Hoping to Adopt: Cypert Family

After having been married for a few years, we decided to stop taking birth control and get down to business. Steve was getting closer to 40, and I was getting closer to my mid 30’s. We wanted kids, so we agreed that we had better start working on it. And work on it we did.3000684_206
The work was good, but when there were no fruits of our labors, we started looking into our options. We met with an adoption agency and we also got some doctors involved with our baby-making business. About two years later, we were blessed to have a child with the help of IVF. After our son turned 2 we decided we wanted another baby. Once again we had to get doctors involved. But after a few blood tests we decided to move forward with adoption instead. We knew, and had felt prior to our infertility diagnosis, that adoption would be a part of our lives. We are so excited to move on with our next adventure of expanding our family and could not feel more blessed to have adoption be a part of it!

More of the Cypert Family.

Adoption Update: Ebersole Family

Do you all remember this story from last year? Brandi was adopted and then was also blessed with the chance to adopt into her own little family!

adoptionweek A year later and our tribe has grown. Last year we were at the starting gate of our open-adoption, when we wrote this: An adoption story: Ebersole Tribe. Now we have a singing and dancing one year-old and two amazing birth parents who have both come to visit. As an adoptee this makes my heart sing.Open Adoption Tips

Being a Korean adoptee, I haven’t had much connection to race or culture. I always wondered and dreamt of my own birth mother. I have tried to connect with her, but have been unsuccessful. Nonetheless, having an open adoption has given me a stronger identity and my hope is that it will redefine what it means to be an adoptee for my daughter.Open Adoption Tips

Vera-lou’s birthmother, Mama T, as we call her, is a huge gift. She has given me a view into a part of my adoption story I wouldn’t ever have had. The birthmother’s perspective. She has allowed me to see first hand the pain of labor and the loss of leaving the hospital empty-handed. This whole year she’s allowed me in on some of her grief. She’s given me a deeper respect and admiration for my own birth mother. Sometimes it’s hard, to watch her. Like when she came to visit, knowing the courage and love it took to come see us. Then the pain, she experienced during her visit. As it was really the only space she had to truly process and celebrate her choice, since a large portion of her family still does not know about Vera-lou. It was beautiful to see Mama T, rejoice in the things she wouldn’t have been able to give Vera-lou and watching her soak in all the love people have for our little lady. Mama T is extraordinary and is also one of my favorite fellow adoptees. We love to share stories of growing up adopted and use our experiences to navigate our boundaries with each other for our sweet little lady.Open Adoption Tips

We also had a great experience with Vera-lou’s birth-father, Padre J. This kind and sensitive young man, flew to visit us even though he had never met us. And when he met his birth daughter for the first time, she took his breath away and his eyes filled with tears. Padre J, played tirelessly on the floor with his Lou-lou girl and made her laugh like no other. He did his own processing while he was here and thanked us for giving Vera-lou such a lovely life. We dreamt together of what him being apart of our tribe will look like in the coming years and promised each other to always be honest and honor the boundaries established. It is encouraging to see how he desires to be involved in our baby’s life for this is often not the case. Padre J wants to know everything and loves to share her pictures with his family.

Open Adoption Tips

If you are considering adoption or in the waiting, it is easy to fear the unknowns. But from an adult adoptee, having an open adoption is a lot of work but the answers and identity you will give your child will be such a gift. It’s not always attainable but if it is be brave for your baby. Allow your heart to be open to help heal the loss your child will one day face. I cannot really predict what our open adoption will look like in twenty years. But we will let Vera-lou lead this open-adoption journey, for its about her. Both birth-parents know this and understand, we will continue to grow and live out this crazy adventure of the Ebersole Tribe.Open Adoption Tips

