post

Our Journey to our Forever Family

Peterson-29E

Our Journey to our forever family.

We were married in 2001. We decided after a couple of months we had no reason to prolong having a family. I never went on birth control so we just went with it.  I like most women,  who was doing nothing to prevent getting pregnant, waited anxiously  each month to see if we were pregnant or not.  3 years later we decided maybe we should see a specialist. I also talked about adoption but my husband was pretty set on trying for our own first.

My husband at the age of 8 was run over by a snow plow.  His hips were shattered and he had screws in 4 different places to hold him in place. He was lucky to be alive.  After talking to the specialist he said the only way you will ever conceive would be through IVF, with ICSI’s.  IFV is invitro fertilization and is very expensive.  ICSI’s is when they take the sperm and put it directly into the egg to make sure it works. I think the snow plow accident had a lot to do with our problems.

During this time of doctor visits, my friend had recently adopted a baby girl.  One day in March 2005 I babysat for my friend and before she left she told me she got an interesting phone call the night before.  She said her Aunt knew of someone who was pregnant and planning to give up the baby.  She asked my friend if she was ready and interested.  My friend had told her that they were enjoying their 1 year old and the timing wasn’t right for them.  I looked at her quietly and said, if you aren’t able to adopt him, we will.  She said “I was hoping you would say that”.  She got all of her adoption books and info out for me to look at that day.  My biggest obstacle would be getting my husband to agree with me.  I said a lot of prayers that day, and then I called him.  I told him the situation and he said.  Okay, let’s do it.  I was shocked that I didn’t have to put up more of a fight. I know now that this was God’s hand in pointing us in the right direction.  I called LDSFS (Latter Day Saints Family Services) that day and got the first packet. This was March of 2005. I was talking to the birth mom of that baby boy within the week.  We got along fantastically.  We talked about names and had decided on the name Alex.  We got our home study done and we were ready to go.  Then I got a call in July from the birth mom.  (the baby was due in OCT) She said she had just been to an appointment and it was not good.  The baby had tay sachs and spina bifida and if he survived through the pregnancy he would not live past age 5. He would need a lot of medical care too. I was heartbroken.  She wanted us to decide if we still wanted him and told us to take the time we needed to decide.  I cried for a week, and then she called again.  She had lost the baby.  I feel horrible admitting that I was relieved.  I couldn’t bear the thought of losing a baby within 5 years when it was so hard for us to have a baby or get a baby.  I felt guilt for not wanting a baby with problems.

We decided to continue with trying to adopt since we had done all the work needed. Several months went by and we did not hear about any other adoptions that were solid. There were a few maybes, but nothing ever came of them.  Then in December our caseworker told us we needed to come in for a follow up interview.  We made an appointment for December 19th, 2005.  While we were there we were asked some weird questions.  Would we take a baby if the mom was in the same city? What if she went to the same ward (church)?  What if we knew her? Would we take a baby if she consumed alcohol before she knew she was pregnant? Those were the kinds of questions he asked. In the middle of the interview he got a call and excused himself.  When he came back he asked a couple of more questions and then said “the real reason you are here is because you have been selected to adopt a baby due in MAY. They are here now and want to meet you.”  I was in shock.  I was nervous, I wasn’t prepared.  What if they didn’t like us? I was staring at the door anxious and nervous waiting to meet our future birth parents.  Then in walked my good friend Victoria and her best friend Stacey. I had met Stacey several times and we were all friends and had spent some time together.  I knew as soon as Stacy and Victoria walked in the door that Stacey was pregnant and going to have our baby. Erik was wondering “why are Stacey and Victoria here”. Once we all knew what was going on, we hugged and laughed and cried together.  Stacey said my reaction was exactly what she needed to see.

Stacey and I communicated nearly every day between December and May.  In May our little boy was born.  A whopping 9lbs 12oz.  We went to the hospital 24 hours after he was born.  Watching Stacey say good bye was the hardest thing I have ever done.  She loved/loves him so much.  So many kiss and hugs good bye.  It was hard to be happy when it was such a sad day for her.

Today we are still really good friends with Stacey and she is welcome to visit whenever she likes.  She has said having that ability to see him whenever she wants to has helped her heal and move on.  She knows he is in a great place and being cared for.  I am forever thankful for this wonderful lady.

About a year after we brought Alex home from the hospital we decided we wanted to expand our family again. We knew it could take some time so we wanted to get things moving forward.  We wanted to try IVF again.  We went to the IVF clinic and started the testing process. They put me on birth control to regulate me.  We did all of the pre classes and other testing.  June 2007 we found out we would have to put IVF on hold.  This was almost $3000 later.  We did not have insurance and while checking me out they found polyps in my uterus. They had to be removed before we could proceed. It was another let down, or bumps in the road.  To me it was devastating.  We had to get insurance and we had to wait for 6 months because it was a preexisting condition. I didn’t want to wait.  When I was little and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was a mom.  I had always wanted to be a mom of a large family. I thought I would have 5 kids or so.  We decided we would try adoption 1 more time.

