My hubby, Russ, and I live in beautiful Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. We have been together for nine years. We always knew from the day we met that we wanted to have kids together— lots of them! Well, sometimes in life, your plans are not always God’s plans. We spent eight years struggling through treatments, procedures, appointments, and, most of all, heartbreak. While all of our friends and family were off happily having baby after baby, we were left in the shadows to deal with the pain of it’s not happening for us. No one understood. No one. It was a constant, inconsolable pain that could not be relieved. We had talked about adoption a few times. We had even filled out paperwork, but never submitted it.

Well, in early 2013 something just “happened.” Neither of us can explain it. It just happened. We decided to adopt. Adoption suddenly felt right for us. We had prayed and prayed for something to fill this dark, deep, gaping hole that just wouldn’t go away. We prayed for something to heal our hearts from the pain of knowing we would never have biological children. This was it! I remember leaving the adoption agency after the first meeting, and crying tears of joy the entire way home. I knew this was our answer and our purpose. I didn’t know how, who, or when, but I knew this was it. As crazy as it sounds, over the next few months the dark cloud hovering over me disappeared. I was going to be a mom! My dream was finally coming true!

We really started to open up about our “secret” to the world. We created a page on Facebook to keep our family updated. This page quickly became a way for us to network and put ourselves out there. This page also became an amazing outlet for me to share my feelings. Soon, we started receiving hundreds of messages from people who were in our same position. We were not alone! Not only have these people supported us through this process, but we were also inspiring them to adopt as well! We actually received a message from a girl who had recently found out she was pregnant. After seeing our page, and how much of a blessing having a child was, she decided to keep her baby instead of having an abortion. Wow!

We started raising money and saving every penny. Adoption is very expensive, but we didn’t care because a family is priceless!

Then one day we received a message from a girl who said she was considering adoption. We started talking a lot. She ended up choosing us to parent her child. Over a period of about six months, we became very close. Russ and I flew to Texas to meet her and fell in love with her, her kids, and her mom. We went to an ultrasound appointment and had a great meeting with our lawyer. It was a great visit!

After being back at home for a little while, I started to notice little things that just didn’t feel quite right. To make a long story short, she chose to parent her baby. In fact, she had never actually planned to place the child for adoption. She was trying to scam us. Not only were our hearts broken, but our entire adoption fund was gone. We had also passed up other opportunities along the way. I felt like every ounce of hope I had was ripped out of me, and I would never get it back. I wanted to give up, run away and hide. We ended up being scammed by a few different women.

The reason why I bring this all up is for my first piece of advice: be very careful with independent adoption! Private independent adoption can be very scary! Many scams are going on all around us. Some women do it multiple times. They prey on couples desperate for a child and manipulate them into giving them money for “monthly expenses,” or for a phone so they can be in contact with you. No matter how much you feel you can trust someone, some of these women are professionals.

After all that happened, we took a step back and reevaluated what we were doing. We changed some of the ways we were going about the whole process. We are so glad we made this decision.

My last piece of advice would be to follow your heart. The adoption process is very hard— not just for us, but for everyone! It is an absolute roller coaster in every possible aspect. We experienced emotions that I never even knew existed. But in the end, it’s all worth it. And we will have made a difference.

Key message: After all that happened we took a step back, and reevaluated what we were doing. We changed some of the ways we were going about the whole process. We are so glad we made this decision.




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