley, and my sister, Steph - and I love it. I think it's the perfect definition of adoption.

August 11, 2009

When I Knew

I've told this story to some people, but I love it so much and it's so close to my heart that I want EVERYONE to know it. This is the story of when I knew adoption was for us.

People used to ask us if we had thought about adopting. The truth is that we had thought about it, but it just didn't feel right for us at that point, so it was never really at the front of my mind. I had never had anything against it, I just thought we'd start our family the traditional way.

We absolutely love our ward here in Eugene and we have been called as the Cub Scout leaders. But, on the side, we've been substituting in Primary for almost a year now. :) We don't mind it at all because we love our primary. On January 18 (I believe), we were sitting in Primary and one of the classes was doing Sharing Time. It was crazy and hectic and the kids were pretty wired. My friend Brenley, who I actually didn't know at the time, was the teacher of this class that was presenting. The theme was about families. It was hard to pay close attention to the lesson with everything going on, but I heard something at the very end that she said that really caught my attention. She mentioned that through adoption, they had been blessed with their little boy that they are now sealed to.

Now, to fully appreciate this story, it goes back a little bit further. After telling Brenley my story, she added to it. Tell me if I get anything wrong, Brenley, but I belive this is what you told me. Brenley had been preparing her lesson and had gone back and forth about whether or not to talk about the adoption. She didn't know if it fit well or if it would work into the lesson. Ultimately, she decided not to talk about it. Even during her lesson, she wasn't planning on it, but at the end, she felt impressed to say something about it and it was the thing that struck me that day.

I didn't talk to her after her lesson and we were gone the next Sunday, so on February 1, I caught Brenley after church and just mentioned that I was curious about adoption. Poor Brenley had ler little one year old that did not want to be sitting there anymore and was trying everything to get away, and she still talked to me for a few minutes. We exchanged email addresses and I got an amazing email from her later that night talking about their journey with adoption. She also mentioned that she wanted to come over in the next couple of days to give me something. So she came over on the 3rd and brought me the greatest book, From God's Arms to my Arms to Yours. We talked for about an hour, with her giving me so much information and answering all of my questions.

When she left, I immediately opened the book and started reading. By the time I got to about the third page, I was completely filled with the spirit so strongly, that I just started sobbing, much like I am now and much like I do every time I tell this story or even think about it. I knew without a doubt that adoption is for us and this is how we will be blessed with the beginning of our family.

I know in my heart that this is what we're supposed to be doing right now. There are so many reasons we were led to Eugene, to this ward. I know Brenley is one of those reasons. She has helped so much and has helped get me to this point. I am so grateful for her and for the spirit prompting her to say those short, simple words in Primary that day for my ears to hear. This has been so amazing and I hope I never forget how I feel right now whenever I think about how blessed we are to be a part of this. I absolutely love adoption and I love love love these sweet, amazing birth mothers that are so full of selflessness and love!!

July 8, 2009


Yesterday was a fun, fun day for us. After a few phone calls with Brent (our caseworker, to make sure they had all of our information), we got the fun phone call saying we're approved and our profile is online!! Brent is so great and has been so helpful every step of the way. He spend most of yesterday working on our profile - getting everything ready to go online and making sure he had everything from us. So, now we're official!! It actually doesn't feel like we've had to wait too long to get to this point, even though it's been 6 months. I loved putting our profile together - figuring out which pictures to use and writing our letter to the birth parents. It was interesting to see how we felt inspired to put certain pictures in or what descriptions to write. Writing our letter was especially interesting. I really thought it was going to come out different that it did, but we had prayed right before that we would know what to write, and I know we wrote the things that we needed to.

Our profile is open for the public to view. You can see it here. So now all we do is wait for our sweet birth parents to find us and for us to find them. This is such an inspired process, I know everything will work out how it's supposed to!

June 24, 2009

Almost There...

I got great news yesterday! I was swimming and had a voicemail on my phone from a Portland phone number. I figured it had to be LDSFS with hopefully good news, but didn't want to get my hopes up too high. It was Pauletta (I just love her - she's so great) from LDSFS letting us know that our background checks came back and everything looked good!! I was bouncing because I was so excited. It just feels so REAL now. Now pretty much everything's done! We're so close. I talked to our caseworker, Brent, today to see what to do now. He's meeting with the board on July 6 to go over all of our information (home study, pictures, letter, everything) and will know that day if we've been approved!! That's in a week and a half!! Assuming everything goes well, we should have our profile up online then.

