Finding Our Adoption Groove
We always knew we wanted to be dads. After spending time focusing on our careers, and finally settling in our home, we knew we were ready for parenthood. We started researching adoption and found LifeLong; we appreciated how same-sex friendly and approachable they were. We felt confident an expectant mother who joined Lifelong would be accepting of same-sex parents, and that was reassuring to us.
Starting the adoption process was more overwhelming than we anticipated. The home study came with a lot of paperwork. The early stages were nerve-wrecking and we found ourselves being overly critical of our profile -- anxiously awaiting to be selected by a birthmother. We weren’t sure if we selected the right photos, highlighted our interests well enough or even chose the appropriate words to portray ourselves. We were nervous of the unknown and anticipated waiting.
Thankfully, our friends and family were incredibly supportive of us, and were impressed by LifeLong’s profile of us. They reassured us it was beautiful, and their continued excitement for us, provided us with comfort and motivation that we were making the right decision.
Building a Solid Foundation
We had read stories of families that were selected by an expectant mother and adopted quickly -- so after six months of waiting, we were worried we misrepresented ourselves or did something wrong. Maybe our profile wasn’t good enough -- we didn’t pick photos that captured us genuinely or our personalities didn’t shine through. Just as our anxiety was starting to kick in, LifeLong called us to let us know our profile had been chosen, and we were over the moon with excitement.
Our first conversation went so smoothly. We had an immediate connection, and the wait suddenly seemed worth it. The expectant mother was still early in her pregnancy and had a friend supporting her through the adoption process, but we felt really confident with our initial relationship. The expectant mother shared with us that she was adopted and that when faced with her pregnancy, choosing adoption for her child felt natural.
After just a couple months of communicating, we decided to meet with the expectant mother. She lived several hours away from us, so we met halfway And spent the afternoon together. She surprised us with a gender reveal gift for us -- laced with pink ribbons and pink confetti, we were elated to find out we would be adopting a baby girl! Later, the expectant mother’s parents became involved and were supportive of their daughter’s decision and together we all worked together to help facilitate birthing and hospital arrangements. We felt so fortunate to be working with the expectant mother and her family as a team.
Becoming a Family of Three
Due to the peak of the COVID cases during our expectant mother’s delivery date, the expectant mother expressed her wish to have a doula as the hospital had visitor restrictions. We were in a place, where we were able to provide this support for our expectant mother, and it made the process more smooth for us all. As her delivery date neared, we had our bags packed and ready to go. The evening we received the text that she went into labor, we started our drive down to her and got settled into our Airbnb.
The evening we arrived, the expectant mother delivered, and within twenty minutes, we were at the hospital And met our daughter, Odea. We were overcome with emotions seeing her for the first time. Odea’s birthmother had requested to spend the first hour with her, and we were honored she wanted that time. The hospital provided us our own room next door to Odea’s birthmother so we were able to care for her after her birthmother was discharged.
Once we were approved to discharge from the hospital with Odea, we could have headed straight home since we were in our home state already; however, we opted to stay in Odea’s birth city for one week so that her birthmother and biological grandparents could spend more time with her. Odea’s birthfather came over to meet her as well,and we were able to develop a relationship with him as well.
After one week in Odea’s birth city, we headed home, and once home, we officially felt like a family of three. It felt so great to settle into our own routine with our daughter.
A Beautiful Relationship
We have maintained an open relationship with Odea’s birthmother and biological grandparents. We have seen them multiple times since she was born, and each visit has been wonderful. Odea’s birthmother is charismatic and loving, and her biological grandparents are such well-rounded and caring people; we feel honored to have them in our lives.
A Learning Curve
Going through the adoption process taught us a lot about managing expectations and patience. We had to leave all decisions to someone else and trust the choices that Odea’s birthmother was making. There were so many players throughout the process, and learning to lean on them required a learning curve.
We are grateful Odea’s birthmother chose us and trusted us with her daughter. Our lives are forever better thanks to her and the family she has allowed us to be.