Kevin and I have been in a committed relationship for 13 years. We waited to have children because we wanted to focus on our education and careers first. We both pursued advanced degrees. I have my master’s degree in Elementary Education as well as being National Board Certified and Kevin just recently finished his doctoral degree in Nursing. We wanted to have our career paths finalized so that we could dedicate 100% of our time to focus on caring for our child.
When we finally decided to start the adoption process, the hospital where Kevin is employed recommended LifeLong to us. We also spoke to our amazing social worker who also recommended LifeLong. But most of all, we chose LifeLong because of the focus and dedication to the LGBTQ community.
Ups and Downs
When our journey began, we were excited but nervous. We had high expectations when the first expectant mother connected with us three months into our journey; we couldn’t believe it was happening so fast. However, this was not meant to be because the expectant mother decided to parent. We were chosen by several other expectant mothers after that initial connection, but for one reason or another communication ended with them before an adoption took place.
Each time during our 22-month journey when things didn’t work out or didn’t go as expected, we doubted ourselves and our decisions and overthought certain aspects of the adoption process. In some ways, we wish that our expectations were lower in the beginning so that we weren’t that anxious or disappointed throughout the process. But the overall ups and downs helped to strengthen our relationship and the bonds we had with our friends and family.
At different points of our journey, we thought about whether to tell our friends and family about connections with expectant mothers even though things were uncertain. Each time, when we did share our connections, we were met with tremendous support. Ultimately, our support system really came through for us and we were able to rely on them when we simply couldn’t say anything concrete or didn’t know how it was going to unfold.
They vowed to be there for us during the bad times and the good times. We couldn’t have made it through this journey without our friends and family. Having a core support group during the adoption process is something we highly recommend.
When it finally happened..
We heard from Parker’s birthmother one month before she was due to give birth. She was a quiet and reserved person who preferred text messaging rather than speaking on the phone. She was an already amazing mother to two wonderful children. Communication was sporadic and infrequent at times, but she always responded when it was convenient for her. Sometimes that would be the same day and sometimes it was a week later. Adoptive parents must realize that most expectant mothers have other priorities that supersede frequent communication with them. In this case, her two children were her priority. Parker’s birthmother sent us a text about two weeks prior to the scheduled C-section to let us know the date, time, and which hospital. We spoke a couple times with her prior to delivery, but again communication was infrequent. We had to travel from South Carolina to Illinois prior to the delivery date. When we arrived at the hospital, we still hadn’t met Parker’s birthmother, which made us a little nervous.
Parker was delivered via C-section on January 21 at 1:50pm and brought to our room at around 3pm. The first time we saw Parker, we just knew that all the ups and downs, doubts, fears, and anxieties we experienced during the journey were so worth it. It was a surreal experience. It was a beautiful experience. Both our hearts felt full and we fell in love with Parker instantly. God had truly blessed us.
The next 72 hours in the hospital, however, would prove to be more stressful than we had anticipated. Parker stayed with us in our room for the majority of the time we were there. Parker’s birthmother would ask the nurse to bring Parker to her for an hour or two each day. We were worried that she would choose to parent despite the fact that she gave us assurances by giving us permission to view Parker’s medical records and allowing us naming rights for the birth certificate.
We finally got to meet Parker’s birthmother after she met with the social worker and signed the final adoption paperwork. Our worries disappeared immediately and our hearts were filled with joy and happiness. Meeting her was a beautiful experience that we will cherish for a lifetime. We had about a two-hour conversation with her. In the end, it seemed that perhaps she was worried about meeting us as well and therefore put off meeting because she was nervous. But those two hours really made all of us feel at peace about the adoption. We made sure to get pictures with all of us, with her permission of course, and pictures with just her and Parker. Those pictures are currently framed proudly in Parker’s nursery. Parker’s birthmother chose a semi-open adoption and we send her monthly updates and pictures about Parker’s progress. She is and always will be part of our family. She is our personal superhero, our Wonder Woman.
It couldn’t be more perfect...
We couldn’t wait to take Parker home. Our world has forever changed in the best possible way. All the ups and downs really have paved the way for our beautiful family. The day we met her, we found our missing piece. She completes us and makes us better people. When your baby comes into the world and you meet them for the first time, it is like meeting your reason to live. We love her to the moon and back and then back again!
We are grateful for the ups and downs of this journey. We are especially grateful that we’ve learned to communicate better with each other through this process. It seems that our adoption journey has helped to teach us coping strategies that we can use to strengthen our relationship as we venture into parenthood.
For parents who are looking to adopt, we want to tell you this: “Don’t stop living your daily life. Don’t put your life on hold waiting for adoption to happen. You still have to enjoy yourself and time with your significant other. Living your daily life to the fullest distracts you from the waiting that you will experience in this journey. When the situation is right, you will know. Go with your gut. Most of all have faith that it will happen and trust the process. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!”