Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kindness of strangers

I should have shared this a couple months ago...better late than never, right?  

Remember back in March when I announced that we were going to do a fundraiser for adoption?  We had a few people volunteer to take bottles...one of which was our friend Carrie.  Now the interesting thing about our friendship with her is that we've only met twice...for a few hours total.   Her volunteering surprised me, here was someone who barely knew us, but yet who wanted to help us.  I packaged a bottle and shipped it off to Vermont.  I later learned that she took it to her church and shared our hope to adopt with her entire congregation.  Fast forward to October when we got an envelope in the mail with the return address of Vermont.  Inside we found a check from Carrie's church.  Instantly the tears welled up in my eyes as I thought of a congregation full of people, thousands of miles away who donated to our cause.  Other than Carrie, we had never met any of them, yet they generously gave to someone they'd never met all because they wanted to help.  Inside the card, the members of the congregation had written well wishes to us...again, another act of kindness.

Sometimes the world can seem so cold and mean.  I think it's always good to hear about people doing nice things for others, it restores our faith in humanity. 


And as for the congregation that meets in that picturesque church in Vermont, their kindness means more than they will ever know.  Their kind and generous hearts have helped make our adoption hopes one step closer to reality.  They are a wonderful example of true followers of Christ.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scholarships for Birthmothers Raffle

Sorry there hasn't been much in the way of posts here as of late...I'll catch up soon.  Right now we're buried in boxes and living in-between two places.  Unpacking before Christmas is our top priority. 


But I thought I'd pass along this little tip...Scholarships for Birthmothers is holding a Holiday Raffle.  You donate $2 to their scholarship program (via Paypal) and you're entered...you can donate as much as you want, each $2 is an entry.  They have 65 prizes...it sounds like a lot of them are in Utah...BUT one of them is an IPAD!!  So head on over, give 'em $2 and try your luck at winning an iPad.  Plus you're helping a good cause (and I believe your donation is tax deductible!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Christmas Wish

I don't want a lot for Christmas.  
All I want is to be able to wear this:


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Tree Climber

I've been feeling a little bah-humbugish.  Because of the move we have yet to put up our tree or stockings or even a wreath.  To help lift my Christmas spirit I watched this about 4 times.

Enjoy :)


Sure miss that pesky little bugger.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Lennon

Those who know me, know of my love for the Beatles.  Today would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday.  Imagine is hands down my favorite Lennon tune, but Beautiful Boy is on my favorite list.  I loved when this song is used in Mr Holland's Opus.  Makes me cry every time I see it.   Here are two videos, first of John Lennon singing Beautiful Boy and the second is the scene from Mr Holland's Opus.   

John Winston Lennon
9 October 1940 - December 8, 1980
 


Were any of you alive at the time of Lennon's death?  Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?

Pearl Harbor

Did you know that an ENTIRE Navy Band perished in the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941?  The youngest member of Navy Band Number 22 was 17 years old and the oldest (the bandmaster) was only 31.   You can read a little more HERE about the band, there is some cool information. (See the below excerpt from this link)

Navy Band Number 22 was stationed aboard the USS Arizona.  

On April 2, 1942, the Navy released the following story which was carried in newspapers from coast to coast:
What becomes of the boys in the band when the guns begin to roar?
Many a civilian has asked that question. Blowing a horn or beating a drum is not firing a gun. What becomes of the ship's musicians when the battle rages?
The most dramatic answer to that question has been furnished by the incident of the ship's band of the battleship Arizona.
On December 7 they went to their battle station, one of the most hazardous on the ship--down below, passing ammunition to the guns above.
To a man, the Arizona's band was killed when the battleship's magazine exploded.
Part of the program of recreation at Pearl Harbor last year was the Battle of Music, 1941. The bands of the ships in port contested. One of the best and near the top in scoring when the war began was the band of the Arizona.
When its total loss was discovered, the other contestants unanimously agreed to award posthumously to the Arizona's band the trophy at stake.
Great interest in the trophy has been expressed by the U.S. Navy School of Music at Washington, and in response to its request, a picture of the trophy was painted by Alfred Dupont, illustrator at the fleet recreation office, and sent to the national capital, to be placed on permanent exhibit there.
Henceforth the trophy will be known as the Arizona trophy.
After the war, it will be put up again to be challenged, when the Battle of Music will be resumed.


Here's a pretty cool tribute the Navy Band in Hawaii did earlier this week.  You can also get some pretty good information HERE and HERE...including pics and bios of all the band members. 

Take a moment to remember all those who were lost on that fateful day.
Pic of the sinking USS Arizona

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Our Friday Nights...

...will now be spent here:



Saturday Nathan and I were called to be temple workers for our church.  (In case you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, you can find out a little more about temples HERE).  I have to admit, when we got the call asking us to go in to meet with the temple president I suspected that's what we'd be asked to do...but when we were officially asked I was still surprised.  It will be a great way to spend our Friday evenings...a good way to close the week and get re-centered.  (Plus two of our good friends here are also temple workers on Friday nights)  But it is a little bittersweet.  You see...only couples without children in the home are allowed to serve as temple workers.  So while we're excited for the opportunity, we are sad that we're able to have the opportunity.  Does that make sense? 
But with that said, this is obviously where we're supposed to be for now, so I am working hard on being patient and being glad for the opportunity we get to spend more time in such a wonderful place.  

Friday, December 03, 2010

Givens

The necklace I wear everyday


A couple months ago I was in the lobby after church and one of the missionaries came up to say hi.  He noticed the necklace I was wearing and asked me "What is your hope?"  I replied that my biggest hope was to be a mother"That's not a hope" he said, "that's a given."  I didn't want to get into it with anyone in the lobby at church so I let it slide.  I've thought about it a few times since then, but this week it has been a constant thought. 

Nothing in life is a given.  It isn't a given that you'll graduate college just because you start or that you'll get married just because you date or that you'll be able to have kids just because you're a woman.  Just as if you do graduate it isn't a given that you'll find a job, or if you get married that you'll stay married, or if you have kids that they'll be healthy

The last week has been really rough emotionally.  The holidays are always hard (infertility-wise) but I'm not sure why this year has hit me so hard.  Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I thought there would be four stockings hanging from our mantle this year...instead of two.  Maybe it's because I know I won't be seeing any family.  Maybe it's because of my looming big birthday and my life is not anywhere near where I thought it would be when I hit 30.  Maybe it's because I know it won't seem like much of a holiday because of our move.  All I know is that I have been reduced to tears more times this week than I can count on both hands.  I know that there is a plan out there for us and that someday I'll understand why it was necessary for us to go through all of this. 

