Carving a New Path
We always knew children were part of our future, but after Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer, we weren’t sure what our family planning path would look like. We initially considered foster care, but after learning more about the process, we weren’t sure we were emotionally prepared for reunification. We shifted our focus to domestic adoption and felt incredibly comfortable with the process. We found LifeLong through our research and found their website incredibly helpful; they were the first place that actually spelled out the process.
We knew adoption was the best fit for us, but we were still fearful. What if we weren’t good enough? What if we went through the process and no one ever chose us? Would anyone find us interesting enough? These were all concerns we had. Our friends and family were incredibly supportive, which definitely helped and kept us pushing forward.
Our Lengthy Connection
We had the opportunity to speak with our first expectant mother not long into our time with LifeLong. After only a couple conversations, we knew it wasn’t the best decision for us to move forward with her and chose to end the relationship. We knew there was risk in our decision, but we had to do what was best for us.
The second opportunity LifeLong presented us with was instantly a better fit. Based on the details that were shared with us, we were excited and also nervous to speak with her. We really wanted her to connect with us, but we also didn’t want to be too eager. We texted initially and set up a time to talk on the phone. When we were able to speak on the phone, we had a great conversation. She was an older expectant mother compared to our first opportunity, and she had other children already and really understood the magnitude of parenting. She was honest with us that she was considering us and one other family but felt more of a connection to us.
The expectant mother was early in her pregnancy when we initially connected with her. As we got to know each other, we had hoped to meet in person before delivery, but the timing never worked out due to COVID. We continued to provide her support throughout her pregnancy and tried to keep an open relationship with her.
Part of our relationship with the expectant mother was creating her birth plan. The expectant mother had asked that Christina be part of her delivery, and we had anticipated being there one week prior to her due date. Prior to our travel plans, the expectant mother started experiencing pain, and we decided to head down earlier than planned. While waiting for her to go into labor, we were able to spend time with both her and her boyfriend and meet her other children. The expectant mother ultimately chose to have her boyfriend at the hospital with her, so we were on pins and needles waiting for the social worker’s call. The time of her C-section ended up moving, so we did not get the news until late afternoon that our daughter, Sophia, had been born.
The same evening that Sophia was born, we were able to go to the hospital to meet her. The hospital provided us with our own room and allowed us time to bond with her. Sophia ended up spending close to three weeks at the hospital to monitor some health concerns, and our time with the nurses in the NICU was invaluable. They allowed us to care for Sophia but were there to answer our questions; it essentially felt like a short-term parenting class.
Due to our extended NICU stay, our clearances were approved the day we were discharged from the hospital. We were so thankful to be headed home with our new baby girl.
Through our lengthy connection with Sophia’s birthmother, the uncertainty and emotional investment weighed heavily on us. We quickly recognized how much of this process was out of our control, and all we were able to do was be as understanding, helpful, and supportive as possible. We wanted to ensure that Sophia’s birthmother knew we were overjoyed that she was considering us as parents to her daughter but we also found it important that she knew how much we loved her and would have supported her choice to parent as well.
Sophia is the most important person in our lives, and we would not change our journey to her for the world. We hardly remember the stressful journey because every part of it was worth it now that she’s our daughter.