If adoption is a part of your life in any way: birth parent, adoptive parent, hopeful adoptive parent, adoption advocate or professional and would like your blog or website added to my list of links please email me your name and URL. adoptionfyi at gmail dot com

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I heard this song for the first time in the car yesterday and knew I had to share it. Be prepared to have your heart melt.

I'm sure there are a few Christmas Carols who want a home for Christmas, here.  Perhaps your family needs a little blue eyes Carol to light up your Christmas too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leo's Sealing


An ordinance performed in the temple eternally uniting a husband and wife, or children and their parents.

For LDS families, an adoption is not complete at finalization.  There is a kind of spiritual finalization as well.  We call it a sealing and it means that Leo is now a part of our family, not only on this earth and in this life, but in the world and life to come.

Saturday was a very special day for our family, Leo was sealed to us for eternity.
Many members of our family traveled from Utah and Oregon to be at the Seattle Temple with us.

Leo was adorable, a perfect angel, and seemed pretty darn happy about the level of attention he was getting.

John Henry looked dashing dressed all in white.  He had been talking about going to the temple to seal Leo to our family for a few weeks now.  He was so excited to actual go.  He was reverent in the temple, and having our children in the sealing room was a sacred experience beyond description.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Leo's Story, part 2: Getting to Know Lisa

In preparation for writing this post I went back and read all of the emails to and from Lisa starting with that first email through the following five or so weeks until I flew to Alaska.  What a gift those emails are to me and what a gift they will be for Leo.

The emotions that I felt at receiving, reading and replying to each one were so poignant.  As I have reread them I have felt those strange, dizzying and confusing emotions again in a (thankfully) weaker form and I wonder at the complexity of the human soul.  I am at a loss to describe what getting to know Lisa through these letters was like.  It was overwhelming.  It became increasingly clear, however, that God had arranged for us to find one another.

Much of what we shared with one another would be meaningless to the rest of the world, but to me, it was a precious time.  Lisa shared with us what had drawn her to our profile.  Her criteria for a family was that 1. they must all ready have at least on child and 2. they must have a dog.  I was shocked to learn that of the more than 100 waiting families listed with our agency only five families meet this criteria.  We were the only family who described our dog's personalities in our letter.  (When we say that our dogs are part of our family, we mean it!)  It was also very special to learn that Leo had kicked and made his wishes known while Lisa read our profile.

The first phone call I got from Lisa (and I say I, because Lincoln was not with me) came to me while I was in a yarn store in Utah with my mom and sister.  This, to me, was another tender mercy arranged by Heavenly Father.  Knitting with my Mom, sister, and grandmothers is such an important part of who I am.  I felt like Lisa was joining us as my honorary sister.  From the beginning we talked to one another with the ease of women who have known each other their whole lives.  After we hung up I purchased some of my very favorite yarn, in what I would later learn was Lisa's favorite color, to knit a hat and scarf for her.  (She looks so beautiful in them too!)

slowly but surly, I will record Leo's story.  Part 3: Welcome to Alaska and Meeting Lisa will follow.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Leo's Story, part 1: The Match

The time has come to tell our adoption story, well at least to tell mine and Lincoln's end of it.  There are some parts that will be left out for Leo's sake.  He deserves to share the more intimate portions of his story with whom and when he wants.

The Call

All you adoptive parents and hopeful adoptive parents know about "THE CALL."  The one that announces that ***YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN***

It is the day we wait for and the reason our hearts skip when our phones ring and our breath quickens when we see an adoption related email.  In reality, though, it rarely works that way.  Usually we get a call telling us that a potential birth parent wants to meet us, or that we are being profiled, or that we meet the criteria of a potential birth parent, (so could you update your profile?)  Then we wait, and we wait, and we wait to hear if this first phone call will lead to another phone call.

Well, we had received THE call three times by December 2009.  In October we had gone through a very painful failed adoption and had decided to take our profile down for a month or two in order to process and to heal.  We actually hadn't bothered to tell our LDSFS caseworker that we had taken down our profiles, as we had never had any sort of contact from any birthparent through LDSFS, and we did not expect to complete our eventual adoption through them.

