Finding Joy in the Journey

Today was a good day.  I am beginning to come out of the fog and I'm seeing so much more light. The valleys and peaks of this emotional roller coaster haven't been as drastic today.  I truly believe that things will work out for our good.  I'm not exactly sure what that will look like or when it will happen, but I believe it.  I also believe that hind sight is 20/20 and I won't fully understand why things happened like they did until much later, until then I am choosing to be happy and hopeful.  I'm choosing to love my boys with all I have and to make this a fun summer to remember for them.  They still ask about "baby sister" and pray for her to come, it's been tricky to explain the situation at an age appropriate level.

Today had a rough spot also.  As a part of the prosecution process I had to create a timeline, write a statement, and submit all of my texts (evidence.)  It was hard to go back and reread the texts between A.L. and I .  It was crazy to see how majority of the texts are her thanking me for doing a good job raising Brody, her telling me how excited she is for our family, and on and on.  Then as soon as she saw her house of cards falling she turned so quickly.  I know in my heart of hearts that the awful things she said to me aren't true.  I know that a lot of what she said to me is most likely a reflection of how she feels about herself.  What hurt is that she said those things because she wanted to hurt me.  It wasn't the words, but the intent behind them.  What is also killing me is that I really don't want to prosecute.  I truly love her and want her to just get it together.  BUT I have to move forward.  I feel like I must protect others from this immense pain.  

I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish she would reach out.  I wish that somehow this could all be made right again.  I want my Brody to have a birth mom he can be proud of, someone that he can someday have a real relationship with, someone he could trust.  

As painful as this process has been, I have decided that it is in the best interest of everyone involved if I forgive her; so I have chosen to just that.  Forgiving her will bring me joy and peace.  Now that doesn't mean that I will forget this or trust her again.  It also doesn't mean that I wish her to not be accountable.  I still want her to take responsibility, I want her to face the consequences of her actions, I am just choosing to not harbor ugly feelings.  I am still sad, in disbelief, and very hurt, but I am not angry.  I keep reminding myself that she must be in an awful place to do something so horrible to so many hopeful families.  I pray for her a lot.  I pray that her heart can heal (because hurt people, hurt people) and I also pray that she will have clarity and the desire to do what is right.  Most of all I pray that she can find a way to be truly happy.  I also pray that no matter how this turns out, that "baby sister" will be in a home where she is loved beyond belief and where she is safe and cherished.


I decided to take this entire weekend to grieve, cry, pout, and pray. Monday morning begins my prosecution process.  I hate it. It kills me that I have to do this. I hate it because on one hand in so incredibly grateful for A.L. for placing Brody in our lives.  On the other hand I'm furious/hurt/frustrated/confused. How could she look him in the eye and tell him his baby sister was coming to our family? Just tonight while snuggling me before bed he said to me, "mom, I want a baby sister."  I then explained to him in the best age appropriate way I know how that the baby sister he thought was coming, isn't."  Although I already told him this he doesn't understand.  My heart is broken for him, my other boys, my husband, and myself.  I'm not even sure where to go from here.

It Got Worse

As if they couldn't be bad enough things have gotten worse. I have received a string of angry hateful texts from A.L.  As her phony deceitful world came crashing down on her she needed someone to blame, she chose me. I tried to fair and reasonable with her but then she kept hitting below the belt and I finally snapped.  I told her we are prosecuting her. I can't let her hurt anyone else the way she has hurt us. If she doesn't get stopped she will continue to do this.  I have finally blocked her number from contacting me.  
One ray of sunshine through this cloud is that the family she scammed most, was placed with a baby girl! I am so happy for them and although I don't know them I've been praying for them. The other family has other children, which although it doesn't make it better, it helps to have little people to wrap your arms around and to pour all your love into.

As for the other other family, they don't exist.  Yes, A.L. was scamming 3 agencies and us, but the very first agency never matched A.L. with a family. So hallelujah for that! I have reached out to the two other mothers via the agencies and I hope they can feel my love. We are in this together.

