Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Turned 21

Hey y'all.

I turned 21. Today. In 15 minutes my birthday will be over. It's been the BEST birthday EVER! I got to spend it all day with Olivia and her momma. <3 She's the sweetest little thing. She's really shy at first but that girl has got some SPUNK when she warms up to you. By the end of the night, she was snuggling with me. What a sweetheart :)

I would post more but I need to go to bed to get up for work in the morning. I will post when I have time. Tomorrow I'm doing a birthparent panel for a young womens group then on Thursday I might be driving up North Salt Lake for a weddinggggg. V's bro to be exact :) Congrats to them!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


"May we declare ourselves to be more fully disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in word only and not only in the flush of comfortable times but in deed and in courage and in faith, including when the path is lonely and when our cross is difficult to bear.This Easter week and always, may we stand by Jesus Christ “at all times and in all things, and in all places that we may be in, even until death,” for surely that is how He stood by us when it was unto death and when He had to stand entirely and utterly alone."

This was by Elder Holland you can read the rest of his talk here.

My dad gave us a book for Christmas called Our Savior Jesus Christ- His Life and Mission to Cleanse and Heal by David J. Ridges. He gave us a challenge this week to read chapter 14 each day of the last week of Our Savior's Life. It has strengthened my testimony of the Savior and of His atonement and of his resurrection. I'm deeply grateful for everything He has done for all of us. He has never left me alone in my time of need and has answered my prayers and I will be forever grateful to Him and his sacrifice for the world. He is Risen.

Just wanted to share this little treasure. Olivia with her Easter basket <3 So grateful for her to have this knowledge of the Gospel.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend and think of our Savior today and everyday.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I had someone ask me if I can help them with their presentation for college about adoption. I found a Q&A on another blog and she used that for her power point. I love being able to share my story with others so they have more of an understanding of what birthmom's go through. That's a lot of the reason for my blog... to understand. Maybe it might not be every birthmother out there. But it's for myself. That maybe some girl out there might need to find the answers to her questions. Or for an adoptive family to know how much we hurt or what makes us happy. Lately, I've just been in a roller coaster of emotions. This may or may not be the last post I make for a while.

1. What emotions did you experience when you initially found out about the pregnancy?
I was scared out of my mind. I was nervous. I was mad that I had those feelings just because I always imagined when I found out I was pregnant that I could surprise my husband and we would be so giddy and so excited. But this time it was different. I didn't know what to expect at 18. And as of two weeks prior to finding out about my pregnancy, I was newly single. I had no one to share this "excitement" with and to tell me that everything was going to be okay. I had to tough it up all on my own. And that was scary to know that I wasn't just in charge of my life but this new little life. I made enough mistakes, I needed to make this one right.

2. Did you plan for single-parenting or marriage?
I thought for the first little while that marriage could possibly be an option. My boyfriend had only broken up with me for two weeks and maybe he still had feelings for me? When we broke up he told me about getting married to me and raising a family. So what would be different now, besides the fact that it's all backwards? When he told me that he didn't want to get married, I wanted to try to make single parenting work. I was going to LDS Family Services at the time for counseling and I was able to look at all of my options. Marriage, Single Parenting and Adoption. I made pros and cons lists of everything and what would be the best for everyone involved.

3. Why did you consider adoption? Did you consider abortion as an option?
I considered adoption because at the time, I was going to school for dental assisting and trying to finish that up. I was living with my parents. I wanted my baby to have the best and I wanted to be able to spoil my children (hey, gotta love kids and spoil them a little bit). Not just financial. Being LDS, I knew it wasn't right to deny my baby a sealing covenant. I was sealed to my parents and I knew my baby couldn't be sealed to me unless I was married and sealed to my husband. I wanted to have that eternal family. I didn't know when I would be married or if anybody would marry somebody who has had a baby out of wedlock. I knew my little girl needed a mom and a dad. I couldn't be both and I knew she needed them both in her life.
I never considered abortion. Someone may have asked me or I may had just thought about it if I could ever go through with it. But the immediate answer was no. I already knew this special spirit that I was growing and that I loved her more than anything. I could never take the life away that she deserves.

4. What were your major concerns when considering adoption?
A lot of my major concerns, previous to counseling, was that I was never going to see my baby ever again and that she wouldn't know that I loved her. After counseling, those fears were cleared up. With having an open adoption I am able to receive pictures, go on trips with them, and I would watch her grow up. Her parents would let her know how much I loved her and that this was a huge sacrifice for me. I'm sure my fear after counseling was that the adoptive parents wouldn't follow through with their promises or just cut off contact. They wouldn't have to respond to my e-mails or my phone calls. They're not under legal obligation to do so. It's all based on trust and honesty.

