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adoption story

Adoption

Our Arkansas Adventure: Part One

February 6, 2017

Oh my goodness.

Where do I even start?

I need to recap our recent adoption adventures from this past year for a few reasons:

  1. I need to process what happened in the months leading up to and those six weeks of our lives in Arkansas. Writing always helps me do that.
  2. There are too many small yet providential details I don’t want to forget and jotting them down will commit them to memory.
  3. I want to bring all of you (our dear supporters, prayer warriors, and cheerleaders) deeper into the story. Our online updates were sporadic at best and only glimpses of information in the pool of information we had.

There are still parts of our Charlie girl’s story that she gets to keep private and tell on her own when and if she’s ready one day. While I will absolutely be bringing you behind the scenes of our time in Arkansas, there are parts that aren’t mine to share on a public blog such as this and I am sure you understand.

Another caveat is that I think we had a year’s worth of experiences in a short 6 weeks so this will be a blog series, hahaha. I can’t cram it all into one post lest my fingers go numb from typing. And I certainly don’t want to lull you into a trance with a never-ending story of a blog post.

Bite size bits of our story it is and this is the first installment, so buckle up.

Ok, let’s back this train up WAY up.

March 10, 2016

Wait, what? Why are we going that far back? Because it’s where Miss Charlotte’s story began in my life and I didn’t know it.

Hindsight allows you to connect dots God’s been laying down all along only to them make your mind spin when you see His Providence in the fullness of time. Seriously, I need to be done doubting him.

Last Spring I was invited to give a 3-part talk about Mercy at a Women’s Retreat in the Minneapolis Archdiocese. When I told Jonathan I’d been asked to speak about mercy he laughed HARD. Amanda Teixeira giving a talk on mercy? Obviously crazy because I am a lover of all things justice. Mercy and I are a little bit like oil and water. I really don’t love that personal flaw of mine and I intentionally ask God to teach me how to be merciful but I’m not perfect. So it was rather hilarious God would ask me to speak into this topic.

In my research and preparation I dove headlong into the story of God’s mercy and it absolutely blew me away. Just listen to Father Michael Gaitley’s Second Greatest Story Ever Told talk and be prepared to get goosebumps. Preparing for these talks changed me to the core. God’s mercy is everything and it’s all I want to accept, give, and be.

I flew out to Minneapolis and was super antsy. New talk material is always nerve-wracking since it’s new and unproven. What if my jokes are lame? Stories fall flat? Or my content doesn’t connect with or move people? I was basically a ball of nerves.

As I got in my rental car to head to the talk, Oceans by Hillsong came on the radio. I’ve heard this song like 1,000,000 times but it was one of those freaky moments where I felt the Holy Spirit rush into the car while the lyrics began. I was trying to go over my talk notes but was overwhelmed by this feeling that God was preparing to grow our family and I needed to trust him. Whaaaat? I’m just trying to prep a talk here Lord, talk to me about that please and not some rand-o tangent. But it wouldn’t leave. I started to cry and was filled with this specific peace that our family would grow again.

Months later, in September 2016, we excitedly found out we were adopting again. It then wasn’t lost on me that my March talks on mercy and the car incident was 9 months prior to this baby girl’s estimated due date. We asked her birth family if they had any special family names they might like us to consider for baby girl and they had one – Lynn – which means pool or large body of water. Now that Oceans song was starting to really make sense.

#WhydoIdoubt?

May 27th, 2016

This was the day we launched the news we wanted to adopt again after several weeks of sitting in indecision on if or when we’d actually take steps forward. The night before I had an incredibly vivid dream that we adopted a baby and her name was Charlie. It was crystal clear so the photos had to go up that next morning.

Now that day didn’t directly link us to Charlotte’s birth family but your referrals did connect me to a blogger who eventually tipped me off about Charlie girl.

#whhhhhyyyyyyyystilldoubting?

