Jon and Rachel

our lives, our love, and our adoption journey

National Adoption Month! November 3, 2010

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,First Mother,Openness — jonandrachel @ 9:17 pm

November is National Adoption Month! This picture was taken seconds after I met Sam and his beautiful birthmom for the first time. Pure joy, pure love, pure delicious curly-haired sweet-smelling heaven.  We were lucky to spend a lot of time with Sam’s birthmom in the hospital. She is the one who taught me to change a diaper. She taught me how to feed Sam. She taught me how to take care of her sweet baby. Most of all, she taught me so much about love.

Love you Holly & Greg! You are loved, appreciated and remembered every single day. XOXOX!

Rachel

 

 

Memories and Nachos June 18, 2010

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,Family time,First Mother,Openness — jonandrachel @ 1:58 pm

We just got back from a trip to the midwest to help our friends move. The highlight of our trip was being able to stop and see Sam’s birthparents. Oh how we adore them. It was great being back in Sam’s birthtown. So many tender emotions surfaced as we remembered our journey there less than two years ago. Memories of getting on an airplane nervous with anticipation, meeting Sam’s beautiful birthmom, meeting Sam, falling in love with curly-haired perfection, learning from Sam’s birthmom how to take care of her tiny baby, soaking up every word she said, savoring every moment we had together, being new parents….it all come flooding back.

What a joy it was to see Sam’s birthparents again! They love Sam so much. We love them so much! I hope they see how much he is loved and adored. It was great to be able to ask them about some of Sam’s traits. He is left-handed (maybe) like his birthmom. He get his love of animals from them. He gets his curiosity about how things work from his birthdad. They both share Sam’s love of music.

We stayed in the same hotel we “lived” in for the first week of Sam’s life until we were cleared by ICPC to return home. This time we took Sam swimming. He LOVED the pool….somewhere we did not venture the first time around. We saw our favorite waitress who served us nearly nightly right after Sam was born. We had the nachos again and they were every bit as tasty as we remembered.

So many reminders. So many memories. Such fabulous nachos.

Truly a reminder that we have been living our miracle for the past 19 months and three weeks (but who is counting, right?).

 

Exciting News May 6, 2010

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,First Mother,Openness — jonandrachel @ 9:50 pm

We have been approved to adopt again! YEA!!! That means we are officially “waiting.” We are so excited to be taking this step to add to our family again through the love and hope of adoption.

View our official profile here.

Love adoption. Love hope.

 

Our baby turned into a little(ish) boy! March 24, 2010

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,Family time,First Mother,Openness — jonandrachel @ 9:43 pm

I love this picture!  Sam has so much personality. He is 17 months and 100% boy.  Here are some of his latest stats.

Favorite foods: Cheese and chicken

Favorite toys: Balls, measuring cups, pots and pans, remotes, cell phones, keys

Vocabulary: Mom, Dad, Nana (banana), bottle, blankie, book, ball, cheese, all done, thank you, please, bye bye, hi, hello, no, yes, uh-oh

Animal sounds: Woof, meow, quack, whoo whoo, spit (camel), moo

Favorite animal: Nemo, my sister’s cat

New tricks: climbing in the bath tub by himself, jumping in his bed, climbing on the furniture, running, playing outside, going down slides

Sleeping: through the night…most nights

Favorite meals: pasta, fried rice, anything with cheese, enchiladas

Favorite books: anything with animals (he has to kiss all of the puppies), Goodnight Moon, Time for Bed

As a side note, we get to see Sam’s birthparents this summer. They live about 1400 miles away so we haven’t seen them since he was born. We are beyond excited to see both of them. We love them so much and can’t wait to spend time with them again.

 

The season for Thanksgiving November 22, 2009

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,Family time,First Mother — jonandrachel @ 2:18 pm

We have had a whole series of special experiences lately, made all the more special by the fact that we are enjoying them with our little miracle baby boy. The mundane has become magical, as waking up with a giggly little face in the house makes every day start off special. Grocery shopping is fun (and more expensive) now that we make the impulse buys for our little man. Preparing for the holiday season, and especially Christmas is such fun that it’s almost like being a little kid again ourselves. All this miracle in our lives is as a result of the gift of adoption that we have been given, that we’ll never be able the express the depth of our gratitude for, and this we celebrate all year, but especially at this Thanksgiving season.

 

Long line of love. August 26, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Birth Mother,Birthparent,First Mother,Openness — jonandrachel @ 1:40 pm

Last week we went to Florida for our nephew’s wedding. We had a great time re-connecting with family. We miss Jon’s sister and brother and wish we all lived closer together! We also were able to met Sam’s birth grandparents. Jim and Trudy warmed our hearts instantly. They talked with love about their family and the love the have for their two daughters. We watched some home videos of our sweet Holly when she was younger. I now know where Sam love of water and enthusisum of life orignated. She was a smiley baby, a happy baby and a curious about life baby….all traits we enjoy in Sam. What a gift it was to learn more about Holly’s family.

Sam truly comes from a long line of love….and we promise to keep it alive.

 

Three Mothers June 6, 2009

Filed under: about us,Adoption,Birth Mother,First Mother — jonandrachel @ 11:18 pm

100_1050From my Mother’s Day talk in church…..

