our adoption story
I’ll be honest, because there is no point in writing this without complete honesty. I always wanted to have a baby. When I say that, I mean “have” a baby. I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted to have similar eyes looking back at me. I wanted that baby to know he or she came from a piece of me. It felt a little selfish, yes, but that’s just how I felt.
So I was thrilled when I finally met the right person I wanted to spend my life with and start a family. A few years into our relationship we finally started trying to get pregnant. After numerous failed attempts and thousands of dollars it became clear that getting pregnant wasn’t going to be possible. Anyone who has been through that knows the heartache it causes. From the second I began to think about adoption something lit up inside like I have never felt before. I did not know anything about the process and what it was all going to be like, but I did know that was the path we were supposed to go down.
If you know me, you know I research the heck out of everything. Especially big decisions. I learned about the different types of adoption and what each entailed. After much discussion, my wife and I decided that independent adoption was right for us. After countless more hours of research and phone interviews, we found LifeLong. The website was so inspiring and beautiful. After our phone conversation with Mark, we felt that LifeLong was the place to put our trust in.
We were so excited at the thought that it would just be a matter of time until we had a baby. We had so many unknowns though. Would LifeLong really come through? How long would it take? What would the birthmother be like? Would she change her mind? Would our baby be healthy? Would we feel an instant bond? Months passed while we waited for answers to all these questions and more.
Our family and friends were so wonderfully supportive and excited for us. It was reassuring to have a support system. However, the support that really meant a lot was from LifeLong themselves. They would call regularly to check in and see how we were doing with the wait. Seeing the new adoptions was both difficult and inspiring. Why are they getting chosen and not us?! Is something wrong with our profile? LifeLong explained we needed to be patient and remind us how quickly things can change. They were so right.
We got the call one afternoon that a birthmother in Tennessee was interested in talking to us. Getting that call is one of those major events you’ll remember exactly where you were and what you were doing. We were also informed she was having twins! All day we prepared for our phone conversation we had arranged for that night. From the first time we talked to her we knew this was real and our lives would never be the same. Luckily, she felt the same. We talked regularly and set up support to take care of her while she took care of our babies.
It was easy for us to decide on an open adoption. I already mentioned how I researched, right? I had read how important for some adopted adults it is to be able to answer questions about their life story with no “holes.” I want them to decide when or if they will meet her one day. However, what I did not expect was the love and connection I felt for the birthmother. This was a difficult decision she had made, but she did it for the welfare of the twins. She was in no place to raise them, but knew she wanted them to have a good life. It was important for her that the twins were raised together and we wholeheartedly agreed. I have deep respect for her selflessness, intuition, loving heart, and kindness. She said from our first conversation she felt she was carrying them for us. How could I not love the person giving us the greatest gift in life? How could I ever just walk away from her? I will always be honest with my children about her, good and not so good, and they can make the decision as adults to meet her or not. My wife and I are the parents and that will never change. Meanwhile, the woman who gave us a piece of her heart has the right to know they are deeply loved and thriving. Sending pictures and updates is the least we can do. Besides, everyone likes to brag about how awesome and beautiful their kids are!
We traveled to Tennessee as the birth approached to make sure we were there when the babies came into the world. It was important to all of us. We waited there with her enjoying the sights and full nights of sleep knowing they would be our last for a while. The day the twins came is still surreal. It ended up just being the birthmother and I, as my wife had to return home for work. Like I said, I wanted to be pregnant, but I was now more than content to be the support for the birthmother. The little girl came first. In the second I saw her, everything made sense. She was always going to be my daughter way before I knew it. She was so perfect and amazing. Thirty minutes later, my boy appeared. The same wave of understanding crashed over me. He was meant to be my son. The word adoption floated out of my head as I held my children for the first time. The warmth of love reaches every cell throughout your body in that moment. So does a hint of terror!
We got home and our lives are so different now. So amazingly and wonderfully chaotic. We continue to keep in touch with the birthmother and she enjoys seeing pictures. It brings her peace to know they are in a family of love. I will always feel grateful to her.
Now that our twins are here, the difficulties of the adoption process feel like a distant memory. I know the wait and unanswered questions are so difficult and can be consuming, but trust the process and know that in one day it will all be worth it. I know the financial strain can be daunting, but there is no price tag that isn’t worth your family. I know dealing with lawyers, social workers, home studies, and paperwork seems never ending, but, trust me, all that will end. Meanwhile do the things you enjoy and enjoy your freedom because soon your life will be about someone else and everything you know and feel will change. Also, don’t hesitate to call LifeLong. They understand what you’re going through and they like to reassure you that this will all work out. It’s just not a process you can control and rush, but good things will happen.
Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Even if I could go back in time and get pregnant, I would go down the same path we traveled because in the end we found our beautiful kids looking back up at us. They are more than a piece of me, they are my whole heart now. I am complete.