Adoption Update

Hi everyone!

Well the past year and a half, since our first blog post, has been quite a whirlwind for us. We announced our plans to adopt, we’ve shared our infertility heart break, we completed an adoption homestudy, we had a call to adopt a baby boy that fell through at the last minute, we found amazing doctors, we had a little miracle baby and we moved across the country. Another thing that has happened to us though, that we remember everyday, is the love and support that we have received from our friends, family and even complete strangers. So many people have donated money and had fundraising parties to help support our effort. We want you all to know that your efforts and support have not gone to waste or been lost. We have a separate account for the adoption and only for the adoption.

Once we found out we were pregnant with our son, we had to put the adoption on the back burner. Being high risk during the pregnancy really took up every second of our day.  Now that we have our son, adoption is even more exciting. We want this amazing guy to have a sibling! Only God knows if we will have another biological child or not, but the one thing we do know is that we WILL grow our family through adoption. Thankfully, now that we are living in Ohio, we are able to connect with more agencies that will work with our family. There were many agencies that would not work with New Mexico. We are excited for this next chapter in life and hope that in the near future, we will be able to get the ball rolling again to bring a wonderful blessing into our home.

Thank you for all your continued support and patience.

Love,

Whitney, Tara & Thatcher

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I Wanna Go Back, I Gotta Go Back to…….

O-HI-O!!!

(for those of you NOT from Ohio who do not get the reference in the title…watch this video… http://youtu.be/QBiY48bRO-I )

So we have some news! If you haven’t guessed (or know already)…we are headed HOME! Since we got married, we have always wanted to get back to Ohio. We hoped that eventually we could raise our family there. We’d be closer to family and friends. We’d be back in the state that means so much to us that we hold so close to our hearts. We just didn’t really know how it would happen.

About 2 years ago, God started working on our hearts that maybe our lives weren’t going in the direction that He wanted. Through many trials and lessons, it became clear to us that God wanted something more. With that being said, Whitney has been accepted to Massillon Bible College (near Canton) and will be starting classes for pastoral studies on August 21st! Yes. that means that in 2 weeks we are MOVING from the desert. We truly believe that God brought us here to not only clearly see His direction for our lives but to also be given this beautiful baby boy.  Which by the way, I realize that we never blogged about his arrival! Thatcher Thomas Owens arrived via c-section on July 3, 2013. He is three weeks old now! We are so excited for him to be able to grow up near both his grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a ton of our friend’s kids.

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For those wondering, we are also still working on the adoption. The birth of our son has slowed things down but one good thing about moving to Ohio is that there are SO MANY MORE resources for us in Ohio than there were in New Mexico. Adoption is something we have not given up on and still plan on doing. Now that we have Thatcher, our desire to continue to grow our family has strengthened even more!

So the next few months will be a huge transition. Thatcher’s first plane ride, finding jobs, finding a house, Whitney adjusting to school, us continuing to get this parenting thing down….Please pray for us during this time.

Love,

Whitney, Tara & Thatcher

June

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a mother (and Whitney has wanted to be a father). Over the past four years, our prayer to God has been for Him to bless us with children. Over the past year and a half, we have had two prayers…..for God to bless us with a biological child and to help us bring home a child from another country. He doesn’t always answer prayers right away or even in the order WE would prefer. It’s all in His timing.

We are so so happy to announce to you all today that God has answered one of our prayers. We are PREGNANT! Some of you already know because major adjustments have been made in our life and a lot of plans had to change once we found out. But we are finally letting the cat out of the bag to the world…because our baby is coming SOON! Here’s baby Cinco’s story:

