A Natural Adoption
We’ve talked about adoption since the beginning of our relationship. Heather’s mother and uncle are adopted as well as our brother-in-law. Our goal was to have one biological child and one adopted child. Amber has wanted to adopt children since she came to the realization she wanted a family. Heather has always dreamed of being pregnant but knew from a young age adoption was in her future as well. After two years of trying to conceive with no success, we felt our hearts leaning more and more toward adoption.
Ultimately, our research led us to LifeLong. We loved that LifeLong catered to same-sex couples and provided a safe place for unique families. When we heard their placement rate, it felt very promising.
Our friends and family rallied around us the entire time we were going through the process of becoming a family, whether it was helping to calm our nerves when we began the process or being a loving sounding board for us when the anticipation grew. We feel blessed to have had so much love and support on our journey to parenthood.
We waited for about nine months with no connections but several views of our profile. We were questioning what to do. We thought perhaps our preferences were too strict or maybe our profile wasn’t welcoming enough. Thankfully we had a great adoption coordinator who was there to answer all of our questions and reassure us that in fact we were right where we needed to be. When the opportunity arose to update our profile images, we decided to go for it. Changing the cover photo really helped spruce things up, and shortly after, we finally made a connection around month ten.
We were so excited and ready to nest! Our adoption coordinator advised us to not get the nursery ready. She reminded us that each connection is different, and it can be heart wrenching to look at a completed nursery with no baby in it. We totally understood that, but we didn’t want to be completely unprepared either. We purchased the necessities and saved the receipts. In some ways, preparing and shopping for items helped us get over the anxiety of waiting for the arrival of our baby.
An Organically Unfolding Process
Just before our one-year mark, we connected with Xander’s birthmother. The first time we messaged with her, we knew right away she was going to be the one. We felt the sparks, and so did she. From then on, she was in the driver’s seat, and we simply enjoyed the ride.
Our son’s birthmother was really great at communicating with us even when navigating through a global pandemic, placing a child for adoption, and raising her own children at home. Naturally, there were times of uncertainty, but we believed in her and knew our connection was strong.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we were a bit nervous about the barriers that we might face and for the safety of our birthmother. Though we were not able to be at the hospital for the birth, we felt everything happened just the way it was supposed to.
It was a quick eight weeks, and then we got the call from the birthmother that our baby was born. She let us know we had a healthy baby boy waiting for us in Ohio. She sent us the hospital information and a photo and asked us to hit the road to Ohio. We made the 20-hour cross-country journey to pick up our new son. His birthmother was patient and understanding about the long drive. She gave our son lots of love in the hospital and kept him safe until we made it to town. That was so special to us. We are grateful she got all the time she wanted to say her goodbyes. From there, our little guy went into cradle care for the remainder of the 72-hour clearance. At first, the thought of our baby going into someone else’s home during a pandemic petrified us, but we decided to let go of our fears and stay positive. The cradle care family was so amazing! They welcomed us with love and support, and we have made good friends. We couldn’t have asked for a more amazing cradle care process.
Finally, at the surrender paperwork signing, we met Xander’s birthmother. She embraced us with open arms and a big hug. She brought tears to our eyes with the love she showed us. She told us we got a “good one” and she was happy she could help us build our family. We thanked her, and we all agreed she is family too. We are eternally grateful to this brave, beautiful woman.
Bringing Xander Home
The truth is, our adoption process was a miracle. Just as we were starting to get antsy about making a connection, we got the call. Once we were introduced to the birthmother, in a matter of two months, we brought baby Xander home. It was the best whirlwind of our lives!
Xander has such a big personality! He laughs, smiles, and has long talks with us. We are in awe of him and of how much he has enriched our lives. As of now, our lives haven't changed much because he’s such an easy baby. We know this may change as he grows, and we are ready for whatever is to come.
We have enjoyed the miracle of adoption so much we have decided this is the route we will take to give Xander a sibling one day. But for now, we are enjoying watching Xander grow as we cherish every day. We are soaking up all the sweet baby love.