Vision Statement: Strengthening Eternal Families by Promoting and Defending Adoption and
Increasing our Involvement in the Community

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part 2

Eric and Heather are a prospective adoptive couple who are sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services. Eric and Heather hope that by sharing their experiences others will feel the same peace and support they have received and gain a better understanding of how the adoption process works.

Click on the following to read their previous posts:

Eric and I had spent a lot of time talking with other adoptive couples and even though many of the couples went through different agencies, every couple we spoke with said that LDS Family Services has great education classes and offers support that is hard to find elsewhere so we decided to attend an orientation to learn more. Since we had both recently started new jobs, it was difficult to take an afternoon off to attend the orientation in Layton. We got permission from the case workers in Layton to attend the orientation in Salt Lake City.

We went to the orientation not really knowing what to expect and still contemplating if this was the right agency for us. While we were there, we had the opportunity to discuss many of our concerns with the case worker and other couples. We were reassured by meeting with other couples in similar situations that we were not alone and there are people who understand what we are going through. While we reviewed the information, we felt a great sense of unity with all those who were in the room.

That meant a lot to us because while we had received a lot of love and support from those people who are close to us, most of them really didn’t understand what we were going through because they had never been there. It was nice to talk to people who had struggled with the same trials and who truly understood the pain and heartache that we were feeling.

By attending the orientation, we gained greater insight about what to expect while completing the adoption process. We were assured that the process would not be easy but that there would be many resources along the way to help. We were amazed at the love and unity that we felt, just in the orientation and how the Spirit in the room was so strong and we felt a great sense of peace and comfort.

We left the orientation with a greater understanding of what to expect throughout the process and felt like LDS Family Services has a lot to offer adoptive couples but we were still not positive if this was the agency that we would be placed with our baby. After a lot of thought and prayer, we decided to schedule an intake interview and explore our options further.

Intake Interview
The idea of an intake interview was a difficult one for us. It felt like it was an interview to see if whether or not we were fit to be parents. The idea that just about anyone could become a parent but we had to be interviewed was a hard concept for us. While we understood that undergoing screenings is a necessary step in placing a child, we were afraid that if we didn’t have the right answers to the questions, our dream of becoming parents would be lost. Regardless of our fears and anxiety about the interview, we knew we had to do it, so we went ahead and scheduled the interview for an evening after work.

After meeting with Judy for just a few minutes, our nerves were quickly settled and we were able to be ourselves. We spent the first part of the interview just getting to know each other. She asked us to tell her a little about each of us and how we met. We each have different versions of how we met so Eric started off by telling her how he thinks we met and then I told her how we really met. We spent a while laughing and joking about our story while we got to know each other.

Judy then asked us what brought us to LDS Services. We were completely honest with her and told her that we felt strongly about adopting, but we weren’t sure about where we would find our baby. We told her that we started with LDS Services for two reasons. The first being the feeling of love and support that you can find with people that share your same values and beliefs, and the second reason being that LDS Services fit better financially within our current situation. Judy was very understanding and she was so kind to share her own personal experience with adoption and she reassured us that we were right in thinking that we were looking for our baby and not just any baby. Throughout the interview, she was very considerate of that and continually said, “If you decide to go through us.” We weren’t sure what we were doing, and I am sure she was very well aware of that, but she was very sensitive towards our thoughts and feelings. The rest of the interview was spent reviewing the adoption packet and going into greater details about the adoption process.

We had been praying for months as to whether or not LDS Services was the agency we should continue with and during our interview, we felt the reassurance that this is where we were supposed to be and this was the agency we were to move forward with.

Eric and Heather's Adoption Journey- Part 1

Introducing Eric and Heather, a prospective adoptive couple who will be sharing their experiences in a series of guest posts about what it’s like to go through the adoption process with LDS Family Services.

We are excited for the opportunity to share our adoption experience with you and hope that you may find something that resonates with your own thoughts and experiences in our blog posts. Our dear friends, who have been or are currently in similar situations, have helped us find great peace and comfort as they have shared their excitement and concerns about adoption with us. Our hope is that this blog will help others feel the same peace and support we received in knowing that we all are not alone in our situations and experiences.

