Friday, November 18, 2011

Wow! A year ago today...

Today has been a year since I told Randy and Rachel they would have a sweet new baby joining their family in just a few short weeks. It was the greatest decision Ive ever made. At a time in my life when I felt like I had made all the wrong decisions and couldnt trust myself, this was my first step in the right direction. I was there last night for dinner, and I cant believe how lucky those boys are. I never thought anyone could ever possibly love my baby like I could. I mean, I'm sure they would care about him, but theres no way they'd really love him as their own. But they do. I have to hold back sweet tears when I see the look on Rachel's face when she watches him play. There is so much love and compassion. I catch myself watching her instead of him. And Randy is an amazing daddy. I love how he gets down on the floor and wrestles with the boys. I pray nightly that, when I get married and have a family, we could be even half the parents that they are. I have so much love and respect for them and their family.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Got a real job, workin real hard. I'm like Spongebob, makin Krabby Patties...

So... I got a job! Two jobs to be specific.

The first is a nany job for a family in Holladay. 4 kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. Ages 2months, 2.5 years, 5 years, and 8 years. Theyre a ton of fun and have LOTS of energy! They definately keep me on my toes with 3 consecutave day 14 hour shifts!

The second is another nanny job for a family in Midvale. 1 kid (age 3) an done on the way (due Nov. 30th!) Shes a fun girl with lots of spirit and a huge heart. Like me, she LOVES to color and draw. :) I work alternating 8 and 4 hour shifts on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday!

I dont know how much time I'll have for, well, anyone anymore. :P but, it will all be worth it when I get to spend my 1-year annaversary with Chris in Disneyland for a week, hanging-out with the Minnie and Mickey as we count down the New Year!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MY Adoption Story...

Now, not every post is going to be about adoption. However, it is a huge part of my life. So here's the story so I wont forget (though I don't know how I could) and for the friends and family who haven't heard, or just want to hear it again.

In April of 2010, my life was rocky. I was dating a guy who wasn't right for me, and I was stuck in a rut. I'm not going to make excuses for why or how it happened, but on April 21st, I found out I was pregnant. So many thoughts raced through my head and transformed into tears as they poured from my eyes. How am I going to do this? This was my rock bottom. I didn't know how I was going to tell my mom, or how I was going to provide for this little being growing inside me. I was only 16 and felt beyond alone. I prayed a real prayer that wasn't rehearsed or forced for the first time in years. I asked to know what to do, who to tell, and what to say. I asked to be forgiven and for help and strength to forgive myself. Prayer became my only comrade. God was the only one I could turn to without feeling like the biggest disappointment to ever climb out from the deep cracks of failure.

I prayed daily to know what to do. Abortion was never on option. But I needed to know if I should keep this sweet angel inside of me, or if I should "give it up" for adoption. Back then, adoption seemed like the easy way out, which wasn't for me. I figured, I made the mistake, I should take care of it. I saw adoption as pawning off responsibility on someone else so I could go on with my life like nothing had happened. It scared me. I asked Heavenly Father if I should keep my baby, because that's the thought that had kept pressing on my mind (whether by His choice or mine) and I felt at peace wit the idea.

Three months passed by and the only ones to know of my pregnancy were my Heavenly Father, my three closest friends, and an old Young Women's leader that had since moved away. My Heavenly Father seemed to support my decision to keep the baby, my friends seemed to support my decision to keep the baby, and my YW leader seemed to support me in any decision, but also counseled me to talk to my mom about the pregnancy. She reminded that in either case, I still needed to go to doctors appointments and still needed her support.

I was petrified. I felt that my whole life had already been a let-down to my mom and now she would know that I've really messed this one up bad. What would she think of me? I decided to have a plan before I told her.

At a friend's house, I went online to figure out how I could possibly graduate a semester early in time to be done before the baby came. Option #1: Do online high school along with classes over the first semester of school and be done by January (and cost me over $900, or Option #2: Attend Valley High School (which I knew my mom would be against because it had the reputation as being the only school willing to harbor druggies, pregnant teens, and idiots. I decided to fight for Option #1 first then suggest Option #2 if worse came to worse.

Two weeks later, worse came to worse. I ended up telling her why I wanted to graduate early, about the dad not wanting to be part of it, and what my plan was. I mean, if Heavenly Father was behind my decision, He must provide a way for it to work, right? She immediately told me that I needed to look more into adoption. After a few hours full of tears and my step-dad being invited in on the conversation, I decided to call my dad to let him know.

He reacted a lot more then my mom did. He asked what I planned to do and seemed relieved when I told him I planned to keep the baby. But, when I mentioned my mom's adoption suggestion, he was on the defensive. I knew right then this wasn't going to be as easy as I had initially hoped.

