As we met with Bishop Despain, we were excited and knew this was what the Lord had in store for us. We informed our parents that we had decided to start the process of adoption. We could hardly contain our excitement and had to keep reminding ourselves that this could take a long time. We started out meeting with Brenda Brown who worked with LDS Family Services. She was so wonderful and helpful and supportive. After our visit with Brenda, we realized that there was A LOT of paperwork in order to be approved as potential adoptive parents. What a better place to start than at the beginning right??!!
We prayerfully and diligently worked on our paperwork. We wrote our "letter to the birthparent" and answered the questionnaires. We filled out paper after paper. Finally as we finished all our paperwork, we had a few final tasks in order to be approved. As part of the approval process, we were required to get physicals to submit with our paperwork. Russ met with Doctor Brandt and Emily met with Shannon Neer (Dr. Ryder's physicians assistant). Emily informed Shannon that there had been a history of Thyroid issues in her family. As Shannon checked Emily, she found a lump in her Thyroid and determined it would be necessary to test further. After further testing, it was determined that Emily had Thyroid Cancer. This of course would delay the adoption paperwork.
After discussing the cancer with Endocrinologist, Dr. Gary Treece in Yakima, Emily received on offer from Dr. Lyle Hunt in Paradise to do the surgery. Dr. Hunt was Emily's former Bishop and a good family friend. We felt more comfortable with someone who knew Emily for such a long time and was interested in her as a person and child of God and not just a patient, so we took Dr. Hunt up on his offer. Just after New Years, we flew down to California in preparation for the surgery.
On January 5, 2007, Emily successfully had her thyroid removed. After 3 days in the hospital, she was released and went back to her parents' home to recover for a week. Emily felt pretty good, considering she had just been through surgery. She couldn't hold her head up straight or turn her head from side to side, and she didn't have a lot of energy, but she was in good spirits.
After being pampered by Mom and Dad, Russ, and Jeff, we finally had to go back home to Yakima. As part of the cancer treatment, Emily couldn't take any thyroid hormones, until her body had been completely depleated of the hormones. At that point, she would need to undergo Radioactive Iodine Therapy. Slightly more than a month passed leading up to the Radioactive Iodine Therapy. It was very tough. Emily had no energy and just felt crummy. Work (Cascade Eye Center) was very loving and supportive of her. They let her come in and work whenever she felt like she could make it, but they knew she couldn't be there all day every day.
Finally, Emily's levels were low enough that she could undergo therapy. Emily had to swallow a little blue pill that was radioactive. Then she had to be quarantined for a whole week. Emily's mom came from California to help out. It was really hard for Emily to be quarantined. She was locked up in the basement, in a room that didn't have a ceiling or any windows. She couldn't go anywhere or do anything. She was miserable. The only entertainment she had for that week was a tv, dvd player, books, and magazines. She wasn't quite sure if it was day or night sometimes because she couldn't even see outside. The worst part was that she could hear her mom and Russ laughing and playing upstairs, while Emily was suffering away in the basement (can you tell she is bitter about this?)
After the week of quarantine, Dr. Treece finally got Emily started on Thyroid medicine and she has been feeling good ever since. She went back to work right away and nothing has been able to keep her down.
As we have gone through the process of adoption with Mirian, we have been blessed to no end. We want to share with you the wonderful story of how sweet little Mirian came into our lives.
We were married on August 4, 2001. We have both always wanted to have children once we were married. Approximately 7 months after we were married, we decided that it was time for us to begin trying to have children. After some time, we realized that we may not be able to have kids on our own and decided to pursue other methods. We discussed different options and nothing in particular jumped out to us as "the way to start a family". By this time, we had received much love, support, and advice from family and friends. Then one day we were visiting with Emily's family in California and we were sitting in Ward Conference. The speaker quoted Elder Bednar saying that one way we receive answers to our prayers is that the spirit will "bring all things to our remembrance." The light turned on in Emily's head and on the flight home from California, Emily turned on the light in Russell's head. Many of our family and friends who had offered advice had mentioned how they had known someone who had adopted and how wonderful the experience was. These memories of adoption started to flow into our minds like a river flowing into the Ocean. We knew then that the Lord wanted us to prepare ourselves for adoption.
Mirian is just over 3 weeks old now. She is such a good baby. She sleeps well, she eats well and she just has the cutest little button nose. She is such a joy in our lives. Mirian currently weighs 8lbs 14oz. She is growing so fast. She LOVES to cuddle. Mirian is such a snuggle bug. She doesn't even mind the dog too much. We love her to death!
Due to numerous requests for info/photos (mostly just photos though, and mostly just photos of Mirian, our newly adopted sweet little precious girl) we have started this blog. Since we are new to this, we are just going to post some photos of Mirian and check comments. As time goes on, our mentors Olivia and Kristal, will help us to make the ULTIMATE blog around . . . . and yes, there will be the occasional post about the Seattle Mariners, we will try to keep it to the minimum.