Sunday, June 11, 2017

Baby Zoe Jane

Wow, well we are up and coming to the end of the pregnancy. With only 4 weeks left (until full term) I decided it was time to write this all down. The last few months have been a whirl wind of emotions. So I will start with what I remember from each the trimester and see what happens in the end.

1st Trimester:
I knew I was pregnant. Like knew knew, before I even took the test. I actually wanted to avoid it before Ben insisted that I do it. So I did. And it was positive. I called my doctor right away and got on progesterone. It was a slightly crazy time when we found out. We have a niece in the hospital so we didn't want to stress my in laws out (even though we had promised to tell them no matter what). Then Damien ended up in the hospital. And I couldn't do anything because my doctor told me I couldn't do anything. Nausea, i knew it was normal but it was terrible. I ended up in the hospital on the last week of the trimester with severe nourishment and dehydration. I had never craved water so much. And then been denied it.

2nd Trimester:
This is the most memorable Trimester.  Like I said before I started this Trimester sick. terribly sick. We were suppose to go to SLC for a family reunion. I obviously couldn't go. Ben didn't know if he should go because I was down. But I insisted he go. I hated to see him go, but he needed it. The boys were so excited, and well I was only going to sleep. But it did suck. Ben was gone. I just wanted him but I knew I couldn't rest, and then the service sucked at the reunion so I hardly got to speak to him. I was locked up in my room for almost two weeks. I slept the first 4 days. But after that it got old. Finally I got better and they got me on some medication that was suppose to help, it didn't. I felt like a science experiment. I was having a rough time. I had only dreamed of ever being pregnant. I had seen everyone enjoy it and each time I got my hopes up. And all my hopes lead to an amazing experience. I know each pregnancies are different. And of course the internet doesn't show everything that really happens behind the door. I finally started to feel better and had to ease into eating. After not eating food for about 3 weeks I had to eat only bread and bananas for two weeks then add more food. and eventually I got to eating more. I am still pretty hesitant towards food. I am dying for a juicy burger but just can't seem to come around to it.

3rd Trimester:
I finally got a baby shower thrown by the one and only Whitney! It was a very short notice thing. I remember thinking finally I can be excited and enjoy being pregnant. I ate a lot of cereal, and craved milk. My heartburn was crazy!! Edith also threw me a small shower and i was so incredibly thankful!

The thing is I really didn't get to enjoy my pregnancy like I wanted. I didn't get set pregnancy photos, or bump shots. I didn't want to get excited. I was scared the entire time. I didn't get a big planned baby shower (although extremely grateful for those I got!) I wanted to do so much more. But it was a terrifying time. But one I don't want to forget. Things like her only calming down for Ben, or when we would go to the doc to get checked she would move from the doppler because she couldn't be bothered and it freaked out the nurses. Things like her only letting me sleep on one side. Or how much the boys loved watching my belly move. I did enjoy what was given to me.

4th trimester..
 was back in bed. which was hard I had thanksgiving, Damiens birthday, Christmas, and a due date! Then a birthday 2 weeks after the due date! We finally got some family photos. I wanted to get family photos to mark Eli being apart of our family. In my mind it wasn't fair to get photos with Damien and wait until Zoe. I didn't want him to think we weren't excited about our time with him. And so I wanted to make sure we did. Next in the Zoe Jane chronicals is the birth story.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Wow. This was an eventful week. But we will focus just on the spiritual side of it, as well as the special day that occurred.

We were sealed on February 12, 2016. At 1:20 in the afternoon. We weren't sure if everyone would be able to make it because the invited I sent on January 2,2016 didn't start getting to people until a few days before. So more than a month later. And most got lost in the mail. But because we planned the sealing around Ben's little brother's mission farewell, and him leaving on his mission, so all the family was in town and the friends we really wanted to be there were there. So nothing could have been more perfect.

The night before the sealing we went bowling. After we went by the temple to show Damien what and where we would be tomorrow. He was in awe of the temple and just wanted to sit and look at it all night. It brought me to tears just how much he loved it considering we had never been to one with him.

