Friday, December 30, 2011

Fun Fact Friday #4




My favorite cartoon character is Marvin the Martian. I have always liked him, from the time I was a child. I think that it has to do with his love of explosives, I love fireworks and stuff blowing up too. Marvin is also very direct and to the point, and sometimes misunderstood, a lot of times I can relate to this too. This picture is my mouse pad, I have a plethora of Marvin related items.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Fun Fact Friday #3

Today's fun fact is brought to you by Brian. He loves to eat pancakes, he has his own unique way of eating them that is what is different.

First he takes his fork and pokes all kinds of holes into the stack of pancakes. He does this to get the optimal amount of syrup into the actual pancakes. Then he starts eating them from the inside out, a big square out of the middle and eats his way out. 

I noticed this when we were dating, he did this and it was quite endearing to me. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fun Fact Friday #2

Last weeks fun fact was interrupted because I was in the hospital, it has been one of those months. You know the kind that you want to forget but will never be forgotten.

Fun fact this week:
Chriss is terrified of doctors, doctor's offices and hospitals as the patient. The irony of me being in the hospital multiple times and many doctor appointments this last month is not lost on me. It stems from my growing up experiences, so many times family members would go to the doctor and not feel great, next thing you know they are in the hospital for days to weeks. As a child to youth this was terrifying. Total and completely irrational fear.

I've never had a problem taking care of others who are sick, go with them to the doctor, ask questions and follow up. I even had my companion on my mission need help with going to doctors and her surgery. That is a whole different story for another day, another fun fact Friday.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fun Fact Friday #1

This is something that I wanted to start weeks ago, but got a little side tracked with some medical things. Anyways, I wanted to start this weekly post with a random fact about Brian or myself or maybe sometimes both.

Fun Fact about Brian:

He loves to collect the license plates of the vehicles that we, family or friends have owned. He likes cars and remembering each one of them. With the plates he has a physical reminder of the cars he has loved and taken care of.

November recap

Its been a busy time for us, enough excitement to last decades if not a lifetime. I had ankle surgery to repair an old ankle injury, which was the catalyst for all kinds of other adventures.

The reader's digest version is: I got sick from the pain medication, part of it got stuck in my lungs but I didn't feel any pain or like something was in my lungs, the next day I start saying funny/strange things this is when Brian decided I needed to go to the hospital.  This was a good call, cause apparently the E.R. staff didn't waste any time in taking care of things, decided that I needed more specific care and scheduled Lifeflight to come take me to another hospital. (Sadly I don't remember any of this cause they sedate you when they put tubes down your throat, which is a good thing) I spent a couple days in ICU with aspirated pneumonia, another couple of days in a regular room then home.

Doing better now, stitches out from my ankle surgery and slow going with the pneumonia  recovery. I was truly blessed and so grateful for the many prayers on my behalf.  Thank you to friends, family, nurses and doctors that have taken care of me as well. I have a couple of pictures from the experience, but they will not be being posted. And eternally grateful to my love, Brian for staying with me through the whole thing.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Remembering our babies

Fec
October 15th is for remembering our babies who have left us too soon, tonight we will be lighting a candle for our dear babies.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sept recap

Wow time can go really fast, it feels like I just posted on here and it has been almost a month. So I'll do a recap:
I am now working full time at a local credit union
I am also keeping up the Riverton FSA blog which is a new adventure
Brian started his Masters program
We have been trying to enjoy the weather before it gets cold again
and that is the month in a nutshell

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss

Pregnancy loss/miscarriages are something that we are very familiar with. We have experienced six of these and it hits home. This was an interview this morning on a local station:
The full video can be found here.

Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy LossYou know how to react when someone shares the happy news they are expecting a baby. But when a woman experiences a miscarriage...often it's hard to know what to say, or how to help.
Blogger Lindsay Redfern recently tackled that very topic on her blog, "The R House." She interviewed three women who had experienced the heartbreak of losing a baby and shared their thoughts and insights in a series of posts called "Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss." She shared what she learned with Studio 5 host Brooke Walker.


