Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Baby Aiden Comes Home

We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support over not only the past week, but through our whole adoption journey. We had the most amazing experience with Aiden's delivery! It really could not have gone smoother for us. The staff at the hospital were so sweet and sensitive to our unique situation. Our birth mom and her entire family were so sweet and put us in our new roles as Mom & Dad right away. We could not be more grateful for everyone who has supported J through this process. It was so neat to meet her friends and family ... she is SO LOVED and we consider her part of our family too. We are beyond blessed to have been chosen by her and chosen by Heavenly Father to parent this sweet little boy Aiden. He was our goal from the beginning, but we would have never imagined the other blessings that would come from our journey in searching for him. 
And here our journey of parenthood begins ... 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

They picked us?! Pound the Pavement for Parenthood


We have this amazing friend, who is also our family photographer down in St. George. When we got our pictures done last August she told us about this non-profit organization she is in love with called Pound the Pavement for Parenthood. She told me how they sponsor these couples to help them raise money for fertility treatments like invetro. The way that they raise the money and awareness is by throwing together a 5k race, the proceeds go toward the couples medical costs. What an amazing thing! She strongly encouraged us to get involved. 
Sometime in March I was looking into them again and found they were accepting applications for 2015 sponsored couples. I sent in a letter and filled out the application right before the deadline and haven't thought much about. 
THEN YESTERDAY ... I'm working at an event and get a phone call from a number I don't know. Usually I don't answer numbers I don't know, especially when I'm busy but I did anyhow. THANK GOODNESS! Shellee introduced herself and asked if now would be a good time to have a phone interview with someone else from the board. We talked about our experience with adoption so far and how passionate we have quickly become. 
Once I got off the phone, I knew we were chosen. Obviously I didn't know know, she said they'd call me back later. But inside I knew. I even told Jeff. I told him how amazing it is that we've been put in this situation where we can actually help people like us. We have an opportunity to help share what we have learned and play a small part in the adoption community. 

OUR GOAL: Make this the biggest event this organization has ever had! 

Last year they had 561 registered runners, I would LOVE to see that number doubled. With the support we have received through you all, I don't know why we shouldn't be able to. 
(Don't make me look like a fool and have a flop of an event people ... do something good)


1) Register for the 5k or 1 mile fun run
at this link: 

2) Get a friend to register too! (We're all better with a walking buddy)

3) SHARE THIS MESSAGE by posting this link on your Facebook or Instagram:

4) If you feel like you still haven't done enough...
feel free to donate $1 or more to a specific couple
(obviously if you're reading our blog, you probably want to donate to us -- wink wink)

We love you for helping us make this cause something great, not only for us and the other sponsored couples of 2015, but for making Pound the Pavement for Parenthood a bigger cause that will help so many more families to come!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Step 1 - Home Study

First of all, can I just say how much I admire "Blogger Moms" or really anyone who can manage to keep up on their blog! Jeff & I both always think of things we can blog about, especially after so many people telling us how much they enjoy reading it, but we never find the time to really get it done. Hopefully now we can be more consistent because logging our journey toward parenthood, this way is going to be the best way to keep all of our family and friends updated! We also hope to help any other couples by sharing what we are learning, because that has really been the only way we have been able to make any progress at all through this web of craziness called adoption. 
I think the part for us that has made it so chaotic is that we have been traveling down both the fertility specialist avenue and adoption as adoption in Utah has been transforming into a whole new thing. 

If you would like an update on the fertility testing and where we have been with that, please click on that link. I highly recommend the doctor that we have seen to anyone with questions about their fertility! He has helped women all over the world conceive and the entire office staff is amazing.

