A Blessing Named Elliot…An Adoption Journey!

A Blessing Named Elliot…An Adoption Journey!

As our family celebrated Thanksgiving this past week and expressed gratitude for the many things we have to be grateful for, I couldn’t help but consider the divine intervention in our lives that brought us a very special blessing named Elliot!

A Blessed named Elliot...An Adoption Story!

Elliot born September 28, 2016

“Babies are the beginning of a dream of possibilities!” Eda LeShan 

You might recall my daughter-in-law sharing her struggles with endometriosis in this past journal entry.  For those of you who have expressed love and concern for our family as my son, Jake, and his wife, Whitney, faced the challenges of infertility, I’m so thrilled and indeed humbled to share with you their adoption journey!

Our adoption journey began with trying to conceive for nearly five years without success.  Due to Jake’s career as a dentist in the Army, our road with fertility treatments included doctors and specialists in Oklahoma and Germany.  When our last IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatment in 2014 was unsuccessful, without any explanation as to why, we felt adoption was the path for us to take.  It is amazing how right adoption felt as we made this decision together!

A Blessing Named Elliot...An Adoption Story!

“Babies are a link between angels and man!”  Author Unknown 

The process of finding an adoption agency, along with the subsequent paperwork and home studies, is overwhelming; it has its own set of challenges, but we relied on each other’s strengths as we worked through it all together.  The waiting period to be chosen was a difficult time, and the year and a half  it took seemed to have no end in sight, but our primary case-worker always said that when it is meant to be, it will be the right baby that will come into your arms.

A Blessing Named Elliot...An Adoption Story!

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on!”  Carl Sandberg

When you least expect something–that is when it is bound to happen…..and that is exactly how Elliot came into our lives!  Due to the time difference between Germany and our agency in Utah, we received the surprise of our lives at 2:00 am in a one sentence email with the subject line, “Great News!”  The body of the email read: “Birth mom and her mother want to place baby with you!”

Coincidentally, Whitney’s dad and mom were visiting at the time they received the email that they’d been picked for adoption.  When Jake and Whitney realized that they only had eleven days to prepare and be in Utah, the decision was quickly made to cut her parent’s trip short and book flights back to Utah with them.  They landed in Utah at 8:00 pm the night before Elliot was due to be born.  As they anxiously awaited his arrival the next morning, they spent the last few hours of their time together as just the two of them, baby shopping, going to lunch, and even getting pedicures.  When at last they received the text that their baby had been born, they rushed down the hallway of the hospital and knocked on the nursery door.

Throughout the adoption process, we often wondered if we would feel a connection with the baby right away or if we would feel as though he wasn’t ours, but those worries were quickly dissipated when the nursery door was opened and we saw Elliot for the first time–we instantly knew he was our son; we truly believe that God intended for him to be in our family.  As we drew closer and saw how sweet and small Elliot was at 6 pounds, 4 ounces and 19 inches long, we’ll never forget how surreal and perfect that moment was in our lives!  Elliot stayed in the hospital for three days, and during that time we were able to pray for him and have him receive blessings to ensure his continued good health.  When the pediatrician finally gave us the green light to take him home, we couldn’t have been happier!

A Blessing named Elliot...An Adoption Journey!

“Having a baby is to decide forever to have your heart walking around outside your body!”  Elizabeth Stone 

After Elliot joined our family, we were amazed at the outpouring of love and generosity from family and friends.  It has been remarkable to see the power that a newborn baby has to bring people together!  Each day is an exciting adventure and learning experience, as well as a blessing, now that Elliot is home with us.  We are humbled to be his parents, although the titles of mom and dad are still novel to us.  We want to express our gratitude to all those who helped to bring this joy into our lives.  Our goal is to ensure that Elliot will grow up learning that the Lord loves him and that he also has a birth mother who loves him, and that she made the ultimate sacrifice to place him with a family who will always strive to do everything within their power to ensure his happiness and give him every opportunity to grow and progress in this life!

A Blessing named Ellito...An Adoption Journey!

A Blessing named Elliot...An Adoption Journey!

(Two photos above via Green Apple Photography)

“It is not a slight thing when those so fresh from heaven love us!”  Charles Dickens

In closing, I’d like to say that it is so heart warming to see two wonderful people survive the ups and downs of this journey together, leading them to form stronger bonds of commitment to each other, making their ability to love their new baby, without reservation, so endearing!  There truly is no greater joy than watching your own children become parents!

All our best wishes to you, Jake and Whitney, and precious little Eli!

Have you had any personal experiences with adoption or know someone who has?  Please, please share any insights you might have on this amazing process

–Mary

New Horizons!

New Horizons!

