Alan & Danielle
When Preslie was one year old we felt very strongly we were supposed to adopt again. We had just finished paying off the money we had owed for Preslie’s adoption and were a bit hesitant to jump back into debt at the time. But we continued feeling strongly and met with LDS Family Services to start the process again. We felt discouraged as we overheard that many of the caseworkers felt that we already had a baby, why were we already trying to adopt another one. Luckily for us we had an amazing caseworker that didn’t agree. She felt that you just do what you feel prompted to do even if it doesn’t make sense, that’s exactly what we did. After four months we were approved and three months later a birthmother and birthfather started emailing us.
Our caseworker was amazing throughout this time and helped us with knowing how to respond to some of their questions. It was exciting but stressful as we didn’t want to scare them off. We basically got to be very good friends with them through email and they would make comments about their baby fitting in well with our family. But they never officially chose us or put us on firm hold. They actually rarely spoke about the baby and most of our letters back and forth were just getting to know each other. We weren’t sure what was going on and neither was our caseworker. She said she had never had this happen before. That left us feeling very unsure. Again we tried hard to be faithful and move forward with what we felt good about. We weren’t even sure what they were having and when the baby was even due. One day at a time was all we could focus on. We continued this relationship with them for about three months, then their emails started coming less often and we were scared.
Then the emails stopped completely and we tried to prepare ourselves for what we felt was coming. We heard that she had the baby. For about a week we cried and felt horrible about how it was ending and wondered if we had said or done something wrong. No one knew and even our caseworker couldn’t get answers about the situation for us.
About two weeks after hearing that she had the baby and still not hearing anything from them we had to assume that they had decided to keep the baby. Alan and I decided we should write them a letter wishing them good luck and telling them that we loved them and weren’t angry with them. That was a very, very hard letter to write. It was like closing the door permanently on the situation. We sent the letter and heard nothing back.
A few days later they emailed us back thanking us for the letter and told us they had had the baby and it was a girl and all was well. Then they told us taking care of the baby was harder than they thought it was going to be and they had decided they wanted us to adopt her if we still wanted to. Of course we did, we couldn’t have been more thrilled but also felt a deep sadness for them and what they were experiencing.
We were to drive down to Southern Utah and adopt the baby in two days, two days. Man we had a lot to prepare. We were so nervous as we still had never met the birthparents and worried that they wouldn’t like us. Instead of meeting and then adopting their baby later we were to meet them and adopt their baby in that same instant. It was stressful. Before we left Alan and I made sure to take time to pray and get an answer as to if this baby was supposed to be in our eternal family. We didn’t want a baby, we wanted our baby. We felt strongly that she was meant to be in our family and so we wasted no time in getting ready.
We again brought my mom and our two daughters and headed down there. It proved to be a good choice again that they could be there with us and stay with grandma when it was time to do other things.
When the birthparents walked into the room the spirit we felt was indescribable. We felt such a deep connection to them both. We hit it off and all went better than could have been expected. Finally it was time to do the official “placement” of the baby. What a moment. How was it possible to feel such happiness and such sorrow at the same time? While we were elated, we felt such sadness for them. As parents we could understand how deeply that would hurt. When the time came for me to take the baby from the birth mom we just held each other and cried for a long time. I truly loved that young woman both from us getting to know them so well over those months and for being so courageous and strong in that one life-changing moment. Taking the baby from her was one of the most difficult things I have ever done.
We still have a wonderful relationship with them and cherish that. Because our first adoption was a pretty-closed adoption (although we do exchange letters and pictures through the agency) we were pretty scared to have such an open adoption initially. Like everyone else we had heard the horror stories about some of those birthparents and didn’t want any part of it. To be honest, I’m so grateful for our relationship with them and I wish at times that Preslie could have that too. We value it and truly love them like family. I think it works because they never assume to be the parents and act more like family friends. They don’t tread Adalynn any different than the rest of our girls and for that we are grateful. I also think it works because at all times we have kept the focus on “What’s best for Adalynn?” As long as everyone involved stays focused on what is best for the child there is little time for being selfish and causing problems.
We are so grateful for and proud of our family. Adoption is a blessing sent as part of Heavenly Father’s plan for eternal families to be created. We feel so grateful that our family has been touched by adoption and hope someday it can be again.
If you want to know more about our family, check us out on alananddanielle.blogspot.com.
We are always happy to talk openly about our experiences with adoption and welcome any questions anyone may have. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan and Danielle