I've been asked why I announced our adoption before we had the baby. Why would you say something before it's a done deal? What if it fails? What if she changes her mind? Well, here is my honest answer. If I were pregnant I would want to tell everyone as soon as I could. I would want others to celebrate with me, plan with me, and be excited for me! Likewise if I had a miscarriage I would also want the same people to support me and lift me through it and to cry with me.  With this adoption it's no different.  I wanted prayers and well wishes. I also wanted my loved ones to be with me if it failed. So far and most likely it has failed completely. I have been so thankful for the love and well wishes and the prayers I have felt. I can't go through this alone.  I am also not a private person and so sharing my life is just something I do and it helps me.

I am sad, so very sad.  I go from able to speak to crying like a maniac.  This is hard, I hate it.  Although my belief in God and his plan brings me comfort it doesn't take the pain away.  Even though Christ knew the end from the beginning he still mourned with those who mourned and cried with those who cried.  He never said, 'All will be well so stop crying.'  He may have said, 'I'm sorry you're hurting, what can I do for you? Can I cry with you?'  I know time will ease this pain and I just have to be hopeful looking to the future for what God has in store for me.

One thing I haven't mentioned is that Mr.P and I have been on a waiting list to adopt and embryo for a year now.  Last week they called us with 2 genetically tested embryos.  It was finally our turn!  But without hesitation we graciously declined those embryos because we were THAT certain that we were to adopt A.L.'s baby.  The embryos were then passed to the next family on the list.  I am happy for them and also hoping we get chosen again.  Isn't it crazy how time works.  I have to believe that there is a reason for all of this.  

Keep checking for updates because when I get a chance I am going to share some of the text messages. My reason is because most of them are quite flabbergasting and unbelievable, you'd have to read them to believe them!


My Aching Heavy Peacful Heart

I haven't updated my blog in 3 years. I've wanted to, thought about it, and it always stops there...until today.  I have so much on my mind and in my heart that I need to let it fly before I explode.   I recently started a new blog, its less personal and for the most part will stay professional; but what I am about to share is so very personal that I needed to be able to spew whatever is flowing from my heart into fingers.  Before I begin I want to throw out a small HUGE disclaimer.  At the moment I am raw, so very raw, I'm hurting, I’m afraid, and I feel so so so sad.  With that being said, I may say harsh things that I wouldn't normally say or that I might just keep to myself.  Don't be offended, if you are I apologize and you should probably just click off my blog.  This is all coming from a place of hurt and sadness, tomorrow I may hop on here and edit this, who knows?

Now that I have kept you in suspense long enough I will share, here goes-- As most of you who are reading this are aware, we were contacted by my youngest son’s birth mom about a month ago.  She reached out to let us know that she was expecting another child and wants to place her baby with us and it’s a GIRL.  We couldn't have been more excited.  Mr.P (**can't use any of our real names**) and I were both feeling so strongly that this was a direction that we needed to go for our family.  Actually, here, read this, it’s a blog post I wrote the day after we got the call that I hadn’t posted yet:

I don't know if I can hold it in any longer! I might burst, so I'm just going to say it.  WE ARE ADOPTING AGAIN! Our family will be complete in October 2016!

 The other night I was lying in bed on the cusp of sleep when I received a text message. I contemplated for a second to not even look at it until morning, I figured it was a client or something of that nature that could wait until morning.  Curiosity eventually took over and I looked at my phone.  It was a text from my 3rd son’s birth father.  He explained that A.L., my 3rd sons birth mother was expecting and really wanted to talk to me (and that it isn't his baby).  He just kept saying, "CALL HER"! So again curiosity took over and I text her right then at 12:13 AM. She instantly text me back and after texting for 30 minutes she ended up calling me.  We talked for well over an hour.  She explained to me that her situation was less than ideal and that she couldn't care for a baby at this time in her life.  She told me about how she had called a couple of adoption agencies but couldn't ever complete the process because things weren't sitting right.  A.L. then told me since she found out she was expecting a baby she hasn't been able to get me and my 3rd (Brody) off of her mind.  We spoke for an hour and she asked me if we would adopt. Um YES!!!!!!!!

