A network of adoptive families, birth families, and adoption professionals which exists to improve the lives of children and others touched by adoption through support and education. UFA is actively engaged in community outreach and advocacy to raise awareness of adoption as a loving option.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two Roads Diverged...

Our adoption journey began many years ago. I have always wanted to adopt since I was a young girl and it is something my husband and I talked about early on in our relationship. After we celebrated our first year of marriage, we were planning to move from Seattle to Hawaii. We had planned on moving there for a few years. As we started to prepare our lives to make this change, we started to get this feeling in our heart that it wasn't right for various reasons. We changed our plans and a few months later made the move to Las Vegas instead. After we settled in Las Vegas, we quickly started our paper work for our adoption process through LDS Family Services. We had been told that the adoption rate in Las Vegas was great. There were only 15 “waiting” families in the area and on average 20 local families were matched with babies. We were told that if we had to wait 6 months, it would be considered a long wait. We were told we could get a call in the middle of the night to come to pick up “our baby.” We wanted to be prepared. We bought a house with 4 bedrooms, set up a nursery, started buying clothes, bottles, toys, books, bedding, blankets, car seat, high chair, etc. We were ready! 

image by It's Great To Be Home
We waited for a year and not one bite.

We were invited to various activities from LDS Family Services so we could connect with other adoptive families. Josh and I both worked full time and to be honest did not attend any activities. One night we decided to go to a meeting they were hosting with some speakers. We assumed it would be a birth mother speaking. Instead, there was a panel of speakers from foster care speaking about fostering and adopting older children. One family spoke about wanting to adopt a baby and attending the same meeting I was at. She ended up adopting a sibling group of four! She already had two children. She said sometimes our Heavenly Father has other plans for us. He already knows who our children are. It is our duty “to go and find our children.” In that moment, both my husband and I were bawling. Our hearts were pounding out of our chests and we knew we needed to go and find our children. Here we were on a waiting list for a baby, when there are thousands of older children on a waiting list for a forever family. In that moment, our adoption journey changed. This felt like the right path for us.

image by alexbrn
The next day, I signed up for foster classes. I called LDS Family Services and asked to put our adoption profile on hold. Things moved quickly; we got our fingerprints, background check, and started taking MAPP classes in Las Vegas, a 10-week course of training. Josh and I decided we would consider adopting one, maybe a sibling set of two at most. HA! The Big Guy upstairs had another plan for us. AGAIN.

Toward the end of our classes, our licensing worker and hero, Taryn, called us one evening. Taryn asked if I was sitting down. She began, “I know you guys said you were open to taking one or two kids, but just hear me out. I have the perfect sibling group of five: three boys and two girls that live in Las Vegas. They are every caseworkers favorite group of kids in the system. They do not have any behavior issues, no health issues, the issue is they are a large group that needs help staying together. You guys have four bedrooms and I think these kids are the perfect match for you. In fact, I am sending their picture to you right now. They will be on the news tomorrow so make sure you watch them and tell me what you think.” I was sweating bullets but at the same time a peaceful and happy feeling came over me and I knew these were our kids.

We met our kids at a Heart Gallery. That is an event where kids who need forever homes show up and families interested in adopting are welcome to do a meet and greet. They didn't know who we were yet. Josh and I fell in love at first sight. Things still weren't official. We received phone calls about other adoption opportunities but they were easy to turn down. These were our kids. Shortly after this meeting, the kids got to meet us for the first time and we gathered around the red couch. They were so happy!


We cried the whole way home! Taryn called to schedule a time they could come stay the weekend with us. She also disclosed their last name. It happened to be my maiden name “Dietz” which is German. I had never met another Dietz! I thought she MUST have made a mistake and got my maiden name mixed up with theirs. Nope. Sent chills down my spine. A few days later they stayed the weekend with us and two weeks later officially moved in on what we call ”Gotcha Day”, a day we now celebrate each year with a contest to see who can stay up the latest, making homemade pizza, eating ice cream sundaes and watching the video from the first day the moved in. 

Parental rights were already terminated when our kids moved into our home so our adoption process was easy and smooth. The children lived with us for six months before they officially joined our family through adoption on March 13, 2012. 
Five months later, we moved to Utah, at the kids request, so they could have a fresh start and live near our family members. 

They are thriving. They are happy. They are truly the example of what true forgiveness is all about. They never dwell on their past and have all been blessed with strong, positive, happy, loving, spirits. Adoption has blessed our life in so many ways! Each journey is different and precious. I might just do it again down the road. Never say never.

- Anne-Marie


6 comments:

  1. Anne-Marie that is such a beautiful story. I was adopted and I can honestly say it was the best thing that ever happened to me. My birthmother named me Robin Dawn. Robin is my adopted mother's name and Dawn was her best friend of many years name. I also shared a birthday with my new adoptive grandmother. I think the Lord gifts these little coinccidences so that we know that everything happened the way it was supposed to. Xoxo -Brittany Pardon

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    1. That is so neat Brittany!! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! Adoption is beautiful. :) xoxo Anne Marie

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  2. Your family just belongs together-even the dog! It seems so crazy and yet was perfectly meant to be :) Great kids and GREAT parents belong together one way or another :)

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    1. HAHA! Thanks so much for saying this. It really has felt like a natural fit from day 1!!
      xo Anne Marie

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  3. We have three boys through various forms of adoption and LOVE your story! So looking forward to when our boys are a little older to pursue foster-to-adopt. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot to hear this. That is awesome! I am so happy to hear you would like to pursue foster-to-adopt when your kids are older. There are so many kids that need homes!! Good luck to you! xo -Anne Marie

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