One year for Christmas I got real baby stuff like a stroller, cradle, diaper bags, etc. As a little girl I always loved playing dolls and dress up. In fact I started dressing up my dogs and cats for fun. When I was a Senior in high school the counselor would always ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? My answer was always a MOM!! They would look at me like I was crazy, but I didn't care. I had many wonderful women to look up to, my mom and grandma. I loved how my mom made our house a home. She loved decorating for all the fun holidays. She was a wonderful cook, and so was my grandma. So needless to say my love for wanting to be a mom only continued to grow and grow.
We waited a couple years to start a family, when we were trying it was really hard every month having that time come and know that you were not pregnant!! I had lots of friends, sisters, and cousins having babies. I was always so happy for them but wondered why not us? Why are my dreams of being a mom not coming true? After many years of not being able to start our family, we thought about adoption. I have seen adoption first hand, two of my cousins were adopted, my husbands cousin is adopted, and my sister in laws son is as well. We wondered if that was the path the Lord wanted us to take.
After many many prayers, we decided to go into LDS Family Services. We received loads and loads of paper work. We spent months working on it. We went into Family Services for the first time in January of 2007, and turned in our paper work in May of 2007. As many of you know adoption is a roller coaster, you never know when you will get that call. I tried my hardest to be prepared as much as we could. We had a couple things come up but nothing ever came about. It was the end of October, my mom and sister said to me while we were at lunch one day, do you still think you will have a baby by the end of this year? I said yes. And a couple days later we got a call about a little boy due in about two weeks.
We met with this sweet birth mom who was 25. When we walked into meet she had her mom with her. Crazy thing was her mom was my English teacher in Jr high. As we talked I saw a woman who was strong and very courageous. She delivered a beautiful baby boy on November 17, 2007 we brought him home the day before Thanksgiving, what a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving it was. We waited 10 long years for him to begin our family.
As Zak got older he would talk about wanting a brother or sister. It broke our hearts to think we couldn't do anything about it. Josh and I both had been to the doctors, they said everything was fine with us. That was the frustrating part not knowing why we couldn't have a baby. As years passed we were getting very frustrated. So, in May 2012 we decided to turn our papers into a private agency it took me months to make our 6 books. Finally we turned them in the end of October. Then, we waited.
At the end of March we got a call from this private agency saying there was a birth mom interested in us, she lived in Las Vegas she was a single mother of four this was her sixth child, she had placed a little girl two years earlier. A week later we meet this beautiful woman, she wanted me to be in the delivery room, I was so grateful for this opportunity, her due date was May 23rd.
This birth mom was not receiving proper prenatal care so a couple days before May 17 both me and my mom had a strong feeling she needed to go see a doctor, but she wouldn't go.
On May 17th we got a call in the middle of the night saying she was in labor, we packed the car so fast, and headed to go meet our new baby. When we were twenty minutes away we got the worst call any one can receive, our baby Kaylee that we had waited years, and years to join our family had passed away. I was so sick and our little boy Zak shouted out no, not my sister! It was the worst thing we had ever been through. We had wanted and waited for this little girl for so long. I could not go to the hospital I just couldn't do it. We left our gifts that we had for Christina, Kaylee's birth mom, with the agency and headed back to Utah. On June 25 I got a text in the middle of the night from Christina of pictures of Kaylee, she was beautiful, tons of dark black hair. It was so hard looking at them, it was almost like starting over again, my heart was broken. I wanted my baby girl here with us.
As I was struggling, there were many days I would say Heavenly Father you need to carry me today, I need you, I know there were many times he carried me. My love grew closer to my heavenly father as I relied on him each day. I heard a new quote that I loved it was, "I Can Do Hard Things". My Mom had a little boy in her ward pass away and told me I should go to the funeral, she thought it would help me, that maybe someone would say something that would help me. I didn't understand it at the time but, I did end up going. I'm so thankful for my mom being in tune of the spirit because Elder Holland was there, I will never forget that day and the feelings I had. I told my mom I wanted to shake his hand so as the funeral was ending many people where standing in line to shake his hands, I felt as if the Lord was here on earth, I know he is a man of God. After I walked up to him to shake his hand I told him that I enjoyed the words that he spoke, I then told him I had lost a little girl a couple weeks ago, he said I will pray for you. He said the Lord is mindful of me. I will always treasure that day, I felt like he had a hand in what was about to take place.
After Kaylee died a lot of our families said that the Lord would make up for our loss, that this next child that would be coming will be extra special. I remember I had told one of my sisters that I believed that before I came down to this earth I knew what trials I would face, I believed I knew that this would happen and that I told the Lord I can do this, I feel like He said there will be amazing women that would bear children and that they won't be able to raise them who in this room would raise these amazing sprits I believed I raised my hands, even jumped up and down saying "I will, send me!!"
The first fast Sunday in August I fasted that a birth mom would find us, Josh even bore his Testimony saying how we love birth moms and how thankful we are for them in our lives and blessing us. After Kaylee passed away we told Zak we needed to pick out a different name for a boy or girl, we asked him what name he liked. He said Makenzee, and that was it, then he would pray that a birth mom would find us, and that Makenzee would come into our home.
