We are delighted to share that Josh and I are pregnant! We are expecting a new addition in our home July 26th. After nine years of trying we are feeling strongly that Heavenly Father's plan for us is slowly being revealed. Clearly Elliot is supposed to be the oldest and the blessings of having him continue to appear in our lives. We are feeling blessed, grateful and surprised!
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Thursday, November 10, 2011
We haven't posted in awhile, mostly because we've been busy loving our beautiful son! Also because I'm not sure where our "adoption" story should go from here. I know there is more to be told, but I am lost at how to proceed. I could strive to become the phenomenal adoption advocate and super mom that our friend Brittany has become. (Check her out folks, she educates in a way that improves the adoption community). I could become a Down Syndrome advocate and help to raise awareness and understanding. Noble causes and all things I think we will do in our own way as we continue this blog. How can we not? Both are now such an important part of our lives.
But for now I just can't shake the feeling that the most important thing for me to do is be the Mom I want to be. Take this time to build our family nest here at home and love Elliot with every ounce of energy I have each day. I mean look at this face? It simply must be kissed and loved all day every day.
Posted by Ellen at 6:24 PM
Monday, September 5, 2011
Monday August 8th I am checking facebook at work, that's right I'm a rebel, and I notice that on the Families Supporting Adoption (FSA) group there is a new post. Being a good little FSA member I jump over there to see what is up. And there it was, a simple notice....
"The Mesa agency has been recently informed of a potential placement of a baby with Down Syndrome born two days ago. If you are currently certified and would like to be in the pool of couples considered for this placement please let your caseworker know ASAP. This baby will be placed with a family within 24-48 hours."
My heart jumped from my chest. I called Josh and read the notice to him. He was quiet for maybe 20 seconds and said, "Yes, call Larry." And so I did. I love the answer I got, "What are you talking about? I've been on vacation all last week and have no idea what you are talking about. Call the agency." Ahhh yes, the old I have no idea answer. Always comforting. :) The agency however was on top of it!
After a series of phone calls and Josh and I doing some private prayers at our place of business, we asked to be put into the pool for consideration. I simply couldn't speak of this child without my heart rate increasing and my mother alarm going off......LOUDLY. I was cautious and wanted to protect my heart. However it had other plans, I remember saying, "I know I am supposed to be involved somehow. Even if it is just to raise my hand and say I want this child. I love this child already. I would choose to be the mother." We were advised the child was a boy and that if we were chosen we could be bringing a child home by the end of the week.
LDSFS kept calling me and asking if I had other questions, I felt like I was failing some quiz. Shoot, was I supposed to have other questions? I just knew I wanted them to pray about us. It felt so right. So I called Josh and asked him to call with some questions. He is much better at that then me. He did and was told several things, the birth parents wanted LDSFS to choose the adoptive parents and they wanted a closed adoption. We spent that night praying that this valiant boy would find the eternal family he belonged to. That the birth parents would find comfort in their choice and that all involved would be guided to find the right place for him, whether that be with us or not.
Tuesday morning we heard from LDSFS again, Larry our caseworker called and said, "You have been chosen! We will call you with more details soon!" It was crazy!! We were elated. Josh and I finally felt we could call our immediate family and let them know. One brother screamed and cheered. It was another brother's birthday. It was fun to call and tell him, "Hey I got you and awesome birthday present this year, a nephew!!" Everyone went berserk. This moment was years in the making and people simply rejoiced!
Six hours later we got another call, "So...things have changed. Other families would like to be considered and the birth parents would like to be involved in making the decision. So just hold on." Everyone always says adoption is a roller coaster but talk about up and downs folks. Within a 6 hour span I was going to be a mom and then I was suddenly back in the waiting line. And so we waited and started praying. We didn't call our siblings back and tell them things might be called off...we simply flew by blind faith at this point.
Wednesday night on my drive home from work I received another phone call...bracing for what I thought might be a no I buffeted the phone call with many questions. Finally the caseworker cut me off and said, "You have been chosen, again. We want you to come to the hospital and meet him!" And then he asked me the silliest question ever, "How soon can you be to the hospital?" "How about now!!!" However, it was late in the day and we had to be escorted by caseworkers to the hospital and so it was decided that we would meet Thursday late afternoon.