Summer is always a crazy, busy, wonderful time of year spent with family and friends, and for the most part a break from our normal routines.  Now there’s a crisp chill in the air and fall is right around the corner.  I love how each season provides a new horizon and fresh perspective with so many neat things to anticipate and look forward to…

New Horizons!

(A beautiful fall horizon in Midway, Utah)

What I Look Forward To In The Fall!

  • Getting Cozy!  While saying this might indicate pulling out fun flannels shirts and warm afghans, (there will surely be plenty of those too) fall just seems to be the perfect time for more intimate gatherings with family and friends, where you share stories of your rambunctious summer adventures over home-cooked meals and spicy, warm drinks!

Grandma Wilding's warm spice punch.

  Grandma Norma’s Warm Citrus Punch  

1-46 oz. can pineapple juice

1-6 oz. can orange juice

3 cinnamon small sticks or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. whole cloves or 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

5 quarts water   5 cups sugar

Simmer for 1 hour, serve hot!  

♥ So Good! ♥

Ohhio knit blankets.

Speaking of cozy and warm afghans…..wouldn’t it be fun to wrap up in this chunky knit blanket from Ohhio’s Etsy Shop while sipping a warm drink! 

  • A Little Slower Pace!  Each season seems to come with its own set of schedules and “to do” lists, but with summer vacations wrapped up and gardens nearly harvested, it seems we’re more inclined to go for an early evening walk, or grab those books we never got around to reading on the beach.

Good reads!

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes and “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman are books I would highly recommend, if you haven’t already read them!

  • A Bedazzled Mother Nature!  No doubt, Mother Nature is gorgeous in all her varied states during each of the four seasons, but she definitely seems to give us a little extra “wow factor” come fall time!  

Fall leaves.

(Fall trees in Park City, Utah)

If your like me and want to bring a little fall foliage indoors, these DIY aged terra cotta pots are the perfect way to display your plants.  They are so simple to make.

aged terre cotta pots.

 You’ll just need to mix one cup of garden lime with one cup of water, stir together well, then using a foam brush, paint the pots with the lime paste mixture.  Let the pots dry good, then sand off some of the lime grit with sand paper around the top edges and bases of the pots and anywhere else you want to give them that aged, weathered look.  There’s really no wrong way to do this, just do whatever looks good to you.  When the pots are done, you can either spray them with a clear matte finish sealer or just them leave as is and let mother nature continue to play her magic on each of your unique, homemade pots! 

Aged terra cotta pots.

Filled with colorful chrysanthemums, I think these pots would be fun on your porch or make a great gift for those with fall birthdays!  

  • A Renewed Zeal To Always Keep Learning!  Fall marks the official “back to school” time of year.  My father, who was a beloved teacher and a dedicated learner, who audited classes at our local university well into his 80’s, instilled in me the desire to always want to be a good student….long after formal education had ended.  My dad often said, “The most valuable lessons learned—are often those taught in the ‘school of life’!”

John Dewey quote on education.

My husband and I have grown children and have become proud grandparents over the last few years; we’re both still working and are enjoying good health, so people often tell us that we’re in the “fall season” of our lives—if that’s the case, it’s all the more reason to really embrace this amazing time of year and the new horizons this stage of life brings!

I’d love to know some of the things you look forward to most as the fall season approaches?

–Mary

Dear Mom…Writing A Special Mother’s Day Letter!

Dear Mom!  Writing A Special Mother’s Day Letter!

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and if you’re anything like I was when my mother was alive–it was always the mad search to find just the right gift that expressed perfectly the love and respect I had for her and the wonderful influence she was in my life!  I don’t think it ever really dawned on me that the best gift might have been to write a letter and tell her what was in my heart…you see, having been a mother for many years now myself, I’ve come to realize that time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters!

Dear Mom...

I like the quote by the late satirical journalist, Erma Bombeck, that says, “Mothers have an astute way of making your life feel important!”  Why then, do we often find it so hard to express our deep gratitude for them?

One of the things that romanticized my mom and dad’s generation for me, were the letters that my parents often wrote to each other during their courtship and subsequent marriage, as well as other amazing love stories I’ve read about that were highlighted in the correspondence that was shared between loved ones who were often separated for long periods of time during the war times of that era.

The Art of Letter Writing!

In this day and age of ever advancing technology and electronic communication, we just might find ourselves in need of a little refresher course in the art of letter writing.  When I looked up the word “letter” in the dictionary–yes, I resisted the urge to access Google–the definition proved profound!

Letter: (noun) A written message from one party to another containing information.  Letters guarantee the preservation of communication between both parties.  They bring friends or relatives closer together, enrich professional relationships and provide a satisfying means of self-expression.