Ok, first of all, we have nicknamed this baby “Cinco” because this is our fifth pregnancy (Cinco is five in Spanish and he/she will be born at a hosptial in El Paso, Texas where you can literally SEE the Mexican border out the window!) Back in May 2012 (after our 4th loss), we had our first meeting with a fertility doctor in El Paso. I can’t even explain the comfort we felt in that office. We were SUPPOSED to be there. This is where they helped people like us. We no longer got the weird stares or looks of complete confusion when we told them our history. This doctor was on a mission! He told us to not get pregnant again until we could figure all this out. We should NOT have to to through another loss. He sent us directly to a lab to get a TON of testing done. Here we are waiting at the lab, right before our tests and right before I passed out from literally giving 20 tubes of blood. I also clearly don’t like paparazzi:

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Little did we know that one of those tests I took that day was the key to helping us. Fast foward a month or so…we get back all our results. What came back was that I have a few things going on: 1.) PCOS (polycystic ovaries): This was preventing us from easily getting pregnant in the first place. 2.) MTHFR gene mutation: This was causing my body not to metabolize folic acid correctly. 3.) My progesterone levels were low (which we knew with Sarah) AND 4.) the biggie….I tested negative for a blood disorder. Ok so why is testing negative a bad thing? Well, my doctor has a feeling that this was my problem. He and a local Hemotologist (a blood doctor) had been studying this and were about to publish a paper on Antiphospholipid Syndrome in pregnant women. They are the ONLY ones in the country doing this! (check that off as clearly another reason God brought us out here to the desert!). They found that some women test negative for this only when they are not pregnant. So he gave us the go ahead to get pregnant (with some help from some different medication to help the other issues and many shots). He said if we got pregnant, we would start us on blood thinners to treat the syndrome and test me again. The bad thing about this syndrome is that the test results take at least 6 weeks to get back. By then, women with this usually miscarry. So by putting me on daily blood thinner shots, we could prevent this (if that was the case). Here is my at home nurse/husband preparing some of the hundreds of shots we have taken over the past 8 months (he may enjoy this a little toooo much):

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So, the first month we try (with a strict calendar of shots and ultrasounds) we get pregnant! photo

This was October. Immediately we call our doctor and he starts us on daily blood thinner shots and progesterone shots. Let’s just say that I am not the woman who will be baring her belly for a maternity photo shoot (not that I would anyway) but it looks like a war zone of bruises at this point. He tests me for the Antiphospholipid Syndrome (say that three times fast) and 6 weeks later…BOOM…I’ve got it. Thank the LORD that he figured this was the issue and treated me as though he already knew. Not only did this doctor help us to FINALLY figure out our issues, BUT he helped us to find out what happened to Sarah. He says that I kept the pregnancy for so long with the help of the progesterone I was taking at the time, but in the end, a blood clot caused me to go into early labor (along with another issue I will discuss next) Because it happened slowly, Sarah lost a lot of the amniotic fluid and it was replaced with an infection. We were so happy not only to have the chance again to possibly have a bioloical child, but getting answers to our questions for our baby girl was a PRICELESS gift from God.

So, our doctor had done all he could do at this point so he referred us to a Perinatologist (also in El Paso)and the hemotologist he was working with (to monitor the blood thinners during the pregancy). A perinatologist is a high risk OB. During this time, it was brought to our doctor’s attention that when we were pregnant with Sarah, I may have had an incompetent cervix (I really hate that wording but when it’s not doing it’s job, that’s the word you use!). This means that my cervix shortens too early and causes early delivery. So, after about a month of weekly ultrasounds to check everything, we checked into a medical center in El Paso and had a cerclage surgery done. Basically, they sewed Cinco in til delivery. I was on complete bedrest for a full week and since then, have been on modified bedrest (I can sit and work and lay down at home). I have been truely blessed with such an amazing husband to literally does EVERYTHING around the house. Poor guy. Thankfully we have also had many local friends really helping us out as well and my mom and grandma came out during the surgery time (which we KNOW that Frank was super pumped about because he has already become second string and the baby isn’t even here yet).

