A Waiting Game
Before we were ever married, we had discussed adoption and foster care as a way to grow our family. After having our daughter, Ella, we thought we’d have one more biological child before considering adoption. However, we struggled with unexplained secondary infertility, and after failed IUIs, we turned to adoption sooner than we thought. We spent time reaching out to adoption providers and connected with LifeLong. We felt like they were the best fit for us.
After having our profile and home study completed, we waited. And we waited some more. We had said yes to a handful of special circumstance opportunities but weren’t chosen for any of them. We knew our profile was going out, and it was starting to be a mind game for us that we hadn’t been chosen yet. Was our profile bad? Should we change it? Around the one-and-a-half-year mark, we were in the process of redoing our entire profile, gathering new photos, and updating our verbiage, and just before we submitted everything, we got the call we had been waiting for: Someone had finally connected with our profile and selected us!
Is This Really It?
We got the call on a Saturday morning, and we were so excited! We reached out via text to the expectant mother right away and didn’t hear back until the next day. As you can imagine, the wait to hear back was even more difficult than the wait to get to this point. We started to once again question if we had done something wrong. When we did finally connect that Sunday, it was an instant connection.
The expectant mother shared some of her story with us: She was a single mother to three boys, and her youngest son shared a name with Jeremiah. She had watched our video and could just picture her child growing up in our family.
She wasn’t due for another five months, but her previous three children had been born early and we were prepared for much of the same, with an expected NICU stay.
An Unbroken Bond
Around 22 weeks, the expectant mother had a routine doctor’s appointment, and they wanted her to have an emergency procedure to help deliver closer to her due date. She wasn’t comfortable with the procedure, so we were mentally and emotionally preparing for an even longer NICU stay than originally planned. We were speaking with our daughter’s school about remote options and were prepared for anything.
Thankfully, she was able to stay pregnant until 31 weeks, when we were able to attend a doctor’s appointment with her. We flew to her home state, and Ronalynne was able to go to an ultrasound the following morning with her. We initially thought it might be uncomfortable to meet in person, but it felt natural right away. We already knew she and Jeremiah shared the same sense of humor and that she and Ronalynne had bonded over raising children; it solidified how comfortable we were when we were together.
During that doctor’s appointment, Ronalynne and the expectant mother found out together that she was pregnant with a boy! The expectant mother was so great during the appointment in making sure the doctor and nurses knew who Ronalynne was and how important this appointment was to everyone. Afterward, just for fun, they both held back on sharing the news of a boy with Jeremiah…but only for a short time.
We returned home the next day, our hearts full of love for our hopeful son and the woman carrying him. We could not wait to meet him in just a few short weeks.
A Family of Four
We were prepared for a c-section just one month after our doctor’s appointment together, but just days before her scheduled delivery, she went into labor and we headed across the country ASAP! We just missed our son being born and met him early the next day. Holding our son, Elijah Vincent, in our arms for the first time was a dream come true.
Part of Eli’s birthmother’s plan was to spend time alone with him, and while we were anxious that this might further her attachment toward him, we are grateful they had this special time together. We were lucky to have Eli born at an incredibly adoption-friendly hospital that was accommodating to us and our family. Ella wasn’t allowed on the maternity floor, but the nurses were able to wheel Eli to the door and Ella “met” him for the first time through the window.
Although Eli was born five weeks early, he did not have to spend any time in the NICU. We were prepared for a much more difficult hospital stay than we had, but we did ultimately spend six days there before discharge. Once we were able to leave the hospital, we snuggled into our hotel as a family of four and awaited ICPC.
While waiting, we spent a ton of time with Eli’s birthmother and his three biological brothers. His oldest biological brother was close to Ella’s age, and the two became instant best friends. Ella and Eli’s oldest brother had met once on FaceTime, but seeing them together in person was so fun for us as parents. He was initially really upset by the adoption, but after meeting us, Eli, and Ella, he told us he was so happy that Eli had a loving family and that he now had an older sister. Eli got to adventure to a museum, out to dinner, and even to the trampoline park to watch his two oldest siblings bounce around together!
An Eternal Love
We know and understand that under different circumstances, Eli’s birthmother would have made the best mom to him. She’s already the best mom to her other three boys and striving to provide the best life possible. We are looking forward to keeping her and her boys in our lives for as long as they’ll have us.
Our adoption story would not be possible without Eli’s birthmother and our own support system. Waiting for Eli to come into our lives was a long wait. Letting go of control wasn’t always easy, but leaning on our friends and family really helped. Trusting Eli’s birthmother and her choices through her pregnancy took a lot of self-control; we definitely doubted the process at times, but we are forever grateful we pushed through and are now the proud parents to both Ella and Eli.