Sunday, January 4, 2015

We're ready...again!!!

Meet us - Scott, Larissa and Wyatt!  We adopted Wyatt just over two years ago and we are excited to start growing our family again.   

Throughout our adoption journey we have learned and are firm believers that everything happens for a reason. 

We live in Southern California.  Scott grew up down here and Larissa grew up in Vancouver, Canada.  We met in College, fell in love and the rest, as they say, is history. 

We always knew we wanted kids - we just didn't know where our journey would take us.  We have been married for a long time and we have enjoyed working, playing, travelling, buying and remodeling homes, and enjoying our lives together.  We thought our lives were fun until we adopted Wyatt and now life is SO MUCH MORE FUN!!! We truly LOVE being parents and we've never been so happy!

Wyatt is such a fun, happy little boy who keeps us busy, which we absolutely love!  We really want Wyatt to have a sibling, a playmate to grow up with :)

Family is THE most important thing to us and we would love nothing more then to add to it.  We look forward to the continuation of our adoption journey.


Here is a little more into our adoption journey...the road to our family.

It started 12 years ago when we found out that I had stage IV endometriosis, which meant we wouldn't be able to get pregnant on our own.  The doctor suggested we try in-vitro fertilization (IVF) because we were young and would be the 'perfect candidates'.  Well 2 months of hormones injections, countless shots, blood tests, retrievals and implanting - ended us with a disappointing call from the Doctor telling us that it hadn't worked.  And that in fact my eggs were not 'viable'.  So if we wanted to get pregnant we would have to get an egg donor.  
We were beyond disappointed, and discouraged.  We took a few months to let everything sink in, and my hormones to regulate.

Then we had an amazing offer from a girl I had grown up with who volunteered to come down to California to be an egg donor for us.  A completely unselfish, wonderful answer to our prayers! So we went through the entire process again, this time with our egg donor by our side the entire time.  She went through it ALL with us.  We were ecstatic, this time it would definitely work...right?

We again got a disappointing call from the Doctor giving us the news that it hadn't worked again - and this time that they didn't even think that I could carry a baby because my uterus has been so damaged by the endometriosis.  We were all disappointed, all three of us this time, which made it even harder.

So again we took a few months to digest this incredibly disappointing news.

The one thing that never wavered during all of this was our desire to have a family.  We finally decided it was time to try to adopt.  We figured the 'hard' part was over now that we had gone through all of the trials of infertility...right?

A couple of years went by and my aunt contacted us about a girl she knew in Arizona who was 16 and pregnant.  So we decided to get our paperwork together and get certified to adopt.  We went out and met the girl.  She was a beautiful, sweet girl.  We spent the day with her and we absolutely loved her!  We dropped her off at the end of the day at her Mom's house and she had made her decision - she wanted us to adopt the baby.  We went back to California and stayed in contact, but it was early in the pregnancy and she and the birth father got back together, and then broke up again.  It was on and off the rest of the pregnancy.  But the day her water broke she texted me that she was 100% sure she wanted us to adopt the baby.  I told her to have her Dad call us.  We got a text from her Dad telling us the baby was born, and he told us the weight and height.  Then we didn't hear anything back for 3 days.  After which we got news that she was planning to keep the baby.

We were heart broken, sad at how close we were to becoming parents.  But we felt like, everything happens for a reason, and the good news was this situation had gotten us started on the path to adoption, it had gotten us to get our paperwork done and qualified for whatever would come next.

A month later we got contacted by a birth mother who lived in North Carolina who was pregnant.  She was 37 and she had 3 kids and had gotten pregnant having an affair.  She was hiding the pregnancy from her kids and was definitely going to give the baby up.  We flew out to North Carolina, we met her, and she was great.  We looked like we could be sisters.  We had an instant connection. We went to an ultra sound with her and found out it was a GIRL!!! We were so excited!!!  We flew home, painted the nursery, bought a crib and a car seat.  We were ready!  We got our tickets to fly out a few days before the due date to make sure we would be there for the birth.  And then a few days before our flight we couldn't get a hold of the birth mother.  Her caseworker couldn't get a hold of her.  No one could get a hold of her.  

So we cancelled our tickets...and we never heard from her again.

Our darling pink nursery was left empty.

We were so sad.  Our hearts were broken once again.  But in the spirit of 'everything happens for a reason' we felt like the reason for this was it was the first time we let ourselves actually get excited about the idea of having a baby and now we had a nursery ready.  We were that much closer to being ready for our baby.

