The Long Journey to Adoption That Inspired a Powerful Message of Hope
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
The path to adoption can be a rough one, filled with dashed hopes, discouragement, and periods of despair. But Tyler and Danelle Beckstrand are beacons of hope and empowering examples of the miraculous power of determination. Their adoption journey is worth sharing, and we’ve been thrilled to be part of that process.
Tyler, the author of WE FOUND YOU-A Book About Adoption, explained that he hadn’t always been a writer, but he had been a reader and loved books. (We’re noticing a trend!) He had also enjoyed art and taken some classes but was far from being an illustrator. But his inspiration to step out of the familiar and try something new—something outside of being a mental health professional—stemmed from his desire to help his young son understand where he came from, how he became part of this particular family. Tyler felt that introducing the concept of adoption early was key. So, Tyler taught himself some new skills. Proof of his talent and his love for his son is apparent on the pages of his new book.
But what isn’t apparent is the challenging eight-year journey these two amazing people took to even start a family. And their story isn’t unique. They started trying to have kids about a year or so into their marriage. Danelle, at the time, worked at a women’s health clinic and started to ask questions about what could increase their chances when, consistently, their result was not getting pregnant. She was given a prescription, and a trying/waiting game began. But early on, they realized that they couldn’t just wait to live their lives, to put everything on hold just in case.
Tyler said, “We were putting off life with the expectation that our life was going to go a specific way. At a certain point, we were talking and decided we needed to live our best life regardless of whether or not we were getting pregnant and growing our family. So, we did quite a bit of traveling while we were waiting for our family to grow . . .”
After trying several things with no success, they wound up moving to Boise, Idaho, for Tyler’s master’s program, where there was also a great fertility center. They felt their move had been inspired. At this point, they did an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). Tyler mentioned that, at this point, they were “naively hopeful.” When they received the call with the result, they were told that it was unsuccessful. The couple was confused and shed a lot of tears. So many people were praying and pulling for them. They were working with this amazing clinic. How could their efforts not pay off? They both struggled with strong feelings of depression. But even then, they didn’t give up. After a move back to Salt Lake, they tried a few more times.
Years had gone by, the money was racking up, and their doctor eventually suggested they stop pursuing this method because it simply wasn’t working. He recommended trying something new in the form of in vitro fertilization (IVF). But they discovered that the success rate was extremely low, and the cost was extremely high. Tyler and Danelle questioned if this route was really the one they were meant to take, and began to explore other options. They looked into foster care and took the classes, becoming certified foster parents. But it never felt like the right fit. Eventually, Tyler said, “it just hit us. Why aren’t we looking into adoption more seriously?”
They started researching, and things began to fall into place. Because of their foster parent certification, they didn’t need to take the adoption classes because the foster classes were more in-depth. They finished their home study and began to feel hope for the first time in a long while.
Tyler and Danelle matched with a prospective birth mom in Arizona. After talking with her for a few months, they flew to be in the hospital with her. After meeting and naming the baby boy, the match fell through. Again, confused, brokenhearted, and discouraged, they seriously asked themselves if they were even meant to have kids, if they should give up even trying. But Danelle held onto hope and pushed them forward, encouraging a redoubling of their efforts and a reaching out on social media.
A few months later, they were matched with another birth mother. Tyler and Danelle were a little more guarded this time. The expectant mom didn’t give them any timeframe on a delivery date, so they patiently waited (of course, as their ever-hopeful selves). But three weeks later, they received an urgent call from the expectant mother’s friend stating that she was in labor. Tyler and his wife rushed to the hospital where, two hours later, their son was born. Within 24 hours, the papers were signed. Now their precious Logan is nearing his first birthday.
“It’s definitely been a crazy ride full of confusion and heartbreak . . . You get your hopes up so high, and then it doesn’t pan out, and you have to pick up the pieces and try again. The overall theme [of the book] is trying again and being okay with hoping.”
Tyler is loving being a dad and relishes every one of Logan’s milestones. He is amazed at all the little advancements and feels that his son “wakes up a new person every single day.” But Tyler mentioned that with adoption, there’s a different kind of attachment – it’s more of a choice than biologically automatic. When they went before the judge to finalize the adoption, the couple was even asked if they’d formed an attachment and loved their son. (There’s no question there.) Tyler’s relationships with his son will always be special because of the challenges he and Danelle overcame in order to have Logan become part of their family. What a journey!
Tyler has definitely conveyed the feelings of both sides of the coin of their adoption journey, the sadness and discouragement, as well as the determination, hope, and joy. His message to those listening is that we can all “do hard things! Life is full of ups and downs, and our thoughts really do matter. It’s okay to feel sad, but we don’t have to stay there; we can hope and try again, . . . try something different, go a different route, and the results might be exactly what you’re hoping for!”