So here we are, 27.5 weeks pregnant and in the third trimester (yes we have waited awhile to announce all of this). We have really been so blessed to be able to get this far and finally see the finish line up ahead. When we reached the 23 week mark (when Sarah was born) is was unchartered territory for us and we have not looked back. I am on modified bed rest til the end and am still taking a weekly shot of progesterone and daily shots of blood thinners. It has been one of the hardest things for us but when I feel this baby kick me and when Whitney gets to feel it too, it is all so perfect and worth it all!

We’ve waited til today to tell our news because we actually have a new due date. Originally it was July 13th. but because of the surgery I had in January, things have changed. Our doctor will be taking out my stitches between 36-37 weeks (June 15-22) and she says that 99% of women then go into labor from there. At 33 weeks I will be given some steriods to help further develop the baby’s lungs and then it’s the home stretch. Please pray that Cinco stays on course and doesn’t get too big for his/her britches (already this “little” Owens is measuring a week and a half bigger than normal).

Thank you for hanging with us on this journey and still supporting us in our adoption (clearly this timeline is not what WE thought but it WILL still happen for those who were wondering). We have faith in God’s plan and we have felt Him with us this entire time.

Love,

Whitney, Tara & Cinco

It’s Everywhere!

This post is a few days late. I had the idea for it on Super Bowl Sunday when I read this article about Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers and Michael Oher of the Ravens. Both of these football players were adopted. It got me thinking….who else out there is adopted? I consulted my friend Google and TONS of information came up. We always hear about celebrities who adopt children and there are WAY too many to name (though my favorite story is about Hugh Jackman. He and his wife had suffered many miscarriages before adopting their two beautiful children). I found a great site that had a huge list of famous adopted people (click here).

Most recently, we’ve all heard Steve Jobs story. He was adopted as an infant. So was the singer Faith Hill.

Dave Thomas (of Wendy’s) was given up for adoption at birth. Sadly, his adoptive mother died when he was five. Thomas left high school in the tenth grade to work full-time at a restaurant. After a stint in the army, Thomas moved to Columbus, Ohio, where he opened his first Wendy’s restaurant in 1969. He would later found the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to promote adoption law simplification and reduce adoption costs in the United States.

Babe Ruth was placed in an orphanage at a young age and that is where he learned to play baseball. Later in life, he and his wife adopted a daughter.

And there are so many more who were adopted by family members or step-parents, which I believe is equally as important.

Another very important person who was adopted….MOSES! At the time, Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed, but Moses’ mother didn’t have the heart to comply. So she hid him and he was found by Pharaoh’s daughter and she took him in as her own (Read Exodus 2)

Most importantly, I’m adopted. When I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior God adopted me into his family. If you’re saved by grace through faith then you are adopted too !

My point is…adoption is everywhere…..from the bible to the big screen, to the football field, to your next door neighbor to YOU…. I LOVE THAT !!!

Thank you all for your continued support of our adoption. I know it seems to be taking forever but we know that God’s timing is better than ours:) Thanks for sticking with us through this. 2013 is going to be a great year for our family.

Love,

Tara & Whitney

The “What If’s” and the Healing

Today on Facebook, I saw a post from a friend of mine from high school, welcoming his beautiful baby boy into the world (PS. super excited for him and his wife as they have also struggled and have waited patiently for their son). For some reason that prompted me to look at the date. Today, if Sarah would have made it to our due date, we would be celebrating her first birthday. But I am ok about it. It’s amazing what God’s grace and time can do for your healing heart. We no longer have the “what if” moments. We have complete acceptance. In the beginning it was so hard not to. We had to delete all the pregnancy apps on our phone that reminded us how far along we “should” be. Poor Whitney went through my email to delete any pregnancy emails that came through and he guarded the mailbox like a hawk to make sure I didn’t see the pregnancy and baby magazines that would come. Now, when I go to the mail and see a Pottery Barn Kids catalog….it doesn’t sting as badly. I actually have hope when I see those things. A hope that one day we will have children and maybe they can have some cute overpriced bedding just like I always pictured:) Ha!

