Friday, November 20, 2009

Baby's Room!

I'm almost done with the baby's room, and it's been so much fun to decorate! I don't want to brag . . . but how ADORABLE is it?! =) Ben has helped me so much, mainly by being patient while I ask him to hold curtains and pictures up. Haha! I think secretly he loves it because he gets to be a part of it. He feels special. So, here are the pictures of baby girl Gundersen's nursery.

I'm going to put one of those changing pads on top of the dresser for a changing table. That way, she can still use the dresser when she gets older.

Sancho is just hanging out in the baby's room. I think he might be a little jealous, but he'll be a good big brother.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beginning of Baby's Room!

I love our baby girl's room so far! I spent all day doing the stencils on the wall. It took about 9 hours with breaks here and there to finish ONE wall! I'm only doing two walls, though, so it shouldn't be too bad. I just have to dedicate one more day. We're going crib and dresser shopping this weekend, and Ben is ecstatic about it. Okay, so that's a lie, but I'm going to have some fun. I'm thinking a dark brown for the crib and dresser. My friend Katie has a glider she is going to give me that I can use with our ottoman. I'm going to spray paint the glider ivory and then use sandpaper to give it the "distressed antique" look.

I love the Cinderella carriage! A friend of mine spotted it at an antique store over the weekend. It has a little opening where I can put burp cloths (isn't there a nicer sounding word for those?)and pacifiers.

Yay! It's coming along, and it will be ready in no time. That's good because literally we have almost no time. =) This is the perfect way to have a baby, though. I've never been the one for much patience!

Our Story . . .

So I think it's about time to write about our miracle story before it becomes all jumbled in my head. Trust me, there is so much going on that that's bound to happen. I've been meaning to write everything down since we made our decision so that I can recall exactly what happened.

I'll start from the beginning. We got certified about two weeks ago. As soon as we were certified, we decided to enroll on this website called Even though we were working through LDS Family Services, we wanted to expand our options, and this is a well known website for birth mothers to look at adoptive couples. It took us another 5-6 hours to get our profile set up and going. The website will not publish your profile until they have received your certification and payment. I had our caseworker fax over our certification right away, and I was going to mail payment. I got the envelope all ready with a stamp and everything and then thought, "Why mail it in, I'll just fax a payment form." So, I faxed the form and by 1:00 that afternoon we were up on the website.

You can imagine my surprise when that same day I get a phone call at 4:00 in the afternoon from a birth mother in Philadelphia. She had seen our profile and was very interested in us. We talked for a while and answered her questions. I asked her how she had found our profile, and she explained that our profile was one of the random four couples that had popped up on the home page (they're always rotating couples) and she clicked on us because of my name. She had never heard Brielle before besides her little niece. Anyway, she talked to my caseworker and we were going to go from there, and call each other with anymore questions.

All this happened on Tuesday. On Thursday I got a call from my caseworker asking if she could take our profile down so that no other birth mothers could look at us. We had received an interested email from another birth mother but told her we were already working with someone. I told my caseworker that we hadn't received a definite for sure yes yet, so please keep it up. She asked me to talk to our birth mother and get a definite answer because it wasn't fair for other birth mothers to see us and think that we were available when we're not. So I emailed our birth mother in Philadelphia and asked her what she thought about us taking our profile down. Sunday came along and I hadn't heard from her. I decided to call her. I explained to her the situation with my caseworker and asked if she was confident enough in us that we could remove our profile. She told me that she was 100% confident gut feeling wise, but knew she still had questions on the logical end. We set up a time for the following Wednesday for her to call and make a final decision. Until then she asked us to keep our profile up because it wouldn't be fair to us to take it down quite yet without a final decision on her end.

Tuesday rolls around, and I am anticipating this call the next day. I was about to leave school, and I checked my email. We have another email from a birth mother here in Phoenix! Her email was so upbeat, happy, and positive. There was just something about what she wrote that made me want to get to know her. I called my caseworker crying, not knowing what to do. She read the email as well, and agreed that she sounded amazing. I decided to call her and meet her that night. I told her from the very beginning that we were supposed to receive an answer the next day from our other birth mother, but that we would still like to meet her. She was so excited to meet us also.

Ben and I went to dinner with Jana (our birth mother) and our caseworker. We talked and talked! It was so much fun. I loved her from the beginning. She brought ultrasound pictures of her little girl, and she let us feel her belly. Jana is so hilarious, spunky, outgoing, and just awesome. At the end of the dinner she pretty much told us that the ball is in our court because she knows that we have another decision to make.

Ben and I talked for a long time that night deciding what we were going to do. We both really liked Jana. She was so real to us. With our other birth mother, we hadn't even seen pictures, ultrasounds, nothing. Jana just seemed so excited to use us. Still, we came to the conclusion that we wouldn't make any decisions until we had our phone call the next night. I did decide to email our other birth mother to tell her that we had met with someone else, but that we were still anxious for her phone call so that we could make the best decision. I didn't want to be keeping any secrets from either Jana or our other birth mother.

Wednesday rolled around, and we sat on the couch for about two hours waiting for our phone call. It never came. I called her twice and left her a message. At that point we thought that she was upset we had met with Jana. So again Ben and I talked and we both decided that Jana was perfect and she was the one that wanted. We didn't even want to wait to see what the reason for the missed phone call was. We just felt so good about having Jana be in our lives. We called her right away and asked if she would let us raise her child. She said yes!

The next morning I wrote our other birth mother and told her that I wished we could have talked so that we could explain our decision. There wasn't anything "wrong" with her, but there was something "right" with Jana. I suggested some friends of ours for her to look at, that would make excellent parents as well. That evening at 5:00 my phone rings and it is our birth mother from Philadelphia. She started off by apologizing for not calling the night before, she had simply forgotten. She was watching the World Series game with some friends. We began talking, and I suddenly realized that she hadn't read my two emails telling her that we met with someone else and had actually chosen them. I had to break it to her over the phone. She was very upset, and I felt so awkward. I didn't know what else to do for her but suggest our friends again. I asked if there was anything we could do for her, but she replied no. I felt awful, but I knew that we had still made the right decision.

I came home and told Ben everything that had just happened. He couldn't believe it. He also thought that we still made the right decision. It was so weird. Even though we felt so bad for her, we felt so good for us. We knew that what we had chosen was right. Later that night when I was checking my emails, there was an email from the girl in Philadelphia. It was a really hurtful email that questioned our character and integrity because we hadn't waited for her call. She said that she was thankful she found out what kind of people we were before it was too late. She also responded that there was no way she would consider our friends if they were anything like us. I was devastated that someone could be so hurtful, especially when they had broken their promise and not us. Our agreement was to keep our profile up until we talked to her on Wednesday, and she missed that appointment.

I wanted to write back some fighting words, but I though about it and knew that she was going through a really hard time. She was emotional, scared, lonely, etc. I waited until the next morning when I could really think about it, and wrote her a heartfelt email about how much we cared about her and how much we hope for her. I hope she reads it, but you never know. I wanted her to know that we were committed to her, but there was just something that was right about Jana. I told her that we had even bought two one way tickets to Philly, I had bought bedding for the nursery, I had bought baby clothes, we had told our friends and family that we were adopting her baby, and we had turned away two other birth mothers. In the end, we just had to make the decision that was right for us.

And this is where I say how grateful I am for our Heavenly Father and the guidance that he gives us. I couldn't even imagine being placed in this same situation and having to make that decision alone. Life really does work out for the best when you have the guidance of the Spirit on your side. I love that we can receive revelation for ourselves concerning our own lives. I love that Ben is a worthy priesthood holder that strives to do his best everyday and lives honestly. I can't wait to see him be a father to a beautiful baby girl. I'm also grateful that Jana can be so brave. I admire her for making what will be the most difficult decision of her life, but the right one. We will always love her for that.

Tonight we are taking Jana out to dinner with her roommate. I'm excited to know a little more about her life. I want to know all the things that make her her, so that when our little baby girl grows up I can share with her how amazing her birth mom was. Well, we'll continue to keep everyone updated. This was a long story, but a story worth telling over and over and over again!

Friday, November 6, 2009


It's official. We will be the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl this December. Her due date is December 22-31. It's going to be a scheduled c-section, so we pick the date. She will be born here in Phoenix. Yay! We are so excited. It is a long story, but we will post this weekend.

We just want to say that we feel so blessed. Thanks to every one's thoughts and prayers. We know they helped.