Go Fund Me Campaign

Hey guys! We have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds for our adoption. Please, if you feel inclined to donate you can do so by clicking on the link and making a simple donation. We appreciate all your love and support so far, and please share with your friends!

We will be starting a series of fundraisers and events as well, so there are many ways to get involved, and feel free to contact us if you want to help in any way!

button

Adoption Partners: Beck’s Coffee

10432460_767360990008984_7292011850386469113_nWe love coffee…a lot! Luis is such a snob for coffee and Danielle loves it too, and we love this local coffee roaster and house called Beck’s Coffee in the heart of Las Cruces, NM. They sell a variety of beans and blends and use a special “pour over” technique that you don’t see in your neighborhood Starbucks, or even the majority of coffee houses we have visited.

Beck’s coffee is owned by a local married couple called Tyrell Thacker and Ariana Parsons who are simply awesome and have a passion for some of the same things we do: coffee, arts and the value of local and growing the community. They have owned this coffee shop and purchased the brand from the original Beck after she decided to move back home to Australia and have seen this business grow and continue to improve as time goes on.

As a part of what seems a long road into fund raising for our adoption we decided to reach out to them and see if they would be interested in hosting a fund raiser for us and they loved the idea! Unfortunately for our not local friends, this will take place in Las Cruces only and we will be having what is called a “Coffee Tasting” at their coffee shop where a group of attendees will not only get to also become Adoption Partners, but they will get to experience different blends and roasting levels, enjoy some live music and fun among friends and members of the community. Details of this even will be revealed soon as we are still planning some things out, but it will be tons of fun, specially for coffee lovers like us!

We are also looking for other Adoption Partners that would be willing to contribute to help us in this exciting adventure of fund raising. If you are interested please let us know and we would be happy to sit down with you!

Love,

Luis & Danielle

And if you are local or ever are in the Las Cruces area, go visit Beck’s Coffee:

130 N. Mesquite St, Las Cruces, NM 88001

Click here to go LOVE them on Facebook!

Date Night

We like to go out…when we can, of course! We both work and have responsibilities, so anytime we get a chance to go out on a date we take it! We also are enjoying still being able to go out when we want, we have several friends with children and it is sometimes hard to get together because they have to figure out child care to go out on dates. Even with all that, we still look forward for the day to comes when we will be rambling and trying to find someone to watch our children, but we also like when we can just get in our car and go out.

unnamed (1)

Tonight we went to a restaurant we don’t really go very often but every time we do we think “why don’t we come here more often?” and say that we will go more often, Luna Rossa. This is a small Italian restaurant in the town of Mesilla, which is right next to Las Cruces, where we live. They have some really good pizza, great wine and some of the best Gelato around!

We like to have fun and go out, and when we do we enjoy:

– Good food, preferably local.

– Coffee and coffee-like desserts

– Ice Cream

– Beer (craft beer for Luis, the snob) and wine

– Movies

– Parks and just enjoying the local scene

– We also like to travel and go to new places, but financially that is not always possible to do.

Just like any other married couple, having fun and just being ourselves is a big part of our relationship and something we will always encourage our future children to do.

Love,

Luis & Danielle

A Sister’s Tale

11081431_10204202129558805_2601750586070290218_n

So, I’ve never been the kind of person who likes kids a lot. But when I found out my brother and his wife decided to adopt, I almost literally cried. I remember I was sitting in a restaurant, hanging out with a friend of mine. So when Luis told me about this, I got so excited, my face lit up and I couldn’t help the hyperness and excitement.

As time goes by, we all have questions, but the main one is: WHEN WILL I MEET MY FUTURE NICE/NEPHEW? That’s all that matters. I can honestly say I can’t wait! As Luis and Danielle have said before, it doesn’t matter if someone carries the same DNA as you do, what matters the most is how much you love them.

I haven’t met this kid, maybe he/she hasn’t even been born, but I already love him/her. I can’t wait to play, laugh, carry, take care or  him/her, show him/her about music, maybe even show him/her to play the guitar in the future. (Can I avoid changing diapers?)

It’s kinda hard living in a different country and not being physically there and not going through this with my brother and sister in law, but I know that when the right time comes, it’ll work out.

