Monday, December 27, 2010


It's been a few months since we updated the blog. This is mainly due to one large issue...we're STILL waiting on our fingerprints to return from the FBI. It's been close to 11 weeks. So, if any of you out there reading this has a hook up at the FBI go ahead and give them a call. Just saying...we're getting a little impatient around here. I know that our adoption of a child isn't quite on the high priority list at the FBI but I'm tired of waiting.

Basically, we're stuck in limbo until we get the prints back. We cannot move forward with the home study until all the background information has been cleared. I'm DYING to get on the active list with the agency so we can be considered for babies. Patience is overrated!! Hopefully we will get the rest of our home study done quickly - my goal is by the end of January providing our prints are returned anytime in the near future.

Wesley and I have been doing lots of research in the meantime. We feel like we have a pretty solid game plan going forward. We're going to stick with Catholic Charities until summer and if we're unsuccessful we're seriously contemplating using an agency out of KC that has a very quick turnaround time. However, the price tag on the KC agency is double (plus some) of our adoption with Catholic Charities. The KC agency is called American Adoptions and I've had two lengthy conversations with a social worker there and I'm very impressed. If anyone has a great fundraising idea that will net us about $20k - feel free to share it with us :-)

I must say that I've gained a lot of insight during the past couple months. During Christmas Eve service at church Father Mark repeatedly said that when baby Jesus was born the people were told "Do not be afraid". I think this is going to become my mantra during this process. There are so many things that make me afraid to adopt. The mental/physical/emotional health of the baby and Wesley and me are just the tip of the iceberg. However, I know that the good Lord has a plan that is beyond our wildest dreams. So, I'm looking into 2011 with the reminder that I am not to be afraid of the work and timing of God.

2010 has been a roller coaster of emotions. We started 2010 in our little apartment...just me and Wesley. We've since adopted a dog, each found new jobs (that we are beyond excited about...we've meet some amazing people through work), started our adoption and bought a house. We are blessed beyond measure and I am thankful every day!

Wesley is in the home stretch of the academy. He graduates in a few short days...January 6th. He will be a fully commissioned officer with the City of St. Louis. We're starting 2011 off with a bang! I'm so excited and proud of my husband. He has worked unbelievably hard at school and he's met some friends that have made the experience enjoyable (well - as enjoyable as it can be). My hope is that he finds fulfillment in his career and that the friendships he has developed will be lasting.

We will keep everyone updated once our FBI prints come back! We can't wait to get the ball rolling. In the meantime, dear college friends of mine are currently in the waiting period to adopt a child. They've had several hits on their profiles but nothing has come to fruition. Please send prayers their way so that they will have a successful match and be able to bring a baby home soon!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Baby That's Meant to Be

Holy Home Study! We are completely swamped with paperwork. Who would ever thing our lives are so interesting? We have filled out autobiographies, self-evaluations, couple evaluations, birth-mom and baby evaluations and anything else you can think of. We'll be getting FBI fingerprints and physicals. We're taking the pets to the vet. All these things are being done in preparation of little feet one day!

I can't say that this "paperwork" process has been stress-free. It's actually been quite the opposite. I had a mini meltdown at work the other day when I was feeling overwhelmed by the birth-mom/baby evaluation. Imagine four pages of answering yes/no/maybe to questions such as these:

Are you okay with the birth mom being an alcoholic?
Are you okay with the baby being exposed to crack, cocaine, meth, etc. etc. ect.
Are you okay with a white/black/asian/hispanic/jewish baby. Yes it really did ask about Jewish babies. I think the significance is a little lost on me.
Are you okay with various mental illness/disfigurement/birth defects?

The list just went on and on. I feel so guilty - like I'm baby shopping. For example, if Wesley and I were able to get pregnant and we had a child that had down syndrome or some type of learning/mental disorder we would not love that child any less than a "healthy" baby. However, during adoption you are able (if you choose) to rule out all these things. Of course we want a healthy baby. The reality of the situation is that we must be open to a variety of things in order to get a child.