I {hope} that our future involves children, but as of late I've had to deal with a growing fear that it may not.  I'm not sure I would know what to do with myself.  The last six and a half years of our lives have been focused on having a family...it is what I know, what I long for, what I live for.  But, it isn't a given and I pray that if it isn't in the cards for us that my heart will be strong enough to accept that.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 Days of Thankful: Recap

So whilst I've been bombarding you with adoption related posts, I've also been doing my 30 Days of Thankful.  Throughout the month you could find it on the 30 Days of Thankful Tab on the top menu...see up there?...to the right a little more...there you go.   But just in case you missed it here are my 30 Days of Thankful 2010:


Nov 1 - Adoption.  I'm grateful that I live in a day and age where adoption is a widely accepted practice.  In years past Nathan and would have probably not had the chance to raise children.  Yay for modern times!

Nov 2 -  Drugs.  The legal kind.  I've been battling a nasty bug for over a week and without the decongestant I think I would have just given up and stayed in bed for a week. 

Nov 3 - Free Pie Wednesday.  Baker's Square is a restaurant that offers a free slice of pie with the purchase of anything on their menu...the offer is good Wednesday evenings.  Guess where we were tonight??  Yep...you guessed it.  I got pumpkin, Nathan got apple.  Yummy!

Nov 4 - My friend Christy.  A year ago we had this big idea to plan Chicago's 1st ever Walk for Adoption.  It has been quite the undertaking and we've grown to be good friends through this planning. Tonight I spent the evening at her house stuffing swag bags and chatting about life and adoption.  I'm grateful to have a friend that "gets it".

Nov 5 - Early Days.  I work 6 days a week...which I am NOT thankful for, but two of those six days I only work a half a shift so I get off early and today is one of those days!  Hooray!

Nov 6 - Good Weather.  The Walk was today and I had been praying, hoping and crossing fingers that we would not have a snow filled day.  It was chilly today, but the sun was out and it was beautiful!

Nov 7 - Mom.  Today was a rough day.  I was up late last night doing stuff for Primary and had to get up early to finish it.  Then my printer was giving me problems and I was running 40 mins late for church.  I got a couple upsetting emails and by the time I got out the door I was teetering on the verge of an emotional/physical/spiritual/mental breakdown.  I called my mom and she calmed me right down. 

Nov 8 - Time in the Kitchen.  We had some friends over for dinner tonight so I planned a nice, big meal.  I cooked a Portobello roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, acorn squash, rolls, a green salad, pumpkin pie and apple/cranberry pie.  Oh, and homemade whipped cream.  Yummy. 

Nov 9 - Uneventful Work Days.  Today at work nothing broke.  Nothing caught fire.  There was no yelling, no hair pulling, no major drama.  It was boring...and terrific!  [[knocks on wood]]

Nov 10 - Christmas Candy.  I know, it's shallow.  But I LOVE Christmas candy.  Lindt Dark Chocolate Peppermint truffles, Wonka gummy sweettarts, Danish Butter Cookies, mint M&M's, you name it...if it's red and green and sweet count me in!  I think I might be over indulging in the Christmas Candy because we won't be putting up a tree this year because of the move.   I gotta get the holiday spirit in our home somehow. 

Nov 11 - Veterans.  I'm grateful for those brave men and women who have served and are serving our country.  I am especially grateful for my hubby, my grandfather Parley and my late neighbor George Sant. 

Nov 12 - Supportive Hubby.  I had an appointment downtown today and after it was all over I got to spend the day with my hubby.  It's been a tough week and when I told him I wanted to drive to Aurora (about an hour and 15 mins) to go to the Lindt outlet he didn't try and talk me out of it (which is what he usually tries to do when my desires involve candy and treats...he's the voice of reason).


Nov 13 - Goodwill.  I love to read.  But buying books new from Borders or Barnes and Noble can add up really quick.  So I love that my favorite Goodwill has a large book selection...and they are $0.89!!  I'm grateful I have an option to get books for so cheap.  I scored today - I got five books I've been wanting to read.  Can't wait to dive in!

Nov 14 - Afternoon naps.  Even though I had to work today and I hate working on Sundays...I got home early enough to sneak in an afternoon nap with Winston.

Nov 15 - Feeling Appreciated.  This week is Employee Appreciation Week at my work.  The owners of our company are having lunch catered every day...and some days breakfast too!  There will be contests and raffles and lots of snacks.  It is always good to feel appreciated. 

Nov 16 - Opportunities to be creative.  I got to design a crazy hat to wear to work today...and I won second place in the competition!

Nov 17 - Perspective.  I have been looking forward to today for a while...well, since last year's November 17th actually.  I got my hopes up and when our miracle didn't happen I was admittedly very sad.  I posted on facebook about my mood and a friend commented and helped me keep faith by offering her wonderful perspective. 

Nov 18 - My hard working hubby.  Today Nathan was honored for all his hard work.  He was selected as Sailor of the Year.  I'm grateful that Nathan works so hard so that we can enjoy the life we do.

Nov 19 - Date nights.  We went to see Harry Potter tonight.  Mom also treated us to dinner in celebration of Nathan's award.  We tried out a new place called Stir Crazy and it was excellent!

Nov 20 -Deep Fryer.  A couple months ago Nathan and I got a new deep fryer.  We've been trying out different things and tonight we made Cajun Garlic Fries (like Five Guys has) and they were awesome...and SO much cheaper than Five Guys' Fries!

Nov 21 - Speaking in church.  Nathan and I were asked to talk in church today because we're moving soon.  I was asked to speak on Faith and it was EXACTLY what I needed to study the last few days.

Nov 22 - Winston.  He always seems to know when my mood is just not quite perky and he'll do his best to lift it by snuggling to me.  Love that little gray fluffer. 

Nov 23 - No Snow.  Friends and family got snow today and while I would love to be stuck at home with a cup of cocoa and a book during a snowstorm...that would not be my reality if it were to storm.  I would be stuck behind the wheel of my car, for likely near two hours, fighting idiot drivers all the way to work.  So I'm glad that the snow stayed away...at least for now.

Nov 24 - Red Box.  I mean seriously...$1!  to rent a movie?!?  Nathan and I are converts to Red Box (former Blockbuster movie renters...now I cringe to think we paid THAT MUCH to rent movies)...we saw the light shortly after we moved here and have been in love ever since.  If you haven't tried out your local Red Box...you should give it a whirl!

