Starting Our Family
When starting our adoption journey, we knew that we wanted to have a baby together in some capacity and adoption was something we were both very drawn to. We started our search locally and found that there were not many LGBTQ friendly companies near us. LifeLong was the first one that we found that fit what we were looking for.
When we decided this was our path ahead, we were really excited. It was something real that we were doing together. It was a huge decision and of course we had nerves, but we felt really calm starting the process. We let our immediate family and closer relatives know as soon as we started the journey.. Adoption is in our family history on both sides, so we wanted to be able to have that support and knowledge from them.
We had a very long journey with LifeLong until we were able to complete our family; about 30 months long. As we waited, we made sure to lean heavily on our home study social worker. She was our rock, our constant, and our logic. We were truly blessed to have such wonderful support from her. We also made sure to surround ourselves with our family support as well. We spent a lot of time reading adoption blogs and doing our hobbies. We filled the nursery in our home and kept sending that positive energy out into the universe. We knew we were never going to give up. We knew this was going to happen for us and that we just had to keep going. With that said we knew it was important to keep living our life and not just pause everything as we waited for our opportunity.
Holding Onto Hope
As we began our time with LifeLong we had a slow start with various opportunities over many months that quickly fell through. Then, about two years into our contract, we were presented with an opportunity with an expectant mother whom we connected with pretty quickly. With this connection, we went down to visit the expectant mother twice and were there for the birth of her child. In the end, she decided to parent the child which was very emotional for us. We had already been waiting for so long and it was heartbreaking to get this far and then have this happen. We needed a lot of emotional support from LifeLong after this, which was provided to help us back on our feet. We talked to a few other expectant mothers after that experience, but no opportunities moved forward as far. It was hard, and we thought to ourselves, “Is this ever going to happen?”
Meant to Be
When we approached the two-and-a-half year mark, we started to doubt our confidence and worried that there was a chance our baby would never find us.. We were still so bruised from our past experience and the waiting was becoming so hard. However, that all changed one afternoon when we were presented with the opportunity to connect with our daughter’s birthmother, Michelle, and it felt so different than anything we had ever experienced along the way. We started by talking with Anna, who is Michelle’s sister. Michelle was nervous and anxious and it was more comfortable for her to have us start talking with Anna. We talked to Anna every day for a few weeks.
Anna would share with Michelle what we talked about and Michelle would then talk through Anna back to us. We enjoyed talking with Anna, but we are so glad that we eventually were able to speak directly with Michelle once she was comfortable and ready. We immediately could sense her sweet spirit and she quickly became an important part of our lives.
We started talking with Anna and Michelle just two months before our daughter Penelope was born and we were able to meet the both of them just one month before she was born. Meeting Anna and Michelle cemented our amazing relationship and the good feeling we had. When we met them both for the first time, our souls lit up and we could literally feel a deep connection being made.
The day that Penelope was born we were both in the hospital parking lot just waiting for the news. Unfortunately with Covid regulations, being in the parking lot was as close as we were able to get. Both Anna and Michelle had kept us very much in the loop with ultrasound updates and how Michelle was feeling. We found out that Michelle was going to be induced on a Monday at 9am, so we woke up at 3am and drove over there to make sure that we were in the parking lot when Michelle gave birth. When we found out that Penelope had made her way into the world, we had to wait two more days to enter the hospital, and even then just one of us was allowed in. Emily went into the hospital and Maria was outside with Anna during this time.
After a bit of time, Michelle walked into the parking lot with Penelope, gave us both a huge hug and handed Penelope over to us. It was magical-like true magic of the universe was happening.. It felt like this was destined to be, that this was it and there was no question. We were filled beyond words with joy.
We stayed in a nearby hotel for a total of five nights before we headed home. Anna and Michelle came to visit us for a couple of those days and one of the nights we went to Anna's house and had a barbeque together. On that fifth day when we headed home we hugged and said our tearful goodbyes knowing, however, that we were forever bonded.
Our Grown Family
Flash forward to today, six months later. We still text Anna and Michelle very often. They are both a part of our family and very important to us. We have been able to see them twice since Penelope was born, which we are very grateful for. We would highly recommend being open to having an open adoption because our relationship with Michelle is huge and so impactful. We have been able to learn so much from her to help us raise Penelope and we are thankful to be able to have her in our lives. There can never be too much love for a child.
Our life with Penelope is truly amazing. She is our bright star. She is funny, incredibly happy, and always wants to be a part of everything. She is our proof of faith, hope and love. She is love in a bundle from her birthmother and she is proof that love conquers all.
For adoptive parents going through this process as a couple, you have to focus on your relationship with your significant other because along the way, it can get hard. You see them cry and you have to maintain your strength and help each other through. It is important not to lose sight of the fact that you are doing this together. When one is weak, you need to let them be weak and have that balance. The process can be emotional but yet so wonderful. Through it all, we are forever grateful for our adoption journey and being able to grow our family together.