Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Love Adoption!

With Mother's Day coming and going I have been thinking a lot about being a mom. I love it so much. My kids make me so happy. I started thinking about our kids and about adoption. Adoption is so great. I found this blog ( by a girl who has adopted a little boy and her whole blog talks about the greatness of adoption. The first time I started reading her blog I cried. With how crazy life gets sometimes, I forget to stop and think about how crazy blessed we are with the kids that we have. We have a miracle adoption story and I love sharing it. I know that a lot of people know our story, but some people who I haven't seen in a few years probably found our blog and wondered how we all of the sudden had three kids who were all so close in age. I want to share our story and give the biggest shout out to adoption. We were meant to be parents to each one of our kids, no matter how they came to us. We have had awesome experiences with adoption. Everytime I hear of a unwed pregnant girl, I want to share with them my love for adoption and show them how much adoption has blessed our life. I really love adoption and it has blessed our life in more ways than I could ever count.



Eric and I were married in June of '03. We tried to start our family soon after, but had no luck. After we'd been married a year and a half, we both had a strong feeling that we should adopt. We were able to get completely approved right on our 2 year anniversary(2005). Our family was surprised that we were doing this, cause we really hadn't been trying to get pregnant for too long (even though to us it felt like forever). On October 24th Eric was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had a surgery within the week to remove the cancer and his Dr. gave him a clean bill of health(had to have one of these in order to adopt). On December 15th, we got a call from our caseworker telling us a birth mom (Bridgette-name changed) had picked us and she was due the end of January. We were so excited! We scheduled the time when we were going to meet with Bridgette for the next week. On the morning of December 20th, our caseworker gave us a call and let us know that Bridgette was heading to the hospital because she was having so much labor. Aubree was born that evening. We couldn't believe it. We had 5 DAYS to prepare. We hadn't even met Bridgette. That was officially my last day of work. YEAH! We packed up and headed a little over 2 hours from our home to adopt Aub. Aubree ended up staying in the hospital for nine days because she had RDS (respitory distress syndrome) because she was 5 weeks early. With this time she spent in the hospital we were able to spend time with Bridgette and get to know her. Bridgette is our hero.

We finally brought Aubs home after the placement. Adoption placements are some of the most emotional and spiritual experiences that I have ever had. So, back to the story. Aubree was a great baby, and we thought everything was perfect. Eric was training for track season again and we were looking forward to his senior season. On January 11th(before Aubs was due) Eric was on his way to a Track meeting to give his teammates an inspiration speech, when he got a call from his Dr. His Dr. had gotten Eric's blood work back and the cancer had returned. We couldn't believe it. Eric started chemo by the end of January. He had nine weeks of some hard, hard chemo. He lost his hair, couldn't eat, and was as sick as I have ever seen anybody. If he held Aubree or showered or got dressed, he'd have to take a nap after each because he'd get so worn out.

Eric's first and last day of Chemo

That little girl, my little Aubree was my angel. She was my miracle. She helped me take my mind off Erics' sickness. I really don't even want to imagine how I would have got through that time without Aubs. I am so grateful for B and that she placed Aubree with us and allowed us to have a family. Aubree was sealed to us on June 17th, 2006.

The day Aubree was sealed to us.

So, around the time Aubs was sealed to us, Eric and I were looking forward to when we could get approved and adopt again (Aubree had to be 1). We were visiting Eric's family for a weekend in August (Aubree was 8 months old) and we went to a wedding reception. The reception was at a house of a Relief Society President. She asked us about Aubree, and we talked to her about how awesome adoption was. She told us a young girl (Andrea-name changed) in her ward was going to be placing a baby, but hadn't yet picked an adoptive couple. She was getting worried that she may not place if she didn't find a couple soon. So, we really wanted to talk to Andrea about adoption and make sure she really would place (we thought there would be no way she'd be able to place with us, Aubs was 8 months old, we were not approved). The RS president told her about our family and got her email address for us. We ended up calling our caseworker and telling him about the situation and he told us there would be no way for us to adopt her baby(she was due in Oct.), but we still wanted to share with her our family and our love for adoption. On our way home the next day, we got a call letting us know that if she did decide to place with us, then we could adopt her baby. We were so excited! We couldn't sleep or even think of anything else. We started emailing, and I talked to Andrea on the phone a few times. We planned to meet her the next weekend. We ended up going out to lunch with her. As we were sitting there in the middle of lunch, Andrea asked us if we'd adopt her baby. So crazy! We were so overwhelmed and thankful for this opportunity. It was really cool when we first got to know and meet Andrea. It was like we already knew her. She is wonderful. Tanner weighed almost 10lbs, 43 hrs labor, and ended up C-section. Now that I have experienced childbirth, Andrea is amazing. Andrea mentioned multiple times that she thought Aubree and Tanner were meant to be siblings. They are such buddies. Here are some pictures of Aubs and Tan.

