What led you to adoption?
Kaydian and I individually always considered being parents, though we were certain we did not want to do it alone and until we were confident about it being the right time. When we met almost 10 years ago, the topic came up fairly quickly in our relationship. We wanted our child to be equally ours and adoption was the most natural choice for us.
Why did you choose to work with LifeLong Adoptions?
We interviewed with several agencies. We decided to go with LifeLong because we liked our initial conversations with Mark and felt a sense of calm confidence; we noticed some of their clients were connected within a couple months and we hoped that would be our case as well (wishful thinking on our part); and they only accepted a number of clients per month versus filling up their database and reducing the chances of being chosen by prospective birth parents.
What were you most excited about?
We were most excited about the fact we were expanding our family and that we were doing it with each other.
What were you most nervous about?
Taking on the responsibility of a child – financial implications, lifestyle changes, the enormous responsibility of raising a socially and intellectually conscious and aware child. We worried about if we were good/mature enough to take on this responsibility.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Emphatically and excitedly. Some of our close friends wanted us to be parents for a long time, so when we decided and announced it, they were ecstatic.
What was it like meeting the birthmother for the first time?
We got the call less than an hour after our daughter was born, so the first time we met our birthmother was at the hospital the next day when we arrived. It was overwhelming for both of us. We had read a lot of books and articles and thought we knew what to expect, but in the moment we felt overwhelmed realizing the magnitude of what she had decided to do and the enormous gift she was handing over to us, strangers. We spent time hugging each other, holding each other, sitting together holding hands, and shedding some tears together.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
At first we thought we wanted a closed or semi-open adoption. The more we educated ourselves and met with families who had adopted, we realized the gift of open communication with birth parents through a semi-open or open adoption.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her.
When Nicole called and asked what we were doing that weekend, Kaydian started telling her about plans to visit friends and run errands, not realizing what she was really telling us! After that phone call, we were moving full speed ahead. Nandini immediately went on to organizing the logistics of being able to leave – contact the pet sitter, arranging a hotel, purchasing flight tickets, aligning all the pieces of our lives together to make it possible for us to leave. Kaydian focused on making sure that we were prepared once we got there – listing immediate baby items we needed, making sure all our documents were in order, etc. We had prior experience travelling for a birth, but had to return home without a baby, so we were cautious, scared, and trying our hardest not to get overly excited. It all happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to focus on fear or what-ifs.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
It was unreal. Unbelievable! Neither of us expected to feel anything as strongly as we did. We nervously talked with our birthmother while staring at our daughter for the longest 15 or 20 minutes. It was our birthmother who put us at ease by asking if we wanted to hold her. When we held her we looked at her in silence for what seemed like an hour, passing her back and forth between us and just looking and marveling at how beautiful she was and that she was our daughter.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We feel fortunate about our birthmother. She was incredibly strong, gentle, nurturing, and warm. We keep in touch over text and share pictures with her every few weeks.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
Emotional ups and downs with unsuccessful connections and finances.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process — how did you get through the wait?
We share a strong, stable, and happy relationship with each other. As we plunged into this process, we decided we would live our lives the same way while we waited. We also held strong to the idea that our child, should we have one, would enhance our lives in ways different from what we were used to; but in case we were unable to adopt, it would not take anything away from the happiness we already shared. That helped us focus on living a good life each day. We travelled, went out, hung out with our friends, and made future plans knowing we may have to change those.
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
We absolutely would adopt again. We wish adopting did not cost as much as it does. We had several failed connections that resulted in our resources being depleted more than we had planned on or wanted.
What advice would you give other couples?
Know that whatever challenges you face on your journey to adopt your baby, they will immediately become distant and foggy memories when you first meet and hold the baby that will be yours. The weight of those challenges will melt away.