Even though this last part has taken so long, I have still loved every single part of this process and wouldn't change it for the world. I know this is how everything has needed to work for us. I know we've had so many prayers offered in our behalf, and again, I'm so grateful for them. Thank you all so much for being so supportive and excited! It makes all the difference in the world to be surrounded by such great, loving people!

May 24, 2009

What Background Check?

So I've been thinking my next post would be the one where I say something exciting about our background checks coming back approved and being so excited about it. Guess that one's gonna have to wait. I checked in with our caseworker a couple of weeks ago to see if he'd heard anything since we'd been waiting about 6 or so weeks. He let me know he hadn't and Utah is currently taking up to 8 to 12 weeks to do theirs. So I get an email from a lady in the LDSFS office saying if I haven't heard from them in the next week, to email her again and she'll check on them for us. So I get a call from her the next week before I've had a chance to call her. You'd think that'd be a good thing. I knew in my gut it wasn't. Apparently, whoever they send the background checks to (I'm assuming the state...) never got our paperwork. Hmmmm... So she says it could still possibly be on someone's desk in a pile, but to be safe, she wants us to redo our paperwork. I totally agree. So on Tuesday, we get to go back down to the courthouse, wait awhile, get our fingerprints done again, and mail our information back to them, which they will put a note on it that says "expedite." I wonder how well that'll work.

Now, you'd think I'd be freaking out, mad at the world. I'm not. I'm totally calm. How odd for me. Our personal information is floating around somewhere and I don't even care. I think our caseworker and Paulette at LDSFS have done a fantastic job. They didn't lose the paperwork, so they don't get the blame. I actually blame myself and Dan. :) We were too dang fast getting all our other paperwork in and it's just moving too fast. I know from the very depths of my heart that every single thing that has happened with this adoption has happened for a reason. This included. If every single thing went through as quickly as it has, we wouldn't get the right baby. So I figure, this is Heavenly Father's way of getting the right baby to us. It'll all work out how it's supposed to. In the meantime, I'm enjoying life, hanging out with Dan (who at this moment is entertaining me with some awesome dance moves to Beyonce's "Single Ladies"), and just being patient (for once) and letting everything fall into place. It's taken me a long, long time to learn patience, but I think I may just be starting to learn it. It's a good feeling.

April 22, 2009

Home Study

Today we had our home study! I've been so anxious and excited for this day because this is our last formal meeting, which means we're almost approved! It went so well. It was so much easier than I could've ever imagined. I was so worried - wondering if our smoke detectors were in the right places, wondering if I had to baby-proof anything yet, etc. Our caseworker was so great. He stuck his head in the rooms and that was it. He just made sure we had smoke detectors (which were just fine) and a fire extinguisher. The rest of the time was spent watching a great video he brought. ABC had done a special a while ago that followed birthmothers along their path of placing their babies for adoption. It was so neat to watch. I have gained such a huge respect and love for these special girls that are in these situations. I can't even imagine what they have to go through. I now know that they are such an important part in Heavenly Father's plan to help families grow and I am so grateful for them and their selfless choice to do what they feel is best for their child. I can't wait to meet our birthmother - I already feel such an amazing love for her and her family. I've learned (especially from this video) that this isn't just hard for the birthmothers, but also their families. I feel like I've been so self-involved that I hadn't even started thinking about how hard this is for all those involved. This has been such an amazing growing experience for me - I can't believe how much I've learned in such a short time and how much I continue to learn about Heavenly Father's plan.

So our next step is to get our profile together while we wait for our background checks to come back. We still need to write our birthparent letter and figure our which pictures we're going to use. :) So exciting!!

April 19, 2009


Today we had our friend Brenley take some pictures of us for our adoption profile. We went down to the U of O campus and found some really great spots to take pictures. She did such an amazing job! She was so fun to work with and had great ideas. She has only edited a few so far and I LOVE the ones I've seen. I'll post a few of my very favorites.

This last one is my very favorite! Thank you so much again Brenley!!!