In the state of Utah in order to do any type of adoption you have to complete a Home Study. There is a lot of work that goes into receiving this document, which is basically a legal document from the state proving you have been evaluated and are legally acceptable to adopt a child. It took us a lot of steps to reach step #1, but we are finally here! The application forms have been read, filled out, signed and ready to mail out first thing tomorrow morning. Because we started this process at the end of summer this year with LDS Family Services, we kind of know what to expect and have most of our documents in order. So hopefully this will be a seamless process that will go through quick as can be. 
The reason we chose to go through Utah Adoption Services is because realistically we can not afford $30,000+ to adopt through an agency. It is a little less leg work going through an agency and Utah has some great ones. But, we have a lot of support of friends and family and feel that we will be able to reach the right birth mom through the help of all of you! People are alway so willing to help, but just don't know how. So this is how you can help us...
(as uncomfortable as that has been for us, we are learning more and more that is really the only way to get in touch with the right people)
Now is the time that the person you know, who knows someone out in Flordia, who has a cousin's friend who is looking for a family... send them our way.
That sounds super weird, but it's really how it all works!

We are working on our official online profile, so eventually that will be the best thing to share. But, for now we have our blog and also pass along cards. If you would like some pass along cards let us know and we would be happy to get some for you! 

Not every birth mother who we come in contact with is going to be the right fit. But we have a feeling that the love will be instant and hopefully it will all work out smoothly from there. But first, we have to get in front of her and let her know that we are here. Waiting for her, waiting to love her, waiting to help her and waiting to be her friend. 

Thank you all again for helping us through this adventure ... we love you and appreciate your support!

-Jeff & Bobbie

The Fertility Stuff....

We have been working with an amazing fertility doctor down in Provo who has been able to give us far more answers than any other doctor we have seen. We knew there were a lot of issues going on (for Bobbie) but for the most part they were pretty common and we tried treating them, but still no luck.

This doctor literally knew the first time he met with us what was going on. He had to order the tests, but told us he was sure the major issue was an auto immune issue of some sort. He continued in that first visit to talk to us about how there are a handful of specialists in the entire country who deal with fertility auto immune issues and that all available treatments are experimental because it is such new treatment. A portion of women are just never able to conceive and they fall under the "unknown cause" category. These specialists are finding that these women almost always now fall under the "fertility auto immune" category.

The nice part about knowing this information before we even had the tests done is that it kept us from rushing into more expensive treatments like IVF (invetro) because knowing what we know now, there is no way it would have been successful. Our doctor told us in this first consultation that so many couples rush into treatments without first finding out what the real issue is. So he was determined to find out the issue before sending us to do a treatment where your pocketbook and emotions are under so much pressure. Thank heaven for this because there were other doctors pushing that to be our next step.

It took us a couple months to let all of this information sink in and weigh our options before we spent the hundreds of dollars on these tests that would lead us to who knows where. Maybe a doctor in Chicago? Maybe to spend thousands in IVF, if we were lucky. Or maybe the worst answer of all, that it just wasn't going to happen for us.

Well... at this point we needed a break from the overwhelming "what ifs" of fertility treatment. Being angry that these other doctors had never even mentioned this issue. Wondering if this guy was for real, but knowing inside he had to be right and being grateful we were lead to him to finally get some answers.

The thing about fertility issues is you can't just wait around like other people, knowing one month you will just be pregnant. Surprise! That's never going to happen, which is such a weird thought. You have to research and see doctors and have painful exams and pay money for tests and count days and take note of everything your body does and the hardest part ... wait. And then there is the part where other people are involved. Everyone knows someone who had a hard time getting pregnant. You always hear the success stories.. which is encouraging in the beginning. But, after a few years you kind of just have to let people talk because I've learned it isn't really for me that they are sharing these stories, it is for them. People want to help. It is hard to sit and watch someone you love have a hard time, so people try to be encouraging by telling you there is hope by sharing stories of their friends - sisters - daughter.
If you have shared a story with us, advise with us, or even your personal story, thank you. It shows us that you care and you want to help. That part does help.

But now we know that our situation is not the same as yours, more than likely. No Doterra oils or witch doctors or invetro specialist is going to be able to help us conceive like it did you. But we do have one option...

After finally getting our tests done in November, we learned that indeed I do have a fertility auto immune issue going on (amongst the other issues; PCOS, endometreosis, low-thyroid and a mutated gene that doesn't allow processing of Folic Acid/Vitamin B). The issues are that my body attacks EVERYTHING. Which means I failed all tests.  All stages of the conception would be categorized as "foreign object to be attacked". To break it down; if the sperm did not get attacked (which is would) and was able to form an embryo then the embryo would get attacked (and also the environment for an embryo to develop would be attacked). So basically, odds are none.
But.. there is one experimental procedure we could have done that may help.

