Thanks to everyone who attended our FSA BBQ! We had a blast! We had a lot of new faces this year and made some great memories!
We are already looking forward to our next activity which will be our big Halloween Bash so be sure to mark your calendars for Saturday, October 26th at 11:30am. More details will be coming your way soon!
If you just had too much fun and October seems too far away, don't fret, we have a GIRLS NIGHT OUT on Thursday, August 1st at 7pm at Kneaders in Layton. This is a great opportunity to get out and connect with other women in the adoption world! We'd love to see you there!
Below are some pictures of just some of the awesome guests who attended the BBQ. (Please excuse the blurriness in the pictures...little hands played a role in this).
Ladies! It's time for another GIRLS NIGHT OUT! We had such great feedback from our last one and we are super excited to do this again! It is such a great opportunity to get out with the girls while supporting each other in adoption....
A spring adoption conference is held annually where all members of the adoption triad come together to learn. Whether it is a family just thinking about the possibility of adopting, to a birth parent who has recently placed a child for adoption as well as adoption professionals come together to learn from experts in the field as well as from each other.
This years conference will be held on March 20 & 21 at The South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah.
Our road to having our
own family was not easy. We were married in 2005. We were expecting to get
pregnant soon after but it never happened. The next year I went to a fertility
specialist to see what was going on and they did tests and I was told I had
unexplained infertility. They had no answers for me. I later had problems with
a few cysts on my ovaries and was told that I did not ovulate. My husband also
got tested and was told he was also unable to have children the normal way. It
was devastating news. I wanted to be a mother and there was nothing we could do
A friend of mine when I was young was a foster child. I saw how it changed her
life and I admired the process and the people who took her in.
We were in our 4th year of marriage and I suggested to my husband that we could
consider becoming a foster home. He did not know anything about it but, was
very supportive of my desire to do it. We attended the classes and was
certified. We were anxious to be parents. It was our turn to have a family.
We got several phone calls about different sibling groups but none of them
ended up working for us. We waited for a placement for a year. I never imagined
it would take so long to get our first placement.
I got a call about a sibling group of 4 placement. they were in a hurry to find
them a home. I had a 5 passenger vehicle and a 3 bedroom house. It was a
strange feeling because it felt right to me, however it wasn't going to work. I
was very sad to tell her no. She called back an hour later and asked if I would
take the 3 youngest girls. The oldest boy is a half brother that was going to
stay with his grandmother. I called Brett and he also felt it was right and was
not even hesitant to say yes, even though we were about to take on 3 kids. She
told me to come get them the next morning.
They were the sweetest kids. We fell in love with them so quickly. These poor
kids however were not taught anything. They were 5,2,1 when I got them. All in
diapers, all drinking bottles all day, all with about 10 words in their
vocabularies. In a sense, I was given three 1 year olds. All were born
premature because of use of drugs during pregnancy- one born at 26 weeks and
stayed in the NICU for almost 4 months. Just a sad situation.
We spent almost a year
being foster parents which implied that we were to go take the kids to see
their mom once a week, take them to court dates, take them to many doctors,
speech therapy, occupational therapy, special ed schools, and to see them
progress was amazing. They were like new kids and it felt so good to be able to
help and allow them to have a different life and to learn. This made the whole
process worth it.
Their mom had every chance to get them back but never really tried. But she did
however drag it out as long as she could. This was the most scary and
frustrating thing for us. We never knew if and when they would get to go back.
That will be the case in any child you will foster. We were incredibly attached
to them and to lose them would be heartbreaking. With kids 3 and younger,
parents have 8 months to get everything done (anger management classes,
parenting classes, get an approved place to live, get a stable job, mental
health assessment and in my case, stay out of jail) With kids 4 and older, the
parents have 12 months. Since I had kids in both groups. There were more court
dates and rights were terminated for the younger 2 first but no trial yet so
the visits and such continued until she had dragged the process out as long as
After the allotted time, there was a trial. The people who testified were the
social worker, myself, the mothers and fathers teachers of the classes they
were supposed to take, her therapist people, the parents and other people
relevant to the case. It lasted about 5 hours. At the end of that trial the
judge terminated rights permanently. A few months later we went back to court for the adoption, which was the first
time that we did not dread going to court.
We have been very lucky. We were able to help these children have things and
tools that they would have never had and opportunities to do things that they
would never do. This makes everything worth it. It was a lot to take on but I
was lucky and I knew it.
Last month, we were able to have the most amazing, special day our family will
ever have. We were sealed to our children in the temple. What a beautiful
feeling it was to know that they were mine, forever.
