Sep 2013 - Hypothyroid Diagnosis, started thyroid hormone
Jan 2014 - Failed Placement
Mar 2014 - Completed final cycle of Clomid, 16 total cycles with no pregnancy
May 2014 - Confirmed MFI and PCOS, back on Metformin
Jun 2014 - Started cyclical bio-identical progesterone treatment for PCOS and Zinc supplement for MFI
Sep 2014 - AA's labs look GREAT - thyroid, testosterone, & vitamin D; started vitamin D supplement and Clomid treatment for male factor; Also started foster care classes
Nov 2014 - Matched with "S"
Dec 2014 - Put foster care and thoughts of doing IVF on the backburner for now. We want to buy a house before fostering. And Zay's not comfortable with IVF. Adoption seems to be the way to go.
Feb 2015 - Brought home baby boy #2 from Kansas!
Apr 2015 - Finalized Shakir's adoption.
May 2015 - Adoption Paperwork Approved specifically for a match with "L"
Jun 2015 - Brought home baby boy #3 right here in Utah!
Dec 2015 - Finalized Lamar's adoption. We have two babies not quite 4 months apart!
LDS Family Services Counseling
LDSFS offers support groups and free counseling to help create a parenting or adoption plan that works best for women with crisis pregnancies.
We are an interracial family (African American & Caucasian) hoping to adopt a baby of any race. We have one bi-racial son, adopted at birth in 2011. Click on our picture above to view our adoption profile.
Families Supporting Adoption
FSA is an organization sponsored by LDS Family Services which advocates a positive view of adoption and provides support to birth parents, adoptive families, and all friends of adoption.
We Support Open Adoption
We are a part of Open Adoption Bloggers - a group of writers from all sides of open adoption, encompassing hundreds of blogs by adult adoptees, first parents, adoptive parents, adoption professionals, and extended family members.
The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It's designed to showcase the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community.
Celebrating the best of online writing about openness in adoption from 2012 & 2013, as selected by the blogging community.
We were featured on The R House's "Adoption Good News" Series.
I interviewed and was interviewed by the lovely birthmom Sarah from Sunshine in a Bottle for the 2013 Adoption Blogger Interview Project.
Pregnant and/or Parenting through Adoption/ Infertility/ Loss. PAIL is a place where we can support each other as parents, no matter what the journey looked like to get there.
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*Cornrows by Alice*
Practicing my skills for my hypothetical future baby girls!
"By adopting a child and helping them reach their potential, they help us reach ours. ...[This is] a child who was searched for, prayed for, cried for, begged for; received by arms that ached, making empty hearts full. Love is meant to be shared." -- Author Unknown
"They came to see that family need not be defined merely as those with whom they share blood but for those for whom they would give their blood." -- Charles Dickens ("Nicholas Nickleby")
"...no misfortune is so bad that whining about it won't make it worse." -- Jeffrey R. Holland ("The Tongue of Angels")
"alis grave nil" (nothing is heavy to those who have wings) -- Latin phrase
"Adoption is not a breaking of trust but a keeping of faith... not the abandonment of a baby but an abandonment of self for a baby's sake." -- Curtis Young ("The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers")
"...could we consider this one possibility about our eternal female identity...? Eve was given the identity of 'the mother of all living' — years, decades, perhaps centuries before she ever bore a child. It would appear that her motherhood preceded her maternity, just as surely as the perfection of the Garden preceded the struggles of mortality. I believe mother is one of those very carefully chosen words, one of those rich words — with meaning after meaning after meaning. We must not, at all costs, let that word divide us. I believe with all my heart that it is first and foremost a statement about our nature, not a head count of our children." -- Patricia T. Holland ("'One Thing Needful': Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ")
"...it's about making an ugly thing beautiful, it's about making a wrong thing right, it's about making a bitter thing sweet..." -- birth mother from the www.itsaboutlove.org video "Adoption and Abortion"
"Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we want them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come." -- Joseph F. Smith ("Children: The Richest of All Earthly Joys")
"Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy." -- Alma 36:21 (BOM)
"He is mine in a way that he will never be hers, yet he is hers in a way that he will never be mine and so together, we are motherhood." -- Desha Wood (Birth Mothers 4 Adoption)
"And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." -- Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)
"For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him..." -- 1 Samuel 1:27 (KJV)
"If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done." -- Ecclesiastes 11:4 (NLT)
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
"If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me, Threatening the life it belongs to And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud And I know that you'll use them, however you want to." -- Anna Nalick ("Breathe (2AM)" Lyrics)
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." -- Dr. Seuss
"...in all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." -- Gordon B. Hinckley ("Stand True and Faithful")
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
"Women are like lionesses at the gate of the home." -- Julie B. Beck
"With God, all things are possible." -- derived from Matthew 19:26
"Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly? In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see." -- Susan Evans McCloud (Hymn "Lord, I Would Follow Thee")
"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." -- Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
