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

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

Birthmoms and what they mean to us

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(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.

 

 

Giving Thanks

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(Luis speaking) Thanksgiving really is my favorite holiday of the year, I would be lying if I said I like Christmas more, but honestly T-day is my top favorite holiday. This has nothing to do with being to just eat delicious food all day and have an excuse to have several servings and have the shape of a turkey by the time you are done eating (although that is a perk of the holiday), but it is always a good reminder of just being thankful of the big and small things in life.

As you already are aware of, this is the year we decided to adopt and it is crazy to think where we were not even a full year ago as we never thought that this would be the path that God would be leading us into. This is something we are and will always be thankful about, how our hearts were changed into hearts of adoption. We always wanted to adopt, but this time last year we were still hoping that maybe those pregnancy tests would come positive, and while seeing negatives almost every month was hard, we are now in peace and are looking forward to what next year will bring.

This year we also decided to do things a little differently than we usually would as we decided to decorate our house for Christmas on Thanksgiving *gasp!* instead. This breaks our tradition of decorating the day after Thanksgiving that we usually have as we were both raised in homes where “you should never start celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving”, my Mom actually gets really mad at how TV and stores start having Christmas stuff way earlier every year, so growing up really we never started celebrating anything Christmas-y until after Thanksgiving was done and over with. We decided to start early for the first time ever for a few reasons:

  1. The last couple of years we have been moving around the Holidays. Two years ago we moved out of the apartment we lived in when we first got married (we had outgrowned our descent sized 2 bedroom apartment) and we moved into a 3 bedroom town house where we had planned on spending at least 2-3 years until we decided we were ready to buy a house, but then in 2014 we all the sudden decided the time was now and bought a house and we closed on it a couple days before Christmas (we actually moved into this house on December 26th), so we didn’t want to have to put up all the Christmas decorations only to have to pack them in boxes again, so in a sense we have not decorated for Christmas in 2 years so we couldn’t wait to actually get to do that in our own home.
  2. I work tomorrow (on Black Friday) as the bank I work for is only closed on Thanksgiving so I will be at work and we didn’t know if we wanted to wait until I got off work or just do it all on Saturday, plus I leave for a week long work training in Albuquerque on Sunday so we didn’t want to be all rushed to put everything up before I left.
  3. Really there is no #3 as #1 really is the main reason for doing this early.

Another thing we wanted to highlight is the beginning of a new tradition we decided to start as a family, all my wife’s idea. This year my wife and my cousin Ruby decided they wanted to adopt a local fire station and bring them Thanksgiving meal, they found out about this opportunity through a group they belong to on Facebook. Ruby is making the turkey and ham and Danielle is making the sides to go with it and we will be taking it to the fire station for the firefighters that are on duty and don’t get to spend the day with their families to enjoy a good home cooked Thanksgiving meal.

As Danielle and I were enjoying some coffee and pumpkin bread this morning she thought of the great idea of when we have kids (and really starting this year) of spending half of the day serving others and half of the day doing the traditional Thanksgiving stuff. This can include doing the fire station hosting again, serving at our local Soup Kitchen and feeding the needy or something related to the military as well, just really something to give back to the family. She said that this would be a good way to remind them that we shouldn’t take the idea of spending the day with family for granted as there are so many people who don’t get to do so.

I definitely married a good and smart wife!

This is just a little insight into what the Guerreros are doing this Thanksgiving and we wish you all have a happy day with your friends and loved ones!

Love,

The Guerreros

Happy Birthday, Danielle!

This is Luis, today I want to shout out to my beautiful wife Danielle because it is her birthday. Guys, she is an amazing wife and I know she will be a great Mom someday (we hope not too long). This is the 4th time I’ve been able to celebrate her birthday and every year I ponder and think how lucky I am and thankful I am that God put her in my life.

This year has been a great and very changing year for us. We went from renters to home owners (well, technically the last week of 2014), I (recently) switched to a different job and we made the huge decision of adopting, and that has really been something huge for us. Danielle has always wanted to be a Mom and she has never cared where our children came from, she has been wanting to love and raise a child for a long time and I can’t wait to see her take on that role.

Happy birthday, my love!

-Luis

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My wife, the Superhero

12004678_10100900470477231_1804636084820409650_nI turned 30 on Sunday (September 13) and Danielle had a little plan to welcome me to a new decade of my life. Apparently she had been planning on throwing me a surprise birthday party since before we even got married.

Why wait until 30? When we got married I was 26, which had already passed that milestone of 25, so 30 made sense. All day I was thinking we were going to go out (this was Friday) and just celebrate very low key, but as I was leaving work she called me asking me if I could stop and pick up some Aleve, so I did (she was really trying buy time). I got home and saw party signs and heard a loud “SURPRISE!” from a group of our closest friends, and wow was I surprised?!

Married men, your wife is your best friend and your biggest supporter and mine is special, she is so caring and loving and just think of all the smallest details to make sure I am happy. I couldn’t really think of anyone better to go through life and parenthood with. It makes me sad when I see and hear of men that treat their wives terribly as if they were idiots and have no respect for them, because your wife is the person that God handpicked to walk along your side.

So far my 30s have started really great, and as I ponder what the next decade will be like (which I have no idea) I am happy that I get to do that (and many more) with my wife Danielle.

-Luis

#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

#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