Still Waiting

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It has been a while since we have written an update regarding of our adoption process. We are still continuing to wait, which is something we are totally fine with. Our Adoption Agency is showing our profile to potential birth parents and one day, one of them will choose us or we will get a call from the agency that there is a child waiting.

In all honesty the wait has been long and we are grateful that we’ve had this time to prepare our home, our hearts and our lives to receive the kid that is meant for us. As you recall, last month we shared about the grief of a situation we were in a sense connected with (you can read about it here), and while we did receive word that the mother decided not make an adoption plan, we are grateful we were a part of that little baby’s life, even if we never get to meet her. We prayed for her and for the mother, we prayed that she would make the best choice she could for her baby and we hope she did.

You may have noticed that our adoption updates may have become less frequents these last few months and the reason is because there really is less to update you about. We completed our home study, we are listed, we are in a good track funding-wise (still working on a grant though), and really just waiting for what is next. Family and friends have been an incredible support to us through out this whole journey and we are so grateful for each and every one of you and we honestly could not do it without you all.

We both really hope the next big update is a big one, but in the meantime we continue to wait.

Love,

The Guerreros

 

Bragging about my wife

This week, our social media was flooded by pictures of proud parents posting pictures of their children going back to school. While we are years away from that on our end, I do have to brag that a student went back to school this week as well…

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It might be a little hard to read but it says “1st day of graduate school!”. Yes, that is correct, my beautiful wife is now pursuing her Masters of Social Work. While she actually started with a couple summer classes in July, this week marked her official return to full time school. Danielle is part of the advanced standing program at NMSU, which means she will be getting her Masters in one year instead of two, while still juggling a job and an internship. I am not sure how she has so much energy and determination, but I am so proud of her!

Ever since she graduated with her Bachelor Degree, it has been her dream to go back to school and get her Masters but when we first got married we were not in the right place or time for that to happen. I know our child will be very proud of having such a hard working and smart Mom to look up to because Danielle herself was raised by a very strong Mom who always worked hard and put her children above everything else in life.

I am so proud of my love!

Luis

Guerrero summer and upcoming things

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Hi everyone! We fully acknowledge that we have not been very good at keeping you posted on what has been going on in our journey this summer (so far, of course!). This is in part because things have been a little busy here at the home front, Danielle is full gear back in school pursuing her Masters in Social Work and I (Luis) have been very busy with work and being a full supporter of my wife and her education.

We have been meaning to update the blog for some time now but the lack of news and other things made it difficult to sit down and do it, but we have some great news moving forward with our adoption that we have been holding on to for a few days as we decided what to do exactly.

So early this week we got an email from our adoption agency asking for an update on how our fundraiser is going and letting us know they have been considering moving things a little bit faster and asked us if we would be interested in starting our home study early through a contracted Social Worker that they work with here in Las Cruces. They told us to discuss it and think about it as this would definitely save us time because then we could get listed sooner and they could start showing our album to birth mothers a lot sooner if we do it now as we are so close from being off the waiting list and becoming an active family. Doing this could potentially save us around 3 months as the home study is a 90 day process and they can’t start doing it until we have completely been taken off the waiting list, which is why they recommended we contacted this social worker that they have done a lot of work with and is based here locally (remember, our agency is in Albuquerque, which is about 3-4 hrs from here).

After talking about it we decided that yes, we would like to move forward with it so hopefully we can start working on our home study soon. This is a crucial part of the adoption process as it gives the agency, the state and birth mothers a bigger picture of who we are as individuals. Our agency works directly with birth mothers and some of them get to pick who they would want raising their child (in some cases they prefer the agency choose for them), so making sure we get all of our ducks in a row is very important.

The agency gave us the contact information for this social worker, although we will probably still hold off on calling her for a couple weeks as there are some things we need to prepare for around the house that we weren’t expecting to have to do for another 2 or 3 months at least, but we will soon!

We will keep you posted on how this goes soon, again sorry for the lack of posting and updating lately.

Love,

The Guerreros

Happy Adoption Day (from the Guerreros)

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Yes! Today is one of our favorite days of the year: National Adoption Day!

Join us and celebrate with us thinking and praying about children needing homes and loving families. This year has changed our lives and our hearts so much as we’ve been preparing for adoption, and what a better time as the Holidays are approaching to get ready for a great next year.

Happy Adoption Day!

Love, The Guerreros

#MCM

Okay, so I know how cliche it is to title the post #MCM, especially on a Monday. I did want to share a story about Luis.

A couple weekends ago, we had some friends of ours ask us to watch their 1 year old son. I was very excited, but also a bit nervous. I work with kids all day at work, but somehow knowing that I am responsible for the care of a small child with mom and dad not in the house made me nervous. Our friends have an amazingly well behaved and sweet kid. He is a joy to be around! Anyway, we were excited and ready to go. Luis did such an amazing job. He played games and was interactive and attentive. He did everything right, and was so confident with what he was doing. He really embodied all of the qualities that you dream about when you think of the qualities that you want for the father of your kids. He did amazing. His eyes lit up when playing with that kid. He was completely in his element. I didn’t know that parenting could look so natural until I saw him. It reminded me of when we were buying our house. I had seen houses before, but didn’t look at them with “buyers eyes”. I had seem Luis interact with kids before, but never really saw him through the same eyes as I did when I saw a glimpse of what he will be like as a dad.

I am so lucky to have an amazing husband who has a heart that longs to be a father. On the days that I am doubting myself, I know that I have an amazing partner to lean on. Adopting is hard. Parenting will be hard, and I know that we need to be united as a team. He has been so focused and excited when we talk about our future child. He has such a gracious heart, and prays daily for the woman that is (or will be) carrying our child. Since the day that we got married, Luis has looked forward to being a dad. I know that our baby will be just as blessed to have this man as their dad. This baby will be so lucky!

Luis, you are my #MCM, today and everyday, and I am so glad that I get to go on this journey with you. We have had our ups and downs, but there is no one on earth I would rather be on this crazy train with than you. I am so lucky that you get to be my baby’s father, and I can’t wait to see you thrive!

~Danielle

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

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