Within a week, I had a doctor and LDS Family Services appointments set. Everything looked great in the ultra-sound and and he made the observation that I would most-likely be due the 4th of December. LDS Family Services assigned me a counselor to help me sort out my options, make the decision that would be best for me, and find out what to do next.

July brought more counseling appointments and doctors appointments and the annual FSA (Families Supporting Adoption) Conference. This is where one of my first major experiences happened. As I was sitting alone in one of the rooms waiting for the class to start, and elderly woman walked up to me and asked why I was at the conference. I replied by stating my situation and that I was still in the decision-making process. She smiled, hugged me, and said "No. Its time for you to be a mom now," and she walked away. I took that as a sign from my Heavenly Father that I was, in fact, supposed to keep the baby.

Two weeks later, I asked my friend's dad to give me a blessing. I figured he would say what God wanted me to hear and not be biased by his own opinions. In the blessing, I was told that I will be a wonderful mother and that I must do what I believe is right for me and the sweet baby boy that I was holding.

The next week, I found out (from the doctor) that I was having a boy.

September brought more and more appointments of all kinds, and trying to find the perfect baby name for my little guy. Keidan was decided upon because of the love I had for the name Keigan, and the incorporation for my dad Dan's name.

Another thing was brought to my attention in September. One, that the new bishop felt the need to "pick on me" at least once per week, and that I knew if heavenly Father suddenly changed my course and I was supposed to place, it wouldn't take a choir of angels. Just the perfect family. (Which I determined through a list of wants, needs, and they-better-nots.) I decided to look on the LSDFS website at couples that fit my criteria and e-mail them. None fit my complete criteria and the ones who were close-ish ended up being either completely fake, or didn't want to keep the adoption as open as they made it out to seem.

I knew, that to even consider placing for adoption, they had to fit my specific criteria (that I guess was so unbelievable, my counselor chuckled at some of the ideas.)
The family had to already have one child adopted, but no more than two because I didn't want a "greedy" adoptive parent.
They had to want to accept me as part of the family.
I had to know I could show up on their porch crying needing to see them and be welcomed in.
I didn't want to make an appointment 6 months in advance to see my baby for ten minutes.
I needed him to know that I was his birth mom. Not an aunt or family friend. His birth mom.
And I needed them to be just as close to my family as they would be to me.

October brought the bishop calling me with a request to have an adoptive couple call me and tell me their story. Thinking it would get him off my back for a while, I agreed. Later that night, Randy called me. He talked for about 20 minutes and I discovered something... He was a dork. I smiled throughout the whole conversation while he apologized over and over for not making any sense. About an hour after getting off the phone with him, his wife Rachel called me and we talked for about 3 minutes tops. She seemed nervous and I thought she got dragged into this like I did. After we got off the phone, I talked to my mom, then prayed to know if they were THE couple I was supposed to place with, or if I was just supposed to have the experience.

I didn't get any special feelings about them, but I received a text from them on Halloween. I thought it was nice, but continued to planning my baby showers anyways. One in Las Vegas thrown by my step-mom and one in Salt Lake thrown by a friend and her mom.

But, the day before my SLC shower, I started venting to my mom about still not having a job and not knowing how I was going to pay doctor bills and day-to-day baby needs. I also expressed feeling the need to meet with Randy and Rachel because the Lord talks to me through experiences and I should try and experience them in real life. But, that's not usually how it works through LDSFS, they say you shouldn't meet with a couple unless you really plan to place with them, which I wasn't. My mom suggested I text Rachel, and just tell her how I was feeling, not lead her on, but tell her the truth. She also offered to go to the temple with me the next Tuesday since I hadn't gone after getting my recommend back.

Rachel text me back and offered to take me to lunch the Saturday after my baby shower.

Lunch went great, finding out that her dad was my gym teacher in 10th grade and my Drivers ED teacher in 11th and that they knew a couple in my ward who actually were the ones to give the bishop their names and numbers.

I liked them, but why? Was it because we knew some of the same people? Or because they were nice? Or because they bought me food? I didn't know.

Later that night, was my cousin's baby's funeral. My parents advised me not to go, but I went anyways. I couldn't make it over to the casket. From across the room, I saw what looked like a doll laying alone with family and friends crying over him, and I lost it. I cried harder than I ever had. His parents were beyond torn apart and I just kept thinking that I have one of those inside of me right now. What if he doesn't make it? No one would be able to understand what I was feeling. I really would be alone, and that scared me.

