Saturday, June 14, 2014

Our Miracle Meg

As I sit down to write this adoption story from start to new beginning, I am overwhelmed with so many emotions. This truly has been a life-changing experience for myself and my family for which we are eternally grateful.

Over the last five years, we have tried unsuccessfully to grow our family. Cameron was always open to the idea of adoption, but I guess I never imagined myself I adopting, so it wasn't something I was really interested in pursuing. After meeting friends and hearing there incredible adoption stories, I became more and more open to learning more about it.

About four months ago, a dear friend of mine shared her experience of adoption in her testimony. I instantly felt the incredible love that comes from our Heavenly Father through the process of adoption. The next day, I started researching what it takes. I talked to Cameron about how I felt and of course, he was on board. After a couple of days, I was still interested in the idea of adoption, but I felt the need to take a step back and wait. I was very confused and didn't understand why I had such a strong impression to be open to it while at the same time, not feeling the need to take the steps necessary to adopt.

The following week, I was talking with a friend who mentioned she knew someone who was pregnant and considering adoption. She asked if Cameron and I had ever considered it. This friend told me that as soon as she knew this mother was looking into adoption, she thought of our family. I was certainly touched and so grateful that she would think of us.

Over the next couple of months, I corresponded with the mother through our mutual contact. At one point, I felt that if this were going to happen, I needed to speak with the mother directly. I got her phone number and put it away for safekeeping.

A few days later, I was driving to pick up Sara from school and felt the strong impression to call her. As she answered the phone and I explained who I was, she told me that just the night before, she and her mom had been discussing her adoption plan and she knew she needed to get in touch with me.  She was grateful I called because it was difficult for her to accept this outcome even though she knew it what was best.

We sat down a few days later to get to know each other and talk about what the process might look like. They explained that the baby would be arriving in the next four weeks.  But first we needed to know for sure that it is what God wanted for our family. Cameron and I both prayed intently for answers. We both came to the understanding that this was a blessing from our Heavenly Father and a great miracle in our lives.

The birth mom invited us to her next doctors appointment where I was able to hear the heartbeat. I instantly felt overwhelmed with love for this baby. There was a lot of anxiety and nervousness leading up to her arrival. But we were confident that this little angel was meant for our family.

The next several weeks were spent shopping, organizing, and putting things together in preparation for her arrival. From the very beginning there were countless experiences that continued to remind us that this is Heavenly Father's plan.

About a week before Meg was born, we sat Sara down and told her she was going to be a big sister. She was beaming with joy and excitement. That will always be one of my favorite moments in time. We knew we needed to keep it a secret until after the adoption papers were signed. That was extremely difficult because we wanted to share the news and excitement with our friends and family. Sara was amazing at keeping the secret. Although I know she was bursting on the inside and glowing on the outside.

The birth mother was scheduled for a C-section on June 5, 2014. We arrived at the hospital early that morning with great anticipation. We could not wait to meet our baby girl! I was able to go back to the recovery room and hold Meg shortly after she was born. He didn't know what it would feel like to hold her, but I felt an instant connection and an overwhelming feeling of love for this little girl.

The next five days, I spent at the hospital caring for her and spending time with the birth mom. I grew to understand and love her even more knowing what kind of sacrifice she was making. Cameron and Sara came up as often as they could and thanks to amazing friends, I was able to stay at the hospital those five days.

We are so thankful for the love and support from our friends and family both here and all over the world.  We truly feel your joy and love for us through this incredible experience.

On June 12, 2014 the papers were officially signed.  We are so thankful for this amazing miracle in our lives and for this angel girl, Meg.

We know that it is through small and simple things that great things are brought to pass and this has truly manifested that for us.  There are countless experiences, people, opportunities and blessings that have brought us here.  And while in and of themselves may be small and even somewhat insignificant, we know they are what brought this miracle in to our lives and for that, we are eternally thankful.  Families are forever and Meg is part of our forever family.  No empty chairs...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

PS - I went to the Ellen Show


 

Hallalujah and happy day!  My friend, Stefanie, and I went to LA to the Ellen Show.  I couldn't believe we were actually there and she gave away an awesome PINK Kitchen-aid Blender and Fall Out Boy CD.  Her guests were Patrick Dempsy (McDreamy) and Mike O'Malley + Fall Out Boy

 


We had so much fun and I'm so glad we got to go... Thank you for inviting me, Stefanie! It was a blast! (Minus the creepy guy at the Greek Restaurant)


Kind of a Big Deal


Someone at our house is turning 5 tomorrow and it's kind of a big deal.  Part of me is freaking out that Sara will be 5 and part of me is so excited for her.  The part of me freaking out is the part that's realizing if she's 5, I'm going to be 33 soon and that just sounds weird.  I still feel like I'm 22 and if I were, I could have been a star on Teen Mom.  But since I'm not actually 22, but 32....

 I feel like the luckiest mom alive to have this 5 year old as part of me.


This past fall, Sara started in a Montessori Kindergarten program set up for kids with birthdays in the 'too young for kindergarten, but too old for preschool' group.  She had completed 2 years of preschool prior and loved it, but she was ready for something more.

She started in a half day program and begged to be put in full-day.  After a couple of weeks, we decided to make the switch.  I was really nervous about it for many reasons, but have since felt like it was the right decision for her and for us. 

