Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mami and Papi

Mami y Papi

Today I heard the most beautiful sound… We went to drop Daniela off at my mom’s, her father Daniel is a wonderful cook. He made soup for us all, we sat, ate, talked and had a wonderful time. Daniela has been particularly clingy and she was adorable as always, in spite of being exhausted. When it was finally time to leave, Daniel surprised me, surprised us all, when he told Daniela, “Kiss Mami and Papi goodbye…” My heart skipped a beat. It was such a beautiful sound. It was the most beautiful thing I had heard in a while. I realize I cannot let the hope in my heart carry me away, but I enjoyed the moment thoroughly nonetheless.

Earlier while we were all talking, Daniel told us that his eye sight is getting worse. That he doesn’t go out at night because he can’t distinguish things in the dark. As his health gets worse, I know he is thinking more of Daniela. Please say a prayer with us that Daniela can be taken care of. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fasting and Prayer

Our family will be having a fast and prayer tonight because another opportunity to adopt Daniela has presented itself. We believe strongly in the power of prayer and fasting. We are praying to have the Lord guide this process and support all of the adults in Daniela's life to do what is in her best interest. That our hearts will be touched and illuminated in what the Lord would have us do. We invite you to join our family in fasting and prayer. We know there is strength, comfort and illumination when hearts and spirits are united in fasting and prayer. Our hearts are tender and full in gratitude and supplication. Thanks for being part of our miracle in adoption.

Heart felt thanks,

Glen, Claudia and the boys...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Leaps and Bounds!

I’m here in beautiful Moab,Utah staying at the Red Cliffs Lodge for training. Our family usually makes a mini vacation out of it, but this year parent teacher conferences really messed that up for us. The last couple of weeks have been full of learning experiences and opportunities that our Father in Heaven has really taught us how to lean into him. The Lord has been so aware of us, the feelings we have had and continue to go through. This has been an amazing journey, I feel like I have finally taken control back where my infertility left me feeling helpless and not in control. Because the bottom line is, when you have infertility, you are definitely not in control.

As we have embarked on this journey of adoption to grow our family I have learned that being actively engaged in searching for our child gives me a sense of control over my infertility. More importantly, we are on a serious quest to find the rest of our family. If your child were lost, what would you do to find him/her? To what lengths would you go? I feel like our child is waiting for us to find him or her. I feel like I cannot leave any stone unturned when searching. I am grateful I am on this journey now that I am older because I am more mature and secure. I feel very little insecurity speaking to people about our active search for a child. Glen has been nothing short of an angel. He has his own feelings he works through and we get to share them together. We are often 2 sides of the same coin. We end up feeling very similarly or we are a support when one of us is feeling less strong. It has brought Glen and me closer together. The other great milestone we have come to is we now have an official case worker. Her name is Kris Hofelinger-Carpenter with LDS Family Services. If you know anyone who is contemplating adoption please keep us in mind and contact Kris Carpenter at 801-240-9436 or at We are excited to be working with Kris, she has been wonderful, supportive and informative.

We also had Daniela in our home recently for a visit! It was nice having her again after so many weeks of not seeing her. We fell back into our routine and it was like she had never left. When we came to get her we all could see how much she missed us. Of course we all missed each other. I’m so glad we get to visit with her and again and It’s our prayer that she can come join our forever family. I’m including the most recent picture of Dani from our most recent visit. She is getting so big!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Good news!

We have wonderful news. We officially have a caseworker for our adoption! I feel relieved that we finally have someone that birthmoms can speak to and receive the services they need. I am so grateful! Things are moving right along. So what does this mean for us? Having a case worker allows us to offer birth moms someone to help them through the adoption process including providing services they may be in need of. It allows us to get our homestudy done and be prepared for any adoption situation that may become available. We are creeping along, but moving forward. Keep the prayers coming (they work!) and keep us in mind if you hear of any situations. Thanks for your love and support!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's late but...

It's late but I cannot sleep... I am missing Dani, I already miss the boys terribly because we had such a relaxing weekend together. My heart is tender and I find myself going down memory lane, wondering what new memories are coming our way... new memories that hopefully will include a sweet angel in our lives, in the meantime, here are some pictures of the sweet angels in my life already....

Me and my brother in a galaxy far, far I think Dani and I look a bit a like...

The man that puts a smile on my face...

Glen and I just after our honeymoon... 

One of my favorites...

Glen and I after we were sealed for time and all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple...

We were so

Walking out to great our family and friends...

I never get tired of looking into his eyes...

That's my handsome guy...

This is the smile Glen puts on my face every day...

Our Family... Hoping to add more angels...

Grandpa and Sophia... I miss my dad today too... 

