How did you decide to adopt?
We are a same-sex couple and always thought it would be out of reach for us to have a child. The primary thing that led us to this moment is the fact that we have never envisioned a future that did not involve being parents. We have always seen ourselves as parents, and after researching several options we felt open adoption would be the ideal way forward.
What made you choose LifeLong Adoptions?
We were searching for a feeling that there was a caring for all parties and the facilitator was not just a business. From the very first conversation with LifeLong, we were impressed with the fact that they showed care and support for all parties in the adoption process. They build relationships with their birthmothers and ensure they stay healthy emotionally and physically. Ultimately, the true test is that we very quickly felt comfortable speaking with the staff, sharing our concerns, and sharing in the joys as we prepared, were matched, and after the birth of our daughter.
What were some of the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
This was our first time through an adoption process and we didn’t know what to expect. Every step in the process left us feeling both excited and nervous all at the same time. There will be some challenges along the way, but having a good support system in place helps you navigate the whole experience and even enjoy the process. Our support system included the LifeLong family, family and friends, and legal advisors that could answer all of our questions. The biggest challenge for us was the fear of not being picked by a birthmother and the anxiety that inevitably comes with the wait for that special call saying a birthmother wants to meet you. We were lucky that we only waited a couple of months from the start of the process to being matched with a birthmother.
What were you most nervous about?
When we started learning about the adoption process from our initial conversations with LifeLong, we were nervous about the Home Study and also meeting a birthmother for the first time. Trust us when we say, both of those things were much easier than the scenarios you will likely conjure up in your minds. The brief waiting period in the hospital before the termination of parental rights were officially signed made us quite nervous as well. Interestingly enough, the birthparents were reassuring us through that process. We worked hard to build a strong relationship with the birth family and they were all unanimously supporting us.
What were you most excited about?
About the moment we would walk our baby into our home for the first time. That was the thought that kept us going during those moments of anxiety along the way.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
We had unconditional support from our family and friends. They were all just as excited for us as we were. They all knew this was something we wanted for our life for a very long time.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption - and how did you make that decision?
After months of researching different options, we specifically wanted an open adoption that allows for Scotlyn to maintain contact with the birthparents should she choose to do so later in life. We feel it’s important for us, for the birthparents, and most importantly for Scotlyn to have a sense of where she came from as she develops into her future self.
What was it like meeting the birthmother?
We first met our birthmother by phone and we were very nervous. However, she was nervous too and we all made an agreement from the beginning to just relax and get to know each other. We ended up having such a great conversation that we didn’t even want to end it. That led to many video chat conversations as the pregnancy progressed. When we met for the first time face to face, we had been video chatting for several weeks and been involved in the process with her by that point. Building that connection prior to the first meeting enabled it to be a very comfortable and enjoyable connection.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
We were anticipating at least a year to get matched, but it happened in just a couple of months. Even if it had not happened that quickly, we would have been ok with that. We loved the process of getting ready for our baby to arrive. We weren’t sure how long it would take to be matched with a birthmother, but found staying busy with preparations for the arrival of a baby to be very fun. We worked on a nursery and researching strollers and diaper brands and everything baby during those initial months. We didn’t stop life during the wait – we just focused on enjoying the process.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her:
Our birthmother wanted us to be in the room for the delivery and expressed that to us from the very beginning. However, we live in a different state and knew it might be tough in regards to timing. As soon as we knew she was in labor, we secured flights. We unfortunately missed the actual delivery by a few hours. However, we felt like we were there in the delivery room with a second by second account via text and video during the delivery.
Describe the feeling of finally meeting your baby.
The only word that comes to mind in those first moments of seeing and holding her is LOVE. It is a sense of overwhelming peace and understanding that this was meant to be.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We have a good relationship with the birthparents that is built upon mutual affection and respect. In the first month, we heard from them both about twice a week. That has stretched to a couple of times a month and we share pictures with them regularly. We all feel like extended family, but we have all agreed to keep a very healthy distance. There is no confusion about who our child’s parents are and we have not agreed to any type of visits with the birthparents at this time.
Would you adopt again?
Yes - absolutely.