Our Adoption Story Start to Finish | Adoption Journey | JAKS Journey [CC]

You’ll see later on the story that it did
prove to be valid that I’d agonized over it. JAKS JOURNEY
Our Journey to growing our family. Hello and welcome, ladies, if you’re one of
my wonderful subscribers. And welcome to the journey, if you are new
here. Right now, as I’m filming, it is World Adoption
Day, which is why I have this guy on my hand. If you aren’t already following me on Instagram,
go ahead and give me a follow over there. It has a full explanation of why there’s a
smiley on my hand. But it is also Adoption Awareness Month. So, happy World Adoption Day and Adoption
Awareness Month. I thought this was a perfect time to sit down
and share our adoption story. I’ve been sharing our journey all along the
way, from the very beginning on my channel, but I haven’t ever really summarized it. I did do a 2-year infertility summary, I think,
back in February and I will link that up above. So, if you want the full story of how we got
to the decision of adoption, go ahead and watch that. And I started to just share a little bit of
our adoption journey in that because it was just starting. But for the sake of this video, all overlap
a little bit and start with our decision to adopt. If you want to support my channel, go ahead
and hit that “Like” button. And if you haven’t joined the journey already,
hit that “Subscribe” button. Our decision to adopt, like so many others,
began with our fight with infertility. And our decision to adopt specifically came
about after our second miscarriage in September of 2018. And by November of 2018, I knew that adoption
was our next step and started doing my research, and I really wanted to have picked an adoption
agency by December 1st. And the decision of what adoption agency or
consulting firm you’re going to go with is just a really, really difficult one. And I had it narrowed down between a large
national organization and a local state agency. And finally, I was lamenting and lamenting
and lamenting, and the husband sat me down and says, “What does your gut tell you? Why are you finding it so hard to pick this
one over that one?” and we talked it through. And he kind of just said, “Alright, if you
had to pick one right now, if it was now or never, what would you do?” And I said, “Well, I just don’t feel right
about this one.” and we decided to go with our state agency. And if you’re in the state of Kansas and you
want to know what agency I use, go ahead and hit me up on Instagram. I contacted them at the beginning of December,
saying that we wanted to move forward with them. And by December 15th, we had started the home
study process. Obviously, I wasn’t really sure how quickly
or slowly it would go, going into the holiday season. But we jumped into it right away. We got all the paperwork filled out. We got our home study visit scheduled. And after the holidays, we finally went and
got our fingerprints done. I kind of wish we had started and gotten our
fingerprints scheduled for earlier because we ended up having to do them again, because
the gentleman that had filled out and sent in our fingerprints, we actually had to get
like ink ones that hadn’t signed the fingerprints; the documentation that went along with them. So, they weren’t valid. So, we had to go get them done again. And that helped us up just a little bit. And I think finally we were waiting for like
our background checks to get done that. So, that was the part of that. So, that was our final bit that we’re waiting
for. And on Valentine’s Day of 2019, we went live. I should back up a little bit and say during
this time period we were also doing an IVF egg retrieval. Again, you can go watch the 2-year summary
to figure out all of that jazz. But in early January, I was not only filling
out things for our adoption home study, I was so hopped up on hormones for IVF. Great time. I do not recommend doing that. I was a lot of stress all at once. But it worked out. We knew we had insurance coverage at the time,
so it had to happen. We went live in February. That’s right. We went live on Valentine’s Day. And it has been all this hustle, all this
hustle and then just {indistinct 4:35}. And it’s hard to know that you just have to
wait and you have no idea. And there’s nothing you can do. We had made our profile book, which was fabulous. I do say so myself. I only say that because I literally cried
and agonized over it, literally cried over it to make it perfect. So, when it finally got there, was it such
a relief when I was finally happy with it? But your profile book is so important. It’s what a potential birthmother is going
to look at to decide if you get to parent her child. So, I think I was very right to agonize over
it. You’ll see later on the story that it did
prove to be valid that I had agonized over it. We heard nothing. We heard nothing for months. And I had started to resign myself that we
were in for a huge long wait and I just better get that through my mind and I just we’d have
to come to terms with it, I guess. And so, I had literally like done that; come
to terms with the long wait. And then the next week, we get our first call
from our agency asking if we wanted to be shown. And there’s my phone. And this situation was almost exactly what
we had described as our ideal situation to our agency. So, we said, “Yes”, instantly. It was a perfect situation with the level
of openness and just all the other factors. And so, we said, “Yes,” and waited. And we waited. We got to the day that our profile was being
shown and I couldn’t think about anything else. I couldn’t think about anything else. And I was just waiting and waiting to hear