Interestingly, it also states that the main advantages of letters are there is no need for special devices—just a postal address and stamp where applicable.  Letters also provide a permanent physical record of communication that is more personal than an email.

A Mother’s Day Letter!

Mother's Day quote.

If you need a little inspiration to help get your letter started, here’s a few ideas…

Celebrate Memories!

There’s nothing that gets the ball rolling, so to speak, than sharing a few favorite fond memories that you can laugh about now!  If I was writing a letter to my mom now, perhaps I would share again the story we laughed about over the years…

One afternoon when I had first learned to ride a bike, but was still a little shaky, my mom thought I should wear some gym shoes instead of the sandals I had on as I set out on a bike ride adventure with friends.  She knew that I still used my feet on occasion for some extra breaking power when I got going too fast.  Well, it was summer, I was with friends, and somehow putting on shoes didn’t seem too cool at the time.  But as fate would have it, it wasn’t long before my very vulnerable feet had to be used to help gain control of my bike as it descended a steep hill.  Oh, how I remember hobbling home with the toe pieces of my thongs all askew and gravel embedded into most of my toenails.  My mother and I would have chuckled again about how some kids just have to learn things the hard way!

♥ Tell Her You Love Her…And Why!

Writing a Mother's Day Letter!

Many conversations in our family often end with, “Love ya!”   And while there’s nothing wrong with that, writing down a few specific reasons why you love your mom is sure to make this Mother’s Day especially memorable for her!

I love that my mother taught me that it was okay to express my feelings and share my concerns with her; she truly was my safe haven when the world seemed a bit daunting.  Her ability to truly listen was one of her greatest virtues!  I loved my mother’s deep commitment to our family.  She taught me to have a willing heart and in so doing she helped me realize just how beautiful the world can be when you serve and give to others.  I loved how she showed such finesse in living well.

Thank goodness our mother’s are patient and are able to withstand the many phases of a child’s love as they grow and mature!

Mother's Day quote.

♥  Thank Her For Her Sacrifices!

It goes without saying that our mother’s seem to come with an innate ability to love us unconditionally and are willing to do most anything within their power to help their children become the best versions of themselves.  Perhaps the best way for us to thank them for their selflessness (beside telling them) would be to always work hard at reaching our full potential!  In his book, “All Mom’s Go To Heaven” –Dean Hughes discusses this topic perfectly!

We say, “My mother is always self-sacrificing; she takes the smallest piece of pie and never looks out for herself because she does everything for us.  She cleans and scrubs and picks up after us and works her fingers to the bone and I really do appreciate it.”  We ought to follow that line of thought with the right conclusion; “But I’m going to do my best to change all that because it just isn’t right.  From now on, I’m going to take the smaller piece of pie, and I’m going to help her scrub the tub and the toilets and I’m going to pick up after myself.”

Quotes about mothers.

♥ Share What You’ve Learned From Her!

I think it’s fair to say that young mothers in the trenches of raising small children too often feel like most of what they have to say usually falls on deaf ears!

One valuable lesson I learned from my mother’s nurturing example was just how important it was to truly enjoy the journey of motherhood and the privilege that was mine of being able to steer my children in the right direction with positive energy and disciplined guidance; trying my best to help them develop integrity and strength in character that would lead them to being productive, caring individuals!

Thoughts On Motherhood! www.mytributejournal.com

“As a mother, you will often be somebody’s superhero…and you won’t even have to wear a cape!”  Jen Singer, author of “14 Hours Before Bedtime!”

(My mother has been gone for a little over ten years now, but I’m always mindful of her and the wonderful legacy she left for our family!)    

Share Your Heart!

Being a mother is not without its joys and triumphs, but the truth of the matter is that most days it’s really hard work!   Maybe the hardest thing about mothering is keeping a clear vision of the big picture amid the confusion of everyday life!  Who better to help you gain a keener perspective than your own mother; after all, she can attest to the fact that embracing the role of being a mother makes you a better person!  Whenever I did share my heart with my sweet mother, and the feelings of inadequacy I felt on occasion as I compared my skills to those of other women, she in turn shared her heart…..always reassuring me that ALL mothers are human and they mess up and make mistakes–their best isn’t perfect by a long shot…..but still the role of “Mother” is one to be cherished and cultivated in our own unique way!

Mother Teresa quote.

“Of all the people who reach out and try to understand one another, mothers surely ought to lead the way!”  Dean Hughes

I’d love to know what little gem of advice your mom taught you that you treasure the most!

Happiest Mother’s Day wishes to all…and happy writing!

(Feel free to down load some fun stationary here to use for writing your letter.)

–Mary