So, when I noticed a phone call from LDSFS on my caller id in mid-December I assumed it was just someone calling to remind us that our home study needed to be renewed (as if I had forgotten.)  Pam, the adoption worker, had actually left us a message telling us to to call her ASAP, but I missed it somehow.  Our voice mail goes to my email, so if I get a lot of emails one day I sometimes don't see the voicemails.  (Also, my inbox is a giant nightmare of information, but I'm sure that has nothing to do with it.)

A couple of days later I got an email from Pam (who I'm sure was wondering if we had fallen off the earth - we have got to be the only couple who didn't call her back when they were told a birth mother was interested in them INSTANTLY.)  She, in a very nice way, said "HELLO, are you daft? Call me!!!"  So I did.

She gave me Lisa's* email address and told me something that I was not expecting to hear.  Lisa was not interested in just getting to know us a little better, or meeting us, Lisa has CHOSEN us.



I was scared.  My first thought was, I can't do this again.  I can't go through another heartbreak.  I waited for Lincoln to get home that night and then we sat down to compose a very carefully worded and thought out email.  (Lisa, if you had any idea how carefully we wrote that email, you would laugh yourself silly.)

check back for part 2: Getting to know Lisa

*this is not Leo's birthmother's real name.  To protect her privacy we have changed it.

Birthmothers 4 Adoption

You all know that I love the ladies behind Birthmother's 4 Adoption, right?


Truly, you will learn more about birth mothers and their perspective there than possibly any other place on the internet. They also offer other birth moms and prospective birth moms a ton of support and a safe place to be, to ask questions, and to "have their own experience." (Love that, Desha!)  Anyone associated with adoption should be following their blog.

Right now they are sponsoring a great adoption book give away.



They are giving away both of these lovely child focused adoption books.  No links on purpose, I want you to click through to Birthmother's 4 Adoption!  Head on over and meet these wonderful women.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


It was so simple, so quick, so easy.  A beautiful juxtaposition to the emotional roller coaster ride that we rode to find him.  Leo, you now officially, Leo.  How strange and how lovely.


Now I will feel safe in telling our story. Stay tuned. . .

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthmothers 4 Adoption - A Logo Contest

This is one of the most charitable and supportive group of women I know.  They have created a community of Birthmoms that exists to support other Birthmoms.  Their blog is an adoption MUST READ!

Jessa and Desha (the authors/moderators) have decided the Birthmothers 4 Adoption is in need of a logo, and they are turning to US, the creative adoption community to help them achieve that.  Give back to a group of women who have given the very most to the adoption world.

Click HERE to learn about the contest

(I've all ready submitted my entry. . . You have until July 3rd at midnight!)

Friday, April 30, 2010

National Infertility Awareness Week

This week is almost over, and I didn't want to let it pass without saying something. The problem is, I'm just not sure what to say.

There are so many women, so many families who have something to say, who can offer support, encouragement, empathy. If you are suffering from infertility, I suggest you tap into that incredible network. You can meet many of those strong infertility warriors this week over at Mrs. R's. Place.

For me, infertility looks different. I do suffer from infertility. I will never carry another child in my womb. There is no hope for that, as there is no treatment (and no hope for a future treatment) to the disease that my body carries.

My knowledge of basal thermometers, Clomid, and IVF are not first hand. None of them are options for me. In fact, I must take very careful measures to insure that I do not get pregnant, as a pregnancy would almost surely end in death for both myself and the baby, but only after weeks or months of intense suffering.

That is a lonely place to be sometimes. Rarely do we face situations where there is no hope. Rarely do we face situations in forced solitude. (Chorea Gravidarum is so rare that it is almost certain I will never meet another woman who has suffered from it.) Rarely are we forced to look elsewhere for solutions to our hearts' deepest desires.

I did mourn my fertility. In fact, I still do mourn my fertility in the occasional quiet moment. I still feel pangs of jealousy that I will never feel that first kick in the womb again. I occasionally desire to experience the miracle of birth (I was under general anesthesia for JH's birth.) Most poignantly I long to nurse my second son, and any possible future children.

Most of the time, however, I am incredibly grateful that adoption was our only option to grow our family. I am a better person because of it. In the 18 months that we traveled on our adoption journey we experienced intense highs and lows. We met dozens of amazing people. We witnessed, and were even a part of, miracles.

And we met our son and his incredible birth mother.


You see, there is a secret that those of us who have faced infertility keep; something that I will share with you, (but don't tell those women who come by babies easily.) While all babies are miracles, those of us who have waded through heartbreak and despair on behalf of our babies rejoice in, celebrate, and cherish our little ones just a little bit more because we know what it is to live without them and to long for them.