 Our call ended with me making plans to come see her. I will travel 5 hours south with Brody and we are going to go see A.L.  This will be the first time Brody has seen his birth mother since he was born. I am so excited!!

So that was June 25th.  Within days of that Brody and I were in the car and drove to another state to see her.  We had a wonderful visit.  It was fun to watch her interact with Brody.  She would touch her belly and tell Brody that his baby sister is in there and coming to his family.  I took cute photos and videos of the interaction.  We spent that day shopping for baby clothes, shopping for things she needed (at my pleasant expense), and making plans for the baby.  I loved reconnecting with her.  When she was pregnant with Brody she was incarcerated for most of it and we really go to know each other through letters and prison visits.  I developed what I thought was a deep bond with her and of course I just fell in love her.  After Brody was born and after the money ran out we never heard from her again.  (As an adoptive family we paid all of her living expenses and medical bills. We did this from when we met her until 6 weeks post-partum.) It made me sad that we didn't hear from her ever again but I understood.  I was always open to an open adoption with her.  I wanted to share his milestones, cute photos, and the funny things he did.  Although, we had no contact, I always kept her in my heart and on my mind, so you can imagine the excitement I felt just to reconnect with her, with or without a new baby.

After our initial first visit at the end of June, we made a plan to see each other again.  She invited me to her next ultra sound.  AHHH I was so excited to see this sweet baby, hear her heartbeat, and to be a part of this rite of passage in motherhood.  So again, I made plans to drive 5 hours to see her.   She lives in another state but wanted to deliver in Utah.   The plan was for me to drive to where she is, pick her up, bring her to her appointment in Utah, and then take her back home.  I didn't care if she lived across the country, if she needed me I would be there come hell or high water. 

Just this last Wednesday July 14th, I made arrangements for Jay, who had day camp this week and needed to stay behind and then loaded up DC and Brody and we were off!  We also took two babysitters with us from our neighborhood so that they could watch the boys while I went to pick up A.L. and take her to the doctor. 

Brody and DC were excited to see "baby sister" and so we also made a plan for A.L. and I to stop by the hotel at some point in the day for visit. Plus, I always love it when any of my children can make a connection with their birth parents/families.  We also were planning on going shopping for A.L. because she needed toiletries, food and maternity clothes.  I left the hotel early in the morning and drove to the state that she is in.  I stopped and got us breakfast and then procced to her apartment (that she has asked us to pay for and that I was happy to pay for.)  Now this is where things start to get weird.  I arrive at her apartment and call her on the phone to let her know I was there.  (I didn't want to knock on the door and wake up her boyfriend.)  She didn't answer the phone.  Weird, I had text with her that morning already and so I knew she was awake and getting ready.  So I sent her a few text messages.  Finally she responds with, "trying to hurry...and im finishing getting ready..."   I responded with something along the lines of, I don't want you to be late to your appointment and we have a drive ahead of us to get there.  After waiting outside her house for 45 minutes, eventually knocking, and sending more texts, she sends me a message that says something along the lines of, I am just going to reschedule my appointment.  WHAT?!?! Reschedule our appointment?  I drove all this way, made arrangements for my kids, paid for a hotel room, and not to mention--got super excited for this day and see the baby.  She sent me a bunch of mean messages that I had no idea where they could have come from.  She was insulting and cruel to me.  I feel they were unwarranted because we have been nothing but kind and helpful to her.  I have never once said or done anything mean to her.  I have let her take the lead through this process and been nothing but supportive of her.