I repeat, I’ve never really liked kids much… But this kid is gonna be different, I’m gonna love her/him so much:)

-Auntie Jean

Adoption Update

Hi Family & Friends!

We are excited to bring you a little update today about where we are in our adoption process.

The last few weeks we have been reviewing our options as far as which route we are going to take with our adoption, although there are really only two: State & Private Agency. Both are great options for adopting and we heavily considered both of them and have decided to go with a Private Adoption agency.

Not only did we come to that decision, but we have chosen an agency to work with! It is called Adoption Assistance Agency that is based in Albuquerque, NM. This agency is a Christian non-profit agency that after reviewing it and hearing a good note from them decided to put us on the list to be selected as one of their adoptive families. If you want to find out more about this agency click here for more information on them.

So what is next?

Well first of all, going though an agency costs money depending on the agency and situation and we are excited to invite loved ones to participate in helping us raise funds. We will do yard sales, events and other fun things we are cooking up, so keep your eyes open!

With much love,

Luis, Danielle and future Baby G!

Fatherly Hopes

Father’s Day is today and as I ponder about the fact that someday in the future I will get to be a Father, I can’t help to think about my own on this day that celebrates Dads around the world and how, even though it has taken me long to realize this, I feel I am becoming more and more like my own Dad as time goes by.

unnamedHis name is Armando Guerrero Chavez, born in a small town called El Chilar in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, but he grew up most of his childhood in the beautiful city of Puebla in Mexico. My Dad was born to a very large and poor family being one of 9 (surviving) children my Grandparents had (I was always told there was at least a few more that died either really young or at birth). As many children who come from poor families he had to work very hard from a very young age and lived through a lot that many his age shouldn’t have to. He grew up, went to school and worked very hard to better himself so his children would never have to live the kind of life he did when he was a young boy.

My Dad and I bumped heads a lot growing up, specially in my teenage years. I was a brat and like most teenagers thought I knew everything there is to know about everything is the world. As I grew up, got married and eventually started thinking of starting a family of my own, I have really come to appreciate his hard work and dedication for his family.

He is probably one of these hardest working men I know and a good example of someone who will do what he can to make sure his family never has to struggle. We were never wealthy growing up in Mexico City, maybe more like middle class, but we didn’t have as much as other kids I went to school with, but we always had food, clothing and a roof over our head and that is what matters the most. I really hope some day when I am a Father myself I can be as great as you, or even just close at all.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Love, your oldest son,

Luis

(P.S.- The picture above is my Dad holding me in what according to my Mom I was only a few days old and probably just back from the hospital. This picture, among other family pictures of ours is on what we call our “G” wall that keeps growing and will continue to grow as our family grows bigger.)

Hard questions 

I got an invitation to attend a baby shower this week. I am so excited for parents who are expecting!! Don’t get me wrong, hearing that your good friends are pregnant the day you realize you may have trouble making a baby sucks. Like sucks a lot. Probably top 10 hardest day of our life.

Fast forward to where we are now, and anxiously awaiting an adoption is so exciting, and scary, and daunting. See, we don’t care biologically where our kids come from but there are a ton of unknowns that people don’t talk about when you are ready to adopt. These are hard questions, and I don’t know if there is a right answer.

1. How do you react to the inevitable question of fertility? Luis and I have been lucky in that all of the people that have been walking with us know what has been going on, and know more details about what is going on. Luis has been great about being open with his struggles as a man and what these questions mean to him.

As a woman, it doesn’t seem to matter what the actual answer is when it comes to fertility. Anyone who sees a couple without biological kids automatically assumes it’s the woman’s fault. Women are referred to as barren. Women are asked by others if they are trying, and if they can have kids. (Which, by the way, is completely inappropriate. Take it from someone who has had people actually ask me to my face if I’m the issue. People. That’s not okay. Get it together). And finally, women are far more than men expected to be parents or be told that there is something wrong with you. The ability to be pregnant and have kids is something that is expected of women. If a man decides not to have kids, he is still considered manly. If a woman decided not to have kids, she is selfish and there is something wrong with her. Being a mom is expected.