5. Did you have any specifications when searching for your adoptive couple?
I don't think I ever did. I didn't have a list written out. I wasn't very picky. I wasn't looking for a famous billionaire to take my child in as a charity case. She isn't that. She is worth more to me than anybody could buy and I wanted someone to feel that same way about her. I did specifically want somebody I knew. That's a long shot. Or at least someone that knew the person. I couldn't just pick a random couple from a pile and say they're the parents. I don't know anything about them and how do I know they'll treat my daughter with respect? I was determining my child's life and future, I can't mess this up. I also wanted a couple that lived out of state. I didn't want them to live down the street so I could stop by and co-parent. I wanted them to be the parents. Not me. And I was able to find those people.

6. How long into the pregnancy did you wait before selecting a couple?
I found out that D and V were looking to adopt about the week before my birthday, the end of April. I was due in September. D is my brother in-law's best friend since they were about 8 years old. They have grown up together and I knew them when my sister was married and D came over to hang out with them. D and V met at BYU and it all started from there so I've known them since I was about 14 or 15 years old. They were so nice to everyone and love to play board games. My family is big on board games. They moved away to go to school in Virginia. They were able to have one biological son and they haven't been able to have any since. V found out through my sister that I was pregnant and I was still looking at my options. She e-mailed my sister letting her know they had recently put in their adoption papers to be approved and to adopt. My sister let me know and my heart broke for them. They are both loving and caring people. I know they adore their little boy and I knew they were already great parents. I grew up with all sisters and no brothers and that sort of was a blessing in disguise because on May 7th. I found out I was having a little girl. I had been e-mailing V back and forth and I just think the moment I found out they were looking to adopt, that's when I knew that they were the ones. I sent them a package that night with little girl things and a letter letting them know they were the parents. They called me the next day and were so giddy and happy. That's the reaction I was looking for in myself, but I found it through them.

Visiting them in Virginia before Olivia was born.

7. Looking at the way your birth child is being raised, are there any parenting practices you disagree with? Or value differences?
You know, I don't disagree with anything. They are so patient with their kids and they never raise their voices with them. They teach them Gospel principles, daily. I just see her in pictures and that smile on her face, lets me know that everything was worth it.

8. Is there anything you would change about your current placement?
I don't think I would change anything. I think it's perfect the way it is. I wouldn't pick anybody else to raise my daughter. They do a perfect job doing it and they're great in informing me what's going on in their lives. They make me feel like I'm apart of their family and I'm just so grateful for that.

Olivia's sealing day
Left to right- V, Olivia, me, Tayler, D & B

9. How do you feel about the adoptive parents? Is the relationship open/closed? Would you change the current arrangement?
I love them. They're like my best friends. I can e-mail them when I'm having a bad day. I can ask them for pictures if I just want to see her cute face and they're more than willing. But it's not just that it's revolved around Olivia (my birthdaughter). We talk about other things like school and jobs. The relationship is VERY open. I don't think I would change it. I'm sure over time it will change because our lives will be busier. I recently got married about 6 months ago and just even that, I haven't been able to contact them as much as I usually do. We used to call and such but now it's mostly through e-mail.

Placement day with birthfather, N.

10. How was your family effected by the adoption?
I know it wasn't just me losing my daughter in my life. It was my parents losing their granddaughter. It was my sister's losing their niece. My nieces and nephews losing a cousin. I could never replace that hurt that they have gone through from my own personal decisions. It wasn't just me effected by it. My whole family was. I remember my sister telling me at the hospital when V's sister came to visit and she was going to be Olivia's aunt and my sister's heart hurt knowing that she was going to love on her new niece that somebody else was going to. Let me tell you a little about placement. Placement is sort of just symbolism of me placing her in the arms of her new parents. So at placement, I placed her in the arms of her new mom. That's why I prefer the term, I PLACED my baby for adoption. I didn't give her up or give up on her. I didn't put her up for adoption/I didn't put her up on Craigslist for someone to buy from me. I willingly and lovingly did that act for her. But no one could've ever prepared me for the moment to do that, no amount of counseling would've taken the heartache away from me. Two days after having her with me in the hospital, I relinquished my rights as a parent to the consent of adoption. After two whole days of being her mom and watching her and taking care of her. I was now to put myself to the test of if I could really trust D and V to watch her and take care of her. My heart broke into a million pieces. Over time, I have been able to pick up some of those pieces and have peace in my hear that I've made the right decision. The first year was the hardest and unforgettable. But I know if I didn't have the open adoption I had now. I'm sure I would question a lot of what I did. If it were closed, I wouldn't know if she was okay. If she knew that I loved her or if she was ever going to know me or if she was adopted. But I know that D & V will protect her and let her know where she came from. What's wrong with having 2 moms, 2 dads, 8 grandparents- to me that just equals endless amounts of love for her.