On August 5th I read an email that a sweet, amazing birth mom sent. I about died when I read her name, her name was Makenzie. I knew then that our Heavenly Father does hear us and does answer our prayers even if we have to wait years. As I was reading it I could feel this sweet woman's testimony, I continued on to read that she was almost 13 weeks along I said oh Lord you wouldn't do this to me. How will I make it that long. I felt like all that we went through that the Lord would bless us with someone calling saying that a baby was here. But that wasn't the case. I will never forget the excitement I had as I read but, I was also scared. With adoption there is always a possibility of scams. I was worried and scared that after all we went through maybe she would change her mind.
She had found us on it's about love LDS website, I then was like oh my gosh those pictures I had on there were not updated I was like oh no she might think Zak is younger then what he was so I hurried and emailed her telling her to check out our blog and that would help to find out more about us. We met a couple days later at Longhorn steak house. When she walked in with her mom we gave them a hug, it was like I was meeting up with a long lost best friend. We were there talking for almost 5 hours, I couldn't believe how much her mom looked familiar to me. We asked her what they thought the baby was and she said a Girl! As the weeks would go on we would text each other every day, I believe we never missed a day, our love grew for this amazing, strong birth mom. we loved her family as well, it was like we had known them forever.
When we went down for her ultra sound it was a day I will never forget, as we were on our way there she asked if we had ever been to Cedar City, I told her yes to stop and get gas on our way to St George, or Vegas except for about 10-12 years ago for Josh's cousin, Shane, who died in a hunting accident. Then the next crazy thing happened, she said that's my cousin. We about died. We could't believe what we had just found out. Our family was linked in so many ways already.
We would ask Zak what is Kenz having and he would say a girl every time, right before we went in we asked him again he said my sister. As they were doing the ultra sound, I was trying so hard to hold back the tears, I had never been to an ultra sound, I felt very grateful that Kenz and her family let us be there. As the baby showed on the screen tears ran down my face as I looked at that perfect baby, it seemed like years but finally the tech said, it's a "Girl"! We all were so happy we knew right there she would be called Makenzee as her big brother had picked out months ago.
As February got closer the more excited our little family was getting as we were waiting the arrival of Makenzee. I remember Kenz going to the doctor and her telling me that they would be inducing her a week early. Her induction date was scheduled for February 12th. The plan was, we would leave in the morning and head down, we got down there before noon. Things were moving so slow so we went and got some lunch, I remember being over come with emotions as I thought it's taking so long she must have too many loved ones to say goodbye to. I could imagine it in heaven. It was the longest day ever, it seemed like time went still. Things were still so slow.
I was a wreck worrying about and wondering how Kenz was feeling and doing. Finally about 3:00 am on Feb 13th her mom sends a text saying the doctor's on his way, we jumped up of course we had not gotten any sleep, her mom said just so you know Kenz is pretty agitated and might not want you in the room to see Makenzee be born, my heart sunk but I knew I couldn't see her in pain. When we got there her dad was waiting and all three of us were so excited!!
Then her mom came running out saying hurry Em she wants you to come in. When I walked in that room I saw a very brave, and strong woman, the one that would bless our lives with this sweet baby. There was a very sacred feeling in that room, as I stood in the corner watching the doctor, tears were rolling down my face, as soon as the doctor said she is almost here she has a lot of hair, I was dying, as she was coming out I saw an Angel, I can't describe the amazing feelings. Kenzie allowed me do everything as If I was the one who gave birth. As I cut her cord I thought what an honor to be in that room to be with her sweet birth mom who was in labor for 25 hours, who minutes later was making everyone laugh with the things she was saying.
Josh and Kenzie's dad were then brought in, I will never forget the look on Josh's face when I handed our sweet Makenzee to him, he was so proud. I knew then she will always be a daddys girl. There were so many loved ones that were there to see Makenzee, she is one lucky girl to have so many people that love and care for her. She is blessed to have three grandpas, three grandma's and three wonderful great grandparents. She is so blessed to have so many love her. Two families combined into one. I will always be so thankful for these amazing birth moms that make it possible for me to be a mom, and to have my family. I'm so thankful for Kenz and her family and for Kenzies Christ like love. She is truly an answer to so many years and years of prayers. I'm thankful for our Heavenly Father for carrying me through my trials, I'm thankful for the knowledge that one day we will see Kaylee and be able to raise her. This past weekend we were sealed as an eternal family, and Makenzee was given a blessing by her father. It was a really neat experience having all of our families together as one. Adoption is love, I am so lucky to be a stay at home mom to these sweet children who we have been blessed with, I have the best job!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Emilee! You are a perfect example of how prayer really does work! Our Heavenly Father listens to us and is aware of us. Emilee, you are a wonderful mother and it is such an amazing thing that you are able to keep such a close relationship with Kenzie. She is a great person with so many special gifts! Kenzee is one lucky baby girl! #loveforopenadoption
Here is Emilee and her sweet family (minus her hubby)...
Here are some pictures of this sweet family from their Temple sealing!