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

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.

 

 

#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

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!

Hard questions 

I got an invitation to attend a baby shower this week. I am so excited for parents who are expecting!! Don’t get me wrong, hearing that your good friends are pregnant the day you realize you may have trouble making a baby sucks. Like sucks a lot. Probably top 10 hardest day of our life.

Fast forward to where we are now, and anxiously awaiting an adoption is so exciting, and scary, and daunting. See, we don’t care biologically where our kids come from but there are a ton of unknowns that people don’t talk about when you are ready to adopt. These are hard questions, and I don’t know if there is a right answer.

1. How do you react to the inevitable question of fertility? Luis and I have been lucky in that all of the people that have been walking with us know what has been going on, and know more details about what is going on. Luis has been great about being open with his struggles as a man and what these questions mean to him.

As a woman, it doesn’t seem to matter what the actual answer is when it comes to fertility. Anyone who sees a couple without biological kids automatically assumes it’s the woman’s fault. Women are referred to as barren. Women are asked by others if they are trying, and if they can have kids. (Which, by the way, is completely inappropriate. Take it from someone who has had people actually ask me to my face if I’m the issue. People. That’s not okay. Get it together). And finally, women are far more than men expected to be parents or be told that there is something wrong with you. The ability to be pregnant and have kids is something that is expected of women. If a man decides not to have kids, he is still considered manly. If a woman decided not to have kids, she is selfish and there is something wrong with her. Being a mom is expected.

Society places men’s value on their job and their social status. Who they are is more defined by the work that he does and the things he can do. A women’s value is often placed on her mothering ability and the quality of character of her children. As a social worker, one of my life missions is to help change maladaptive stereotypes and challenge societal norms. I spend more of my day than most comforting set ideologies so forgive me if I seem over involved with this area. So, even as an educated and empowered woman who has studied the effects of stereotyping and knows that social constructs can be very harmful to a person’s image of themselves; I still find myself buying into this idea myself. It is hard to have your voice break through the seeming endless message that a woman’s value lies in her ability to have and raise kids. It is hard to know what to say when someone corners you and asks “you guys have been married a while. Do you not want kids? Can you have kids? What’s wrong with you?” How do you respond gracefully, politely, and in a politically correct way? How do you educate people on why that is a completely inappropriate question in a productive way? How do you work to change social norms and expectations?

2. What do you do with yourself in this long waiting period? How do you know what the timeline looks like? Back to baby showers… Pregnancies have a usual flow and set timeline. At 20 weeks you typically know the gender. The baby shower usually comes in month 7 or 8, and you start the nesting process. You have month by month advice and check ups.

What does the adoption time line look like? When do you get a crib? Do you need a bassinet? When in the home safety check and home study process do you need the cabinet locks and need to have the baby proofing happen? Luis and I are looking for a placement from birth up to 2, and anyone who is fermiliar with kids knows that is a HUGE variation in what is needed. How to you tell people that you don’t want baby clothes because you have no idea if you are getting a baby? How do you prepare the nursery when you have no idea what kid you are getting?

Anyone who knows me well knows I am type A. Type capital A because it is cleaner and more neat than a lowercase a. It is so hard for me not to have a check sheet and a 9 month plan of what to do when. The more that we go on this process the more answers we will have when it comes to then when do I …. But it is still stressful.

Hopefully one of the many lovely people that we know will have some answers to these questions. And hopefully any other parents on this journey will know that they are not the only ones searching for answers to hard questions.

– Danielle