Sunday, March 22, 2015

the enchilada alternative

S had her baby.  This weekend has not been great.  Friday I didn't feel well so I slept all night, Saturday we helped at a ward party, which we fought (secretly) at.  Then we went to visit my grandmother's grave for her birthday and I lost it.  It was the first time I've been back since the funeral...and it was just so hard.  Today was a hard day at church that ended with someone telling me that there were good things about not having kids, incase I didn't know.

As I was eating my girl scout cookies, S messaged me.  The baby came a month early via C-section and he weighs 5 pounds and is doing well.  He's not even on oxygen.  That is all I know.  I cannot, cannot look at her pictures.  Can-NOT.  

S had her baby.  Her baby. He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  He's not my baby.  Repeat.  

I just made enchiladas for dinner.  I was supposed to be in Cabo when this happened, or Disneyland, or Lava Hotsprings!  Anywhere but standing in my kitchen making enchiladas.  I just kept stirring with my heart-shaped wooden spoon in disbelief as to what I was doing.  Why am I making enchiladas? He's not my baby.  

Luckily, I'm all stocked up on Phish Food thanks to a birthday present from my Visiting Teacher, and we just happen to have a great friend who snuck over and delivered a pint along with some flowers.  People are good.  He's not my baby.

Friday, March 20, 2015

gotcha

31 days ago I was given the best birthday present I would ever be given.  A brave, beautiful 16-year-old girl signed a release of her parental rights, kissed me goodbye, and gave me a better life and an eternal family.  Today is my gotcha day.  :)  I imagine, from my birthmother's letters that it went something like this.
I think she held me in her arms after my birth-grandfather gave me a blessing, which was transcribed and given to me. I imagine she cried and my birthfather, who cried as well, asked if she was sure, and she said, "Yes.  They can give her more."  I imagine she called upon the Lord for strength and to help her remember the conformation that she had.  I imagine she thought about her life as well, and how this decision would benefit her, even though it hurt.  I imagine she told me she loved me and to never forget that.  I never did. Ever. 
I've always known she loved me more than anything in the world and THAT was why she placed me in the arms of her caseworker and said goodbye.   
Then, my mom and dad got the best call of their lives.  "You can pick her up in three hours," they said.  Mom and Dad called their families and then raced to the mall.  They picked up a crib, toys, a rocking chair, dresser, changing table, bassinet, swing, jumper, bike basket, a million clothes and every other thing you can imagine.  Then they sat in the food court for two hours.   
Meanwhile, Grandma, whose birthday is (was, would be) tomorrow, and my aunt Heidi, picked up diapers, wipes, formula, bathing supplies and all other groceries along with some pink balloons that blew out of the car window three times before they finally made it home.   
When my mom and dad finally were able to go to the agency, their caseworker said, "She's in there.  You can go take a look at her and see if you want her."  My dad looked at him, baffled, and said, "Are you crazy?  We want her."  They cried over me, held me close, reluctantly loaded me into my newly installed carseat, and took me home to pink balloons and my family waiting to meet me. 
That night, my mom cried for my birthmother, and prayed harder than she'd ever prayed before, for her to have strength and comfort, and peace.  She knew she did.  
My mom still prays for my birthmom, 31 years later, and so do I.  Thank you, dear Birthmother, for being brave enough and strong enough to give me my family.  You did good, Girl.  I love you.

Monday, March 2, 2015

LDSFS Partnership with Adoption.com and What it Means for Us

As most of you know, today the LDS church announced that in order to give adoptive couples more exposure, they are partnering with the #1 adoption website, adoption.com.  Many of you are wondering what this means for us.  We are so excited!  Currently, our profile is listed at LDSFS's website, which will soon be taken down due to the closing of their adoption services.  Now, we will be able to create a profile at adoption.com for free for one year!  That is a $2400 subscription that the church is picking up the tab for!  That's like a bajillion pass-along cards! SOOOO many more girls will see our profile now and be able to find us so much sooner!  The website is amazing and has so many great features!  It's no wonder it is number one. I can't wait to get started on building our profile.

Now, what does this mean for us cost-wise?  More than likely, she will already be a client of an agency so we will work with her preferred agency and the cost will still be between $30,000-$50,000  There is a chance, however that the birthmom who chooses us may want to work through a private attorney, which will cost us around $10,000.  We will also need to update our homestudy if we aren not matched by July, which will be around $500-$1000.   If, by some miracle S changes her mind, then the original plan will continue and everything will only cost around $5,000.

The bottom line is that financially, it might not change much for us in the long run, but the important thing is:  We KNOW this will help us find our birthmother so much sooner and we are THRILLED about that.  That is a gift that we could not be more grateful for.

As we have stated before, though we are saddened by the closing of LDSFS, we fully support their decision and know that they are guided by the Lord.  We know He has a very special plan for us and our eternal family.  We are so grateful for this gift and will utilize it to the best of our ability.  

As for some updates, Hati, Stork-Drop, and Kimberly didn't work out.  As for S, at this point, especially as of late, we aren't counting on her changing her mind.  However, we love S and wish her the very best and would gladly take her back into our lives and the baby into our arms.

As I said before, The Lord has a plan for us and we are just along for the ride.  We're so grateful for the gift He's given us of so much more exposure.  It won't be long now.  (Say it with me.)

Thank you for all of your love and support.

Our profile can be viewed and shared here for now: https://itsaboutlove.org/ial/profiles/31661226/ourMessage.jsf  Please share it.