There is a therapy where they implant the husband's white blood cells into the wife's blood stream to try and calm down the attacks by allowing her body to recognize these cells and build a friendship with them, in hopes that her cells will let their guard down a little for these foreign cells. Makes sense. Sounds super easy, just inject his blood into my arm once, then again in two weeks.
The issue is that this treatment is not legal in the US. So we would need to go to a clinic right across the boarder in Mexico to get it done. (I about DIED when my doctor told me this.)
So that is our next option if we wanted to continue with fertility treatments.

Go to Mexico for the blood therapy. Go back to Mexico two weeks later for another treatment. Two weeks later go back to my doctor to have hundreds of dollars of blood work done, to see if the treatment worked. Then pay $10,000 and do IVF if it all worked. We should have a reality show right?! With this craziness.

But.. there are a few things we know.
This trial and situation was planned specifically for Jeff & I. We have learned a lot so far and will continue to do so. We know that in a snap of a finger, God could heal my body. God COULD heal my body. God COULD give us a surprise pregnancy like so many others.  God COULD even have a baby dropped off on our doorstep. But he hasn't. He may, but he hasn't. And we are so glad He hasn't because we know that He is guiding us and helping us follow His plan for us. His plan is much better than the easy plan we would have paved out for ourselves. His plan is teaching us a whole nother level of love. His plan is pushing us way beyond our comfort zones and way beyond the familiar. His way is teaching us true principals on FAMILY and what that eternal concept really looks like. It's different for each family, but really all the same.
We are also learning about timing and how to listen to promptings and patience and work without instant gratification. As people who hate asking for help, we are learning to lean on people; how to serve and allow others to serve.
It is a spiritual experience to lean on your Heavenly Father fully. By this point, it's out of our hands, and we are fully aware. We are completely acting in faith and trying to be obedient, trying to be patient. We  are changing out plans continually and  hope you'll be interested in hearing where that takes us.

- Bobbie & Jeff

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finding Peace in The Journey

It's been a little over a month since our last update on our journey toward parenthood. Let us just say how wonderful people have been about the whole thing! Immediately following the post we were flooded with stories from people in all different walks of life. Some were from family members, some from very old friends and others from acquaintances or complete strangers. When writing the post together, we did it more as a therapeutic gesture for ourselves than for anything else. As we have researched other couples' adoption profiles and heard success stories of couples who finally got their baby, it was surprising how often people are just literally handed a baby. One couple that we saw online, her dad was a branch president and one day a girl brought a baby to the door step for his daughter, who had been contemplating adoption with her husband. A story from a friend is similar; when her dad was a bishop, a girl knocked on his door with a baby in her arms. The bishop's son (my friend's brother) had been trying for years for a child and when this young girl delivered her baby, he had been visiting with the dad. They knew instantly who the baby was intended for ... the son/brother and his wife. So although it does sound a little crazy, we are kind of just thinking something like this will happen for us. To help that along, we will continue to post and pray for guidance. (That is until we have $25,000+ saved to go through an adoption agency.)

Another lesson we have learned since posting is that not everyone is meant to adopt. It is clearly a calling set out for certain people. We have been questioned by so many on why we would even consider adoption when we have not completely exhausted all of our options (whether they know we have or not). It is with a grain of salt that we listen to everyone's "cure all" for us to conceive on our own. We have had acquaintances that are sure they can help us conceive through purchasing and using their all natural herbal products or Doterra oils. Others who know the right doctor who has helped them. Invetro is the cure for so many. It is so sweet that people want to make sure we know about their success stories, but we know for certain that those things will not work for us to conceive our own children.