Recently, a friend of mine went through a similar loss as us. My heart just broke. In my mind, I replayed what happened to us but it was so much easier. I pulled it together for her, who I knew was falling apart. She was me. Her husband was Whitney. I am sad that we didn’t get to raise Sarah but I am glad that we can help others through simliar situations. I wish I could fast forward time for my friend so she could feel the healing I feel. I promised her that it gets better…..and I wasn’t lying.

God has completely taken away my impatience and made me realize that everyday is a good day. Everyday is another day closer to our children. I realize that some of you may think that the adoption is taking forever, and it is, but we know our time will come. What an amazing feeling to let it all go and give it all to God. Giving up control is a VERY hard thing for me to do….but when I did it, it was the best feeling.

What are you holding on to that you could give up?

Love,

Tara

End of the year update

Hello everyone!

We realize it has been a while since our last update. But we wanted to fill you all in before things got much busier with Christmas coming up. On the adoption front, we learned yesterday that our social worker and the adoption agency she owns is shutting it’s doors. Thankfully, she has directed us to another agency/social worker who is willing to take our files and work with us. They are also in Albuquerque (3.5 hours away) but they have a social worker in Las Cruces (1 hour away) so that should help with travel costs. These past couple of months have been interesting. We have really been able to take a step back and really pray about which direction/location to go. This “money saving” time is good for us. We want to be good stewards of our money and the money that people generously donate/raise for us. Nothing will make this go any faster (except maybe winning the lotto, except we don’t gamble) but this time has been very peaceful and we know that God will direct us and provide.

On the biological front, we have FINALLY figured out our issues with infertility. Thank the Lord for connecting us with some AMAZING doctors. We also finally have answers to what happened during our pregnancy with Sarah. That in itself is a HUGE answered prayer for us. We’ve got a great team gathered together between here and El Paso, Texas to help us with growing our family. We’ve also had some people ask us if we have a biological child, will we still adopt. The answer is YES. We have always felt called to adopt, even before we learned of all our issues.

Thank you for your continued support and prayers! We realize that it seems like alot is going on and we just wanted to let everyone know that we feel confident that God will provide us with a biological child AND an adopted child. Thanks for sticking with us on this crazy ride and Lord willing, 2013 will be a wonderful year for us and our families. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Love,

Whitney and Tara

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Happy National Adoption Month!

Throughout this whole process we have been FLOODED with information about adoption. We try and read everything from different blogs, websites, facebook, emails, twitter….you name it. We still feel clueless. There are so many laws and different avenues you can go. It’s crazy. As far as updates, well we have none but we didn’t want to leave all our faithful followers hanging. We do have a little over 20% of our financial goal raised so thank you all for that! We are taking this time til we get the whole monetary amount to really pray and educate ourselves on which direction we will go. There was a recent law change in New Mexico that ruled out some organizations we could work with. So we are just trying to make a plan of action and pray that God will direct us in the path He wants us to go.

In the mean time, we thought we could educate you guys! If you didn’t already know, November is National Adoption Month, a special awareness month for adoptive families, birth parents, waiting families, foster care providers, adoption professionals and anyone else whose life has been touched by adoption! The month-long celebration will also be recognized across the United States on Saturday, November 17 – National Adoption Day.

One special way that you can help celebrate is to use your voice to ask your two U.S. Senators to cosponsor S.3616 & your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 4373, the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. As you may already know, if Congress does not act to extend the federal adoption tax credit (ATC) this year, the credit as we now know it will expire on December 31, 2012. This will not effect us this year, but we do know several special families that it will! And of course, we pray that when our time comes, this tax credit will help us and other families out immensely! Members of Congress are back in their home districts until Congress resumes next TUESDAY! Right now it is important to engage your legislators about this issue, via a meeting, town hall, an email or a phone call, so that Members feel pressure to include the ATC in any deal that moves ahead in the lame duck session of Congress. Imagine if Congress arrived back in Washington, D.C. and the Making Adoptions Affordable Act had 50 cosponsors on the Senate bill (S. 3616) and 50 cosponsors on the House bill (H.R. 4373)! This would undoubtedly convey a sense of urgency and bipartisan support. This goal is possible with your help! If you need to find your Senators information, click here!