You can donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/blv5w8

And your continued love, encouragement, prayers and support are so appreciated.  We were beyond touched by the amount of texts, posts, private messages, and sheer excitement for us upon the announcement.  We have such an incredible support network and I want you to know that I thank God for you each and every night. We are so blessed by YOU!  We love you.

Team Johnston <3 p="">

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

irons in the fire

Our adoption journey continues on, despite both of us screaming that we need a break.  (Summary here: http://liljohnstons.blogspot.com/2014/12/how-to-deal-how-to-heal-and-how-to-help.html) It's been a busy week at our house.  We sent S some shoes for her birthday.  I saw them and I loved them, so I knew she would LOVE them.  It took some effort to find out her shoe size and I had to really take her from the back of my mind to the forefront.  It wasn't pretty.  There was a tsunami of tears as I searched her posts and pins to find her shoe size.  I messaged her family members and friends with no response besides someone who gave me an obviously fake shoe size.  I was convinced that she had told them all not to make contact with us and that she hated us.  Then she messaged me.  That little ping was the sweetest sound!  She thanked us for the "GORGEOUS" shoes and I don't think I've ever been so glad someone liked my gift.  They were even the right size, thanks to my mom who remembered it from the night we went shopping.

S and I chatted for about an hour, both crying our eyes out.  I miss her so much!!  I love her so much!  I wish I could stop, because it hurts so badly, but I can't.  She has moved out on her own and I am that much more worried about her.  What if her feet hurt?  Who will rub them?  What if she goes into early labor?  What if she can't pick something up off the ground?  What if someone tries to hurt her or rob her?  What if she's too tired to make dinner? I wish I could stop loving her.  If I'm being honest with myself, too, I still want her to place with us more than I want anything.  I've tried so hard to let that hope go, but it's still hanging on by its fingernails in the back of my mind.  Not only for me, but mostly for the baby and for her.  I want her to live in an apartment at SUU and become best friends with her roommates and chase her dreams and catch them.  Not this.  Not becoming best friends with that little boy and sacrificing her dreams for him.  I love her too much.  I want her to be the happiest she can ever possibly be.  I want to make her happy.  I would make sure she was.

A couple in our ward is from Haiti and has a family situation they told us about.  His aunt and uncle are considering placing a baby boy and girl, twins, are 4 months old. Typically, a Haiti adoption can take a lot of time and money and can be pretty complex but they are thinking that they can pull some strings since they're family.  They are over there right now for a visit and are getting some information for us.  I've been secretly reading articles about twins on sleep schedules.  I always wanted twins when I was little.  A boy and a girl.  We'd be done, too.  Never having to go through this ever again.  Plus their Aunt and Uncle would be a big part of their lives and we could even visit Haiti.  Stop me whenever you want.

We were also contacted by a K via our Instagram challenge.  She sent us a heart-wrenching e-mail last week and I responded the next day after some thought and prayer.  She never wrote back.  I'm thinking she is probably a scammer, or changed her mind.  She was only 8 weeks along, so there was a lot of time for her to waiver.  Perhaps she'll contact us again in 7 months...

Yesterday I was contacted by a friend in the adoption community about a "Stork Drop" situation.  That's where a baby is placed last-minute and needs parents pronto.  We're still gathering information and haven't been able to reach the agency. She is four weeks old and I am dreaming of cuddling her.  I woke up holding a pillow.  We need to come up with 30,000 dollars ASAP if we want her.  (Haha!  IF!) and if we pay, she's ours.

My Dad said that he was excited that we had "several irons in the fire."  It doesn't feel like it.  They don't feel real.  Maybe I am so broken that I don't dare feel anything anymore.  And even if I do feel a little pang, I don't know what Heavenly Father wants us to do.  How do I know which baby is mine?  If any?  All of my friends say that you know because everything just comes together.  They even tease that I might end up with 5 kids under one.  How crazy would that be.  I would do it in a heartbeat.

S said that she wished she could heal me.  How can I not love her.  I want to heal her too.  All of the articles say that adoption doesn't heal infertility.  Well, I'm not technically infertile, I just can't carry a baby safely...so all I want is a baby.  That's it.  That would heal me.  Maybe this break in my heart is so deep and so jagged that it would take five babies to heal it.  I don't know.  I really think just one would do it.  Just one.  Just one.  Just...I'm using that word a lot lately.  I just want to be a mom.  I'm just trying to breathe. Can't someone just call us and say, "I have your baby."  I just want to know.  I just want this to be over.  Just.  It isn't just.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

pillow talk is back!!!!

Omg I am so excited right now!!! Spencer hasn't said funny things in his sleep for a while, but this just happened:
Sleepy Spence: Hey why are you still up?
Me: I have that stupid headache again! I can't get rid of it! It's been four days!
Sleepy Spence: I assume you've taken medicine and put the heating pad on your head?
Me: Yes. Not helping.
Sleepy Spence: Well, if it's not going away it sounds to me like a user-driven problem...like an application you've brought with you. Some guys...some people...my point is...I don't remember. I'm half asleep so take this with a grain of salt. Some people do weird stuff when things don't work. Like, if you give a cat spaghetti it solves most problems, you know? Anyway, my theory is you should do a hot and cold treatment with cold focusing soley on your eyes. Sorry I was being weird. I kept having visions of people eating pizza giving advice, like, they all give really good advice you know? 
Me: (No reply bc I'm covering my mouth so I don't laugh hysterically.)