Finding Our Way to Motherhood
When we talked about starting a family, adoption was always part of our plan. The initial plan was for Carrie to become pregnant and then our second would be through the miracle of adoption. We dreamed of having two children close together in age because giving our children siblings was so important to us. The relationships we have with our own siblings are so impactful that we wanted that experience for our children.
As we started the process of growing our family, we found out Carrie could not have children. So many emotions came with finding that news out, but we did not allow that roadblock to keep us from having a family. We quickly knew adoption was the route we would take. After some research, we came across LifeLong, which was inclusive. We also loved how birthparent-focused LifeLong was. When we met with LifeLong staff, everyone was welcoming and supportive, which made us feel comfortable and confident in our decision.
And So It Began
So many emotions happen when finally starting your adoption journey. With our first adoption, we were eager and nervous. The unknowns were scary, and it was harder to focus on anything other than adoption. Our family was so excited but also not surprised since adoption was always part of our plan. Friends and family were also nervous because they knew firsthand how badly we wanted to be parents.
For our second adoption, we were less eager since we now had Colette to keep us busy. There was still nervousness but so much excitement! We knew more of what to expect and trusted that LifeLong was the best choice for growing our family again!
We feel very fortunate to have not waited long to be chosen during either adoption. We realize being chosen quickly and only having been chosen once each time was not typical. Our first adoption we got chosen shortly after joining, and the expectant mother was early on in her pregnancy. There was ample time to get to know her and build a relationship with her. That is exactly what we did; we took advantage of every opportunity to support the expectant mother. We were able to meet in person and go to an appointment where we found out the gender of the baby! It was a baby girl!
Building a relationship was a rollercoaster for us because although we are so thankful for the opportunity, we also realized we were now emotionally invested in a person who could decide to parent. Parenting was her right, and we would respect that decision had she felt it was best; however, we were still scared we could end up heartbroken. The expectant mother needed a lot of support and caretaking, which led to us building such a beautiful bond during seven months of getting to know each other. For that, we are forever thankful. The second adoption we were also picked quickly, but the expectant mother was further along. Everything seemed to go so quickly that at times our heads would spin.
It’s Baby Time
We received a call that the next day would be a scheduled C-section. In one day, we would be holding our baby, whom we would name after Tracey’s grandmother. We drove to pick up the birthfather and birthmother to take them to the hospital. We felt so much excitement, but we also wanted to protect our hearts because we knew there were no guarantees. As we waited for the birthmother to sign documents to allow us to hold and be with Colette, all we could think was how thankful we were. Once the birthmother was out of surgery, we were able to have our own private room and start bonding with Colette. She was absolutely beautiful.
Our second adoption we received a call that the expectant mother was in labor, so we went to the state and she ended up going into labor about four days later. Both of us were able to be in the room when the baby was born. Carrie cut the umbilical cord, which was a special moment we will never forget. Marcella, who was named after Carrie’s grandparents, was born! The birthmother was completely amazing, delivering with no meds and all natural. Marcella was 11 lbs 3 oz, and the doctor immediately said, “Wow, this is a big baby!” There were not any rooms available, so we took turns staying with Marcella and her birthmom.
After being released from the hospital with Marcella, we could not wait for Colette to meet her. We have this special picture of Colette holding Marcella’s hand that is very cute. Colette was not even two years old when Marcella was born, and now they are much older. The best gift we could give them was each other! From the beginning, we always wanted our children to be closer together in age, and because of their amazing birthmothers, our dreams came true and these two amazing little girls get to grow up together. We feel blessed and amazed every day knowing we were chosen for them and that this was the way it was supposed to be.
Loving, Open Adoptions
From the start, we always knew we wanted any type of relationship the expectant mother would want. Colette and Marcella’s birthparents chose open adoptions. For Colette, we have a profile we upload updates and pictures to so the birthfamily can feel a part of her world at any time. Her grandparents even send gifts and cards to both Colette and Marcella. We are forever grateful for all the love and support.
Marcella’s birthmom has taken a little break but checks in with her sometimes. The door is always open, and we would welcome her at any time. We are working on getting Marcella together with her biological siblings one day when she is a little older. Both of our daughters know they have a biological family who loves them.
It is so important throughout an adoptive family’s journey to trust the process and try to live life as much as you can. Everything will happen when it happens. Our family is complete because of the beauty of adoption, LifeLong, and the bravery of our birthmoms.