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SALT LAKE CITY — After losing a baby, a Utah couple launched a social media “blitz week” to stand out as adoptive parents.
“We know the power social media can harness and want to harness that power for our benefit,” said Landon Lisonbee. “We want to feel like we were doing everything we can to reach this goal.”
Although Landon, 27, and his wife Julie, 24, considered themselves “private people,” their yearning for a child overpowered their desire for privacy. They created an adoption blog, pass-along cards, a Facebook page and a profile with an adoption agency.
They launched their recent blitz week to make an effort to stand out among the vast number of people who want to adopt, not knowing what would happen.
“It’s been very overwhelming to see the kindness of family and friends and complete strangers,” said Julie Lisonbee. “We noticed there were a lot more people sharing it on Facebook. If there’s something we could possibly do, we’re doing it and leaving the rest in God’s hands.”
We wanted children from the beginning, and talked about having children even when we were dating. Like everyone else, we thought that would happen quickly.
Almost a family
Married four and a half years, the Lisonbees share the heartache and hope in their journey to become parents.
“We wanted children from the beginning, and talked about having children even when we were dating,” said Julie. “Like everyone else, we thought that would happen quickly.”
After working with fertility specialists, they learned they would not be able to have biological children.
In June 2011, they completed comprehensive adoption agency paperwork. Approved six months later, they anxiously awaited the phone call or email that would change their life.
That email came January 2012 when birth mother, K, wanted to meet them. In their visit with K, the Lisonbees discovered many interests in common, from soccer to curry. Two weeks later, K announced she would place with the Lisonbees.
“We were overjoyed we could finally bring a child into our family,” said Julie.
The happy couple shared the news with their families, excited theirs would be the first grandchild on both sides.
Throughout the pregnancy, the Lisonbees kept in touch with K, getting frequent updates and even ultrasound pictures. Preparing to meet their baby, the Lisonbees set up a nursery, bought newborn clothes, receiving blankets and burp cloths.
In May 2012 they received another call, and “immediately felt something was wrong.” Their caseworker asked them to put the call on speakerphone so she could talk to them both.
The news: Their baby boy was stillborn.
They sobbed for an hour, unable to call either of their parents to share the sad news.
“When we lost our son, as difficult as that was, we weren’t willing to stop,” said Landon Lisonbee. “Within about a week, we decided to try again.”
It's the duty of one generation to love and nurture and train the next generation, and we definitely want to be part of that.
What pushes the Lisonbees to find a child?
“It’s the duty of one generation to love and nurture and train the next generation, and we definitely want to be part of that,” said Landon.
Julie added, “We have a lot to be grateful for. We just really want to be parents. It’s all going to be worth it in the end. When we have that baby in our arms, we know it will be worth it.”
According to adoptionfacts.org, as many as 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate family (adopting, placing, adopted). The Lisonbees recognize adoption is a family affair, involving grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters and cousins.
Julie’s parents, Dave and Lisa Miller, have full confidence in their parenting abilities.
“I can't think of anybody who will be better parents than Julie and Landon," Lisa Miller said. “When they lost the baby, it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through to see my beautiful daughter sob like that. It’s part of our prayers every day that they can find a baby.”
- Approximately 7 million Americans are adopted persons;
- Approximately 140,000 children are adopted by American families each year.
- As many as 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate family (adopting, placing, adopted)
“When they do,” Dave Miller added, “it will be one of the happiest days of my life to see that little child, particularly after they were so very, very close.”
The LDS Family Services website, itsaboutlove.org, shares, “What has been shown over and over again to contribute most to the emotional development of the child is a close, warm, sustained and continuous relationship with both parents.”
The Lisonbees have a message for the birth mother they will find someday: “We’d want to tell her how much we love and admire and respect her.”
If you know a birth mother seeking adoptive parents, contact the Lisonbees’ caseworker, Koleen Popin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-422-7620. To learn more about the Lisonbees, visit landonandjulieadopt.blogspot.com.
Crystalee Beck is a freelance writer who lives with her husband in Ogden. She celebrates words at delightedtowrite.com.