Society places men’s value on their job and their social status. Who they are is more defined by the work that he does and the things he can do. A women’s value is often placed on her mothering ability and the quality of character of her children. As a social worker, one of my life missions is to help change maladaptive stereotypes and challenge societal norms. I spend more of my day than most comforting set ideologies so forgive me if I seem over involved with this area. So, even as an educated and empowered woman who has studied the effects of stereotyping and knows that social constructs can be very harmful to a person’s image of themselves; I still find myself buying into this idea myself. It is hard to have your voice break through the seeming endless message that a woman’s value lies in her ability to have and raise kids. It is hard to know what to say when someone corners you and asks “you guys have been married a while. Do you not want kids? Can you have kids? What’s wrong with you?” How do you respond gracefully, politely, and in a politically correct way? How do you educate people on why that is a completely inappropriate question in a productive way? How do you work to change social norms and expectations?

2. What do you do with yourself in this long waiting period? How do you know what the timeline looks like? Back to baby showers… Pregnancies have a usual flow and set timeline. At 20 weeks you typically know the gender. The baby shower usually comes in month 7 or 8, and you start the nesting process. You have month by month advice and check ups.

What does the adoption time line look like? When do you get a crib? Do you need a bassinet? When in the home safety check and home study process do you need the cabinet locks and need to have the baby proofing happen? Luis and I are looking for a placement from birth up to 2, and anyone who is fermiliar with kids knows that is a HUGE variation in what is needed. How to you tell people that you don’t want baby clothes because you have no idea if you are getting a baby? How do you prepare the nursery when you have no idea what kid you are getting?

Anyone who knows me well knows I am type A. Type capital A because it is cleaner and more neat than a lowercase a. It is so hard for me not to have a check sheet and a 9 month plan of what to do when. The more that we go on this process the more answers we will have when it comes to then when do I …. But it is still stressful.

Hopefully one of the many lovely people that we know will have some answers to these questions. And hopefully any other parents on this journey will know that they are not the only ones searching for answers to hard questions.

– Danielle

A Big Thank You!

unnamed

We both just wanted to take a moment and thank all of our friends and family for all your comments, calls, text messages and even stories shared about adoption from both ends of the spectrum. We both are so happy to know that our kids will already be so loved and have a community that has their back!

Love,

Luis & Danielle

A Father’s Tale

I never thought this would be us…

I repeated that many times to myself when we started considering the idea that maybe having our own biological children may not be something in the cards for us. I would say it out loud to myself in my thoughts, when I was by myself driving to work and even with my wife. The thought that maybe there is something wrong was never a conversation that I would be having with my wife or with anyone. It just didn’t seem like this would be our case and our story. I remember feeling insecure and feeling like maybe I was the problem, that I was the reason why we couldn’t have children and that it wasn’t fair on my wife who dreamed of becoming a mother some day, I felt like I was failing her in the duty to give her that.

Although many blogs and books on adoption, pregnancy and even parenting seem to be written in the woman’s perspective, there appears to be very little that is geared to men. Our society seems to really put a lot of the weight of having children on the woman, and that is righteously so since a man will never endure morning sickness, cramps, miscomfort or the pain of giving birth and I don’t think any man would want to, but I feel just like myself there are many men who need to know they are not alone.

Some of the hardest moments my wife and I endured while we started considering we may not make our own children was the news we keep hearing from friends about pregnancies, seeing pictures posted on Facebook of ultra sound or quirky announcements, pictures of newborns and friends posting the many pictures of their children as they grow and reach a new milestone. We really struggles. I really struggled and it was not easy to overcome.

Traditionally, whether they want to or not, the man is who “brings 50% of the ingredients it takes to make a child”. As a man you want to know that you are leaving a legacy in this world, that your DNA and genetic code is not going to end with you and the thought of this possibly not happening can be very hard to accept. You want to give your wife those children she loves and prays for every day even if she has never met them, you dream of teaching them things, sharing your skills and hobbies, watching them play sports or take on an activity or interest that will make them happy. You dream of your son or daughter resembling you and you desire for them continue your legacy in the future. At least I did and I know I am not the only that has. I mourned. I cried. I resented God and kept thinking to myself this was not fair because there are so many people out there who don’t want children. I would think of all the children born out of wedlock that are not wanted by their mother and their fathers and how it was not fair that for some reason people like them would easily conceive, neglect and ignore their children. I would hear stories about some of the mothers about that resented their children and blamed them for their situation and would just see them as a burden to their life style and the men in their life. I would think it was not fair that women like that would be granted children and not us, who are responsible and would love to have kids because we want them.