We learned the first time we adopted that networking was huge. So we started telling all of our friends and family that we were adopting again. The very next day Erik’s friend from college called and said her sister was pregnant and she was due the next month.  She was looking to place the baby for adoption.  Alex was just over a year old so I panicked a little bit but felt blessed that it was happening so fast.  I went to Idaho to be with family the first part of July.   I planned to drive to Vegas where the birth mom was from. Erik was going to buy a plane ticket and meet me there.  While visiting my family we planned a backpacking trip. I decided not to go because I was stressing about the baby.  The day after they left on the trip I got a phone call saying I better head to Vegas, the baby had been born. He was about 2 weeks early and born on Eriks birthday.   Erik hopped a plane and I got in my car and drove.  We were there for over a week and the birth mom would not talk to us or sign the papers.  We did not meet that sweet baby.  My heart was broken yet again.

I was depressed for several months. To be clear my form of depression is very functional.  I can fake it until I make it. Only my close friends and family knew how hard this was for me.  I still took care of myself and tried to stay busy.  My first priority was my sweet boy and to make sure he had a great life.  Alex was the thing that kept me going.  We did not hear of another baby for the rest of the year.

In January of 2008 our caseworker suggested we network a little more. He told us of this website called parent profiles. You put your profile online and let birth moms find you from all over the country and some parts of the world.  He said the statistics were higher for those that signed up for this website. We decided we would give it a try for at least 6 months. I had my profile up by the end of January and got my first contact within the week.  During this time a Birth mom for our agency was interested in us. We will call her Sarah.  Long story short I turned her away because she was too demanding.  She wanted visits on a regular basis, wanted to name the baby, etc.  I am very open but I didn’t feel good about her wanting to call all of the shots. . What she told me and what she told the caseworker was not the same thing ever. I couldn’t trust her and had to trust my instincts.

The one I heard from first on the website was a 17 year old, named Samantha who was pregnant with twins.  We hit it off.  I was so excited.  TWINS! I am a twin and my husband’s dad is a twin, so I thought it was meant to be.  We talked and texted for several months. I was so sure this was going to work that I took my profile off line.  During this time, before taking down my profile, I heard from several different birth moms but the one with twins seemed to be the best fit.  We bought 2 cribs, I made a couple of different baby blankets for each baby and we started thinking of names.  We found out one was a boy and one was a girl.  And then…. I tried to text her and no response.  The thing about adoption is you feel like you are on a date all the time trying to make a good impression.  You don’t want to be too pushy and text to much or call too much.  There is a balance you have to achieve so you don’t look like the crazy obsessed lady trying to adopt a baby.  Even though you feel you are crazy through most of the adoption.  There was no response back from this girl at all.  Now what? Do I text her again. How much is too much?  The clock was ticking and we had nothing.  About once a week I would send her a little “How’s it going?” or something……but nothing.  I can’t even explain the heart ache I felt, again.  So up went my profile again.

It was now sometime in the early summer of 2008.  I felt like I had to start over. This time I wasn’t going to make that mistake again. I would not take down my profile or commit to anyone until I had a baby in my arms.  I felt so much time was wasted.

I heard from a mom who clearly wanted money. I heard from one who was smoking and didn’t seem to care.  Then I heard from a grandma who was raising her grandson.  WE connected and I thought for sure this was it.  He was 4 months old.  We talked almost every day.  The problem was her daughter was handicap and wouldn’t sign the papers. She was working on getting guardianship and getting her daughter to agree. She had gone to court in July for this and then she didn’t respond for about 2 weeks. During this time another birth mom wrote me a letter saying she loved my profile and we seemed to be what she was looking for. She said our profile stood out and it seemed we really wanted a baby. She said we were the only couple she would look at for now. She wanted to pick them one at a time to eliminate any confusion it may cause. I responded right away. We began e-mailing. With my past let downs I couldn’t give one person 100%, I was waiting for this one to change her mind. Then Samantha, the birth mom of twins reconnected with me and so did the grandma of the 4 month old. I had 3 situations, 3 choices.  The twins were due the end of August. This new birth mom was due the end of Sept, and the grandson could come any day if they signed the papers.  I felt the right choice was the baby due in Sept but I was scared.  I was so scared I never admitted that out loud. I was scared to let 2 options pass me by and then chance having nothing.  At this point I was border line crazy. I was ready to get off of the emotional roller coaster ride. My husband told me this was it. If one of these did not work out we were done. He was tired of my heartache and longing to have another baby. He didn’t want to see me in pain anymore. This was the most emotional time of my life.  I couldn’t choose.  One day I went for a drive and I began to pray.  I sobbed actually.  Those who know me know that I am not a big crier.  I said, Heavenly Father I can’t make this choice, please let me know which baby or babies belong to me.   I did not get an answer right away, but within a few days, 2 of the 3 eliminated themselves. Samantha’s boyfriend asked her to marry him. So they decided they would keep the babies.  The grandma wasn’t really talking to me much. In her defense she really did want to place her grandson but her family was giving her a hard time.   My original feelings were correct. The baby due in September was the right baby for us.  I had so many ups and downs, and I didn’t trust myself to make the choice. I am thankful for the faith I have and for a heavenly father that loves me and answers my prayers.