"So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial... Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey... Doesn’t it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end?" -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf ("Of Regrets and Resolutions")
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -- 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)
"Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family." -- Thomas S. Monson ("Finding Joy in the Journey")
"Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily." -- Roman philosopher Horace
"The process of adopting a child pushes your personal envelope as a woman, as a mother, and ultimately, as a human being. It takes more courage than you think you have, offers more self-knowledge than you think you want, and reassembles your characteristics into someone familiar but changed." -- Jana Wolff (Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother)
"Laugh as much as you breathe and love as long as you live." -- Johnny Depp
"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching, love like you'll never be hurt, sing like there's nobody listening, and live like it's heaven on earth." -- William W. Purkey
"When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown you must believe that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid for you stand on or you will be taught how to fly." -- Patrick Overton (Carried in Our Hearts)
"While battles rage, diseases spread, and evil rears its ugly head, God is working quietly behind the scenes using mothers and babies to change the world." -- Montse (from Chocolate On My Cranium)
"Hope is the thing with feathers; That perches in the soul; And sings the tune without the words; And never stops at all." -- Emily Dickinson (American poet)
"Love yourself, for who and what you are; protect your dream and develop your talent to the fullest extent. Don't lose sight of your goals. Don't allow anyone to tell you what you can and cannot do. Be tough, be stubborn, love yourself, and find friends who believe in you." -- Joan Benoit Samuelson (Olympic gold medalist)
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"Adoption has the dimension of connection - not only to your own tribe, but beyond, widening the scope of what constitutes love, ties and family. It is a larger embrace. By adopting, we stretch past our immediate circles and, by reaching out, find an unexpected sense of belonging with others." -- Isabella Rossellini
"Like the intense fire that transforms iron into steel, as we remain faithful during the fiery trial of our faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened." -- Neil A. Anderson ("Trial of Your Faith")
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future." -- Jeffrey R. Holland ("The Best Is Yet to Be")
"He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as he is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on him and sleeps." -- John Piper
"Choice in life is not just an occasional thing. We are afloat on a sea of choices. And we ought not to think that we can avoid accountability by refusing to make a choice, because refusing to decide is itself a choice – a choice to be borne wherever external forces will take us." -- Camilla Eyring Kimball
"'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there was, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that,' he said, 'shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.'" -- Granger, Fahrenheit 451
"In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. ~~ Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. ~~ The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. ~~ How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings." -- Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Grateful in Any Circumstances)
"...we often have to scrape off a LOT of old hurt and pain and resentment in order to apply a fresh, healing coat of grace and mercy and tenderness." -- Blessings & Raindrops
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I don't think Zay and I are done creating our family, but the number of children I want has dwindled considerably! I used to think I wanted at least 13 kids (I'm serious!)... but now I realize why most babies come one at a time. Because it's definitely a one at a time type of decision.
I'm satisfied with our family right now, but I know that the baby bug will hit me again. Sooner or later it will. So, looking forward I think we will just take it a day at a time. I won't do anything unless I am absolutely sure about it, so it may be awhile. Who knows...?
If we adopt again, there's no telling how long it will take or if we will face failed adoptions or whatever. I don't know what the chances are of us having a second adoption go as smoothly as our first one. There could be a lot of ups and downs to drag out the process. If we do decide on adoption for our next child, we will go through LDS Family Services again (Foster Care and international adoption are in the back of my mind, but it's not what we want to do yet) and they require Kal to be a year old before we can start the paperwork again to get approved.
If we try fertility treatments again, the possibility of me getting pregnant is still completely up in the air... so that could be a never-ending process. Every time I open a certain drawer in my bathroom and see those leftover fertility meds sitting there, I just think "Hmmmm...." and shut it quickly. I'm not ready.
One kid is a lot of responsibility. My whole heart is wrapped up in loving Kal and making sure he has what he needs. I know that having at least one sibling will be best for him, but the timing and the spacing between them doesn't feel as important to me as it once did. I get really hesitant when I think about expanding our family. It's not something I want to rush into at all.
I see these huge families around here (making babies is definitely the thing to do in Utah), and I just wonder how in the world can they handle that? emotionally? physically? financially? Craziness, I say. Craziness. We're gonna take this slow...
