22 Sep Wynn’s Adoption Story
Many of you have been asking to hear the story of our little Wynnie’s adoption so I have decided to share it! If you make it, I am also going to add a little review of the Dock-a-tot at the end. Enjoy. xoxo
On October 22nd I woke up feeling very happy. I remember feeling like I wanted to do something memorable to set my trial of infertility free. It had been two years since we started trying to get pregnant so I decided I wanted to send 24 balloons to heaven symbolizing those 24 months of pain, heartache, calendars, tracking, ups, and downs. I posted a picture of Em and I with those balloons and the caption said this, “This has definitely been the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I have let it affect my marriage, my friendships, my parenting, and my spirituality. But, it has also taught me to be more understanding, open, grateful, and has made me a stronger person. Even though I often wish this wasn’t my reality, I am grateful for what I have learned and I am very aware that there are others that have it much worse. So, here’s to a new beginning of putting my life in the Lords hands and being grateful for what I have. And like my wise three year old says, ‘sometimes you have to wait for a baby, right mama?’ You are very right Em, and wait we will!” Little did I know that about 6 hours later I was going to begin an even greater trial, one that would bring me to my knees feeling pain I’ve never felt before.
That evening I got a call from my mom telling me that I had lost my dad in a horrible ATV accident. I was so confused as she was telling me what had happened. I honestly thought he was lost in the woods somewhere, not gone from this life forever. I collapsed to the floor and Chance took the phone out of my hands. He pulled all of us together and hugged me so tightly. Em was scared but so comforting. The days to come were the hardest I had ever experienced. I kept thinking about how I let infertility take over my life. I thought it was so hard, but my dad passing away brought pain and heartache like never before.
From that day on life was all about figuring out our new normal. We spent lots of time with family trying to pick of the pieces and move forward. It was a time where I felt very close to the spirit. I studied the scriptures regularly and spent countless hours pleading with my Heavenly Father for strength. I had completely let go of infertility and felt at peace with that part of my life. I was giving my life to Lord and letting Him take control. On November 22nd, one month to the day after my dad passed, we were approached by a dear friend with the news that she knew someone that was pregnant with a baby girl that wanted to place her baby for adoption. The birth mother was due in one month so they were trying to help her find a loving family. My friend told me that she woke up in the middle of the night with the thought that she needed to ask me if we were open to adoption. I was completely shocked. Chance and I had talked a lot about adopting but we weren’t ready to put ourselves through the emotional process of adoption so we pushed the thought out of our minds. But, being approached to adopt someone’s baby doesn’t happen too often. Maybe this was a sign; maybe this was the baby we had been praying for. I couldn’t help but think that maybe my Dad was pulling some strings on the other side. We decided to move forward with this opportunity and sent pictures and letters to the birth mother.
Long story short, we did a few of the legal requirements and found out about 1 week before the due date that the birth mothers parents were making her give them the baby. I was honestly crushed. I could not figure out why God would put us in this position; why He would put something right in front of us and then take it away so suddenly. The day after we found out I was a complete mess. I couldn’t get out of bed and all I could think was “Why us? Why now? Why would you put me through this right after losing my dad?” The sadness overtook me and it took some time to move past it.
Things started to get easier and we tried to move on with “normal” life. I couldn’t stop thinking about adoption but was not ready for that kind of heartache again so I tried to keep it out of my mind. Months went by and all of the sudden it was March. On the night of March 20th I got a text from my sister that said there was a baby boy in Atlanta due in one week who was being placed to adopt. The birth mother didn’t like any of the families the agency had shown her so they were reaching out to families who had adopted before looking for someone the birth mother might like. We hadn’t had a home study done but we had had our background checks done which takes the longest. I sent some photos and a letter to the agency that night and laid awake stressing about what was to come.
The next morning we had a few phone calls with the agency and eventually were told that she was being induced the next day and if we could get our home study done that day and be in Atlanta in time, the birth mom had picked us. What a whirl wind that day was! In less than 24 hours we got a home study done, filled out all of the required paperwork, and flew to Atlanta! Once we got on the flight we could finally breathe and take in all the excitement for what was to come! We were about to adopt a baby boy and be a family of four! Emry was a little sad it was a boy, but once she got over it she was so excited to meet her “baby bruder”. That baby was going to be born on the 22nd, the 5 month mark of my dad’s death. It had to be fate, or so we thought.