Through an interview I did on my blog with three women who have experienced pregnancy loss, I realized that I had so much to learn even someone who is very involved in the infertility community. I hope to pass what I learned onto you to increase sensitivity towards those who have suffered from pregnancy loss and miscarriages.Things to avoid:
· "It was for the best."
· "There was probably something wrong with the baby anyway."
· "You can have another baby."
· "You already have another child, can't you just be thankful for that blessing."
· "When are you going to try for another one?"
· Don't rank tragedy
· Don't compare
· Don't judge grief

Things to DO:
· Do remember.
· Do use the right terminology: Ask you loved one in a sincere manner what terminology you they would like you to use. Some women prefer the "pregnancy loss" over "infant loss" or "miscarriage"--the medical term for when a pregnancy ends before 20 weeks. Not all those who have experienced pregnancy loss consider themselves "infertile."
· Realize that these couples feel deeply about the baby they were once carrying and many consider the baby part of their family and mourn the loss just as they would the death of a family member.
· Use the appropriate and sensitive phrase: "I am so sorry for your loss."

To read Lindsey's complete post "Understanding and Supporting Pregnancy Loss: Do's and Don Not's, click here:http://www.therhouse.com/understanding-and-supporting- pregnancy-loss-dos-and-do-nots/.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Others Share in our journey as well

Adoption comes into the lives of many, of all walks of life.

Hugh Jackman reveals how adoption healed his pain of not having kids naturally

Interview with Hugh Jackman about how adoption affects him.... HERE

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Busy

This month has been incredible and has gone by so fast! We had the chance to go to the Families Supporting Adoption National Conference.  It was on the anniversary of our application process starting, it is amazing the journey that we have had from even the last year. We have learned and gained an incredible amount of knowledge, friends and are grateful for this experience. There have been ups and downs in the process and our lives in this last year as well. A lot of changes and more still to come I am sure.


After the Adoption Conference we had the opportunity to go to BYU Education Week! Oh how I love this experience, last year was my first year and I truly hope to continue to go regularly for the rest of my life. The year they had a whole series of classes on Infertility and what a blessing this class was. She brought up important points and helps for dealing with Infertility and how to handle some situations that come up. Oh how I hope they continue to have that class in the future for those who were not able to go this year. 

Summer seems to go by too fast, this year especially. Fall is on the horizon

Friday, August 12, 2011

My how time flies



It has been one year since we have turned in our application and officially started our homestudy at the agency. Oh the things we have learned and the people we have met along the way.

Today is the National Conference and we can think of no better way to celebrate then at the conference.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Special Post: Gibbs day

This is Gibbs
Today is the 5th Annual Gibbs Day.  Have you never heard of Gibbs Day?  What is Gibbs day you ask?
I will tell you what Gibbs Day is...it is the celebration to remind us of when we started dating. It is called Gibbs Day because he helped to facilitate our dating experience. And in honor of him, we celebrate this day each year. August 4. 
How is it he helped? Well I (Chriss) was over at a friends house playing cards, I had left my cell phone on the couch. When Gibbs came over to visit he noticed the cell phone and asked if he could play with it. Sure why not, what could he possibly do with a cell phone, right? Start asking if guys in the address book of the phone were married or single is what he could do. About the time he got to the C's I began to wonder why he was asking. Turns out he was sending them text messages, and Brian responded. He drove an hour and a half to come and visit me. After that night we have been together ever since. 
Gibbs definitely got the ball going, we are appreciative of that and look forward to Gibbs day each year. Here's to you Gibbs!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to Nana

We recently celebrated Nana's birthday with dinner and some Justdance Summer Party afterwards. No pictures were allowed of the dancing portion, so you will just have to come and play or use your imagination for that part.

Oompa was really excited for the dance party

Monday, July 25, 2011

Graduation



with Grams

with Mom and Pops


Brian with his school mentor David
Pictures as promised. It was a great experience to watch Brian walk for his graduation. He looked so good in his cap and gown. The person reading the cards mispronounced our last name, but Brian corrected her before he went across the stage. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Graduation time

I am so very proud of Brian, he has finished his Bachelor's degree in Information Technology.
It has been a long journey full of hoops, jumps and detours until we found the school that was a perfect fit! It has been night and day difference to have him in a school that he enjoys and values him as a student because he doesn't fit into the traditional cookie-cutter student mold. He has loved his school experience for the last nine months and looking forward to him getting his Master's degree done too.