April 14, 2009

First Purchase

My sister, Jodi, and her kids have been visiting us since last Friday. So Jodi and I thought it would be fun to go on my first baby shopping trip! It was so much fun, but also so surreal. I've been buying baby stuff for the last almost 12 years, ever since Jodi had her first baby. But it's always been things I've given away as presents. I've never bought anything like this for myself. It was so weird to think I got to take it all home and keep it! I'll admit, it was very overwhelming at first. :) I knew there was so much to get, but I felt like I was walking in circles, not really being able to take everything in. :) It's a good thing I had Jodi (who is very wise :) and helpful) there to help me! Once I picked out the first thing, which was a monitor, it was a cakewalk. Here's a picture of all the fun things I got! Thanks again, Jodi!! I had SO much fun!!

April 8, 2009

Second Meeting

This afternoon, Dan and I had our second meeting with our caseworker. It went really well again! He's so easy to talk to and I'm so excited we're working with him. We had our one-on-one interviews with him, which weren't really interviews, just advice to us. We went over the profiles we get to put together soon and talked about the letter we write to the birthparents. It was so fun to talk about the profiles because I am SO excited to put that together - to get our pictures taken and put together and hopefully help our birthmother get to know us. :) He showed us some videos from birthmothers on the LDSFS website, which I LOVED watching. I actually came home and watched the rest of them. I feel such an overwhelming love for these women that make this selfless decision! I love the first video by Sierra. If you want to see any of the videos, you can click here. We have our home study in two weeks from today - I'm so excited for it! Each step gets us closer!

March 21, 2009

Family Temple Session

Dan and I had an amazing experience today. We planned a time for our families to go to the temple and do an endowment session with soon-to-be-our birth parents in mind. It was a suggestion from LDSFS and I LOVED the idea. So most of my family was able to meet in either the Portland, Oregon or Jordan River, Utah temples at 1:00 PST. Dan's mom went this morning because she didn't get the message in time - good thing because the St. Louis temple didn't even have a session at the right time!

I've been feeling the adversary lately trying so hard to work against us! Yesterday, Dan's work offered him two tickets to two of March Madness' NCAA basketball games for today (I'm not sure exactly what it's called...), which is great, except the first game started right when we'd be in our temple session. But Dan didn't fall for that one! Well, actually he went to the temple and then went late to the games. :) Than, we had a rough morning getting ready to leave for the temple. Lost keys, had to get gas, contention, etc. I felt so frustrated because I've been so excited about this temple trip, and it so easily could have been ruined.

We actually ended up being early to the temple and it was great! I've never felt the spirit so strongly as I did today. I thought about our adoption and our sweet birth parents the entire time and I feel so good and excited about it. Every time I thought about my family sacrificing their time, sitting in the temple in Utah for us, for our birth parents, for our future baby, I felt my heart swell until it felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I was so emotional - it was absolutely amazing! I know I keep saying this, but I still cannot get over how supportive and involved our families are! We are so blessed!

March 18, 2009

First Meeting

Last Friday, Dan and I had our doctors appointments to make sure we're healthy and have a long life expentancy. We had to choose a new doctor and the one we happened to end up with actually adopted last year. He was great and talked to us for almost an hour - about what the agency would be looking for and asking us about our process and giving us advice. We had to get blood work done on Monday and he personally called me to let me know everything came out okay and he would be sending our documents to LDSFS.

Today, we had our first meeting with our caseworker. He is AWESOME! We both really, really like him. Our meeting was an hour and a half, which was mostly just talking about us (maybe that's why I liked it so much...). He talked about the questions we answered online about each other, our families, growing up, things like that. He answered any questions we could think of. I'm really excited to work with him - I think he's going to be great. We set up our next meeting on April 8. That meeting will be one-on-one. We'll each meet with him seperately and go over more of our answers we filled out online. Then our home study is on April 22 and if that goes well, we'll be approved!!! Once we're approved, we'll be able to get our profile up online! I can't believe how fast everything is happening! We need to get our fingerprints done on Friday for our background check and we need to finish up a few things online, but we're a little bit ahead of schedule, which I'm excited about.

I'm still loving every single step of this process. It was so fun to hear some of the things Dan wrote about and I always love talking about our process so that was fun to do with our caseworker. I get so emotional when I talk about how I knew it was the right thing for us and it was no different today. I could feel the spirit so strongly in our meeting and I have felt it so many times recently that I know of a surety that this is for us. I'm so thankful we get to start our family this way. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has chosen us to be a part of this and I can feel His hand in every single thing we've done in this process.