We landed in Atlanta at noon and were at the hospital about 3 hours later. We were told that the birth mother was still in labor but was trying to get some rest. She wanted to meet us though so we went straight there. We walked into her room expecting to see a woman in labor; instead we saw a woman in a hospital bed and another woman on the couch holding a baby! We were in shock. She had already had him and we were about to hold him for the first time. Her sister handed us the baby and we snuggled him for a few hours. We got to know the birth mother and felt very connected to her. She reassured us that she wanted to go through with the adoption and knew that we were the right family. We left the hospital that night in shock, excited, scared, and ready for the next 24 hours to fly by.
We went back to the hospital the next morning and spent more time with the baby. He was adorable and so calm. He was a content little thing! A few hours later things started to feel strange with the birth mother. She started telling us about the birth father and how he was changing his mind. He told her that he didn’t know she was serious about the adoption and that he wanted to make sure the baby wasn’t his before she signed him away. We decided to leave so she could have some time to figure everything out. I felt deep down that things weren’t going to end well. She seemed so conflicted and that scared me. We sat in the parking garage waiting for a text from her. Eventually she told us we could come back. We entered her room and could feel something was not right. About 30 seconds later there was a knock on the door. In walked the birth father and his sister. My heart was beating so fast, all I wanted to do was run. They jumped right into it and told us that they never thought the birth mother would go through with the adoption. They just kept saying that if he was “blood” then they would never be okay with this. They would never leave “blood”. They went on to say that if he isn’t the father’s then they don’t want him. It was so heartbreaking and hurt me so deeply. How could someone say such horrible things to people sitting here willing to take a baby, not caring whose “blood” he is? We were there ready to love him like our own. I couldn’t hold back the tears. Once again my whole world was crashing down around me and I couldn’t do anything about it.
We left the hospital with mixed emotions and such confusion. I was so angry but then had a little hope that the birth mother would exercise her right and give us the baby. We prayed so hard, harder than ever that night. We also snuck away to the temple in hopes that we would feel some kind of clarity. We woke the next day with no texts or phone calls from the birth mother but there was a text telling us that both of my brothers had had their babies. That news almost broke me. I cried hard and loud. I didn’t know what to do. We spent the next 24 hours sending texts back and forth with the birth mom. There would be a glimmer of hope and then we wouldn’t hear from her for a few hours. We finally decided to call the hospital and see if she had been discharged. They told us she had left so we gave up and booked our flights home. Driving home from the Salt Lake airport was so painful. Seeing the empty infant car seat and hearing Emry ask why she didn’t get a baby brother was almost too much to bear. But, we picked ourselves up and moved forward.
The agency felt horrible for what had happened and they were honestly shocked that it went down the way it did. They immediately started talking to me about potential birth moms. I was so heartbroken and told them I had to pass. They then told me that there was a baby girl that was an agency pick due in two weeks. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about this baby girl, but I was so scared to start again. After losing my dad I had this feeling we were going to have a girl next and she was going to be named Wynn. When they told me there was a girl that they felt would be a perfect fit for us I just knew this had to be the one. We decided to move forward with it, but we kept it to ourselves. Watching our families go through the pain of losing that baby boy was so hard, I couldn’t do it again.
The next two weeks were calm and stressful all at the same time. We didn’t let ourselves get too excited because we knew how quickly things could go south. I kept telling myself that I could get excited if she gets on the plane and flies to Utah. She was planning on delivering here in Utah to make things easier so no one would have to cross state lines with the baby. On Tuesday, April 11th we were told that she was on the plane headed to Utah. The next phone call we got was to tell us that she had seen the doctor and was going to be induced the next day at 6 am! Things were really happening. We packed up, left Em with some friends and headed to West Jordan. At this point only a few people knew but most did not. We were keeping it to ourselves until she signed.
On April 12th, Chance and I hung out in a hotel room getting updates from our caseworker on her progress. Each text I got would kill me if it wasn’t from her! When we got the “6 lbs 12 oz, 18 inches” text my heart began to race. She was here, she was healthy and perfect. We could not wait to meet her!
We met our caseworker at the hospital a few hours later, we were so excited and so nervous. We were both in shock that we were about to meet our little girl but we were still experiencing so much fear and doubt at this point. We were so scared we would meet her, fall in love with her, and then she would be taken away from us. We walked into the nursery and there she was, sprawled out in a hospital crib enjoying the warmth from the lights. She was perfect and beyond beautiful. She had lots of hair and big feet! I immediately began crying, I knew she was ours. I still had some fear but things felt different this time.
