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Earlier this year, in the Spring, an amazing family got the call that would change their lives, and bring joy to the journey of a family that had almost given up pursuing adoption due to many years of disappointment and “Almosts” that never happened. Find out how Paul & Mari’s family changed overnight when they least expected it. Mari shares their story:

“It has been such a long journey I am not even sure where to start.

Almost 10 years ago, I (Mari) had some health complications. After some time, we learned I had a hernia in my abdominal wall. After two surgeries to repair it, the doctor strongly suggested that I not go through another pregnancy. I had always hoped to have more than the 2 girls we had, so I started thinking about other means to add to our family. Mostly, it was just ideas and options for a while.

Then, 9 years ago, I felt impressed to look into foster care. As a family, we decided to help those kids by bringing them into our home. We knew we were just a temporary place for them to stay. However, if the chance came that they could stay with us forever, we would welcome that opportunity. There were definitely many ups and downs with our experiences as a foster family. After the first 3 or 4 years, we decided we would only do respite (babysit for other foster parents) as having the kids in our home for a long time, then watching them leave was too hard on our family. As of today, we have had over 15 different kids in our home. Some only for a few days, others for almost 2 years.

5 years ago, we decided we wanted to pursue adoption more, as I felt like there was more for our forever family. We did our home study and adoption certification through LDS Family Services (LDS FS). In the last 5 years, we have worked with several expectant mothers. One changed her mind at the hospital, others changed their mind before we got that far. Some were friends of friends, others found us on other adoption websites. We also submitted our profiles for many little ones from different agencies, who work with LDS FS. For the last several years, we have also been working with our foster care licensing agency to try to adopt out of foster care. We have submitted “family interest forms” to be the forever family for over a dozen cases. Nothing was working for us to find “our” little one.

This past April, we were up for our adoption renewal again. I told LDS FS that we were not going to renew. We felt like we had tried everything and maybe adoption wasn’t in the plans for our family after all. Maybe we just needed to enjoy the journey and take what we learned from it and move on. Our two daughters are getting older and it just felt like maybe it was time to move on. A few days later, our worker with LDS FS asked us if we would be interested in having our profile shown to an expectant mom of twins who was currently in Utah. I said sure. How many times has our profile be shown over the past five years – I don’t think I could even count that. Well, I was very surprised when she called us back and told us the expectant mom had chosen us for her little girls.

Now it was a big scramble to get everything put together. We needed to submit all of the paperwork for Mother Goose Adoptions, since this birth mother was with this agency. She was scheduled for an induction the end of the month. There were many things that took place during the month, working with Mother Goose, the birth mother, two trips to Utah (one to meet the birth mother and one at delivery), and juggling all of our daughters end of the school year activities. This opportunity eventually fell through and Paul and I drove home from Utah on a Wednesday very discouraged. I told Mother Goose we were done and we couldn’t put our family through that again. It was completely emotionally draining.
I’m really glad Deb (at Mother Goose) didn’t listen to me.

Deb sent me a message the following Monday asking if we were open to African American. I said something to the effect of “yeah, whatever”. I really didn’t want to deal with anything adoption related at the moment. Tuesday comes around and Deb starts texting me pictures of the sweetest little girl (born just 2 days before), telling me she wants to come to our family. Deb was with her back east and was trying to find a family for her. That night, at midnight, I sent the text to Deb that we wanted her in our family. I was a little nervous. We were emotionally drained and we don’t know many African American people, but everything felt like it totally fell into place for us to be in a place to even find out about her. I was still trying to figure out it if was really going to happen this time. I got up Wednesday morning and ordered her a car seat. That night at dinner, I told the girls I bought something on-line today. Sarah in her very sarcastic voice says, what a baby? I started laughing and told them about Isabelle. I was able to show them the pictures Deb had sent me. They were just a cautious as Paul and I were. Comments like, “Will this one really work out?” and “is it for real?” showed us they were just as hurt as we were by all the “almosts” we have had over the last several years (and they never knew about a lot of the contacts we had). It finally started to feel real when Deb showed up at our house on Saturday and handed the baby over to us. Granted, I only got to hold her for a few minutes before the girls and Paul took her. But we had some great bonding that night while everyone else was asleep.

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Isabelle is now 6 weeks old and we are so grateful for her! She is a huge blessing to us. She has been showered with gifts, hugs, kisses and cuddles. She is starting to smile now, and gives her biggest smiles to Paul whenever she see him. She loves to cuddle and snuggle with whoever will hold her, which all of us love! She has changed our world in an incredible way. She is our miracle.
Side note: her welcoming into our extended family and friends circle has been completely overwhelming. She is so loved by everyone, it has really touched my heart to see the love everyone close to us has for her.”

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What a joy it is to see families come together through the miracle of adoption! Contact us today to start your adoption journey.

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