Once again, thank you so much for all of your love, support, and prayers in our behalf! We couldn't have asked for a better family or better friends to be going through this with!

March 11, 2009

Tender Mercies

LDS Family Services is the most affordable place to go through an adoption. This has been a recent decision so we haven't had a lot of time to prepare and save for this. It was going to be a stretch since Dan's work does a reimbursement program for adoption, so we'd have to pay everything and then wait to get it back. So we were hoping we'd get a little back from taxes that we could put towards this. We usually don't get very much back, so we weren't planning on a ton. Well, we did our taxes on Monday night and we were SHOCKED. We're getting almost the exact amount we'll need to pay for the whole adoption. I sat there with tears in my eyes and stared at the screen for a few minutes thinking we had to have typed something in wrong, thinking it was impossible for us to get that much money back. But we did everything right, and we'll be getting that money soon. I still can't believe it. But every time I think about it, even as I'm sitting here typing this, I get the most amazing, peaceful feeling and I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever in my mind that this is what we're supposed to be doing and how we're supposed to start our family. I can't believe how many amazing things have already happened in this process that have confirmed this for me.

"I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ." -Elder David A. Bednar

I was so excited yesterday - I felt like a firecracker just waiting to explode because we scheduled our first meeting with a caseworker. I thought we'd have to wait a month or longer, but as it turns out, he'll be in Eugene NEXT WEDNESDAY! Things are moving right along and I couldn't be more grateful!

March 9, 2009

FSA Meeting

Families Supporting Adoption (FSA), an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services, seeks to promote a positive view of adoption. The organization has more than 5,000 members—including adoptive couples, birth parents, adults who were adopted, and adoption professionals—in chapters throughout the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand. Families Supporting Adoption focuses its efforts on three main areas: outreach, media, and education and support.

On Saturday, Dan and I were able to go to a meeting given by FSA up by Portland. We learned that we have to complete 10 hours of adoption education in order to be approved for adoption. I'm so so so happy we went to this meeting! At first, I actually wasn't too sure what it would be like - if it would be 4 1/2 hours of just sitting there listening to someone talk. But it ended up being so helpful to us! There were people there that are in our shoes, or have already adopted, and people from the LDS Family Services (who we're going through, by the way) offices. We were told we could bring relatives or friends because part of the meeting was focusing on helping others understand adoption and why we are choosing this path.

I'm so incredibly thankful to all our family and friends for being so completely supportive of our choice! As I was listening to people say how they were nervous to tell their families, it made me so sad to think that anyone could question this decision. I'm thankful we have having amazing people surrounding us that have been so excited with us. There was a lot of helpful information to the friends/relatives about infertility - things to say, things not to say, etc.

It's so easy for me to feel like we're going through this alone, being away from family and all. We have amazing friends, but there's a feeling I can't even describe going through the hardships we've had to. But being at this meeting with all these other people that are in our EXACT SAME SHOES was so helpful! With almost every single thing someone said, I thought in my mind "I feel EXACTLY like that!" It was so nice to be able to talk to people and get support from people who truly know what we're going through.

There was also a lot of technical help - how to use the website, how to complete applications, things like that. The part that got us really excited was talking about our profiles and getting those set up. I wish we could skip all the interviews and paperwork and get to that part. :) It sounds so fun to be able to put our pictures on there with a letter to the birth parents and know that at any time, someone could choose us. I think I'm getting too anxious too soon...

I love FSA! I can see myself becomming a lot more involved with them because of how much they helped me in just one short meeting.

I found out today that all of our reference letters have been received by LDSFS!! I'm so thankful to our friends that filled those out and returned them so quickly! Now all we have to do is schedule our first meeting with our caseworker!

February 25, 2009


Today Dan and I were able to turn in our application, complete with references! We're so thankful we have such amazing friends that are willing to give good (hopefully!) references for us. We're just at the beginning of this journey and I'm expecting it to be long, but totally worth it by the end.

I can't even begin to describe how happy and excited I am about this whole process. I get so emotional when I really think about what we're doing. I'm so thankful we've had these infertility issues the past few years. Otherwise, we probably wouldn't be in this process right now. I can already feel a bond forming with the baby that we will one day adopt. It's such an amazing feeling! We have received the best support from our family and friends - I cannot thank you enough!!