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!