Graduation is tomorrow and I will be posting more about that with loads of pictures I am sure. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Inspiring words today

We are new in our family ward, we just received our favorite calling in the nursery today! We are super excited about it and looking forward to teaching the 18 month to 3 years old children. That meant that today was going to be our last time in Sunday School and Relief Society/Priesthood.


Sitting waiting for Relief Society to start when the teacher was handing out slips of quotes to read. She asked me to read one of them, sure no problem. I started reading what she had handed me and my eyes started to tear up. 


This is what it said:
President Boyd K. Packer praised women who were unable to have children of their own yet sought to care for others. He said: “When I speak of mothers, I speak not only of those women who have borne children, but also of those who have fostered children born to others, and of the many women who, without children of their own, have mothered the children of others” (Mothers [1977], 8).

And while the teacher had no idea when she handed this to me, but it spoke to me on such a deep level today and I wanted to share it here. What does it mean to be a mother to you? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think it means.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blessed with trials

The last month has been full of trials and growing experiences. Before Father's Day I was in a serious ATV accident, healing has been long and tedious but at the same time full of the blessings of my dear in-laws. Then just over two weeks later Brian's grandma unexpectedly passed away. It was such a shock, she had been at a family reunion back where she had grown up as a child and had such a wonderful last day. She will be greatly missed. We have been truly blessed with family experiences and to see how precious life can be and to make the most of every day and opportunity.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

sometimes we are the Gardener and sometimes the current bush


I first heard this story when I was in the Missionary Training Center getting ready to go to Austria. One of our teachers shared this story with us: 

President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”
Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:
“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.
“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …
“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”
This story has been going through my mind for the last week, because of changes that have happened. I have been happy with where we were living, where we were working and life in general. The Lord however has different plans. Try as a I have this last week it has been difficult to remember He knows what He is doing and that these changes will indeed be a great improvement. I still have a long way to go and many things to do in order to accomplish what is being requested.  Baby steps and we are making progress. There is much to be learned and it will be better overall. (especially after adjusting my own attitude)

I have been feeling much like the current bush, asking why are you taking away all my beautiful growth and that others will look down on us for some of our decisions. I need to be thankful that I am not a shade tree  or a fruit tree. I need to be the best current bush that I can be and be happy for the changes at hand. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

One of my Hero's

I have been following this adoption blog for about a year now, she has a great way of writing. Many of the themes she talks about hit home with me. And I love that she is helping others become families, she has such a passion for adoption and helping others. She shared this today and I wanted to share it with those who read this blog too. She is one of my hero's and I am glad that others see this too.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Full Circle


We made our decision just over a year ago this week. We had both been thinking about what direction we should head, continue with infertility treatments or begin adoption.  We had suffered our most recent miscarriage two months earlier and had had time to grieve, time to process and time to reflect.

While out on our date night to one of our favorite restaurants, I still remember which table we were sitting at, when I brought up the idea of going forward with adoption. Oh how little did I know how much that we were getting into!

We have been blessed with new friends, new experiences but most of all we have been humbled by the help and generosity of those close to us. Our words fail to express the thanks and gratitude that we feel, it has brought new understanding of our Savior's love for each of us. We are grateful for the experiences of the last year as they have helped us to grow as individuals and grow closer together as a couple.

Here is to the next year in our journey, right now we have the same hopes and dreams of adding to our family as we did last year.  With more knowledge and experience under our belts now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

For your information

Why Adoption?

I found out today that there is a difference of opinion as far as adoption and placement goes from those that are around us. I realized there may be others as well that do not share our opinions and that is OK but I wanted to share where we are coming from and why. I feel that this article clears up why we feel the way we do and to clear up where the LDS church stands on adoption this is an article in the Ensign from 2008. Another really great article for those who are suffering from infertility or know someone who has gone through infertility is here

