Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Adoption: Part Two

Not only is our adoption final in the State's eyes, but it's final in the Lord's as well. Brett and I had the opportunity to take Haylee to the temple yesterday to be sealed to her for time and all eternity. The minute we stepped foot in the temple, tears came to my eyes. I had such an overwhelming feeling of joy and love in my heart the entire time we were in the temple. When we first arrived we had to take Haylee down to the Youth Center, which is pretty much like a nursery. Then Brett and I went back upstairs to fill out some paperwork for our records. After that was over, Brett and I went our separate ways to get dressed in our temple clothes. It was kind of neat because I was able to use the Bride's Room again. That brought back a lot of memories for me. It was kind of funny though because everyone at the temple thought that Brett and I were there to get married because we still look so young! When one lady found out why I was actually at the temple for she said "no wonder you look so relaxed and your eyes are beaming with love!" I guess all of the brides looked nervous! After Brett and I were dressed we met with our sealer until it was time to meet in the sealing room. Once we stepped foot into the sealing room, my eyes filled up with tears again! It was so incredible to see all of our family and loved ones waiting for us in the sealing room once again. I had so many flashbacks from our wedding day! After waiting for a few minutes we were informed that Haylee was on her way up. I couldn't wait to see her in her temple whites! From down the hall, all of us heard a loud SCREAM! I thought, oh no, she is NOT a happy baby! I rushed out into the hall and unstrapped her from the white stroller and started to try and calm her down. I could tell from the look in her eyes that she was tired and wanted a bottle. Since I didn't have a bottle with me I just stood there and rocked her. After a few minutes of attempting to calm her down, we decided to proceed with the ceremony. I personally think that little babies are pretty close to the veil because as soon as we placed her where she needed to be, she was calm and stopped crying immediately! A huge smile came over her face and she just sat and listened to the sealer quietly. It was almost like she understood the importance of what was happening and knew that she needed to be reverent. When it was over, I picked her up and she was back to crying. The temple sealer had Brett and I share a few words on how everything came about, which made me cry! After it was all over, I was able to take her back to the Youth Center where she took a bottle right away and fell fast asleep. Part of me wishes that the Youth Center would have sent the bottle up with Haylee because even they said that they could tell that she was hungery, but then the other part of me is happy that everything happened the way it did because I was able to see her peacefulness during the ceremony.
After Haylee was asleep Brett came in the Youth Center and relieved me so that I could go and change. After I was all ready we met all of our guests outside for pictures! Here are a few that I wanted to share...

Here's Brett, Haylee, and me with my family

Brett, Haylee, and me with Brett's family

Friends!

Our new Happy Family (Haylee was just waking up:)

Haylee and Mommy

Haylee and Daddy (she's finally awake!! that's the happy Haylee we know and love)

All in all it was a very special day even though Haylee's crying stressed me out :) Brett and I feel very honored to be Haylee's parents and are humbled to think that Heavenly Father trusts us with such a special and unique child of God. We now are looking forward to blessing her on July 1st, which is the last thing we have been waiting for 6 months to do!

Brett and I just want to thank all of our friends and family for their support through this whole process. We are so very blessed to have such a great support group right at our finger tips! Now that we are sealed to Haylee, we feel like we can relax and enjoy our little family without any worries.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Adoption: Part One

This past Friday, Brett, Haylee, and I experienced our first step in finalizing our adoption. Brett and I met our caseworker, Kate (who has been awesome through this entire experience), outside of the courtroom to sign our last minute papers. Then we just sat and waited until it was our turn to go in. Brett and I both had our parents come, which was very special for us to have them there, so we just did the adoption in the judges chambers (which is just a fancy name for his office). Judge Glenn Iwasaki did our finalization and he was great. Before we began, Brett and I had to raise our right hand and solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so this was pretty official court stuff. Everything was very organized! After our attorney went over all of the paper work with the judge, it was our caseworkers turn to tell the judge her opinion about Brett and I and if she thought we were suitable to raise Haylee. As she started to talk, I started to cry!! If I started to cry during our court hearing, I am in trouble come tomorrow at the temple!! One thing that also stuck out to Brett and me was how many times the judge reiterated the fact that once our adoption was final we were to view Haylee as our own and in doing so, if we ever were to divorce, we would have to decide who would get custody of her. He repeated that like 3 times! I guess these days divorce is so high, that they have to make sure you understand what would happen to your adopted child. The best part about our experience was that they video taped the whole thing! Now we will have it recorded forever!! At the end the judge thanked us for allowing him to be a part of our adoption. He said that this is the only time that everyone leaves the courtroom happy, so he likes to do them. He also told Haylee that he didn't want to see her back there because of the circumstances it would be under :) I am sure Haylee will be just fine.
After Brett and I left, we both felt a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders. Even though we have been Haylee's parents for 6 months, there's just something about it being final. Both Brett and I love our little Haylee so much. She has been such a great blessing in both of our lives. Both of us know without a shadow of a doubt that she was supposed to belong to us. Just because I wasn't able to carry her for 9 months, doesn't mean that she isn't meant to be ours. The Lord works in mysterious ways! We just had to do a little extra paper work to get Haylee here..

