We were married in August 2001 in American Fork, Utah. Not long after we were married, we learned that the heart condition Megan was born with could cause pregnancy to be dangerous for her. We immediately decided to pursue adoption since we were very much looking forward to becoming parents. Since adoption was already present in our extended family, we were very comfortable with pursuing it right away. However, we found that most adoption agencies require that a couple be married a minimum of two years before beginning the application process. So we waited... and we lived, worked, and went to school in Provo, Utah for the next 2 years. In July 2003, we were anxious to make an appointment with our adoption agency to begin filling out the paperwork prior to our 2nd anniversary. However, the week before the appointment, Megan's cardiologist sent her for a consultation with a cardiac surgeon. The surgeon said surgery was needed as soon as possible. We were disappointed that we had to delay the beginning of our adoption journey, but wanted to take care of Megan's heart so that she would be able to be a full-time mother in good health when the time came. On December 26, 2003, Megan had open-heart surgery and received a mechanical heart valve to help her heart function reach it's maximum capacity. Her surgeon and cardiologists have since told us that she will enjoy a normal, healthy life, but that because of the birth defects caused by required medications, she should not attempt to get pregnant. As soon as Megan was healthy and strong again, we rescheduled our meeting at the agency and finally began the adoption application process.
We finally were approved to adopt in the Fall of 2005. We were still waiting to be chosen when we contacted the agency in April 2006 to let them know that Shane had just graduated from BYU and had accepted a job offer in Arizona. On our way over to the agency to sign a release so that our file could be transferred to the Arizona agency, our case worker learned that we had been chosen by a birth mother. However, the case worker couldn't tell us yet, because the birth mother wanted to get her sonogram first to find out the sex of the baby before announcing to us. So when we got there, she cheerfully told us we didn't need to sign anything and that she would be in touch soon. We wanted to be excited that something might be going on, but our probing got nothing out of her, so we tried not to get our hopes up.
We kept busy moving over the next
week or so until late one evening in May, the week before Mothers'
Day, we got a phone call from our case worker, Katherine. Neither
of us could help from grinning, knowing that it was too late for
just an ordinary phone call. Katherine tried to be sneaky by calmly
explaining that she had some paperwork she needed us to sign. She
said she was going to e-mail it to us and that she wanted us to look
at it right away. We sat on the couch together in agony over the
next few minutes, the laptop balanced between our knees, constantly
refreshing our e-mail inbox and waiting impatiently for Katherine's
e-mail. After a quick call-back, we realized Katherine had used the
wrong e-mail address. She got the correct one and told us to call
her back after we'd read her e-mail. Just a moment later, a new
message appeared in our inbox. We were shaking! We clicked it open
and saw a scanned copy of a Mothers' Day card signed by Jesse. It
was announcing to us that we had been chosen to adopt the baby she
was carrying. It said to see the ultrasound pictures to find out
the baby's gender. We were thinking, "what ultrasound pictures???"
when another e-mail popped up from Katherine. There were multiple
scans, and we looked through them until we saw the words "It's a
Boy" printed on one of them! We could hardly believe it! We hugged
and hugged and cried and smiled. We were so happy! We nearly had
forgotten to call Katherine back, so she finally called us and we
discussed our excitement and talked a little about what would happen
next. We got excited about making a trip to Utah to meet Jesse.
Over the next couple of months we wrote letters, exchanged gifts, and had a wonderful face-to-face meeting where we felt a strong connection to the sweet young woman who was to become Carter's birth mother. Carter was born on July 28, 2006 in Orem, Utah. We did not know he had been born until 2 days later when we received a call to come to the hospital and meet him for the first time. We were smitten at first sight, of course! What a bittersweet time for us -- joy filled our hearts as we held our son in our arms for the first time, but we were acutely aware that his birth mother was suffering a great loss. We, along with all of our family and friends, rejoiced at our blessing while praying for her welfare. We still think of her every single day and are grateful when we are able to visit with Jesse and her family. We are blessed to enjoy an open adoption arrangement where we stay in contact through e-mail, mail, and periodic visits.