Tanner was born October 23, 2006. We now had 2 babies, 2 cribs, Eric was healthy, and life was great.

The day Tanner was sealed to us
We had been told by multiple Drs that we may never be able to bear children. At this time it was OK because we had our hands full. In March of 2007 Eric's routine cat scan came back with a tumor in his abdomen. The good news was that it was non-cancerous, the bad news is he'd have to have his whole stomach opened up, all his guts taken out, the tumor removed and guts put back in. This would be a very in depth surgery with a long recovery. So they scheduled the surgery for April 16th. This meant that we had to move up Tanner's sealing date so that we wouldn't have to wait for Eric to recover. On April 9th, I was feeling kind of crampy and I knew I should be "starting" soon. My sister had given me a pregnancy test a couple years before all the cancer stuff, and I still happened to have it. Eric had just left to go exercise and thought that I might as well take it (I was only a couple days late). I couldn't believe it! It was positive. I kept saying, "There is no way, there is no way." Never in a million years did I think now of all times would I be pregnant. I was sitting there with a 5 and 15 month old and now I was pregnant. Crazy. I ended up being due a week before Aubree's 2nd birthday. It seemed like it took Eric forever to get home (he didn't take his phone). When he walked in I told him to go look in the bathroom. He thought it was a joke. So, I got to experience my first pregnancy with two babies in tow. It was nice to not have time to think about being tired or feeling sick (I think it helped me to gain less weight). Travis was born December 8th, 2007.

The day before Trav was born.

Newborn Travis

Life is pretty crazy, but I couldn't be more grateful to be a mom. People asked us after Travis was born if it was different, giving birth vs. adopting, if we felt differently towards Travis. My recovery and breastfeeding is really the only difference. We looked at and felt just the same with Trav as we did with Aub and Tan. With each time that we saw each one of our kids, we were overcome with love and knew that regardless how they came to us they were OURS. A quote that I love about adoption is something like, Adoption means you grew in your mommy's heart instead of her tummy. With experiencing childbirth, it did give me a deeper appreciation and love for Bridgette and Andrea. We are forever in their debt. They blessed us with the nicest, greatest kids. We are so grateful for our relationship with each of them. I feel like they are part of our family.

As I look at my life, the Lord's hand is so obvious to me. I can see that He is actively involved with everything that happens, and I am so grateful for His love and mercy. We feel so blessed and grateful. Even after giving birth to a baby, we have been told by multiple doctors that our chances of conception are not very high, because of all that Eric's body has been through. We would like more children, and we will do what we can to add to our family, but we understand that the outcomes of our lives are not always the same ones that we would have picked for ourselves, but if we are faithful, the outcomes that the Lord chooses for us are always better. We have complete peace in our hearts and assurance in our souls that the Lord's will is going to be accomplished in our lives. We have trusted in Him in the past, and He has taken care of us. We will continue to trust in Him, and we know that we will be watched over.