Nov 25 - The Hardys.  We live far from family so holidays are always tough.  Our friends Jason and Kat Hardy invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them and Jason's parents, which we were very grateful for because it meant we wouldn't have to spend the holiday alone.

Nov 26 - Black Friday Deals & a shopper hubby.  Today I drug Nathan out Black Friday Shopping.  We didn't do it for people on our gift list...we did it for us.  Now wait before you call me horribly selfish.  There have been some things on our "wish list" for quite a while, but they are usually so expensive that we couldn't justify getting them.  So we took advantage of some wicked sweet deals today and picked up some of the things on our list.  So what'd we score?  THESE sheets...for $44 (regularly $179!) and THIS down comforter for $30 (regularly $169!).  We also picked up a 6' ladder for $14 bucks and a slow cooker for $10.  I am also grateful that I have a hubby who is willing to spend all day with me fighting crowds and waiting in lines.  He also let me go to TWO Jo-Ann's Fabrics stores AND DSW.

Nov 27 - Hubby with a strong stomach.  We hit up IKEA today...looking for a stand for our TV and while we were there we took advantage of their (previously always awesome) meatball and mash  potato lunch.  It wasn't within only an hour or so I was violently ill.  The muscles around my stomach and ribcage were so sore the next day from all the heaving (sorry if that's TMI).  While I was having my one-on-one date with the porcelain, my sweet hubby stood watch over me...rubbing tiny circles on my back.  I know I could never have done that for him...my gag reflex would have had me down on the floor with him.  That simple gesture showed so much kindness and made a yucky situation a little better.

Nov 28 - Hope.  Over the weekend I heard good news from two friends.  They are both getting their wish come true...and hearing that from other people in situations similar (in some ways...and very different in others) to ours gives me hope that someday our wishes will also come true.

Nov 29 - Dinner with Friends.  Tonight we hung out with our friends Joseph and Alison (who incidentally we probably would have had Thanksgiving with...but they had to up and desert us for the Florida Keys...can you believe them?!?).  We went to this cool place called Flat Top Grill for dinner.  It's a "make your own stir-fry" type of place.  And my oh my do I love stir-fry (I swear I didn't mean for that to rhyme) so I was in heaven.  We will DEFINITELY be eating there again!

Nov 30 - Sleeping in.  I know I mentioned it once before...but I'm extra grateful for it today.  It's cold and rainy outside and I got to sleep in a bit and spend an extra hour or so all snuggled up to my kitty, in my new sheets and under my new down comforter.  My work schedule is crazy and a lot of the time I really don't like the games it plays on my poor internal clock...but today I was grateful to be scheduled for the late shift so I could sleep in!

Pfew!

What a busy month!  I hope through the barrage my posts you thought about adoption in a different way or that your hearts were touched by some of the tender stories that were shared by my guest bloggers. I know I am grateful that I had the month to be immersed in adoption.  It has filled my cup with hope.
I was curious what a mod-podge of the words on my blog over the last month would look like so I plugged it into Wordle and got this:

Click on the picture to make it bigger.

Not surprising.  (Never used Wordle?? It's cool.  The more a particular word shows up in the text provided, the bigger font it is...try it out, it's fun to play with)

And now I wonder, what was your favorite 
National Adoption Month post?

Good read

I almost missed today!! 
If you've been hanging around my blog long enough you've heard our point of view on adoption, and I've had a couple birthmother points of view on here...but one I think would be powerful for you (at least it was for me) to read is a birth-grandmother.   Remember back here when I was so excited about being featured on some friends' blogs?  Well Stefanie was one of those who spotlighted us, and she had an awesome post on her blog (she's also been doing the National Adoption Month Challenge) a couple weeks ago that was so good to read.  It is written by her mother...describing her point of view and her emotions as her daughter announced her pregnancy, and then placed her baby through adoption.  I am warning you now, that you WILL need tissues for this one.  It is SO worth the click...I promise. 
Go HERE to read what Stefanie's mom had to say.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adoption Symbol


You may hear people say adoption triad, it is a common term used to describe the three sides of an adoption: the birth family, the adoptive family and the adoptee.  The triangle in the symbol represents those three sides.  The heart intertwined represents the love involved in the relationship of adoption.
The picture above is a pendant, you can purchase it here.

I also found this one, that I LOVE:

It is beautiful, I love that it has "many hearts one beat" inscribed on the sides of the circle.  You can find it HERE.  Many Hearts One Beat was kind enough to donate some of the raffle prizes for our Walk for Adoption.  They have a lot of unique adoption related gifts on their website.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Guest Post: Divinely Appointed Friends

I am on the board for the Illinois Chapter of Families Supporting Adoption.  It's a wonderful organization for people who have been (or in our case, who hope to be) touched by adoption.  We have quarterly activities (we were the ones who planned the Walk for Adoption) and provide support to each other.  Our chapter is part of a large region, and through the region I've "met" (only online and once on the phone) someone in the Colorado Chapter, her name is Corrine.  She and her husband adopted their daughter and she blogs HERE.  A couple months back she posted a wonderful story...it had me in tears (adoption related posts can do that pretty easily).  It's called Divinely Appointed Friends, and it is a great example of how God uses us to help bring others together.  Enjoy it!

Divinely appointed friends


I love the saying from CS Lewis : " You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."
This couldn't ring more true with the friendship i have with Jessica L.
Here's our Story...


We had just moved to CO 2 days prior. We attended the Adoption Training in CO before we even moved into our new house. It was wonderful and we were overjoyed that we were here finally and getting the process underway all at the same time. The 1st Sunday at church was Fast and Testimony Meeting. I bore my testimony and thanked those who watched my kids while we attended the adoption trainings.

After the meeting a sweet lady in the hall asked me if we had been selected alr
eady for placement. I told her no, not yet and she began to tell me that she Knew someone looking into placing their unborn child for adoption . Her eyes welled up and she told me it was her daughter. I hugged her and she let it out and i told her "Well, God sure knew that i needed to be in this WARD for a reason. Regardless if she places or picks us, we are meant to be in each others' lives."

