Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I have been neglecting this blog.
I dont' know if everyone who visits this blog also visits my other blog so I thought I should share why I have been MIA.

On August 11th we had a brand new baby boy placed with us. He was placed with us by DCFS....but we get to adopt him. He spent a few weeks in the nicu but is now home and doing well. I will post pictures when I am allowed too.

This blog might be quiet for a bit but I am still around.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog Award

I am so excited.....Edens Flower Garden gave I AM a blog award!
I have never gotten a blog award so this is exciting for me and made my day. :)
Eden's Flower Garden is a craft blog with some really fun and smart ideas!
If you have little girls (or big girls) in your life be sure to take a peek at this incredibly cute and clever idea for bows.
Thank You for the Award Meka!
Here are the rules:
1. Put the award on your blog.
2. Include a link to the person who gave you the award.
3. Nominate 6 or more blogs
4. Leave a message on their blog letting them know they have an award on your blog.

I want to give this award to:
1. therhouse for promoting adoption so beautifully and for helping me promote waiting children every Monday.
2. Where the Wild Things Are for making me laugh, smile or cry on a regular basis and I LOVE the quote she has on the right side of her blog.
One of my favorite posts on her blog is this one....still makes me laugh!
3. The Missing Piece for her honest posts about life as a foster parent. I learn alot by reading about her experiences.
4. Musings of an Evil Social Worker for sharing what it is like to be a social worker. Helps me remember to cut social workers some slack. :)
5. Adoption & Foster Care: My Personal Experiences for promoting foster care and adoption.
6. Donnie & Me Plus 3! for making me smile. I love their pictures and blog layout and just really enjoy visiting it!
7. Because I Can't Have Babies for educating others about infertility. Savannah has got some great posts and Youtube clips ...take a peek!

Friday, July 10, 2009

What infertility took.

Today as I was browsing through friends facebook photos and keeping up with what is happening in their lives I realized something infertility took from me.....it took TIME. So much focus into family building....so much pain to work through.....it all took time away from enjoying life, education, goals that I could have made and met....it changed the way my life would be in the future.

We are still family building....still doing what we can and feel directed to do to add another child to our family. A great deal of energy goes into fostering and our roles in FSA. I don't regret any of what we have been through....or what I have learned and I am incredibly grateful for the growth that has occurred the past 11 years. I just wish I could have known what I know now so I could have planned better. But I realize there is no way I could have known. I was blessed to get through it like I did...intact and stronger. But today I realized infertility has left its mark in very unsuspecting places.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

7 year old logic

It seems that even to young children Mommies through adoption are somehow not as valid as Mommies who birth their babies. I came to this understanding recently as I had a conversation with a little 1st grader. This conversation was started out of the blue and it really surprised me.
1st grader: "You don't know how to take care of a baby because you have never had a baby".
Me: "Well I have had three babies to take care of ...I know how to take care of a baby."
1st grader: "But you didn't have them....they were someone elses baby"
Me: "But I still took care of them and they are my babies"
That seemed to settle whatever was going on in her mind that made her bring it up to begin with. Then I realized I hadn't told her the whole story.....I have actuallly taken care of 5 babies. I shared that with her and she said: "Oh yeah...Ashanti and Chevey." It seemed to click for her then.

It is so funny the way kids mold things together. Hopefully our little conversation has helped her understand a little more. I wish I could remember everything we talked about but this is the basic.
Looking back this was a funny conversation...and I think it is hard to expect little ones to understand such deep concepts. I am glad she felt she could talk about it with me. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Comments in Relief Society.

Today in Relief Society our lesson was WONDERFUL! The lesson dealt with trials and how they help us. Many sisters shared their feelings on the topic and how they feel about their own trials and how those trials have helped them become stronger or helped them understand the big question of "why?". I loved what everyone had to say!

But one comment kind of hurt.

One sister shared something someone else had said to her about women in labor. She said the closest anyone could ever come to understanding what the Lord went through is women who are in labor/giving birth.
I know this sister is sharing from her own perspective....and I totally get that. But comments like this bring back that feeling of being left out...feeling different because I can't do what she is speaking of.

So what do I think?
Well I think we all go through things and Christ went through it all...so we each can understand a little bit. I don't think anyone can understand it all.
His Atonement is Big and ALL Encompasing.
What is important is that HE understands each one of us.
He knows each pain,
each heartache,
each grief.
He knows each one by name,
He Loves each one unconditionally!

I do know this.....the pain I have felt for so many years was SO PAINFUL and yet I couldn't turn it off, take a pill or get any type numbing for it. It was through this pain that I came to understand that my Savior will not leave me alone in my suffering.
I am sure it was through her pain she came to understand the same things.