Side note. When we started to plan the temple and party my bestie Whitney Stephan told me her mom worked in the juvenile area where they get the kids ready. So we set things in motion for that. Then a few days before Kellie let me know that she would be there.

Back on track. So the day of Ben, his mission companion Scott, and Ben Hawkins went out shooting. While we all got ready and slightly stressed because the guys were running super late but as long as i was ready and Damien we would be ok. So after we were all ready Ben got home, and then he hurried and got ready. Luckily we made it on time and our witnesses made it from Idaho.

When we got there we checked in and instantly saw Kellie. Damien was ready to see her and Shayli. He was cool with us ditching us. So we went and got ready. The sealing itself was beautiful! We were so thankful to have Jim Lemmon seal us. He was our sealer for our sealing. We never thought each of us grew up knowing him but we did. So when we were told he was a sealer I was pretty excited. So when the time came for us to pick one we instantly knew we wanted him. And he was so kind to say yes with out any question.

Things I want to remember. Damien doesn't like ties. the fact he doesn't have much of a neck makes him thing they are annoying. So while Kellie was getting him ready he refused to put a tie on. So they called every man in our family to help. Finally Alex asked if he even wanted a tie. Damien said no and thus the tie was gone. Then everyone came to see the little boy getting sealed. They would ask him his name and he would mumble something, Shayli didn't understand and simply would reply its Damien. Then a cute little grandma asked him and he still mumbled it and she replied oh you are iron man. Shayli was like oh duh this makes sense. The next part has been the best. So before we went in the temple we told Damien that this is the house of the Lord. He took it as this is Jesus Christs house and he was going to meet Jesus. Of course he never told us that. So the entire time we were at the temple and Kellie was taking him around he kept looking around, finally Kellie asked what he was looking for. Damien answered "Jesus, this is his house". Well when we were doing the actual sealing, Damien was with us and right in the middle of everything Damien looks around the alter and asks "where is Jesus?" After we were all finished Ben and I went to change. Well Kellie took Damien to change. And he refused. He wouldn't do it because he hadn't seen Jesus. A lot of people tried. Finally the same sweet little grandma said "you know I think he is helping some other people right now, but he knows you are here and is so excited to you came" that is all it took and this sweet boy changed his clothes.

After we were able to get family photos to mark the day. Damien knew the whole day was for him so he was ready to play and go to the party. Tia Stout Photography was amazing to work with. I highly recommend her!

Then the party! My dad was a stress ball worrying we wouldn't have enough food or enough room. But all was well. His girlfriend planned the whole event just for Damien. And he knew it. The kids played out at the park pretty much all night and I just visited with everyone we possible could. It was a night I needed.

Thank you to everyone who made this day so special. Damien holds the temple to the highest. It is by far he best memory and he always wants to go back. Hopefully next year we will be back with one more. Until then.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Adoption Day!

Well it has been some time since this all happened and I am just now being able to post it.


For those who didn't know  we are/were foster care parents. If you would like to read Damien's Story you can read it here. But on November 20th, 2015 we finalized our adoption. 

We were able to adopt him on National Adoption Day. And it was a big party at the court house!  We didn't have any immediate family come down. Mainly because a few months later we would be sealed in Utah where we would see them. So we had our best friends Rick and Jess Lang, and Damiens sister's family attend. Along with everyone who has been apart of his journey here. 

This sweet boy won the heart of every person in the court room. The judge has become an amazing friend in this process and he is very smitten with her. When I arrived we were talking about how long he has been in Foster Care. When our turn came she mentioned he had been apart of the system for over the 1,000. She talked about how when he came to our house he couldn't talk, couldn't connect to people, he had never laughed, or smiled before he came to us. 

After when Damien realized he was the center of attention he put the cheeseyness on and just took it to the max! Luckily Jess is pretty much our personal photographer and took all the shots so we can remember this day for forever. 

We are so grateful this was able to happen! Now on to the sealing post. 

