After 5 years, we figured we wouldn’t be able to have children naturally, so we decided that eventually we would adopt. However, adoption is usually very expensive, so we figured we would wait until we were more settled in our careers. In the meantime, I went back to school to get my Master’s degree.
Part way into my graduate program, I discovered I was pregnant. We were overjoyed. 9 months later, I gave birth to a baby girl. I was so excited and grateful to become a mother. My daughter brings me immeasurable joy and makes me smile every day.
Because of the nature of my labor and delivery, my husband and I had concerns that I would not be able to give birth again. We talked about adopting our next child, but not for another four or five years, because I wanted to have the time to be able to savor and enjoy every single moment with my daughter.
When my daughter was a couple of months old, we visited my husband’s family. One evening, we watched a film that ended with two births. Suddenly, my heart was overwhelmed with an intense feeling that I wanted another baby. I didn’t know where the feeling came from, but now I know it was from Heavenly Father to prepare me for what was soon to happen in the next few months.
The very next morning, my sister texted me with the news that my cousin was pregnant from being drugged and raped.
Immediately, I had the thought that I should adopt her baby. But I told myself the idea was crazy because I already had a very young baby. I was worried people would think I was selfish for adopting a baby when I already had a baby, when there were so many childless couples. So I tried to push the thought from my mind.
A couple of months later, as I was rocking my daughter to sleep and pondering on the scriptures to prepare for my Sunday School lesson, I received a strong impression that it was time to have another baby. I asked the Lord how that was possible, as I had not yet recovered from my c-section enough and was physically unable to have another baby yet. The answer was that I needed to adopt my cousin’s baby.
I talked to my husband about the idea, and he felt that it was a good thing to do. We contacted my cousin to ask her to consider us as an adoptive family for her baby. We knew there were many families who wanted to adopt her baby, so we prayed that if it was the right thing for us to do, that she would feel inspired as well.
Shortly thereafter, my cousin let us know that she chose us as the adoptive family for her son. We were so excited but nervous as well. Because we lived in different states, it would be a long, complex, and expensive legal process. We got to work on everything as quickly as we could, because we only had a few months to prepare.
At times, it was extremely stressful and overwhelming. We experienced intense opposition as we tried to arrange everything, and many unexpected challenges arose. However, as we kept praying and exercising faith, we ultimately experienced countless miracles, and everything worked out.
When Alex was born, it was one of the most sacred days of my life. Words cannot describe the joy I felt as I looked at Alex for the first time. My heart was filled with so much love for him. When I held him in my arms, Heaven felt very near, and I knew he was a miracle.
Before adopting Alex, one of my biggest worries was about how close he and my daughter would be in age. I worried about the challenges of being a mother to both a newborn and a young baby. However, God has been with me every step of the way, and He has strengthened me. I have been very blessed by the many friends and family members who have been supportive and have helped me out in so many ways.
I also worried that it might be hard for my daughter (as she was still a baby herself) to have a baby brother so close in age. However, my daughter absolutely adores Alex. He has been so good for her in many unexpected ways. Every morning, the first thing she wants to do is play with him. She loves him so much, and it is obvious that he brings great joy to her as well. When I see them smiling at each other, my heart bursts with happiness and gratitude.
I’m so grateful for the courage and selfless sacrifice of my cousin. She has given me such a beautiful gift. Every day since his birth, Alex has brought such great joy to my life.
July 19, 2016
"Today was the first legal step in the adoption of Alex. It is hard to describe my feelings. My heart breaks and I have shed many tears because of all his birth mother has suffered and because of the grief and pain I know is inherent in this process for her.
As I have tried to find a way to describe this ultimate act of love and sacrifice, the only similar thing to which I can compare it is the passion of Christ. His sorrow and sufferings in the garden and on the cross were immeasurable, yet the joy that His sacrifice brought to the world are infinite and eternal. It was a beautiful selfless act that brings both sorrow and joy- sorrow at Christ's pain and joy at all the blessings it makes available to us.
So too, this adoption is a bittersweet process wrought with both incomprehensible sorrow and joy. I am in awe of the selfless love and courage Alex's birth mother has.
When I hold Alex in my arms, I know that I am accountable not only to God for how I parent Alex, but I am also accountable to his birth angel. I pray I may give him the life she wants for him to have. I pray that each day I may live up to the solemn and sacred responsibility and honor of mothering Alex, an honor made even more holy by the sacred love and selfless sacrifice of his birth mother."