The day I called the adoption worker she told me they just had a baby born the night before. The mom decided after delivery that she didn't want the baby. I was thinking how great that was - until the social worker told me that the birth mom admitted to doing crack every single day of her pregnancy. I can only imagine the troubles this baby will face from the onset. Wesley and I are faced with big decisions like that up front. Would we be okay with it? I mean, the doctors thought the baby was functioning at a high level and didn't show immediate signs of major mental disabilities. I feel bad at the thought that one day we might get a call like that. I'm not sure what we would do. It really freaked me out.

Then - in the midst of my freak out a friend posted a link on facebook about an adopted baby that most certainly would have died without the love of strangers. It helped me remember that God is going to provide us the child that is meant to be. There are no "do overs" or "returns" in adoption - only love and the stress that comes with any form of parenting. It doesn't matter how much I stress over the right baby...just like in pregnancy...I don't hold the cards for the worlds most perfect child. When I let my brain take over, sometimes its hard to hear God amidst all the background noise that I'm so good at producing :-) It's unfortunate that a lot of adoption horror stories are posted on the internet when the successes far outweigh the bad. Sometimes Google is not your friend.

So, Wesley and I will be finishing up all our paperwork in the next week which means we will move onto the interview process with the social worker. One individual interview for each of us, one to two couple interviews and a home visit!

Isaiah's Story from 31Films on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's been a few months since we've updated the blog. Lots has happened in the past 8 weeks. Wesley has started his job with the St. Louis City Police Department and he's loving every minute. Okay, well not EVERY minute. He doesn't like getting up super early and ironing his clothes etc. etc. What he does love is the people he's working with. He's made some quick friendships which is helping with the transition! He graduates at the beginning of January which is just around the corner. I'm so proud of him!

I have started my new job which is going well. Not much has changed for me other than office location. Still doing the same thing, still working with the same type of people. Although, it's been a nice change of pace to get back into domestic practice.

We bought a house! We are so excited to have a place that is all ours. We're also excited to put our own stamp on a place. It's a lot of work but I feel a pride of ownership. The "to do" list is a mile long and we will get to things slowly - as the budget allows but we absolutely love having our own house. Brad is loving the yard and so is Baxter (when he's allowed outside).

The biggest decision just came over the weekend. Wesley and I decided it was time to move forward with the adoption process. We (at the time) had no idea how we were going to pay for it but just knew that we would find a way. Well, wouldn't you know that mother of mine is very in tune to what's going on in my life. She called us up the other day to ask about the adoption and said that she wants to fund our home study! God is truly great and this is a great sign that the timing is right. So, we're getting ready to enter into the home study. We have a preliminary application to fill out which is almost complete.

I spoke to the adoption coordinator and she said that the agency has been placing babies every month and that she had one to place this month and one next month and that she is ready to take on more families. WHOO HOO! Once we turn in our preliminary application we will get a huge packet in the mail of paperwork to complete, fingerprinting, physicals etc. THEN we begin the home study. In theory, we will probably be doing the home study for the next 2-3 months depending on how quickly we turn in our paperwork.

Even since we've decided to go ahead with the home study, I have a lot of emotions. I'm mostly excited but I'm also nervous. I guess it's more the unknown than anything else. I know from another friend that this is a crazy time...with lots of emotions. I'm sad that we won't be getting pregnant. I'm thankful that there are women who want to make an adoption plan for their child, thus making us parents. I'm nervous because I've never been a parent before. And about a million other emotions I can't put into words.

Now the REAL journey beings!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

To Post or Not to Post???

Wesley and I had the privilege of meeting with a couple who were considering adoption back in May. Wesley is an acquaintance with the father of the baby. The birth father had heard about our interest in adoption and offered to meet with us to discuss the possibility of adoption. Wesley and I couldn't believe the luck - so we set up a meeting to speak with the birth parents.

I have thought about this post for months - do I post this - or do I not? Let me preface this by saying that I want to be sensitive to the position the birth parents are in. It's important for Wesley and I to make sure we talk about them in somewhat generic terms and not divulge too much information. So, here's what we found out during our meeting. The birth parents are young - not high school young - but young. One just finished up with their undergrad and the other just finished their freshman year in college. They have no intention of being together. When we met with them the birth mom was very early in her pregnancy (she's due around Thanksgiving). You could tell she was scared. When I think back to being that age (like I'm sooo much older than they are) I remember all the big plans I had for my life. A baby was definitely in my plans just not at that moment, or anytime soon.

We talked a little about their families and their plans for the future. It was a little strange - talking to a couple who were thinking about adoption. In my head, for some reason, adoption is very much at the forefront and yet it seems like a far away dream. To have someone sitting in front of us was like a little piece of heaven - reassurance that we can do this and we will have a family sometime soon. So, the plans for the birth parents were for them to return to their home states during summer vacation and to come back to St. Louis in the fall. Wesley and I knew that since we were meeting with them at such an early stage of the pregnancy that their decision to make an adoption plan for their child was not set in stone. In fact, talking with someone that early on in the pregnancy isn't always a great idea. At that early in the game, the mother had not yet felt the baby kick, had not had an ultrasound, had not had a chance to really think about the life that is growing insider her. It's more just a scary concept than a reality at that point. The more time that goes on (typically) it will either cement the idea of adoption or not.

As the summer has gone on, Wesley has had a little contact with the birth father. It looks like the birth mother is leaning towards keeping the child. Now, from what I understand she has a large family support system. That is a plus. And it definitely follows the patterns that the adoption agency has told us about. Typically, the younger the birth mother, the more likely they are to keep the child. The reasoning behind this is that a young woman only thinks about the heartbreak of making an adoption plan. Instead of choosing to go through with adoption, they will typically take the road of less resistance - of instant gratification. It's easier in the short term to keep the child than to let it go. Am I saying that this young lady is not capable of caring for her child? Of course not. Quite the opposite. She was a super sweet girl who was in a bad situation. From our short time together, I think she would make a great mother. She's smart and has goals in life. But, sometimes I wonder how she is going to get a job, finish school, pay for babysitting, put food on the table etc. I myself worry about the same things (minus the school part) and I'm married and Wesley and I have a steady income. Women do it every single day - the single parent thing - and still make their way in the world. While Wesley and I are sad that this opportunity didn't work out for us, we know our baby is out there. We wish nothing but the best to this couple. We know they will love their baby just as much as we would have liked too!

Our current plan is to wait until after the first of the year to put in our adoption application with an agency. We want to wait until Wesley is out of the academy and we're settled in our new home. Please keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New and Exciting Adventures

We have some major changes over in the Pierce household and all I can say is HALLELUJAH! It's been a long time coming and I think both Wesley and I feel like we're on cloud 9.

A couple week ago I accepted a new job with a law firm. I will be starting on July 6th and I'm making my return to family law. You know, I just can't get enough of the crazies. When I was involved in family law before I loved every minute of it. Sure, we did have some crazy clients but we also helped some really great people. In a way, this type of law is not as abstract. What we do directly affects people lives unlike watching a contact dispute unfold when all that's at stake is money for huge corporations who won't know the difference. I am extremely excited because the people at my new firm seem absolutely wonderful and I've received a lot of positive feedback from my current employers on how nice people are and that they hear is a great place to work. It really is a god sent that I'm able to start a new job in a place where I have nothing but high hopes.

On to more exciting news. Wesley has been offered a job! This was an answered prayer and something that was much needed. Wesley will be starting with the St. Louis City Police Department on Monday. The only downfall (in his eyes) is that he has to do another academy - 6 months to be exact. While I know he doesn't want to go through this again, I see it as a positive thing. Training is never a bad thing and I figure he will be doubly prepared after this round of the academy (plus he gets paid this time around, thank goodness). What is even more ironic is that 2 years ago, Wesley told me he knew St. Louis City would offer him a job...he didn't know why he knew it, he just did. This is the third time they have offered him the job. He turned it down the first two times due to other circumstances but we've come full circle. I think he's really going to like working there. So keep Wesley in your prayers as he begins his career. He's so excited and I know he is going to be an outstanding officer.