Vent Box

Ok so this has been weighing on my mind for awhile now and I feel the need to share it. Last week we took the opportunity to go to Phoenix zoo. After completing the zoo and waiting for the train we went back up to the splash pad so let the little run around. While there I had an interesting encounter.  While Ben ran to the restroom I sat and watched my little run and run and run. While slightly listening the conversation next to me. It was between a Mom and Dad and they happened to be talking about adoption. Something that I know so many people are grateful for. Anyway it went something like this

M: I could never adopt. I think it is a horrible choice.
D: Why do you say that
M: Can you imagine how the other kids in the family feel?
D: I don't understand
M: I mean I am sure they feel so unloved because their parents picked another child. I don't understand how a family who already has kids could do that to them.
D: Yeah I remember when blank adopted blank. The other kids were so disappointed and felt unloved.
M: Or even putting them with different races. I mean a white family with a black kid is just asking for questions.

Right then munchkin fell on the ground and bonked his head. I wasn't to worried because he wasn't crying and just stood up, kissed it better and came over to tell me. When I didn't freak out and he didn't freak out they complimented me on how well he took it. I said well yeah he wants to go back and play. They asked all the normal questions and I somehow worked into that we are foster parents prepared to adopt. They looked shocked and said oh that is cool. I said yeah both my husband and I are both adopted. They said oh wow! that is cool you all are. I said yeah it is pretty cool, we both were some of the very few in our town. They then went on to ask oh you don't look like your family? I said oh no. In my family some people don't believe my siblings and I are siblings. Let alone that my mom is my mom with her bright blue eyes. My husbands family is just as white as they come. They kind of let it die off there.

But as much as I added a lot to it just to annoy them. I was pretty peeved. I mean I know my family loves me and welcomed me fully to the family. Especially my siblings, and my cousins! There was never a oh well your not part of the family. And I hope I never made my brothers feel unloved. I know for a fact that Ben's family is so grateful for him and love him.

So it was disappointing to hear people be so arrogant towards something that doesn't directly effect them. I have never met someone who didn't think adoption was a great thing. To give a loving family a child who would maybe not have otherwise. I know as an adoptee I am beyond grateful for my family, and how it was meant to be. If you haven't heard Bens story that is just as amazing and meant to be as mine.

That is my soap box....I can't post this for awhile but I feel much better.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Little White Lie-TMI

It seems December always has something up its sleeve for us. When we first met one of the greatest people in my life had left the Earth. Then came December 2008 came and one of Ben's best friend also passed away. The following December 2009 we were married and we had a better holiday. I made gifts that year and it was an accomplishment for both of us to give something we actually cared about. The next year 2010 we bought a house, we were apart through the holidays but I finally got to see my husband for Christmas and it was magical. The following year 2011 was hard not because of something terrible. But because we were away from family. I was extremely home sick. We were making ends meet and had saved up to buy people gifts but not for us. Ben took all of his pesos from his mission cashed them in and bought me a Christmas tree. I cried every time I looked at it. Nothing happened in 2012. It was actually a nice December. Then 2013 we announced a pregnancy, everyone was so excited we were finally having a baby. After one miscarriage that year we thought we were in the clear. The following week we delivered the bad news. We miscarried...again. Last year we became parents to Damien. He came just a couple weeks before his birthday which is just a few days before Christmas. I couldn't have been happier to get up and see him have Christmas. He didn't care but it was exciting for us. I had been so looking forward to this year. Just another calm normal Christmas. But there was another plan.

We had our adoption on November 20th. The following Tuesday the 24th we celebrated Thanksgiving with the Langs, I was feeling a little sick and couldn't even finish a full plate of food. The next day I was sick. I stayed in the bathroom all day. I wanted to make Ben a small Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday so I bucked up and went to the store. I made it barely without tossing my stomach contents. When I got home I realized I was late. Way late. So I woke up Thanksgiving day and took a pregnancy test, I took 4. All said the same thing. I WAS PREGNANT. FEAR. that is all I felt. I knew deep in my heart I couldn't get my hopes up. I told Ben and he was excited and scared. He told me. "Don't move you stay in that bed as long as it takes." You see after my D&C my doctor declared me high risk pregnancy. I needed a hormone treatment in order to up my chances to keep my baby. But it was the holiday weekend and they were all out of the office. So I had to wait until Monday to call. So Bed rest it was. I was devastated. I had planned so much the next week and I had to tell people I couldn't help them. We decided to only tell a few select people about my pregnancy because I didn't want to have to announce to everyone and see the light of excitement go from their eyes. So I made it to my first appointment. I got the drugs and left.

My lie you ask. Well we only told a few people, but since I was on bed rest I couldn't do any thing. Everyone was asking were I was, why I wasn't places, some even getting upset. So we decided to tell a bended truth. I was on a hormone treatment, and so I was. Because of all the hormones in me I needed bed rest and relaxation. And so it was true.

A week passed. Just a week. And the pain started. I knew what it was, but I didn't want it. Finally Ben got home from work and I said we need to go to the ER. We packed Damien an over nighter for the Langs. We drove to the ER. Jessica picked up Damien. And there we were. Sitting waiting to be called back. I was crying. I hurt. Finally after being called back. I miscarried.

There I said it. Wow that makes it so much more real. It was painful, not just emotionally but physically. I felt it all. You see my first miscarriage, was terrible emotionally but I passed him at home. No major pain. My second required a D&C because my body would not pass it naturally. And my third I felt it all. I saw him. I wasn't ready. All I could do is yell and hate myself. I knew it. I knew from the beginning. Then they poke, prodded, did everything they needed. The look on my husbands face each time I went through another test was of protection. He didn't want people to touch me. Just to leave me alone. Let me grieve. But they couldn't. I was use to it. He didn't like it. After passing they were scared and we could tell. Eventually the doctor told us.

You see I passed one but there was a mass on my tubes. The ultrasound said a Ectopic Pregnancy. I freaked out. I knew that meant surgery. I don't do well with surgery. My blood either overly clots due to the meds I get or it doesn't clot and then well I bleed a lot. There was nothing they could do that now early morning. My body had enough trauma for one night. And they sent me home with specific instructions to sleep.  Come back Monday for more test, and talk to my doctor.

Sunday, I didn't believe it. I still haven't processed it. But we all stayed in bed. Damien knew something was wrong, so he did his best to keep us laughing and not thinking about it. It was those moments when he left, when Damien wasn't snuggling me and I cried. That I couldn't see a light. That the depression took over.

Monday came. I went to my doctor. He saw me and knew. He almost cried for me. He could see me on the verge of tears. He explained what we were going to do. Tests, more test, then I would need to see a specialist. He would be with me every step of the way. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT.

Its hard to believe that, I KNOW its not. But look at me. Who are they testing. Who had to be on bed rest. Me. I don't blame myself. But I want to know why my body doesn't want to work.

So then I went and got my blood drawn again. And we went out. We saw friends ate food. Saw missionaries. Went on with life. I needed it. I needed the kids. I just needed to keep moving. Its Christmas. I can't miss it. I won't. I won't miss my sons birthday. I will keep moving. They finally called and said no ectopic pregnancy. So no surgery. A little stress left.

Yesterday (Tuesday) Ben took me out, well he took us all driving. He ran errands I sat in the car. It was nice to be out and not doing anything. My brother called, I almost ignored it but I answered. I hadn't wanted to talk to anyone. But he said "I gave you two days. I need to know your ok". And I am, Im moving on. Itll be a long time before I fully move on. I was talking to my best friend Whitney and I said it best to her. I get ready to move on in the grief cycle then I get more test ran, and then I remember and then I got back a million steps.

So those who knew I was on bed rest. Don't hate me, but we couldn't say it without that hurt and wonder. And I am glad we didn't tell people. Its easier to tell you now. We are taking the rest of the year off from somethings. Scouts is still going because the boys keep wanting to come. And we love them. Its at our home so no biggie. But other things, we might not be so eager to attend.

Thank you for the love the prayers. And thank you for reading this. I needed to post it. I needed to acknowledge it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Welcome to our Home!

So I have been MIA for awhile now but we have exciting news. Obviously I cant post these until everything is final but I want to keep up on all the excitement. We would like to Welcome Damien to our family!!!!!!! He is now three years old and will be adopted into our home in June. He is a little brown boy with black hair and black eyes! Here is the story of how he came to be apart of our family.

