Elizabeth & Michelle

Elizabethand

Michelle

our adoption story

A Renewed Sense of Hope

We both always knew we wanted to be moms, but after finding out neither of us were able to biologically have a child, we turned to adoption. We started our adoption journey with a local agency, and after over one year of waiting, we decided to expand our outreach. We started researching adoption providers that work at a national level and connected with LifeLong. We loved how high on a search engine they appeared and figured if it was that easy for us to find them, it would be equally as easy for an expectant mother to find them. We were also drawn to their commitment to the LGBTQ community. It felt good to know we were partnering with a provider that would look past our marriage and really advocate for us as a viable family for a child.

After joining LifeLong’s program, we had a renewed sense of hope. We thought that with the national exposure, our journey could be a much faster one than we had experienced thus far.

Three Quick Disruptions

Shortly after our profile was approved, we were selected by our first expectant mother, who was considering adoption for her two-year-old twin boys. We started getting to know her and came to quickly understand that what she was looking for from a relationship might not be the best fit for us. As we were considering our options, she actually stopped responding to both us and LifeLong, and the relationship ended naturally.

While it was disappointing to have the disruption happen, we were excited to see how quickly our profile was working, and we felt great about the direction things were moving in.

Shortly after the first opportunity, we were presented with a second. The expectant mother was still weighing her options, and she was honest that she wasn’t fully committed to adoption. We appreciated her honesty, and when she ultimately chose to parent, we weren’t surprised. We wanted what was best for her and her child.

Besides LifeLong, our profile was still being presented through our local agency. We were selected by an expectant mother through them, and she was already in her third trimester. Since she was near us, we were on standby the closer to her delivery date we got. We were prepared to travel at any minute and felt like we were so close to the finish line. We were shocked and devastated when we received a call the evening she delivered that she had chosen to parent. It truly felt like the loss of a family member.

We had always understood a late disruption was a risk, but experiencing it was so different than just imagining it. We knew, however, this was still the right path for us and that despite our loss, we had to continue to push forward.

 
 
“We found ourselves leaning on each other on the hard days and celebrating the good days. The ultimate celebration came when we became a family of three.”
-Elizabeth & Michelle
Protecting Our Family

Only a couple weeks after our emotional disruption, LifeLong reached out to us with another opportunity. The expectant mother was younger and in her third trimester. We felt hopeful that maybe the last opportunity was meant to lead us to this young woman. We had our first phone call with the expectant mother, and while she was a bit reserved, we really enjoyed each other. She shared details of her pregnancy and personal life, and we felt good about the start to our relationship. After our first conversation, the expectant mother was difficult to get a hold of due to her lack of phone access, and admittedly, it had us worried. We were concerned she might be avoiding us or choosing to parent, but as it turned out, she just didn’t have a phone, just like she told us.

We hired attorney services fairly quickly due to how far along she was, and we had been told we had no reasons to worry. However, after the expectant father was served with notice of the adoption, things went south and got scary very quickly. The expectant mother had vaguely shared details with us about the expectant father and that he might not be the safest person, but after being contacted by the attorney, it became apparent just how much she had left unsaid. After a couple terrifying days, the expectant mother called us, and it was clear just how fearful she was for her life and for her child’s life. We worked with the attorneys to try to relocate her to another state, but without a family support system, her options were limited. When faced with our options, we knew what we had to do. We packed up our car, drove eight hours to the expectant mother, picked her up, and brought her to our home state.

We had never met the expectant mother in person and had only had a handful of conversations up until our long car ride together, but her safety and her child’s safety were our top priority. She was incredibly sweet, humble, and grateful for our quick actions. With the expectant mother’s due date only five days away, we knew we had to move fast once we got home. We were able to put the expectant mother in a hotel nearby and spent the next couple days hosting her in our city and taking her sight-seeing and to our favorite spots.

Forming a Forever Bond

After five days together, the expectant mother went into labor. We were able to be at the hospital with her the entire time, including when she was brought in for an emergency C-section. We were so excited to meet our son, Joe, but in the back of our minds, we were still concerned about Joe’s birthfather.

Joe’s birthmother initially chose not to meet him, and we were brought to our own room. We continued to check in on her and visit with her without Joe. When she did ask to come down to our room, we knew we could not deny her the opportunity to meet her son. We continued to trust the process and knew that meeting Joe might have been for her own closure. We wanted to support her in that.

Joe discharged prior to his birthmother, but we returned the next day to bring her back to her hotel room. She spent three additional days in our home state before she flew home. Those three days she spent in our home state we spent together. We are thankful she was able to see us with Joe and the love that we had for him and for her. It was difficult for us to see Joe’s birthmother so happy and relaxed with us knowing she was headed home soon to an environment she did not feel comfortable in.

We knew finalizing Joe’s adoption would be an uphill battle, and we were prepared. We had the most amazing legal team, and Joe’s birthmother was so strong for herself, us, and Joe. Since Joe’s finalization, we have remained in contact with Joe’s birthmother through texting, and we love providing her updates about how our son is growing.

Pushing Ourselves

Our journey to Joe was not always an easy one. We had no idea how far we were willing to push ourselves until faced with difficult decisions, and we are so happy we trusted our gut because it brought us to Joe. We found ourselves leaning on each other on the hard days and celebrating the good days. The ultimate celebration came when we became a family of three.

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Whether an LGBT couple, traditional parents or a single individual, we believe every child deserves a LifeLong family.
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