Thanks everyone and we hope that you take the time to reach out to your local government! We also have not forgotten that November is also the month of Thanksgiving. We are thankful for each one of you and for the support you have shown us since our annoucement to adopt. We wish you all a very safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. PSALM 107:1 (KJV)

Love,

Tara & Whitney

Pumpkin Pie and Bi !!!!!!

Happy November everyone! We are a few days late on announcing November’s fundraiser:

In 2001, a great group of incoming freshman moved into Marietta College. I was a junior that year and this class included many girls who are still some of my greatest friends. One of them, Becki (aka Bi) is the latest and greatest who came to us saying she wanted to help us with our adoption. I first met Becki during Homecoming that year. We worked together on the homecoming float for our sorority. Since that time, we have become great friends and I just love her to pieces.

Becki sells Willow House which is a company that makes the cutest home decor. Order gifts for the holidays or purchase something for yourself and all the proceeds go towards our adoption. Enjoy the fabulous Fall Bazaar and the on-line outlet! You can also shop the catalog on-line or Becki would be happy to send you a catalog if you want. There are loads of great decor that is just waiting to light up your home!!! Spend $40 or more and you will get one catalog item (of equal or lesser value) half off! This fundraiser is going on til November 26th.

Visit Willow House here:
http://beckifalatach.willowhouse.com/
when your ready to place your order make sure you put “Tara Owens” under the host option! 

Thank you all for your continued love and support. Becki, thank you for setting this up. We love you!

Whitney & Tara 

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Fall Festival

Hello everyone!

Sorry it has been so long since we last posted. It is hard when nothing is really going on. Right now we are really focusing on the money aspect and following God’s direction on where He wants us to go from here. In the mean time though, we have had so much support from family and friends. Most recently, our friend Mary (from our old church Diamond Springs Baptist Church in Virginia Beach) held a Fall Festival Fundraiser for us. We were so shocked to get an email from her telling us all that she had done in preparation for it and she even had a Facebook page set up. She had people donate homemade crafts and baked goods for the fundraiser. She invited everyone to her house for some hot cocoa, cider and shopping! I was so sad that we couldn’t go (we miss Virginia and our church family so badly) but we hear it was a success! Thank you Mary and everyone who attended from the bottom of our hearts. Our lives are blessed because you are in it!

Love,

Tara & Whitney

Check out some pictures from the Fall Fundraiser:

Mary and her cutie Ruby

The spread

Our friends Janet, Sarah and Nita

Our friends Sarah, Samantha and Janet (nice bunny ears Janet!!)

Mary’s cutie Robert with some of the goodies

When you don’t know what is going on.

Hello friends and family,

Long time no write! Honestly, there is not one new thing to report with the adoption.  I wish we had something for you. We do have a special request though. No matter what, we want to and WILL adopt a child. But we haven’t given up hope that God will provide us with a biological child to raise as well. On Monday we have an appointment with the fertility doctor we have been seeing for a while now. This appointment is the one where we get ALL our test results back. Over the past month, I have had examinations and procedures and BOTH of us have given enough blood to fully supply our town’s Red Cross Blood Bank (ok, I MAY be exaggerating a bit). This appointment will either be a “here is what is wrong and here’s what we will do to fix it” OR “nothing is wrong and here’s what we will do next”. I am sorta nervous because everything so far that we have gotten back has said that everything is fine. Which is great right? I mean, I don’t WANT anything to be wrong with me but something is clearly not right. It’s in God hands and all we can do is pray for the doctor to have the knowledge to help us. Thank you for all the love, support and prayers during this time.

Love,

Tara & Whitney