Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Michigan Match

We are excited to share some of our photos from our trip to Michigan last week. J and I went to meet Becca, our birthmom, and her three amazing children. I don't think any of us knew what to expect, but we had the best time together. We count our blessings everyday that we were matched with this wonderful family and cannot wait to grow our families together through open adoption.
On the plane to Denver
We flew into Grand Rapids, Michigan and Becca lives about 1.5 hours away in a picturesque little lake town, St. Joseph. St. Joe is called the Riviera of the Midwest, and while it may not have the warm weather of the Riviera, it's pristine sand and beaches, put you right in a vacation mood.
Path to Lake Michigan 
Lake Michigan Beach
Statue by St. Joe River
On our first day together, Becca showed us the beaches, lighthouse, and quaint stores in St. Joe. We had fun shopping together and had a great lunch at Clementines. Turns out, Becca loves to share food, and for those that know me, know I do too! Although I don't like fish, I tried her lake perch and it wasn't bad. Kind of tasted like fried chicken!
Us with our amazing birthmom!!
Becca and Shan

Becca and J
We were lucky to meet her sister that night for dinner, and the four of us had an incredible dinner and relaxing conversation. For dinner, Becca chose Grand Mere Inn and it was the best meal we've had in a long time. True Midwestern fare, lots of good steak and potatoes! Let's just say, we didn't go hungry on this trip.

At Grand Mere with Becca and Rachel

On Sunday, we went shopping with Becca for her oldest son, Eli. Eli was a cheetah in the school play on Monday night and he was supposed to wear orange shirt and orange pants. Yes, you read that right! Orange pants? Needless to say, he wore an orange shirt and brown pants, but he fit in just fine. On Sunday's food journey, Becca brought us to a Mexican store/restaurant (my very favorite food!) La Perla was a little dive, and as true Mexican food aficionados know, they serve the best food. 

We got to meet Eli after lunch and spent about an hour with just him and Becca at their house, before her twins, Emily and Evan came home. We had so much fun playing computer games with Eli, and just playing and chatting with the three of them. The plan was to go for pizza for dinner, but before that, we took them swimming to our hotel's (yes, indoor!) pool and spa. J had a blast playing with the three of them in the pool. Becca and I had so much fun laughing and getting splashed. We had dinner at Silver Beach Pizza. Another winner!!

Us with Becca, Evan, Emily, and Eli
On Monday, J and I had most of the day to ourselves, so we walked around the beaches again and St. Joe. Becca came over mid-afternoon and we skyped into our social worker at IAC for our match meeting. In this meeting, we talked about what kind of contact we/the baby will have with Becca, including emails, birthday invites, photos, and visits. We even talked a little bit about what will happen at the hospital when she gives birth. I think we all agree that our meeting went very well, we are all on the same page, and are so excited to move forward.
Can't wait to meet this little guy in March!
Baby with his Daddy
Eli invited us to his play after our match meeting, and we had so much fun watching him be a cheetah! We went out to one last dinner with Becca and the kids after that. 

Our plane flew back to Sacramento the next morning at 6:30am, but a huge snowstorm set in, so J and I drove back to Grand Rapids that night around 11:30pm. It took us over three hours to get there and the snow and roads were insane! It was a definite white-knuckled drive, but hubby did a great job getting us there safely. We slept a bit in the airport, and luckily, took off and landed right on time.
Grand Rapids Airport
We loved our trip and it went better than we could have imagined. We all get along so well, and it felt like we were meeting an old friend, instead of someone we'd never met. We have a lot in common and we feel very positive about our match. We have so much adoration and respect for Becca. She's raised three smart, caring, and loving children.

It was honestly, very sad to say good-bye. The good news is that we'll be back in March, and in each others lives forever.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dreams Really Do Come True

I really didn't know if I would ever say this...


We are officially matched with the most amazing birthmom, Becca! She contacted me after reading my blog post on Patience, which is ironic, because I never thought about it relating to a birthmom. We hit it off immediately with Becca and we're truly blessed not just to be matched, but to merge our family with hers. I will tell you a lot more about Becca later, but I just want to express how much respect and admiration we have for her. She is truly an amazing woman.

So, without, further is our little miracle! 

And we won't make you wait to know what this beautiful baby is... IT'S A BOY!!!! 

And yes, he is growing happily in Michigan, St. Joe to be exact. Becca is almost 23 weeks and this week, baby boy is the size of a large mango or grapefruit. He is due to make his world debut on March 11. 

J and I get to meet Becca and her family in person very soon. We fly back to Michigan on November 14-18 and we're so excited! While we are back there, we'll have our official match meeting with IAC (I'll explain what that is soon.) 

There is so much else to say and express, but I want to keep this post short and just focus on this phenomenal news! J and I are incredibly happy! It's been so exciting sharing this with our family, and now you. Thank you for always supporting us in our adoption journey. And this journey is just beginning...

So stay tuned, and remember, no matter how impossible they sometimes seem...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Road Less Traveled, But the Right One for Us

I'm so proud to announce that our blog was featured on America Adopts this week! 