The following weekend came up and Renee(woman in the hall) became ill so, we brought her over some dinner that night and met Jessica. We only talked for a few minutes but it was like meeting an old friend. The following week she was at her moms again when we stopped by. We chatted some more and she told us about making an appt. with LDSFS and wanting to figure out what she should/ could do for this child.
We Had her over for dinner with her family and talked about everything. I had the best feelings of love for her and her family. I always reinforced that "we are NOT your friends just b/c you might place". She knew that too. Her and my husband were like brother and sister and very silly together. Jessica has always felt like part of our family...
Then one day we met at a Local Park and went for a jaunt around it and she told me she had MADE UP HER MIND. She said " I'm 100% positive that I'm placing this baby. I know i cannot do it on my own- nor do i think it would be best for the child. I know someone else needs this baby more than i do right now! And if adoption families are anything like yours... I'm totally In!!!"

I was so excited that she made that choice and something inside me knew that this is why we were to be in her life. That night we searched profiles online together. She came across this family and they looked adorable and she pulls out this tiny folded paper with their names on it! " My Bishop told me a bit about this couple"
I could see her face gleam! But, Jessica is a very analytical person so, no rash decisions were made. I told her to talk to her case worker about learning more or meeting the couples she was interested in!

- In the meantime I was offering FREE photography to adoptive couples in the area. And the Couple she saw on IAL (J&C), were scheduled to shoot updated pics for their profile about 5 weeks out from the time she saw them on the blog.-

So, a week or so passes and Jessica meets another family and she really liked them. They had adopted their 2 children and were awesome people. She called me after the meeting and i asked her how it went and she said "great but..." Then explained about her desire for a bit more openess than they were willing to have. So, it was something to think about.
I still had these feelings that we were divinely supposed to be in her life and i couldn't deny it! But one night while in the peace and quiet- I had the strongest
impression that " she is not your birth mom, she is meant for another family" I had such peace and reassurance that it would be alright and when our time is right it will happen.
So fast forward a week and J&C's pictures were scheduled but it was pouring down buckets so we scheduled for a later date. I asked Jessica how she was and we texted and talked all the time. And 2 weeks before she actually met J&C, i met their friend at a park and as i told J&C's friend about how I think Jessica could possibly pick them and i hoped she would- her friend and i got all choked up. I let a few tears out and was so happy that I was able to help her see how amazing adoptive families are.

The following Sunday, Renee (jessica's Mom) and i chatted about J&C and she told me how She felt something special too for them.(we cried of course while we talked of them) And Jessica had still never met them. Only chatted via email.

So that week Jessica was supposed to meet them on Monday and we were going to go float the river on Thursday. So, i called Jessica on Wednesday and she told me that She hadn't met them yet but was meeting them tomorrow in the morning. I asked her if she wanted to float the river still and she said "yeah, why not!"

So Thursday morning came and she met up with me at noon on the River. She was grinning from ear to ear. She told me how much she liked them and how cool they were and so on. All along the slippery river turns, i kept waiting for her to tell me that 'They were the ones" But she didn't. She just said i need to think about it over
the next 2 months and weigh out all the couples. I kept reassuring her that we really were happy for whomever she chose. Finally at our late lunch we talked more and i broke down and asked " didn't you feel something different with them than you have with us or the other couple?" She said "Honestly... YES!"

I about shot out of my seat with JOY and she said "but i still need to think about it" I said " really-? if you feel so strongly for one couple and it feels right- the it's Got to be Them!!!" She finally said she didn't want to hurt our feelings but she KNEW it was to be them! And i finally told her that i knew weeks ago she wasn't to be our birth mom! She was a bit shocked and i told her Brandon knew too. He would say things like " when you meet the next birth mom- don't be trying to hook her up with other couples etc.." He was being a protector of my heart and emotions saying that- not a control freak b/c you all know how emotionally invested we all get with the Expectant parents.

So, we were both excited that She KNEW and had found her couple. Then Jessica said a dreaded thing for an adoptive mother to hear " I think i will wait till 2 months to tell them though" I was totally not cool with that but was along for the ride so- whatever? A few hours later she shoots me a text and says she's going to tell them in 3 weeks. I said sure but i thought "if she felt it when they met, i bet they did too and how that wait would kind of be agonizing- but- it's her call"

The next day, I get an email from J&C following up on our profile photo shoot for the following day (a Saturday) and I was thrilled for them but dare not say a word.
I texted Jessica and told her that i was shooting them in a few hours and would happily put on my smile and pretend that I KNEW NOT what she told me:)
She called me back and said " I have been up all night- and kept thinking if they felt the connection that I did with them- why should i wait to tell them? So, Let's Surprise them at their photo session!"
I was flipping out excited and ready to put on my best acting face ever.

We shot c
alls back and forth to coincide this little plan to work flawlessly. J&C met in one parking lot of the Belleview Park and Jessica and I met in the other.
I took J&C to the said corner of the park and began to shoot them and tried to keep their eyes on me while Jessica bolted across the park. When i pulled my lens away from their faces- Jessica was there. And They were shocked!!! They hadn't talked to her since 2 days before, when they first met her!

Jessica says something like "Hey guys, sorry to surprise you so suddenly but, i just can't wait any longer. (they were sitting down still) " I know what i felt when i met you guys and I want you to know that i KNOW you two are to be the Parents to my child. I choose you to adopt her!"


Of course i got all choked up snapped a picture and left them to take in the magnitude of the occasion. It was like a piece of Heaven
Opened up for many of us that Day.

I had perma-grin walking away from them b/c i am just so happy f
or all 3 people.
Since then, Jessica and I hang out almost weekly and J&C do all kinds of activitie
s with FSA and some with her too! They are so prepared and have waited for 2.5 years and had 4 BM's online try and scam them- all for emotional support too.

They are such a deserving couple and Jessica is such a strong willed woman, it makes me happy to see that they are getting such an amazing extended family with Jessica and her mom and a few others. I am so blessed by this experience and much has happened after this with Our (brandon's and my) involvement in the adoption world! (read our blog to find out more).

And I KNOW that God Puts people in our lives, friends, associates, members or our community or churches to Help us in areas that we need to be strengthened in. We both have learned from each other and I have gained an even greater testimony of birth parents! And even though she's not our Birth Mom- She truly will always be Our forever friend because of this part of our lives. There is a reason you are where you are!
This rings the MOST true to me:
Ecclesiastes 3:1
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
and again this :
" You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another."

This couldn't be more true in the Adoption World! Thanks for having me share this!
-------

As of lately... I have been involved with planning the joint Baby shower for both adoptive parents and Jessica, and took these Photos of the couple with Jessica! Please see my photography blog for more pictures of this shoot! And make sure you ASK to use them on your sites/blogs etc... I'm happy to please email me at brandonandcorrine@gmail.com!