At this point I set up a meeting to meet baby girl’s birth mom due Sept. 21st or so.   We were planning to meet within the next week or two.   We got a phone call on August 11th saying her water broke and we would have a baby within 24 hours. I knelt down and said a prayer right there that our baby would be healthy and strong. That her lungs would be fully developed and all would be okay with her. We did not meet the birth mom before she was born because she came premature.  Our baby girl was born 6 weeks early and she was born before the twins. Our choice that was supposed to be last was now first. Heavenly father was watching out for me again.

The grandma and daughter were still being fickle with me but we were still communicating. We actually continued with this possible adoption for the next 8 months.  This included us driving to Nebraska to meet the Grandma, Mother, and  little boy. I fell in love with him. At the time of meeting he was walking so I spent some time chasing him in the hall and playing with him while Erik talked to the grandma and mother.  After the meeting I had to cut that tie because it was tugging on my heart strings. I felt they were stringing us along and I didn’t know when it would end or if it would.  I had 2 little people to think about and take care of and I didn’t need to be worrying about another that may never be.  I told the grandma the truth and said I couldn’t do this emotionally anymore and to stop all contact  until the papers were signed.  I never heard from her again.

I went to meet our baby girl the day she was born and she was the most beautiful baby girl I had ever seen.  It felt surreal.  I kept waiting for them to take her away and tell me never mind.  She ate well and was doing really well for a preemie. She out ate every baby in there.   They said it usually took the preemies 30 minutes to drink a couple of ounces.  One of the days Erik came with me, I said “watch the clock.”  She downed her bottle in less than 5 minutes.   Her lungs were fully developed, another one of my prayers had been answered.  They told me it would be at least 2 weeks before they would think about sending her home.  My girl was strong and healthy, and they sent her home a week after she was born.

I know now God had a plan for me all along. I look back at every situation as little stepping stones to get us on the right path and pointed in the right direction.  Our kids were meant to be in our home and I believe that was Gods intention all along.  People ask me about adoption and I say it fell in our laps.  It kind of did.  It was not our original plan but we remained faithful and open minded that the right thing would happen for us and it did. If we were set on “having our own” we would not have the 2 kids we have today.

Comments

  1. Kristina,

    I wish I was pregnant, so I could give you my baby. I loved these stories. I loved your openness. Love you girl and good luck out there. What a rollar coaster

  2. Michelle DeLange says:

    Kristina,

    I’m so happy to hear this has worked out for you. I am still struggling with adoption and having my own. This gives me hope thank you 🙂

  3. Tauna Granados says:

    I am so happy for you both!! I am in my second marriage and no longer able to have children with my husband, due to health issues. I have two beautiful daughters from my previous marriage. I wish I could give my husband a child! We have gone through some serious marital issues because of this and came close to getting divorced. I don’t know how to talk him into looking into adoption. What can I do?

    • Tauna,
      Your husband probably has some fear of adoption that is holding him back from wanting to do it. There are many reasons why some are afraid to adopt. For some it may be that they don’t want to go through the process, it’s emotionally trying as you can see with my friend Kristina. For others, they may be afraid of the unknown gene pool and what the child may ‘have’ as far as health goes. My last two kids, which I’ve yet to publish the last 2 parts of my adoption story, are from drug abuse birth moms. My son is healthy who was born positive for drugs and my daughter who wasn’t positive has a weak immune system. As a side note, my sister in-law has a. Hold with. Chromosomal Disorder Nd she and her husband are healthy and never did any drugs…..bottom line, no one ever knows! Last reason I want to bring up that some people just don’t think they can love a child that isn’t theirs. To them I say, “Do you love your spouse? Your best friend? Your pet? Etc..” It’s the same concept….actually it’s not, it’s deeper. My own mom who was adopted by her dad because my grandma got married to a person different from my mom’s bio father when she was 3 months old, told me her heart healed the day we adopted Kalle because it was at that time that she knew her adopted dad loved her as much as her siblings because she loved Kalle as much as the daughter we gave birth to.

  4. Christy Wagner says:

    Kristina! I love this story, and I’m so glad that you are the friend who shares the experience of adoption with me! What a beautiful blessing for both you and Erik and your kids. Wish you still lived next door though… 🙂

Speak Your Mind

*

UA-43556179-1