Happy New Year
We always knew we wanted a big, blended family, so after two years of marriage, we decided to start exploring our options. Our families were behind us every step of the way, providing more support than we could have ever imagined. As a gay couple, we had two options: surrogacy or adoption. We decided to start the adoption journey while continuing to save financially for surrogacy in the future. Our New Year’s resolution was to start taking active steps toward adopting. On New Year’s Day, we submitted our application to LifeLong!
We felt excited after reading the adoption stories on LifeLong’s website. We understood there was a lot we didn’t know about the process, but we felt confident moving forward with LifeLong. They were so welcoming and provided us with helpful information as we started our journey. We hoped for the full experience of adopting a newborn from the hospital, so it seemed like the perfect fit. Within one week, we were interviewed and accepted into the program.
All Hands on Deck
Our profile was up and running shortly after our acceptance, and a few months later, we got the call we’d been dreaming of. An expectant mother had chosen our profile and had a scheduled c-section in a few weeks! We rushed to finish our home study and started preparing for the baby. Our families were “all hands on deck” helping us prepare our home and get everything we needed. We connected with the expectant mother immediately and were able to meet in person a few times since we lived in the same city. There were no hesitations with how quickly things were happening. We felt 100% ready.
Fate or Fiction
The baby was born on Jon’s 30th birthday. It felt like fate. We were parents for three days in the hospital, and everything felt perfect. Right before discharge, we got the news that the birth parents had decided to parent. We were devastated, of course, but understood and respected their decision. We shared so many beautiful moments together and ultimately ended up heartbroken. We knew it was possible to experience a disrupted adoption, but the reality of it definitely hurt and took us by surprise. We decided to focus on the positives and accept that it just wasn’t our time yet. We spent the summer healing together with our families’ continued love and support. We worked on projects around the house that we had been wanting to do for a while. We picked ourselves back up and learned how to move forward.
Summer came and went, and then we got another call in the fall! It was impossible not to feel all of the emotions come rushing back. We were grateful to have a prior experience to pull from. We were able to protect our hearts a little better while still being open to the new opportunity. We talked a few times, but ultimately the expectant mother went MIA. It felt confusing without any closure, but we knew it just wasn’t meant to be. We kept on waiting for the right one. As the months went by, it was hard to stay positive and hopeful, but we are a great team and know how to support each other when one of us is feeling down. We knew we would be ready when it was time.
Almost one year after experiencing our first opportunity, we got the call that would change our lives forever. It was another expectant mother who lived in our city, and she was due in a few weeks! We talked with her and learned the birthfather was in agreement with adoption. Everything felt like it was on the right track. A week later, we woke up to go to work like any other day and saw text messages from her in the middle of the night that she was in labor! It was unexpected, but we were more than ready. We rushed to the hospital! It was a bit scary because it was the same hospital as our first opportunity. Needless to say, so many emotions came flooding back to us. We had to find the strength to stay positive and hopeful while still protecting our hearts.
Falling into Forever
We were nervous because we hadn’t hired legal services yet, so we didn’t know exactly what to expect. When we arrived at the hospital, we met the birthparents and waited for everything to fall into place. We finally got our own room and were able to meet our son for the first time. So many thoughts and emotions overcame us as they rolled this beautiful baby boy into our room. We cried and held him. We were so happy yet so nervous about what could happen. We just stared at him for the first few hours, soaking up every little moment together in that room. We took him home shortly after and anxiously waited out the 30-day revocation period that our state law requires. When that final day came, we cried tears of joy knowing he was officially ours forever.
J & E Team
Initially the birthparents wanted a closed adoption agreement, but as time went on after the birth, they wanted more contact. We were completely fine with this. We have an amazing open adoption with them now and have already visited in person with them. We stay in touch over the phone and really feel like a team. We both have the first initials J and E, so it’s kind of an inside joke that feels really magical. They loved seeing us together with our son, and we can’t wait to see how our relationship continues to grow with them over the years.
The biggest challenge we faced in our adoption journey was learning acceptance of the disrupted connection, patience during the waiting periods, and the balance of living our lives “normally” during this process. We’ve always been big travelers but found it difficult to book trips knowing we could get a call at any time. But we also didn’t want to be stagnant in our fear of the unknown. We learned how to be more present in our day to day. We put our energy into our home and into each other. We learned patience and thrived on the knowledge that this journey was where we were meant to be at that time. Now we are looking forward to traveling as a family and making new memories together.
Lean into Discomfort
Our advice to other adoptive parents is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. You have to embrace the unknowns and all of the moving parts in your journey. Everyone is different, and this process leaves very little room for control on your end of things. You have to get out of your comfort zone in order for it to work. You have to face that things can and will change at a moment’s notice. Lean on your support system within your family and your adoption professionals. One day, when the time is right, you will hold your baby in your arms, and everything will make sense.