We Opt To Adopt

We Opt To Adopt

Thursday, December 11, 2014

One Year Ago

Exactly one year ago today was the absolute worst day in our lives. Never had we felt so broken, helpless, and angry. One year ago Sawyer was ripped from our arms and taken from our home. We never thought we would recover from the loss of him. And now we are happy to say that one year later our life is nothing like we thought it would be. God has blessed us this last year in ways that we could've never imagined.

A few days ago marked the end of the 70 day wait period for an appeal from Sawyer's birth mom. After the judge terminated parental rights in September at Sawyer's .26 Hearing, we needed to wait 70 days to see if there would be an appeal. We assumed there wouldn't be an appeal because his birth mom had been MIA since we welcomed him back into our lives in March. To our surprise she reappeared in October, just a few days before we were set to finalize Lucas' adoption. She contacted Sawyer's social worker and told her that she wanted a visit with him. She hadn't seen him in 7 months and all of a sudden it was now convenient for her. Thankfully since her rights had been terminated she wasn't allowed to see Sawyer. She claimed that she was never notified of the .26 Hearing. She was reminded by our county social worker that she had been missing for months and that even her attorney couldn't find her. Birth mom was very upset and said that she would be contacting her attorney, which led us to believe that she would be filing an appeal. Based upon a recent chain of events that had occurred in her life, she all of a sudden thought she was super mom. We waited with nervous hearts for the 70 days wait period to be over and expected to get a phone call saying that she appealed. Every time the phone rang, my heart sunk. It's hard to not expect the worse with everything we have been through. An appeal  would've prolonged Sawyer's adoption by at least another year. A year may not sound like its that big of a deal, but it is. We are tired of the monthly home visits by 2 different social workers, we hate hearing his 'legal name', we hate that we have to ask permission every time we want to go out of town, it's frustrating that we can't leave him with family or friends if they aren't certified caregivers, and I hate that I have to take him to medi-cal offices for pediatrician appointments. It's hard to feel like a real family when there are so many rules that have to be followed and are living in constant fear that he could be taken away again through no fault of our own.

We are happy to announce that an appeal was never filed and that Sawyer can officially be adopted in January 2015!

Until next time...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sawyer's .26 Court Hearing

Children's court is an interesting place. With all the time we spent waiting, it's hard to not look around and speculate why each person is there. Plus, some people just draw attention to themselves. It's really not that hard to leave your slippers at home, come with makeup already on your face, and wear clean nice clothes. Sawyer's birth mother did not show up for the court hearing which was not a surprise. It was a relief that she wasn't there because I imagine it would've been very awkward for everyone involved. She might not recognize our faces, but we will never forget what she looks like. She's been MIA for months now. As the hours passed by we were beginning to wonder if we could ever be called or if the hearing would be postponed again. Ron, Elizabeth (our Family Connections social worker), and I waited for 3 and a half hours before being called into the court room.

Our time in the court room with the judge was very short. It was said that both the county social worker for Sawyer and birth mother's attorney couldn't locate Sawyer's birth mom. The attorney's words were, "If I could've found her, we would be appealing the decision for parental rights to be terminated." Our history with Sawyer, our intention to adopt, and our feelings about him were discussed by the judge. The judge thanked us for our hearts for this child. Then denial of parental rights was granted by Fresno County Superior Court. The judge thanked us for dressing up and respecting the court. And that pretty much sums it up.

I expected to feel like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but I didn't. I actually felt more nervous than ever because now we had to wait 70 days to see if Sawyer's birth mom would appeal the court's decision. We had reason to believe that she wasn't in Fresno County anymore, but that was just speculation. All we could do is pray that she would stay away for at least 70 more days.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Update on Sawyer

Life has been busy these past few months, as we knew it would be. I've been unsuccessfully trying to write an update for months. But between meeting the demands of two babies, working part time, and keeping a 'semi' tidy house there has not been much spare time. Oh motherhood! We learned very quickly that life with one baby is easy and life with two babies was challenging. One baby + one baby does not equal 2 babies when they are so young. With time and practice we got better at juggling their needs. With two babies in the house, they would easy gang up on me when Ron wasn't around or vice versa. The littlest of accomplishments, like going to the grocery store with both of them or eating three meals in a day, seemed like huge victories in the beginning.

