Trusting the Process
We knew we wanted to start a family, and for Juli, it was important for her to adopt. She grew up with a traumatic childhood. As a child, she would have loved a good family to adopt her. We thought there was no better time than now to be the light for some child. We knew we had so much to offer. We wanted to be a safe haven for any child—or even many children.
However, Juli had some convincing to do. Kelly was not open to the idea of adoption or foster care at first. She feared vulnerability during a process of many unknowns. Kelly was also not ready to confront heartbreak. To create a strong connection and then for things to fall apart was not something she was emotionally prepared for. In order to be emotionally prepared to adopt, we had to put our trust in LifeLong as well as the adoption process.
When we started our adoption journey, we knew working with a company that was supportive of LGBTQ families was crucial. We searched for same-sex adoption on Google, and LifeLong came up everywhere. We felt what LifeLong was truly advertising via “same-sex adoption” was equal opportunity for same-sex couples. Initially, we were interested in a local adoption agency. However, LifeLong was the one that won us over because they put LGBTQ in the forefront.
When we first communicated with an expectant mother, she was so transparent. From the start, she expressed to us that she was ready to connect with us at sixteen weeks. We loved that she was so committed to us, but nonetheless, we wanted to establish a relationship with her first. We were anxious to ask the expectant mother for ultrasound pictures, and luckily she was an open book. She consistently communicated when she had doctors’ appointments and updates about her pregnancy. She even asked us to be present during the delivery, and we were so honored.
Never About Us
From the start of our journey, we felt angst and doubt weighing us down. We kept thinking about our feelings and how we would manage if the adoption was not successful. How would we ever surrender to the tremendous grief of a disrupted adoption? The more we ran in circles about our pain, however, the more we realized it was never about us. This journey was about a child and their birthmother. Did we have the capacity to put ourselves in their shoes to understand what they must be going through as well? We had to make space for their feelings too.
The expectant mother was nothing short of an angel. She was incredibly frank. In the end, if she had decided to not move forward with us, we knew our support was not in vain. We were supporting and connecting with someone who was in a challenging position. She was put in a position that not many people would have the strength to deal with. There is no greater feeling than the feeling of impacting someone’s life, even if it is for a temporary moment.
Always About Her
After she delivered our son, Coast, she was thanking us for everything. “No, thank YOU,” we responded to her. Thank you for your strength and bravery to follow through with a heavy decision.
One piece of advice we could relay to other families is that it is not about you. With adoption, you have to be open to all the possibilities. Most importantly, you have to be able to create a safe space for an expectant mother. She is trying to make the best decision for her child.
We admire and respect our son’s birthmother. Grateful does not even begin to explain our strongest feelings for her. Because of her and this process, we were able to start our beautiful family.