An Adoption Story
Early on in my relationship with my (now) husband, we both agreed children were in our future and that adoption would most likely our path to becoming a family.
When the timing finally felt right, we started to do our research and then interviewing agencies. Our options were a bit more limited because many adoption organizations exclude services for LGBT couples. That said, we finally landed on an adoption facilitating agency that specialized in families like ours. I’ll spare you the details of the arduous process of paperwork, home studies, courses and social workers for over a year, and skip to when our profile finally went live for birth parents to peruse.
After a few matches that were short lived and then a very painful failed adoption after an 8-month match, we finally felt like we found a match made in heaven. On the first day we matched, we spoke to both birth parents for nearly two hours, understanding their unique scenario and explaining who we aspired to be as parents.
We maintained a relationship over text for several weeks while all the procedural stuff happened in the background between lawyers, social workers, et al. However, this time around, it was imperative to us that we meet in person before going any further. After our previous experience, we felt that we needed a deeper relationship with this couple and really trust that we were going to successfully proceed on this journey together. We flew halfway across the country (during COVID) and suddenly found ourselves outside a restaurant about to meet two of the most special people in our lives to date. I remember remarking to my husband that I didn’t recognize the feeling, couldn’t describe it, nor did I know how that was supposed to feel. Dinner was lovely. And so was the whole weekend we spent together getting to know each other. We left with our hearts full and a bond to two (no-longer) strangers like we had never felt before.
Fast forward a couple of months: we had expected an early delivery based on the previous three labors the couple had together and were making preparations to temporarily move to the mid-west to wait for little one’s arrival. Both birth parents wanted us there when she was born. That’s when we got the call – our birth parent was going into labor just a couple of days into 33 weeks’ gestation. The fastest flight to get us there had a brief layover where we learned that baby girl had been delivered by emergency c-section but was stable and being transported to the NICU. At the request of the birth parents, we made a quick stop for their favorite pizza and hurried to the hospital to meet a tiny 4lb little girl and reunite with the forever family we had made.
Local law allows the birth parents 48 hours after birth to decide to parent or to relinquish their rights and proceed with the adoption. It was a tense walk down the hall to their room where they were recovering that Thanksgiving Day, but in less than an hour, the team had walked all parties through our paperwork and the ink was dry.
We spent the following 3 weeks bonding with our little angel and the incredible NICU staff that helped us navigate this terrifying experience. Before leaving the hospital, these new lifelong friends had helped us become confident with diaper changes, feedings, sleep schedules, baths and all the like. We made it home just in time to spend the most blessed Christmas with our family.
As we approach the holidays again this year, we look forward to our third Christmas as our little family and keep in touch with the birth parents regularly.
This National Adoption Month, I hope to recognize all the families currently in the process and send them the strength to get through the tougher times, and the optimism to know what’s on the other end. I save space for the birth parents who are considering or navigating the adoption process and can only offer my admiration, love, and appreciation of the vastness of the gift you are considering giving another family. For those who live with adoptive parents, I hope you understand how much love was involved in bringing you to the home you’re in today.
Side Note- we spotlighted our birth mom's story earlier this year. Learn more about her story here: Ari, Non-Parenting Mother of Four