It's been almost 6 months since Sawyer came back into our lives. The day we reunified with Sawyer was so special. He looked nothing like we thought he would, but was super cute. He had gotten so big, which made us realized how much we had missed in the time he was away. He changed so much. He wasn't that same tiny little peanut we had been forced to say good bye to months prior. He was so smiley as soon as he saw us even though to him we were complete strangers. We were excited to welcome him back into our lives, but I will never forget the panic I felt when the adrenaline of the day wore off and I realized I was responsible for two babies now.

The morning after Sawyer's return, he was set to have visitation with his birth mom. And to our surprise it was going to be for 3 hours instead of the 2 hours once a week that it had been. This is because the family that stole him from us and then gave him up had been missing their weekly mandated visitation and now we were forced to make up the missed time for them. Ron took Sawyer to visitation and his birth mom didn't show up. She didn't show up for the next two weekly visits either. At that point visitation was cancelled until she calls and requests to see him. We have had Sawyer back for nearly 6 months now and he hasn't seen his birth mom a single time. She has every right to see him because parental rights haven't been terminated yet, but in the mean time her visits were reduced to once a month if and when she chooses to see him.

September 3, 2014 was supposed to be the court hearing for termination of parental rights of Sawyer's birth parents. However, as we know all to well by now Department of Social Services is very disorganized and because of this they didn't process the birth father paperwork in time. The hearing has been postponed until September 26, 2014. All our sources tell us that the judge will terminate parental rights, but his birth mom has 60 days to appeal the decision. If she chooses to appeal the decision it will be several months before we can officially adopt him. If she doesn't appeal then we should be able adopt him before the end of the year. We have faith that this is his forever home, it is just a matter of time until he gets to steal our last name. By now we are use to waiting, but it hard to deal with the Department of Social Services while we wait for them to get their act together. It's hard to be a normal family while having to follow all their rules.

Sawyer is thriving in our home. He adjusted fairly well considering all he's been through in his short life. It's not his fault he was taken away from everything he had ever known not once, but twice. I can't even imagine how scared and confused he must have felt when he was taken from our home at 1 month old and when he came back at 4 months old.

It's hard to believe that Sawyer is already 10 months old (almost 11 months old). He is happy, healthy, and constantly on the move. He loves to explore, climb on his dogs and his brother, and destroy (He earned himself the nickname 'Sawyer the Destroyer'). He has challenged me in ways I never imagined, but helped me to become a better mother for both of my boys.

Until next time...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lucas is getting a big brother!

On March 25, 2014 our adoption story went from crazy to unbelievable. Lucas and I were going about our normal morning routine when I received a phone call that I didn't answer because I had just got Lucas out of the bath. When I finally got around to looking at my phone I noticed my missed call was from the adoption agency. I also had a text message from our social worker that said, "Can you please give me a call. Everything is fine. Just need to chat with you about something important." We love our social worker, but hate getting phone calls from her. We have been conditioned to feel sick to our stomachs when she calls because so many of her calls deliver horrific news. My heart was pounding so loudly and my hands were shaking so badly as I waited for her to pick up the phone. The first thing she said was, "Everything with Lucas is fine. This has nothing to do with him or his adoption." Phew! She asked if I was sitting down for this news. I wasn't. I was pacing the living room, wanting her to spit out whatever it was she had to tell me. The words that came out of her mouth were, "Sawyer is available". The family that took him from us had some sort of emergency and weren't going to be able to care for him anymore. Her question was, "Did we want to take placement of Sawyer?" Elizabeth (our social worker) and I conference called Ron and I told him the news. The first thing Ron said was, "Why?" I don't think we will ever know the specifics of why they didn't want to or couldn't care for him anymore but that doesn't matter to us. According to his current foster parents and his social worker Sawyer is healthy, happy, thriving, handsome, has no health concerns and is meeting his developmental milestones.

Just to clarify... Sawyer was the first baby that we brought home and had for 31 days before he was removed because of an error made by Social Services.

Social Services wanted our answer in a couple hours. Ron and I started to process this information. Ron was completely on board almost immediately. I on the other hand needed to try and think rationally, even though I wanted to say yes. But it was Sawyer. We love him so much and the day we had to say good-bye was the worst day of our lives. But we had Lucas now. Would bringing Sawyer into our home be fair to Lucas? Would it be fair to Sawyer? How would we handle two infants? Would we ever sleep again? Could we afford it? Would we regret not taking placement of Sawyer? Did we really want to deal with Social Services again and weekly birth mom visits? But it was Sawyer. He was the first baby to show us how amazing parenthood was. He had a special place in our hearts. He was our son. I saw Ron become a great father when Sawyer was with us. This might be our only chance for Lucas to have a sibling.

