On Thursday, June 20, 2002 we had our home study. It was the final step in completing the paperwork necessary to adopt a child. Timing is important in these matters, and it was the right time to have our home study. On Friday morning I couldn’t think of anything except the adoption. I called Jane, the adoption coordinator, and asked her what to do next. She told me to wait for her to call. She would let us know when she had a baby for us.
I asked her if she could tell me anything. She told me about three different birth mothers. They all sounded great, but one mother stayed with my heart. She wanted Jane to find her a minister. She wanted her baby to be placed in a Christ-centered home. I felt close to this mother because of the feelings of her heart. Her values matched mine.
The sex of the baby was not known, but this mother, Angela, was coming to Utah on July 1st, having a C-section on the 2nd, and flying out on the 5th. Throughout the next week and a half she would not leave my heart. I called Jane and asked if there was any news. Jane was on vacation and had not yet presented our file. Jane would present the portfolios to Angela Monday night. I stayed relatively calm for the rest of the week and did my best to get things done.
Angela was flying in around 11:00 a.m. on Monday. Jane was taking her to have an ultra sound so they could learn the sex of the baby. Things didn’t work out, and at 5:00 p.m. they still didn’t know the sex of the baby. There was one family requesting a girl, we were requesting a boy, and the third family had no preference. Angela ended up seeing all three portfolios.
I told Jane that we were going to the car dealership to purchase a 15-passenger van, and if Angela felt drawn to us, it didn’t matter if the baby was a girl or a boy. Angela and Jane wouldn’t get to Jane’s house until 10:00 or 10:30 p.m., and it would probably be later that night when the decision was made. I told Jane to call me with the news no matter what time it was.
We went and bought our van so we would have room for an extra little person in our family and ate at Golden Corral. Jaylee and I drove home in the other car and went to Wal-Mart to buy a baby car seat and a few other things we needed. It was about 10:30 p.m. when we got home. I was tired and went to bed.
About 12:30 a.m. the phone rang. My heart started racing. It was Jane. She told me that Angela had picked us. I was on fire inside. It just was so good, and it was true. Jane asked me if I wanted to talk to Angela. For sure, we talked for about an hour.
Angela wanted us to know the reason she picked us. When she saw our totally white family with so many children willingly accept a child of another race, she knew that there was a lot of love in our home. She wanted her baby to be raised with that kind of love. As she looked through our pictures, she could see the love. Angela could tell that John loved me. When asked how she could tell, Angela said, “Look at the pajamas. (We were all in matching pajamas) What kind of man would wear homemade, Dalmatian, spotted pajamas for his wife and children?”
After I hung up the phone, I couldn’t sleep. The adrenaline was pumping fast. I got up to do laundry and pack a few things. The baby could be born as early as 10:00 a.m. That would mean we needed to leave Logan at 7:00 a.m.
We took the children to Belinda’s home so she could tend them while we were at the hospital. Before we went to the hospital, we went over to Mom and Dad’s house to tell them our exciting news. Mom wasn’t home, so I talked to her on the phone. I told her we had some news but wanted to share it in person. When she walked through the door she said, “So what’s the big news?” I said, “Guess!” She said, “You’re having a baby.” I said, “Yes, today.” That confused her a bit until I explained.
We waited around all day. We were able to watch the whole thing. On Tuesday, July 2, 2002, at 9:26 p.m. our baby was born, a beautiful baby girl. Angela asked Jane if we were disappointed. Absolutely not! It was a miracle to have this little girl, and we know that she is supposed to be part of our family.
I am not prejudiced at all, but she really was the cutest baby in the nursery. Her lungs were wet, and she needed to spend a lot of time under oxygen. She looked cold and lonely. I just wanted to pick her up and cuddle her. The best I could do was to hold her hands and feet. We didn’t get to hold her that night, but were able to be in the nursery while the nurses worked on her. Angela went down to the nursery in the middle of the night to hold her. With Angela’s help, we decided to name her Crystalynne Angela Willis.
Thursday was a tough day. Angela kept Crystalynne with her all night and spent the morning with her. It was so hard to see them part. Angela loves Crystalynne and left weeping. Jane was going to walk me out to my car and then take Angela with her. I asked Jane if she could just have a nurse take me out. The pain was too great for Angela, and I thought it would be easier if she left Crystalynne instead of Crystalynne having to leave her.
We took our final pictures and said our final goodbyes. I embraced Angela and expressed thanks to her for giving us this precious baby. I kept putting the baby back in her arms giving her one more chance to hold her baby. After Jane and Angela left, I sat in Angela’s room and cried. I felt so sad that she could not keep this precious child that she loved so dearly. She did not think about herself, she only thought of the welfare of Crystalynne. Everything that she did in the hospital was to give Crystalynne the best possible chance and a good start. I pray that Heavenly Father will bless her for the sacrifice she has made.
Crystalynne, Angela sent you this letter on your 10th birthday: