Sunday Guest Post Series: Sarah Clarkson on Love and Adoption

A few weeks ago I posted this video about the Clarkson family. A little while later Sarah emailed me with more of her story about love, infertility, adoption and triumph. I asked Sarah if I could post some of it here for my readers, especially because so many of you responded positively after watching their story. Here it is:

Chance and I met when we were 16. We became really good friends and soon after started dating. I know, not what you are supposed to do, especially when you are Mormon. I don't think either one of us really wanted a boyfriend or girlfriend, but we were inseparable. He was my best friend and I was his.

We continued dating until he left for his mission when he was 19. My intentions were to wait for him. Well, after 6 months Chance was sent home for medical reasons. He had torn the cartilage in both hip sockets and had to have surgery to repair the damage. He was told that the recovery time was 1 1/2 years and then he could go back out on his mission but his 2 years would start all over. Oh my gosh, that seemed like forever. Chance and his bishop decided it would be best to be done with the mission and start his post-mission life. Soon after we were engaged to be married. Yes, I was 20 and Chance was turning 20 a month before we planned to be married. We couldn't help it, we knew that we were meant to be. I never knew anyone so charming, loving, handsome and down right hilarious. He made me laugh about life and no one in the world mattered, but him.

We were married Dec. 30, 2004. It was the greatest day of my life. I was now eternally bonded to this man that I loved and nothing could interfere. A year later I graduated from ASU with a bachelors in Biology and started working in a lab at a hospital. I am a Medical Technologist/Scientist and have been one for 5 years now, Chance started his own Landscaping Company and we were set. After about a year of hard work, establishing a suitable home and planting our feet firmly on the ground we decided it was time to start a family. That was the plan anyways. Here's the background situation of my family history and getting pregnant.

  • My mom took 8 years to get pregnant.
  • My sister and her husband had been trying for 5 years when they adopted their boy, Bradock, and 1 1/2 years later they adopted a girl, Raylee.
  • My mom has 8 kids in her family and everyone is as fertile as they come. Chance has 8 kids in his family and they are the same way.

Basically, every test has been done and still, no answers for any of us. I sound kind of dumb in the video because I said "They tested us for everything and nothing is wrong with any of us". Not meaning just Chance and me or I would have said, "either of us". I was talking about my Mom, sister and me.

More background info... My Dad is an OBGYN. This again is not mentioned in the video. He actually delivered McKai. Her birth mother told one of the nurses that she would not be able to care for her the way that she would like to and so she had made her decision that she was going to leave without the child. The nurse mentioned to my father that the mother was giving her baby up for adoption and asked if his daughter (my sister, because she had already adopted 2 and was certified) would like to try and adopt this little girl. My Dad called my sister and asked her, she was hesitant because that would be 3 kids under 2 1/2 years old. SCARY!!! She said she would do it to keep her out of foster care though.

This is where Chance and I come in to play. We had done every fertility treatment except in-vitro and we had just discussed whether to continue with in-vitro or go the adoption route. As you know Chance had said no to adoption for some reason and it was a go for more fertility treatments (YEAH, more hormones - which, by the way, make me CrAzY!!). This conversation occurred on a Saturday and the next night I had the impression to go over to my sister's house. It was about 7:30pm and I told Chance I wanted to go play with their kids. He didn't want to go because they go to bed by 8 and he said it was a pointless trip. I pushed him out the door and we were on our way because, well basically I forced him.

Once we were there, my sister just mentioned to me that a little Apache girl was born that afternoon and she had received a call from our Dad about adopting her. She had no idea that Chance and I weren't considering adoption or even talked about it. She knew we were doing fertility treatments. She just randomly asked, "You guys wouldn't want to adopt her would you?" I don't know what came over me, well I do, it was the spirit. It literally calmed both of us and made me feel at ease with the thought of adopting this child. I guess the same feeling came over Chance because we looked at each other and said OK. Man, were we in for a ride. I called my Dad and told him that we wanted to adopt the girl. He said he would speak to the mother in the morning and let us know. I thought I wouldn't be able to sleep, but we were both calm and had a good nights sleep (Thank goodness cause we weren't prepared at all for the next few weeks of no sleep).

The next morning my Dad text us that picture of McKai and words cannot express the emotions that we were feeling. We drove to the hospital where my Dad works (which is 3 hours away from our home). It was during the biggest snow storm they had had in years. The power went out and the hospital was even running on generators. We went in and met the birth mom and then went to the nursery. It was another "Best day of my life" feelings. She was my baby and I was now a MOM. What a small word for such powerful meaning. Chance was so cute and concerned about every little thing. He even leaned over to me and mentioned "Babe, she's cross-eyed, what do we do?" I had to laugh, he didn't realize that babies eyes do funky things sometimes. She was not cross-eyed and if she was, who cares, she was our little girl.

We had a conversation before we left our house that morning about what we should name her and within 2 minutes we came up with McKai Morgan Clarkson. We had liked both names and decided they sounded perfect together for our little girl. Once again it was an easy decision with no disagreement. Every thing seemed that way with her. She was perfect. She had to stay in the hospital one more night so we raced over to Wal-Mart (the car slipping on ice and everything) and grabbed some onesies, pj's and a blanket for her to come home in the next day.

We picked her up from the hospital and took her home when she was 2 days old. When we got home we had tons of baby stuff just dropped off at our front door. Anything people weren't using anymore, either boy or girl - we didn't care. It was amazing the support and love and disbelief from some of our friends and family. At first no one knew what was going on and we were texting people her picture like crazy. They didn't know why we were sending them random baby pics. Soon they all knew though. We were now, scared out of our wits parents, that were supposed to support this new little baby.

She is the best thing that has ever happened to us and we love her dearly. She is our world and we were officially sealed to her Feb. 5, 2011. She was then blessed the next day. She was 14 months old when everything finally went through. It took a lot longer because we had to go through Tribal court instead of State court because she was Apache Native American.

When Chance and I met with the birth mother the one thing that she said to us was, "Promise me she'll get an education." Chance definitely took it to heart. He had done 1 1/2 years of college and had stopped to start his business. He felt that if he hadn't finished college he wouldn't be able to tell McKai that she needed to. He was enrolled and back in classes the next month. He will be graduating with his Bachelors in Small Business and Communications in December and is going on for his Masters starting January. Very ambitious, I know. I am so proud of him and all that he's done. I still work as a Med. Tech at a hospital working the night shift. Don't worry, I'm a night owl and love the hours. We are very busy but we manage and because Chance does on-line classes he gets to take care of McKai quite a bit. He's the best Dad and I love him for it.

We are continuing our fertility journey and have yet to find out anything that is officially wrong with us. We would also love to adopt again if the opportunity arises.

Thanks Sarah!

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