Rebecca M. Taylor, “Why Adoption?,” Ensign, Jan 2008, 46–52
In placing their faith in the Lord as they make a truly selfless choice, many unwed birth mothers find that from the ashes of their deepest pain, He makes something beautiful— for her, the baby, and a loving family.
When Chuck and Rachael Sharp learned they would not be able to conceive a baby, Rachael thought her heart would break. She had yearned to be a mother, and she knew Chuck would be a wonderful father. For years the couple had dreamed of skiing and camping trips with their children, of noisy conversations around the dinner table, of music lessons and parties with cousins and picnics in the park. What would they do with all of those dreams?
That same year, in another city, Jessica Anderson (name has been changed) was struggling with heartbreak of her own. She had recently learned she was pregnant and the father didn’t want to be involved. Her mind reeled with questions: With so little education, how would she financially support her child? How could she fill the roles of both a mother and a father? What kind of future could she provide?
Over the past several decades, societal attitudes about unwed pregnancy have changed dramatically. For most unwed mothers 30 years ago, the choice was clear: they would either marry and raise the baby, or they would place the baby for adoption. Today, by contrast, most unwed mothers choose to either raise their babies on their own or get an abortion. In the United States, for example, only about 1 percent of unwed mothers place their babies for adoption.1 In many other countries the percentage is almost negligible.
While Church members lag behind much of the rest of the world in the single-parent trend, more and more Latter-day Saint unwed mothers are choosing to become single parents. Yet the official position of the First Presidency remains consistent: when a successful marriage is not likely, unwed parents are encouraged to place their babies for adoption into a loving, two-parent, Latter-day Saint home.
Why does the Church support adoption?

What’s Best for the Baby?

A popular modern catchphrase is “A family can be anything as long as there is love.” Yet the proclamation on the family declares, “Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.2 Numerous studies have shown that children are better off when raised by both a mother and a father. These children are less likely to drop out of school, have behavioral problems, participate in delinquent behavior, become single mothers themselves, and live in poverty.3
In her book For the Love of a Child, social worker Monica L. Blume points out, “Almost every birth mother I have ever seen who is choosing to single parent believes she will be one of the very few who beat the odds.”4 Many of these unwed mothers count on the father remaining fully involved or on having their own father help raise the child. And many Latter-day Saint single mothers hope to eventually get married and become sealed to their child in the temple.
Unfortunately, such hopes are not often realized. And many unwed mothers find that single parenthood is much more challenging than they expected. Studies have shown that single mothers have higher rates of illness, have less social involvement, and, if they are teenagers, are less likely to eventually marry than those who place their babies for adoption.5
But as Tammy Squires with LDS Family Services says, none of her clients wants to be labeled a “statistic.” These mothers feel great love toward their babies and may believe that others cannot offer the same love and care a biological parent can provide. “I try to help them see that it’s not about biology; it’s about stability and what is best for the baby,” Sister Squires explains. “Their decision will affect their child not only throughout this life but in eternity. They need to pray about it and feel peaceful about their decision, whatever that final decision may be.”
Chuck had already accepted the possibility that children would come to their family through adoption, but for Rachael, acceptance came less readily. She felt angry at God for denying her what she longed for most. One day, however, a friend spoke about adoption in a way that resonated with her. “Imagine having a baby placed in your arms,” her friend said. “Think about looking down at that little face and knowing that child is yours. You can still be a mother!” Rachael felt the first stirrings of renewed hope in her heart.
Meanwhile, Jessica struggled with her decision. Her parents, especially her father, felt she should place the baby for adoption. Her friends encouraged her to raise the child herself. So many decisions, so many questions! Finally, she decided to get an abortion. That would make everything so much easier—wouldn’t it?

Latter-day Saint Theology and Adoption

A primary reason the Church supports adoption is that children who are adopted by temple-worthy Latter-day Saint couples can be sealed to their adoptive parents. The sealing ordinance is the capstone ordinance in the Church, and its blessings are present in this life as well as in the next. As President Joseph Fielding Smith (1876–1972) declared, children who are born in the covenant—and, by extension, those who are sealed to their parents in the temple—“have claims upon the blessings of the gospel beyond what those not so born are entitled to receive. They may receive a greater guidance, a greater protection, a greater inspiration from the Spirit of the Lord; and then there is no power that can take them away from their parents.”6
Fred Riley, commissioner of LDS Family Services, says that although adoption is rarely discussed in Church meetings, it is a profound gospel principle. He points out that when the prophet Elijah restored the sealing keys, these keys encompassed adoption. And one of the ways in which Jesus Christ is our Father is through adoption, for we become His sons and His daughters when we are adopted into the family of Christ.
Additionally, Church members who are not direct descendants of Israel may be adopted into the house of Israel through their faith (see Romans 8:99:4).
“From the time of Adam, adoption has been a priesthood ordinance,” says Brother Riley. “It’s a principle of the gospel that probably all of us will experience at some point as we’re literally adopted into our Heavenly Father’s kingdom.”
Rachael and Chuck started participating in the training LDS Family Services offers prospective adoptive parents. They listened to birth mothers tell their stories—birth mothers who were so different from the rebellious girls they had envisioned. Many of these young women, by contrast, seemed wise beyond their years. Rachael and Chuck sensed some of the pain, as well as the peace, these young women had experienced. Maybe they too would one day be on the receiving end of such a sacrifice. Their excitement at the prospect of parenthood grew—as did their awe for these birth mothers.
On a warm day in late August, Jessica sat in silence as her friends drove her to a class at the abortion clinic two hours away. With every mile, her heart grew heavier and her dread increased. When they finally drew near the clinic, she told her friends, “I can’t do this.” She couldn't take an innocent life. She would have to make a different decision.