After we took some pictures and chatted with the caseworker we were left in a private room, just the three of us. Chance suggested we say a prayer and he asked me to do it. We bowed our heads over our little girl and had a conversation with God. We thanked Him for such an incredible blessing and asked Him to give us guidance as we raise little Wynn. I asked Him to thank my Dad for whatever part he had in bring her to our family, I know he was pulling some strings! It was a very emotional prayer and the room was filled with the most peaceful spirit. It was a moment I will never forget and one that solidified that she was supposed to be in our arms. We spent the next couple hours holding her and snuggling her.
The next morning came quickly and we patiently waited for the signing at four o’clock. I felt at peace with what was going to happen but would work myself up when I started feeling too comfortable. We didn’t name her or talk much about the future until the signing, it was too scary. At exactly four o’clock we got a call from our case worker saying she had signed and she was officially ours. My heart was bursting. I felt such excitement and love but then I also felt such pain and sadness for what her birth mother had just gone through. It’s a strange feeling to be so happy and so sad all at the same time.
We started to make calls and tell everyone about our newest addition and we finally decided on a name, Wynn JoAnn Burrows. My dad’s name was EdWynn and my grandma’s middle name is JoAnn. We wanted her name to mean something so we chose two family names. We we wanted to name her after my dad to give a sense of his presence in our lives. I know he helped send her on her way and I’m sure he was pretty excited when he found out what we named her! My grandmas name is Barbara Jo Ann and growing up they called her Bobbie Jo so that’s how we decided that Wynnie Jo was so perfect!
The day we were released from the hospital we hurried home to SURPRISE big sis! After having to tell her in Atlanta that she wasn’t getting a “little bruder” anymore we just couldn’t do that to her again. When we told her she just looked at us with tears in her eyes and asked why we didn’t get to take him home. The heartbreak of losing him and then having to tell her was too much to take. We figured we would wait till it was final to tell her about her sister. The look on her face when we put her in her arms was priceless! She was so excited to have a sister and she was so excited that her name was Wynnie! (even though two days later at the doctors office she told the nurse her baby sisters name was Rose haha)
Looking back to the day in Atlanta I remember leaving the hospital the first time we met that baby boy feeling conflicted. I couldn’t figure out if it was because we had just held “our” baby and then left him in the hospital with his birth mom or if it was because he was never meant to be ours. I was so confused but pushed the confusion to the back of my mind and tried to move forward. I know if he had come home with us we would have given him a good life. But after seeing Wynn for the first time I knew this was the child we were supposed to raise. There was no confusion, no lack of recognition, and there was very little fear of it not working out. You can always see much clearer when looking back. That experience in Atlanta, all though hard, was an experience I wouldn’t trade. It brought us to Wynn and for that I will always be grateful.
Going through what we did to get her here was all worth it when all was said and done. But, when we were in the thick of it, I never thought things were going to get better. I couldn’t see past our trials and it was so heartbreaking. I think that is part of our journey in this life. We were meant to feel immense pain so in return we could feel immense joy. I know that this isn’t the end of our pain and that things aren’t going to be rainbows and butterflies now. But, because we were able to feel such joy again I know we will be able to get through whatever life throws at us next.
I also want to express that even when I was at my darkest moments, I was still able to feel joy. I have a great support system filled with people who love and care about me. I have a loving husband who stuck with me through my ugliest moments. And I had Emry, without her I would not have had the drive to move forward each day. Through infertility and losing my dad, she was the one that kept me smiling and kept me going. She seriously was (and is) the sunshine in our lives and I couldn’t have done any of it without her. Now we are a family of four and each day we thank the Lord for trusting us with such sweet spirits. The weight of the world is on our shoulders when it comes to raising two very different girls but I know that through Him we will be able to help them on the path back to their loving Heavenly Father!
Now on a lighter note, time for the Dock-a-tot review! Honestly we have loved it and so has Wynn! She sleeps from 9 to about 8 am every night and has for about a month now. Before that she was sleeping from about 10 to 5 and then would go back down after she ate. Maybe it’s the dock-a-tot or maybe she is just an angel baby, who knows? All I do know is that I am not going to take it away and see if things change! 😉 It’s been so easy to travel with and move around from room to room. We have yet to do any airplane travel with it but I don’t think it will be too big of an issue. I have washed the cover and all stains came right out, we got the white one so I was impressed by how well it cleaned. We have co-slept with it a few times and I have loved that. It’s so easy to help her when she needs it but you don’t have to worry about rolling over her while asleep. If we had a bigger bed I would have done it more when she was really tiny. (She is in her own room now) Wynnie may be an awesome sleeper on her own but I do think this has helped. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking into it!