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!

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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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