Taking Care of Our Own?

One of the most powerful factors that influence an unwed expectant mother’s decision regarding her baby is the opinion of her parents. It can be heart-wrenching for grandparents to consider relinquishing an infant grandchild. Like their daughter, grandparents often bond with the baby even before birth, and they have hopes and dreams for the baby’s future.
Many parents feel a grave sense of responsibility when their child becomes pregnant out of wedlock. They may feel that the most moral decision is to support their child in raising the baby rather than releasing the baby to the care of others. Church teachings about self-reliance and using family resources may seem to reinforce this belief. However, the First Presidency has addressed these concerns.
Not only does the choice to be a single parent leave the child bereft of the sealing ordinance, but its outcome can be confusing when the child is raised by extended family members. Shanna Bake of LDS Family Services explains that these children “often don’t know who to call mom. Who do they listen to? Who do they go to first when they have a problem? What about discipline? It’s undefined.”
Some may view placing a child for adoption as “abandoning” that child. But, as Sister Bake emphasizes, adoption “is not abandoning your responsibility. It’s taking more responsibility. It is truly taking care of your own, because you’re saying, ‘I can’t give this child what he or she needs, but someone else can.’ ”
One writer expressed it this way: adoption is “not the abandonment of a baby but an abandonment of self for a baby’s sake.”7
Jessica grappled with her two remaining choices. She decided she would keep her baby, despite her father’s strong feelings in favor of adoption. But then she realized that the things she valued most from growing up in her own family—a loving mother and a father with a temple marriage, the knowledge that she was sealed to her parents, financial security—were things she would be unable to provide her baby. She could give her baby love, but was love enough to raise a child? She hadn’t prayed much for a while, but now she poured out her heart to Heavenly Father. The answer, when it came, was not the one she wanted, but she knew it was right.

Changes in Adoption Practice

In years past, most birth mothers who placed their children for adoption had little or no involvement in deciding who would be the parents of their children. “It was almost as if the baby went into a big black hole,” says Brother Riley. Often the birth mothers were not even able to see the baby after the birth. They were left with unanswered questions: Is my baby OK? Is she in a good family that loves and cares for her? Does he know how much I love him and why I made my decision? Does my baby know how hard it was for me?
Many adopted children faced questions of their own: What were my birth parents like? Why did my birth mother choose to let me go? Didn’t she want me? What about my birth father?
Today, many of these issues have been addressed as adoptions have become more open. Usually the birth mother chooses the adoptive parents for her child, and she meets them before the birth. Together she and the adoptive family determine the type and frequency of future contact that will work best for them, whether such contact is through letters, photos, or face-to-face visits.
Sister Bake says that this type of adoption “really helps the birth mothers move on. Part of their grief comes from wondering, ‘Did I do the right thing?’ Through regular contact it’s reaffirmed: ‘Yes I did the right thing. He’s happy, he’s doing well, they love him.’ It helps them heal faster.”
Jessica couldn’t get enough of her baby. For the past three days she had stroked little Aliza’s soft skin and hair, breathed in her baby scent, cried over her, and loved her. Another couple would be taking her home—a couple who had all the characteristics Jessica had hoped for as she searched for her baby’s new parents. Jessica knew, deep in her soul, that Rachael and Chuck Sharp were supposed to be Aliza’s eternal parents. But for these three days, Aliza had been her baby.
Now it was time to place Aliza with her new parents. Jessica didn’t think she had ever shed more tears. Behind her sorrow, though, was the peaceful assurance that she was giving her daughter the most priceless gift she could ever give: both a mother and a father.