Sad and frustrated I pulled out of her apartment complex and began to sob. What does this all mean?  Why would she do this?  Why would she say these awful things to me?  What about Brody? She was going to have a visit with him today, didn’t she want to see him?  What about my boys wanting to see baby sister in A.L.'s belly?  Did she change her mind?  Is she high? What is she hiding?  So many questions!  I drove back to Utah sobbing and praying and sobbing and praying.  I pleaded with the Lord to help calm my mind and my heart.  I pleaded with him to help A.L. to be honest with me.  I pleaded with him to help me keep proper perspective.  While praying I felt peace come over me.  It was the same peace I felt when she first asked us to adopt.  Although my heart was still aching, I was still sad and confused, I felt peace.  To me that peace means that the Lord has my back and that however this works out will be for the best.  That’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

With no reason to stay where we were we loaded up and headed back the 5 hours home.  During the drive I received messages from A.L. telling me how stressed out she was etc.  I just kept saying that we were here to help her with the stress and that financially we would try to ease her stress as much as we could.  I cried most of the way home.  My poor babysitters had to listen to me retell the story over and over to my friends and family who called for updates.  I was so exhausted from the whole ordeal that I had to pull over and take a nap. 

Finally, after MANY potty breaks for the 3yr old and a nap for me, we pulled into the driveway.  Just as we pulled into the driveway, my phone rang.  It was from a number I didn't know and it was from the state that A.L. lives in.  Weird.  I answered it and what I heard on the other end of the line will forever be etched into my brain.

It was a woman who identified herself by name and told me that she works with an adoption agency in the state that A.L. lives in.  She proceeds to tell me that A.L. has been matched with a family in their agency who has been financially supporting her.  WHAT!?!?!  It gets worse; the woman who called me also proceeded to tell me that A.L. is scamming two other families, through two other adoption agencies.  We compared stories and notes and holy cow--A.L. has been scamming us all.  To me this is the worst kind of fraud, playing with and preying on peoples most delicate emotions.  A.L. promised this baby to FOUR families (mine included).  Four families have been paying for, praying for, and hopeful for this baby girl.  Oh and the reason she bailed on the doctor appointment yesterday... that was because one of the social workers was onto her and told her that she was going to meet her at the appointment so they could talk.  A.L. bailed because she didn't want me and the social worker in the same place at the same time.  A.L.'s elaborate scam was closing in on her yesterday and that was why I got all of the texts about how stressed she was.  And that apartment that we paid for, well that was also being paid for by another family.  The list of deceit goes on and on and on. 

 I hung up with the adoption agency lady and thanked her profusely for figuring this all out and for contacting me.  And then I began to cry like nothing I’ve ever done before.  I fell to the floor like a puddle.  I was hyperventilating, dry heaving, and screaming in intense emotional pain.  I called my neighbor, the same neighbor that had let me take her girls with me to babysit my boys on our trip to see A.L.  I called her and barely could speak, she knew I needed her and she came immediately.  She fell to the floor with me, wrapped me in her arms and held me while I cried.  At some point I called my husband and he came running home to be with me.  My sweet neighbor called her 3 teenage girls over who swooped in took care of my kids and cleaned my house.  My bestie, Lisa, also came over and helped me talk through this whole terrible mess.  I am thankful for wonderful friends and neighbors.

The worst part of this is that I know three other mothers will be in a puddle of tears and anguish today as they get the same call I got.  Three other families will be heartbroken and devastated.  Truly, this isn’t fair. 

Now for my rant-- How could she do this to anyone, but especially me?  Someone that she knows, someone that she has a relationship with, someone that adopted one of her other children.  How could she look at my sweet baby boy and tell him that a baby sister is coming to his family.  How can anyone pull off this elaborate scheme and live with themselves?   Who uses their unborn child as a pawn like this? I didn't add that after all of this was exposed she admitted to me over text, "This is trying to survive in a harsh tough life.."  She also said she is doing what she needs to do survive.  I fear that she packing up and relocating to another state where she can start this process all over again with another unsuspecting family.  Although she is on the scam registry I think she will find a way to circumvent that by finding a private family.  She *claims* that she still wants to place with us.  Who knows?  I can't believe a word she says right now.  She has looked me in the eye and lied to my face.  Also, I'm sure her tune will change when she realizes that we will NOT be putting out one red cent more.  So as this story continues to unfold I continue to cry.  I still feel the same peace in my heart knowing that the Lord is ultimately in control and that is the only thing grounding me right now. 

I will continue to update as they updates come.