From Our Family to You
Eight years ago we sat in a doctor’s office. Shocked, we listened while a geneticist advised us not to have any more children. Our daughter, Samantha, was born with a rare genetic condition. Though little is known about it, what is known is that both parents are recessive carriers of a gene that causes the problems. Apparently, we are genetically incompatible, and the only advice a professional could give us was to not have more children. On our drive home, 45 minutes later, we felt that adoption was our path. We later spent time praying to further confirm our thoughts, but as we discussed it in the car, our confusion quickly turned into calm. Our pain turned into peace. No longer sad, we felt a surge of excitement because we had a spiritual confirmation that this was right for our family. We cannot begin to understand what you are going through. But what we do know through our experience with Samantha is that life doesn’t turn out as we plan. No matter what we do, there will always be bends in the road that are so unexpected they throw us off our desired path—sometimes so far that we feel we can’t even see our goal anymore. Through the blessing of adoption, we have children and new extended family in our lives who have blessed us immeasurably. How grateful we are for our bend in the road eight years ago. We pray that you find the answers you are looking for at this time. If adoption is your new path, we pray you find the family that is right for you and your baby. There is no greater peace than feeling you’ve made the right decision; we truly hope that for you.
Occupation: Clinical Child Psychologist
Hobbies: Reading, College Sports, backpacking
Current Favorite Book: Ender's Game
Occupation: Stay at home mom; Storyteller/Writer at www.Adoption.com
Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Baking
Current Favorite Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
So, who are we? We are (in order from oldest to youngest) Marcus, Jenny, Samantha, Callie, and Micah. Samantha you’ve already heard a little about. She is 8 years old, full of spunk and pure happiness. This girl brings joy wherever she goes. Her quiet example is constantly teaching us how to become better. Callie, 6, has always been curious and precocious. She’s full of energy and excitement, loves learning, and is happiest when she is around others. Micah, 2, is a delight! He is pretty easy-going but has definitely found his voice and knows how to make his opinions known, loud and clear. He has brought a gift of fervent love to our family.
We are a family who is passionate about…well….family. We enjoy going on walks together, playing soccer in the park, jumping on our trampoline, and watching movies! (I mean, really. Who doesn’t love a great movie?! We don’t get to the movie theater too often, but we frequently can be found cuddled up on the couch with some popcorn, watching a Red Box movie.) We especially love our holiday traditions. Halloween and Christmas are probably our family favorites. The house undergoes holiday transformations with the appropriate décor, music, and smells of seasonal goodies. Jenny loves to bake and so starting in October the house is full of pumpkin spices and then transitions into cinnamon and nutmeg toward the end of the year. It’s a time for us to not only have fun, but to spend more time together as a family. We are fortunate to live close to extended family and are able to eat Sunday dinners together. The adults chat while the cousins play. It’s a day of the week that we definitely look forward to. Aside from our time together on the weekends, Monday night is also special. We have set aside this time as our weekly family night. This is a time when we have fun together but also are able to have mini lessons. We are able to address certain issues that our children may be dealing with, or just short lessons on values that we hope will become a part of our family culture. Faith. Hope. Forgiveness. Friendship. Gratitude. Service. And no family night would be complete without a treat.
Marcus is one of the best people I know. Truly he is a man who lives a life of integrity. He’s my husband and yes, my very own personal Superman…the stalwart, true, ever faithful…Marcus. Shortly after we began dating, we went on a road trip from Utah to California. I remember sitting outside on the grass with three other friends. Already I knew that I could marry Marcus. I didn’t know if we would get married, but he certainly was the type of guy I had always wanted. Smart. Funny. Compassionate. Athletic—Marcus enjoys Frisbee, soccer, football, basketball, wrestling, mountain biking, surfing, and exercising in general. We used to play racquetball when there were courts around. (Maybe we’ll pick that up again one day.) But what was so special and intriguing about him was that he was things that I didn’t even know I wanted! So different from others I had dated in the past, Marcus is quiet. Observant. Patient. Frugal. Articulate. He grounds me in a way that I didn’t realize I needed. When we were dating, I found myself so calm and peaceful around him. Don’t get me wrong, happy butterflies still flew clumsy circles in my stomach non-stop as I eagerly anticipated each date, but I always felt such ease and comfort with him. It felt good. It felt, a bit, like I was whole. And only about a year later, we were married! I couldn’t ask for a better partner to be by my side. While other people have hobbies, Marcus’s hobby is his family. The kids love it because he’s a pro at wrestling, being a monster, and creating games on the spot! I’m so grateful for the husband and father he is. When I’m sad he’s the one I want to be with and when I’m happy he’s the one I want to celebrate with. He’s. The. One. And I feel like one pretty incredibly lucky girl.
