Monday, September 17, 2012


This weekend we rented a canoe and did a little rowing in the slough. The weather was awesome and the river was really peaceful. 

 Matt and I picked out our next home :)
As nice as it was to have a little family time, canoeing isn't as thrilling for Sam as we had hoped. This kid needs more speed and danger, I think :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Adoption so Far

I belong to a Facebook page for NAIT mothers. I have been asked to share my experience and reasoning behind adoption, and I thought that this was worthy of a blog post.

First and foremost I would like to explain why we chose to adopt.

When Sam was born with NAIT, the doctors that we worked with knew practically nothing about the disorder. They all studied very hard to be able to give us as much information as possible, but it just didn't feel like we knew the best route for having another biological child.

We met with a Neonatal specialist about our hopes of having more children and he explained the treatments, side effects and chances of delivering a normal platelet baby.

He gave us a very positive outlook, but for some reason it still never felt right to me.

Fears took over and I started to think about adoption.

The more I thought about it, the more "right" it started to feel. I feel so lucky to have our healthy son Sam, but I realized that it wasn't all that important for me to have more biological children. I knew that I could love another life without carrying it in my womb.

I spoke to friends and researched adoption on the internet. It slowly took over my thoughts and soon enough it was all I could think about.

Which leads us to where we are now.

We are currently a "waiting family" with an agency called "Everlasting Adoptions." So far our experience has been phenomenal and the staff has been amazing at helping us through our journey. It is a domestic agency meaning we will adopt within the United States.

Check out our profile HERE.

There are so many agencies out there and just as many ways of going about adoption. There is the State program, which usually starts you off as a foster home, Domestic programs which are within the country you live or International Adoption which is throughout many of the areas of the world. You can adopt a newborn, special needs child or a foster child. There are positive and negatives to each of these adoption paths. You have to decide for yourself what is the best direction for your family.

We chose Everlasting for a few reasons. We interviewed about 10 agencies and when it came down to it, this agency worked best for our family.

Reason #1-The staff was really open to spending hours on hours talking to us, answering questions and learning about our family. They never seem put out or frustrated with any of our concerns or hesitations. We never felt like we were being "sold" something. Each member of the staff is an adoptive mother so they understand the journey first hand. 

#2 - The cost. Our 2 year contract includes an online profile set up (the link above), advertising for our family and a mail out booklet about us that is sent to birthmothers. There is no money given to the birthmothers through Everlasting adoption. 

Many agencies pay for the birth mothers medical care or housing costs throughout her pregnancy. This can be very expensive, but you do have more control of the health of the mother and your future child. (Not to mention the chances of relinquishment are lower.) If you have the means, in my opinion, an agency that offers this is the best choice. The chances of you getting a healthy baby are much higher. 

Our agency does not offer this, but once you are in touch with a birth mother, you can request her to get tested and offer her any care you feel necessary. We felt comfortable with the freedom that Everlasting gave us in this department. 

#3 - Everlasting only allows 6 families to join the program every month. This keeps the number of families down so that your chances are higher of bringing home a baby sooner. This also allows the agency to have a smaller staff so that you actually build a relationship with the agents rather than speak to someone new each time you have a concern. 

#4 - This agency also allows you to chose your own legal team, meaning that you are not required to use a lawyer or home study agent that they give you. This is good for any family that has any contacts in either of those fields. 

#5 - Everlasting only adopts out of 44 states. Those states have a 72 hour relinquishment requirement meaning that the birthmother must make a decision and sign the legal paperwork within 72 hours of the baby being born. The other 6 states have a 30 day relinquishment. So, you could take your newborn home and then 30 days later hear from the birthmother that she wants her baby back. Don't do that to yourself! Make sure you know the relinquishment time in the state you are adopting out of.

#6 - This agency allows you to chose between a closed adoption, semi-open or open adoption. The terms are entirely between you and the birthmother. 

This is our first time adopting and we haven't even brought a baby home yet so I understand that there is much more to learn about adoption. But I hope that this gives a little better understanding to the system and why we chose to take this route.

I would love to answer any questions about getting ready to adopt and I really do feel strongly about it being an amazing experience. I am so excited to go further in this journey!

"Love comes from service, not genetics."

Here are some links that really assisted me in deciding on an agency.

Agency reviews:

All there is to know!

A few of our favorite agencies

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Day of Pre-School

 Sam started school today and did wonderfully. He loved every minute of it. He has a great teacher named Mrs. Bloomingdale and he can't stop talking about her.

 He told me that they played with dough, toys and learned new songs about hippos and God. (It's a Lutheran School) His favorite part of the day was learning that Mrs. Bloomingdale loves and owns frogs too.
 The parents were asked to stay for the first few minutes, but soon enough, our big kids were waving us goodbye.
Next up, college graduation. Sigh.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Family Campout

This weekend we got to do a little camping with some friends of ours. It just so happened to be the same camp ground where Matty and I met 7 years ago. 

I had high hopes of getting a great family shot at the very same river where years ago I begged my friend Nicole to come with me so that I could "check out the hot brown guy" in my ward without looking like a loner. 

Look at us now :)
No, Sammy isn't smiling and we are in our camping duds, but honestly this picture means a lot to me. Who would've known 7 years later....
 Smile, you little turd!! (He had just woken up from a nap and he is NOT a morning person)
We had a good time camping and this was Sam's first time really "roughing it." He did great and really enjoyed the outdoors.

When it got dark we covered the kids in glow sticks and they ran around together all night.
 Our family slept in the car and what we didn't realize was that when you blow up an air mattress in the back of your SUV it covers the air vents. We figured this out in the middle of the night when we woke up hyperventilating. There's nothing like suffocation to make you appreciate the beautiful oxygen filled forests of the PNW. :)

The next morning, we ate breakfast by the fire and laughed about our horrible slumbers.
 Some of us woke with some really awesome bed-head :)
 When we were finally ready for the day, we all took the short hike down to the river and did a little "polar dipping". When I say we, I mean everyone but me. I do not do cold.
 After the river we drove up to the giant slip-and-slide. The kids were having a blast!
 Sammy didn't even hesitate to go down the big hill. He loved it.
He was on his 5th run when an adult accidentally ran into him at the bottom of the slide. Sam was bowled over into the mud and Matty and I ran down the hill as fast as we could to make sure Sam was alright. He was covered in mud and screaming and Matty and I feared broken bones or cuts and scrapes. All I could do was hold him close until he had calmed down enough to talk to me. After we rinsed him off I asked him, "Where does it hurt, Sammy? Can you tell me what's wrong?"

My heart about burst with love for this kid when between tears he replied, "Oh no, Mommy! I got mud on you!"

Ahh! Sweetest kid ever.

Anyway, he was totally fine (kids are so tough!) and all in all we had a great weekend. Sam is a very easy camper and hopefully we'll get to have some more outdoor fun before the fall comes and ruins everything ;)

Our next adventure, FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL!!!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Horse Races

Our labor day weekend was spent at Emerald Downs watching the horses race. We played for fun, and had some really great luck picking horses. Kind of tempted to bet...but that's how addictions get started. Good thing we got no money!

Sam's an old pro at the races since he had gone with Bub and Grandma a few times before. He always pics the black horses. 
 The view of the mountain is AMAZING! I couldn't stop admiring it.
 Free pony rides! Yeehaw!!
 Sam is getting somewhat comfortable with people in costumes. Still not thrilled about them...
 This is what an ice cream cone with do to ya.
 We like horses and plaid, apparently.