Thursday afternoon we arrived at LDSFS and headed to the hospital. It was all very surreal. I was going to meet my son! He was in the NICU because he needed to learn to eat and regulate his temperature. We could handle that! I figured we'd be there a week and then we'd be home! And so we walked through those doors and the moment we said hello will always be with me. It was brief but it was magic. We quickly met a whole slew of people. Hospital caseworkers, nurses, doctors, physical therapists, speech therapists, they just kept showing up. We were taken through his health conditions and his potential pending challenges. But what we couldn't stop admiring was the way he seemed to wisely look at us, his strength and his perfect skin. Once things settled down, we were allowed to hold him and feed him, all the while trying to find his name.
We had a list, one we'd sort have always worked on and revised over our 9 years of marriage. Baby names is sort of a favorite topic of mine. So we debated and talked and called him one name for an hour, then another, but Elliot just kept coming forward. You would say, "Hello Elliot!" And he would turn his little face towards you. We just knew that was his name. And in Josh's family you pass on a male family name as a the middle name and so he became Elliot Scot.
We got another surprise that day! His birth parents came to meet us! It was good, we like them and we felt that they liked us. We talked to them about our desire to have an open adoption and our hope to see more of them. Since that initial meeting, we have seen each other several time and each time I find myself more and more sweet on them. I simply want to wrap my arms around them and find some way to transfer all the hope and love this act of placing their child with us has given me. We hope our relationship will grow.
Oh and remember how I said I thought it would only be a week or so until we got to take Elliot home from the hospital? Try three weeks! Elliot battled at the beginning but he has come home strong, handsome and ready to own this town! We are still working on our eating skills, but we see improvement every day. I suspect it won't be much longer until he is eating like a champ, waking me up at all hours and running the house and we couldn't be more delighted.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Josh and I have rumbled through some trials the last few weeks and it has caused me to be introspective. So I'm going to get a little preachy here as I write down my feelings. Excuse the sentimentality.
I am blessed with Goodly Parents. I would say that as I've aged and talked to others, I can look back on my childhood and say that though it wasn't perfect it was pretty ideal. I was raised with in a home where my parents enforced the idea that my best friends were my siblings and that family came first. We were taught to have faith, to love and to be continually learning. It was a home of love.
I am blessed to have siblings who I consider my best friends. Good job, Mom & Dad. I love them and would literally do a triple sou kou to be with them. Brothers who are valiant and kind and a sister who leads by example,teaches me grace and how to be the best of mothers. They are a blessing in my life.
I am blessed be married to Josh. He keeps me steady.
I am blessed with a testimony of eternal timing. I am not a patient soul. Sure I can stand in lines or sit in traffic, but I'm talking about eternal timing here. When it comes to eternal timing, I'm the lady who sits in the corner, stares at her watch, taps her toe and sighs.... a lot. It would be one of greatest faults, I don't have patience for things to come to pass. However, at this time in my life, I know I am on the right path as impatience has subsided and peace has come.
One of my "go to" phrases in this whole adoption process has been "Let go and Let God." I'm finding that phrase slowly crossing over into every aspect of my life. Yes, we are to prepare and work and do all that we can. And then.... well then I believe it is all up to eternal timing.
Posted by Ellen at 9:47 PM
Thursday, June 30, 2011
We have a little project. We are collecting little precious objects and putting them in two clear buckets. Things that we love and things from those we love. Our hope is to give one to our birth mom one day and to put on in the nursery.
I’m making a little journal list of everything that goes in the bucket. Our collection is varied and awesome already. We have rocks from my parent’s front yard. A mini race car from my nephew. Mint tins from a brother. Three pennies representing our birth dates and anniversary. An Indian arrowhead from our dear friend. We also have a root beer barrel candy because Josh loves those things. He becomes giddy when he finds them in a store! The goal is to collect 500 items that all tell a story or relate to a loved on. It’s our bucket of love!
Why 500? Well you might not know but every waiting adoptive couple can check their “stats.” They can see how many hits they’ve had on their profile. When we started the project we’d just hit 500. Through some Internet magic our hits have increased more rapidly than before since then, but I’m like the number 500 so we are sticking with it! 500 is a lot to begin with, it could get out of hand pretty fast. Then it won’t be a bucket, it would be the barrel of love. Not necessarily bad, just heavy!
I’m suddenly reminded of that song “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent. 525,600 minutes. I’m imagining this gigantic Bucket of Love! Yes we’ll stick with 500.
We’d love to have you contribute! Send me an email and I’ll shoot you our address. Send us two of the same item, one of each bucket.