from our social worker. And she didn’t call until late that night
on her way home. And it was to tell us that the potential birth
mother couldn’t decide between two profile books that she was looking at. When we had originally heard that it was only
two, I kept telling my husband, “We can do it. We can do it. We’ve had worse odds like 50/50. We got this”, which is completely ridiculous. It’s not a game of odds or anything, but it
was, I don’t know, it was just something positive to think about. And I was really positive about the whole
thing. And then to hear that she couldn’t decide
was hard. And then we were told that she wanted to meet
both families. So, this is another week or two later. After meeting her, I sat in the parking lot
and I cried because it felt like this could be it. It felt like this could be it. And it was just so hard. It was really hard to meet her and get to
know her even more because that made it kind of real. Social worker calling and being like this
person you never met and don’t know what they look like and you know their first name like
saying they didn’t pick you, that’s one thing. But then to go meet someone and try, it was
really hard. I guess, spoiler alert; she didn’t pick us. She picked the other family. And that was really hard. I honestly had conversations with the husband
after that of, “I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know if I could do that again; meet
them and have them not choose me.” And I thought maybe I was still just too hurt
from everything to go through this additional hurt. And it was really hard. We didn’t take our profile down or anything
like that because, you never know how long you’re going to wait. So, I might as well keep it live while I figure
out my life. That was just one of many moments that really
proves that it’s not just adoption. There’s no such thing as just adopting; it’s
all very difficult. And so, whenever anyone is struggling between,
their path to building a family, it’s never a light decision. It’s also difficult because then that birth
mom does have a place in your heart forever. Like, I still think about her and her child
and the adoptive family, and I hope they’re okay. You know, it’s just weird; once people have
entered your life like that, like it’s just permanently there. Once you carve out that section of your heart,
like there’s no going back to, like, “Ooh, they we’re just strangers.” No, it’s just — Anyway, adoption’s weird
and hard. Moving on. So, that was April. May was the husband I’s third wedding anniversary. And for our anniversary, we went out to kind
of a dinner and then we went to the animal shelter because we didn’t make plans and I
was weak and emotional. And so, we went to the animal shelter just
to look and ended up seeing a Great Pyrenees mix that was gorgeous. And I consented that it was probably good
to have something to nurture in the house. I’d been holding off and holding off and holding
off on getting a pup, but at this point, one of our ferrets had died and two of them were
in declining health, as ferrets do when one of their pack passes away. And so, I was like, “The ferrets are going
to pass away soon. And it’s probably not great for me to just
be home without anything” because I work from home quite a bit. So, it’s probably great for me, just being
home alone. And I consented to do a dog. And I said, “I don’t want one that sheds
a lot.” And then we got a Great Pyrenees. So, yeah, that didn’t work. We had to wait out the holding period to see
if her owners would come. So, we put down a deposit on her. And then while we were still in that waiting
period, we got a call about a different situation. And we heard the situation, the husband was
like, “Hey, should we not adopt this dog, because this birth mom was due in July?” So, that was going to be May, June, July;
like it was going to be within a few months. “Do we really want to throw a dog into the
mix?” And I was like, “You know what?” I went to like the other extreme from the
first time we were shown where I was like, “We got this. We can do this. No worries” to the other extreme, I’m like,
“There’s no way. There two other couples. That she’s not going to pick us. Let’s get the dog.” I don’t know why I make decisions or try to
like have a rational plan in my life. That’s not how it goes. We were waiting to have our profile shown
and the date that it was supposed be shown comes and it gets rescheduled and things keep
getting pushed out. The mom has is conflicts; the birth mother
has conflicts with her work and everything and so, it keeps getting dragged out, it keeps
getting dragged out. And finally, the profile gets shown and we
get the call that we’re matched. And I kind of wish I had a recorded, but I
think you’d be anticlimactic, even if I did, because I just kept asking her, our social
worker, if she was sure and if this was real and telling your, “Thank you” a lot. But I was just like she was — The social
worker was concerned because my kind of like lack of reaction. And then I just hung up and I sat there for
a while. I can’t remember if I cried. I might. There might have been some tears, but I just
I don’t know. I do remember one distinct thing from the
call. While she was calling me in the middle of
a day, which she’s always been waiting till the evening time to call us about these matches
and situation so that the husband’s home. So, we’re both home, right? And I remember her calling me in the middle
of the day and I thought, (1) “Oh, she needs a piece of paper work for me.” or I distinctly
remember thinking (2) “She’s calling to tell me we didn’t get chosen. What a jerk move. She knows I’m alone.” That was what went through my mind was, “Why
would she tell me when she knows that I’m alone? Jerk move.” Turns out she was really excited for us and
said — The first words out of her mouth was, “Hey, I know you’re not with (the husband)
right now, but I couldn’t wait to tell you.” And that she said we’re a match and I couldn’t
believe it. It was such a weird moment to like have that
step forward. And like I said, it had been dragged out so
long and I was in such like an opposite mindset about it. Like it definitely wasn’t going to happen. It took me hours for it to, like, flip over
to, “Oh, we are matched.” Anyway, called the husband told him. Obviously, it was a huge moment. I mean it was just such a surreal moment. And we were still so scared. But there’s something else the social worker
said during that call, it just made me feel different about this. It was that she had looked through the other
two profiles and flipped through and gone through them, but hadn’t really studied them. And the social worker said she had read every
word of ours, studied every picture, and she walked over and just like they say, in all
the videos and all the polls, she said, “This is the one.” And that was just — it still makes me emotional. Having her be so sure that we were the ones,
it’s humbling, but it was just, I think, the most reassuring thing that could have
happened. All right. In retrospect, that was ridiculous of me to
not have tissues handy for this whole video. All right, friends, let’s try again. So, she was just really sure. So, after that, we scheduled the time to go
visit with her. That meeting went really well. And it went really well. We sat and we talked for an hour. And then right at the end we talked about
what we wanted the day of the delivery to look like and then we said goodbye. Birth mom went on her way and we talked to
our social worker, just for a minute, about how that conversation had gone. And she’s like, “Yeah, it went really good.” I was like, “Good. That’s what it felt like. Just wanted to make sure.” But that left us with just a few weeks until
her due date; that was in June. And it was so crazy to think because she was
due in July. And instead of talking about months, we were
talking about weeks and we’d never been this close to healthy baby being born and I was
100 percent in spazzing mode. I was spazzing every day. I had the day calculated; like I knew exactly
how many days away she was from her due date. And on top of that, there was just a lot of
uncertainty. Things were changing. She’d go to this appointment, the plan would
change. Go to that appointment, it’d change. Eventually, I was just like, “I’ll plan
for every scenario.” That is eventually when I came down to. I was like, “I will just be ready to go
and I will be ready for anything.” So, there was plans put in place and maybe
you’re more go with the flow than me and you be could hold on to it; I just couldn’t do
it. So, I planned for everything. And at the beginning of July, we got confirmation
that 18th was the go day, whether it was induction or C-section. That was the go date. And you can go watch our birth vlog, if you
want to go see what happened on that day. I actually highly recommend it. That video turned out way better than I thought. Once we got out of the hospital and I downloaded
all that footage, I was like, “All of that was trash. None of that is usable turned out.” I was just sleep deprived. It was great footage. And when I edited it, I think it turned out
really well. Yeah, I’m not going to touch on that. Point is, lots of stuff happened. There a stay in the nursery. We had more time with the birth mom and we
had a girl; that’s the most important part. Evangeline was born happy and healthy. At 6 pounds, 2 ounces on July 18 and she went
right from the O.R. to our arms and it was wonderful. Then once we finally got released from the
hospital, we came home. And during our first post-placement visit,
essentially our social worker told us our lawyer was crap, which is not what you want
to hear when you’re sleep deprived and you just want enjoy your baby. So, we fired our lawyer and hired a new one,
all within a week of her being born. But our new lawyer was freaking fabulous. Again, if you were in the Kansas City area
and looking for an adoption attorney, go ahead and ping me on Instagram and I can give you
her name because she was absolutely fabulous. After that, we file the paperwork we needed. We worked with our lawyer and we went to court
on October 11th, which you can hear more about in my 3-month update. Man, there’s going to be a lot linked videos
in this one. But in our 3-month update is when I talk about
our finalization. We went to court on October 11th. We finalized her adoption and Evangeline Renley
became Evangeline Renley and joined our family. And we are just very, very thankful to have
her. She is certainly the light of most of my days. Honestly, she is the highlight. So, we just love her to absolute bits and
I am happy to be able to share her with my family and friends and take you all along
on the journey as well. So, I wanted to film this video to kind of
close the chapter, since I had an update really in a summary-type video like this since February. And I thought a lot’s happened since February. If you want to join along on the journey and
see how Evangeline grows up and see how our eventual transfers go of our embryos from
IVF, go ahead and hit the “Subscribe” button down below. But until next time, ladies, keep on fighting.

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