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reflecting...

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I always find myself reflecting back to my life in 2000. On April 26, 2000 I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. I won't go into any details about what Crohn's Disease is, because it's not fun. I just remember that I was a senior in high school and was supposed to be living up the last days of school with my friends. Unfortunately, I had to stay home for those last days on medical release. I had a teacher from school, Mr. Hanzon (some of you Skyline girls might remember him), come to my house every Tuesday to give me home work and teach me Math. I don't think he was supposed to spend that much time on Math, but that was the class that he taught in school, so he favored it! Anyway, I can still remember all of the parties and fun activities that I had to miss out on because I was too weak and sick to play. One memory that I will never forget was on my senior trip to Newport Beach.
It was Sunday, June 11th, and Claire, Sarah P., McCall, and I went to church with Claire's cousin. I remember sitting very uncomfortably in sacrament meeting listening to a lady give a talk about overcoming cancer. I remember thinking that I would never have enough faith to overcome Crohn's! After we got back to our beach house I went up to a bedroom and just started to sob! I was so fed up with being 18 and sick! I just wanted to be a normal teenager and not have to worry about feeling pain and watching what I ate. My friends started piling in the room little by little until all of us (I think there were like 16 of us), were piled in this room. They started to share scriptures with me to help me overcome this trial. With all trials, you start to get frustrated and start to wonder if you'll ever get through them, or at least I do... Anyway, McCall ended up sharing a scripture from D&C 121: 7-9. That scripture hit me so hard and is the scripture that I still turn to today when I am going through a hard time. Our little group of friends ended up having a testimony meeting, which was pretty awesome to witness on a senior trip! A month after our trip (July 7th to be exact) I was admitted to Primary Children's Hospital where I had to undergo many tests to see why I was losing so much weight (30 lbs total) and to see why I was in so much pain. On July 20th I went in for surgery where they removed 2 ft of my small intestine (when I found out how much was removed, my surgeon said "it's OK though because you have 20ft"). Since then I have not had any relapses of any sort but know that it's always a possibility. Also, since then I have moved on to bigger and better trials, like infertility, but that's a whole different entry that I am not ready to share yet.
I am just grateful that I had such good friends to help me overcome such a huge trail in my life. Everyone was there when I needed them! Candice and I became "scar buddies," Sarah P. was my little nurse, Becca and I would go to lunch occasionally since both of us had home school, Toby would always come to visit me in the hospital and ended up writing "Nibbles loves Toby" in marker on the cork board in my room, which made me laugh, and best of all, I received letters from my sweetheart Brett when I most needed them! The list of support from my friends goes on and on. I would list everything that my mom and family did for me, but this isn't meant to be long and I don't feel like crying right now.
I am just grateful that this little trial of mine made me stronger. It also prepared me for what I have had to deal with as I have gotten older. I just wish sometimes that you could see the light at the end of the tunnel while you are suffering. But then again, none of us would ever learn what "faith in every footstep" truly means.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Eventful Week!

WOW, this past week has been pretty eventful for our family! First of all, my baby brother Jordan (Jordy) graduated from Brighton High School last Tuesday! I can't believe that my youngest brother is out of High School! That makes me feel really old. And is it just me, or do you always feel like you were older when you graduated from high school? Because I swear I was :)

CONGRATULATIONS JORDAN!

I am finally quitting my job at StoryRock after 6 long years. I can't believe it has been that long! I have a second interview today at a place called Lifetime Fitness where I would work at the front desk and do Receptionist and Customer Service work. I am way excited about it because I would get a free membership. If you've never heard of Lifetime Fitness, you should check it out: http://www.lifetimefitness.com/. They have a swimming pool (which I am most excited about), full gym, rock climbing wall, basketball courts, day spa... The list goes on!! I will also get 2 free hours of daycare each day, which I can use if I am exercising or if Brett doesn't get home in time to take Haylee, I can drop her off there while I am at work until he can pick her up!

This next week is also a very eventful one for our family as well. We finalize our adoption on Friday at 8:40 am. Then, next Tuesday at 10:40 am, we get to take Haylee to the temple to be sealed to her for time and all eternity. I can't believe it has been 6 months already! I thought these days would never come! Here are a few pics I have to share of our little Peanut! Recently, Haylee's new thing is drinking out of Daddy's cups (no matter how BIG they are).

Here's Haylee just looking cute at Jordan's Graduation... I also wanted to post a cute picture of my new little niece Beka. She is 3 months old now and is such a beautiful little baby! We call Haylee and Beka, "ebony and ivory" because she is so tan and Haylee is so fair :) Well, I think that is enough for now!