~Corrine C.
www.brandonandcorrine.blogspot.com

pictures: Jessica's Baby Bump,
J&C with Jessica when she announced "the News"
, Jess and couple at 8 months
Jessica with my husband Brandon- walking in the parade with us to advocate for Adoption- part of the CO chapter.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Shopping...Adoption Style

As you're getting ready for Christmas shopping, if you have anyone on your list that's been touched by adoption, here are some ideas for goodies to put under their tree or in their stocking.
 I swear this post is not selfishly motivated...although there are lots of things on this list that I wouldn't mind owning :) (Hey...my b-day AND Christmas are coming up...hint, hint)

Chosen: Songs of Hope Inspired By Adoption can be found on Amazon.com HERE.


AdoptionBug.com has really cool adoption t-shirts.  They've got shirts for international, domestic ans foster adoption for the whole family.  They were gracious enough to donate a gift certificate to our Walk for Adoption, so I'd love to be able to refer some business to them.  This one is my favorite:


For the wee ones, this esty shop has some adorable little onesies and tees.  They also sell adoption related and custom made silver pendants.  The shop is run by an adoptive mother who had to endure a long, contested adoption.  I can't wait until I can buy this onesie:



I already posted this once before, but it is awesome enough to get posted again.  You can buy this art print HERE.  I think this would be lovely framed and in a child's room.  I just love those little animals!


Many Hearts One Beat has a large variety of adoption relate gifts.  They have books and apparel and jewelry...gifts geared to birth families and adoptive families and adoptees.  Lots, and lots to choose from.  One cool gift is this Arrival Day Tree.  The idea is that you plant this on the day you bring your child home, and as it grows it symbolizes your family's love growing.  I would love to do this...and if we were going to be living in one place for the next 20 years or so I totally would. 

Any of the books I featured HERE or HERE would be wonderful additions to any adoption library.

For the spiritual ones on your list, an Adoption Prayer Bracelet might be a good choice.  The bracelets were designed by an adoptive mother.  I think it would be sweet to get a matching set of these...one for an adoptive mother and one for the birth mother. 

Adoption Mama has some witty, sarcastic t-shirts for those witty, sarcastic peeps like me...wait, am I sarcastic??  No...definitely not. ;)  This one is awesome.  In case you can't read it it says: "Have I met her real mother?  Yes...it's me"




If you're braving the crowds today - Happy Shopping!!

    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Thanksgiving

    Today's adoption post is simple.  I am eternally grateful that I live in a day and age where adoption IS an option.  Without it Nathan and I would not be lucky enough (someday) to be called Mom & Dad.

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Hoping to Adopt Spotlight: Josh & Kenna

    I stumbled upon Kenna's blog through a friend of a friend's blog.  I was touched at her honesty.  She has gone through some pretty heavy things in her life.  Oh, and she has THE CUTEST bunny ever.  Seriously. 



    Well, hello! We are Josh and Kenna. We are enjoying our 5th year of marriage, and we are currently on the path towards our adoption. Our path towards parenthood was not meant to be short or traditional, but we have embraced adoption as we have seen it work miracles in our own lives as well as many others. We know this is what years of infertility have lead us to and we are grateful and excited.
    This past year we experienced a reversed adoption, as well as a failed placement. While this has been hard and painful, we know that the Lord will bless us if we remain hopeful. Adoption is our plan A, and will be no matter what the obstacles.

    Josh & I are easy going individuals. We love being outside, especially the beach. Josh loves to ride the waves on his boogie board and I like to lay out in the sun with my ipod. If we aren't outside, we are inside watching a good flick or engaging in some healthy Wii competition. We love to be active and to spent time with our family and friends.

    We can't wait to welcome a sweet little to our family! We would love an open adoption and look forward to getting to know you and continuing our relationship through letters, pictures, and visits.

    If you would like more information about Josh and Kenna, please visit:

    http://shumwayadoption.blogspot.com/

    https://www.itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/23686317/ourMessage.jsf

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    More Adoption Myths

    One thing that always surprises me is the wild and crazy myths that get thrown back at Nathan and I when we tell some people our hope to adopt.  There are so many misconceptions and incorrect stereotypes...I try whenever possible to help dispel some of these myths.  Here are some of the more common myths.  I got this list from HERE


    Most birth mothers who place their babies for adoption are teenagers.
    Most birth mothers who choose adoption are in their early twenties, although women of all ages make this decision.

    Birth parents who place their babies for adoption are abandoning their responsibility and taking the “easy way out.”
    There is no easy way out of unplanned pregnancy; any option involves emotional pain. Most birth mothers who do not choose abortion make the choice initially to parent their babies. Those who choose adoption do so after taking some time to carefully consider their options and the best interests of their child. Adoption is a courageous, loving choice which shows that the birth mother takes seriously the responsibility to be a parent.

    An adoptive parent cannot love a child as much as a biological parent can.
    Love is not based on biology. Many loving relationships are between individuals who are not related to each other, such as husbands and wives. The love of a parent comes from preparing for a child and selflessly nurturing and caring for that child.

    A birth mother can reclaim her child after adoption.
    Once a birth mother’s rights have been terminated, she cannot reclaim her child. Cases of birth parents obtaining custody after adoption are extremely rare and are exaggerated by the media.

    After a child has been placed, a birth mother cannot have any contact with the child.
    Adoption practices have changed over the years. Today most birth mothers have some contact with their children. Arrangements are agreed upon by the birth mother and the adoptive parents and are based upon the needs and desires of all concerned.

    Children who were adopted are more likely to have physical or emotional challenges.
    It is impossible to predict how any child will turn out, whether biological or adopted. Generally, children who were adopted as infants are as emotionally healthy as children who were not adopted. Children who were adopted when older may have challenges resulting from adverse conditions in their early lives, such as neglect, abuse, or lack of attachment. These challenges do not result from the adoption itself.

    Birth mothers never recover from the emotional pain of placing a child for adoption.
    Birth mothers who choose adoption go through a grieving process, which is a healthy way of dealing with loss. But most birth mothers also report finding peace in the knowledge that they did all in their power to provide the best life possible for their child. They find that the experience gives them the strength and confidence to face other challenges throughout their lives.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Adoption Fact Sheet

    This Fact Sheet is something that gets sent in our LDSFS outreach packets.  I know that there will always be people that fall outside the stats in any study, but I think as an overall picture this is pretty eye opening. 

