We had a court date set to go fight the birth parents. It was set for Tuesday, April 9, 2013. Our plan was for the judge to give Mark and Les temporary custody and than they would go over what they wanted for Ashton and hoping for in mediation. Kind of like a divorced couple. I was so nervous for that day and what would come out of it. I felt a little sick. The day before court it was a Monday, I was working when Leslee had called me once again. She asked if Jake and I wanted to go to dinner that night and kind of talk about court and kind of all pray together. We were going to meet her at Cocolito's at 6:30. This is my journal entry of the entire experience from that day to 2 days later:
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
I can't even begin to explain my life the past three days. All I can say is a whirlwind. Monday I was working when I got a call from Les. It was 4 o clock. She asked if Jake and I wanted to to to dinner that night and kinda just prepare for court which was happening the next day. Just kinda to bring good juju to the situation. Of course we were all for it. I walk in to Cocolito's and greeted everyone and was holding Ashton when Les started to tear up. She said "I have some news." I got a pit in my stomach. Uh oh. Last time she said this it wasn't good. So I responded "it's bad news huh?" Than she really started sobbing and said "Esmerelda and Josiah signed papers giving their rights away." I couldn't believe what I had just heard was this real? I started crying and I just said "what? Is this for real?" She explained that Esmerelda had called 2 weeks before and talked to Mark for a couple hours. Turns our her and Josiah had decided that they couldn't handle Ashton right now in their lives and they wanted to get it on track and they were willing to give him up. Mark and Les couldn't believe it. But they didn't want to tell us if they had end up not going through with it. So on Monday Les had stayed home waiting for her Attorney to call her with the news either way. Finally at 3 o clock they called and said that Josiah and Esmerelda signed away their rights and they no longer were Ashton's parents. They can't ever come back and try to get him back. After about 5 mins and it finally sinking in I started sobbing and just got so excited and couldn't believe everything! Jake and i just hugged and couldn't believe it was real. we both were so ecstatic. Than my parents came and I said "mom and dad meet your new grandson" my mom responded "ya right" we explained to her the situation and she still almost didn't believe me. But than finally she realized what was happening and they got excited. The next morning I was crying cause I was just so grateful and happy. Than that afternoon I was meeting up with my sisters and decided to tell them the news. I told them the situation and once again was crying and Jamie started crying and Kylie started crying they almost didn't believe it. Jamie had goosebumps and it was just so cool. Amy was so excited and couldn't believe what had happened. Everyone was so happy and just started planning a shower right than and couldn't wait for Ashton to join mine and Jakes family. That day we went to he attorney and she explained what would happen next. So we are now in the process of adopting Ashton. We have to get a background check and once we have clearance on that Ashton will be placed in our home and that day will be the day his 6 month waiting period starts. Also during this time we will get a home study and that will also determine our chance of getting Ashton. So Jake has gotten his background check done and good. I will go tomorrow and than we have to do the child abuse background check which will be a week and a half and than Ashton will be in our home. So in 2-3 weeks we will have a baby living in our home. I am excited, stressed, overwhelmed, extremely grateful, nervous, emotional, happy. Just every little emotion. I have so much to do and so little time. But overall I cannot wait to start our little family. More to tell later
That entire week I sobbed everyday. Not bad sobs. But sobs of joy and happiness that this was real and happening to us. And it went so smoothly.
Today is Friday, April 19, 2013. We found out last night that our child abuse background checks were cleared and Ashton can officially be placed in our home. Today was our first day as a family, and its been so amazing. At this time I have SO SO SO many thoughts and feelings and I want to try to verbalize them ALL and write them down. First off, can I just say how incredibly blessed Jake and I are. Ever since we have found out that Ashton is going to be adopted to us I have felt so overwhelmed with gratfulness to the point where I can't even fathom all that I have been given. Everything has happened for a reason. And absolutely everything has fallen into place, like its all meant to be. I can't express the gratefulness we have for this blessing that came into our lives. Our prayers were answered and dramatically. The next things I am going to write about our ways I have felt the gospel/savior/spirit in my life over the past two weeks.
The day we went to the attorney's we were told what we needed to do in order for Ashton to be in our lives. The first was we had to get a Criminal Background Check and a Child Abuse Background check. We weren't worried about passing the Child Abuse Background check, considering we never beat our children. And we weren't entirely worried about the Criminal background check. I was a little stressed about it, cause when I was 14 I had some issues with the law. I was so stressed that day when I went to go get my clearance on the background check. (I'm sharing all this for a reason) Jake had already passed his. I went in and it literally took 5 mins. I gave them my finger prints and they handed me a paper that said I didn't have any criminal background. I got into my car and just sobbed. Not cause I was shocked but because I was thinking "Thank you Heavenly Father, thank you for not letting my past mistakes be today's trials." It sounds silly but I want to remember that moment.
The attorney had given us two names for social workers to call to come investigate us. She suggested I call both and see who could work with me the fastest. I called the first person on the list. Her name was Teresa Ringger. Within the first two minutes of the phone call, I'm not kidding when I say I felt so strongly that this woman was supposed to be our case worker. She told me she could come the next week and she explained everything to me so I wouldn't stress out. She was so incredibly nice. I talked with her for 15 mins and when I hung up I told Jake "I don't even want to call the other case worker. I KNOW Teresa is who is supposed to come investigate us." Turns out she is INCREDIBLE!! I would highly recommend her again and again to anyone going through a private home study. I felt like I was talking to a friend. After it was over she told us we passed and than over and over again how great of parents we were going to be! We loved her!