Eric and Heather met each other at a Young Single Adult Activity. Their adoption journey began when they were newlyweds:

Background and Infertility Diagnosis
Eric graduated with his Bachelor’s the month before we were married and I had about a year before I would graduate. We decided to wait until I was finished with school before having children. In April of 2008, when I was just a few months away from graduation, we decided that it was close enough, so we started trying. We were thrilled and nervous all the same time. After about six months with no luck, we decided to make an appointment with my doctor. I was put on some medicine for several more months but still no luck. I went off the medicine after a while and we just decided we were going to see what happened. During this time, we had almost everyone we knew comment on why it wasn’t happening for us. It seemed like everyone knew what was wrong but us. It had been about a year and a half when I went back to that same doctor and he said that we still had some options but that maybe we should test Eric, just to make sure everything was okay. We made an appointment with the Andrology clinic down at the University of Utah that same month and after what seemed like forever, we were called with the results. I remember talking with the nurse and thinking to myself, “This isn’t how it is supposed to be,” and wondering how I was going to tell Eric. Eric actually came home as I was hanging up the phone with the nurse and we talked about it and he said exactly what I needed to hear. Eric is always so optimistic and always trying to look at the bigger picture and see what we can learn from the trials we go through. It took us several months to decide what we wanted to do. The results that we received did not indicate that we would never be able to conceive, they stated that it would be very difficult, but not impossible, so it seemed as though we went back and forth multiple times on what we should do.

The Decision to Adopt
After spending a lot of time on our knees and in the temple, we decided to move forward with adoption. I can honestly say that I am thrilled about the idea of adoption and I feel very strongly that this is the right path for Eric and I to be on. However, I think the reason it took us over a year to make this decision is because I thought that once we made the decision to adopt, we wouldn’t be saddened or even jealous when we heard of others becoming pregnant. I was so sure that if we were to be blessed by having our child come to us through adoption, I would no longer be bothered when someone complained about being pregnant or commented on how they wish they didn’t have to have morning sickness or gaining weight. I didn’t understand why I would be bothered by such comments if I was so thrilled about adoption. It made me nervous and made me second guess my previous promptings and feelings towards adoption. Luckily, we have some wonderful couples in our ward that have adopted and we were able to talk with them and hear their thoughts and feelings. They helped me realize that I was not alone in my feelings and that they, too, had similar feelings, and still do. After several discussions with each of these couples, our worries became smaller and I felt even greater peace about the concerns that I had. Eric and I spent a lot of time talking about our feelings and impressions that we had and we realized that our greatest desire was to be parents rather than to become pregnant.

We continued to pray about our decision and I remember being in the temple one day and having the impression that everything would be okay and that we were to move forward with adoption.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Understanding the Adoption Tax Credit

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and Jackson Hewitt have partnered to help adoptive families understand the Adoption Tax Credit. For tax tips from the professionals, please view this video produced by Jackson Hewitt:

This year, dramatic changes benefit adoptive parents, so it is important to understand the new tax laws, and to consider consulting a tax professional. Please don't hesitate to call with any questions you may have.

Call 1-800-234-1040 or visit

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Volunteers Needed

  • Do YOU have an interest in Graphic Design or Computer Technology?  Do you know someone with those talents?  If so, the Layton agency could use your help in designing a tri-fold pamphlet to be distributed throughout the community with the purpose of reaching expectant parents who could benefit from the services LDS Family Services has to offer to them. 
  • We are looking for a location for our Annual Birthmother Dinner coming up on May 4th.  If you have resources or connections to an affordable location which could seat up to 60 people please contact us by March 4th.
  • As always, if you are interested in serving on one of our committees- Activities, Education, or Outreach- please contact us.  We can use your help! 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Adoption Themed Movie: Change of Plans

Change of Plans is the fourth film in an initiative sponsored by Wal-Mart and P&G to bring back “Family Movie Night”.

Change of Plans is the story of Sally and Jason Danville, a young couple with plenty of love, talent, and career opportunities - and no responsibilities. When Sally's childhood friend dies and entrusts her with four children, Sally and Jason begin a journey that changes the focus of their lives and expands their definition of family. Three of these four children have become siblings through international adoption, and the movie offers a challenging, heart-warming insight into the joys and struggles of building a family from a group of strangers.

TUNE IN: Saturday, January 8th at 8/7 c on FOX

Watch theTrailer for Change of Plans here.