I felt overwhelmed and nervous. I couldn't make such a huge decision in a couple of hours. I asked our Social Worker to ask Soical Services if we could give our final decision the following day. We needed to give our answer by 8:00am the following morning.

Five days before we received this news our social worker told us that she saw Sawyer and his foster family at Social Services about a month ago. She said he was big and looked like he was doing well. She described his foster family as 'earthy' aka hippies. We also found out his foster family was Jehovah's Witnesses. We were so sad. We had been praying for months that Sawyer would have every opportunity to come to know Christ. With this hope, we knew that if we didn't ever see him again on Earth that we would see him in Heaven. Maybe we were supposed to take him so that he would be raised in a loving Christian home. Who knew what kind of a home he would go to if we didn't take him?

We were told there were plenty of other families that would love to have Sawyer and that if we didn't take him he would be okay. Typically a family with a 5 week old baby would not be eligible for another child until the first adoption is finalized. However, our case is different because we were listed as first placement if Sawyer's current foster family decided they couldn't keep him. We just never thought that would happen. Plus, everyone involved in Sawyer's case knew how much we loved this little guy and how special he was to us.

After Landon's (the baby right before Lucas) birth mom changed her mind about keeping him and wanted to give him back to us a few weeks ago, we played the what if game. What if the foster family that had Sawyer didn't want him anymore? Would we take him? That answer was always yes. A yes with no hesitation. But now that it was really happening it was hard to try and make the best decision for everyone involved.

Ron told me he would be okay with whatever decision I made. He assured me that there was enough love to go around and that we could handle whatever was thrown our way. The first little while would definitely be challenging, but the pros outweighed the cons. He promised to step up on his daddy responsibilities so that I wouldn't feel extremely overwhelmed. He even tried to bribe me by bringing home a super huge burrito from my favorite mexican restaurant. However, by that time my mind was already made up. Sawyer would be joining our family once again.

O-M-G!!! I couldn't even believe we were going to do this. We are crazy! It will be like having twins. Twins that look completely different and are 3 months apart. We felt excited, nervous, hopeful, slightly sick to our stomachs but in a good way, and so happy that we had this opportunity.

On Wednesday morning we met with a team from the Department of Social Services and a social worker from our agency. We were completely unaware that this meeting would include a conference call to Sawyer's current foster mom. We got to ask questions about him, which helped completely reassure our decision. At one point his foster mom even said that he was going to the family that should've had him all along. When the conference call ended Ron totally called out the social workers from Social Services about our previous experience with them. We got several apologies and were told that because of their original mistake they have changed their policies so that it doesn't happen to other families. We never thought they would apologize and the fact that they did meant a lot.

We still have many court dates in our future, but each one will get us closer to Sawyer officially becoming a Sequeira. He still has weekly visits with his birth mom, which was extremely difficult to deal with last time. Because he is a foster child we have many rules to follow and cannot legally post pictures of him of social media. It will be a difficult road, but it will be worth it in the end.

Sawyer rejoined our family on Thursday March 27, 2014.

Pray that he adjusts well to these changes that he has no control over. Pray that we do an awesome job of raising our 2 boys. And pray for strength for us as we deal with the legal aspects of it all.

We never imagined that this would be God's plan for us after everything we have endured the past year. If Sawyer was never taken away, we wouldn't have Lucas. Just a mere 6 weeks ago I was doubting that God would ever bless us with a baby and now we have two!

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Unexpected Twist

Lucas was home for all of 2 days when I received a text message that caught me by complete surprise. It was from Landon's birth mom.
"...I know you might not want to hear from me, but I just wanted to apologize for being a coward and not following through with the adoption. I know that I caused you and Ron a great deal of pain and for that I am truly sorry. It wasn't my intention. Please don't think that I didn't like you guys as adoptive parents because that wasn't it... I changed my mind about the adoption. And as much as this hurts and breaks my heart to say, I need to stop being selfish and think about where my baby will be better off. I know that adoption is the best thing for my child... I'm doing the responsible thing and helping give my child a life he deserves to live. And I know you and Ron can provide that for my baby... I don't know if you guys are still willing, or want to continue the adoption process. If not, I understand..."
I couldn't believe it. When we went home without Landon, I hoped this would happen but I never actually believed 'Y' would change her mind. Ron was out doing an errand for me when I received this text, so as I waited for him to return home my mind was running wild. I read the text over and over and over again just to make sure I had read it correctly. I wasn't dreaming, this was real.