I believe our trials are custom made.....not trials from sin... but trials that we have no control over.....they are blessings in disguise to help us come to understand He who descended below all.

"In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

This scripture has always brought me great peace helping me realize I don't have to fight the world ....He already did and He won!

While I don't have a desire for pregnancy and I really have no pain from the infertility anymore...comments like this do sting sometimes. It makes me sad that some women really don't realize that not ALL women will experiences these things. It also makes me sad to think that some people think that pregnancy or birthing is the only way to understand the atonement. It is through my barrenness that I have come to know my Savior in a way I didn't before. As He carried me through the pain I came to know him better.
I am thankful for that journey!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Today I was listening to a talk given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks titled "Adversity".
He gave this talk at BYU in 1995 and yet it is amazing how much it applies to 2009...how much it applies to a heart grieving infertility.

I had a desire to share this talk with you.
I have added highlights of his talk below and then put the link at the bottom of this post so you may read it in full.

Elder Oakes says of Adversity:
"Adversity will be a constant or occasional companion for each of us throughout our lives. We cannot avoid it. The only question is how we will react to it. Will our adversities be stumbling blocks or stepping stones? "

He goes on to talk about how the Lord's plan allowed for pain in order for there to be joy. He quotes President Hunter "We came to mortal life to encounter resistance. It was part of the plan for our eternal progress. Without temptation, sickness, pain, and sorrow, there could be no goodness, virtue, appreciation for well-being, or joy. [CR, April 1980, p. 34] "

Elder Oakes goes on to say:
"We can take comfort in the fact that because opposition is divinely decreed for the purpose of helping man to grow, we have the assurance of God that in the long view of eternity, opposition will not be allowed to overcome us. We will prevail. Like the mortal life of which they are a part, adversities are temporary. What is permanent is what we become by the way we react to them.

Our adversities can be the means of obtaining blessings unobtainable without them. Young Jacob had "suffered afflictions and much sorrow" in his childhood, but Lehi assured his son that God "shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain" (2 Nephi 2:1­2). After the Saints suffered severe persecutions in Missouri, the Lord gave this beautiful promise:

Fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks. . . .

. . . All things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good. [D&C 98: 1, 3]

A few years later, the Lord spoke similar words to the anguished Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail.

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. [D&C 121:7­8]

"All these things shall give thee experience," the Lord explained, "and shall be for thy good" (D&C 122:7).

How can adversities be for our good? Speaking in area conferences about twenty years ago, President Ezra Taft Benson explained:

It is not on the pinnacle of success and ease where men and women grow most. It is often down in the valley of heartache and disappointment and reverses where men and women grow into strong characters. [Stockholm Area Conference, 1974, p. 70]

Every reversal can be turned to our benefit and blessing and can make us stronger, more courageous, more godlike. [Philippines Area Conference, 1975, p. 11] "

He quotes Sister Elaine Cannon from her book title "Adversity":
"if we face up to our individual adversities or hardships, they can become sources of blessings to their apparent victims. God will not give us adversities we cannot handle, and he will bless us richly for patiently doing the best we can in the circumstances.

Elaine Cannon reminds us of an important way these blessings come and how we can make the most of them.

When we are pushed, stung, defeated, embarrassed, hurt, rejected, tormented, forgotten--when we are in agony of spirit crying out "why me?" we are in a position to learn something. [Cannon, Adversity, p. 47]

A person who understands that life is schooling is more likely to benefit from adversity than one who expects only happiness in life. [Cannon, Adversity, p. 46]"

And Quotes Presiden Spencer W. Kimball:

President Kimball gave us these inspired thoughts on the blessings of adversity:

I'm grateful that my priesthood power is limited and used as the Lord sees fit to use it. I don't want to heal all the sick--for sickness sometimes is a great blessing. People become angels through sickness.

Have you ever seen someone who has been helpless for so long that he has divested himself of every envy and jealousy and ugliness in his whole life, and who has perfected his life? I have. Have you seen mothers who have struggled with, perhaps, unfortunate children for years and years, and have become saints through it? Have you seen people who have calamity like the woman in my childhood who came home after a party and found seven children in ashes, her children, whom she had locked in her home. I am glad that we don't have to make those decisions. No pain suffered by man or woman upon the earth will be without its compensating effects if it be suffered in resignation and if it be met with patience. [TSWK, p. 167­68]"

Elder Oakes goes on to repeat words he wrote to a young man who was hurt during a chemistry lab misjudgement. These words were later put in a hymn.

"In the furnace God may prove thee,

Thence to bring thee forth more bright,

But can never cease to love thee;

Thou art precious in his sight.

God is with thee, God is with thee;

Thou shalt triumph in his might.