December 3rd, 2016…

I went to an Advent reflection that morning at a local church. Jesus filled me with peace after months of vague anxiety after the big move and all of life’s changes. Biggest reminder from the morning was to not be afraid of the darkness that comes our way in this life. (Little did I know that darkness lay ahead…should’ve figured as much. LOL)

I got a phone call from the adoption agency director that afternoon. She and the birth family were out to lunch coming up with a game plan, as Expecting Momma was experiencing contractions. The hospital she’d gone to said the contractions weren’t close enough yet and to just go home but she felt like they were steadily getting closer.

This is where Jonathan and I had to make some quick decisions. Expecting Momma had expressed on a few occasions she was afraid we wouldn’t be present for the delivery since we live 10-12 hours away by car. We thought that was a valid concern and shared it as well – we had no interest in missing Charlotte’s birth. That’s when we decided I would fly down to Arkansas the next morning in case labor continued. Jonathan and Josie would remain in Omaha as we didn’t know with 100% certainty when Charlotte would arrive so in case it was a ways out, Jonathan could keep working and JoJo could stay in a familiar environment as long as possible.

That afternoon I was in my happy place – obviously excited for the BABBBBBY but also because I love nothing more than having to take 1,000 tasks and break them down into logical step-by-step pieces only then to go on to accomplish said tasks in the most efficient order. #NerdAlert #NerdAlert

I packed. Ran last minute errands. Embroidered matching Christmas jammies for the girls and their cousin. Cleaned. Shopped for quick and safe food I could eat while traveling. I was the female Tazmanian Devil on a mission. I got it all done and the next morning Jonathan and I woke up at 3:30 AM so I could catch my 5:00 flight.

I arrived safely in Little Rock and that afternoon I met up with Expecting Mom and her boyfriend at a local mall. We walked around, as she was curious to see if that would help contractions progress. It was nice to spend time with them since we’d only met in person once. After walking a few hours she was pretty wiped out (as any 38 weeks pregnant woman who just walked a mall for hours would be) so I headed back to the family’s home I was staying with.

More on that family – back in September I wandered into a Domestic Adoption Housing Connection Facebook group. I asked if ANYONE knew ANYONE in Little Rock, as I sure as heck didn’t. In the weeks I had the post up I only got one reply and this contact from the group had a cousin who had room at their home for us to stay. We hadn’t met this family until we pulled in their driveway this last October when we met Expecting Mom!

Talk about relying on God’s providence…LOL Thanks be to God they were above and beyond amazing. Their home, family dynamics, strong faith, kindness, and southern hospitality instantly showed us we were right where we were supposed to be. God led us to some of the best in all of Arkansas through a Facebook group.

Insane, but of course he did.

My first night alone at this family’s home, I slept 13 hours because I could. LOL I knew the window to sleep for the next year was going to be brief so I took full advantage.

December 5th, 2016

I texted Expecting Mom and asked how her night went and she replied that she’d been admitted into another hospital for contractions again and this time they gave her IV fluids for dehydration. As soon as she was hydrated, labor completely stopped. No more contractions.

The baby was scheduled for a c-section on December 8th so really it was no big deal labor halted. I actually enjoyed the fact that I could spend more time bonding with and getting to know Expecting Mother and her family. We hung out on several occasions and always had a good time. I sincerely treasure those days.

December 6th, 2016

Jonathan and JoJo drove down on the 6th to beat out a snow storm. Josie was an angel in the car – as long as Frozen was on continuous play.

December 7th, 2016

Expecting Mom had her final appointment and asked me to join her. Everything looked good. Then the nurse said, “Alright, we will see you next week on the 14th for delivery.” Expecting Momma and I were scratching our heads, as the hospital already called her that day to confirm the delivery on the 8th. Somehow it got scheduled for a week later and now the next day wasn’t possible. Just totally weird.

Jon and I didn’t mind because this meant more time to hang with birth family. And the longer Charlie baked the better as far as we were concerned. We continued getting together with the birth family and had some really great times that week.

December 14th, 2016

The day had come for Little Miss Charlotte to enter the world. I dressed up – even curled my hair and put on high heels – since I would essentially be spending the next few days make-up-less in my pajamas and socks…or so I thought.