I have been meaning to add Andrew and Jared to this story of our miracles and I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it.
The summer after Travis was born (2008) he was six months old and Eric and I both felt like we were missing someone. We had our three kids with us and would we would count them out and just feel like there was a fourth we needed. We met with Drs and were told again and again we had zero chance of giving birth to another baby. Around November we had some friends who had been chosen to adopt a little baby boy who was due in March. This couple miraculously found out they were pregnant. Since they had gotten pregnant, they could no longer adopt this baby boy. We got in contact them and asked them about the birth mom's plans. We love adoption and wanted to make sure she was still going to place. Eventually, she asked us if we would be willing to adopt him. He had a heart defect and was measuring pretty small, but we felt good about it and thought this was the baby we had been feeling was coming to our family. We planned on adopting this baby boy. Starting getting things ready. We went to Drs appointments and were planning on a new baby for early 2009.
In January we got a phone call that our Birth Mom had a routine ultrasound and the baby's heart beat couldn't be found. The baby had passed away. We went to the Drs and hospital for support.
Eric and I still knew that there was a baby out there. We both got the impression lots of times. We felt strongly that we needed to get approved for adoption at LDS Family Services again. We worked hard on all the paper work and got everything done and we were approved in May. We were now living in Spokane again and Eric had started dental school. Our caseworker called us on September 22nd and told us a birth mother had picked us. We were really excited. He was a little hispanic boy and due anytime. I started getting things prepared. Going through boy clothes and getting all our baby stuff out. Travis was almost 22 months and I'd forgotten how to take care of a newborn. After not hearing from our new Birth Mom for a while we were surprised when on October 12th we got a call saying she was in the hospital ready to give birth to her little boy. I was in Wenatchee at the time spending time with Eric's family because his brother had just got home from his mission. Eric was in Spokane at school and we met in Richland (about 2 1/2 hours for both of us).
Andrew's birth mom wanted a closed adoption. Aubs and Tanner's are both open, so we were sad didn't get to meet Andrew's Birth Mom. Everything went smoothly and we now had our Andrew.
Life went on. We celebrated Christmas and started the New Year (2010). Andrew was such a great baby. He was so loved and fit into our family perfectly. In January I was feeling sick and "tender" and had a really old pregnancy test packed away that I had happened to found. I took it and couldn't believe it. I was due the end of September, a few weeks before Andrew was going to turn 1. We were so excited (and a little overwhelmed)!

Andrew was sealed to us March 27, 2010. The day was perfect.
Pregnancy went great. We didn't find out what we were having. We moved to Seattle and welcomed Jared Wilson Nygard to our family. Ten days after Jared was born Eric started his second year (busiest) of dental school. We had a 4, 3, 2, 11 month old and a brand new baby. Life was pretty crazy but we were happy. My sister, Sara, who had just graduated from nursing school moved in with us to help me, since Eric was going to be gone all of the time.
Andrew turned one, Tanner turned four, Travis turned three, and Eric finished his first quarter of the school year. We packed up all of our presents to head to our "homes" for the Christmas break. We headed to Wenatchee first so we could be at church for Eric's brother, Brian's "farewell." Aubree's birthday was on that next day, Monday the 20th and we headed to Spokane to be with my family.
It is crazy to think about how much life changed overnight (post with details). Andrew went to bed like any other night. He got to see everyone in my family and Eric's family in the matter of a few days. Things are still pretty unreal. We have been blessed beyond measure to have been given the opportunity to have Andrew in our home, to have him sealed to us. Eric and I had always told each other that we knew he was special. We never realized exactly how special of a boy he was.
I am so grateful for the knowledge we have that we WILL see Andrew again and he is forever part of our family. The sealing power and the resurrection now have a different meaning to us. We are now invested in the Celestial Kingdom. We never had a choice before about making it there, but now it is just more real to us. I can't wait to see Andrew again, to hug, kiss, and squeeze him!
Families are Forever!


Megan Griffin said...

Jenny you are amazing. Thanks for posting your children's stories. I wondered how that had all happened. I know the Lord blesses you and Eric because you are such good, genuine people.

The Kay Family said...

Your beautiful writing brought tears to my eyes, Jenny! You guys have truly been blessed, and will continue to be a stregnth and inspriation to many more people during your lives. Hope you are all doing well.

Stephanie B said...

Jenny, that was such a sweet posting. My brother and his wife adopted, I have so much respect for the birth mothers after watching a video of their placement. What an amazing sacrifice these young women are making for their babies. Your birth moms chose a fantastic mother!

Toby and Tammy said...

What a beautiful post Jenny! I loved hearing your stories again and it truly is a miracle how each one of your babies came to your home. I loved the photos that you posted as well. Your family is beautiful!

4 boys and a girl said...

I could hear your story over and over. It is so amazing to me. I am awestruck at the simple tasks you have to accomplish every day. You are AMAZING.

The Platts said...

That is an amazing story. I really never knew half of that. You guys are inspiring in so many ways. I hope everything is going well with Eric now. Your fam. is so cute. Have a great summer!

Dara said...

Wow what a wonderful story! You and Eric are such great people, I'm so glad for you and your family. Three kiddos 2 and under, and I thought I was crazy with four kiddos 5 and under. Take care for yourself and give a hug to each of your sweet kids for me. Hope all is well with Eric.

twoplustwins said...

thank you so much for sharing all of that with us. It was touching and beautiful to read through! You truely have been blessed.