And then we were contact by another birth mother.  She was from a small town up in Canada, near where I had grown up.  She was now living in Utah and had gotten pregnant.  We went up and met her, she was a sweet, sweet girl with an amazing heart.  We continued to go up to Utah every couple of months for ultra sounds and doctor visits.  She was incredibly thoughtful and so excited for us to have a family!

The day finally came and I got a phone call from her that morning.  I was up in LA on a shopping trip for work.  She said she had gone into the doctor that morning and the doctor said she was ready - she was going to have a C-section.  She was on her way home to grab her bag and then heading to the hospital.  I started driving home to get Scott and get on a plane!  It was really happening!!! We were so excited and Scott had the car packed and ready by the time I got home. Then as we were getting in the car we got a phone call from her caseworker.  She was at the hospital with our birth mother and they couldn’t find the baby’s heartbeat.  We went numb.  We didn’t know what to do. She said the birth mother still wanted us to come, she knew this was 'our baby', and she wanted us to meet him and name him.  So we flew up and we met our sweet little Anderson.  He was perfect – he was absolutely beautiful.  We got to hold him for a few hours and dress his sweet little body.  We buried him up in Utah next to Scott’s grandmother.  It was so hard.  It hurt so badly.  But it was a very special experience and we're so grateful for the time we were able to have with him.

After that we decided to take a break for a few months and just regroup.

Then we got an email from a girl in Northern California who was due in a month and had chosen another couple who had backed out on her last minute.  So she was frantically trying to find another couple before the baby was born.  We went up and met her and her mother that weekend.  Everything went really, really well. We were excited that it could possibly happen so quickly!

The next few weeks seemed like they took an eternity but on January 3rd Charlotte was born.  We went up to the hospital in Northern California and picked her up.  She was beautiful and such a happy, peaceful baby.  I had never been big into pink, or bows, or frilly things, but something happened once we brought her home and the color pink exploded all over our house and we couldn’t have been happier about it!  We were finally parents and we were absolutely LOVING it!!!  We fell in love with our sweet Charlotte!

But after 9 weeks of pure bliss with our princess…we unexpectedly got an email from the birth mother that she had changed her mind and was coming the next day to pick Charlotte up.  In the state of California birth mothers have 30 days to change their mind, and Charlotte was actually 1/32 Native American which allows an additional 60 days for the tribes to approve the adoption, so she had 90 days to change her mind.  We were absolutely devastated.  It was heart breaking.  It hurt worse than I could have imagined.  Our lives were forever changed by this sweet baby girl.   And we were left with our arms empty once again.

What we had learned this time is how much we absolutely loved being parents and the love we felt for this precious baby drove us to continue our journey.

Looking back, and talking about it with Scott, he was saying it felt like we were climbing a mountain in the fog, and we couldn’t see how much farther we had to go, or if the end was in sight.  It was like we were yelling out “Are we there yet? Are we there?”  Apparently we weren't quite there.

We decided to take a break again for a little bit to mend our broken hearts.  

Then on March 20th 2012 at 6:45 a.m. I got a phone call from my aunt who lives in Arizona.  After everything had happened with Charlotte my aunt had gotten really upset and put a post about it on Facebook.  I saw it and asked her to take it down because we didn’t want to cause any drama.  But apparently while it was up one of her friend's saw it and emailed her asking if we were still trying to adopt because his daughter was pregnant and contemplating placing the baby for adoption.

The Father sent his daughter's cell phone number and I called her that day.  We talked on the phone for a while and we had a great conversation.  She lived in Utah so we flew out there a few weeks later to meet her and to go to an ultra sound with her.  She was amazing!  She was such a genuine, beautiful person inside and out.  We loved her!  She was 26, and she already had a 2 year old and knew how hard it was to be a single mom.  She was actually adopted herself, her parents had adopted her and her brother, so she had an appreciation for adoption and she was grateful for how it had impacted her life.

Six months later and a lot of visits to Utah in between, Wyatt was born on September 9, 2012.  We got there just in time for his birth and were able to be in the room with her.  It was such an amazing, special experience.  He was perfect!  He was a true miracle.  He was definitely worth the wait and we would do it all over again!

We still keep in touch with Wyatt's Birth Mother and we visit every time we go up to Utah.  We have such a special relationship with her and love her so much.  We will be forever grateful to her.

We know that everything we've been through - all of the hurdles, and the challenges, they were actually stepping stones that have led us to this place, this incredibly happy place!  And we feel so blessed.