Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Guest Post by Jammie

After 4 years of trying to start our family and going to our infertility doctor, we came to a crossroad in our journey. We were both exhausted and our hearts ached. As many of you know, through infertility there are many hard times and it seems to get harder the longer you have to wait for your bundle of joy. We never found any answers. We just couldn’t get pregnant. We have both been tested and we are both healthy. We then looked into our options including in vetro and adoption. We had many talks as we walked through our neighborhood and had beautiful confirmations that our family would start through the miracle of adoption. Now we look back and look at our current situation and we can see Heavenly Fathers hands forming our family behind the scenes. We also needed to decide if we wanted to have an open adoption or closed adoption. As you will see, we felt impressed that open adoption is what would be best for our family. We want our children to know from the beginning that they are adopted, and we want them to know the miracles that took place for them to join our family. We want them to know the selfless acts of love and sacrifices that their birth mom’s rendered. We also felt impressed that we would be placed in unique situations to love these beautiful birth moms through our openness and throughout our lives.

We started the adoption paper work and went to many classes. The more we learned, the more comfortable we became with open adoption. Education is very important in every big decision we make in this life. Don’t make decisions in ignorance or it could end up badly. If you don’t think open adoption is for you, then be educated and honest in your decision. Too many times adoptive couples make promises to their birth moms that they are unsure of and then they don’t follow through. This is very damaging to the relationship, and I believe that adoptive couples will be accountable for how we treat these birth mothers who have given us the opportunity to participate in parenthood. I think it is damaging to adoptive couples. I know that I want to look back on each of our adoptions and stand tall and confident in the decisions I made through placement, and continually make with our birth mothers.

After our paper work was in and ready, we started to get the jitters. Is this really going to happen? How will we ever find OUR birth mom? There are so many adoptive couples out there. Will our birth mom even be able to find our profile? Though, we also found much peace in remembering our confirmation that our family was being formed behind the scenes, we just needed to have faith. I remember one day I decided to get on LDS Family Services Website where our profile was listed. I was devastated when I saw there were 985 couples looking to adopt on itsaboutlove.org. I cried! Then I decided I would get on and pretend I was a birth mom to see how long it would take to find us. I cried again, we were number 965 out of 985. A week later we received an email from a young birth mother who wanted to get to know us better and possibly place her child with us. I cried tears of joy! It was a wonderful learning opportunity for me. Why is it that we forget that Heavenly Father is in control? Why do we forget to trust in him? After I read this sweet birth mom’s email to my husband I could hear the words in Matthew 8:26 “Why are ye fearful….. O ye of little faith” When I saw the number of couples, I felt very small. Though, I have sense learned time and time again how aware and concerned my Heavenly Father is on our behalf. I hope and pray that you will find that confirmation as well. I know that he is forming your families behind the scenes. Trust in him, he will bring great opportunities. I have learned that you do want it to be in his timing.