My mom is my biggest Angel whenever my kids tell me I'm a good mom, I always tell them it's because of Grandma

This was a great trip to Guatemala. I hope to take the boys there one day. Sweet memories of a great trip....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mending Our Broken Hearts Through The Process...

I realize that sometimes others can say what I am thinking or feeling better than I can. They are much more eloquent. I think this comes from flip flopping between English and Spanish all of my life. I wouldn’t change being bilingual for anything, but I do forget my words every once in a while. Some things just sound better in English or in Spanish, so I will often say things in Spanish to my husband or stepsons and then repeat it in English (if I can remember all the so they know what I am saying. It always amazes me how they know what I am saying, even before I repeat it in English. One more thing I find totally amazing about the boys.

Anyways, like I was saying, sometimes others can say what I am thinking or feeling better than I can. I spoke with the chair person of Families Supporting Adoption
(FSA), so I could volunteer. As I began telling her about myself and our family’s journey through adoption, we both realized that there are many things about adoption that leave us speechless. Sometimes there are no words to describe the feelings that you go through. The joys/excitement are as intense as the pain/sadness is deep and there really are no words sometimes to explain it, unless you’re speaking to someone else who has gone or is going through the same thing. I ran across an adoption blog and found these sweet words of truth that describe this process of adoption, and the personal growth that comes as we have allowed the Lord to lead us in this journey.

“You see, I think many, like me, start the adoption process believing they are going to save a broken-heart, and then we miss God's agenda to mend our own broken hearts through the process. Every single setback, every one of our hurdles, was all for the glory of God in our lives. There was beauty which came forth from each impasse. That said, the pain I felt in relation to those hurdles and setbacks was directly linked to the fears in my own heart from which God wanted me to be free. Adoption is multi-layered. God works every angle -- in their hearts and ours. This is part of why I love it so much.”

I know that the Lord is aware of our struggles and our feelings. The process of mending my own broken heart is necessary and painful. He wants me and our family, to let go of our broken hearts and be refined through this process. Such depths of emotions only our Savior knows them all perfectly. I am grateful for these experiences, that as we go through these experiences as a family, we learn about each others feelings and forgive each others humanity. What an amazing journey our family gets to go through. I keep saying this to Glen, “How did I get so lucky??!!!”

Monday, February 20, 2012

Below the Surface...Finding Deep Strength

Well, to my dear friend @Debbie that thinks I am positive all the time, this weekend is proof positive that I am I had to have "the talk" with my boys to explain to them why I have been so emotional and why this weekend in particular I am a hot mess. They are so loving and patient. I feel bad that I am so human sometimes. But, they know they are loved, and that I am human, and hopefully that will help them someday along their journey. This weekend I have been feeling quite overwhelmed that we will never find a baby. That things won't work out and that there is so much to do. My dear friend @Debbie reminded me that the Lord brings to us exactly what we need, when we need it. That he is aware of us and our desires, even when we think we have forgotten what we really want, sometimes because we are afraid to wish for that we want the most because of the pain or loss we feel when it doesn't come. I am grateful to my dear friends who remind me that it's okay to be human, (you can't do anything to change that at this point)... and that I am stronger than I think I am when I feel most vulnerable. Thanks Sherri, for reminding me to keep digging for deeper strength. I would only add, that under the surface and on my journey down there for deeper strength, is the Lord, who helps me cut through the ice, resistance and pride and reminds me that from the His well my strength is deepened. Love you Girl...!

This ones just for you Lady!..
Below the Surface ...Finding Deep Strength

When we look back on our lives we see that we have survived many trials and often to our own amazement.

We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressure mounts beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves thinking that we do not have the strength to carry on. Sometimes we have just gotten through a major obstacle or illness only to find another one waiting for us the moment we finally catch our breath. Sometimes we endure one loss after another, wondering when we will get a break from life’s travails. It does not seem fair or right that life should demand more of us when we feel we have given all we can, but sometimes this is the way life works.

When we look back on our lives, we see that we have survived many trials and surmounted many obstacles, often to our own amazement. In each of those instances, we had to break through our ideas about how much we can handle and go deeper into our hidden reserves. The thought that we do not have the strength to handle what is before us can be likened to the hard surface of a frozen lake. It appears to be an impenetrable fact, but when we break through it, we find that a deep well of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that icy barrier the whole time. Sometimes we break through by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower, and sometimes we melt the ice with compassion for our predicament and ourselves. Either way, each time we break through, we reach a new understanding of the strength we store within ourselves.

When we find ourselves up against that frozen barrier of thinking we cannot handle our situation, we may find that the kindest choice is to love ourselves and our resistance too. We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and stretched, and we can offer ourselves loving kindness and compassion. If we can extend to ourselves the unconditional warmth of a mother’s love, before we know it, the ice will begin to break.