Ron looked stunned as I read him the text message. Of course we wanted Landon. Even though we only spent a short time with him, we loved him and considered him our son. After all, he was a Sequeira. We tried to figure out if it was in the realm of possibilities to take on another newborn. Sounds crazy, right? It didn't take long for us to start thinking logically. It wouldn't be fair to Lucas if he had to share our attention with Landon. It wouldn't be fair to Lucas' birth mom who picked us knowing that we had no other children and that he would be receiving all of our attention. Our bank account would be taking another major dip if we had to pay more adoption fees. Yes, it would be worth every penny to have Landon but that doesn't make it the right decision. It would be different if it was twins because that is 'buy one, get one free'! It would be double the diapers and formula (it's not like I can breast feed and save tons of money). We felt so torn. We loved Landon. We loved him enough to decide that he would probably be better off with another family that wanted to adopt. It would almost seem kind of greedy to take two babies in such a short amount of time when there are other families out there waiting for their forever child. But at the same time, this could be our only chance at having 2 children. After everything we've gone through, we are not interested in growing our family of 3. Our hearts can't take anymore. I felt guilty that we decided to not take Landon.

We called our social worker to tell her what happened. She told us she already knew that 'Y' had changed her mind. She apologized for not telling us and said she didn't want to confuse us, but was going to tell us eventually. I didn't blame her. I certainly did feel confused. She had forgotten that 'Y' had my phone number, so that we could be in contact at the hospital if she needed me. Our social worker told us that 'Y' had contacted the adoption agency and told them she changed her mind and wanted to place Landon with us. 'Y's social worker told her that we were 'unavailable' and that she could pick another family. If she decided to pick another family, she would need to sign paperwork to terminate her rights immediately and Landon would be placed with a foster family for 10 business days until her rights were officially terminated. She was too much of a risk to do it any other way. 'Y' made it clear that she only wanted to place Landon with us, which made me feel worse about our decision. 'Y' had no idea we had Lucas. 'Y' must have contacted us herself because she needed to hear for herself that we really were 'unavailable'.

Our social worker told us it was our choice whether or not we wanted to respond back to her. We felt it was only fair that we be honest with her. We knew it wasn't easy for her to send that text message to us.
"I really appreciate your apology. It means a lot. We were devastated when you changed your mind. We loved your baby so much and were so excited to be his parents. We couldn't believe that once again another adoption plan had failed. We really believed we were never going to be parents. On Tuesday another birth mom picked us and we brought Lucas home that night. We really wish we could be parents to your baby and Lucas but we don't think it would be fair to them or to Lucas' birth mom. If you really do feel that adoption is best for your baby then I would encourage you to pick another family. I really wish were were able to adopt him. It's really hard to say no, but we have to. We will be praying for you as you figure out what you want to do. We would love to know what you decide. Give that handsome little boy our love!" 
We haven't heard back from 'Y' and neither has the adoption agency, despite their efforts to reach out to her. For all we know, her keeping Landon might've been the right decision all along. 'Y' keeping Landon caused us a lot of pain but that brought us to Lucas, who has brought us so much joy. All we can do is pray that Landon is receiving the love and care that he deserves.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Beacon of Light

When we arrived home without Landon, I completely fell apart. All I could do was cry. I cried over the loss of another son, cried over the fact that I had absolutely no hope that we would ever receive our forever child, and cried because it just didn't seem fair that we were going through this again. I never felt anger towards 'Y'. I didn't blame her for what she decided. I felt that she needed emotional support and reassurance and that she didn't receive it when she needed it the most. We were mad at her social worker for not providing this to her. We felt that if our social worker could've been her social worker that we would've went home with Landon. Maybe we just needed someone to blame.