Someone is excited to become a big sister today! ??#josierosie

A photo posted by Amanda Teixeira (@amandamtex) on

We got to the hospital at 9:30am to begin the adventure of becoming a family of four. Little did we know that our lives were about to turn upside down in a million ways over the next few days.

Adoption

Why This Woman Said No To Abortion

December 8, 2014

I have a treat for all you readers out there.

It’s a letter from Tiffany (Josephine’s birth mom) about why she chose adoption instead of abortion.

Tiff and I were talking a couple months ago when she said she ran into a woman who was pregnant and considering abortion. She looked at the woman and said, “Give me ten minutes of your time.” In that short conversation she was able to share why she chose adoption instead of abortion, in hopes of encouraging this young woman to also go down an unknown but very amazing path herself. Now, we don’t know whatever came of this young woman’s decision but I know Tiffany’s message touched her regardless.

Her story is what I want to share here today. I want to inspire those of you who have never heard about adoption from the perspective of the birth family. I also want to hold their example out as one of hope to anyone out there considering abortion. Life is truly beautiful and I hope you can see in this story just how worth any sacrifice for life is.

Without further ado, here’s her story:

Hi my name is Tiffany Jones and I would like to share my amazing journey that impacted many lives. Back in April when my husband and I discovered we were pregnant again with our 2nd child we were overwhelmed with all of these emotions our main emotion we felt was fear because we knew there was no way we could afford another baby right now.

So we started laying out our options and of course abortion was the first thing to pop into my mind because I had heard it was the quickest and easiest way to resolve it. Once I brought it up to my husband he literally gave it 2 seconds of thought and said absolutely not that is not an option for us nor will it ever be. We don’t know if this beautiful baby will change many lives or find a cure to something or be the president one day and we would never know if we didn’t give this baby even a chance at life.

So of course we put our thinking caps back on and finally came to the conclusion of adoption which of course was an extremely scary thought but we knew it was for the best. Once we got the ball rolling on looking for a family for our beautiful baby it lifted some stress and weight off of our shoulders but of course added other questions and thoughts.

Once we found the amazing couple we chose to be our baby girls parents I couldn’t help but finding myself to be really happy for them and with our decision. We knew they were going to make amazing parents and deserved this gift from God.

Like I told Amanda, this baby was never meant to be ours she was always theirs. That God just blessed me with the amazing opportunity to create and carry this beautiful gift for them who couldn’t. Now the reason I want to share this is because for all the mothers to be younger or older no matter your age and you feel stuck or scared and dont know what to do and have abortion on your mind just think what if your baby your carrying was never meant to be yours what if he/she was brought here for another family that cannot conceive themselves. What if God just blessed you with the amazing chance to not only give life but change someones as well.

So all I ask of all you gorgeous soon to be mommy’s out there is really take a moment to think before you act. Only because you cant change your mind once you get an abortion. But with adoption yes its scary and hard but a gift not only to others but to yourselves for choosing to give your child life and a great one and you will always know that he/she is out there possibly changing many lives like you would do if you chose adoption.

This is from one woman to another. Placing our child up for adoption was the hardest but most amazing thing we feel we could ever do. I hope this helps to encourage all women out there that feel confused on what they should do. Don’t make any rash decisions you cant take back. Choose life ladies you will be so much happier with yourself.

I hope this story is an encouragement and a blessing to you. This perspective is unique in a culture that is afraid of adoption and embraces abortion. Please give this unique voice greater influence by sharing this post on social media. Please keep Tiffany, Matt, and their family in their prayers, that God may bless them immensely for their heroic love and sacrifice.

Adoption

Our Adoption Journey

November 24, 2014

As I sit here typing this…there is a baby fast asleep in my swaddle shirt.

A baby.

WHAT?!?!?!

We are obviously still in disbelief but it’s been two weeks since Miss Josephine Rose entered this world.

Two weeks in which we have basically lived in a Zombie-like  sleepless state. Two weeks filled with the h.a.r.d.e.s.t. things we have ever done. Two weeks brimming with joy and hope.