The young man was blessed in his adversity, and so was I. The words of that hymn have been among my comforting companions for almost thirty years. Since that time I have discovered the source of that vivid metaphor. It is the words the Lord spoke to the children of Israel through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, I have refined thee . . . ; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (Isaiah 48:10; 1 Nephi 20:10).

I know that the "furnace of affliction" is an eternal reality and that its consequences are an eternal blessing. I know and testify to the truth of Alma's teaching "that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day" (Alma 36:3).

I pray that we will place trust in that comforting assurance and act so as to be worthy of our Heavenly Father's choicest blessings for his children. Those blessings are made possible because of the Resurrection and Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose witness I am, and in whose name I testify, even the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Elder Oakes "Adversity"

I know I have heard this talk before....I think I even heard it when I was in a great deal of pain.
It is amazing to hear it again...but this time I can testify to what he has said...that it is true because I have experienced this in my own life.
My life has been forever changed by infertility. Where I once asked "why me?" I now thank the Lord for the blessing of being infertile.
The pain has taught me how to love in a deeper way, understanding, Charity and above all it has brought me to truly know my Savior Jesus Christ!
I have learned that I don't have to travel through pain alone...that my Savior is there to lift me up and help me along if I will reach out to him.
Today I am a different person.....I am no longer broken. I have had our Saviors healing come into my heart and mind and I am not only whole but a better version of whole than I was before.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looking for Success Stories

I really need success stories of couples who were approved with LDS Family Services and used finding tools (which does include going to other agencies or through the state) to help make their adoption happen. Please read below to learn the information we are requesting.
Please help us give couples hope and ideas!!!!!

Dear FSA Members,

As we strive to help couples learn ways to make an adoption more likely, we have decided to create a success blog. We would like to post “finding” success stories to motivate and guide couples who want to adopt.

If your “promoting” or “finding” efforts led to an adoption and you are willing to share what you did, please send us an email (cutefamilyof5@gmail.com) with the following information:

  • Your first names
  • Family picture or picture of your child (This is optional. Our blog will not be added to a search engine and it will not be private, so it is up to you to decide if you want to add a family photo.)
  • Date of approval for adoption.
  • Date of placement
  • What you did to promote your family for adoption.
  • What you did that led to a connection with your child’s birth mother.
  • How you feel about your experience with “finding”.
  • If you used an adoption Web site to make the connection to your birth mom, please share the Web site name.
  • If you used printed material (pass-along cards, letters, etc.), please consider emailing those to us as well. We are always looking for examples to share with couples. We would like to add more ideas and examples to the familiessupportingadoption.org Web site.

Please limit your information to two short paragraphs. We welcome links to your family blog and Web sites so that couples can email you if they have questions or want to read your whole story.

We are hoping to get the word out about the blog through other FSA blogs and FSA Web sites and networking tools. Our intended audience for this blog is all FSA members who are trying to adopt.

There is nothing like a positive adoption story to give hope to those who are trying to build their family. We have seen many wonderful ideas come from FSA couples. We hope you will take the time to share your success with others!

Brad and Brenda Horrocks
FSA Co-Vice Chairs
FSA National Board

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Irritated...BIG TIME!

I don't know what it is about this week but I seem to end up in conversations with people about adoption. Normally this is a great thing....I get to share something I love and usually it ends in educating others.
In my mind this is usually a good thing.
But today I am SICK OF IT!!!!
I am so tired of people treating me like I am not
"THE Mom".
I am not just a babysitter, caregiver, or raising these children for someone else to step in later in life and become the parent.
I get up in the night when they are afraid of the dark, I am the one who goes to the doctor appointments with them, I am the one who sits at the table with them and helps them understand their homework, project and goes over spelling words.
I am the one who washes the poopy and wet underwear on a VERY regular basis.
I am the one who drives them to and from schoool, dance and every other place.
I would do anything for my children...I love them beyond words!!!
I am a REAL MOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!
Gosh...can these stupid people get it through there thick heads?????

I am also sick to death of hearing things like..
"Oh... you are such a sweet person to take in these children."
If I hear any of these sentiments again I think I will throw up!!!
I want to scream....
Brad and I are the ones who have been blessed!
But of course I can't do that...they would probably put me in a mental institute if I did.

I am also sick of hearing...
"Did they just not want to parent?"
When are these stupid humans going to get it....Birth Parents do this out of LOVE!!!!!
In all honesty...they did parent...through their decisions they parented.
Parents make hard decisions...and that is what they did.
And....their love for these children continue...their role may be different than before but it is important just the same.

