A Surreal Feeling
Prior to getting married, we actually talked about foster care and/or adopting. Amanda works with children and teenagers in a therapeutic setting where she discovered the importance of adoption in her early adulthood and hoped she could do it someday. Bryan felt the same.
Prior to having children, Amanda was told that it might be difficult for her to get pregnant due to a tilted uterus. After having two biological children and going through very hard pregnancies, we knew we did not want to have any more children biologically. However, we knew our family was not yet complete and decided to pursue adoption.
We spent hours and hours researching and calling agencies. We chose LifeLong because we felt it was the less risky, less stressful, and shortest time-frame option. Also, the customer service was amazing from the first phone call. That really solidified our decision to work with LifeLong.
It felt surreal to be finally starting the process. We questioned whether adoption was actually going to happen for us and asked ourselves if we were good enough for an expectant mother to choose us. We also wondered, of course, who would choose us and how long the adoption process would take.
Fifth Time’s a Charm
The fifth expectant mother who chose us ended up being our son’s birthmother. At that point, she was a few months from her due date. We talked almost daily after we were connected, and we flew to her state a week before her due date to meet and spend time with her. She ended up going a week past her due date, so we got to spend a full two weeks together.
Meeting our son’s birthmother in person was amazing. The day we got to her city, we picked her up from her house and went out to dinner. The following day, she introduced us to her son, who was two at the time. We all spent time together shopping, dining, sightseeing at the zoo and the aquarium, meeting her family, and just getting to know each other better.
The Most Bittersweet Moment
The night our son’s birthmother went into labor, she called to let us know and we drove her to the hospital. She allowed Amanda to be in the birthing room as her main support person. Throughout her labor and delivery, Amanda was actually more focused on supporting her in labor and her well-being than she was on having a new baby. Being in the delivery room when our son was born was the single most amazing and humbling experience in her life.
It was bittersweet to meet our son, Cameron, for the first time. His birthmother held him, and we could see she loved him more than anything in this whole world. She is an amazing mom, and she selflessly made the decision to make an adoption plan due to her life circumstances. After the important skin-to-skin contact, Cameron’s birthmother allowed Bryan to come into the room and then us to hold her baby.
Cameron’s birthmother chose his name while she was pregnant. We instantly agreed and loved that name. We recognize how crazy it was that all three of us agreed on a baby name. We also choose to keep her last name as Cameron’s second middle name, as an honor to her.
We stayed at the hospital in a room right next to Cameron and his birthmother for three days and two nights. Cameron’s birthmother kept him in her room with her for the majority of the time. We recall reading a powerful statement about adoption, about how a mom has to be able to say hello and get to know her baby before she can say goodbye; this was 100% true in our case.
When we got discharged from the hospital, we drove Cameron’s birthmother home, and we took baby Cameron back to our Airbnb. That was an extremely bittersweet time. We continued to spend every day with Cameron’s birthmother and her son until it was time for us to return home.
A Loving, Open Adoption
We came into the adoption process being open to any type of adoption. We knew this decision would be based on the birthmother’s preferences, our relationship, and our comfort level. We have a completely open adoption with Cameron’s birthmom. Even after a couple of years, we continue to talk almost daily and FaceTime so Cameron and his birthmother can see each other. Our biological kids and Cameron all know and love “Mama J,” and her son, whom they lovingly consider a brother.
When we first started the adoption process, the unknown was scary. We were constantly wondering if and when a connection would happen and then if the adoption would be successful. Adoption is also very costly, and there are definitely risks involved, but we knew to be patient, open-minded, and kind. We know we were connected with the birthmother and baby that were meant for us.