This mother’s day, I feel like I have special cause to celebrate. Rachel and I were able to go to the temple yesterday to have Sam sealed to us.  The journey into fatherhood has been one where I have been constantly in awe of the love that mothers can give.  I count myself to have 3 wonderful examples of motherhood in my life – My dear wife, my mother, and Sam’s birthmother – all of whom have taught me something about a mother’s love.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Eph. 5:25).

I have observed with Rachel that motherhood has its sweet moments – the last snuggle from Sam as he’s tucked into bed, knowing that she can comfort him when no one else can, kissing his little toes after bathtime – but mothering is not always an easy responsibility.  In our home, it ranges from walking the hall at nights, trying to calm Sam down for bed after a busy day, to running multiple loads of laundry in a day for him when he’s sick, to taking him to the doctor to get immunizations even though she knows they’re going to hurt for a little bit.  As hard as some of these experiences can be, in my mind there is a much more difficult decision that was made by his other mother before he arrived on Earth – the decision to put his needs for the future ahead of the desire for the moment, and choose adoption.

Many of you don’t know the story of how Sam came into our home.

Rachel and I have been married for nearly seven years.  For the first few years, we had school, work, and other life events that we thought were good reasons to delay starting a family.  Unfortunately, when we decided that it was time for our family to grow beyond the two of us, we discovered that Heavenly Father had other plans for us.  We prayed and went to the temple, and decided to follow a twin course of infertility treatments and preparing our paperwork to be adoptive parents.  As we moved through the journey of infertility diagnosis and treatments, I couldn’t help but notice the increased pain it caused her, month after frustrating month as we were unable to make that next step into parenthood together.  During that time, she continued to strive to become a better woman in preparation for being a mother, in spite of the fact that we had no child.  As Elder Faust stated in 1988: “Your eternal helpmate will gently hold you to your potential. She will give loving and thoughtful encouragement, as well as comfort and discipline. She will also lift you up when you are down and bring you back to earth when you are puffed up. She will bless your life in countless ways. As President Kimball said, “Brethren, we cannot be exalted without our wives. There can be no heaven without righteous women” (Ensign, Nov. 1979, p. 5).”  We grew together through trials, and she grew to be even a greater righteous woman than she had been before – no small feat for someone already as good as she was.  After many cycles of disappointment, we decided to take a break for a month and reappraise the situation.

During the timeframe when we normally would have been undergoing another round of treatment, we got a call that would change out lives forever. We had sent out our adoption profile to our family members around the country, and Rachel’s mother’s cousin knew someone in their ward who knew of a possible match.  There was a woman in Iowa who was pregnant, but in a situation that she would not be able to provide the opportunities she wanted for the baby. Rachel and Sam’s birthmom Holly talked on the phone almost every day for the next few weeks.  During that time, they discussed plans for this baby, dreamed about how he would grow up, and figured out how things would work for placing the baby with us.  These two mothers became united in the purpose of planning out the best life for this baby.  We came as two families and left as one. Finally the time came when Sam was born, and for us to go to Iowa and meet Holly and Sam.  We spent time in the hospital together as a decidedly non-traditional family, then spent time together outside of the hospital – in large part, so that we could all feel comfortable that we were doing what was best for little Sam.  After 10 days, Rachel, Sam and I boarded a plane and came home, and the joy that we had been feeling could be shared with our families.  After many long challenges, Rachel was a mother, with Sam as her baby.  Two weeks ago, we sat in court and listened as he was declared legally our baby, but the mother-child bond had formed long before then – Rachel became Sam’s mother in her heart in the instant she saw him in the hospital.  Holly will always be his mother, too, and we are eternally grateful that she made the decision to make us the parents of her sweet baby boy.  The love that must go into making such a hard decision is the purest, most complete love that I know of, short of the love the Savior has for us.  I celebrate both of Sam’s mothers.

My own mother is a critical reason why I am where I am today.  Throughout my childhood, as I was busy getting into things I probably shouldn’t have, she kept trying to teach me.  When my sisters and I would be at each others throats, there would be mom, singing “Love at Home,” which, as I recall,  never served to instill feeling of love between my sisters and me, but served as enough of a distraction to stop us doing what we were doing.  Even now, when times are challenging, and kindness is in short supply, I find myself thinking “Mom would totally be singing ‘Love at Home’ right now if she were here,” so maybe it did work after all.

From Alma, talking about Helaman’s two thousand stripling warriors, (Alma 56: 47-48) yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Never in my life have I doubted that my mother knows what God is capable of on a personal level.  Never have I questioned whether she has a testimony of the truth, for she has always shown in her life that she knows.  She has always been an advocate for me, even when I did not particularly deserve it, and I have no doubt that she always will be there for me.

We had the great privilege of being in the temple to have Sam sealed to us.  What a joy to be in the sealing room, with my Sam, Rachel, and both of our mothers as many friends and family witnessed that great blessing.  The bond of love that has already grown to great strength in the last few months was made into an eternally strengthening one, and as full as my joy for that is, I know that Rachel is even more overjoyed.  Our journey to this point had its challenges, but I believe that the challenges have made the reward of parenthood that much sweeter.

Jon