A Change of Heart
Coming into our relationship, Callie always dreamed of adopting, but Alyssa struggled to imagine herself as a mom. Being a couple was more important to Callie than being a mom, so she supported Alyssa’s decision. About five years into our relationship, after working in the NICU, Alyssa came home and said she was reconsidering children and was starting to desire parenthood. That moment sparked our adoption conversation, and we dove in.
We first started with our local foster care but found quickly it wasn’t going to be the path for us. We also looked at a local agency, but being a same-sex couple was going to make the possibility of placement with them difficult. We knew we had to look elsewhere and found LifeLong. We felt immediately welcomed and officially kicked off our adoption journey!
Pretty quickly after starting with LifeLong, our profile was selected, and we had the opportunity to work with our first expectant mother. We were so excited, but after only one month of speaking with her, she chose to parent. We were pretty heartbroken, it being our first opportunity, but we stayed faithful.
A full year went by before we were chosen again. During those twelve months, we did not slow our lives down. We still prioritized travel, we enjoyed our time together, and we tried not to think about the wait.
When we were chosen again, it was by the woman who would become our son’s birthmother, but she wasn’t pregnant with our son at the time. She was going through a different pregnancy, and she and the birthfather were considering adoption. We had a wonderful relationship with her and hired attorney services. The birthfather’s family ultimately took guardianship of the child she was carrying, and once again, we were heartbroken. She was such a light to us, even offering to be a surrogate for us! We kindly declined and just held onto the hope that there was a bigger plan in place for us.
Only months after that disruption, we were chosen by another expecting couple that was early in their pregnancy. We spent the next six months building a relationship with the expectant mother, even meeting her and her other children at one point. We felt so sure this was “the one” and were completely blindsided when, at the hospital after giving birth, she chose to parent. We understood it was her right, but we were still emotionally destroyed.
We Almost Gave Up
Prior to the disruption, we had already decided we were not going to extend our contract with LifeLong if it didn’t work out for us. We were emotionally and financially spent and knew we couldn’t handle another heartbreak. Once we returned home, we booked a vacation to Punta Cana to get away and not think about adoption. LifeLong had offered us a three-month extension, but we chose to step away for 30 days to see how we felt afterward.
While on vacation, only five days after we returned home without a child, LifeLong emailed us. They recognized we were on hold, but they had an important update to share with us. The second expectant mother we had worked with, the one whose family took guardianship, had reached out just a couple of months prior, pregnant again, and had wanted to reconnect with us. Since we were connected with the most recent mother at the time, LifeLong asked if she wanted to see other families. She declined and said she wanted to wait to see what happened. Now that we hadn’t adopted, were we interested in opening the door to her again in this new pregnancy?
To say we were shocked was an understatement. Only five days ago, our hearts had shattered. Could we do this again? We agreed to sleep on it, and the next morning, we both woke up with an overwhelming sense of calm and just knew we had to give this one more shot.
What Was Meant to Be
As we opened the door again to a relationship with a woman we once knew, it felt natural. We were a little more guarded than we were in the past, but we were enjoying talking to her again and planning for this baby.
Given her pregnancy history, we were anticipating an early delivery, but she actually made it to 36 weeks! She had a scheduled c-section, so we packed our bags and our dog and drove 10 hours to settle into our Airbnb.
We didn’t end up meeting our son until the day after he was born. His birthmother, our angel, spent the day recovering, and she wanted to be there when we met him. The next morning, we headed to the hospital and met our son, Elijah, for the first time! Elijah’s birthmother was not legally allowed to sign until he was 72 hours old, so we spent the next 48 hours at the hospital with her and him. Although we had built a relationship one year prior, it was our first time meeting in person.
While in the hospital, we spent time with Elijah as a family of three, we spent time with his birthmother, and she spent alone time with him as well. We really wanted to respect her space and not be pushy; we trusted that God had a plan for us at the end of the 72 hours. This was the birthmother’s first child to not spend time in the NICU, so bonding with him at the hospital was new to her. We could just see the deep love she had for him and prayed that it would all work out.
When it came time for her to sign, it was emotional for everyone! Elijah’s birthmother had shared with us how afraid she was that we might cut her out of our lives afterward, and we continued to promise that would never happen. We asked her to trust that we would stay in contact with her and provide all updates as she wanted them.
A Dream Come True
Our path to Elijah was not easy. In fact, we were ready to close our adoption chapter and move in another direction. We never could have imagined that through our heartbreak and disruption, it would lead us back to the birthmother and child meant for us. We are forever grateful that we didn’t burn bridges through our journey and, even when difficult, respected each expectant mother we worked with.
Elijah has been the light of our life, and becoming a family of three has been a dream come true. His birthmother will forever be part of our story and family.