We spent the next day (Monday) grieving. For me, this meant looking through all the pictures we took of him at the hospital and blogging about what had happened. We talked about him, laughed at the funny things he did during our short time with him, and cried. Monday evening Ron received a call from our social worker. There was a birth mom in Modesto that had a baby boy on Sunday. She was making an adoption plan for him and would be picking a family first thing the following morning.  Our social worker wanted to know if we wanted our profile to be shown to her. She knew we were still grieving, but she also knew that the situation was ideal. When Ron relayed the info to me, I said, "Yes" without even thinking about it. Even though I missed Landon and wanted him back, I knew that the only thing that would really fix our broken hearts would be to have another baby in the house. The short time that we spent with Landon, was the only time my heart didn't ache over the loss of Sawyer. He wiggled his way into our hearts and made everything we had been through up to that point seem like no big deal.

I tried to not be too hopeful that we would be chosen, but it was nice to have something to cling on to. I knew our chances were slim. We didn't pray that we would be chosen, but prayed that God's will would be done and that we would be okay with whatever happened. Tuesday morning came and my stomach was in knots. I was nervous about what this birth mom would decide and I was also sad about Landon. It was a strange mix of feelings. Ron had went to work that day, so I was all alone as I waited for news. 11:30 am came and went and we hadn't heard anything. I had started to believe that she had chose another family. I was upset that every single time our profile had been shown in the past to other birth mothers it had been chosen, so why was it not chosen this time? In the mean time, my mom had called to check up on me and I blurted out how sad I was about Landon and how sad I was about us not being picked by the birth mom in Modesto.

Not even 10 minutes after talking to my mom, our social worker called me. She asked how I was doing and I said, "I was hanging in there." She told me, "You just need to hang in there a little bit longer because you are going to Modesto today. That birth mom picked you guys." I couldn't believe it! Was this really happening? We conference called Ron to tell him the news. He needed to drop everything at work because we needed to be in Modesto as soon as possible. The baby was ready to be discharged from the hospital and he would be discharged to us.

It was so strange to go from being so sad to so happy. The events of the weekend were still in the back of my mind, but maybe this time everything would work out. I joked with Ron that I now had a good idea of what it must feel like to have Bipolor Disorder because over the weekend I was happy, sad, happy, sad, happy, happy, sad, sad, sad, and now extremely happy again. What a roller coaster it had been.

Our first stop was the Modesto Family Connections Christian Adoption Agency. There we signed some paperwork and then waited for the birth mother to arrive because she wanted to meet us and give us a hug. She arrived with the birth father and her dad (birth grandfather), who were both very supportive of her decision. This time around everything felt so different. They were so genuine and seemed so sure of their decision. They kept thanking us for wanting to adopt their baby, when it seemed like Ron and I should be the only ones saying thank you. The birth mom was so strong and only cried once when telling us the details of her her pregnancy and birth story. Ron and I could tell that this time around things would be different, which was strange to feel with everything we have been through. Everything seemed so easy. She had already signed paperwork earlier in the day and chose to not place a hold it (Birth mothers are allowed to place up to a 30 day hold on the paperwork to terminate their rights in case they are unsure of their decision and want the option of changing their minds). It takes up to 10 business days for the State to clear him for adoption and for parental rights to be terminated. So by March 5, 2014 we will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. At that point we would have nothing to worry about and would just have to wait 6 months before we can finalize the adoption.

We anxiously waited for all the loose ends to be tied up before we could finally go meet our son. We assumed he would be a cutie because his birth parents were both very good looking people. All we knew was that he had white hair. When we finally laid eyes on him in the nursery of the hospital, I couldn't help but giggle at his cuteness. He looked like a little viking! His hair was so white it was like a beacon of light and his cheeks were so chubby it looked like he was storing nuts for the winter. No wonder some random employee at the hospital seriously wanted to adopt him, but our agency told them, "No". Our first meeting with him was not at all rushed. We got to feed him, cuddle him, take pictures, and dress him in his coming home outfit. His nurses were so interested in our story and were so happy for all of us that they cried and gave us hugs. On our way out of the hospital several nurses stopped and commented on his bright hair. I wasn't lying when I described it as a beacon of light.

We couldn't wait to get him in the Jeep and drive him home. That definitely made it feel more real. It wasn't until the drive home that we made phone calls and started to spread our good news. No one could hardly believe our news because it was only 2 days before that we had horrific news. My favorite responses were screams and high pitched squeals. We've had 4 sons in 6 months time, but now it all seems worth it. It's like we've been waiting all along for this little boy.  

