"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm begging you!

If you live in Oklahoma, or know someone that does...I need your help!
Most of you know that for months now we've been working to draw attention to some adoption laws that we believe need attention.

In this mission, I have found an incredible team of professionals that come together monthly to address such needs in the adoption community. I have attended the last two adoption task force meetings and I am continued to be amazed at what all these people are doing. It is such a privilege to just be able to hear what they are doing and watch it all happen right before my eyes. There are judges, DHS representatives, adoption agencies, a public defender and now a birth mother, an adoptive mother and an adult adoptee.
At this last meeting Representative Jason Nelson shared that he has received a lot of requests for issues to be addressed by the task force. I am hoping that some of these requests were about Cooper's Law, but I know that there are lots of adoptive families out there that feel the need to have their concerns addressed! Then he asked the task force if they would be okay asking some families to share with the group their story and why they needed the task force to consider their concerns!!! I was sitting in the back of the room and almost fell out of my chair. How cool would it be for Cooper's Law and Cooper's story to be shared with so many that feel just as passionate about this as I do???
So, I am begging you. If you haven't written Representative Jason Nelson or Senator Steve Russell yet, please do! If you have and you could do so again, PLEASE DO! From what I understand this task force has a lot of weight on what issues in adoption will actually be addressed or changed! If anyone will hear me out, it will be this group. If you do write him please make reference to Cooper's Law. If you know of a personal adoption story in which you think relinquishment in the hospital could have kept an adoption in place that ended up falling through, please share that in your letter or email. Remember that our intent with this change is to protect the child and the birth parent's choice. Our goal here is that birth mothers who want to sign papers in the hospital (or at their agency) can do so without having to sit before a judge.
You can share my name if you want, but you don't have to. I am going to write them again today (for the 4th time). Oh my goodness, I can't believe I have become "one of those people"! But, I will never forget those weeks as we were losing Cooper and feeling so helpless. There was nothing we could do to keep him. I think that feeling is fueling me. In the midst of that journey I felt like it was just a part of adoption and something that had to be risked, but now I know better. Many states are doing this differently and there is no reason why we should continue in something that is not working. And because of that, I feel like I have to at least try to do something. These are 3 photos that were taken the day we had to say good-bye to our sweet baby boy.
On another note, many of you have asked if I had heard if I had been chosen to be on the task force. I found out yesterday that I did not. I joked about not being qualified, and boy was I right! The mom they chose is a wonderful pick as she wrote the bill that in its approval put into affect the adoption task force...she deserves to be on it!
Let's get busy writing some letters/emails. If you click on the representative or senators names it is linked to their info. If you can only write one, please address Rep. Jason Nelson as he was the one addressing the task force with this idea! THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!


Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of you!! I think God knows you can do just as much NOT being on the task force... You are an amazing young woman and you ARE making a difference in our world and especially the lives of even unborn children... Love you, Mom (PS... I will write the letters!!)

Hendrick Family said...

I'm so proud of you too. I would write letters if I lived there!!


Jessica said...

This is also posted on Promote Oklahoma Adoption...

Consider it done!

Also, those pictures of you saying goodbye (temporarily) to Cooper literally broke my heart in two. It brought back many memories of watching our son's birthmom say her goodbyes, and the weeks passing where we weren't sure if we'd have to do the same.

The law is SO important. I can't imagine being young and making such a difficult decision like adoption one time, let alone having to stand before a judge in a scary courtroom weeks later only to make the decision all over again in front of strangers. The birthmothers should be given the tools and chances to begin their healing, not worry and second guess themselves leading up to a court date (like they're doing something wrong or something).

Thanks for taking this cause on and for keeping us updated!

sarah m said...

You are amazing!! Thank you so much for the work you do & keeping us informed of things. I will definitely contact both of them, and spread the word to other friends & family to do the same. Oh, and what precious pictures!! :)

Ricci said...

When I read your posts about adoption, I want to convince Josh to move to Oklahoma so we can adopt and I could help! Unfortunately, we are 1. Not at a point where children are a wise decision and 2. Stuck in Texas for now.

You are such an encouragement and reminder that adoption is something my heart desires to do someday. Be encouraged and I'll be praying for you!

Charissa said...

I think the difference is if you have already been providing foster care when you hit 6 kids they'll make an exception for bigger families. But you can't just go into it already having 6 kids or more. Since we are in the process of adopting our 6th, they are counting her. I'm pretty sure Bair has the same rules. If you find out how to get around it, please let me know!