With Wesley being fully employed that means we get to start looking for a house. St. Louis City mandates that we have to be living in the City within 90 days of Wesley's start so we've been diligently looking at houses over the past couple months. The thought of having more space is thrilling to me and having a yard for Brad is going to be amazing. Once we get the house checked off the list, we will discuss getting our adoption application started. It seems like everything is falling into place just at the right time. It's exciting to be looking for homes knowing this is where our family will start and that is something to truly smile about.

Thanks to all our family and friends who have been praying for Wesley over the past couple years. I truly believe this is where he's supposed to be and this is a great way to start the next part of our lives!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Our Second Adoption Meeting

A few weeks after we visited Catholic Charities, we decided to visit Lutheran Family Services. A very dear college friend of mine is currently underway in their home study with Lutheran and had nothing but positive things to say about their program. Lutheran's program is very similar to CC because they are both non-profit and offer a wide range of resources for pregnant women and women with children. Here's what we learned about LFS:

1. We would have to be married 2 years before we can submit our application - no exceptions. They only allow 20 waiting families on their active list.
2. Their program is a lot bigger than CC because they are able to serve the entire state of Missouri, as opposed to just the St. Louis area.
3. They require a lot more educational seminars/training for adoptive parents than any other program we've looked at.
5. The cost is equivalent to CC.
6. The process is the same as CC - home study, birth mom letter, scrapbook etc.
7. All adoptions are "open" adoptions (as with CC). An "open" adoption means that we are required to submit pictures and letters to the agency a minimum of once a year. We do not have to share our contact information/last name with the birth mother unless we choose to. If a birth mother chooses not to have any contact with us after placement we are still required to send in the letters and pictures and the agency will hold them for the birth mother. Because it's an open adoption, we will be able to meet the birth mom and learn about her history and her story before she gives birth. Wesley and I both believe this information will be invaluable to us as our child grows. How wonderful will it be to be able to answer our child's questions about his/her birth parents.

This second meeting was a lot less overwhelming than our first meeting with CC simply because we had allowed ourselves some time to digest all the information that was given to us the first time around. I definitely know that as time goes on, Wesley and I have a greater peace and understanding of the path we are meant to take. I really feel a sense of calm about our decision to adopt and I cannot wait to welcome a new life into our family in the near future. Please keep Wesley and me in your prayers that everything will fall into place, allowing us to start our adoption process. We will hopefully have some exciting news to share in the next couple weeks that will allow us to be one step closer to starting a family!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Adoption Success Story

You see that face? We've already had an adoption success story! We adopted Brad when we moved to St. Louis and he is our infant in training! While we can't be mom and dad to a child just yet, we're definitely mom and dad to Brad. We just love him!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Our First Adoption Meeting

Shortly after we heard from the doctor, we decided to check out some adoption agencies. We figured it's best to be proactive and know what our options are so when we're ready to start the process we can be informed. Our first meeting was the Catholic Charities (Good Shepherd) in U. City. We were S.C.A.R.E.D. We had no idea what to expect and we arrived at the agency with what I'm sure was a "deer in the headlights" look. However, once we met the adoption agent, we felt at ease. Mary Ann has been working with Catholic Charities and doing adoptions since 1970. She knows her stuff. She spent well over two hours with us, answering our questions and trying to show us what the adoption process would entail. Here's what we learned:

1. We would need to be married at least 1 year before we could turn in our application.
2. We would have a home study conducted. The home study last approximately 2-3 months and consists of 5 meetings with a social worker. Two meetings are together, two meetings are separate and one meeting takes place in our home. We have to have references from our families, our peers and our pastor stating that we would be good (or great) adoptive parents. There would be background checks, financial reports and health tests to complete. It's a very in-depth look into who we are as a couple. During the home study the social worker will teach us about adoption, about what kind of family we will have and the challenges we will face. You get a lot of information during the home study process. Once the social worker has all the necessary information, she puts it into a very detailed 15 page, single spaced document. This document is the first thing a birth mother sees about us.
3. After we complete the home study phase, we would be eligible for the active adoption list. We would need to decide what type of child we would want. Would we want an older child in foster care or do we want a white, black, hispanic or asian infant? Do we want a special needs child? Are we open to a birth mother who has been exposed to drugs, alcohol or abuse? It's all very overwhelming because the more restrictive we are about what we want, the longer it can take to get a baby.
4. We prepare our "Dear Birth Mom" letter. This letter introduces us as a couple and explains why we want to adopt and our parenting techniques etc.
5. We prepare our adoption scrapbook. The scrapbook includes pictures and stories about who we are as a couple. It gives the birth mom a glimpse into our lives. We would include pictures and stories of our hobbies, family, vacations and pets.
6. We wait for a birth mom to pick us. The agency matches up our criteria with the birth mom's criteria and presents all our information to her. She can chose to have a face-to-face meeting with us and then decide if she would like to pursue an adoption plan with us. At this point, the birth mom is in complete control. At first, this really bothered me but the more I think about it, the more I respect the process. This is the one great and loving decision she is making for her baby and it should be her decision and hers alone. I hope I can keep this in perspective if the process becomes a long road for us.
7. It's expensive.

Catholic Charities has a relatively small program. The Archdiocese only allows them to service the St. Louis area which can somewhat limit the pool of available infants. However, Wesley and I felt really impressed by their program. It seems like we would receive all the support we would need. Sometimes a smaller program can give you more of a "hands on" approach. Their fees are based on a sliding-fee scale. While this sounds wonderful it's still very expensive. Wesley and I are looking at anywhere from $15-20k to adopt a child through their program. The great thing is that only a very small portion is due up front and the rest is due once the adoption is finalized. We have a lot of praying to do. I'm not sure where the funds are going to come to finance this adoption but I know that I'm not going to let that stand in the way of having a family.

Overall, we left feeling informed and overwhelmed. Now that we have had several months to digest the information we received during the meeting we feel more comfortable with our decision. I think the hardest part of the process will be the wait. We can't wait to turn in our application!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Now What?

I got a call from my doctor's office late one afternoon. It's never good when you're the last call of the day. We were told that there was a serious problem with Wesley's test and that they were going to refer us to a urologist. I think I went numb after hearing the news. I just knew, I knew that this was the beginning of the end to our pregnancy journey. Of course, my doctor's office said to think positive. The lab could have messed something up or maybe the urologist will find a quick fix to our problem. How could I explain to my doctor that I already knew what the outcome would be? I had no medical reason, just a feeling that this was it. I cried...a lot. Wesley cried too. No matter how much you think you're ready for news like this, it's never easy.

We decided to keep things quiet with our families for a little bit. No reason to get everyone involved until we knew more information. Wesley and I set up an appointment with the specialist and a couple weeks later we were doing some follow-up tests. The urologist was hopeful. He didn't see anything alarming right off the bat. He told us we would have to wait for the test results to come back before we could proceed. Of course, the test comes back with the same results as the first. So, we do one more (just for good measure). With Wesley's issue, there was one of two things that could happen. He would either (a) have a correctible problem, one they could fix with surgery or (b) a non-corrective issue. The tests that Wesley took could determine what kind of problem he had and of course, we have the non-corrective issue. Our doctor, bless his heart, told us there wasn't anything he could do for us. He couldn't refer us to another specialist because there's not much anyone can do about the type of problem we were facing. Funnily enough, Wesley's condition is extremely rare. A very small percentage of men facing infertility issues have his problem. Par for the course.

We asked ourselves, now what? What do we do? We decided that we want a is so important to us. We adopt.