 Placing Olivia in V's arms

11. Do you want to have more children?
I would love to have more kids more than anything. You know, since placement there will always be that space in my heart that I will miss her and want her. Not that I regret my decision, because I don't. I look at the grief as if someone close to me has passed away (I'm not trying to belittle anybody by making this comparison. I've lost a few people in my life). That's the closest I can compare the loss to. They were apart of your life, you will always love them and miss them even if they're not in your life now. You're not just going to forget about them. Life will go on but you will never forget the one child that you didn't take home from the hospital.

12. How would you feel if you were unable to conceive again? Would you consider adopting?
I would feel just like any other infertile couple. I would be sad. I would be mad. I would probably question my faith like most people do when they struggle through infertility. I would be mad just because I went through the hardest thing that someone could do for their own child and I would question why I went through that and not be able to have my own kids. I know it would probably feel like hell. But God doesn't give us a trial that we can't overcome. I'm sure I would consider adoption because I would love to have a  family with my husband.

Feel free to ask me more questions in the comments section.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


I wanted to share this talk today from general conference last weekend.

General Conference / April 2011
The Atonement Covers All Pain
Kent F. Richards
Of the Seventy

Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ.”
As a surgeon, I found that a significant portion of my professional time was taken up with the subject of pain. Of necessity I surgically inflicted it almost daily—and much of my effort was then spent trying to control and alleviate pain.
I have pondered about the purpose of pain. None of us is immune from experiencing pain. I have seen people cope with it very differently. Some turn away from God in anger, and others allow their suffering to bring them closer to God.
Like you, I have experienced pain myself. Pain is a gauge of the healing process. It often teaches us patience. Perhaps that is why we use the term patient in referring to the sick.
Elder Orson F. Whitney wrote: “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.” 
Similarly, Elder Robert D. Hales has said:
“Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder. It is an experience I am grateful to have endured. …
“I learned that the physical pain and the healing of the body after major surgery are remarkably similar to the spiritual pain and the healing of the soul in the process of repentance.” 
Much of our suffering is not necessarily our fault. Unexpected events, contradicting or disappointing circumstances, interrupting illness, and even death surround us and penetrate our mortal experience. Additionally, we may suffer afflictions because of the actions of others. Lehi noted that Jacob had “suffered … much sorrow, because of the rudeness of [his] brethren.” Opposition is part of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We all encounter enough to bring us to an awareness of our Father’s love and of our need for the Savior’s help.
The Savior is not a silent observer. He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face.
“He suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children.” 
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” 
Sometimes in the depth of pain, we are tempted to ask, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?” I testify the answer is yes, there is a physician. The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all these conditions and purposes of mortality.
There is another kind of pain for which we are responsible. Spiritual pain lies deep within our souls and can feel unquenchable, even as being racked with an“inexpressible horror,” as Alma described. It comes from our sinful actions and lack of repentance. For this pain too there is a cure that is universal and absolute. It is from the Father, through the Son, and it is for each of us who is willing to do all that is necessary to repent. Christ said, “Will ye not now return unto me … and be converted, that I may heal you?” 
Christ Himself taught:
“And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me. …
“Therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me.” 
Perhaps His most significant work is in the ongoing labor with each of us individually to lift, to bless, to strengthen, to sustain, to guide, and to forgive us.
As Nephi saw in vision, much of Christ’s mortal ministry was devoted to blessing and healing the sick with all kinds of maladies—physical, emotional, and spiritual. “And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases. … And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God.” 
Alma also prophesied that “he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and … he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. …
“That his bowels may be filled with mercy, … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” 
Late one night lying in a hospital bed, this time as a patient and not as a physician, I read those verses over and over again. I pondered: “How is it done? For whom? What is required to qualify? Is it like forgiveness of sin? Do we have to earn His love and help?” As I pondered, I came to understand that during His mortal life Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to understand us. Perhaps we also need to experience the depths of mortality in order to understand Him and our eternal purposes. 
