We are Alan and Danielle! We have been married for 13 years and have three beautiful and special daughters. Abigale is 8, Preslie is 4, and Adalynn is 2. We would like to share our story in two different parts as we have adopted two of our daughters and each of their stories are different and unique.
When we were first married we like many other couples were excited to start a family together. We tried for years and years and after many hardships were thrilled to find out we were expecting. Everything went well through the pregnancy and we were so excited to welcome our beautiful baby Abigale into our family four years later. What a blessing she is to our family.
After having Abigale we started trying again when she was six months old because we were worried it would take a long time again and wanted to continue on with our family. After many medications, treatments, surgeries, and procedures and three years later we still had not become pregnant again. We were so frustrated with everything and to be honest a bit angry with Heavenly Father as well. It was obviously possible so why was it not happening?
One day I was sitting in church and had the most incredible experience that we were to adopt. It scared me a bit since this wasn't something we knew anything about and we really hadn't thought seriously about it at this point. We prayed and knew for sure it was something we were supposed to pursue. We called and started the process to adopt through LDS Family Services.
We worked hard and about six months later we were approved. We thought this was the magical time for us and were so excited at the possibilities. Very soon after we were approved we started to feel that our baby was not with LDS Family Services and we were so confused. We set to work trying to find out which agency our Heavenly Father was trying to lead us to.
We were shocked to find out how much more expensive the private adoption agencies were and we knew we had no where near that kind of money. We were very nervous about pursuing this path but knew we were doing the right thing, so we worked hard to be faithful and put our trust in Heavenly Father. As we did our homework extensively about all the agencies in Utah we began to narrow down the list and with prayer were able to find out exactly which agency we should sign up with-still terrified and not having a clue what we were doing we moved forward anyway.
They were helpful and because we had gone through LDS Family Services and they do such an amazingly thorough job in screening their applicants the second agency was happy to take everything we had done for LDS and approved us in two weeks. We were on our way, still terrified and very unsure of what was to come. We were presented with many adoption opportunities some we felt good about and some we didn’t. One of the most important lessons we learned through this experience was to rely on Heavenly Father every step of the way as we knew he was the only one that knew which baby was supposed to come to our family.
We had one failed adoption that was heart-wrenching. I cried for days and again felt angry and confused and abandoned by Heavenly Father. The day we were to get the baby, the mother all of a sudden chose another family. We still don’t know why that happened and got very little of our questions answered. We were forced to move on anyway and again set our sights forward anticipating our future. At least I could console myself with the fact that we had one beautiful, perfect child to love and we knew we were blessed because of it.
We finally got the magical call we had been waiting for. A birthmother in Washington was strongly considering us and wanted a phone call with us. The time was set but she never called. Again we were saddened and tried to prepare ourselves for what might be coming again. She ended up choosing us anyway but was too nervous to make the call. She was to have the baby in two weeks but her previous babies had come early. We, (me, my mom, and Abigale) left immediately to be there in case she had the baby. The agency tried to tell us not to bring Abigale as there would be many instances that would not be appropriate to have her there. We strongly disagreed; she was four and was just as excited as we were to meet this new member of our family. That’s why we decided to bring my mom, to help with Abigale when she couldn’t be with us. It was a perfect solution.
She finally had the baby and at 1:00 a.m. we found out we were proud parents of another daughter. We were thrilled! Sadly the birthmother decided she did not want to meet us so we had to wait until she left before we could meet our baby. Alan flew out to be there with us and what a special moment it was when we met our beautiful baby girl. We were both so emotional and grateful, so grateful to Heavenly Father for blessing our family with another beautiful child. After a week we were able to take her home and our family and friends were so excited to meet her.
We often get asked if it felt the same as when we had our biological daughter (something I was honestly scared about). YES, we bonded with her exactly the same and prayed to know and have those same feelings. We did, we knew with 100% surety she was meant to be our daughter. We loved her the instant we met her and the spiritual feelings we felt were special and we will never forget them.
We also hear a lot how scary it is to adopt this way for most people. Yes it was but with following the promptings we received we were led exactly where we needed to be and when we needed to be there. We do not regret being approved through LDS Family Services first as it made the transition much easier, we would highly recommend doing this.
Also-we are not rich! The money part of it was very scary. With the adoption tax credits we were able to get about half of our money back the following year on taxes, what a blessing. Alan got an unexpected promotion at work and we ended up being able to pay back the money we owed within a miraculous amount of time. Remember “Faith overcometh all Fear.” We know that Heavenly Father blessed us because we tried hard to stay close to him through difficult times.