Need Hope?

I love this song!  Maybe you can relate, too.

“I might be down, but I’m not dead….There’s a light, and I still see it….Even after all I see, there’s hope.”

My hope is in God.  I will sincerely ask for, gratefully receive and willingly follow His guidance and direction.

Healing Hearts through Adoption – Four Generations of Adoption

I’ve been in a really quiet, INtrospective place for quite awhile, but I decided it was finally time to speak about my recent experiences with adoption in hopes that it will add insight and understanding to my family, friends and others who are adopted, those who are interested in adopting a child or the families of those connected to adoption in any way.

My mother was an adoptive mother, I was an adopted daughter, my daughter is a birth mother and her child is an adopted son…


I am the adopted daughter of James Lynn and H. Aileen Calton. I could not have had better, more loving parents who were perfectly suited to patiently and diligently guide the development of my unique qualities and gentle spirit.

I was taken home from the hospital when I was two days old, and I was introduced to the fact that I was adopted before I can even remember. I came to know, first-hand, the beauties and blessings of adoption. On the other hand, I was also keenly aware that I was “different” from other children because of the way I came into my family, and when I was young, I struggled to understand why someone would “give me away”.  It was a closed adoption, and there were no answers for me.

In recent years, I have remembered and investigated some of the beliefs I gathered in my young years. I sought to replace beliefs that were false or mistaken with the truth I’ve gleaned from my adult understanding and perspective of who I really am. I could now see countless ways that incorrect beliefs I took in as a child had replayed subconsciously as scripts that often influenced my daily living. Somewhere, down deep, I had accepted that I was unlovable and unwanted by my birth parents, therefore, along life’s path, early on, I concluded I was simply unlovable and unwanted…period! These thoughts were confusing then painful then repressed, until later in my life when I chose to remember and heal them with the truth.

During this introspection, I learned that my youngest daughter was expecting a child. Unmarried and in one of the most distressing times of her life, the baby had been expected by adoptive parents for a long, long, time, yet the baby was unexpected by my daughter and her boyfriend, and the pain and distress which was embedded in her circumstance were her constant companions for many months. She had worked and supported herself, but she was, at the time, without employment. The ripple effect was that she lost the ability to pay for her own apartment, therefore, she was living with family members.

Pregnant and tired

Full of anxiety, my sweet Marissa wondered if she’d make it through the depth of emotions she felt and all the challenging experiences that accompanied her pregnancy. In spite of all her efforts, the only option that she could see that would bless her little baby was for her to choose adoption. I knew, from her childhood, that once she made up her mind, she would act with conviction and stick to her choice. She had exhausted all possibilities before she made her choice. Now, it was time to act.

And move into action she did.

1) I flew to AZ to help her cross the threshold to LDS Family Services to begin the adoption process.

2) She met her counselor/case worker and found out about the website

3) She found out she was having a boy and was delighted. She began calling him Oli.

4) She courageously chose the perfect adoptive parents who decided his name would be Otto (a family name). They happened to be the same parents I saw online and thought would be “the perfect match” but whose names I withheld from Marissa since I knew it needed to be entirely her choice. She chose, and we came to find out that we had both found Matt and Courtney Earl.

Matt and Courtney, Feb 2014

5) Marissa continually chose whatever was in the best interests of her child.

6) She stood up to anyone and everyone who did not or would not act in the best interests of Otto.

7) She observed his amazing face and body as she viewed the ultrasound pictures. Through sharing pictures through texts and emails, our family and the adoptive family were able to share in the joy of his new, very real life.

8) Marissa used doTERRA essential oils to help reduce her anxiety. serenity calming blend, relax

9) Initially, Marissa thought she would need to choose a closed adoption to get through the pain of releasing her child to the care of other parents, but after meeting Courtney and Matt, Marissa began to see the wisdom in Courtney’s desire to have an open adoption experience. Here is a link to the experience Courtney wanted to emulate with open adoption: Click here.

9a) I was continually amazed and deeply grateful for Courtney’s ongoing kindness to Marissa. I could tell she had wonderful qualities of character which had been developed over a lifetime. Through their communications, Courtney and Marissa became close. They developed their own bond of love. Matt was amazing, too.

9b) My own children had been so blessed by their Grandma and Grandpa Calton, who were my adoptive parents, that our family was perfectly prepared for creating a positive experience with the adoption of Otto—even through any pain and the unknown connected to how it would really feel at the time Marissa transferred the care of Otto to the Earl family. It was all a mixed experience, that’s for sure.

10) Otto’s delivery was near. I flew to AZ. Marissa and I went to the doctor, and he scheduled her to be induced.

11) My children who lived in AZ and I had a get-together with Courtney and Matt on the Saturday night before Otto’s delivery.

12) We had fun, ate Mexican food, and had a cake with Marissa’s, Courtney’s and Matt’s names on it. They gratefully received gifts from us for their new and growing family. One of the gifts I gave them was a family tree that I designed (see note below text) that listed Otto as their son and Matt and Courtney as parents (with Marissa’s full approval, of course).

2014, May 31- We meet Matt and Courtney at get-together at James

13) After fun, food and conversation, Courtney, Matt, Marissa, a friend, and several members of our family along with Tifa, Marissa’s dog, went on a walk to see if it would encourage the beginning of labor.

14) When Matt and Courtney went home, doTERRA essential oils were used to also encourage labor.

15) Scared and excited, too, Marissa and I headed for the hospital Monday morning. As mother and daughter, we were ready for the inevitable—both the sorrow of the eventual parting and the extreme joy of meeting the amazing little boy Marissa had loved and cherished and cared for since the moment she knew of his existence.

