Prioritizing a Family
One of the most painful parts of the coming out process for us and our families had been the sadness that we’d never have children. We were together for 15 years before adoption changed that narrative. For much of our relationship, we explored our careers and enjoyed time with each other. Having kids hadn’t been a priority, but it was something we talked about and even prayed about for years. As our careers stabilized, we could see the inkling of having a child was a bigger priority than we realized.
We explored surrogacy but the cost was high, making it unrealistic for our family. We thought it would be cool to see our own DNA in a little person, but the more we thought about it, we were really compelled by the idea of adoption. Fred took the initiative to find Lifelong and we found it to be a great fit.
A Lost Vision
We were both nervous that a birth mother might choose us at any minute as soon as we had a completed profile. While that may happen to some, it took seven months before we were contacted with our first opportunity.
Our conversations went really well, and we even had the chance to meet her in person. Sadly for us and happily for her, only one month after we were connected, she decided to raise her child herself with her family’s support. We could tell she was upset to tell us as she didn’t want us to be disappointed, but we were so glad she had the courage to make the best decision for herself and her child.
Nevertheless, we were devastated. We had lost an exciting idea of what our family would look like, and it was sad to let it go.
A Second Opportunity
A long year of waiting passed. It was difficult to remain hopeful, but we found ways to keep ourselves busy. Then an expectant mother chose us again.
We received the opportunity details from LifeLong and texted her as soon as we could. That night we set up a call with her, and we were all so nervous. It was like a first date! Once we got past some of the initial shock and disbelief, our conversation with her was really fun and fluid. We enjoyed that she was matter of fact about herself and honest and open with us, and we tried to be as well. We could tell she had given some thought to this process already and seemed committed to adoption.
We had planned a visit with her while driving through her state and could not wait to meet in person. Once we were able to meet this amazing woman, we immediately felt a connection. After our first visit, we were able to visit periodically throughout the remaining four months of her pregnancy and attended several doctor visits and sonogram appointments while always bringing her Mexican food (her favorite). She was clear she wanted to do this for her other two kids. We learned so much about the real challenges single moms face. It was tragic to realize how insurmountable some of her challenges were, but she worked hard to improve her situation for her family, and we were honored to be able to help her.
Leaning on Our Trust
The expectant mother had outlined in her birth plan that she wanted us to be part of her labor and delivery. We were so grateful we were both allowed into the delivery room, along with the birthmom’s best friend. It would have been difficult for us to support her in that moment alone, even though we’d grown close to her.
After much waiting, our baby girl, Reese, finally arrived. Fred cut the umbilical cord, Will held her for her first skin-to-skin contact, and her birthmother gave her the first bottle. We were then provided our own room to care for her and learn from the amazing nurses on the ward. Reese’s birthmother and her friend stayed in a room down the hall and came to visit a few times each day. It was a delicate two days of wanting to honor the mother of our daughter and being fearful she might choose to parent. The trust we’d built earlier in the relationship was important, and Reese’s birthmother saw how much we loved each other and how much we cared for this beautiful little girl. She had always been very honest with us and knew what would be best for her family; when legally allowed to do so, she signed her parental consents, and Reese officially became our daughter.
Our Biggest Blessing
We are thankful each day for the amazing choice Reese’s birthmother made for her and for us.
Now our lives are so full with the love we have for our little girl; becoming dads has opened our hearts to love more freely than we ever had before.