The day after the attorney's I told my work, and that I was leaving on Maternity leave. I was surprised to see how genuinely happy people were for Jake and I! People were offering carseats and clothes and wanted to come to my baby shower. Everyone was amazing there. Than that night I got a text that brought me to tears once again (when I say I sobbed the entire week I wasn't kidding). One of my coworkers asked said that she talked with some of the other coworkers and she thought they could all help me go in and buy my crib. I couldn't believe it! Help me buy my crib? I was feeling so so blessed at that point.
I wanna also point out that my sister Jamie, not only offered her crib mattress, but her crib bedding, infant car seat, AND she and my other sisters are throwing me a HUGE shower to boot. I love her and just wanted to give her the biggest THANK YOU ever!
Side note: I had at least 5 people offer their car seats to me! THAT was awesome
This last Thursday I had to go in for a temple recommend interview, and you have to meet with the stake president. Well normally they have a set day which is, every Tuesday at 7:30 well, I couldn't go cause we were meeting with our case worker that night. So I walked in on Thursday and I said "Thank you so much for meeting with us on your own time, we couldn't come Tuesday cause were adopting this little baby boy and we had someone coming to investigate us and..." he held up his hand and said "Stop right there, you don't need to say anymore. My wife and I adopted our first son and went through the exact same process, I know exactly what your going through." It was the coolest thing. He went on to tell me how amazing it was and that when he was sealed to his son it was the most spiritual thing he had ever been in. It meant a lot to me and it felt awesome.
The day we announced to the world that we had and were going to adopt Ashton was amazing. Just the love that came pouring on us was incredible. The support people gave and the love people showed. I just cant put into words how many people have told us how excited and happy they are for us, and offer to help in some way.
Last but not least I want to write down a text my sister wrote to me. It's a little silly at first and weird. But this is when I was stressing about having his room ready and having all the things a baby needs in the short two weeks I had to prepare:
(Back story- My sister Kylie is 22 weeks pregnant with a little girl she is naming Aniston)
Sent April 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM:
I went to bed early tonight because I was beyond exhausted. I had this vivid crazy dream and now I cant seem to sleep again. I guess its because I needed to text you. I dreamt that I had Aniston at home like right now at this stage and the details on that are super fuzzy because why in the hell would I do that right? Anyways, she was HUGE, perfectly healthy (at 21 weeks gestation of course) not like a newborn at all more like a 10 month old. I was super overwhelmed because I had nothing ready and was really sad because I couldn't even put her in a going home outfit because we were already home and I had nothing for her anyways. And I did breast feed her because I didn't have a boppy and it just felt weird to do it on such a big baby (dreams are so weird) and I was so sad I couldn't breast feed her. And nothing about the new born stage was going right and everything was messed up. I kept crying because I was like, how am I supposed to bond with this baby?! I woke up and thought why did I have that weird dream and why did it affect me so deeply? As I lay here thinking about it I am realizing how its kinda putting me in your shoes. I realize that I needed to tell you something. This isn't your picture perfect moment. There are a lot of this, this time, you are missing out on, a lot of firsts that are so exciting and fun. But none of it matters. This is about eternity, not silly worldly things. This is about a little boy who needed a mom and dad for keeps. Parents that would get to share in the glory on the other side with him. This is about giving him his fighting chance. You will bond with him because you're heart will grow 5x with the love you have for him. How can it not when your world will soon revolve around him. You were his mommy from the first day he took breath, and it just took him a little while to find you. So just in case you even get sad about the first, remember that those are not whats important. The fact that your family doesn't have to search for each other any longer is what's important. And you can still put him in a "bring him home outfit" haha and record the first time you officially brought him "home". Breast feeding is over rated be glad you don't have the pressure. haha. And don't be afraid to say, this is not what I expected or question if you did the right thing. I think its just a natural thing to do with big life changes and I think feeling that makes you normal. Talk to other adoptive moms. Find people who can relate in what your feeling. I can only imagine how overwhelming it is because most people have 9 months and you have two weeks. But remember that you don't need all the things you might think, the pioneers had next to nothing and their love for their child was enough. So don't stress overly about it. Focus on your love for him and the beautiful moment when your life changed forever and you became a mommy. I am so proud of the courage you have. Ashton is a lucky kid. And I am so excited to have him in our family. Heavenly Father made him so easy to love! I honestly can say I don't feel a strong love for random children but I already just love him. He is meant to be. Focus on that love and let it make your bond and don't worry about anything else other than weaving together your family.
That right there is exactly what this whole adoption is. Ashton finding his parents and being sealed to us for time and all eternity. I can't thank my savior enough for giving me this incredible life. For finally giving me the opportunity to be a mom, and Jake a dad. For bringing the sweetest little boy into our lives. For showing me all the great people in my lives. I can't wait to watch him grow up and to be a good mom and dad to him. My life is complete! I couldn't feel more blessed or happy than I am RIGHT now!
Thank you to everyone who took time to read our story. We love you all!!