Jenny has added so much “life” to my life. Marrying Jenny was like finally watching T.V. in color instead of years and years of black and white. (The funny thing is that I didn’t always realize I was watching an old, black and white T.V. until I met Jenny). It’s so fun to see how excited and passionate she is about things, even little things like carving pumpkins or giving fun Christmas presents. Remember in high school when your teacher would ask you to pick a partner for a class project? You would look around the room and try to find someone that you knew would help you get a good grade, but at the same time would be fun to work with? That’s jenny. One of the things I admire most about Jenny is that she is so competent at everything she does, but can make things fun too. I trust her completely with whatever she sets her mind to. In her free time, Jenny enjoys reading and writing. Once an English teacher, she just can’t seem to kick the habit of staying up too late to finish a book! She does what she can to be involved with the kids’ interests, even outside the home. This year that meant volunteering in the classroom teaching the art program and being the assistant soccer coach. She is certifying to become a holistic health coach so she can help others on their journey to become their best self. She is also a weekly contributor/writer for Adoption.com. She loves sharing her passions with others and connecting with those around her. But nothing is more important to her than being a wife and mother. She would drop everything, and at times has, to be there for her kids when they needed her. Her family is first.
When we began the adoption process many years ago, we knew we wanted an open adoption. We didn’t quite know what that meant as we hadn’t experienced it firsthand. We did, however, feel that it would be important for our future child to have that openness with his/her birth family. When Callie was born and her birthmother chose us to raise her daughter, we were humbled and so full of love and gratitude. We flew out to Michigan and there, we held Callie for the first time. We fell in love. Her big, dark eyes looked up at us and we connected. It was an amazing experience filled with so many divinely planned moments. What we were unprepared for was the amount of overwhelming love we’d have for her birthmother. We are grateful for Latice. We had been praying for our future birthmother, wherever she was, that she would have peace in her heart. But when we met Latice for the first time…wow. We were so overwhelmed. Her humility and tenderness were so moving. The time we shared together is so precious to us. We took pictures. We laughed a little. We cried together. We shared all we could in those few hours that felt like seconds.
Much to our disappointment, and through no desire of our own, we lost contact with Callie’s birthmother soon after placement. Until Callie again has contact with her birthmother, we are very open about Callie’s story, sharing with her all we know about her birthmother, Latice. Callie likes to hear about when we met after she was born. In fact, Callie had an assignment for school to bring 3 items that were important to her and explain why. One of her items was a picture from her room of her as a newborn baby with her two mothers’ hands holding her. We are so grateful for the pictures we have together with her and hope that one day we will reconnect.
Our experience with Micah’s birthmother in quite different. We were able to slowly build a relationship over the course of her pregnancy. Jenny was even in the labor and delivery with Lindsey, helping her through the contractions and ultimately there for Micah’s birth. It was a sacred experience to share together. We felt humbled, yet again, that she would consider having Jenny in that room with her. She was brave and strong. It can’t be described in any other way other than…sacred. Jenny felt as if she stood on holy ground being in that labor and delivery room. Angels must have been surrounding Lindsey throughout that entire time and giving her the strength she needed. We see Lindsey and her family from time to time and we feel a deep connection to her. We also stay in contact through emails, texts, facebook, etc. Lindsey’s family has completely embraced our entire family. They love Sammy and Callie just as much as they love Micah. There is a closeness that we did not expect, and it feels so wonderful. It feels complete. We recognize how important we have been in each other’s journeys. In fact, Lindsey asked Jenny to be her matron of honor when she gets married in January! We have always had some understanding that maintaining a level of openness is better for the child. But what we have experienced, what we never expected, was that our hearts were made more complete from having a new extended family of our own! We feel immensely blessed.
Each journey is different. Often there are roads that twist and turn, sometimes uncontrollably. In our twists, during some of our detours, there has been a great amount of joy than we could not have imagined. We found our children. We have found new family. You may feel that at the moment you are on one of life’s detour. That may be the case. But we know it’s possible to have joy and peace again and pray that you find your joy and your family if that is your desire.
With all our love,
Marcus, Jenny, Samantha, Callie, and Micah
Contact our caseworker:
Dave Boschen 831.438.3736 (firstname.lastname@example.org)