October Adoptive Family: The Salinas Fam

It is hard to know exactly where to begin to paint the picture of our lives, so much has changed over the past 9 years in ways we never anticipated. The journey has been joyful, handcrafted, redeeming and intentional but in the same time it’s been broken, emotional, raw and brought us to our knees. We have grown, we have stretched uncomfortably, we have changed and been healed from the inside out, and we have found grace in the shadows we were certain were going to be empty forever. This journey has not been easy, growth doesn’t happen in a comfort zone. Would we change it? Absolutely not. We are exactly where we have always been meant to be.. without expectation, in gratitude, in faith, in love, in his grace, and present in the season of the wait.

A Little About Our Life in the Present:

Our names are Miranda and Edward. We are parents to wild child Honor and sweet sweet Baine through domestic private adoptions. They will both be 4 years old this fall/winter, and hands down are the light of our lives. We have open relationships with both of their birth moms and families. We have been married eight years, together 9.5 years. Edward is a Cavalry Scout, active duty army, and recently returned home from deployment. Miranda is an L&D/Peds nurse and a Fertility/Adoption and Empowerment Life Coach helping other families grow their families through pregnancy/birth, fertility services and adoption with our new non-profit organization.

How we came to this place, these views, adoption, some highs & lows?

Our fertility, infertility, and adoption journey officially began as newlyweds 8 years ago, although the seed was planted long before that. We adore being parents and very much want to continue to grow our family. From the beginning, we had always planned on both adopting and having biological children, if able. For us there was no order. We firmly believe that loving a child is a blessing, regardless of how that little one enters our family. We both grew up in families that believed in the value of blending cultures, homes and love and continue to practice those same values in our family. We have always been open to pregnancy, adoption, foster care, embryo adoption, etc.

Growing up, one of Miranda’s sisters became a birth mom in high school and placed her daughter for adoption. Her adoption remained closed for years. That was very difficult for her sister and impacted Miranda’s view on adoption, specifically on the ethics of adoption and honoring biological family ties. In the past few years, Miranda also found out that her siblings were also placed for adoption prior to her being born. Also a closed adoption, her and her siblings have been unable to locate them as of yet, but they are continuing to search. Both of us have friends and extended family that were either adopted, or had chosen to expand their families through adoption and their experiences left a huge impact on us both. Adoption has been woven into our lives since the beginning, even before we came to realize this, and we continue to feel like this is the right choice for our family at this time.

3 years into our journey (now 8 years), hundreds of tests and treatments/needles, procedures and surgeries, multiple specialists and no definitive answers beyond “unexplained infertility;” we were broken, raw, empty and devastated. We have had 6 miscarriages and/or fetal losses for unknown reasons and had been unsuccessful in carrying a pregnancy to term. Miranda knew from her early teenage years that she had stage 4 endometriosis, and then developed adenomyosis as well, but they did not feel that either of those were a significant contributor to the reoccurring pregnancy losses followed by several years of no pregnancies at all. During her last year of nursing school she was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and completed treatment. Despite this, all of our testing came back “normal” with no definitive answers and our joint providers did not feel that any of this significantly contributed to the fertility issues.

Around that time Edward was deployed to Afghanistan and so traditional family planning was on hold. During that timeframe, the pull towards adoption kept coming back up for both of us and we felt called to begin that part of our journey next. When he returned home, we were re-stationed to beautiful Alaska and began the adoption journey. Initially, we chose to sign on with a consultant that was recommended by a friend who had adopted with her, but after a brief match/disruption followed by 6 months without any contact from that consultant, we began to expand our search to other agencies/attorneys. To our surprise, we were matched very quickly with our daughter’s birth mother and began this journey. Our daughters adoption then disrupted at 31 weeks when her birth mother decided she wanted to parent, which we supported. Shortly after, we were then matched with our son’s birth mom and began creating a relationship with her. 7 weeks before his due date we received a call from our daughter’s birth mother asking if we would still consider adopting her as well. The story began to unfold with floods of emotions, tears and prayers amongst us all. We ended up parents to our 2 sweet littles, 6 weeks and 2 days apart and navigating the twists and turns of relationships with their birth families post placement. They are family and we remain incredibly grateful for their role in all of our lives.

The following few years were some of the most difficult times in our entire journey. We walked through losses, continued infertility, adoption fraud and 6 disrupted adoptions. While it was a rollercoaster and extremely difficult, we absolutely respect and support a Mamas choice and right to parent their child. We know those sweet babies are where they are meant to be and God wrote us into their stories to love them all well when they needed it most. For us, adoption has never been about what we can gain, but what we can give or how we can support one another. This desire to stand in the spaces we might be able to help fill (temporarily or permanently), is what also led us to foster care licensing. We know there are no guarantees and we are not entitled to anything, we knew that going in. We are here to love big and well as these mamas need it without any expectation of a certain outcome. We are simply trying to walk a path that feels aligned with where we have been called to go and sometimes that can feel scary and unnerving. Adoption is hard and often it hurts, relationships can be complicated, and there is not a perfect or ideal situation. There is however beauty to be found amongst the ashes, if you look within the details and aim to do the best you can for your children and their families.

Over the past 2.5 years, we were presented with the possibility of beginning a new journey to grow our family through embryo adoption, which leads us to today. We hope to spend the next month sharing this part of our story, the process, options, lessons, legalities, family relationships, what it looks like and means for our family, as well as answering your questions along the way. Thank you for joining us here, we look forward to getting to know you all.

With love and gratitude,

Edward, Miranda, Honor, Baine, Baby S, Baby H, Bizun and Cash (family dogs)

September Adoptive Fam :: The Swartz Family

“Once our eyes are opened, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12

For nearly a year I felt the nudges and ignored them. I told God exactly where I wanted our lives to go and I was just waiting on him to start the next chapter for us. My mind was so set on the path I envisioned for my family, although the idea of adoption was weighing on my heart daily.

“There’s no way. How can this be in God’s will for our lives? Am I making this up?”

“I’m not strong enough to handle this.”

Those brief whispers of adoption pulled at me and pulled at me until one day those whispers turned into clear shouts. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The fear of the unknown escaped me and I needed to tell Jeremy. I was terrified. We had been trying for several months to conceive again and here I am, just spoiling our plans out of nowhere. But praise God, he’d been feeling those same nudges too.

So we prayed together. We fasted together. We feasted on the Word together. And we waited together. Our eyes, ears, and hearts were now completely open to the vision being set before us.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

2019 is likely to be the year we become a party of 5, just not in the way we originally expected. Adoption is an emotional journey built upon brokenness. We know there’s going to be highs as well as lows. But we are completely confident in the firm foundation we’re standing on as a family. Our hope is to someday tell our precious child that we were filled with faith during this process and how our family and friends loved and prayed for them before they ever knew them. So would you pray for us?

Pray not only for the outcome of our adoption, but that we would remain obedient and trusting to God’s plan no matter what. Pray that we can be good stewards to whatever tools are provided to get us through this. And most importantly, pray for the expectant mom and that she can have the strength to make the best decision for her child. Pray that she can receive the love and guidance, whether through friends, family, or complete strangers to lift her up through this experience. Pray that she knows that she is loved and can see Jesus through our family, given we ever cross paths.

We’re so excited to take you along on this journey with us! And we can’t wait to see what God has in store. We know we’ll be bringing home our sweet baby soon.

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory…”  Ephesians 3:20-21

Thank you for the support this month!

Find us fundraising over on Instagram all month long!

Love,

The Swartz Family

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