So as most of you know we started the Foster Care System with the option to Adopt. We want a family it didn't matter if they were a baby or not but we want a family. So the first night of class we arrive to see a lot of people! One of those people being Maria. Who spoke little to no English. Unfortunately the teacher for the Spanish was out on maternity leave. She was a little lost and Ben told me he wanted to stay after to help her. I said ok. So after class I told our teacher that he would stay and help her. Our teacher was about in tears. So he translated for her and we got it all done. After she said I had no clue you guys were bilingual. I said well Ben is I try but well that is another story.

A few days past and I get a email from her asking us a few questions such as. Are you Interested in Adoption? What would be your limit on special needs? Would you keep fostering? Our answers were YES!!! Our limit on special needs would be as long as I (Tiffany) could care for them on her own since I am a stay at home mom. And yes as long as it was safe for a child we would keep foster.

She then replied saying she had a little boy who needed a forever home and she thinks we would be perfect! She wanted to meet with us the following day to give us more information. So we went and we were set that we would do what we could to bring him home. So she informed us of his situation, she also told us he was 4 and some scary things about him. I was nervous but we still felt right saying yes. So she said ok she would work on setting up a meeting. I told her we were leaving the following week so maybe we should do a meeting after so we all don't get our hopes up.

So after we returned she emailed us to set up a meet and greet. It took some work but we made it happen. We met Damien. Who by the way was 2. A boy we had been told who didn't like people, who never talked to anyone, and never smiled, but definitely wouldn't ever let someone hold him. But by some miracle within five minutes we were playing with him, reading stories, holding hands, talking, and going on a adventure. It was a wonderful time! We told them instantly we wanted him, what did we need to do to bring him home, could we have him on the holidays?? They said yes and started to cry and say they never thought they would find him a home.

 So generally after a meet and greet DES/CPS they ask to do 6 weeks in the office. Mainly because it is somewhere the child feels safe. Then we do 6 weeks of in home visits 3 times a week so they can become normalized to the home.

Well they asked if we would be OK skipping the 6 weeks of visits. And just starting in home visits. Of course we said yes. With that being said we didn't think we would get him for Thanksgiving because it was only a week away. So we continued our Foster Care classes because we knew we couldn't adopt unless we finished. So one night we happened to be in Sierra Vista for class and Daisy called us and asked if we would be ok to have Damien for Thanksgiving we were stoked and said yes. She then informed us that he would be staying two nights with us as she would drop him off the Day before Thanksgiving and pick him up the day after. So in a rush we bought a carseat, a bed, mattress, sheets, etc. We realized we had nothing! But we managed to get it all done. We even got the missionaries to help us set everything up since we didn't have much notice.

So Thanksgiving came. It was amazing. He was a little nervous at first but he calmed right down. And we went to the park with Rick and Jess and the kids. He hadn't been to a park so he just kind of sat with me and took it all in. The next day was crazy. Normally we do a HUGE Thanksgiving, but this year we only have two clothes families come by because we didn't want to overwhelm him. So we had dinner and it was a success. so much Damien fell asleep on my lap. The next day was the worse we had had so much fun. But i knew come 3 they were going to take him back to his Foster home. That I would have to say goodbye and that we would be going back to daily visits and I couldn't protect him there. He didn't want to leave either. He knew he was leaving. It was terrible. DES felt so bad they wanted to leave him with us. They then asked us to attend court the following week.

We then kept with the visits until the day of court came. We were so happy to be there. Hoping for a glimpse of him. But he wasn't there. But something magical happened. The DES worker asked the judge if DES could place him with us due to his advancement with connections. The court ruled YES! So pending the background check we would have him living with us. So a day passed and they called for the information. And then we got the call that the next day Damien would be coming to live with us (Dec. 5) and so it happened. On Dec. 5. Our son came to live with us. And our life has been complete ever since.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hello there!

I so wish we could update you guys on everything going on in our house.We have so much excitement and so much change that it would be nice to put it all out here. But I can't. I do have to say it is nice not being able to post on facebook,or instagram, or anything. If I want to update people I have to call home and tell them. But just know come October we should be able to update you guys. But the last 7 months has been a whirlwind of emotions and crazyness. I have been trying to save blog posts on this happening so that in October everyone will know all. but its harder than i thought! sending love!