President Henry B. Eyring taught: “It will comfort us when we must wait in distress for the Savior’s promised relief that He knows, from experience, how to heal and help us. … And faith in that power will give us patience as we pray and work and wait for help. He could have known how to succor us simply by revelation, but He chose to learn by His own personal experience. 
I felt the encircling arms of His love that night. Tears watered my pillow in gratitude. Later, as I was reading in Matthew about Christ’s mortal ministry, I made another discovery: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many … and he … healed all that were sick.” He healed all that came to Him. None were turned away.
As Elder Dallin H. Oaks has taught: “Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a ‘healing’ cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are ‘healed’ by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us. All that will come may be “clasped in the arms of Jesus.”  All souls can be healed by His power. All pain can be soothed. In Him, we can “find rest unto [our] souls.” Our mortal circumstances may not immediately change, but our pain, worry, suffering, and fear can be swallowed up in His peace and healing balm.
I have noted that children are often more naturally accepting of pain and suffering. They quietly endure with humility and meekness. I have felt a beautiful, sweet spirit surrounding these little ones.
Thirteen-year-old Sherrie underwent a 14-hour operation for a tumor on her spinal cord. As she regained consciousness in the intensive care unit, she said: “Daddy, Aunt Cheryl is here, … and … Grandpa Norman … and Grandma Brown … are here. And Daddy, who is that standing beside you? … He looks like you, only taller. … He says he’s your brother, Jimmy.” Her uncle Jimmy had died at age 13 of cystic fibrosis.
“For nearly an hour, Sherrie … described her visitors, all deceased family members. Exhausted, she then fell asleep.”
Later she told her father, “Daddy, all of the children here in the intensive care unit have angels helping them. 
To all of us the Savior said:
“Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
“Fear not, little children, for you are mine. …
“Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd.” 
Our great personal challenge in mortality is to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ.” The pain you and I experience may be where this process is most measured. In extremity, we can become as children in our hearts, humble ourselves, and “pray and work and wait” patiently for the healing of our bodies and our souls. As Job, after being refined through our trials, we “shall come forth as gold.” 
I bear testimony that He is our Redeemer, our Friend, our Advocate, the Great Physician, the Great Healer. In Him we can find peace and solace in and from our pain and our sins if we will but come unto Him with humble hearts. His “grace is sufficient.”  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The story about the girl in the hospital bed give me the chills. I think about how many angels were surrounding me the day I gave birth to Olivia and they were there to comfort me in the extreme pain of placing Olivia for adoption. I know through the pain and the tears that those angels were giving me all of their strength to be able to let Olivia be with her eternal family.

This song means a lot to me, I just wanted to share it.

Rascal Flatts

There's a place I've been looking for
That took me in and out of buildings
Behind windows, walls and doors
And I thought I found it
Couple times, even settled down
And I'd hang around just long enough
To find my way back out
I know now the place that I was trying to
Was you, right here in front of me

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here

It's amazing what I let my heart go through
To get me where it got me
In this moment here with you
And it passed me by
God knows how many times
I was so caught up in holding
What I never thought I'd find

I know now, there's a million roads
I had to take

To get me in your arms that way

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here

In a love I never thought I'd get to get to
And if that's the road
God made me take to be with you

And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here

And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for all the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here
Oh, baby-Ooo
Oh, got me here 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When and How.

 I've had a few questions before on my formspring if and when I was going to tell my future kids and how I would tell them that I placed a baby for adoption. I've always said, "We'll see when we get there." But really, I had no idea. I'm going to talk about P.H. again. She was a guest speaker at our group last week and it made me really think about it.

She didn't tell her oldest son until he was about 16 and told her younger daughters later about the child she had placed. Because she had a closed adoption she wasn't sure if her birthson could show up on her door step when he had turned 18. But finding out, that he really couldn't do that.

Either before she was pregnant or still in the hospital, she had shared with us some of the letters she wrote to him. Which is very vulnerable. I don't share very many of my letters to anybody. So props to her to be able to show that side of herself.

She had told him that even if they didn't meet in this life again that she was always going to love him, think about him and care about him. She also mentioned that she had signed papers saying that she was on a list to be found and she wanted him to find her when he turned 18.

He told her when they started talking again or when they met face to face again, "All you asked of me was to find you and you did everything for me. It's the least I could do after all that you have sacrificed for me."