Since that day, we have had many miracles take place in our family. Our story is very unique, and we are still in the middle of it being formed so it is hard to put it down on paper so please bear with me as I try to express myself. Like I said our beautiful birth mom from Mississippi contacted us and we continued to write for a couple months. There were many hiccups in those couple of months, due to a birth father who participates in drug abuse, is not a member of the church nor does he like members, he is not supportive of adoption and state laws in Mississippi requires the birth father to sign away rights. Even though we had many things complicate the situation, we continually prayed and had many prayers on our behalf from friends and families. One by one these hiccups went away and plans started to come together. Our birth mom had many delicate decisions to make, and she made a very unique and inspired decision. This is a beautiful 15 year old woman who decided on adoption before even telling her mom she was pregnant and who would fly here without her mother or father, and to live with a family she knew only briefly through emails. Yes, our birth mom is currently living in our home until our son Aiden is born in February. We have had many sacred moments through this experience that I don’t feel comfortable sharing. Though, I can tell you that I know it was meant to happen this way. Was I scared to have her come? O Yeah! It was very intimidating and many questions went through my head. I didn’t know how it would be having her stay with us for over a month, and plan it all in a couple days. (We had about 5 days before she came and it was a week before Christmas). How can I make her comfortable? How can I support her through the emotions she will go through? How can I help her when she is home sick? Would she like our home? Would she like us? Would I be able to be myself? There was also the planning side, planning a trip to pick her up in Utah, find her a doctor, maternity classes, insurance, talk to attorneys, get her a plane ticket, strip the nursery so she would have a comfortable place to stay… the list goes on and on. It was intense and I wasn’t sure how it was all going to happen. Then, for the second time I felt my Heavenly Father take the wheel. It has been a lot of work, but every ounce of work that has been put into this adoption has been more than worth it! We picked her up at the airport and gave her a tour of the Utah church sites and then headed home the next day. We soon fell back into a busy life and thankfully she blends perfectly with our family. I am glad that Heavenly Father knows our needs more than we do. This has been the most amazing opportunity to have her in our home. To get to know this beautiful young woman who is striving to do such amazing things. I continually strive and pray that I can be in tune to the spirit, to be aware of her needs. She is a very unique teenager in the sense that I can feel her doing the same. I know that I could not have gone through this experience with any other birth mother. She is a delight and I am in awe to be in her presence and to have her in our home. I love her. I truly believe that once upon a time we met in the pre-existence and made an agreement to find one another. How empowering to think that Heavenly Father entrusted this task to her and I. I know I have gone on too long already, though, I need to mention that there are also many hard times. It is hard to have to be strong for someone else and still process how I am feeling. I am grateful that I have such a wonderful husband that lets me sob like a little girl in his arms, when my strength runs out at the end of the day. I continually have to check myself to see where I am regarding different topics. I continually check myself to keep feelings of jealousy and entitlement out of my thoughts. If I didn’t occasionally feel those things I wouldn’t be human. All of us have to grieve, what could have been. Feelings of sadness do arise because Satan’s is very patient and knows my personal weaknesses, though, it is what I do with those thoughts. For me, I am continually striving to kick them out on a daily basis. I, from the beginning, have decided that I wanted our adoptions to be done right, and with righteous desires there is strength that comes in no other way than through our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I pray that you will all find guidance in your journey. I know the heartache that infertility can cause, but there is a reason we were chosen for this path and there is strength in knowing that. I pray that my story may touch your hearts. I would love to hear your stories and if you ever feel alone… you’re not! We, as adoptive couples, need to pull together and find unity in this miracle of starting our families. It truly is God’s work! Sincerely, Jammie Elkins jamsaddy@gmail.com

Tips

1). Have the desire to adopt right. Pray that your heart can be softened and jealousy and a sense of entitlement will stay out of your hearts. That you may love your birth mother sincerely.

2). Be open minded: If you are closed-minded to certain topics you may miss a beautiful opportunity

3). Be teachable: Don’t harden your hearts because of the pain of infertility. You don’t have to know all of the answers. Be ready for the spirit to teach you.

4). Get educated. The only way to make the best decision for you and your family is to learn all sides. Heavenly Father can’t and won’t do all of the work.

5). Good communication. Open adoptions are two sided. Just like a marriage, with good communication the relationship flourishes, and with bad communication the relationship will dwindle. Remember that you can touch these young women in a way that no one else can.

6) Be Honest! Do not pretend you are someone you are not. If you don’t agree with something, speak up! Our birth moms want the truth. Don’t be scared of them running just because of one difference in opinion. And if they do, the relationship wasn’t meant to be. You want the right birth mom that will blend with your family, not just any birth mom.

7). Our birth parents are trusting us with raising their child, we must trust in them!

8). MIRACLE BABY!!!!! Remember that everything should be based on this beautiful miracle child. This is Heavenly Fathers child not ours. Again get rid of jealousy and entitlement when they arise.

9). Always evaluate where you are and know your emotional weaknesses regarding openness. Continually work through them, don’t push these feelings aside. You don’t want them building in the background and erupting like a volcano. Remember that this is Heavenly Fathers work, to create eternal families. So Satan is going to continually try to work on all sides.

10). Expect people to be ignorant to your situation. Don’t assume or expect people to know how you feel inside or you will continually get frustrated. They may have come in contact with adoption. But every story is unique in stature. When people say offensive things (They will) use it as a teaching opportunity rather than getting angry or bitter. This is hard to do, but important! You are a representative for adoption; we need to show the world how amazing it really is.

11). Write in journal as you go. Don’t think you can go back and write about it later. If you are to over whelmed to do it now, then you may have to wait. Though, you may forget details. Take down notes as things occur so you can write about those points later.

12) It will happen, keep hope and faith. Heavenly Father is mindful of you. It is ok to go through struggles, scream, and cry. After you’re done throwing a tantrum (I’ve been there), fall to your knees in gratitude and ask for strength from your Heavenly Father..


(Thanks Jammie! Visit their adoption blog- http://sharingamiracle.blogspot.com/)

1 comment:

Jennie said...

Thank you for sharing all of that. A beautiful experience is only made that way because of the ugliness that precedes it. I wish you luck as you wait for your baby's birth!