We've named our 7 pound 12 ounce, 21.5 inch little viking 'Lucas Finn'. However, this is not his legal name yet. 'Lucas' means 'light' and this little guy definitely brought some light to our lives during a very dark time. And 'Finn' means 'small blonde soldier'. Need I say more?

Until Next Time...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Not Again!

Nervousness doesn't even begin to explain how Ron and I felt when we arrived at the hospital on Valentine's Day. We had no idea how the day was going to play out. Would 'Y' be happy with her choice of picking us as adoptive parents once she met us? Did she even show up to be induced? Was she going to change her birth plan? Would she change her mind about not wanting to see him, hold him, or care for him? Would she still want me in the delivery room when the baby was born? Would I pass out from witnessing the nasty miracle of life (because I don't do so well with blood and other bodily fluids that are meant to stay in the body)? How long would she labor for? Would she actually follow through with relinquishing her baby to us?  All of these questions and more were running through my mind as we waited for 'Y's social worker to arrive to make introductions. We were set to meet at 8:00 am. The social worker must have decided that we weren't nervous enough because she didn't arrive until 9:15 am.

We met with 'Y' for about 30 minutes. It could best be described as awkward. We were complete strangers. She was really quiet but answered all of our questions. We were very careful with what we said. We felt like if we said the wrong thing she would change her mind. Ron did a great job of keeping the conversation flowing, but had so much nervous energy that he was dancing around and swaying from side to side. 'Y' had a friend with her that would be staying for her delivery. We were glad she had someone there to support her, but we didn't know if her friend supported her adoption plan. Who knew what her friend would be saying to her when we weren't with 'Y'. Would she be trying to change her mind about the adoption plan? At this point she was 1 cm dilated and wasn't feeling any contractions yet. 'Y' said she wanted to rest before she started progressing and would have her friend come get me when she woke up so we could visit some more.  So we left and went to the waiting room thinking we would see her in an hour or two. 'Y's social worker informed us that 'Y' was unsure if she still wanted me in the delivery room. I was a little disappointed, but understood. I probably would want some stranger seeing 'ALL of me' either. I started to feel like maybe she didn't like me, even though the social worker told me that she was just feeling embarrassed. It was scary that she was already making changes to her birth plan. At this point 'Y's social worker left and told us that she would not be back. We were alone and were feeling very uneasy about that. We knew she was only a phone call away, but the unknown was very scary for us. Everything was completely out of our control.  All we could do was wait and pray.

Three hours later we were still sitting in the waiting room. We hadn't heard from 'Y'. Was saying that she wanted to take a nap her way of getting us to leave her alone? We weren't about to go knock on her door, so we waited... and waited. At some point one of her nurses came out, saw the looks on our faces, and gave us an update. The nurse said, "She hadn't made any progress and that it was going to be a long day." That wasn't what we wanted to hear, but at least we finally knew something. A little while later we were told that 'Y's friend was going to be leaving and at that point I would be invited back into the room with her. I waited and waited, and her friend never left. At 3:45 pm the nurses seemed to start to feel pretty bad for us. They offered to put us in a postpartum room so we could be more comfortable. They said we would need a room after the baby was born anyway. We gladly accepted the offer. It was such a pick-me-up to change up the scenery and know that eventually we would be sharing this room with our son.

Once we were put in a hospital room, the nurses did a great job of keeping us informed of 'Y's progress. Around 7:30 pm, she was was 3 and a half cm dilated and was going to be getting an epidural. The nurse told us that she would probably be ready to push in 2 hours and that she did want me in the room with her when the time came. Exactly 2 hours later, the nurse was telling me it was time. I left Ron alone and was so happy for the opportunity to see my son be born. We were going to be having a Valentine's Day baby!

I really didn't know what to expect when I entered the delivery room. I made small talk and tried to encourage her. Out of no where 'Y' asked me how long Ron and I had been waiting for a baby to adopt. I figured now was as good of time as any to tell her the quick version our whole story. Through tears, I told her about 'C' and how she was a birth mom just like herself. I told her that I took 'C' to doctors appointments and built a relationship with her and then 'C' had the baby and changed her mind about adoption. Then I really started crying because I was trying to find the words to tell her about Sawyer. I told her about how much we loved Sawyer and how much it hurt when he was taken away from us. I told her that Ron had been such an amazing dad to Sawyer and that she shouldn't have any doubts about his parenting abilities. She had no idea our adoption journey has been so tough and I could tell she felt so bad for Ron and I. Even though it may not seem like it, telling our story brought such a good vibe to the room.

