The Family We Always Wanted
We always knew we wanted a child. It’s been a lifelong dream of both of ours. In the beginning, we were trying to decide between private adoption, foster care adoption, surrogacy, and international adoption. We took the time to investigate each of these options and evaluated the pros and the cons. As a gay couple, we knew we had fewer options. When we looked abroad, we realized not every country would be understanding of our lifestyle.
We ended up talking to a lot of parents who have adopted. Ultimately, we decided that a private adoption would be right for us. When we found LifeLong, we knew it was the right organization for us. They had the national reach, and they understood our situation more than most as they have worked with gay families for a long time.
Our journey began with cautious optimism. We didn’t know whether or not a connection was possible, and we were nervous about unpredictable financial costs. The uncertainty was hard.
But we were lucky. Everyone around us was really positive and supportive. Joe comes from a progressive family. His parents had been begging for a grandchild for years, and his aunts and uncles were over the moon. Alejandro comes from a very traditional Catholic family, and some cousins have their own views on our lifestyle. Regardless, his parents and siblings were incredibly supportive from day one.
We were chosen by an expectant mother when she was about four months pregnant. She lived on the West Coast, while we were in Florida—so we used videochat at first. We each had a good feeling about one another, so we arranged to head across the country to visit her in person. We also met our baby’s biological father. To our delight, we also got to meet their four-year-old son.
The visit went well, so we all agreed the adoption should go forward. Initially, the birthmother wanted a closed adoption. However, the day after baby Gigi was born, her birthmother decided she wanted to see her. We were nervous she might change her mind about the whole adoption. As it turned out, her birthmother felt reassured in her decision after seeing Gigi in our arms, and we agreed we would move to something more like an open adoption. Now we stay connected to her birthmother by sending photos through someone she’s close to.
The Big Day
On the big day of Gigi’s delivery, we tried our best to be prepared. We scheduled everything with the agency and the hospital so we knew what to expect. We were there at the delivery room and held Gigi just two minutes after she was born. Holding her was the greatest moment of both our lives. Over the next few days, we bonded with her in the hospital, and it’s just gotten better ever since.
In retrospect, those first few days went smoothly, but at the time, we were so anxious about all the things that could go wrong. What if there was a medical issue? What if we had missed an important document? What if her birthmother changed her mind? We talked to each other about our emotions and took each day as they came.
When everything finalized, we were simply overjoyed. There was no feeling like holding Gigi in our arms and knowing we just grew our family.
We were actually chosen by a birthmother several months before meeting Gigi’s birthmother, but she lost interest in either us or the process after a few days. We knew this was not unusual and this didn’t mean we weren’t good candidates, but we still went through the emotional ups and downs. You couldn’t help it. We tried to focus on the process and not have expectations around the outcome. With the support of our family and friends, we were able to weather the emotional challenges.
We also prepared financially. We are glad we did. To not have to worry about costs adding up—and they did—was great. We wanted a happy ending, and every situation is different. We are glad we prepared.
In retrospect, when our process started, we felt inundated with educational materials at first, and we didn’t know how to handle all of it. But now we know it was all necessary. Just knowing what questions to ask along the process was very helpful.
Being prepared emotionally, financially, and educationally made the whole process a lot easier to go through. During moments of feeling down, knowing the process can help to cushion against the shock and disappointment you may experience.
Life with Gigi
We would love to adopt again when we line up our resources. We can picture a future with more children in our family; at least one sibling for Gigi would be ideal. We are still learning to be parents, but we are looking forward to growing our family again. Our extended family can’t get enough of Gigi, and she has provided the opportunity to bring us all closer than ever before. We are grateful every day in the knowledge we finally have the family we always wanted.