The same day she started all day school is the same day I went back to work.  I am working around 25 hours a week for a Commercial Leasing company leasing retail and office space at 7 centers all over the Phoenix area.  I really love it.  There are days when I wish I could be doing the whole 'stay at home mom' thing full-time, but I am excited about my opportunity to use my brain for more than memorizing the lyrics to the Doc McStuffins theme song or coloring inside the lines.  Not that those things aren't important too, I mean, who doesn't love to sing, "Check your ears, check your eyes, find out how much you've grown.  Time for your check-up!"  

C also got a new job recently and is really excited about it.  He is currently in the training process, but very impressed with the company and the people he gets to work with.  He will be the Director of Business Development for a Property Management company in Gilbert.  They are brand new to the area from Texas and C is excited about getting on board with their growth.



Back to the little one... I love spending afternoons with her riding bikes, playing games, and making treats.  She has grown up so much in the last few months and has been learning a lot at school.  I am so proud of the little person she is and so excited about the big person she will become.  She is so smart, caring, thoughtful, active, friendly, and curious.  She asks me the most amazing questions and I am constantly in awe at the way she processes information and creates new ideas. 


She loves to read and she recently started sewing.  She has been making lots of little pillows for her dolls.  She is still a mother hen and loves being around babies.  She has a great memory and loves to learn how to do new things.  She is also very independent and determined to do things on her own, which makes sense given who her mother is.  We have so much fun together watching movies, playing ladder golf, soccer, painting, shopping, eating, and coloring.  She loves to travel and calls herself a 'beach baby'.  Sara really does love the beach and everything about it from the sand to the creepy crawlies to the waves... she really is a beach baby.


My treasure Sara girl is my favorite and I am so happy to be her mom. 


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer of...

The Summer of 2013 has been the summer of many things.  It's been a summer of traveling to Utah, Oregon, and California.  A summer of swimming at the pool, a summer of baking cookies in the car (yes, Cameron actually did this), a summer of spending time with family and friends, a summer of dance, a summer of fun and a summer of loss - for friends and family. 

As I reflect back on the memories of this summer, it's been an emotional one.  There are a lot of things that have happened that have caused me to reflect on what's really important, why I'm here, what my purpose is a wife, mother, daughter, child of God.  I've thought a lot of about how to express and how much to share about the last few months.  I'll do my best.

Some of you may know that earlier this year I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polytheistic Ovarian Syndrome)  I do not have cysts on my ovaries, although that is common with this disease.  I started noticing shortly after Sara was born that something felt different with my body.  Some women with this disease suffer agonizing pain, physical deformations, and other extreme symptoms.  I am fortunate to have had small physical changes.  One of those changes is alopecia, in which my hair comes out in large clumps at a time.  Another one of those physical effects has been my inability to stay pregnant.  In the last 3 years, we have experienced the loss of 3 embryos.  Although it's been hard to accept, I know that those little bodies were not ready to come to Earth and that Heavenly Father's plan is much bigger than ours.  We may not be able to have another baby and if we do, that will be amazing and we will love him/her as much as we love our treasure girl, Sara.  And if we don't, that is okay too. 


It's taken me a long time to say that is okay too.  Because I really believe it is.  And I'm not sure why this has happened or what we need to learn from this, but what I do know is that we have one amazing little girl who lights up our life.  She brings more joy than I could ever imagine.  I call her my treasure girl, because she is that.  And I treasure every moment of every day with her.

Early in the summer we went to visit my parents in Utah.  While we were there, my dad was called as a Stake Patriarch for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  With this calling comes great responsibility,  But my dad is the most wise, humble, and Christlike man I know and he will do all he can to fulfill his duties and more. 

My parents also announced that they received a call to serve as the MTC President of the Madrid, Spain Missionary Training Center.  My dad will serve as President of the MTC and my mom will be the Relief Society President - the women's organization of the church.  This is a most perfect calling for them both.  My parents are passionate about missionary work and serving our Heavenly Father.  I have had friends say, "Aren't you disappointed they're going to be leaving again?"  No.  Not even a little.  I will miss them, yes, but I am so grateful they will have this opportunity to serve.  Even more so, I am so excited for the hundreds of young men and young women from all over the world that will have the chance to meet them, be with them, learn from them, feel their Spirit, and feel the love of our Heavenly Father through their love.


After our visit to Utah, we received word that Cameron's Grandpa Bunt passed away.  We traveled up to Oregon to be a part of his services.  It was great to be there and I am glad Cameron had a chance to spend that time with his family that we don't see often.  The services were sweet and it was great to share that time with Sara, as well.


We then traveled to San Francisco and spent a few days before heading down to Santa Barbara to see my dear Aunt Alisa.  She is so much fun and we had a great time visiting the beach, eating yummy food, totally taking over her cute little bungalow apartment, and exploring SB.

Following our month of travel, we stayed close to home and spent time at the pool and with friends.  Although I don't necessarily feel my feet firmly rooted here in Mesa, we have made some of the dearest friends.  We are so lucky to have an amazing ward family, dear neighbors, and sweet friends.  Sara loves to play with the girls all around us and is so lucky to have friends from such wonderful families. 
Some other friends of our have experienced other great losses these past few months, as well.  My heart breaks for them.  It aches for them to feel peace and comfort, but I know they will in due time.  I am so grateful to know of a God who loves us, each individually and as a whole.  I truly believe that He wants us to be happy.  He blesses us with people in our lives and experiences to teach us about this incredible love.  I know He lives. 

As we come to an end of this amazing summer and I reflect on the life lessons I learn every day,  I am happy to be a mom to an amazing girl, wife to a good man, and the daughter of righteous parents. I am happy to be me.