And unless we sit down to document the journey here, it will likely be lost in our imaginations forever since our memories deprived of sleep haven’t been proving too reliable.

So, here we go.

The journey officially began over two weeks ago, on Friday November 7th.

We went to the airport with three suitcases, a stroller, a car seat carrying backpack, a stuffed baby bag, and two personal bags. We looked like a three ring circus and it was a lot of fun! We kept getting comments like, “Where’s the baby?” since the stroller was empty. Numerous times as we told people about our adoption plans, they claimed to immediately “get chills” and tear up. Adoption is very cool and exciting but we weren’t expecting complete strangers to be so moved.

It felt like we were embarking on an adventure we could never turn back from…sort of like The Lord of The Rings.

We flew standby so that means we missed flight after flight after flight until we finally caught the last flight out (eight hours later) from Denver to Sacramento. What did we do while we sat at the Denver airport? We watched Wreck It Ralph and I pumped breast milk on the women’s bathroom floor several times. I swear women looked at me like I had a bomb under my nursing cover as I huddled in dark corners of the bathroom.

We landed in Sacramento, California and drove to a couple’s home whom we’d never met except via email and telephone. We found them via some Catholic connections and they were the perfect couple to stay with while we were away from home.

My parents honeymooned in San Francisco, so we just had to visit some of the spots they talk about in their stories: St. Mary’s Cathedral in China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39…all the tourist traps. We got stuck in 2+ hours of traffic on our way back to Sacramento and began listening to Serial, a podcast being aired by This American Life and it is AWESOME. I highly recommend a listen.

We slept in Sunday morning, which was a very very wise decision and then repacked up for our journey north for the birth of baby Josie.

Monday morning began at 3 am since we needed to drive 4 hours north meet Josie’s birth family. Upon arriving at the hospital, Tiffany (Josie’s birth mom) got all checked in and ready for the c-section. She and Matt (Josie’s birth dad)  chose for me to be in the Operating Room when Josie was born, which was SUCH an honor.

I can’t describe how I felt being in the room while Tiffany had the c-section. I was filled with gratitude for her love and sacrifice for baby Josie. I was stunned and shocked about what was about to happen. I was anxious because any surgery gives me nervous energy, especially ones where I am present.

Then she came. Josephine Rose Teixeira.

I remember the doctor making a comment about how she already needed a trim because she had a full head of hair. Once the Doctor moved aside, I caught my first glimpse 🙂 I told Tiffany I would either be unable to express emotion or a basket case…but I was neither. I gently cried and felt immense levels of gratitude. I brought Josephine over to Tiffany and we both got our first in-depth looks at her hair, her button nose, her big lips, and her long eyelashes. She was a beauty.

We spent the next 72 hours in the hospital visiting with Matt and Tiffany frequently. It was a very special time for everyone and we will tell Josie stories from our time with them for years to come. A local priest came and held an adoption blessing ceremony for us – it was awesome. I love being Catholic because there is a blessing for everything! 🙂

Finally it was time to travel back down south to Sacramento to wait out the paper work between California and Colorado. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to Matt and Tiff as they are part of our family now…and the gift they’ve given us really has no words to match it. We couldn’t possibly ever express to them how thankful we are for them and for their desire to make an adoption plan for Josephine with us.

It’s the most humbling thing in the world.

We “settled” in our home away from home in Sacramento as best we could. Besides being totally overwhelmed, exhausted, and having some nursing issues, we were loving every minute of the ride. The family we stayed with were nothing but gracious. They fed us and made sure we had a car to get around to appointments. We really couldn’t have asked for better living accommodations. We became a family in that home 🙂

We spent a few days waiting on paperwork and I got a phone call last Tuesday that we were free to come home to Denver. So on Wednesday, November 19th we gathered up the luggage, this time with a baby in tow, and flew back to Colorado. We’ve been settling in ever since…not sure when we will feel fully settled but it’s definitely not yet! 🙂

That’s our story! Thanks for everyone who followed along with us via social media!

Please keep our newly adjusting family in your prayers. God bless!