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

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We’ve officially started our home study

A thing we have learned through out this adoption process is that when things are slow and silent, patience is the key to survival. Then when things are moving they are fast and they happen right away and there is no slowing down.

We won’t give too many details on exactly what happens during, but today officially marked the start of the home study process! Today we had our first home visit from our social worker who is conducting the study, which is huge. As we have said before, the home study is a 90 day process that is required for every adoption, after that we will be ready to be listed and have our album shown to birth mothers in hopes to picked by one to adopt their baby.

We’ll keep you posted as things progress, but this means we officially are taking the next huge step to meet Baby G!

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More on the home study

Smile-thumbs-up-clip-art-clipart-image-0Things are finally moving along, and a lot sooner than we expected too! Today we spoke with the social worker and we scheduled our home study, which will take place soon. There are some things we need to start working on before we get started, but we have all the confidence that we will get it all done and take care of.

For those of you who are not familiar with the adoption process, the home study is the first real step towards adoption, this is basically a study done on our home (that is where the name comes from), our lives, and basically how we would do as parents raising a child. This to many may sound intrusive or even unnecessary, but it is something all families adopting have to do as it is a requirement across the board for any type of adoption.

We’ll keep you posted as we actively get to the process, home studies typically are a 90 day process so we will be doing a lot through out the next few months but once that is completed we should be good to go for the agency to show our album to birth moms and be one step much closer to being parents!

 

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, oneĀ 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.

November is Adoption Awareness Month

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Yes, November is Adoption Awareness Month!

This is one of the things that we were not aware existed before we started the journey to adoption, but now it means so much to us than we thought it would. We also can’t believe we have been in plans of adopting since June…wow!

OK, so as an adoptive family, what will we do for this month?

Aside from blog posts about adoption, we are committing to donate a percentage of anything we raise in donations via PayPal to an adoption related organization. It is great to give back too!

If you have a minute, and feel lead to please consider helping us, and helping others as well:

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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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#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