Posted by Ellen at 6:07 PM
Thursday, June 2, 2011
One Determined Santa
I will never forget the year Ellen and Josh came to spend the Christmas holiday with us. I was amazed when one relatively small suitcase produced a wide variety of packages, including a rather large and rather heavy rectangular box. Nevertheless, all were placed dutifully under the tree by Josh. Ellen has long since been banished for touching, rattling or sniffing Christmas packages. Why? It is practically impossible to surprise her!! She has some second sight about what is inside a wrapped package. However, this year was to be the year. Josh, her special Santa, had decided that there was going to be at least one gift that would be a total surprise.
Christmas morning brought with it that general sense of chaos. Among all the ohh's and ahh's, there was an occasional shriek of an unexpected surprise. Ellen enjoyed it all, but pretty much knew what was coming before the ribbons were cut and the paper shredded. Josh watched her with a sly smile on his face. He had retrieved the rather large, rather heavy rectangular box and hid it close to his side. As things began to wind down he pulled it from it's place and set it before Ellen. She startled a little. She certainly hadn't forgotten about the box, but he seemed so sure of his surprise it made her wonder. They decided to play. "What is this, Josh?" she demanded. "I guess you'll have to open it, in order to find out. Don't you know what it is?" he replied. Ellen fell into a little pout. Josh loved it. "Go ahead," he said, "pick it up, squeeze it, shake it, give it the sniff test." Ellen's eyes narrowed as she gave his face the once over. "Oh, you think you are so sneaky, don't you?" Josh gave his familiar chuckle. "Maybe so, but you haven't got a clue what's inside there and you're never going to know until you open it up." Ellen scrunched up her nose and puckered her lips. She thought about it for a minute and then said, "Fine. I'll open it."
The ribbon and bow was detached. The paper ripped to shreds. The box opened and it revealed----a telephone book. Unimpressed, Ellen pushed her eyebrows together. Josh pretended not to notice. "Telephone book----always a helpful item around the house. You can find all kinds of things in the yellow pages." Ellen laughed. She started to flip through the pages--a little in the front, a little in the back. "What?" she demanded. "Keep looking." Ellen began to turn the pages again, this time more carefully. It wasn't until she made a complete, determined search that she found a small cube that had been carved into one section of the yellow pages. And in the cube was a small box and in the box was a velvet box and in the velvet box was a lovely ring.
At last! A shriek of unexpected surprise. He had done it! Santa Josh had totally surprised his Ellen.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
My name is Stacie. I am Ellen's sister. I am married to Dustin and we have two children Tate, age 8 and Jill age 5. (Well almost 5.)
My favorite thing about Josh and Ellen is all the time they take to be a TERRIFIC aunt and uncle. My children adore them and it is easy to see why. Let me tell you some of our favorite things!
Josh and Ellen have a steady income and try to be generous. Keeping that in mind, they choose to use their time and money enjoying their family! Every time we are together, Josh and Ellen see to it that we do plenty of fun things for the kids. We go to the zoo, aquarium and children's museum. They seek out places where they can have FUN with their nieces and nephews. And it's not good enough to just go to the "kids places" they are in there making the magic happen. There is not a display at the children's museum that Josh and Ellen have not explored with the kids! They figure, what is the fun of pretending to be a newscaster if you aren't doing it with your nephew?
They believe you are wasting your time at a park if you are not pushing a swing, catching someone at the end of the slide or taking your turn being "it" for the game.
My son Tate was once cast as a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. I was really struggling with finding a costume for him. Aunt Ellen to the rescue! Ellen is a talented seamstress and she made the best munchkin outfit you have ever seen. Pants, vest and matching tie! Tate looked so good, that Jill even had to take a turn trying it on. We also had a year were we struggled financially. We weren't sure what we were going to do about the upcoming Easter holiday. Uncle Josh and Aunt Ellen sent us brand new Easter Sunday church outfits for both Tate and Jill! Jill spent the day asking people if they wanted to see her "twirl" and then spinning around in her cute dress.Personally, I think that Josh's greatest attribute is his caring nature. The guy would literally give you the shirt off his back if you asked. Say you need help and Josh will be the first one there. My sister Ellen is very loyal. She has got your back. When it feels like the whole world thinks you are crazy, Ellen says, "You want this? Then let's go get it!"
My family has been truly blessed by having Josh and Ellen in it!