They contacted me about writing a post, after they saw our blog on IAC a few weeks ago. It's so great to know that people actually read our blog. And a blog is such a phenomenal social media tool. You just never know who will read it, or relate to something you wrote.

Below is our most recent post for America Adopts. Hope you enjoy it!

I often think of our adoption story in terms of Robert Frost’s, “The Road not Taken.”
In this poem, Frost states that two roads diverge in a wood, yet he cannot travel both.
We, like Frost, came to a fork in the road when we faced infertility. My husband and I tried for three years to get pregnant and all attempts were unsuccessful.
After trying on our own for six months, my OBGYN prescribed Clomid, and when that failed to work, he referred us to a fertility center.
After extensive testing, they could not find any structural or biological reason we could not get pregnant, so we started Intrauterine Insemination (IUI.)
After three unsuccessful IUI’s, our doctor sat us down and told us that he thought In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) might be the only way we’d conceive. And just like that, our first road appeared.

My husband and I always talked about adoption.

We were both very open to the idea and even when dating, we said that if we couldn’t have children, we’d adopt.
So given this news from our doctor, we had to heavily weigh IVF over adoption. Without us even knowing, another road emerged.
We stood uncertain at the apex of the fork in the road. Like Frost, we could not travel both.
We didn’t have the financial resources to do both IVF and if that didn’t work, adoption. But, honestly, it wasn’t just about the money; we wanted to make the best choice.
We wanted to choose the road we thought would lead us to our child.
It was not a hard choice, and I don’t know if like Frost, we picked the one less traveled, but I think we knew from the moment our reproductive endocrinologist gave us our options, that we’d choose adoption.
It was the right choice for us, because it felt right in our hearts. Even though it was the right choice, it was not an easy one.

It was hard and extremely sad that we would not have a biological child.

We would not see the beautiful baby our genes created.
As a woman, it was even harder for me, because I felt that my body had failed me. I would not know what it’s like to be pregnant, deliver a baby, or breastfeed.
I grieved over this, as I lost part of myself choosing adopting; I gave up the chance to be a biological mom.
I don’t often give adoption advice, because each case is unique and potential parent’s wants and needs differ vastly. But, if you are hoping to adopt because of infertility, I strongly suggest you deal with that loss before pursuing adoption.
Sure, the desire may still surface once in a while — we are human after all — but make sure you’ve come to terms with it. If you don’t, it will always be there and you want to move forward with a clear heart.
We’ve been in circulation with our agency, Independent Adoption Center, for almost two months. It took us four months to complete the home study, paperwork, trainings, etc.
We haven’t had any contacts yet, and it gets frustrating. Whenever the phone rings, my heart skips a beat, but it hasn’t yet been a birthmother.

The road to adoption is an uncertain one, but I know that someday, we’ll hold a baby in our arms.

If we’d chosen the IVF road, there was no guarantee (in fact less than 20%) that we would conceive.
And no, I cannot say (nor can our agency) that our odds are 100% with adoption, but they are very good.
We try and take it one day at a time and appreciate each other and the amazing life we have together.
We cannot wait to be parents and each day brings renewed hope that it will happen soon.
For us, choosing adoption meant letting go of the life we had always talked about; letting go of life I’d envisioned as a little girl.
Although the life we had intended did not work out as planned, it’s in no way less of a life. In fact, since we decided to adopt, our life is even more beautiful, because it’s the life meant for us.
There’s beauty in the unknown and peace in having faith in your path. I have never regretted the road we took, nor do I look across to the other road with envy.

I think we’re special because we’ve been given this gift to adopt.

Not everyone is open to open adoption, and I’m so grateful that both my husband and I chose this route to build our family.
So, maybe Frost was right. Maybe we did take the road less traveled.
But, while adoption is a less traveled road, it’s still at its core, just a road. And that really does, make all the difference.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Howling Good Time

This past weekend, we went with a couple of our friends to Wolf Fest. Wolf Fest, a small country music festival, was sponsored by a local country radio station, The Wolf (101.9). The line-up included:

Brodie Stewart Band
Joey Hyde
Austin Web
Lucy Hale 
Big and Rich
The concert was literally 10 minutes from our house in Orangevale, CA in a community park. The festival was a fun-filled day for all ages. There were local arts and crafts and food vendors, as well as a huge area for kids, including a blow-up mechanical bull.

Unfortunately, the Sacramento area is experiencing a late Indian summer, so it was very hot, but that didn't stop us from having a great time. J and I both love all genres of music, and we loved our day of country, especially Big & Rich

Hopefully, this festival will come back again next year, so we can put on our cowboy hats and boots and howl like a wolf. Here our some photos of our fun day...

Monday, September 29, 2014

Patience in the Waiting Game

Our blog was featured on Independent Adoption Center's Blog! It was pretty exciting to see my name and our blog post/photo on their site. This post is an extended version of my previous post "Patience is a Virtue." Enjoy!

