Monday, May 23, 2011

REPOSTING: the miracle that was seneca.

I have had a few wonder how to find the story about how Seneca joined our family. I have reposted my original account below. I must say that this blogging world is amazing to me. There are dear friends who have never actually met Seneca but have watched her grow up on this blog. It sounds strange, but I know they love her and know our family. Diane commented on this post four years ago that she was anxious to watch Seneca’s life unfold as she had Cooper’s. I am grateful for the love and support we felt during this awesome time and that it continues today. Senny’s birthday isn’t until Wednesday, but this time of year just belongs to her and the reminder of miracles and joy that she brought to our home. We are hoping to adopt again and as we exercise faith that the right little one will find us, it is helpful for me to remember that it all happens according to our faith and Heaven’s timeline. original post found here.

Last night we brought home the newest member of our family, little Seneca Kate Robinson.

She is such a sweet, beautiful baby that took a slightly unconventional way to make her way to our home, but she's right where she belongs and we love her like crazy.

I'll start at the beginning considering none of this amazing experience has been recorded yet and I don't want to forget the sequence of events or the strong feelings that were shared in the last few weeks. It's long, but it's for me. Read on if you wish.

Friday, May 18 I called the Navajo Social Service office to check the status of our adoption certification. J, the Navajo worker assigned to our case said the certification was waiting on a signature from her supervisor, who was traveling this week. J could tell I was trying to be patient as the process should have been completed a few weeks earlier and reassured me that she was as anxious as I was for her supervisor to take care of things because they had had a family inquire about us. She had my attention. She said she had a request for a family that was both Navajo and LDS. She said that the family wanted to know if we were "temple recommends." She had no idea what she was asking, but I knew exactly what this family wanted to know. I told her quickly, "yes, my husband and I both hold temple recommends." Ok, would it be alright if she faxed us a release form giving permission for them to share our profile with this family? Of course it would!

Monday, May 21 I received a fax and signed that our records could be turned over to the requesting party, LDS Family Services in Las Vegas. Not more than two hours later, B, a social worker from LDS Family Services called and it was brought to my attention how rare the combination of a Navajo background combined with an LDS religious affiliation in an adoptive couple was. Apparently they had been searching for the majority of this birth mother's pregnancy for a family with those two criteria and had no luck. The birth mother had begun to come to terms that she just may need to be a single mother and raise this baby herself as she had not found the right family for her little girl, who was due any day. B asked permission to share our profile with the birth mother and after my eager consent, she said,"now, what about the possibility of you coming to meet her? If she wanted to meet with you, do you think you could come to Las Vegas?" Of course! The call ended, B promising to keep me posted.

Tuesday, May 22 B informed me that the birth mother had had just a short while to look over our file and wanted to meet us. The catch? The meeting would have to be tomorrow morning as she is due any day and the social worker would be out of the office Thursday and Friday. I called Denten, gave him the update, he wrapped up some things at work and was home by noon ready for a road trip to Vegas. Following B's advice, we took Cooper with us as he is a pretty integral part of our little family. We packed a few things, stopped at an electronics store for a portable DVD player, and headed out of town. We spent the short night at Denten's Uncle Jules and Aunt Virna's home (thanks for the hospitality on such short notice!).

Wednesday May 23 we made our way to the LDS Family Services office with butterflies in our stomachs. We spent an hour with D, the mother-to-be, her sister whom she was living with, the sister's son and B, the social worker. We tried to share the important things about our family, which is not an easy thing to do. How do you put into one hour, all the amazing things about your family without sounding conceited? Good thing Denten was there! We really do have an amazing family who values our relationships with each other, the culture and heritage we are proud to be a part of, our dear friends, education, athletics and the gospel of Jesus Christ. We shared pictures of our extended family with D and wanted her to understand that we appreciated the fact that the decision she was making was enormous and she was welcome to contact us with any questions or concerns she might have. The spirit was so strong while we were visiting. D is a very quiet woman who had clearly been carrying some heavy stuff around with her, but she had been prayerful through this process and certainly had help from above guiding her through this time in her life.