    Adoption Fact Sheet

    Children of Married Parents
    • Children who live with married parents tend to have higher grades, are more likely to attend college, and experience lower rates of unemployment. ¹
    • On average, children of married parents experience better physical and mental health, have lower rates of substance abuse, experience less child abuse, and are less likely to commit suicide or engage in criminal behavior. ²
    • “What has been shown over and over again to contribute most to the emotional development of the child is a close, warm, sustained, and continuous relationship with both parents.” ³

    Children of Single Parents
    • Children raised by a single mother are six times more likely to live in poverty, twice as likely to drop out of high school, and two to three times more likely to have serious emotional and behavioral problems than children who grow up with both parents. 4
    • During middle childhood, children raised by single parents have high rates of chronic health and psychiatric disorders. 5
    • On average, teens from single-parent homes are more attached to their peer groups and less attached to their parents’ opinions. 6
    • As teenagers and young adults, “being raised in a single-mother family is associated with elevated risks of teenage childbearing, . . . incarceration and with being neither employed nor in school.” 7
    • Children of unmarried women are likely to need to assume adult roles prematurely. 8
    • “Single mothers . . . report less perceived social support, fewer contacts with friends and family, and lower levels of social involvement than married mothers.” 9

    Benefits of Adoption
    • “On an index of self-esteem, adopted adolescents compare favorably to” those who were not adopted. 10
    • Children who were adopted as infants have better health, see mental health professionals less often, have fewer behavioral problems, and do better in school than children born outside of marriage and raised by the unmarried mother. 11

    For more information about LDS Family Services adoption services, please call 1-800-537-2229 or itsaboutlove.org.

    Sources
    1. See William J. Doherty and others, Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-One Conclusions from the Social Sciences (Institute for American Values, 2002), 10–11.
    2. See Doherty, Why Marriage Matters, 11–17.
    3. Armand Nicholi, “The Impact of Parental Absence on Childhood Development: An Overview of the Literature,” Journal of Family and Culture (autumn 1985), note 3; as quoted in Bill Muehlenberg, “The Case for the Two-Parent Family,” National Observer—Australia and World Affairs (Sept. 2002), 44.
    4. Kristin A. Moore, Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing (1985); and Patrick Fagan, “How Broken Families Rob Children of Their Chance for Future Prosperity,” The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder, no. 1283, June 1999; cited in Adam C. Olson, “LDS Family Services Helping Parents,” Ensign, Oct. 2004.
    5. “Executive Summary: Report to Congress on Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service (Sept. 1995), 12; cited in Infant Adoption in Michigan: Reviving a Vanishing Phenomenon, Michigan Family Forum (2005), 4.
    6. Ross L. Matsueda and Karen Heimer, “Race, Family Structure and Delinquency: A Test of Differential Association and Social Control Theories,” American Sociological Review 52: 171–81; cited in Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-One Conclusions from the Social Sciences (2002), 16.
    7. Executive Summary (Sept. 1995), 12; as quoted in Infant Adoption in Michigan (2005), 4.
    8. See Elizabeth Terry-Humen, Jennifer Manlove, and Kristin A. Moore, “Births Outside of Marriage: Perceptions vs. Reality,” Child Trends Research Brief, April 2001, 6.
    9. John Cairney and others, “Stress, Social Support and Depression in Single and Married Mothers,” Social Psychiatry Psychiatric Epidemiology (2003), 38:445
    10. Search Institute, “New Study Identifies Strengths of Adoptive Families,” from June 1994 Source Newsletter; www.search-institute.org/archives/gua.htm; retrieved September 27, 2006.
    11. See Nicholas Zill, Mary Jo Caoiro, and Barbara Bloom, “Health of Our Nation’s Children,” Vital and Health Statistics, series 10, no. 191, and Nicholas Zill, “Adopted Children in the United States: A Profile Based on a National Survey of Child Health,” testimony before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources, May 1995; cited in Patrick F. Fagan, “Adoption: The Best Option,” in Adoption Factbook III (1999), 3.

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Pass Along Cards WORK!

    Once you dig into the online pro-adoption world you find out it is a very small world.  You start reading a blog and click on a link, and then another link and then you see someone you know!  One day through a series of clicks I read a blog that told the story about how pass along cards matched a couple with their birthmother.  Brittany (the author of the post below) and her husband Que adopted their baby last October.  You can read their blog HERE...she's got lots of good stuff on her blog.  

    The one where you learn how it happened

    This past month has been amazing and it would not have happened if it weren't for our pass along cards (thank you Jill!) and of course, my mom and Kristina. In short, our birth mother found us when she got two of our pass along cards from two different people in one day! (Pass along cards work, people! I can't stress this enough!) :p

    Here is how it happened:

    In April, Que and I went to dinner with my dear friend
    Kristina and her husband Adam and at the end of the evening I happened to give her some of our pass along cards. A few days later, Kristina said when she went to get her hair done, her stylist mentioned that her roommate was pregnant and was looking at different families, so Kristina gave her one of our pass along cards. (And then her roommate happened to come in the salon and Kristina met her!)

    Very shortly after that, my mom told me she had just been to her hair salon and she noticed 3 children come into the salon to get their hair cut. Her stylist told her they were so close in age because they were all adopted. My mom then told her about us, and her stylist mentioned that another stylist at the salon had a roommate who was pregnant and was in the process of looking at families. So my mom gave her our card.


    My mom and Kristina had been going to the same salon and didn't know it; and as I said before, our birth mom ended up getting our pass along card twice, from two different people in the same day!


    Fast forward about 2 months.


    On June 4th (the day before we left for Alaska) our adoption caseworker (Rachel) called me and said a birth mother wanted to meet with us. (This was the first time we had gotten a call like that! We were
    so excited!) Rachel said the birth mother had not yet made a decision but still wanted to meet. But because of our vacation and her work schedule, we didn't end up meeting for 3 more [agonizing!] weeks.

    After returning from Alaska we found out that the birth mother who wanted to meet with us was the same girl that had months before, gotten our pass along cards from Kristina and my mom.