Even though the doctor is able to point at Wesley's problem for our infertility issues, I think there is more behind it. I think we were destined to face this together. God had begun to prepare my heart for this long before Wesley entered my life. And yet, here we are facing it together. Our family is going to be beautiful and full of love because Wesley and I view this challenge as a time to love each other, encourage each other, support each other and stand in faith. There isn't a day that goes by where I don't thank God for my husband. He constantly reminds me of all the good we have in our lives. We are blessed beyond belief.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend
themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Beginning....

Before I continue this post, I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all our family and friends for your outpouring of love and support. For quite some time, I've felt protective and private regarding our situation. Sharing has brought me a sense of peace and we feel hopeful for the future. In a way, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted off our shoulders. Wesley and I have truly been overwhelmed by all the well wishes and prayers! It means the world to us.

As I mentioned before, Wesley and I were so excited to start a family. I had a visit with my doctor shortly after getting married to talk about some fertility issues I was having. He prescribed some medication for me (clomid) and told me to give it 6 months. If we weren't pregnant in 6 months, then we would re-evaluate.

Naturally, the first month on the fertility medication I was sure we would get pregnant. For those ladies out there who haven't even given getting pregnant a second thought, I envy you. The process is stressful and what no one tells you is that it's so emotional. What should be a very exciting time, becomes reduced to keeping tabs on when it's the "right time". You google so much that you become confused. It's keeping charts and taking ovulation tests. It's annoying the life out of your husband. And it's a lot of waiting. Waiting around wondering if it's working or not.

Of course, our first month comes and goes. Looking at the negative pregnancy test, you try to tell yourself it's okay. You try to pump yourself up and yet there's an empty feeling that you can't quite explain. After all, it's not like you were ever pregnant, so why do you feel hollow inside? So, I tried to tell myself that it's okay and that next month will be The Month. After all, the doctor said it can take awhile for my body to adjust to the medication. As far as my doctor could tell, I was right on track and my body was responding as it should to the medication.

Fast forward six months. We're still not pregnant and we're back at the doctor's office wondering what's going on. Remember that "feeling" I told you about? Well, it was creeping back in. So far I had been able to push it out of my mind and yet here it was, staring me in the face. My doctor, being the optimist that he is, thought that we had not been one of the lucky ones. He thought there wasn't anything wrong and that we were worrying for no reason. Even so, he ordered some tests for Wesley and set up a plan of extensive testing for me. As far as my doctor was concerned, he had no reason to believe he would find anything abnormal. Wesley went in a few days later and took his test. Then, we waited. We waited for the test results. That's when we got the call that would set everything in motion...

Is That God, Talking To Me??

For those of us who go to church and share a relationship with God, we often hear from others how God will "talk to them". Unfortunately for me, I can't say that I've ever really thought God was speaking directly to me. I've felt the holy spirit, I've prayed and prayers have been answered. However, I've never felt like a message was being sent directly down from Heaven, just for me.

All that changed when my husband and I got married. We had hoped to start a family soon after getting married in the hopes of having three children, with one small hitch. Throughout my life, I've had a feeling. It's a feeling that touched the depths of my soul. I have always felt that I would never be able to have children. When I would tell people this, they would laugh it off and tell me to think positive. I too would try to make myself believe in what they were saying.

As luck would have it, we were diagnosed with a fairly serious infertility issue early on during our marriage (more on that later). Now, in hindsight, I can say with certainty that God has been talking directly to me. The years of living with this "feeling" was actually God preparing my heart for a different path...the road less traveled. So, it is here that we are trying to walk by faith even though it's scary. We're learning what it truly means to let go and let God take over. We're trying to trust that the good Lord does indeed have a child out there for us and that he or she will come into our lives when we have prepared for the challenges and the immense joy that having children brings.

The road ahead is scary with lots of unknown obstacles. Our hope, as a couple, is that we can remain strong in our faith, in our marriage and learn to trust in the Lord with all our hearts.