So, most of our Arizona family members stepped fully into the experience of delivery, and the placement of Otto into the care of Courtney and Matt.


Everyone experienced both joys and sorrows and processed their independent feelings, yet in spite of it all, I knew that the best and highest good was being served for everyone. I trusted that we were all under the continuing watchcare of a loving God who had a perfect understanding of the “bigger picture” for Otto’s life, Marissa’s life, Courtney and Matt’s and their extended families lives, and our families lives, too. I trusted God, as creator and deliverer of us all.

2014, June 23 (from shower)- Otto smiling (orig from video by Marissa)

Courtney did a wonderful job of recording in words/documenting the experience we all shared together in the hospital. Click here to read what happened and see pictures, too.

Labor was easier than Marissa expected it to be, and yes, as Courtney put it, sometimes we even “laughed until we cried”—including Marissa. As difficult as her journey was, Marissa is grateful and has, at times, been filled with joy. Through her experience with Otto, I observed her remember what true love really feels like.

Marissa posted this on Facebook the night the adoption papers were signed at the home of her oldest brother and sister-in-law:

“We signed the adoption papers tonight. … Such a bittersweet time. I’m so happy with how everything went and how wonderful and supportive everyone has been. I couldn’t be happier with the beautiful couple that will be raising my son. They love him so much and I couldn’t possibly have chosen anyone more suited or deserving. I am so incredibly lucky to have found them, and I have fallen in love more and more every time we have been together. I’m so happy I will get to watch him grow and be a part of his life. I have never in my life felt anything close to how much I love this little boy. It’s so unreal. He is by far the most amazing thing to ever happen to my life, and every moment has been worth bringing him into the world.”

2014, June 23- Marissa and Otto (at shower)

Being adopted myself and watching Marissa’s loving care and tenacious protection of Otto during her pregnancy and her care for him (shared with Courtney and Matt) during Marissa’s days in the hospital has helped me to see and know first-hand that some amazing birth mothers, without a doubt, DO deeply love and tenaciously protect their babies, and this is a definite act of LOVE—even though some adoptees may falsely conclude that they were not loved at all.

2014, June 23- Courtney and Otto

On Otto’s birthday, Courtney posted this message on Facebook:

“Otto Joshua was born to the beautiful and selfless super-woman, Marissa.
She honored us by choosing us to parent and raise him and so joined our families forever.”


Ours is a continuing story of love and connection that will go far beyond Courtney and Matt driving away from the hospital with Otto. They have become part of our family, and we have become part of theirs. Through the amazing model of open adoption that Courtney had the insight to embrace, we will all be learning, growing and loving—all for the best and highest good of little OTTO who, without knowing it, is helping many hearts heal and have an abundance of joy.

DSC014362014, June 15- Matt's first Father's Day
Matt’s first Father’s day

Download your free 8 1/2″ x 11″, 2 generation, Family Tree Chart, a smaller version of the one I gave the Earls, by leaving your email address at  This is my website.  Please accept the  2 generation Family Tree Chart as my gift to you.

Witness of the Resurrection. Your comments invited.

What is your favorite part of this video (Something John said)?

Mine is, “He did nothing amiss” and “We did not fully comprehend”.

Christ set a meaningful pattern, as well. “He was in great agony. He prayed more earnestly.”

To my fellow travelers on the path of life, I wish you well. May we all continue to TURN our hearts, every particle, to God, our Heavenly Father, and to Jesus Chirst, whom He sent to make the way for us to return to our heavenly home and show us patterns by which we can live more satisfied and fulfilled lives and become clean on the INside, so we can be comfortable in our own skin. He is the way.

“The darkness has passed, and the TRUE LIGHT now shineth.” HE IS RISEN and still lives today.

Because of HIM

Share the message of Easter.

What touches your heart the most in this video?

I am a writer, and now I’ll be re-writing the last page of my life’s story. I’ve decided to write something different. The end of most books say “THE END”. After watching this video, I’ve decided to write …there is no end because of Jesus Christ.

My greatest joy and deepest heart’s desire has been to teach my children (and now, my grandchildren) about Jesus Christ. His life and mission give purpose and meaning to the bigger picture of our own lives. Because I know this, I’ve wanted my children to have the opportunity of knowing this for themselves.

Thus, the last page will be a message of hope. There is NO END.

Let me know what touches you most in the comments. Enjoy the video.

Your choices have an impact

I loved this. Sometimes it’s the best thing to do to think twice about decisions we make. Our choices can affect generations! Every person’s influence matters!

Click the link below:
Lessons Gordon B. Hinckley Learned as a Boy. A timeless lesson. A treasure to be remembered.

Occasionally, you may see an ad below. I am not responsible for what gets posted in the ads. Please do not regard the ad as my endorsement for the product.

Finding Faith in Christ

This video moves my soul.

Whether we need help finding our faith or help to simply strengthen our faith, I think these reminders are good for us. In our busy world, taking time to review what makes the most difference to our soul is important–and often forgotten.

I hope you’ll find something just right for you. I found hope to carry on and encouragement to do so.

Gratitude. This is beautiful!

Every day there is room for thanks-giving (gratitude).

May you enjoy this beautiful song by Nichole Nordeman.


Send some rain, would You send some rain?
‘Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case . . .


We’ll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger’s view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You’ll provide in other ways
And if that’s the case . . .


We’ll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that’s the case . . .


We’ll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . .