Sunday, September 30, 2012

We Are Family

All we wanted was a picture of the kids....

The first one never works, right?

And Micah was freaked out by the ponies 

"Dude," says Callie, "why don't you like the ponies?"

Sammy wasn't terribly interested in holding her baby brother.

As much as he wanted her to hold him, she remained indifferent.

Callie's all smiles, Sammy's unsure how much longer this will take, and Micah's already pulling the funny faces when we're trying to take a good picture.

It's a keeper.
Be looking for this beauty in our 2013 Christmas card!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Lil Man

Remembering Wholeness by Carol Tuttle

Wow.  After a discussion with a friend, she handed me this book to read.  She thought I'd be interested in what Carol Tuttle had to say and so...I took the book and I read it.  I'm so glad I did.

There are some books that we read that are entertaining.  Some give us insight into other worlds and allow our creativity to soar.  It's invigorating and exciting.  Some books give us information that we've been looking for and tap into our logical minds.  And some, some books can do both.  This book did both for me.  Not because what she said is ficitional, but because it opened up my mind to a completely different world...a world that is right here, but a world that I haven't spent too much time reflecting and thinking about.  hmmm  This is confusing I'm sure.

Remembering Wholeness explores the spiritual realm of Energy.  Tuttle talks about how we are creators...born creators...on Earth here to create and learn how to create.  And through some of the things she explains and teaches, she encourages us all to create the life we want through our thoughts -- through energy.  Some of this, I admit, I thought was a little crazy at first.  Yet at the same time, it rang true.  There's a vernacular used with energy work.  Phrases like "Living your truth" and such are often used and then overused by society.  Talking about having our energy flow properly and things or the sort...connecting our energy with others...and if you are new to the topic, it can seem too much.  Strange.  Really out there.  But, as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are certain doctrines that we recognize as truths.  We are all born with the light of Christ in us for one.  And as I read her book, I found I had been subconsciously substituting "energy" words with my own "religious" words.  So, when she would talk about energy, or connecting our energy with me it made complete sense.  If we all have the light of Christ in us, perhaps that's the energy I can focus on.  It is light.  It is energy.  It is the power to create happiness.  Right?  (As a side note: Carol Tuttle, herself, is a very active of the LDS church.)

All I can say is that I have found more peace in my life, more calm and more happiness, as I have tried to implement just a little bit of what she talks about.  It's an interesting book to read and one that I think we can all take pieces from.  Did I agree with or accept everything she says ~ no.  But overall, I really enjoyed reading it.  If anything, I felt empowered when I was reminded that I am in control of more things than I think, while being humbled remembering that I have a Father in Heaven who is in control of it when things don't turn out the way I'd like, there's a reason.  And most likely a really good reason.

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

While I was in Utah doing therapy with Samantha, I wanted to read some books.  I also wanted to write a book...but that's another story.  I started reading Gone With the Wind but as much as I loved it (and am still loving it), I felt a deep desire to finish a book while I was gone, and I knew at the rate I was going, I wouldn't do it.  I really had this deep desire to finish something...and this book fell into my lap.

It was at the BYU sidewalk sale for only $2.00.  I bought it, read it, and it was finished in only a couple nights.  It was a perfect book for what I was looking for.

It was fast.  And it was overall happy.

The book revolves around the relationship of Jack and Laurel Cooper.  In the first chapter of the book, you are made very aware of how deep their love for each other is and the rest of the book is a reflection on their lives together -- how their romance began and evolved over their married life.  Their children read letters that Jack wrote Laurel every Wednesday during their life together.  I actually did that one year for Marcus for Christmas...but they were Sunday Letters.  And I'll tell you what, that is a commitment!  But it was really fun to do.  For one year I wrote him every Sunday and at Christmas, I printed them off and bound them in a book.  It was a fun project.  Anyway...back to the book.

What I liked about the book is that I was actually surprised.  I thought it would be very predictable but it wasn't all of the time.  I enjoyed that.  And, at the end, I had the self satisfaction I was looking for of completing a book on that trip as well as feel hopeful and happy about life.  It's a good book to read one time.  I enjoyed it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Callie's School Pictures

Ah, sweet Callie.  Recently I've been looking through old pictures, and seeing her as a tiny baby I realize how much she has changed and matured.  But, looking at this school picture, I see that same little baby with the beautiful almond shaped eyes, golden brown skin, and big 'ole smile.  Ah, she just makes my heart melt.  I can't believe my baby will be 5 in January!!!  What a sweetheart.

The 4 year old class.

The whole preschool...3 and 4 year olds.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Boy of My Dreams

Tonight I sit with Micah curled up on my chest...and I think about how we got here.

You see, Micah's story really began 3 years ago.

Three years ago we were living in Spokane, Washington.  Marcus and I both felt like it was time to start the adoption process again and it was right around that time when the dreams came.  I kept having a recurring dream, which doesn't normally happen to me.  And so, I paid attention.  My dream included a young black boy...maybe 5 or 6 years old.  The dream wasn't too detailed.  I just remember seeing him and knowing he was my son.  Though lacking in detail, the dream was a happy one.  This dream would enter my sleep at least 4 times a week for a few weeks.

Then the dreams stopped.

Over the next few years, we had a difficult time even getting approved for this adoption.  We moved to California and all our paperwork went through the state of California.  Fingerprints kept being denied and had to be resubmitted and it just seemed like one thing after another held up our paperwork.  It was very frustrating.  Even the adoption agency was baffled at all the problems we were having.

Once approved -- we waited.  Waited for a birth parent to find us and choose us.  We prayed for all birth parents, but specifically that our birth mom would recognize us...that we'd be led to each other.

Before Micah, we had a couple adoption placements fall through.  Those were very painful experiences.

Only about two weeks after a failed placement, we were contacted by our birth mother.  I was still heartbroken about our failed placement and so I didn't take this email from Lindsey too seriously.  I answered her questions and was open and honest.  But I really didn't think anything would come from the correspondence.  I figured her email was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father giving me encouragement to not give wait for our baby.  Never did I imagine that Lindsey was preciously who we were waiting for.

After weeks of emailing at least once a day, we met.

Lindsey, her mom, and friend came down to visit us and we spent the day at Happy Hollow.  During that meeting, our caseworker discussed what it would look like if we were to move forward...if Lindsey were to place her baby with us.  Honestly, we weren't eager for her to decide if we were her family or not.  We had been through 2 people who had changed their minds and I wanted to make sure Lindsey felt good about her choice.  I didn't want her to feel any kind of pressure from us, and we tried to make sure she knew that.  However, during that meeting, after a very lengthy discussion...we had a special gift exchange.  It was Sammy's birthday that coming weekend, so they got Samantha a gift and Callie one...just because.  We got her some bath stuff to remind herself to take care of herself....and then, she gave us a gift.  In it were baby clothes and a beautiful letter.  At the end, she wrote, "Congratulations.  It's a boy!"  From that point on, our relationship really began to take off.  Even still, I kept all of this quiet, not quite yet ready to share the news with everyone.

We continued our emails, phone calls, and get-togethers.  We were loving Lindsey more and more, but I still didn't believe it was real.  I was afraid to really believe this was going to happen...just in case.

The closer things got, the more real it became.  Marcus and I have always wanted an open adoption, but we didn't really know what that would be like.  Meeting Lindsey and getting to know her and love her...we realized what this open adoption would be like and it felt so so good.  I know we had been waiting for a baby, but all of a sudden, I wasn't thinking about a baby.  I was always thinking about Lindsey.  I was consumed thinking about her.  And we realized, if Lindsey had said she didn't want an open adoption anymore, we would be crushed.  I would feel like I lost a sister.

Not everyone will be able to understand this.  I'm not sure I would totally get it if I hadn't experienced it myself.  But when something like this is right, even when pain is involved, there is a bond that is created.  Lindsey would always comment on how much peace she good she felt about this decision because she truly felt like it was the right thing to do.  I don't think anything is ever worth sacrificing that divine peace you receive when you know what you are doing is right.  However, one would be completely absurd to believe that the peace replaces all pain.  Lindsey was going to go through a great loss, and because we love her so much, that was hard for me to be a part of.  We continually prayed that she would feel comfort, peace, and an overwhelming abundance of the Savior's love for her...especially when things got hard.

Micah's birth story is incredible to me.  I'm so honored that Lindsey included me in those intimate moments (or in her case...hours and hours and hours).

A week or so before Micah was born, when Lindsey was over, we talked about the upcoming birth and adoption placement.  I shared with her the dreams I had had three years ago.  In a way, I'm grateful for the pain we experienced with those failed placements.  I think those other kids would have been just fine.  We could have been a happy family.  But Lindsey was supposed to enter our lives, and we were supposed to enter hers.  Lindsey will always be a part of Micah's life.  Her standing, her presence, and her influence will always be a part of who he is and who he becomes.  I, again, feel honored to be her son's raise him.  And I'm so glad for Micah that he will always know the humble, faithful, and beautiful mom who brought him into this world, gave him life, and gave him a future she didn't feel like she could give him.  

Micah is already such a blessing.  He brings such a soothing, calm, and peaceful spirit about him.  I know he will be a source of light and peace in our home and in the lives of all who love him.

He is the little boy we have waited for.
He is the boy of my dreams.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Micah's Birth Story

There are so many miracles that have happened in the past few months and so much that I want to document.  But, today, I'll begin at his birth.

On Monday, while visiting teaching Heather, I got a phone call.  I didn't answer because I didn't recognize the number and was more concerned about my visit with Heather and Lisa.  Then, Heather's home phone rang.  It was Peggy (my mother-in-law).

"Jenny?  Lindsey's water broke."

I immediately left and called Lindsey.  Sure enough, she was in the hospital and waiting for me to come up.

I drove up to the hospital and hung out with Lindsey and her mom.  There, we waited, and waited.  We played Pictionary, talked, tried to sleep.  We ate a little, laughed, and I finished a blanket (that I was giving to her) right in front of her.  Yeah.  She was a week, I didn't get things done on time (thank you Hailey for helping me).  People came and visited.

Then, contractions.  She had been having them before, but now, they were the real deal and hurting.  It was interesting being in the room with her.  Over the past few months my love for her has grown so much, and it was painful for me to see her in pain.  She was champ though.  Seriously.  A champ.

29 hours after labor, and 22 hours after ACTIVE labor, Micah was born.

I can't explain how incredible it was to be in that room with her.  First of all, I was completely touched that she wanted me to be there with her and her mom.  Her grandma came as well, and so it was this team of women...a room full of so much love.  I was honored to be among this small circle.  In fact, I told Lindsey that I think I was more emotional than she was!  Yes, she was working hard and was focusing on getting the job done (which she had been hoping, I'm sure, had happened 15 hours before).  But seeing her work so hard to bring this little life into the world, and knowing what that meant for our family...I was so overwhelmed.  Often Cindy (Lindsey's mom) would lovingly look over to me as I just cried.  Those moments are priceless to me.  I wish I had the words to explain this all.  Birth is a miracle.  Lindsey is a miracle.

After Micah was born, we stayed in Lindsey's room.  He was weighed, cleaned up, and I was able to hold him skin to skin....all 9 lbs 4 oz of him!  He had a slight fever and had a bit of trouble getting the fluid out of his lungs, but he was fine.

It was a little while before everything was cleaned up and ready before the men-folk were able to come back in.  Marcus had to wait a good 20 minutes before he was allowed in, along with Lindsey's grandpa and father.

I held him.  Marcus held him.  Lindsey, her mom, and her grandma held him.  There was so much love in that room all because of this one little man.

oooo look at that little tongue

First picture of Mommy, Daddy, and Micah
(Remember...about 30 hours without a shower and real sleep)

I instantly fell in love with him.  I credit that all to Lindsey.  With adoption, sometimes the adoptive family misses out on some of the bonding time.  I didn't carry him for 9 months and feel him move.  There's just a lot that the adoptive family "misses" out on.  And when Callie was born, I was prepared by others that it could take some time to bond, that the mother/daughter bond may not be immediate.  I immediately fell in love with her, but it did take me a couple weeks before I felt like she was my daughter.  And the moment when I felt that connection with her was a spiritual one.  I remember exactly where I was sitting, the time of day, and the feeling I had.

When Micah was born, that feeling came the day he was born.  Once Lindsey knew we were her family, she let us into her heart and his life.  She allowed us to experience it all with her, the best she could anyway.  Being in that room with her during the labor and delivery, I know I wasn't doing the work, but I felt a part of it.  I felt like all those adoptions in the past couple years that have fallen through were because we were waiting for him.  It just all felt perfect.  He's perfect.

Going home

Since he's been home, we have loved holding him, cuddling him, feeding him, just being with him.  He's such a blessing...such a joy.  There's a peace that all newborns carry with them.  They are fresh and new.  Pure and clean.  He has slowed down our lives and brought a spirit of love and joy into our home in more abundance.  We look forward to the days ahead and for the years ahead with Lindsey and her family.  This little man is surrounded by so much love.  There are so many people who have been praying for him and loving him before he even made his earthly debut.

Welcome Micah.

We love you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I hate playing catch up.  So much has been going on, and it'll take some time to get it down.  And I'm tired.  For now, the biggest update is that we're back from Utah, got in a car accident on the way home from Utah (we're all ok and it wasn't our fault), and we'll be expecting a baby boy any day now.


Until are some pictures that I recently came across.


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