(As told by Noah's daddy Chris...)
Noah truly is our little miracle, brought to us by an angel named Heather. We're forever grateful for our little Noah and all the twists and turns in the path bringing him to us.
Laura and I spent a number of years wondering exactly how and when children would join our family. Lots of emotions--highs and lows--and lots of doctor visits passed before we finally realized that we wanted to adopt. We have a few adopted family members and were quite excited to pursue adoption.
So, we began the process of adopting through an agency. We took some classes and worked on paperwork, taking our time despite our enthusiasm because of the emotional drain it was to consider so many of the issues that come up with adoption. We were finally approved and began waiting to be chosen by that special birthmother. After some ups and downs, we finally found Noah's angel.
(As told by Noah's birthmother Heather...)
"Well it all started on June 07, 2005 when I found out I was almost 4 months pregnant! It was a hard thing to imagine, me having a baby? No way! But it was true...God had granted me the gift of a child.
"I was probably about 5 months pregnant when my aunt came to my mother and said that she had found a home for me to go to in North Dakota, where I could have my son and no one would know about it, and I could walk away with a clean slate. I didnt feel that was an appropriate way to go about having a child.
"I started exploring other options, talking to the bishop in my ward about what I should do. He suggested LDS Family Services, for adoption. I knew my family and I were in no position to raise a child when we were just trying to make ends meet for my mother, sister and me.
"I wasnt sure if I could go through with it though, but nonetheless I went and started talking to a counselor and going to group therapy with the other girls in the same position as I was and other girls who had placed their children. Most of them seemed to be having a hard time, I was terrified. I didn't go back there for a couple weeks hoping they would forget about me...They didnt. My counselor showed up at my house and asked me if I would look at some profiles of some prospective parents for my son.
"I let them sit under my bed for a couple nights and one night I woke up in the middle of the night with a feeling that I needed to at least look at them, so I did. I got through about 4 of them and was exausted from all the emotion and how all these people wanted a child and I was too selfish to give them MINE.
"A couple days later my mom asked me to sit down and look at a couple, so I put them behind my back and pulled out three for me and three for her. I looked at one and didnt even read it just acted like it, so mom wouldnt be mad. The next couple was interesting but there were a couple things I didnt like. As I went to flip the page in this intresting profile I saw the picture of the couple underneath. They looked amazing, so much love between them, so much security. I couldn't help but put the other one down and read theirs.
"Their names were Chris and Laura, their names just flow together and their life was like out of a dream. I knew from then on that they were the ones, they were the ones to be the parents of my son, to love him, and cherish him. To hold him in the middle of the night, to cry when he is sad, to be ecstatic when he is happy. They were it.
"So the day comes to tell them, and they were the happiest people ever, and so was I. I knew I was doing the right thing for my son. I loved him and so did they."
See, I told you she was an angel. It was important to Heather for us to be a part of her doctor's appointments and she even sweet-talked the doctor into a free ultrasound so that we could see our Noah. I still don't think she knows how much it means to us that we got to have that experience--one we thought we would never have when we finally realized that having children biologically was not in our future. She also wanted us to have a lot of time with Noah in the hospital after his birth. I cherish the memory of giving Noah his first bottle, and walking him through the maternity ward in his bassinet, telling him about all the things we were going to do together as he grew up. Those are all memories that we have only because of Heather's grace and love.
The day came for placement and it was the strangest, wonderful, anguished blend of emotions I've ever felt. Everyone knew what was good and right, but the pain we saw in Heather and the immeasurable joy at our long-awaited parenthood certainly created an interesting cocktail of emotions. We brought our little Noah home and held him in his nursery. We put him to bed lovingly, wondering if he really would be okay all night without us there making sure he was still breathing. He was.
He is ours, but still belongs to our angel, Heather, too. Laura's his mommy and I'm his daddy and he has another who loves him dearly. He truly is our little miracle. When Noah turned one, Laura wrote this in her journal and it really sums up how we feel about our relationship with Noah's birth-mom.
"Over all, this is what I have learned about adoption this year: I AM Noah's mother 100%. I will forever share a sacred part of motherhood with another daughter of God, and not only am I o.k. with that, I rejoice in that. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father chose me to have this kind of experience - to make me a mother this way. Noah has two very significant, but different, "mother figures" in his life. He is someone else's son, and mine too. There is no limit to love. Just like a parent can love more than one child equally, a child can love more than one mother. Even though Noah has two "mother figures" our roles in no way compete or conflict with each other. One mother gave him life, and with the other one he will live his life. The only thing that is the same about our roles as his "mothers" is the love we have for him, and even that is completely unique to each of us."
(Noah, almost 18 mos. old, laughing with his birthmom Heather.)