Soon after it was time for her to start pushing. She pushed him out in less than 5 contractions. He made his appearance at 10:02 pm. It was amazing to see him be born and hear his first cries. She didn't want to hold him and now wasn't sure if she wanted to see him. I was honored to be the first person to hold him. I loved him immediately and couldn't believe he was finally here. After I had about 10 minutes with him, 'Y' asked me to go get Ron so that he could see the baby. She decided at that point she did want to see and hold her baby. I was glad that she changed her mind about wanting to hold him, otherwise she would always wonder what it would've been like. I ran down the hall and got Ron. I found him on his knees praying. I was gone all of 2 minutes and 'Y' gladly handed the baby over to Ron. 'Y' asked us what we were going to name the baby and we told her, "Landon Hunter." She said she liked the name and then told us we could take the baby to our room. We thanked her immensely for the amazing gift she was giving us and told her we would check up on her later.

We spent the next 14 hours with Landon and enjoyed every moment of it. During this time we really started to believe that 'Y' was going to follow through with her adoption plan. We were told that she was doing well and was going to be discharged from the hospital that afternoon. We would be staying with Landon at the hospital until Monday morning. 'Y' had us officially name the baby and the birth certificate paperwork was processed. His legal name was Landon Hunter Sequeira. We couldn't believe that he was going to be a Sequeira from day one. At 12:35 pm she decided that she wanted to say good bye to Landon and she wanted to do it alone. We were nervous about their good bye, but knew it was an important part of the process for her to get some closure. We figured we would see Landon again within an hour or so. Landon was gone for over 5 hours. During this time Ron and I just sat and stared at each other, hoping that every noise we heard outside the door was him coming back to us. We let ourselves think that he wasn't coming back and that she was going to keep him. The nurses came in every so often giving us updates about what was going on between 'Y' and Landon. We were so thankful for such great nurses. They were all pro adoption and genuinely cared about us. We made several calls to our social worker in Fresno during that time, who did a great job of reassuring us and helped calm our nerves. We wished that 'Y's social worker would come to the hospital and give her the support she needed, but she didn't. At about 5:45 pm, one of the nurses helped give 'Y' the nudge she needed to finally hand Landon over. The nurse delivered him back to us and I cried tears of joy and relief. The nurse told us that 'Y' didn't want to see us before she left the hospital. We had a gift and letter for 'Y' and asked the nurse to deliver it to her and explain the meaning of the gift. We knew 'Y' was Catholic so we got her a rosary in the color of Landon's birthstone. Ron explained that, "God gave us the greatest gift he could, which was His son. And she was giving us the greatest gift she could, which was her son." The nurse reported back to us that she was very grateful for the gift and a few seconds later 'Y' showed up at our door in tears. We embraced her and thanked her for choosing us. We told her we would be praying for her heart, that we loved her, we grateful for her selflessness, and that we would give Landon the best life possible. I was so scared that she was going to change her mind because I could see what a hard time she was having so I flat out asked her if she was going to change her mind. She said, "No." Then I asked again, "Please don't lie to me, I just need to know if you are going to change your mind?" Once again she said, "No." She told us she needed to go and she left.

It was sad to say good bye, but we were so excited that we would be going home with Landon. It was a good sign that she left the hospital. We thought everything was going to be fine. We believed her when she said she wouldn't change her mind. Around 12:45 pm the following day (Sunday), our social worker called and gave us news that we weren't expecting. She told us that 'Y' had changed her mind and was going to take Landon back. We needed to say our good byes to Landon and leave the hospital. We couldn't believe that this was happening to us again. We couldn't even feel emotion at first. We felt numb. I held him tight and didn't want to let go. Within 30 minutes we had said our good byes and were being escorted out of the hospital by a nurse empty handed.

Ron and I didn't say a single word to each other on the 3 hour drive home. What was there to say? We were crushed. We didn't know why God had let this happen to us again. My faith was shaken and I felt guilty about that. We had lost 3 sons in 6 months. I felt like God didn't want us to have children and I was really upset about that. Why else would this keep happening? It seemed like we were so close, and then it was all taken away in the blink of an eye.

Until next time...