As many of my empirical associates know, Mister Bagley and I are searching out our children. To aid our hunt we recently joined LDS Family Services and completed the three inch stack of paperwork required for official adoption registration. Below is the letter I have written to our future birth mommy. My fancy friends get the uncut version where Andrew did not remove all words greater than three syllables long and any collection of multiple adjectives modifying a single noun. Keep reading for your final chance to win the Lia Molly sweater.
As Andrew drove away from my apartment following our first meeting, he phoned his childhood home to inform his mother of the identity of her future daughter-in-law. I jubilantly obliged to his proposal, and five months later we were married in the Mesa, Arizona LDS Temple.
As we planned our wedding, we set aside thirteen wedding invitations to give to our future children as a keepsake. I initially suggested six, but Andrew wanted thirteen invitations, just in case. Together we compiled lengthy lists of charming baby names, plotted suburban family scooter rides with little helmets bobbing in sidecars, and fancied a regular international supper night – experimenting with chopsticks and organic edamame. Andrew & I anticipated floating film festivals - watching the projection of classic musicals flickering across the faces of our lovely children with dozens of their close cousins floating on inflatable loungers in the family pool. The two of us outlined itineraries for road trips to quaint locations and cataloged holiday traditions including hand-sewn Christmas sleepers, back to school fashion catwalks, and elaborate blueprints for Santa forts to be built each and every Christmas Eve. But the wedding invitations are still in their plastic. We sold the scooter and the family wagon in favor of a fuel-efficient hybrid. And all the pregnancy tests have been negative.We have not yet been able to fulfill the command to multiply and replenish the earth, but “childless” does not accurately describe our situation. We have been temporarily borrowing children our entire marriage. We take our four godkids out for annual reviews on their birthdays; get knee hugs from primary darlings in our ward, host carwashes with the children of neighboring families, and devise secret handshakes or exchange voice mails with our almost thirty nieces and nephews. We believe ownership is not a prerequisite for love, and we have gained rich relationships with the little ones around us.
Unexpected years of infertility have allowed us Bagleys a long period of nesting. We pray regularly that our home will be ready and prepared for the children that are to enter in. As the Strategy Director for an advertising agency, Andrew relishes his day’s work developing and executing intellectually sparkling marketing campaigns. His weekends are spent remodeling the house, tending the garden, and scouring thrift stores for mid-century modern furniture. As his wife, I can honestly and impartially state that he is the most cleverest gentleman I know. I resigned a high-responsibility marketing position in favor of my family. Traveling thirty percent of the month to the home-office a state away, left inadequate time for Andrew’s and my dedicated search to find our children. Now I own my own personal shopping business, which includes cleaning out closets, restructuring fashion styles, writing a fashion blog, and teaching fashion courses at Mesa Community College among other activities aimed at helping the world feel prettier. Together we’ve completed a decade of higher education; lived, studied, and traveled to Brazil, Thailand, Italy, England, China, and at least a third of the fifty United States.
Our service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints also bring us incalculable joy, Andrew serves dutifully with the men as the Elders Quorum president. He enjoys man-richment, when the local males can join and exchange tips on how not to trim your fingers with a jig-saw and how to rewire lightswitches without electrocuting yourself in the process. I too adore my responsibilities as the Young Women’s President. I am so proud of my little ladies, and I am devoted to our regular Saturday Morning Sun Salutations together.
Andrew & I have tried to make our home beautiful and cozy not just with furnishings but with the way we speak to and treat each other. Our marriage is steadfastly united by eternal covenants, the ability to laugh at ourselves, and the commitment to give each other the benefit of the doubt. We love one another fiercely and have found comfort in our companionship and the mercy of Christ’s atonement through the trial of infertility.
But our hearts still ache with emptiness when we allow ourselves to recognize the absence of our children. We want to hold a child and know that God entrusted him/her to us. They don't need my hazel eyes. They don't need Andrew's dimples. We just need to know that they are an eternal part of our family.
We all have to "[become] as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father." (Mosiah 3:19)
You may not yet be prepared to raise a child, but you are a precious child of God. Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us. We are searching for our children, as you are searching for a home for your baby. We anticipate getting to know you and continuing our relationship through letters, pictures, and visits. We invite you to pray over your decision as we will pray for you and the children we are searching for.
Now below I've included a digital collage of our imaginary children. If you see any little ones resembling these descriptions and in need of a home, will you let us know?
Today's way* to enter to win the Lia Molly sweater, post a comment responding to this question:
"What did you (or do you) imagine for your future family?"
*This is your last chance to enter! Winners will be announced on tomorrow morning, September 1st.