When it is hard, when it is overwhelming. . . no matter where you find yourself in your quest to build your family, you can cling to this one piece of light. However it happens, eventually. . . eventually you will hold your miracle in your arms, and every tear you shed, every prayer you offered, every step you took will have been worth it. And, you would willingly do it all over again.

*My dear friend Sonya knit the sweater that Leo is wearing. This photo is to remind her that eventually another sweet miracle will also wear it.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So I'm Kind of Blissfully Busy

So, postings are probably going to come less often for a while. . . you all understand, right! ;)

Boy have I got some stories to tell you when I can! What a crazy experience bringing Leo home has been. In the mean time, let me distract you with adorable pictures of this sweet little cherub.

Isn't that little belly something else? I just love it!

So, during a blissful hour or two of quiet time while BOTH kids were sleeping, I found this awesome DYI home decorating episode from the show "Carter Can". In this show he come to the rescue of a couple who is about to bring their daughter home from Ethiopia but their living space is far from ready for her. I just love what they do to welcome her home, celebrate her heritage, and teach her about her family.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Leo James Wright

24 February 2010
7 lbs 5 oz
20.5 inches

A Miracle

His birth mama is doing great. She was AMAZING! We continue to see her and visit with her while we are waiting for ICPC to clear.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Birth Mother Shower in a Box

During our adoption journey I have struggled with the pain that birth mothers must go through in order for adoption to work, and frankly in order for me to experience the incredible joy of motherhood. That is very hard for me.

I have sought out ways to support these incredible women.

Now that I have a personal relationship with the birth mother of our child (whom is scheduled to make his appearance in the next week or so. . . WOW!) I have felt this heaviness with even more poignancy.

It is the truth that no matter my level of empathy I will never truly understand the sacrifice that these women make for their children, for our children. The best that I can do is support and love them in any way I can think of. . . and encourage others to do the same.

I am so blessed to be surrounded with a group of amazing women. My sister, mother, mother-in-law and friends came together in a loving, fun, and compassionate display of what that support can look like.


Each of these amazing 15 women prepared a small handmade or hand selected gift meant to pamper and offer support to the woman who will deliver our miracle. The purpose was to let her know that she has emotional and spiritual support in places she probably hadn't considered and that her choice reaches far beyond the blessings our family will inherit from her.

My friends and family were so willing and excited to do this and many of them sent notes expressing their feelings to our birth mom to-be.

M. loved it.

What other ways have you found to love and support yours (or someonelse's) child's birth mom?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Orphans in Haiti

Let me start by saying that I know very little about the intricacies of international adoption. Perhaps in my future I will have the opportunity to know more.

There are many of us, including me, who see the images of the children in Haiti and our hearts break, and then we know we MUST do something. We have safe homes, open hearts, and a surplus of love- we see in the faces of these children the potential faces of our own children.

There is a lot to be done just to recreate a safe place in Haiti for these children, to tend to any of their medical and physical needs, and to re-establish the infrastructure that will allow for orderly adoptions to take place again.

If you know that God is calling you to bring a child from Haiti into your home and family, please visit MLJ Adoptions WEBSITE. You can read about caring for Haiti's Orphans HERE and inquire about their Haiti hosting and adoption programs HERE.

If the sight of these children has opened your heart to the possibility of adoption, please remember that there are many children here in the US that need a loving stable home and parents who will cherish them. To learn more about adopting from our country's foster care system, I suggest contacting a Foster Family Adoption Agency, like Amara.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Bad and the Ugly

We all know that there is a good and beautiful side to adoption, but we rarely talk about the trolls that also lurk in this world.

I hope that all of you, especially hopeful adoptive parents, have been reading Mrs. R.'s account of being scammed and catching this dreadfully sad girl in her web of lies. Not only did this young woman lie and emotionally manipulate The R. Family, but she did so to at least three other couples.

Link and I have been through our fair share of adoption scams as well. We have become skeptical of all initial contact that we have with potential birth parents. We now scrutinize it in a way that we would have never thought to when we first embarked on our journey.

