A Big Thank You!

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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

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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.

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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

Our Story

423230_790259756441_1922797355_nWe always wanted to adopt. This was something that was never a question about whether or not we wanted to. It was the plan to have our own biological children, and then adopt or foster in the future. As the saying goes, if you want to hear God laugh tell him your plans. Adoption was His plan for us all along.

After being married for 2 and a half years, we decided that it was time to start trying for a family. At about the 1 year of trying mark, we had to sit and have a discussion about if this is something that we want to continue to pursue. I (Danielle) have a bad back, and this complicated things for us. After prayerful consideration we decided to spring into adoption as the focus of our family. Adoption was never a plan B, just a plan “maybe later”. Being faced with the confrontation of potential issues with having bio kids, we knew this was the time to start this process.

We have an ambiguous answer when it comes to our fertility, and that is something that we are fine with. We don’t need to push and pursue something that may or may not happen. What we do know is that we are called to be parents, and to love a kid as much as possible. We also know that we have amazing family and supports. Our siblings and parents are over the moon to get to meet our future child, and already have this child in their hearts. We also have amazing friends who are anxious to go on this journey with us. We have amazing mentors, who have rejoiced, counseled, cried, and prayed with us as we decided to start this journey now. Finally, we have a Heavenly Father who has shown us love, grace, and compassion and has adopted us into his family, that we may inherit all his favor and blessings.

So where are we in the progress? This is just the beginning of something much greater and are just barely starting. Right now our biggest thing is that we are gathering information on whether or not adopting through the state, or through a private adoption agency. There are pros and cons to both and we are weighing in the information we are gathering on both and then going to decide which route we want to take, either way we are looking forward to the fun (and rough) road of adoption.

One of the first steps we will take is attend an informational meeting with CYFD on July 7th to find out more about state (or public) adoptions and what that entails and in the mean time we will be looking through adoption agencies and adoption lawyers and see what our options are.

We look forward to sharing our story and our progress with you all and if you have any questions please either contact us or leave a comment below.

-Luis & Danielle