Noelle's Adoption Story

family photo May 2012

In June of 2011, we decided to begin proceedings for another adoption. We updated our homestudy and updated our adoption blog.

We were a bit leisurely with doing our homestudy and putting together our parent profiles. We just didn't feel the need to hurry like we did with our first adoption.

We were always pretty vocal about our desires to adopt - blogs, Facebook, Christmas cards, etc.

In January, I got a Facebook message from a high school classmate who had read on Facebook that we were hoping to adopt. Her brother-in-law was an adoption attorney and had some babies coming his way and was looking for adoptive families. She asked if she could give him our phone number.


The next day the lawyer called us and explained how he worked with Marshallese immigrants in Arkansas. We had a lot of questions but ultimately decided to let him show our adoption blog to any potential birth parents.

Less than four weeks later, I received an email saying a birth family had selected us to adopt their baby. We prayed and pondered the match. It was more money than we had intended on spending but through our prayers we were reassured by the Spirit that yes, it was a lot of money, but we would be okay.

We accepted the match. We were given a  due date of June 19. An ultrasound a few days later revealed that the baby was a girl.

We only had 17 days between the match and birth of our first child. Waiting over four months for baby #2 was exciting and nerve wracking.

On the morning of May 9, 2012, I got a phone call from Arkansas from our birth mother. In very broken English she asked if I wanted to see a picture of the baby. Of course I said yes, even though I was confused by the question. Maybe she meant an ultrasound picture? A few minutes later, a translator called and let me know the baby had been born at 4:03 that morning.

holding Noelle for the first time

Even though the baby was 6 weeks earlier than we expected, she was not premature. The due date was off. I swear my brain fell out of my head. My parents got in the car immediately to make the 9 hour trip from their place to ours. My coworkers and friends got diapers, helped me book flights and hotels, made packing lists. and did everything I couldn't even think to do in my mild hysteria.

We flew to Arkansas the next day and held our baby when she was about 40 hours old. She was so alert and really didn't look much like a newborn at all. We named her Noelle Kelly Malia.

We remained in Arkansas for 10 days and finalized the adoption on May 18, 2012. We returned to Idaho the next day.

On June 12, 2012, we were sealed to Noelle in the Rexburg Idaho LDS Temple.

We have an open adoption with Noelle's birth parents. Their English isn't stellar and we can't communicate as well as we would like but luckily love and pictures transcend all languages.

P.S. I've had enough people contact me privately, and I have spoken with the lawyer we used, and he has given me permission to share his info. His name is Paul Petersen and his email address is You may contact him to learn more about what he offers.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

My husband and I have been looking into adopting a baby from Arkansas. If you had time I would love to ask you a few questions. My email is thank you!


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