The Best Fit
When we got married, we always envisioned having a child of our own. We had older children from previous relationships, but we always wanted to raise a child together. Unfortunately, medically, Cheryl was not able to have any more children. Soon we decided on adoption. For a few years, we researched the process and found domestic adoption was the best option for us.
A couple years earlier, Cheryl’s brother had adopted, and he told us all about the process. After we were referred by a friend to LifeLong, we knew we had found our partner. Everyone at LifeLong was open and accepting, and we felt trusted as parents right away.
In the beginning, we were nervous, anxious, and scared, but we were also hopeful. Our friends and family were so happy for us, and our kids were looking forward to a sibling. But our home study didn’t turn out well, and our social worker at the agency that was doing the home study wasn’t working for us. We had to proactively reach out every step of the way to ask for the status of our process and gather paperwork. When we went in for the interview, she forgot her keys to the office, and we had to do the entire interview in a café next door. We felt uncomfortable telling our story in a place with no privacy.
The Wrong Connection
When we connected with our first expectant mother, we were so happy, but she was guarded right from the beginning and very unsure of the entire situation. Still, we connected with her and communicated with her frequently even though it was always very stressful. She told us her boyfriend wanted the adoption but she didn’t. Each time there was a gap in communication, we weren’t sure whether we would speak to her again. Then, three months into the relationship, we listened to our intuition and decided to step away. We knew this relationship was not going to work out for the best.
It Just Felt Right
This turned out to be the best decision. Immediately, we were connected with our baby’s birthmother. We got to know each other during the last three months of her pregnancy. She welcomed us with open arms, and we were able to bond with her. It just felt right.
Then, a week before her due date, she texted us to tell us she was in labor. We got in the car and drove as fast as we could. It was a three-hour drive for us. We were quiet the whole way there. Both of us were in heavy thought and anticipation. She had wanted us there for the delivery, and we couldn’t let her down.
When we got to the hospital, the nurses took Cheryl’s phone right away to take pictures for us. She had already delivered, and we had to wait before going into the room. We saw her sitting there on the bed and felt so much for her. Then the nurses handed us our baby, Tatum. He was so little, and we felt overwhelmed with emotions. We immediately took him to his birthmother. We then held him with her. It was a wonderful feeling to be so connected with her.
After that, we took care of Tatum while she was across the hall from us. Throughout the entire hospital stay, we all bonded.
Patience Is Key
All throughout the process, each person we met reiterated this fact to us: “You know when it’s right. You have to go with your gut. It’s a night-and-day difference when things fit and when they don’t.” When we met the team that fit us, we also met the birthmother we always wanted. Then we finally adopted our son, who is the best fit for us.