We are the luckiest parents in the world and we are so grateful that we have
our family, even though it did not come the normal, easy way, it was our way
and it was perfect. The girls have come a long way and are doing great in
school and other aspects of their lives. I am grateful that we are the ones that were able to change their lives. They certainly changed ours.
A couple from the Layton Agency will be featured in a documentary called CARRY THIS LOAD that will be premiering at the LDS Film Festival this year.
Here's the synopsis: Growing up as a Latter-day Saint, members often have a clear idea as to how their life will turn out; full-time mission, temple marriage, offspring. But what happens when life doesn't turn out as expected?
The film will premiere on Friday, February 25th @ 2:30pm in Orem, Utah. For more details, visit this website: www.ldsff.org
Our Layton Adoption Group (formerly Layton FSA) meeting will be this Thursday, January 17th at 1:00pm at the Layton Agency. Everyone is welcome! We will be talking about future activities and what we would like to see happen with our chapter. We would LOVE everyone's input! If you would like to be involved but can't attend, please let us know! Hope to see you there!
In June of 2010, our dream of being parents finally came true. The adoption of our daughter became official that day. We felt so grateful to be parents of the most beautiful little girl we had ever seen! We had prayed and prayed for that day to come and to have it come true was absolutely surreal.
Our road to parenthood wasn’t an easy one. In fact, it was quite the opposite. It was a broken road, full of bumps and twists and turns that we didn’t foresee when we decided to go off birth control and start a family in October 2002.
Getting pregnant proved to be difficult and after months and months of negative tests, pills, and rounds of diagnostic testing, we sat with a specialist at the University of Utah and heard the brutal diagnosis of “unexplained infertility.”
The specialist explained our options, but none of them provided me with much hope. We didn’t know what to do next, so we did nothing. Before we knew it, two years had gone by. We needed to do something, but with limited funds, infertility treatments were out of our reach. My husband’s brother and his wife had just adopted two boys from foster care. The more we talked with them about foster care, the more we found it to be a possible option for us. We finally made a decision to become foster parents.
After many classes, fingerprinting, a home study, etc., we were ready to bring a child into our home. On July 14, 2009, at approximately 2:20 p.m. we got the call from our caseworker that a blonde, 9 month old baby girl needed a home and her mother was pregnant with another baby so the placement could possibly be for two children. Boy, were we nervous! We decided to jump in with both feet and by 5:00p.m. that same night, we picked up that darling baby girl and instantly fell in love with her.
Five months later, the birthmom gave birth to another baby girl. We were asked to take that baby home from the hospital because they wanted siblings to stay together. Of course we would! The girls were half-siblings. They had the same mother, but different fathers. Raising girls that were just 14 months apart in age was a challenge, especially since we were first-time parents! And being foster parents complicated matters. There were parent visits, doctor visits, caseworker visits, etc. Foster care provided us with many bumps and bruises on our broken road to parenthood. It was a VERY difficult experience. Emotions always ran high and we often felt drained and depleted. It was so overwhelming at times that it was difficult to just relax and enjoy these two sweet girls in our home.
Our first victory was getting the news that we would be able to adopt the oldest girl. That adoption became official in June of 2010. Two weeks later, we were sealed as an eternal family in the Salt Lake City Temple.
We were still fostering the younger baby girl at this time. We were the only parents that the younger baby girl had ever known. She and her sister were extremely close and I couldn’t stand the thought of them being separated. Our biggest nightmare came true, however, and we had to hand over the youngest baby girl to her biological parents just one week shy of her first birthday.
It is so difficult to put into words just how painful that experience was. There really aren’t any words that can describe it. It felt as if our own baby girl had passed away. But at least if a child passes away, you can find comfort in the fact that they are in a better place. Foster care proved to be too challenging on our hearts, and so we did not accept any more placements after that.
Amid our heartache, we found enough courage to try in-vitro fertilization in an attempt to have another child. It proved to be almost as difficult as foster care. We initially became pregnant after we implanted two embryos, but I quickly miscarried them one week later.
Two years have passed again and we are still trying to find peace and healing for our hearts. We are lucky enough to be in contact with our daughter’s birthmother and have been able to see our daughter’s half-sister on more than one occasion since she has returned to live with her birth parents. We are also a “waiting family” through Everlasting Adoptions (www.everlastingadoptions.com) and hope to have another child join our family soon through the miracle of adoption.
No matter what our future holds, we find peace in the fact that we will always be parents because of the adoption of our daughter. She is now four years old and is truly the light of our lives! We know for a fact that God blessed the broken road that led us straight to her!
(Words from Rascal Flatts song, “Bless the Broken Road.”)