My sweet sister, Heidi, has absolutely amazed me with her strength in this past year. She ended up pregnant, with no father in the picture, and what could have been a horrible situation, was made in to the most amazing experience that our whole family feels eternally grateful to have been a part of.
First off, when she found out she was pregnant there was never any question in her mind that this baby was meant to be with another family. It was just getting to them in a round-about way. She felt the heavy responsibility of finding the parents that this little one was meant to go to. She very unselfishly wanted this baby to be brought up with a mother and father who were strong in our faith. The search began.
It was very short.
Working through LDS Social Services she knew almost immediately when the right family popped up on her computer. Dave and Candace were it. That was his mommy and daddy. No question.
Heidi worked very hard through her pregnancy to stay healthy so that this baby could have the best start possible. She was excited for every little milestone. Once she found Candace and Dave, she enjoyed sharing everything she was going through. She didn't want them to miss out on anything.
A month before her due date our family had the opportunity to go to dinner with Candace and Dave's family. It was like being at a family reunion with family we hadn't had the chance to meet yet. It was very easy to love them. We met grandmas, grandpas, brothers and sisters. We came back to our house with everyone afterwords for brownies and ice cream. We talked and laughed for hours.
As the time grew closer Heidi asked lots of questions about the delivery. She figured letting this little one go to this wonderful family would be hard, but she never questioned her resolve that it was the right thing for this little guy. She became nervous about what would be physically involved with the delivery. We had fun talking about all the ins and outs involved with bringing a baby into this world. Her social worker warned her it was going to be difficult when she came to the point when she actually handed this little one to his new parents. Heidi assured her it would be fine...oh boy...I don't think any of us were ready when that time came.
Heidi ended up being induced, but the induction wasn't progressing, so very spur of the moment, the doctor decided to go forward with a c-section. I was quickly texted of the decision. I was in the middle of sacrament meeting at church. I quickly left for the hospital (only 10 minutes away), but by the time I got there they had already done the c-section. Everyone's emotions were sky high. It all came crashing down that we were going to have to say goodbye to this little guy we were just barely going to get to meet...little Griffin (I love the name they picked for him - fits him perfectly!).
My mom was the only one allowed to be in during the c-section. We all had to wait in Heidi's room until they brought her back 90 minutes later. Oh MAN did we all cry so hard. He was the sweetest little guy! We fell in love immediately! Heidi was so excited for him to meet his new parents. He was ALWAYS their baby - she was just the vehicle for getting him here. I know there will always be a special place in his heart for the mother who was willing to let him go to his ETERNAL family.
Candace and Dave with their little boy they waited so long for!
My sisters Kacie and Jamie, with me and Griffin.
Jamie with Griffin
My dad holding his newest grandson.
Kacie and Griffin
My mom and Griffin
Griffin holding his new daddy's finger...and that little guy has a grip!
Heidi was so cute with Griffin. She said she had no idea until she held him, how much love she would feel for him. But even then, she never regretted the decision she was making. She only wanted to get her life in order so she could have a little family of her own some day soon. She is working to be the best mommy and person she can be for THAT family...who is waiting for her.
Heidi had a hard recovery. She was in the hospital for five days with little Griffin. She relished every moment she had with him, for she knew all too well that time was short. We all cuddled with him every day, whispering sweet nothings in his ears, nuzzling his sweet head with our noses, trying to make a lifetime of memories in a few short days. Griffin got to meet my kids, his cousins, Bryan, Morgan, Colton, and Kyle. They were so excited to finally meet this guy that had been kicking around in their aunt's belly.
When Heidi was released, Griffin was released to Candace and Dave. That night we had a get together at our house where the adoption papers were signed, making Griffin an official member of Candace and Dave's family. We had a sort of testimony meeting, all about Heidi. We were all able to express our love for her and the great sacrifice she was making for this little guy who meant so much to her. There wasn't a dry eye to be found. Everyone felt the magnitude of what was taking place.
It really is the happiest sad (as I heard it described so well by another mother who placed her baby for adoption).
Signing the adoption papers....Griffin just watched Heidi so intently. He is the best behaved baby!
Giving Candace her new baby boy...
There really are no words to express what happened in this room. How do you tell someone how grateful you are for their sacrifice. A sacrifice that is giving you the family you have been waiting, hoping, and praying for anxiously for so long? I feel blessed to have witnessed this event. I feel blessed to have felt the strength of the love in that room at that moment. I know these are the moments in which our Heavenly Father sheds the same tears of love and joy as we did.
Both of our families actually had family members who wanted to witness the event being Skyped in. This picture shows my sister, Brittany on Skype. My brother Matt and his family also Skyped with us.
Kacie and Heidi
All the grandparents - my parents, Dave's parents, and Candace's parents.
Mark, my mom, and Heidi.
Thankfully, we still got to spend about another week with Candace and Griffin - Dave had to return to work while Candace remained in state until the judge signed the papers. Candace was so sweet! She allowed Heidi to spend time with Griffin every day. We all went out to dinner again with Candace, her mom, and Griffin. The day before Candace and Griffin were to fly back home, Heidi asked me to do a photoshoot of her and Griffin so she could have some beautiful pictures to remember the occasion. My sister was positively radiant! She loved Griffin with all her heart, but she was so excited that he was going to this amazing family! She looks forward to seeing him grow and develop into a wonderful young man. We all do.
Thank you Griffin for bringing two amazing families together. We love you.