Even before getting the last test results, we both have had the strongest feeling that "If God wanted us to get pregnant, we would." Which still may very well happen someday. But for now we are comforted in knowing that we have spent thousands of dollars and countless months of test results to show the Lord our strongest effort and desire to become parents. There is a very small percent of fertility issues that fall under the "without explanation" category (2%-5%). The doctors now know that the fertility issues that fall under this category are typically autoimmune issues. The problem could be that my body is attacking it's own cells OR the problem could be that my body is attacking the cells of my husband. (on top of other issues like insulin resistance and endometriosis)
To describe our situation in the words of Jeff, "So we can pay $2,000 MORE to find out which route we have to save for?!" Meaning, we could spend a couple thousand dollars on more tests to find out whether I'm attacking myself or attacking my husband. From there we would be able to try more medications, more tests and experimental procedures. Which may or may not lead us to invetro type options or a surrogate. So... for now we are taking a break from fertility treatments and further tests.

Although it seems like we are constantly answering questions about our "family status" when it comes to fertility, it's really not something we worry too much about. As we get close to our five year anniversary, we could be like other couples who delete their Facebook or cry at the sight of anything BABY ... but that is not us. We are super duper happy with our doggie son Jake and the wonderful relationship we have as husband and wife. We know that we have been given a major blessing in having these wonderful years of marriage together to travel and really find ourselves. Instead of dwelling on what we are "missing" in comparison to majority of other families, we are embracing the opportunity for our own growth. We have left so many things hanging in the balance. As we have been waiting for the time when we will be parents, it has held us back in some aspects, from fully enjoying ourselves and being successful in our careers and other endeavors.

We do look forward to the day when we will be able to hold our child in our arms, but for now we are going to focus on what we can control and better ourselves for when that day comes.

We are so grateful for all of the support we have been given and will continue to share our adventures with you!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Family Photos {2014}

We have been wanting to get family pictures done FOREVER but our favorite family photographer is down in St. George. It seems impossible to find time to get ready and have pictures done when you're on vacation, but we did it! Thanks to Kacie for being so sweet and letting us get ready at her house!
Also thanks to Kourtney for being so flexible and able to get us booked. I seriously texted her like TWO DAYS, maybe, before we did these pictures. Then one quick trip to the mall later we were set!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Turning a Negative into a Positive: Our Unknown Path to Parenthood

Many of you already know all about our love story. {If not CLICK HERE}
What most of you don't know is the ongoing story of our struggles. Trials are always a little harder to share than the lighthearted fairytales, which is why we haven't shared this story with many. 

This September marks our 5th wedding anniversary. Our desire to grow our eternal family soon followed our sealing in the St. George temple that beautiful September day of 2009. Neither of us could have expected what was in store with the battle of infertility.

Those who haven't experienced this battle, can't fully understand the sorrow it can bring. You begin to wonder why God doesn't trust you with one of his children or why so many children are born into broken homes when you could provide a loving, Christ-centered home. Your faith can definitely be tested and your testimony strengthened. 

Our journey has come to a crossroads of waiting vs. action. We've been waiting and taking actions only to be steered in a new direction. Doctors visits, tests, medications, counting days on a calendar over and over until before you know it ... four full years have passed with few answers. Luckily after the first two years people kind of recognize this sensitive subject and no longer ask when we're having a baby. 

For the past few months we've been praying and researching the path of adoption. We saw what a difference we made in our amazing dog's life by providing him a home. Why not provide that same type of love and care to a child? Days after our intake interview with LDS Family Services, it was made known that they would be discontinuing their adoption services. This really put us in shock because we felt we had finally made a decision just so see that happen days after. Although there are still options available for adoption, it has complicated this route for us.

We have been really blessed to have this trial strengthen our marriage in ways we did not think possible. On the day we were married I didn't think I could love someone so much ... but now I wonder what the heck I was thinking love even was! 

So here we are now at two unknown roads.
Road #1: Do we continue to visit the fertility specialist, paying for test after test that may or may not provide the answers we desperately seek?
Road #2: Do we continue our search for the baby we felt so strongly was out there waiting for us to adopt?

Although we still have a long road ahead of us no matter the path we take, we know that the spirit is leading us and eventually we will have the overwhelming joy of parenthood. As for now, we will continue moving forward with faith, focusing on bettering ourselves through serving others.

We felt strongly about sharing our story at this time. Perhaps it is meant for someone specific who is going through a struggle of their own to help them know they are not alone or perhaps by some chance someone reading this post knows someone who knows someone that is looking for the right couple for their baby.

This is our journey.
-Jeff & Bobbie