    It turns out she had our cards in her wallet for months and she said whenever she opened it, there we were. :)

    ~~~

    See!  You can do something to help us!!  We ordered a bunch of pass along cards back in February.  Then we were matched with C  so we never sent them out.  When the adoption fell apart I didn't really think about the cards, until I started cleaning up the desk one day and found the boxes of them.  They are so cute...I remember when they came in the mail I was SO excited.  They're small, we chose business card size because they'd be easy for you to carry in a wallet...so they'd be close at hand should you have an occasion to hand one off to someone.  If you'd be willing to keep a few and pass them out for us, I'll throw some in the mail...just email me your address.  (Thanks to those of you who already have some of our cards...Kala, Sterling and Jaime)

    Here's one of our designs (I couldn't help myself so I designed five...yes you read that correctly...FIVE designs):

    Sailor of the Year Ceremony

    Remember a weeks ago when I announced that Nathan got Sailor of the year?  Well after he was selected as the band's SOY (Sailor of the Year)...he competed against other command's SOYs.  On Thursday I attended the Sailor of the Year ceremony for Naval Service Training Command....and guess who was selected at Naval Service Training Command's Bluejacket Sailor of the Year???
    My Nathan!

    Here are some photos from the ceremony:
     Way to go sweetie!!!  
    You deserve the recognition!

    Saturday, November 20, 2010

    Happy National Adoption Day


    Today is National Adoption Day!  In case you've never heard of it (I hadn't until last year) here's some history of National Adoption Day:

    Since 2000, more than 30,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. This year on November 20, families, adoption advocates, policymakers, judges and volunteers will come together and celebrate adoption in communities large and small all across the nation.


    You can go to THIS Facebook page to see details of what's going on today in celebration.  One wicked cool thing: on their Facebook page, National Adoption Day said they are expecting 4500 children to be adopted today.  4500!!  A vast majority of these children are being adopted by forever families after spending time in the foster car system.  How awesome is that?  I'd say it's pretty awesome.  But there are still an estimated 130,000 children in the foster care system that need homes.  If you think you could open your heart to a child waiting for a family you can go here to get more information. 

    Nia Vardalos (of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame) is the National Adoption Day Spokeswoman.  She and her husband adopted their daughter from the foster care system.  Here is an interview she did on The Talk, she talks about struggling with infertility and adopting their daughter.


    Knowing that so many families are being created today....just makes my heart swell with happiness. 

    Happy National Adoption Day!!

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Misleading headline

    Earlier this week while I was getting things ready for all my posts this week I found THIS article on People.com.  I remember seeing this cover at the grocery store and feeling sad...my initial thought was that a complex emotional situation was being splashed accross the headlines.  A couple days later someone I work with brought the magazine in and I was relieved to read the article...but still enraged to find out that the headline "We Miss Our Baby" was TOTALLY misleading.  If someone hadn't picked up the magazine and read the article they would have a completely different opinion of the situation. 


    As I searched for more, I found THIS article on Psychology Today's website.  It found the same thing...let me quote a bit from that article.  (Let me just say that I find it SO ironic that this journalist is criticizing another news outlet for making a mistake when they make the mistake of saying "gave up their baby"...I mean, seriously...)

    This week's PEOPLE Magazine features the only teenage couple from the TV show Sixteen and Pregnant who gave up their baby for adoption. Yet the unfortunate cover makes it seem as though the teen couple now regrets their decision. Readers would have to wade deep into the magazine to see how much at odds this is with the couple's actual statements.



    Other information buried deep in the article that's particularly relevant is how Catelynn and Tyler are the lone couple from Sixteen and Pregnant who are still together. Instead of the inaccurate message the PEOPLE cover presents, Catelynn and Tyler say they have only grown closer since the adoption. Had they decided to raise their baby, Catelynn says, "I think we would have struggled a lot. I didn't want to struggle and I didn't want Carly to be around all of that."

    Instead of lauding adoption, the take home message teens will get when they see the cover of PEOPLE is that they will seriously regret it if they place their baby for adoption.

    It just goes to prove something that Jill said in her Cold Rissotto story.  Sensational stories sell.  If the headline had read Couple Happy With Their Adoption Plan the copies wouldn't have flown off the shelf.   But what's especially sad about this story is that it ISN'T sensational (other than the fact it was on TV).  A couple placed their baby against massive opposition, is sad (which is TOTALLY normal) but wouldn't change their minds.  People Magazine went out of their way to make the story seem more "sensaitonal" than it actually was.  It makes me disappointed and you can bet I won't be picking up a People Magazine anytime soon.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Four Media Myths About Adoption

    The following article was published on the Adoptive Families website. 

    Four Media Myths About Adoption

    by Beth M. Waggenspack

    As adoptive families, we are often confronted with insensitive and insulting remarks, rude questions, unsolicited advice, and general ignorance. We constantly face the challenge of getting others to see adoption as a desirable way to build a family. Unfortunately, many myths about adoption that we try to dispel are reinforced by the media. According to a survey, viewers and readers are more likely to encounter images and messages about adoption that reinforce misconceptions rather than dispel them.

    Myth #1: Adopted children are troublemakers
    Media misrepresentation fosters the myth that adopted children are troublesome. One movie Problem Child, depicts the adoption of a seven-year-old "devil" child whose behavior includes cruelty to animals, arson, and urinating in inappropriate places. The film, full of untrue stereotypes, equates adopted children with garbage and secondhand clothes.

    A Time magazine article entitled "When the Lullaby Ends" reports that each year parents return about 1,000 children who were adopted in the United States. According to the article, these children are returned because they have severe emotional problems or because they failed to meet their parents' expectations. Although the magazine points out that only about 2% of all adoptions in the United States disrupt, it still gives readers (more than 4 million of them) the impression that adoptive children are second-rate commodities that come with implied warranties.

    The image of adopted children as troublemakers is so pervasive that the media even uses it as a simile. Another article in Time likened modern Germany to "a child of doubtful lineage adopted into a loving family: The child has been good, obedient and industrious, but friends and neighbors are worried that evil genes may still lurk beneath a well-mannered surface - all the more so now that the child has become an adult."

    When a person who was adopted commits a crime, the media is quick to focus on the fact. Cases like that of alleged serial killer Joel Rifkin spread the idea that adoption and violence are linked. Rifkin was adopted as an infant, and his lawyer claims that he suffers from a grab bag of criminal tendencies that he calls "adopted child syndrome."

    In a longitudinal study of 624 children, some from adoptive homes and some from biological homes, researchers found no worse a tendency toward criminality or alcohol abuse among adopted children than among biological children. If the media always mentioned when a criminal had red hair, the public might develop prejudices about redheads.

