Jeremy and I met in 2002 while both attending College in Grand Junction Colorado. We both were studying to become theatre majors and started dating while doing the production of “The Wizard of OZ”… I know, how fitting. It is hard to believe that we are going on 12 years of being together. We moved to Iowa City in 2007 when Jeremy was accepted into the Physician’s Assistant program at the University. In 2009 when same sex marriage became legal we got married at Hotel Vetro in September. Jeremy works for St. Luke’s ER and I own a bakery called Tip Top Cakes.
Through our journey together we have thought about children. Jeremy has always been ready to have kids and was wanting to adopt a lot earlier in our lives. I on the other hand wasn’t sure about becoming a father. I still had things I wanted to do and I still wanted to go to Italy. Well in 2012 we went to Italy for our 10 year anniversary. That is when we got serious about if we wanted children or not. We talked about adoption and surrogacy.
When we returned from Italy we started researching adoption and surrogacy and weighing our options. The price was something that steered us away from getting a surrogate. We also discussed going through the state and being foster parents for awhile, but felt like we weren’t emotionally ready to handle what that could entail. So we started looking for adoption agencies and ones that were same-sex friendly. We came upon LifeLong Adoptions while searching the web. They help a lot of heterosexual couples adopt, but they help same sex couples as well. After our initial phone conversation with Mark from LifeLong Jeremy and I knew that this is what we wanted to do.
Once we signed up with LifeLong they built us a web page on their site for birthmothers to look at and get a feel for who we were and how our friends and family felt about us adopting. Once the page was built then the waiting game began. Jeremy and I set up a special email account just for LifeLong. We would check it about every two hours to see if we had any news. We would call Tisa and ask if the site was down because it had been a week and we hadn’t heard anything. After two weeks of not hearing anything, we called and asked why people didn’t like us, or what should we change in the letter to the birth mother? The team at LifeLong laughed and told us to calm down, breathe, and stop checking the email every two hours. We were told that things would take about four to six months for a birthmother to contact us. They told us to forget about it and enjoy being “single”. Well this was the end of March when we did all this and both Jeremy and I were a mess, but we tried our best to forget. I went out and bought a crib…I thought that would help me forget. Ha ha.
Well soon it got a bit easier putting it in the back of our minds. Wedding season was picking up for me and Jeremy was always busy at the ER and had a huge convention in Toronto that he was attending over Memorial Day. I had four weddings Memorial Day weekend and Jeremy was flying home from Canada when I got a call on my business phone. I didn’t recognize the number or area code. I was exhausted from a long day of wedding cakes, but I picked up. It was Tisa from LifeLong telling me that we had a birthmother who wanted to talk to us. I sat down because I felt my legs go numb. I was so happy and the girls at LifeLong were laughing and telling us that we could stop freaking out. I quickly called Jeremy, who was stuck in Chicago at the airport waiting to fly home. I told him the great news and he was crying on the other line, not able to talk at the moment.
We Facetimed with the 17-year-old birthmother the next day. It was an hour long discussion about us and our relationship and family. She was 27 weeks pregnant at this time and had been hiding out trying to keep it a secret from her friends. She was starting her senior year in high school and knew she wasn’t ready to be a mother and the 19-year-old father was not ready either. So from that point on we built a relationship with the birthmother and her mom through a chain of text messages. We would talk once a day, and Jeremy and I flew out two weeks after she chose us to meet her, the birth father, and the extended family. That was the first time we got to meet our son… we both were in love with him after feeling him kick.
Jeremy and I were there for the birth of our son Gracen who decided he wanted to enter the world a month early. Not expecting that, we got a phone call at 2:30 from the birthmother’s mom asking how quickly could we be in North Carolina, because they were taking her to the hospital at that point. We rushed and packed. (Lord, the clothes I packed were terrible—note to self pack early!) We were on the plane at 5:00pm and arrived at 11:00pm. The birthmother told the hospital staff and doctor that she would not have this child until Jeremy and I arrived. Gracen was born the next day weighing six pounds, and he was perfect. Jeremy and I had our own hospital room right down from her room. Gracen stayed with us from day one. We would visit with the birthmother and her mom with Gracen. Jeremy and I were a little worried that she might change her mind. You hear so many stories about a mom changing her mind after she holds the baby. I had to fly back to Iowa because of a wedding that I was in and doing the cake for. Jeremy’s mom flew out and stayed with the boys. Grandma got to meet the birthmother and her mom. That night Jeremy got a text from the birthmother saying that she couldn’t be happier with the choice she had made and that Jeremy and I couldn’t be better parents for Gracen. She was happy that she was able to give us the gift of life and that she was able to meet us.
Gracen will be six months old in February. It’s hard to believe that he has been in our lives for half a year now. We have heard from the birthmother that she will be attending college next fall and that she is so happy still for her choice. Jeremy and I can’t believe that she is 17 and such a strong amazing woman.
Jeremy and I still can’t believe we are fathers to this wonderful little boy. Yes there have been some visits to the hospital for hernia surgery and the flu, but we both look at each other and wonder why we waited so long. Jeremy and I do believe in God and we do believe that he blessed us with Gracen and the wonderful adoption journey.
We are head over heels for our son and the biggest problem now is who gets to hold him. Jeremy and I are signing back up with LifeLong this March. By no means do we want to rush through Gracen’s time as our little baby, but we don’t know how long the process will take this time. We were lucky last time: from the time we signed to the birth was four and a half months. I know I have said it many times through this whole interview, but we have been blessed and we are so thankful to LifeLong, the hospital staff in North Carolina, and our friends and family.
Read Adam & Jeremy's adoption story in ACCESSline, an LGBT newspaper.