For more of our journey please visit ebersoletribe.wordpress.org

Photography: www.ebersolephotography.com

Hoping to Adopt: Evan and Jen

We have been married for almost 5 years and wanted to start our family shortly after we were married. Over some years of trying we were told we struggle with infertility. Though different procedures with numerous doctors we were able to become pregnant! When someone tells you you have fertility issues, it’s really discouraging and you automatically think it’ll never happen, so you can imagine the excitement when it did! However, at 24 weeks, I started having problems, and a week later our sweet little boy was born. He was perfect and absolutely beautiful, weighing only 1 pound and measuring 11 inches long. He lived for 40 hours. It was devastating, but we helped each other through the toughest days and we believe our marriage is stronger because of it. About a year later, and after visiting specialists, we decided it was the right thing for us to adopt! DSC_0352eAfter we made that decision we felt so good and it felt we were on the right path again for starting our family. We can’t wait to be “matched”. We are hoping for an open adoption and are so excited to meet the different people this adoption journey is going to bring into our lives. Our home study is complete and we are just trying to keep our selves busy day to day and do everything in our power to spread the word! Feel free to check out and also share our Facebook page on your own profiles and timelines. The more exposure we get, the closer we are to having a family! Thank you!

Find more of Evan and Jen on Facebook and their Blog.

Adoption Story: Gainer Family

Today’s story just might break your heart. If there’s one thing that we’ve learned throughout doing this series it is that even before we choose these sweet babies it seems they have already chosen us. So proud to know people like the Gainers who make the hard decisions for all the right reasons. We can’t wait until you get to hold little Daphne in your arms again!adoptionweekMy name is Rachel, and I’m an adoptive mother of five–four on earth and one in heaven. I have three girls (ages 7 and 4 + my angel) and two boys (age 2). My boys are two months apart; they are my twins through adoption. All of my children have special stories, but today, I’ll just focus on our second child, Daphne.Gainer Family

Daphne was born on January 20, 2011, in Birmingham, Alabama, and immediately placed for adoption with an agency in Utah. Shortly after birth, she was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that prevented blood from returning to her lungs to receive oxygen and resulted in a severely underdeveloped right ventricle—essentially leaving her with half a heart.

On Monday, January 24, our adoption agency contacted us about two situations. The first was a healthy baby girl in Virginia, and the second was Daphne. Will and I hadn’t planned on adopting a baby with special needs; in fact, when we learned about Daphne and her life-threatening heart defect, we felt terrified and inadequate. At first, we convinced ourselves that the healthy baby in Virginia was a safer, more logical choice, but we couldn’t forget about Daphne, and we knew she was meant for our family. We were afraid, but we were also confident we were making the right decision.Gainer Family

Two days later, I flew to Alabama so that I could be with Daphne for her first heart surgery. The first moment I saw her, she was sleeping peacefully in a clear, enclosed incubator. She weighed just 4 lb. 9 oz. and was 17 in. long. She was so tiny and beautiful. She captured my heart from the very first moment.

We spent every day in Alabama snuggling in a rocker, our mobility limited by various tubes and cords. Daphne was a calm, content baby, who cried only when she was hungry or angry about being poked and prodded by the nurses. She loved to be swaddled and wailed when she was unwrapped. She was a greedy and speedy eater, a rare blessing in a heart baby.

For the first two weeks of her life, Daphne’s cheeks and eyelids were so puffy that she couldn’t open her eyes all the way. When the swelling finally disappeared and she fully opened her eyes for the first time, she looked completely shocked by her surroundings. After a while, her eyes took on a more curious and questioning appearance. She seemed to be appraising and studying her world and the people in it. I loved those amazing eyes!Gainer Family

Daphne underwent her first heart surgery when she was two weeks old. When I saw her after surgery, she was swollen, sedated, and surrounded by cords and monitors. But she had made it, and I was filled with joy and peace.

After almost a month in Alabama, we took a commercial flight home. A few days after we arrived in Utah, Daphne began showing signs that her heart wasn’t circulating enough oxygen. She was admitted to Primary Children’s Medical Center for observation and tests. After a week, it was clear she wasn’t doing well, so the medical team decided to take her back into the operating room to redo her first surgery. But when the doctor arrived to deliver this news, he discovered that Daphne had made a miraculous recovery, and he decided to send her home without surgery.

We enjoyed two incredible weeks at home as a family. Our oldest daughter, Shelby, loved helping me take care of Daphne. She insisted on holding Daphne’s bottle during feedings and pushed my hand away if I tried to help. When Daphne fussed, she offered her a pacifier and whispered comforting words. Despite Daphne’s 50-foot oxygen cord and bulky pulse-ox monitor, Shelby loved her sister and did everything she could to make her feel comfortable in this world.Gainer Family

After two weeks, Daphne began to decline again, and she was readmitted to Primary Children’s. This was her last trip to the hospital. She passed away on March 18, 2011, just hours after her second heart surgery. Daphne’s life on earth lasted just 58 days, but she left an everlasting mark on our hearts.

After losing Daphne, I was afraid my heart would be closed for a very long time, that having more children might not be in my future. But just one month after Daphne passed away, my husband and I had the opportunity to adopt our third daughter, Phoebe. And less than two years later, I got the wonderfully crazy idea to adopt two babies back-to-back, and we welcomed two boys, Noah and Jaimen, into our home. Adoption has been a wonderful blessing in my life. But we have also faced our share of disappointment and heartache. I am so grateful for the lessons I have learned and for the joy we have discovered in the journey.
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Foster to Adoption: Popenberg Family

Today we are happy to feature a side to adoption we haven’t shared yet, and that is Adoption through Foster Care! Thank you to the Popenbergs for sharing so much great information with us on this!

adoptionweek

“Foster care and adoption were always something in the back of my mind from a very early age. My family was like that, we took in kids and family members all the time. In 2007, newly married and recently transplanted to Columbus, OH, I happened upon a presentation at the State House put on by Franklin County Children Services. Grabbing some pamphlets I took them home to my husband, Nick, so that I could convince him that this could be something to look into. We didn’t have any kids of our own yet and we had time and energy to give to a child in need. Popenberg Family on Foster CareThat next January we started the process to become foster parents. I always tell my friends that show interest in foster care that it’s really no walk in the park. There is a lot of paperwork and classes to take before you can become licensed and although Nick and I, being Navy Vets, were used to paperwork I could see where the process could seem daunting. There is a background check, fingerprinting, home study, letters of recommendation and all the classes which took us around 7 months to get through. In the beginning of August we received our license for Foster to Adopt care, about two weeks later we were picking up little Jaren from the hospital. Getting an infant is not typical, and getting a child as quickly as us isn’t either, and that is the first thing they say when classes start. We were very lucky and blessed to have gotten the call for Jaren!

https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/foster-care/
Now every agency is different and had different guidelines concerning the process to terminate parental rights. In the case of our sons, both of the biological parents had multiple other children who had been or were currently in foster care. Although reunification with the family is always the initial goal, the time frame for them to make progress on their case plan went from one year to 6 months. When Jaren was 6 months old, Children’s Services started the very long process of asking the court to terminate the parental rights so that we could adopt. During this time, we were again blessed as we added Asher to our family. Jaren and Asher are full biological brothers and have lived with us since birth. They had very minimal family contact with the exception of an older half sister who they love and adore to this day and an older half brother with medical issues, but a wonderful family who loves to keep up with the boys. A couple weeks over three years after Jaren was born parental rights were terminated and the boys were officially put up for adoption. We worked as hard and as fast as we could to get all of our stuff in order and two months later we were sitting in a room with a judge and social workers changing names and becoming legal! A few months after this, I was pregnant with our third boy, Beau and this January we welcomed our fourth boy, Gage.Popenberg Family on Foster Care
We are now a happy family full of boys who love each other more than anything. There is always some concern about issues that could come up later due to the circumstances of their birth, but we are taking that one step at a time. Foster care was tough on us, but it made the end result all the more wonderful and if I can convince Nick again, I hope we can become foster parents once more!”

If you want more details on Fostering a child head here!

Photography – Angie Arthur and Stephanie’s Creations Photography