Hearts, home and bags ready

We had a difficult week last week. Without going into much detail we heard of a potential opportunity that seems to have fallen through by this point. While last week was definitely hard for us, we felt that if the time was right, we were ready to receive a child in our home.

Our baby room is pretty much all set. Obviously it will forever be a work in progress as we add and as a child grows in it, but we have the basics of what you need to welcome a child. First few months, the baby would sleep in our room obviously, but it is definitely good to know that we have everything pretty much set and ready to go.

One thing that we have learned and has been the hardest for us is that with adoption there is no time frame, it isn’t like having biological children that you know you have so many months to prepare for a child, that has been one of the hardest things for us. Yes, we could get a call that a pregnant woman wants to meet us and she may be half way through pregnancy or close to giving birth and that would give us some kind of hypothetical time frame, but we could also just get a call and have to take off. We are grateful that we have both had that talk with our employers that we may just need to leave suddenly one day and start our leave at work, we are both blessed to have understanding bosses that are perfectly OK with that happening.

We are more ready than we have ever been, our home and hearts are so ready for this!

baby-room

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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.

Adoption training in a couple weeks

Hi Family and Friends!

Sorry for the lack of posting over the last month, we have been a little busy and also not too much has happened other than the yard sale. As we said in previous posts, we kind of entered this weird stage of nothing happening with our adoption and just stagnant waiting, but this is taking a change…

IMG_0741We are going to our adoption training in a couple weeks!

A couple weeks ago we got our official invitation from the agency inviting us to attend their training, which is the official beginning of the adoption process with them. Of course, we are still months (maybe even up to another year) away from actually have a child in our arms, but this is the very beginning as we have so far mostly been fundraising and have moved from waiting list to waiting list.

After this training (which is a state mandated training) for adoption we will hopefully soon schedule our home study so that after that long process is completed (it can take up to 90 days to complete), our profile can be shown to birth mothers that the agency works with and hopefully we get the call that a woman has chosen to give us her baby for adoption. Again, this all could easily still be several months or even up to a year, but we are hopeful that it will happen.

The training is a state mandated training but will also have some great activities like learning about the agency, meeting the staff in person, testimonials from families that have adopted, adoptees and even birth moms that have given their babies for adoption. We have a lot to look forward to with this training, it will be an encouraging, but also an emotional few days, but totally worth it in the end.

 

 

#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

“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!