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

Birthmoms and what they mean to us

birth-mother

(In order to protect the privacy of these brave women, we are omitting names or even stories we have heard, as those are not ours to tell).

One of the things we loved the most about the training we attended was the panel towards the end where we were introduced to adopted parents, adoptees and birthmothers who had placed their children for adoption. We really enjoyed hearing all of the stories and experiences, but what we got the most out of was the stories we heard from the birth mothers and their experience.

Before going to this training, one of the things that we had conversations about was the subject of open vs closed adoptions. We had talked with our friends that have adopted, and got a wide variety of feedback about their personal experiences. At first, the term “open adoption” seemed a bit daunting, and it was hard for us to visualize what that would look like. Based on our research, personal experience, and the guidance from others, we felt that a semi open adoption was something that we were interested in. Throughout the weekend, we felt our hearts be moved so deeply for the birthmoms that we met. We felt a confirmation in our hearts that having the option to contact the birth mom, and keep her or her family updated on the life of our child, is not only something that we are open to, but something that we are excited for. It is easy to get caught up in differences and worries. It is easy to worry about the things that make an open adoption sound scary. We have learned that although we may be very different in many ways, there is one thing that is the same. We both love this child. We both will make life changing sacrifices for this child. We both will see The Lord in new and amazing ways through the gift of adoption. We both are different pieces of the puzzle of who our child is, and we would not be complete without each other.

Birth mothers make a huge sacrifice when they decide to place their child for adoption, sometimes they decide on their own, sometimes the birth father or their parents are involved in their decision. Regardless of what moved them to make that decision, there is still grief, there is a loss and there is the need for healing. One of the things we loved the most about our agency is the fact that they continue to offer support and counseling to the birth families as well, as some agencies kind of just match and then it is the end of the story. They are often forgotten or just seen as a means to an end to a family who is adopting and then they are just left to deal with it on their own. We talked at length with the case worker during our consultation about the process of healing and what that looks like for them, which is why they encourage that even if a closed adoption is what the birth mom wants to still write letter and maybe send pictures to the agency as they have seen before that in some cases they will come or contact them just wanting to know how the child is doing and this also helps them heal and be reassured that they made the right choice.

We know nothing about our birth mother, if she will want an open or a closed adoption, if she will want to get pictures and letters or not. We don’t know what she likes, what her background is or anything. We don’t know if the birth father will be involved in the decision, or won’t care. There is so much we don’t know, but we are excited to get to that place, even if that is still a while away. Birth mothers are strong.

#WCW

Ok, so just like my wife I usually don’t subscribe to cliches, but I felt like my wife is deserving of being my Woman Crush Wednesday every day! (Also, she said some really pretty things in this blog post about me the other day so it is my turn to give back).

My wife Danielle is a great woman, my best friend and partner for the rest of my life and I really can’t imagine anyone else to do life with. One of the (many) things I love about my wife the most is how loving, caring and compassionate she is. Anyone that has ever met her in person knows and can agree that she has a big heart, which is why she is a social worker. She has such a huge heart for making an impact and helping others learn and improve their life situations and I don’t know how she does it, some days I just sit and wonder how she deals with some of the things and stories she hears from the women and children she works with.

There is no doubt in my mind that when the day of adoption finally comes she will be a great Mom, and will definitely be like no Mom I have ever met. We often joke about how our kids from a very young age will use terms like “safety boundaries” and “coping skills” that their little friends may find it annoying, but that is because she will always make sure that they are safe and will teach them those valuable lessons, plus she learned from her Mom who is a great woman. I have so much respect for my Mother in law because she worked so hard to make sure that her daughters not only lacked anything, but would grow up to be strong women and I see that every day in my wife eyes. I know that Danielle will strive to be a great parent, just like her Mom is.

I am blessed to have her walking in this adoption path with me, and it is a path we never imagined we would end up walking, at least not at this point of our lives. I will never forget one of the very first real conversations we had when we started entertaining the idea of struggling with fertility, Danielle in tears talked about how yes it is great that while we don’t have kids we have freedom, we can pack up our bags and go out of town or go out late for dinner or to the movies without having to worry about finding a baby sitter or someone to watch her kids, but that she would also give that all up to be a Mom. She would give up in a heart beat all to be a Mother and hearing those words was one of the most heart breaking things to hear. This came from a strong woman realizing the one thing she wanted the most, may not be a possibility for her, that she may never get to experience what it is like to feel her baby move or kick inside her. It was truly a tough moment for me as a husband to witness that, but it was also one of the moments that marked the beginning of our adoption journey, because after that, we knew that adoption was what we wanted to do and that we were not going to miss out on anything. We knew that our life and our legacy was going to be that God had selected a child to be raised by us as one of our own, and we would not change that for anything in the world!

Our children will be so lucky to have such an amazing and loving Mom and I can’t wait to see as that happens in front of my very own eyes!

-Luis

“Getting” adoption

Mother and Child Holding Hands

It is interesting how much adoption can change your heart and even your opinions about things. I am sure parenting in general or even finding out your wife is pregnant changes your perception of life, but I think adoption does even more in a very different way.

Since the very first moment we started telling people we were adopting, people have asked questions, have congratulated us and have inquired things about our personal life that you usually wouldn’t ask a couple that is pregnant (like “why are you adopting?” or “is everything OK…down there?”), and while we don’t mind sharing our thoughts and story, sometimes it feels that we have to help people “get” adoption, but I even look back at myself before we started this journey and think that maybe I was that person too, the guy who would have questions.