But something happened the moment we had that honest conversation about adoption. As we have both said before, adoption was always a plan of ours, not a plan B and I always believed that because we talked about it even back when we were just dating and thinking about what our future would be like if we got married. I think like any couple who has adopted first, we deep inside wanted to maybe have one or two biological kids first and then adopt a third one, but I remember realizing that maybe it would be our first and second and possibly third that we would end up adopting and I remember feeling that was fine, that it was exactly the plan for the very beginning and that was perfectly OK. All of the sudden the thoughts, fears and even the sadness of realizing that my “DNA” may never genetically be carried over to the next generation was not something that mattered anymore. I all the sudden seemed to have forgotten why that was a concern to begin with and would not care what our children looked like or even if they remotely looked like us. I don’t care if they share the color of our skin, eyes, hair or even if they are polar opposite to us. Whoever I get to call son or daughter will be just as loved no matter where they came from.

Happy-Fathers-Day-Quotes-From-Adopted-Son-Daughter

I remember getting to that point and feeling an incredible peace and comfort knowing that genes and DNA had nothing to do with my children carrying my legacy and being excited about loving the children that have been hand picked by God to be ours, and to carry our legacy no matter who made them. We can’t make time go faster and wish we could because we have heard from other adoptive parents that is a slow process that will test your patience, but that is fine, it will give even more time for our hearts to grow to loving our children even more with each day that passes.

This has been a huge journey for me and for both of us, and I hope that if you are a man that is going through this situation that you know you are not alone. One of my hopes for this blog is also to reach to others that are in the same situation and be of any kind of help or encouragement, like many others have been to me in this. I believe that God can change our hearts and desires and give us His.

-Luis

The One with the Donor (a Friends episode, not our life).

WARNING: This post contains minor spoilers to the show Friends, specifically the final 2 seasons. If you have lived under a rock and never watched this show, then I wouldn’t recommend reading!

imagesMy family likes the show Friends…wait, let me re-phrase that: My family LOVES the show Friends, specifically my Mom, my sister and I (and my wife too since this is one of the things I brought to our marriage). We love the show so much that we literally have for years related to situations in our lives to the characters of the show Friends, specially my sister Jeannie and I.

Danielle and I have always identified to the characters of Chandler and Monica. I am kind of a goof and would rather laugh awkward and uncomfortable situations than take them serious like Chandler, and my wife is very similar to Monica’s personality. Very ordered, clean and an amazing cook (not to forget to mention competitive!). Even our relationship is very similar similar to Chandler and Monica (I mean aside from the fact they slept together a whole season before getting serious, but that’s TV for you) in the way we are around each other. One thing we never thought we would relate to would be to this specific episode.

(Spoiler Alert) In the previous episode, Chandler and Monica got to a point in their journey “trying” with no success that they went ahead and did fertility tests, only to find out that Chandler’s swimmers were slow and Monica has a hostile uterus. OK, as we have said before, we have not gone into detail as far as whether we are able to conceive or not, and that is not important to us in this whole journey of adoption, but the question poses as “what do we do now?” The episode ends with them saying they will figure something out.

Jump to the next episode and in a very typical sitcom way they show how they deal with this rough situation and reality that they may never conceive children. They discuss surrogacy and a sperm donor (and the sperm donor portion is hilarious and awkward in a very typical Friends way) and at the end of the episode Monica decides that if she can’t get pregnant with Chandler’s baby, then she would rather not get pregnant at all. So what is their next option? Adoption!

We relate very well to this episode, although sperm donor and surrogacy was really never something we considered. Our almost immediate jump was adoption and we are so happy we are on board with this. I won’t got into detail as far as what happens next because you can watch the whole show on Netflix, and the way that the adoption of their children is handled is very beautiful in my opinion.

I often think it can be silly how television and the media can use satire and comedy in such a way to inspire us. We all need a good laugh and while the road to get to this point has been difficult, we are very thankful that this is where God has lead us as far as our plans as a family.

As a closing note, this episode contains one of my favorite lines ever and one I jokingly have been repeating to Danielle these past few days: “Shhh…if we are quite enough, we may be hearing the sound of a condom ripping”. So funny!

-Luis