Kellie & Reyna

Kellie and Reyna our adoption story

An Exciting Start

Being an LGBT couple, we knew our path to parenthood wasn’t going to be the “traditional” way. We chose to start researching adoption and felt instantly welcomed at LifeLong. We were so excited when we first started the process — we felt like kids in a candy shop! — and could not wait to be moms. Neither of us could have predicted the long and emotional road it would be to motherhood, but we made it!

Our Long Wait

We waited about twelve months before we were first selected by an expectant mother. The wait was long and daunting at times, but we took the time to focus on ourselves and our hobbies. We knew there would eventually be a time when it wasn’t just the two of us anymore, so we wanted to take advantage of this time. We ended up taking our dream vacation to Hawaii and it was more wonderful than we could have ever imagined.

The first expectant mother who chose us was also speaking with a few other families at LifeLong, so we were excited yet cautious. While she didn’t choose us to place her son with, we found out she ultimately didn’t choose adoption at all and instead decided to parent her child.

It would be about six more months before we were selected again. At that point, we had started to question if this process would really work out for us. We wondered if there was something wrong with us, or if there was something about our profile. We were starting to have conversations around what we would do if we ended up having to pursue a different path toward our dreams of parenthood.

When we first started speaking with the second expectant mother, however, everything immediately felt different. She seemed so confident in her decision and so sure of herself. Even though we knew there was still a chance she could change her mind, we were feeling optimistic. After only two weeks of texting, we hired legal services!

Our Early Babe

The expectant mother’s due date was at the end of March, the day before Kellie’s birthday! The expectant mother was hoping to deliver in a different state than she was currently living in, so we were a little unsure how to prepare for travel. Either way meant a cross-country drive for us. Her living and moving circumstances also made hiring legal services a bit tricky. We ended up hiring an adoption attorney that was licensed in both the state she lived in and the state she wanted to move to, just in case the move didn’t happen.

We didn’t do very much to prepare for the baby’s arrival because we didn’t want to get our hopes up. Even if we had done more, there’s no way we could have prepared ourselves for what ended up really happening!

Six weeks before her due date, the expectant mother sent Kellie a text saying, “I’m at the hospital. It’s not Braxton Hicks, so they’re checking things out.” Kellie was out with a friend at the time and immediately called Reyna to tell her the news. Reyna was shocked, to say the least. We quickly realized that this baby might be coming early and we had to hurry to get ready to go.

Reyna started some basic packing while Kellie called her employer to fill them in on the details. We had initially planned to drive, but we were reconsidering that plan now that things were moving so much quicker. We hadn’t received any further updates, so we went to sleep that evening still in the dark about what was happening. We woke up the next morning to a text saying they were doing an emergency C-section!

We rushed to pack our car that morning, met Kellie’s dad to drop off our pets, and started two long days of driving across the country. We had two back-to-back days of driving in front of us, giving us plenty of time to be excited and nervous. We hadn’t discussed names yet, so we used some of that time to decide on our son’s name, James.

“We never could have predicted this would have been our path, but we are so grateful for where we ended up...”
-Kellie & Reyna
Staying Strong for James

We arrived at the hospital the following evening around 10pm and met our son’s birthmother for the first time. Our initial meeting with her was brief, so we looked forward to connecting with her more when we were able. After that, we finally got to meet James, our tiny, strong boy who was in NICU due to his early arrival.

That evening, we returned to the nearby Airbnb we had booked. The next morning, we dove headfirst into our extended NICU journey. We had a chance to truly meet James’ birthmother and we had a wonderful conversation with her. It was also the first time that we got to hold James. We started what became our NICU routine of holding and feeding him, spending time alongside him, and returning to our Airbnb in the evenings. James’ birthmother signed over her parental rights three days after his birth, and that was the last day we saw her.

Because of James’ early arrival, we hadn’t had a chance to discuss the type of adoption we all wanted. It has naturally turned into a semi-open adoption, and we are thrilled. We’ve touched base with James’ birthmother here and there, especially during our extended NICU stay, and will continue to do so. Though our time with her was short, we will always hold the utmost respect for her. We are eternally grateful for the miraculous gift she gave us.

Once we found out we would be away from home for an extended period, Kellie’s mom joined us! She actually flew out almost right away and was there the entire NICU stay. Reyna was finishing her Master’s degree at the time and had to return home for a week of classes, so it was wonderful to have Kellie’s mom there to help.

Watching James grow and thrive in the NICU was definitely not how we anticipated our first weeks of motherhood, but we were proud everyday of how well he was doing. After six long weeks away from home, James finally received the approval to discharge! We couldn’t wait to get home as a family of three.

Grateful for the Journey

Our journey to motherhood was long and emotional. Even when James was born and we saw him every day, it was not until he was out of the NICU before we began to feel like he was truly ours. We never could have predicted this would have been our path, but we are so grateful for where we ended up and how we got there. We are thankful for the additional time we had to focus on ourselves and our hobbies, our big trip to Hawaii, and ultimately, our son, who is the light of our lives.


Whether an LGBT couple, traditional parents or a single individual, we believe every child deserves a LifeLong family.
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