We didn't have any trouble bonding with Kal-El once he was placed with us. I actually think I have the opposite problem of bonding too quickly, which can be emotionally dangerous during the adoption process when things may or may not work out (I'm glad I didn't think that doing Foster Care was the right path for us when we wanted to adopt, because children can be in and out of your home and I could see myself being emotionally torn up about that). Zay was confident that he wouldn't have a problem bonding, and he never did. As soon as we saw Kal, we knew we were in love. It was a moment we had waited for for so long that it was impossible to feel indifferent or unattached. He was meant to be ours.
Things that have made bonding easier in our situation:
- being prepared (we read about bonding and I studied everything under the sun about adoption beforehand, this was something we had waited for for so long that our hearts were open and ready)
- he being our first child (we didn't have anything to compare it to - I've heard how having a biological child first and then adopting a child tends to make you want to compare and over worry about the bonding process)
- having a connection to the pregnancy as much as possible (meeting his birthmother when she was pregnant with him, hearing his heartbeat during a checkup, having a baby shower to celebrate getting chosen to be his parents, getting to attend the 40-week appointment)
- adopting him from birth and being given parental responsibilities right off the bat (sleeping at the hospital while K recovered from her c-section, taking care of him on our own during his brief stay in the NICU, leaving the hospital with him)
- no recovery time (not having to worry about post-partum depression or recovering from giving birth was helpful for me, no hormones or medications were clouding my mind, I could think straight and I could just love on Kal as much as I wanted)
- time off of work (thank goodness for my awesome job that allowed me to take off whatever time I needed, lots of bonding time and "finding a routine" time during those first few weeks)
- the distance between us and the birth family after placement (I can see now that we like having our space and it helped us feel like a family more quickly than if we lived too close... now that the bond is there and more than enough time has passed I'm excited about getting to go back to GA and see everyone for Christmas! - he'll be 9 months old then)
Our caseworker talked to us about bonding and she said that even having a biological child takes time for the bonding to happen, so to not worry about it and when it happened we would know. There were quiet moments when Kal was asleep on my chest and I just watched him sleep. Zay staying home with Kal has given him plenty of time to fall in love with him. His favorite thing to say lately is, "That's my boy. That's my boy." Kal fits in so well. We love his personality. He is definitely our son and the bond is there. It feels so easy, so natural to love him. :)
I was just about to turn 16. I was in the 10th grade. It was 11 days before Zay and I started dating. I was driving/riding in Driver's Ed, I can't remember which. My teacher was Coach Eubanks. He was such a nice guy... super relaxed and just really calm. He had the radio on and the reports started coming in that a plane had run into one of the twin towers in New York. My first thought was, "What an idiot. How did someone manage to hit a building?" My second thought was, "I don't even know what the twin towers are..."
We headed back to the school and the rest of the day was spent watching the news reports. I felt so disconnected to what was happening. I really didn't understand the magnitude of it. A lot of students just wanted to know if we were gonna get days off from school because of it.
The older I get, the more the stories surrounding the attacks on 9/11 touch me, inspire me, devastate me, horrify me. They make me feel closer to my country, closer to my God. I wonder who I would've been had I been there that day - a hero? ...a looter? ...a runner/screamer? ...a jumper?
It's still hard to believe that we were "caught slipping," as Zay would say. How could we let something like that happen?
I love that it brought us closer together as a people, even if only for a short period of time. We forget, though. We go back to our arrogant, immoral ways and forget that we once put God first. I worry about where we're headed as a country... and if anybody really has the guts to stand up for what's right anymore? With God on our side, we can do anything... but I fear the day when the majority of us turn our back on Him.
Zay is doing such an awesome job taking care of Kal during the day! Stay-at-home daddying it! :D
I admit I was a little nervous at first when we worked things out this way. I think those motherly instincts kicked in strong and I wanted to be with Kal every second of the day. And then I worried about me being the breadwinner causing some sort of inadvertent power shift or tension or something in our marriage. I think men like the feeling of providing and I didn't want to take that away from him.
But it has seriously been so perfect for us. At least for right now, it works. I think we respect each other more in these roles than traditional ones. Our personalities mesh with these roles better. I don't know... it just works. Plus, I had the education that he didn't and could get a better job at this point in time in our lives. Eventually when he finishes school this won't be the case and I'm sure things will change. But for right now, this is our life.
I love my job. Zay is a much better cook and so organized. I crave the structure of working and the interaction with adults. Zay has been working since he was a young teenager and now he's loving the flexibility and the bonding time he has with his boy. They are SO cute together! He is so in love with this little boy of ours. My heart just explodes at the cuteness of it all.
A man who can change a diaper with one hand, cook dinner, and mix up bottles of formula is most definitely a real man. :)