The Tuesday after meeting wit Randy and Rachel (and their earlier adopted son, Brock) I went to the temple with my mom. After leaving the temple, I was talking to my mom about how much I wanted to hang-out I also kept wanting to buy cute things with Randy and Rachel again, but I didn't know why. I still wasn't planning to place, but I liked them. Just as I finished my sentence, I got a text from Rachel asking if I'd like to come to their home that Saturday because they wanted to "hang-out". It was amazingly perfect timing and I told her she had read my mind.

The next night at the temple, I prayed that I would find an answer. That I would know what to do since things hadn't been falling into place thus far. After the prayer, I flipped open the scriptures randomly to a page talking about baptisms for the dead, which I was doing. I read it slightly disappointed that I hadn't received the answer I was looking for.

Thursday, I kept thinking about when I had been asked, prior to being pregnant, about when I wanted to have kids. My answer had always been when I was financially stable, which at this point I wasn't. I also didn't understand why I wanted to keep getting Brock treats and surprises. I had a lot on my mind when I went to the temple that night. I prayed again. I asked when I would know without a shadow of a doubt what to do. Again, I ended my prayer and open the scriptures. It read "And the servant asked, When Lord shall I know?, and the Lord replied, In my own due time will ye know all things, as long as you keep my commandments and do the things which you know you ought." I bawled. I felt heart-broken for asking instead of just trusting upon the Lord as I had thus far. My due date was less than three weeks away and I was uncertain of what to do.

After the temple, my mom turned to me and simply said, "You know this baby isn't yours. Do whats right." I said nothing and cried again.

When I got home, I grabbed my dog so I could go to bed. After so much crying and feeling the Spirit so strongly all day, I was wiped out. But, the dog peed on my bed. I cried as I took my blanket and sheets to the laundry room, but there was laundry in washer. So, I opened the dryer and saw the clothes my mom had asked me for 3 days to put away. I carried them to the living room and threw them to the ground. Then I climbed in my mom's bed and told her I couldn't handle one more thing tonight. She held me and we prayed that Satan would be cast out and have no say on my mind during this choice.

I woke-up in my bed the next morning, not remembering how or when I got there, but knowing for certain that I was going to place with Randy and Rachel. I decided to tell them when I went to their house the next day. I spent the day making sugar cookies (their favorites) and picking-up some stuff for Brock. I also decided to get an outfit for the baby.

Saturday, after dinner and dessert, I pulled out their gifts. For Brock: a coloring book, crayons, and a small bag of cookies. For Randy and Rachel, sugar and snicker doodle cookies. And for Brock's little brother (as I put it) a cute Utah Jazz outfit with jeans and construction boots.

I cried. They cried. They asked what I wanted out of this adoption, and I apprehensively gave them the list. They smiled. That's exactly what they were looking for too.

The next week I brought over my baby shower gifts and Rachel and I cried again. She let me be part of setting up the nursery and I invited her to my final doctor appointment that Friday, where the doctor did a special ultrasound (at my request) so she could have her own pictures.

I missed my due date, and was induced four days later on December 8th. My mom, step-dad, Randy, Rachel, and Erin (Rachel's sister) were in the room with me when he was born. Erin took pictures and my mom and Rachel were by my side the whole time. Rachel cut the cord and was the first to hold him.

They named him Brody Keidan Mellor (which was perfect since they kept Brock's birth mama's choice as the middle name too, which made him Brock Kylen. i.e. same initials!) He was 8lbs 4oz and 21in long.

They spent a lot of time with me in the hospital after he was born and for the next 2 days there.

Placement on December 10th was hard. They use the most harsh wording in relinquishment and all I could do was cry. Its hard not to be selfish when the only person you've ever loved more than anything in the world isn't coming home with you. I wanted Randy and Rachel to be in the room with me so bad, because everything feels okay when they're around, but I didn't want them to see me cry and think I regretted my decision.

After the caseworkers left, I sat in the bathroom and cried for over a half hour. I prayed that I could stop my crying so they could come back in. My Heavenly Father must have a sense of humor because almost instantly after the "Amen" the song "All I Have to Give" by The Backstreet Boys popped into my head. It fit perfectly.

(If you don't know it, the lyrics go something like:
My love is all I have to give
Without you I don't think I could live
I wish I could give the world to you
But my love is all I have to give
To you.)

But, Randy and Rachel come back in and I felt the warmth and kind spirit. I gave Brody a kiss, handed him to Rachel, hugged everyone, and left.

I have never regretted my decision to place. I have the worlds most perfect family to take care of my perfect baby. They are the parents I hope to be when its my time. I'm so grateful to have them in my life.