…it’s a way of life.
Waiting is hard. Waiting for something you have no idea the time frame on is even harder. We have been in circulation with IAC for almost eight weeks. I know, not a long time, in fact we’re very much novices in the elusive waiting game. But, time becomes irrelevant when you’re waiting for something you so badly want. Whether it’s eight weeks, six months, or over a year – it’s all waiting for something you have no control over.
Like most new families, we had visions of being picked right when our profile went live. And while that does happen, statistically speaking, it’s not the norm. You’ve just worked so diligently on your paperwork, home study, and most importantly, adoption letter, that after it’s completed and you’re in circulation, life suddenly gets quiet. Waiting for adoption is very quiet.
We’ve asked many IAC community members and others who’ve adopted and they all give the same advice on waiting. Continue on with your life. Try and put the adoption in the back of your mind. Keep busy, focus on yourself or your partner, and don’t get bogged down in the waiting. Great advice, but it’s not that easy. Everyday I wake up wondering if we’ll get the call (or email) that will change our life. I pick up the phone to make sure it’s still working, test our email, and check our Google analytics. Everyday, I update our social media and wonder if any of them will lead to a possible connection. To be honest, I am very hopeful about our future child, but right now that hope still exists on a dream level.
There’s still so much I don’t know about the adoption process. But two things I know wholeheartedly: waiting is going to be harder than I initially thought and it’s going to require enormous patience. I’ll admit, I love to have control over situations, and it’s almost ironic how little control I have over this. I think I might just see a life lesson in here.
The bottom line is that patience has to become part of our normal routine. It has to be our mantra; it must become our way of life. I have always been a firm believer in fate, that things happen for a reason and when they are supposed to. We have to trust that our baby isn’t ready for us yet. Who knows, as much as my husband and I think we’re ready, maybe there’s something else for us to learn before we can become parents. Letting go of what you can’t control is a choice. Not an easy choice by any means, but a vital one.
So, for today at least, I vow to let go of this waiting. It doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the hope of our baby. Doing this confirms that I believe and trust in this open adoption process. I trust that through IAC we’ll eventually get the family we’ve always dreamed of.  So, when you are ready Baby G, we are here waiting, patiently.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Positive Vibes get Postive Results

Happy Wednesday! 

It's been pretty quiet around our house. We've
had a hard last week; we lost our first adopted little girl, a beautiful, black cat named Cinder. Losing her was really tough and I'm not quite ready to write about that yet, but I will soon.

I wanted to share some positive quotes that keep me going. Some are directly related to adoption, some are just about life. As hard as life gets at times, I do believe that positive thoughts equal positive results. 

So, whatever is going on in your life, try and look for the positive. Sometimes, it's so small and hard to see, but trust's there.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Optimistic Adoptimist

We just signed up with Adoptimist, another site to help match birthmoms with adoptive families. 

We can use all the help we can get trying to get our information out there, so we are excited to have connected with Adoptimist.

You can view or share our profile at:

Feel free to take a look at our page and as always, pass our information along to anyone you know who might be considering adoption.

Our main adoption page (besides this website,) is through our adoption agency, Independent Adoption Center at:

Thank you for helping us build our family.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Loving Life in Lake Tahoe

We love Lake Tahoe! I've been going there since I was about five years old, and when Jonathan and I moved up to Northern California in 2005, I couldn't wait to share it with him.

We visit Tahoe many times a year, mostly in the summer and winter, but we try and make a trip up in the spring and fall, as well. Every August, we go up with my dad and step mom and stay for about four days in Incline Village. Incline is on the Nevada side and is simply breathtaking. 

We look forward to this trip every year. It's pure relaxation. Lazy days on the private beach, soaking up the sun and playing on rafts in the water. Sometimes, we ride bikes, hike, or drive the scenic 72 miles around the lake, devouring the beauty each shore has to offer.

We were hoping that we would have a baby to bring with us this year. It's a perfect place for kids, and every year, we enjoy watching children of all ages building sand castles and playing with their parents in the water. Each year that we don't have our baby, we feel a twinge of sadness, but we try and remain optimistic and know that soon, we can join in on the family fun. 

We are truly blessed to live so close to the pristine mountains and serenity of Lake Tahoe. We can't wait to go back in winter to ski, snowboard, and snowshoe along lake trails. 

Being in nature, I'm always reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

"Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path...
and leave a trail."

We don't have a path to follow in open adoption. There's no path; there is only unknown and sometimes, like a forest, it's dark and dense, and there seems to be no end in sight. But, other times, it's like Lake Tahoe. It's beautiful, vast, deep, and brimming with endless inlets and possibilities. We may not know where this adoption journey will take us, but I know we'll leave a remarkable trail. 

See you soon Lake Tahoe. Stay blue!
McCloud Condos (where we stay)

A stormy day at the Lake

Shan and J  
Beautiful Emerald Bay

Incline Village Private Beach

One of our water toys

Looking towards west shore

The Truckee Meadow

Enjoying our morning walk 
Panoramic view of the beach

Seagull doing a little dance

J hanging out on the "ski" chair

One of the geese patrol dogs, Sneakers

South Lake Tahoe Casinos

Painted sky through the trees

Daily view from our beach spot

All smiles at Emerald Bay