As other adoptive, or future adoptive parents can relate, the process can seem very stressful because there are so many uncertainties as far as what would happen. As my wife perfectly articulated in this blog post when it comes to adoption there usually isn’t a time frame, it is not like when a woman finds out she is pregnant and the couple has time to get ready for baby to arrive, prepare the baby room, have friends throw a baby shower, find out the gender…you know the rest. When you are adopting you don’t know when things will happen, one day you could have your home study done and shortly after you could get a call that a birth mother has chosen you or there is a baby for you to bring home, or it could be a very long period of waiting and more waiting until you get the call. There is no 9 month countdown, and that can be very hard.

On the other hand, that is also a blessing though because we have more time to raise funds, which that is another question we get asked a lot “why would you go through and agency?” or “why does it cost so much to adopt a baby?” and similar questions like that. If you’ve had those questions, I used to think that too as well, I would see posts of Facebook and wonder why people would need to spend so much money to get a baby. These are all valid questions that you shouldn’t feel bad for asking or wondering. Going through an agency is costly, the one we picked specifically is non-profit, which means they are not in the business of “selling babies”, they actively continue to provide services to birth families, and that is something we really liked about that. It does come with a cost, but one that is totally worth it!

In the end, adoption is something foreign to many people, including myself before and the more and more we get deep into the process the more I learn and the more I come to appreciate it. Yes, it is a long process and we have a lot to do still, but when that day finally comes, when we get to meet our son or daughter, all of the anxiety, stress and frustration will completely disappear. I picture what that moment and what that scene will be like in my head often and think that the joy will be like nothing I have ever experienced, I imagine my wife and I meeting our child for the first time crying like we never did before and realizing “we are parents” and just feeling that happiness that we never thought we could experience.

Adopting is not like going down to your local pet store and selecting that perfect animal you want to take home and have as a pet, adopting is something that you don’t know who you will get. We may get a kid that somehow happens to have similar features, or maybe a kid that looks entirely differently than us and shares no common features, who knows. We’ve had even people ask about the “picking” process, or what kind of kid would we want. Let me assure you that we don’t care, we know our future child (or children, as we plan on adopting more than one kid (not right away)) is someone who has already been chosen by God to be ours, even if he or she hasn’t even been conceived yet. We also will always be eternally grateful to the woman who will carry our child in the womb and often pray for her safety, no matter who she is or where she is, as we could never repay her what she will do for us.

Adoption is the right path for us, it is what God has called us to do and what He is preparing our hearts for and what we wouldn’t want any differently. It is something we are happy to share with our family and friends and something that we know will change our lives forever. This is something that we will always share with our future children, we will tell them how perfectly God created them in our hearts and that it doesn’t matter if physically they came from someone else, they were meant to be ours from the very beginning.

-Luis

The Uncomfortable Step in Adoption (or a very honest post about it)

Neither Danielle and I love begging people, specially family and friends we care about for money, we are just not those type of people. We set up a Go Fund Me page and have received an overwhelmingly amount of emotional support from people, loving messages and a lot of shares, we even made a video about adoption and have many people tell us how beautiful it is and we will always appreciate that…but we need your support.

This week we were hit with the realization of something, fundraising is not very easy.

While the idea of coming up with fun ideas and raising money to get your child sounds like a fun thing to do, it is a lot of hard work. Adoption is very costly, and while we are doing some things to raise funds (events and such), we have still be hit with the reality that we are far from the end goal. We are left with the question of “will this even be possible?”

We are still in a very early stage of adoption and being on a waiting list (a long one I should say) gives us hope that we can do this, that we can get to our goal and raise enough funds to adopt our child, but the reality is that we still have so much to get done. Adoption is a blessing, but one that comes with a very high price.

For those who have gone through the process of adoption, you know how challenging it can be, specially when you plan for things to go a certain way and then they turn out to go slower than you thought. It can be frustrating and a little disappointing at times, but we just need to have faith that at the end, everything is going work out the way they should. Just the other day, Danielle and I had a rough time thinking how unnatural it feels to be asking for donations, we shouldn’t have to, we should be able to just make a kid of our own, but God had different plans for us when He had placed the path of adoption in our hearts and we are so happy to be walking that road together. That constant reminder of the fact that because of possible fertility issues we are not able to have a kid “the natural way” can come bite you every now and then, even when you are so excited about the idea of adoption. Even as I sit down in front of my laptop and write these words I feel attacked and wonder if we will even be able to reach our goal, and while I feel confident we will, I still feel scared and worried that we may not.

Many people have shown us so much love and support emotional and prayerfully, and while that is awesome and we couldn’t ask for anything better, we still ask that if you have a minute to please consider with any little bit of help. Also, keep an eye for fundraising events we will have soon. After all, we have always felt that we belong to such a strong and tight community and we know that we have the love and support of it.

So how much does an adoption cost?

While adoption is a huge blessing, it is very costly and depending of the agency you use can be anywhere between $20,000-$30,000 (or maybe more). Now the good thing is that most agencies have a fee schedule where you can break the cost so that huge amount is not due all at once.

From the very beginning we have wanted to work hard to get to that goal, whether it is through setting up events, yard sales and even through little contributions here and there from friends and family. More than ever before, one way or another we need your help!

Luis

Also, when you get a chance, here is the link to our Go Fund Me campaign, just click on the button to get there:

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For international donations (because we have family outside of the USA), you can do so through PayPal as well by clicking here

Once again, thank you and please enjoy our video again!

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

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