    Myth #2: All adoptees have traumatic birth histories
    The media also promote the myth that every adoptee has a traumatic birth history. Story lines in television movies and soap operas - and the advertising copy that promotes them - unfairly accentuate the dangers of adopting a child whose genetic heritage is unknown. According to TV Guide, the made-for-television movie Family of Strangers is about an adult adoptee who, "facing surgery that requires her genetic history, seeks her biological parents in a desperate quest that unearths a dark mystery." (She discovers that her birth resulted from rape.)

    The soap opera One Life to Live ran two long plots from 1988 to 1991 about "adoption lies." In the first story, a baby was taken from his mother to replace a child who had supposedly died in the South American jungle. Of course, the birthmother eventually returned for the child and the truth came out. In the second story, an adult woman had never been told that she was adopted. When she found out the truth and met her birthmother, the lies she'd been told created great upheaval.

    Another soap, General Hospital, featured a story about an adoptive mother who bought her baby from a lawyer specializing in black-market adoptions. When she found out the child's birthmother was a former friend who'd been told her baby had died at birth, the adoptive mother turned to deceit that eventually cost her the child and members of her family.

    Unfortunately, stories about the overwhelmingly positive aspects of adoption are apparently deemed not dramatic enough to attract viewers. Thus, the media perpetuates the view that there is something seamy and pitiful about adoption and its participants.

    Myth #3: All adoptees search
    Media coverage has greatly exaggerated the number of adopted persons who search for their birth parents, reinforcing the myth that all adoptees are constantly searching. Reunions are popular topics for news stories and talk shows.

    Most recently, The Jerry Springer Show featured a reunion of siblings who had been removed from their birthmother because of neglect and abuse. Guests on the Maury Povich Show included former child actress (and felon, it was noted) Dana Plato, of Different Strokes, who had found her birthmother after the death of her adoptive mother. Virgil Klunder, a so-called adoptive search expert, asserted that "adoptees are normally told several lies about their past, which make it difficult for them to find their real parents." Tabloid shows, such as Hard Copy and Unsolved Mysteries, have featured adoptees searching for birthparents or engaging in loving meetings with them. A short-lived sitcom called Flesh 'n' Blood was about an assistant district attorney who would "chuck it all to find the woman who gave her up for adoption."

    Most adoptees join their families as infants and have no store of memories or experiences to share in a reunion. Some want to answer the big questions of Who? and Why? by finding the people who brought them into the world; others feel no need to obtain information about birthparents. Some want to know their medical histories, and others feel an urge to discover national or ethnic identities. However, contrary to dramatic reports in the media, many adoptees do not want to meet their birthparents.

    According to Feigelman and Silverman, authors of Chosen Children, genealogical questioning and reunion-seeking is widespread among adoptees, yet actual searching and contact with birth relatives remain relatively rare. Determining the actual number of the adoptee population in the United States interested in searching is difficult. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, no national statistics have been compiled on the number of legally adopted persons in any age group who are searching.

    Unfortunately, a few vocal adoptees and members of the media have assumed that all adopted persons are deeply committed to searching. They say those who are not actively searching at any given time simply haven't started yet or have repressed the desire. While this may be true of some adoptees, it is not true of all.

    Myth #4: Adopted children are obtained illegally
    Sensational stories have fostered the belief that adopted children are often obtained illegally or under questionable circumstances. The CBS news program 60 Minutes detailed the horror story of the Tennessee Children's Home Society, which placed hundreds of children for adoption in the 1940s. Many, it has recently been found, were taken illegally from their mothers. The show failed to point out, however, that incidents of illegal removal are few compared to the number of adoptions worldwide.

    A 1990 Time magazine article, "Psst, Babies for Sale," asserted that the international trafficking in children was big business. The article reported that Wadduwa, a resort in Sri Lanka, was a baby farm where foreigners could buy children and that in Peru, mothers stopped foreigners in the street to barter away their children.

    Similar sensationalized stories followed the 1989 fall of the Ceausescu dictatorship in Romania. The well-documented horrors of Romanian orphanages spurred many Americans search for adoptable children in Bucharest. Stateside newspapers, magazines, and news shows were also flooded with stories about Romanian baby brokers, scam artists, hucksters, and parents negotiating the sales of children to Americans. In her New York Times Magazine feature, "The Romanian Baby Bazaar," Kathleen Hunt told of parents who demanded 100,000 lei (about $2,800 in American currency) and a Turbo car in exchange for their children. A 60 Minutes episode featured film clips of Romanian baby brokers making similar negotiations with parents. Other stories told of bribes demanded by corrupt directors to get children out of institutionalized squalor.

    A few children have been kidnapped from the families of political prisoners, whose attempts to escape East Germany resulted in the placement of their children with "good" citizens. In 1992, 60 Minutes detailed the difficulties of a birthmother and the son taken from her at age three who had been brought together by the reunification of Germany. Stories like this, however, are rare and representative of only a few adoptions.

    In reality, an average of 20 Americans per day adopt babies from overseas, often from developing nations, where poor parents see adoption as a way to give their children decent lives. Though most of these international adoptions are stringently managed and rigorously policed, an avalanche of stories of systematic abuse in a few places has cast a shadow over the entire process and its participants.

    Beth M. Waggenspack is an adoptive mother living in Blacksburg, Virginia.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Hoping to Adopt spotlight: Isaac, Sara & Hazel

    Almost two years ago (holy cow, has it really been that long?) I was reading one of my favorite adoption blogs and I saw some familiar faces.  They were a couple people I went to high school with, who I didn't realize had gotten married. It was one of those wait, I know her...and wait, I know him too!  Wait...they got married?  That's so cool!  They were going through a rough patch and my heart went out to them.  I found her on facebook, started stalking her blog (well, technically since I was leaving comments it wasn't considered stalking...right?) and now we're internet buddies.  Their daughter Hazel is so stinking cute.


    Isaac and I met in high school and were married for 6 years before sweet Hazel joined our family. She is the most amazing little girl, and has certainly made every bump in the journey (years of medical treatments, waiting, praying, and a reversed adoption) worth it. We are so grateful for adoption! We cannot imagine our lives without Hazel. We have an open adoption with Hazel's birthmother, whom we love with all of our hearts. She gave us the most precious gift, and we are so grateful that Hazel will always have her birthmother in her life.

    Hazel is going to be a great big sister, and we are excited to add to our family again through the miracle of adoption!

    You can read about their hope to adopt again HERE and HERE.