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven 

I mention all of this because when she had told her kids. She told them that she placed under 3 conditions.

1. Don't think that this was okay.- "Well mom turned out fine, so I can do it too."

2. Don't use it against me.- Such as in argument or to hurt me intentionally.

3. Don't tell anybody.- I say for this one. They can say that they KNOW someone who placed but don't say their mom.

I haven't even told people in my ward that I had a baby and placed. That's hard for me to say.

This also reminds me of a story that she told. She brought her birthson on a trip with P.H., her husband, her 3 girls and her parents. There were 3 rooms. So she had a room with her husband. Her girls shared a room. And her parents had her own room and he had a couch.

So he felt like he wasn't apart of the family but not giving him a room/bed.

She was also talking to someone and her birthson was standing next to her and they asked how many kids she had and she said 4. If including her birthson, that would be 5. She was just used to saying 4 to everyone since not everyone knew she was a birthmom.

He didn't last 24 hours on the trip and wanted to go home. He was so mad that he didn't understand why he had to come first and why the son that she had with her husband came first so that way he could placed for adoption and he could be with her family. It was such a sad story. But it was an eye opener. Because even now, I tell people that I don't have any kids. I just hope I can explain it and maybe explain it to Olivia when she's older and she'll understand.

You might be upset and sure you have a reason to be, 

but how many reasons do you have to be happy? A lot more.

Not that I don't think about Olivia. I do stutter. It's not easy for me to say it. I'm sure it will. But I also know my role as a birthmom. I'm not going to claim that my birthdaughter is my daughter. I'm not raising her. She's not in my home. She's in the home that I placed her in. She's with her mom and dad. Not with me. I don't want to stake my claim if it's not my part to claim. I will claim I gave birth to her and for those who know I have placed but I'm not going to tell it to the person that I met 5 minutes ago.

I know that probably doesn't seem true since I have a blog and I'm so open about it. But there is a time and a place to tell everything. I don't think I can ever hide Olivia as some "deep, dark secret." I love open adoption.

Tonight at the expectant parent group there was an adoptive parent panel. And they talked about how the daughter they adopted, who was only 5 wanted to call her birthmom to find out her favorite princess. I want Olivia to be able to come to me and say that. Maybe not that exact thing but that she'll be able to know my favorites, our differences, our similarities, my/her dislikes, my/her likes, I want her to know every single part of me that she wants and I want to know everything about her that she'll allow me to know.

We talked about too about the boundaries. Like when Olivia is a teenager- if she's anything like I was. Then I know there will be a lot of... heck. haha. I thought at first, "I don't want her to come to my house and say, 'I got in a fight and I want to live with my birthfamily forever." I thought, um, no. I'm not your parent. I'm not just going to take over. But the way a family explained to me that their birthmom wouldn't mind that just because they know that she's going to go her and not to a friend's house that's a bad influence. I think it's incredible. Even if I'm not next door neighbors. I would still want her to call and talk to me about it.

I'm sure I'm jumping all over topics and such so I hope this all makes sense. It has made me really think a lot about the future and my kids. I know my future kids will not fill the hole that I have in my heart from placing Olivia. I know I love Olivia with all of my heart but my kids will need to come first. Like Olivia &a B comes first in D&V's life.

I don't know exactly when I will tell my kids. If they'll always grow up knowing that I placed a baby for adoption so they can deal with it and be okay with it. Or just wait until I feel like they're mature enough to understand. I just don't think I can hide it. And if Olivia grows up knowing that she's adopted and that she knows about her half brothers and sisters then why would it be fair that they don't know about her? I want my kids to be able to trust me and know that I wasn't perfect. I don't want to lie and think they can't live up to my expectations. I'm a "real" person that understands true temptations, trials and tribulations but I also understand the power of the atonement and to turn my life around and have the Gospel back in my life when I've gone astray. I want them to know even though it'd break my heart if they picked my path- I want them to know they can always turn to the Lord, even if they can't come to me about it.

Oh BTW. I'm starting to do pseudonyms through my blog so if you know the adoptive family's name or the birth father and his family's name. Please don't use them in comments or else I can't accept it or will need to delete them.

I'm also adding more couples hoping to adopt. If you notice you're not on my side bar and would like to be added, leave a comment with your blog link. Or if you have been blessed through adoption and want to share your story. If you're a birth parent then let me know if you want your blog added too. :) Let me know. I'm trying to update all this!