Beauty for Ashes

The Lord gives compensating blessings to those who sacrifice their will to His. Speaking messianically, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “The Lord hath anointed me … to give … beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:1, 3). In placing their faith in the Lord as they make a truly selfless choice, many birth mothers have found that from the ashes of their deepest pain, He has made something beautiful.
“Most likely this is the hardest thing these birth mothers will ever do,” says Sister Bake. “But in the end, almost all the girls I’ve worked with have said, ‘I’m a better person now—I’m stronger, wiser, and more mature.’ ”
Audrey Johnson (name has been changed), who placed her baby for adoption six years ago, acknowledges that, like many birth mothers, she used to wonder how she could recover from her grief. But, she says, “I believed Heavenly Father had a plan for my baby, and if I would submit to His will and follow His guidance, He would get me through it. And He did.”
She says that at times she feels a little pensive, usually around her baby’s birthday. “But the overriding feeling is one of peace,” she says. “I know I did absolutely the best thing I could have done for her—and for me. It turned my whole life around. And I learned that not only could I be happy again, but I could be happier than I was before.”
Six years have gone by since Aliza’s adoptive placement. She is now an energetic six-year-old who loves eating popsicles, doing art projects, and playing with her three-year-old sister, Katy, who was also placed through LDS Family Services. Her parents cherish their little family, and they can’t imagine it coming about in any other way. Among the memories they treasure most are the days when Aliza and Katy were sealed to them. They will forever be grateful for the two birth mothers whose sacrifices enabled them to have the family they had hoped, prayed, and prepared for.
Jessica has since married in the temple and is attending school, with plans to become a nurse and to have children of her own someday. She still keeps pictures of Aliza in her living room. She receives letters occasionally; she’s even seen Aliza several times since the placement.
Her experiences have changed her. She’s softer now; her family members tease her about her tender side. She is grateful to the baby girl who inspired her to return to church and put her life back on the right path. She knows she made a difficult but truly selfless choice, and she draws strength from that knowledge. Her future, like Aliza’s, is bright.

First Presidency Statement on Adoption

“We … express our support of unwed parents who place their children for adoption in stable homes with a mother and a father. We also express our support of the married mothers and fathers who adopt these children.
“Children are entitled to the blessing of being reared in a stable family environment where father and mother honor marital vows. Having a secure, nurturing, and consistent relationship with both a father and a mother is essential to a child’s well-being. When choosing adoption, unwed parents grant their children this most important blessing. Adoption is an unselfish, loving decision that blesses the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents in this life and throughout the eternities. We commend all those who strengthen children and families by promoting adoption.”
First Presidency statement, Oct. 4, 2006

Services for Unwed Expectant Parents

LDS Family Services provides free, confidential counseling to unwed expectant parents and their family members at their offices in the United States and Canada. Counselors help unwed parents explore options that include marriage, adoption, and single parenting. Clients do not need a bishop’s referral to receive services.
If expectant parents choose to place their baby for adoption through LDS Family Services, they may select the couple they want to adopt their baby. Birth parents and adoptive couples can have as much privacy and openness as they desire.
For more information, please visit www.ldsfamilyservices.org or call 1-800-453-3860 ext. 2-1711.
Notes
1. See Anjani Chandra and others, “Adoption, Adoption Seeking, and Relinquishment for Adoption in the United States,” Advance Data, May 11, 1999, 9.
2. “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102; June 2006, 104.
3. See Maggie Gallagher, The Age of Unwed Mothers: Is Teen Pregnancy the Problem? Institute for American Values, 1999, 9.
4. Monica L. Blume and Gideon O. Burton, For the Love of a Child (2005), 79.
5. See John Cairney and others, “Stress, Social Support, and Depression in Single and Married Mothers,” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Aug. 2003, 442, 445; Patrick F. Fagan, “Adoption: The Best Option,” in Adoption Factbook III (1999), 4.
6. Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (1954–56), 2:90.
7. Curtis Young, “The Missing Piece: Adoption Counseling in Pregnancy Resource Centers,” Heartlink, Jan. 2001, www.family.org/pregnancy/archives/a0030048.cfm.

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