After we said good-bye and stepped out, we met with the director of the agency to discuss the complicated logistics that would be present if this adoption were to occur. Social worker B stayed with D for a few minutes to discuss her impression of our visit. She joined us shortly and informed us, with no warning whatsoever, that D had chosen us. That's what she said. "She chose you." AAhh! What do I do with the information when it's not quite appropriate to jump up and down, and I have a zillion questions? I asked, "really?" Yes, she said you were perfect. B asked her to email us and let us know of her decision herself, but didn't want us to have to wait through the long weekend wondering how the visit went. We discussed the specifics of how things would work considering both tribal laws and state laws would be factored in and that could be a little tricky. We left that day with a feeling that would attend us for the next couple of weeks: we were so excited, yet cautious to be too hopeful as nothing was secure.

Friday, May 25 Unbeknownst to us, or either agency, D delivered a beautiful baby girl she called Kate. She was 8 lbs. 2 oz., 19 inches long, and had a head of dark hair. The delivery went smoothly and the baby received the necessary tests and passed with flying colors. D took her sweet girl home and had a few days of peace before anyone knew she had come into the world.

Note: Memorial Day weekend is incredibly long when waiting for this kind of news. People are off gallivanting and enjoying themselves while we pretend life is normal and wait for potentially life-changing news...

Tuesday, May 29 We learn that the baby had arrived and that under the Indian Child Welfare Act, the birth mother has ten days before she can sign anything terminating her parental rights. D was given three choices as to what to do with her baby during the 10-day period. First, she can keep the baby with her, second, she can place her in a temporary christian facility on the reservation, third, she can place the baby with us as we are certified to be a temporary foster placement. D chose number one, to keep the baby with her, which made everyone nervous wondering if that meant she was considering changing her mind. She said she wasn't changing her mind and again we wait. Another long few days.

Friday, June 1 I called the tribe for an update seeing as the ten day period will be up at the beginning of the week. J informed us that she has made arrangements to meet D in Las Vegas to take care of paperwork in one week, next Friday. Next Friday?! Why, exactly, are we waiting so long? Because J has some trainings next week and can't get to Nevada before then. AAhh! A training is keeping us from this little baby we have waited for for so long? Don't worry they tell me as they have spoken with D and she has agreed to keep the baby a few extra days. Most would be nervous about this as well- typically the longer a birth mother has her baby, the less chance there is of her actually placing the baby for adoption. This is her call though, and if it is to be, it will happen. We make arrangements to head to Vegas again in a week.

Lest it sound as if I'm complaining too much, it is very apparent to us that Heavenly Father's hand has been present throughout this entire process. Through my temporal impatience I am aware that events unfolded exactly how they were supposed to for both our family and the birth mother. While at times I did not understand why the time line was what it was, I had a steady calm that all would be as it should be. Too many things fell into place too perfectly for it to be called coincidence. The moment our certification was ready, LDS family services calls looking for a family just like us, days before this sweet baby was born? Faith brings about results.

We were very tentative to share much of this with anyone as nothing was secure or permanent, but we were so excited at the possibility. We spent the week quietly preparing for the possibility of a baby, talking to Cooper about a new little sister and making arrangements for the trip.

Thursday June 6 my mom arrived to stay with Cooper and Denten and I leave once again for Las Vegas. We've got 5 hours to talk about how this is going to go down, whether it's really going to go as we both hope, what her name might be and mostly how on earth this new life change is going to fit into the craziness of a new business that has been the focus of my life for the past few weeks. All options are discussed and we remind each other once again that as we look at the big picture of our lives, there are so many things that led up to this baby joining our family at this time that if D feels good about this decision, then this little girl is supposed to be ours and we'll make things work somehow.

I know that three failed in vitro attempts are not simply mistakes. I know that I might have been pushing things a little the first time here in Phoenix, being a little stubborn thinking that I've got to do all I can if we're going to have another baby. It's easy to see the reason things went wrong in both Phoenix and Utah, but New York has been a bit of a mystery. We did a cycle of IVF in New York in October and it went perfectly. We believe we were working with one of the best clinics in the country, with a dr. that knows me, my body and the process very well. I responded to the medications just as I should have, produced plenty of healthy eggs, the retrieval went smoothly, denten's contribution was strong, we had a good number of healthy embryos and the transfer couldn't have gone better. Scientifically, the entire process went textbook perfect. It was a surprise and disappointment to many that I wasn't pregnant. I have spent significant time with my Father in Heaven trying to understand this and have come to the conclusion that there was a baby meant for our family that needed to get to us and it just may not be through me. I had to go through a failed attempt in new york in order to be completely open to the idea of adoption. We have talked about it, but it was always a second option, not something I was willing to embrace fully if I was able to conceive a child. I came to the understanding that there really was someone out there trying to get to us and we needed to open a few more doors. Looking back, this little girl was already conceived and on her way to us when we were in New York. I just needed some help knowing how to get her here. We both felt at peace applying for adoption through the Navajo tribe for several reasons and yet expected the process to take quite a few months.

Getting back to Seneca's journey to our home- Denten and I spent Thursday evening with butterflies in our stomachs as we enjoyed a child-free night at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. We ate great food, did a little shopping and wandering around and then settled into our room for a night that felt like Christmas for excited anxious children. What are you supposed to do the night before you meet your hope-to-be daughter? We both tossed and turned and eventually got a little rest.

Friday June 8 J from the tribe called and said that after talking to birth mom D that things were still happening as planned. Oh, I needed that phone call! A bit of anxiety subsided and we prepared to meet them at a hospital in Henderson where a notary was present and medical records could be released. We arrived 30 minutes early and sat quietly in the car waiting for a call that they were ready for us inside. That was another 30 minutes praying that dear D would continue feeling at peace about this decision if it was His will and that Denten and I would be able to feel a connection to this child and love the real thing as much as we loved the idea of her.

We were in the lobby as social worker J, birth mom D carrying the baby, and her sister came toward us. As we stood the emotions were so strong. D and I were both crying and trying to be strong. She introduced us to her baby and we fell in love immediately. We spent about an hour with them asking questions of D about her experience, the baby and her schedule. She had a few questions for us and we wanted to be sure that she felt completely at peace with her decision and wouldn't have any regrets later. She is an incredibly strong 18-year old woman who has been blessed with Heavenly Father's spirit guiding and comforting her and giving her the courage to make an incredibly selfless decision to give her child a life full of opportunity and love. I am so grateful for her, for her gift and decision and for the fact that I know she'll be ok. It was a hard day to say the least, but she is grounded and calm and I know that peace attends her and that is so important to me.

We left the hospital and headed right out of town, anxious to bring our new miracle baby home. She slept the whole trip aside from one short stop to eat. She is a fabulous eater and sleeper and is so pleasant- she didn't appreciate her first bath with us very much, so we know she can scream, but thankfully she is selective about when she uses her strong lungs.

Cooper was so sweet when he met her, a little timid, but used a soft sweet voice commenting on her small hands, her soft hair and how she was a tiny sister. We all have a few adjustments to get used to around here, but they are so welcome. I'll end for now as this is way too long, but these are memories I will be so glad to have recorded later. Welcome to the world and to our family Seneca- we started our family with a miracle in Cooper and you come with your own amazement that will awe us forever.



Michelle Burk said...

Um, I had to catch my breath there for minute, I thought I was reading a post about ANOTHER darling girl that you were adopting. Her story is miraculous. Hard to believe the time has gone so quick! You are one lucky Mom.

Katelyn & Wade said...

I saw that title and thought the exact same thing as Michelle and then thought in my head, "WHY AM I FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS ON HER BLOG???" And then it was just about the Senny-bug. I remember thinking when you brought her home that she was the most beautiful baby girl I'd ever laid eyes on. I told mom in Hawaii that summer, "She's going to be the cutest grand child in the family and she doesn't carry any of our genes!" If we only knew the magnifcent personality and energy she had to match. I can't imagine our family with out her.

niku said...

I have not met this girl in person, but I do love her. It obvious that she was meant to have the happy life that she has with you. And she just glows in all her pictures.

niku said...

Um, that was the Silly Witch on niku's accnt. Whoops.

drew said...

I love her story. Having seen your little family in action many times I have no doubt she was meant to be a huge part of it. We love you guys.

drew said...

Oops. That was from Eryka :)

Amber said...

How wonderful ;o). Thank you for sharing.

cindy said...

I must tell you that I do so enjoy following your blog. I echo Diane's sentiment about watching this little engergetic angel grow. You are an inspiration to me...

Just the THREE of us said...

I am one of those who "knows" and loves Seneca through was her story I found while googling lds adoption blogs after my second IVF failed and we started considering adoption. Her story really helped us on our journey. I can't believe its been 4 years! Thank you for keeping your blog open to all readers, I am sure you have helped many besides myself! I love your beautiful family!