And for the record.....I don't consider our children's Birth Parents "UN-REAL".....we are all REAL PARENTS....there is no fake role in their lives.
Their Birth Parents gave them life and then planned for their life and then placed them into the life they planned for them.
It is the hardest of all decisions....giving life 3 times!
They are each a HERO!
If only everyone could know a Birth Parent like I do...maybe they would finally understand adoption.

Again for the record.......I can't take credit for my children's beautiful faces...I had nothing to do with what they look like....that is all their Birth Parents and God.
For which I am very grateful!!!!
But I can take claim to have been part of why my children do well in school and why they enjoy the things they do. Not everything in life is from our genes. I do not parent alone....I have help from above so I will not take credit...but I do my part and I am blessed to see prayers and work come to fruition.

I LOVE my children and I LOVE the way they came to me...
through incredible people that I LOVE and ADMIRE more than they will ever know.
I am just sick of stupid people who can't get over biology.
Biology is important but so are many other things.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Coping with a Failed Placement

In December 1999, a year after being approved for adoption, my husband and I received the news we had been praying for… a birth mother had chosen us to be the parents of her one-month-old baby girl. We did what any excited expecting couple would do…we announced the news to our family and then went shopping. We were to pick up this little baby in two days. We were told that the birth mother felt strongly about her decision and had received spiritual confirmation that it was right, so we were surprised to learn the placement was on hold while she struggled to gain family support. After six weeks of being told: “W e feel this will still happen,“ we learned that the birth mother had decided to parent. We didn‘t blame her for this decision, and we hoped for the best for her and her baby. We picked ourselves up and sadly moved forward. We just felt numb during the first few days, but as time went on, the pain became stronger until we felt as if all were lost. Mornings were especially difficult. The desire to do anything but lie in bed forever was practically non-existent. Seeing pregnant women and witnessing blessings at church were more painful than before. There were times when I would walk into the nursery, take out the baby clothes we had purchased, and rocked them to my chest as I sobbed. One night I thought I heard a baby crying. I felt so alone, so hopeless, and I wondered if I was going crazy. No one seemed to understand what we were going through, and people said all the wrong things. They seemed to think It as nothing. Finally at some point a person (actually a worker at LDS Family Services…not our own worker)validated my pain by letting me know that what I was feeling was similar to what a woman would feel if she had miscarried. I received another gift when the Lord blessed me with a dream that renewed my hope. I hung on to that hope as If it were a life preserver. It came at the darkest time of my life, and it helped me survive. In May 2002 my sister delivered her only baby girl…stillborn. It was one of the saddest things I have ever experienced. Diane went home with lots of material about what to expect in the grieving process, and because I was one of her primary caretakers, I read the information. Not only did I learn about what my sister might be going through, but I also realized that if any-one could be there for her, it was me. All of the things mothers feel after losing a baby were what I had felt when the placement didn‘t happen back in 1999. This experience brought a new understanding and comfort to me. In July 2000 my husband and I had our first baby girl placed in our arms. It was a miraculous day! I have never felt so much joy and gratitude. Then, in October 2002, our second daughter was placed with us, and we felt like we held the world in our hands. The pain of our infertility and adoption loss made the joy of parenthood that much sweeter. In August2006we again faced a failed placement. After working with our birth mother for her entire pregnancy, she chose to parent. But this time I was armed with the knowledge of what to expect, and I knew that, just as before, the Lord would help us as we tried to pickup the pieces. We also had a worker who cared about us and called to see what she could do. These things made this loss easier to bear, and we truly felt that the Lord was carrying our pain for a time. I didn‘t feel the full impact of the loss for almost a year…but by then, the Lord had brought understanding to my heart, and I was able to bear it better. The following year, we were able to adopt our son, Camden, who has added so much joy to our family. Couples, if you have experienced a failed placement, you are not alone in your loss. Many of us have felt the pain, anger, and hopelessness you feel. If your worker is not reaching out to you, then reach out to them, your FSA board, or anyone else who will listen. Let your bishop know about your loss; let people in your ward and family help you. They may not fully understand, but many will want to help. If you are currently hoping that a birth mother will choose you, consider preparing a plan for what should happen if you ever suffer a failed placement/adoption. If you need someone to take over and call your bishop for you, that is OK. Let your worker be the one to call. Share your plan with your worker and your bishop, and let them be part of it. If you would rather be left alone, share that as well. I am thankful to say that while my husband and I have suffered through much loss, we have actually gained from those losses. We have gained greater empathy, greater compassion for anyone who is grieving over the loss of a child (including birth mothers),and a greater love for our Savior and our three incredible children. Grief is a difficult journey, but we can be blessed with comfort and help as we travel.
Written By: Brenda Horrocks
Published in FSA National Newsletter Spring 2008