1. The first thing I do when we receive an email from a pbp is to google their email address and name. Don't stop at the first page, I found the email address of one girl with whom we IMed for a good hour one night buried deep in an adoption agencies' message board they keep for their clients. The poor couple who had posted it had been strung along by her for months.
(She goes by either Amanda or Heather and her AIM handle is DreamAngelQueen)

2. The second thing we do is to check what they are telling us against this helpful website.
http://www.abcadoptions.com/scams.htm Thank you ABC Adoptions, I don't know anything about you other than you website has saved us from a great deal of heartache.

Here is the information I posted after Link and I were first targeted by a scammer.

The Duke and I have been victims of our first (and hopefully last) adoption scam. No, we were not taken for any money, just taken on a bit of an emotional ride. I am posting it here so that it search-able and other people will be able to easily and quickly discover that this is a scam.

First Email

Name: Melissa
E-mail Address: melissalood1987@gmail.com
Phone #:
Affiliation: Birthmother
Comments: ----------------------------------
Dear adoptive parents i am considering the the adoption of my lovely baby Cerli. She is 6 months old. Due to the circumstances that has brought me to taking this decision which has not been easy, i just wish that baby Cerli goes to a home that she will grow up with parental love and care. I read through your profile and was strongly moved so i decided to contact you since you would be very good adoptive parents for baby Cerli. I will wait to here from. Here is my email address you can contact me for more information.have a nice day.

Second Email

Good day ***** and ******,
I want to first of all ask how you both spent your weekend ?
Baby Cerli is doing find and she can't wait to be in her new home.
I stay in East Sussex ,in a place called Brighton . It is a nice place
but i do not really like it much. Brandon(Cerli's father) died a few
weeks after his right were terminated . He had a car crash, I really
don't want to talk about it since it makes me feel really bad , It is
sad situation we have,
About my family , I am the first from a family of three and the only
girl , my father is on a wheel chair and lives with my brothers in
Ireland ,My mother died while i was still in High School. They are all
supportive on my idea about considering Adoption for baby Cerli,
I also have some questions to ask both of you as well. I think this
would make us get to know each other very well too. Since i am
considering you as Adoptive Parents for baby Cerli ,i would like to
know the following information about you :
What state do you live in?
What religion are you?
Do have have any other children?
Why do you want to adopt?
How do your family and friends feel about adopting children?
Do you have any pets?
What kind of schools do you intend to send baby Cerli to?(private / public)
How did you and Lincoln meet?
How long have you and Lincoln been married?
How big is your extended family?
What do you do during holidays?
What are your hobbies?
Are you willing to give me the type of contact Such as visits,
pictures, videos, letters, etc after Adopting?
How often ?
I am really sorry about all the questions but it is a hard decision i
am making and i want the best for baby Cerli , that is why i am taking
time to ask all the questions which would make me get to know the kind
of couple and family you are , and also the kind of home baby cerli
would be leaving for.Please also feel free to ask any information or
questions about me or baby Cerli , i would be very happy to answer to
your questions. I have been discussing with mr willian connor a lawyer
helping us through this adoption process . He promise to get in
contact with you and ******* .
Hope to read from you soon.
Melissa Mckayla.
You will notice that these two emails were riddled with red flags that are mentioned on the ABC Adoptions site.

3. We contact our case worker or lawyer (depending on the situation) and ask them to verify pregnancy.

4. We pray and we listen to the Spirit.

I will add another one here that was pretty obvious from the get-go.

Name: kelly amber
E-mail Address: kellyamber02@yahoo.com
Phone #:
Affiliation: Birthfather
Comments: ----------------------------------
hello, my name is kelly amber from belgium. saw your profile. i am 18 years old and my girlfriend is much younger. she got pegenant and because we are God fearing people we decided not to put away the baby, but bless a family with it. we want a family who will teach this baby the right morals of life and let him know about God. we are giving away this baby because we dont consider ourself fit to take care of him we are still too young and we want to further our studies. this baby will be born in 2 months. can you please get back to us . my email adress is kellyamber02@yahoo.com
I hope that none of you ever have to go through a long, emotional, and drawn out experience with an adoption scam artist. Be aware, be alert, and be careful. Our miracles will find us in God's due time.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Blind Side

I finally saw The Blind Side in a theater, no less! (I haven't seen a movie in the theater since the first Lord of the Rings movie.) It was wonderful. I loved it. Everyone should see it.

Thank you to Michael Oher and the Touhy Family for sharing their amazing story with all of us. You give us all hope.