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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. 

Ruby's adoption story is full of miracles.  After Carter's first birthday, we began the adoption certification process again.  We were anxious for Carter to be a big brother and to welcome another child into our family.  In October 2007, we were back in the "waiting" game.  Time passed, Carter celebrated another birthday, and we continued to be hopeful without receiving any contacts from prospective birth mothers.  In December 2009, a sweet young woman who was about five months pregnant contacted us and told us that she had chosen to place her baby boy for adoption with our family when he was born.  She struggled with this decision for a while and ultimately decided that adoption was not the right choice for her son and that she would single parent, with the help of her supportive family. 

Just nine days after Carter turned three, Megan received a call from a woman in Michigan asking if we were still interested in adopting a child and if it was all right if she texted our number to her daughter's friend who was in labor at the hospital at the time.  Of course Megan told her that was fine.

About ten minutes later, Megan got a call from the girl who was in labor (we'll call her Jane - not her real name).  Jane told Megan that she was dilated to a 5 and that she had chosen us to adopt her child. Megan asked if she had ever seen a picture of us or our profile or anything and she said no. We pieced together later that the Jane's friend just found our online profile and thought we would be a good family for the baby! Megan told her a little bit about our family, and said that we have an open adoption with our son's birth mother.  Jane said she would want this adoption to be completely closed. Megan said we would respect her wishes but that if she changed her mind later, we'd love for her to contact us at any time.  Megan called our case worker and explained the situation and we were on and off the phone the rest of the night as the agency tried to get a case worker from the Michigan office to the hospital . We booked the first flight we could get on - early the next morning.  Late that night, the case worker in Michigan called and told us that our baby girl had been born.

The following day, another case worker picked us up from the airport and took us to the hospital. We were able to meet our daughter's birth mother for just a few minutes. We told her how grateful we were and that we'd always love, honor and respect her and asked if there was anything she wanted the baby to know. Jane said to just tell her that her birth mother wanted to find a good family to love and take care of her since she could not. We promised we would take care of her and give her the very best we could in her life.  We hugged again, and then she was gone.

The case worker took us to the nursery and pointed to our new daughter.  She had the most beautiful little face with petite, feminine, sweet features.  She looked to us like her amazing birth mother! She was just peaceful and calm and content and pursed her perfect, ruby red little lips in the cutest way when she stretched! Her most prominent features right away were her cute little up-turned nose and the cleft in her chin. We were blown away by her perfection and were overjoyed to finally meet her!

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