Friday, February 17, 2012

All I can do is keep moving forward…

Today all I want to do is keep moving forward. I am energized to get applications finished and submitted. I still need to get all of the documentation, but the actual applications will be done. My mama’s instinct has been triggered today. I have been feeling a sense of urgency to get things moving. I would really like to see us move a bit closer towards finding our little angel. I find it pretty amazing how things fall into place. It’s wonderful.  I thought I would take a moment and add some pictures of our family. I am so excited to see our boys for the long weekend. What a treat!

This will be our first weekend without Daniela in a few months. It will be so strange to not have her home. The boys are saddened by their own sense of loss. Today I am feeling the ache in my arms to be holding our little angel. It’s funny how my batteries recharge when the kids are home, and Daniela was like a super charged battery! Our youngest said, “I love being around Daniela because she is always smiling and laughing and it makes me want to smile and laugh too!” Who could be bummed around that kind of sunshine!?

I hope the weather is nice so we can go outside to do something fun. I can feel spring coming and I am ready for it! Everything is bright and shiny and green. Spring is life’s way of saying, “it’s time to start anew.” Hope and faith are rekindled. What a blessing.

Tres Amigos....

Look at my handsome boys!

Daniela, we will miss having you...

Daniela meeting our fur baby Charlie. They get along so great!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Prayer For Stepmoms...

I needed this today...

A Prayer For Stepmoms

Lord, help me to be a good stepmother… give me the patience of a saint, the strength of an ox, and the skin of a rhinoceros.

Help me to understand why their mother would rather believe her children are suffering at the hands of an evil stepmother than being loved by a kind, responsible adult who brings them happiness.

Let me be content in my knowledge that children have an unlimited supply of love to give.

Keep me from reminding their mother that my presence in their lives does not take away the love they feel for her as she fails to understand that a child’s love multiplies and does not divide.

Help me in the constant struggle to find my role in the children’s lives, somewhere “below” a parent but “above” an aunt or family friend. Accordingly, help me to appropriately and accurately represent our relationship when in public.

If someone calls them my children or me their mother, guide me in how I am to respond… let me know if I am overstepping my bounds by remaining silent or disowning them by correcting the assumption.

Help me keep my patience, even while dropping my plans at a moment’s notice when their “real” parents are busy… and when their mother tells my husband “she is not their mother!” and “why can’t she watch them?” in the same conversation, give me the strength to keep from going over the brink of hysteria.

Help me to know when and how I should discipline the children without exceeding my authority or taking too passive a role.

Lead me from the temptation of spoiling them in the vain hope that they will accept me and not resent my presence.

If a time comes when I disagree with how they are being raised, make me keep silent and not object in spite of the fact that they live in my home. Help me to have the premonitions of a psychic and the perception of a mind reader.

Give me the ability to anticipate all potential problems and to accept the fact that they will usually be my fault.

Make sure I am always ready with some cash in my pocket for surprise expenses and the time to drive somebody somewhere at the drop of a hat.

Remind me that if I have a moment to catch my breath, I have probably forgotten something, and when I finally remember what it is, do not let me assume one of the “real” parents is taking care of it.

Help me to forget that in spite of devoting the time, money, stress and energy required in raising my stepchildren, I will not shop for prom dresses, be the mother of the bride or dance with the groom.

Remind me that maybe, some day, the children will give me a second thought and remember something positive about me from their childhoods.

Let them gain something from having known me, no matter how small or insignificant, and let something, anything I did make them each a better person, whether they realize it or not.

Becoming Mama.... Head First

I am creating this blog as a labor of love. Love for my family and our hopes to see it grow through adoption. When I got married, I was 35, never been married, never had children and I fell head first into the most amazing adventure I have ever been on. I have always said my life has never been boring. Don't get me wrong, I am not talking about drama, I mean life has been more like going on a roller coaster or haunted house where I don't know what's going to happen next, sometimes I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants, and often times there is a lot of laughing, crying, and just plain old bumps in the road. Thank goodness, there are a few constants in my life that steady me. My husband and my Father in Heaven. Both have been my rock and while one suffers from his humanity like I do, the other gives us the eternal perspective that keeps us on track. I believe that the Lord has a plan for each of us, a purpose and meaning in life, and that we can all return as a family to live in God's presence someday. This eternal perspective, seeing ourselves and each other as our Father sees us, is what helps me and my family navigate through this adventure. I look forward to sharing some of my observations and experiences in hopes of reaching out to others who may find themselves in similar circumstances. I know I am not alone.

I heard someone say in church on Sunday, "Don't just settle for being good, be good for something." I hope this blog can be a little bit "good for something".