BigAL said...

Dear FSA Member/ Adoptive Couple,

I am wanting to help all couples promote themselves and adoption more by making a ‘group’ on and wondered if I could include your blog on the site? It won’t be for any other reason but for more viewing opportunities for others. I thought it would be nice to get all the FSA/LDS adoptive couples blogs together for all to see and share.

Let me know if this is alright with you and I’d love to include your site on the group. If you are also on it will be the group called ‘Adoption It’s about Love’. I also have a group called ‘Families Supporting Adoption’ that I’d love to have you join. Please feel free to share this with others who have adoption blogs or websites.

Go, Go, Adoption!

Alison Lowe
FSA National Board Member

Shannon B said...

I have heard your story before, but I still LOVE it and love hearing it in your words and your feelings behind it!!!! I love you guys and your family! You guys ROCK!

Cherisse said...

I LOVE your story, I wish everyone could hear it. I hope you guys are doing well!! Love ya.


HalnJess said...

Thanks for your post. I read it this weekend and came back on to read it again. You guys are so great! You're definitely meant for great things! We have thought about looking into adopting if things are still rough for us and this was great food for thought...


Karen said...

You guys are amazing. I cried reading your post. You inspire me. I don't know how you do it with three kids under two.

The Hardy Boys...and Me said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful life with us! I'm totally in awe of all that the Lord has blessed you lives with. You and Eric continue to amaze me. Especially the fact of having 3 kids as little as they are!

Munster and Web said...

I needed this story today. Thank you. Here we are trying to get the adoption interview process done and we are one away from being done. I just get so overwhelmed with the time it has taken to get this far. I know thing's will happen when they will. We decided to put off a house and other thing's to put all efforts into the adoption. The kids are excited. But at the same time I don't think they understand it all. We do talk to them about it and hope that it wil help them understand more. The real concern is that they are not feeling like they are being replaced or anything like that. Anyway, I have been asked if my feelings will be different for the one we adopt than the ones we have had ourselves and I have always answered that with a strong NO. They are all children of God trusted to us by him to be loved and cared for. What a blessing it is to know that I have been chosen to rear his children. I would never want to let him down. We have always thought that you guy's are amazing. Our Father in Heaven smiles when he think's of you and what you have done for all of us. Thank you for your great example!

mrs. r said...

yummy! i love a good adoption story!

thank you for sharing yours. i am obsessed with sharing our adoption storIES now.

what a beautiful family. i am adding you as one of my "adoption peeps."

heatherbeus said...

I had heard from Benjamin & Connie Beus that you were adopting one, and next time I heard from you there were 3, so it was so great to hear your story. I'm sure we could sit around and chat for hours about the challenges & joy of having lots of little kiddies close in age, but isn't it SO great!

Sherydon said...

Hi Jenny, my name is Sherydon! I am friends with Cherrise Lunt. We grew up in the same county! The reason i write (and i hope you don't mind) is that i have been struggling with infertility. I posted a couple blogs about my feelings and i have also been looking into adoption. Cher read them and told me to read your blog, and here i am!! Another girl that i know from the same county adopted and has "therhouse" on her blog. I fell onto it and cruised everyone's blog on there looking for comfort. Reading these stories has been so "theraputic" if you will, for me. I know that there really is hope and i just want to thank you for sharing you story, and what a story it truley is. You sound like such an amazing woman, your kids and husband are very lucky!!

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Hey thanks! I'll share this with my friend Deanna and see what she thinks!

@carissa_momif on twitter

Aaron and Brooke said...

That is SO amazing! I would have never guessed that Aubree and Tanner werent yours. You guys are so inspiring with what you have gone through.

Pierce and Stacy said...

I know we don't know each other, but I stumbled upon your blog and read your story. I loved it. Thank you for sharing it. I am newly married and having children is always a scary thought for me... having them first of all, and second, that we won't be able to have children once we start to try. Thank you for being inspirational and strong.

Katie The Lady said...

I never knew! All those times I was in Spokane visiting and saw you there, I just assumed they were borm from you- not that it is any different, but you guys looked like a perfect mother and babies. What a blessing to be able to experience both side of childbirth. They really are YOUR children!

Lisa said...

I have heard bit and pieces of your story, but I have never heard the whole thing entirely. Thanks so much for sharing all of this. I hope to be able to adopt someday and would love to talk to you more about it sometime. You are an inspiration!