What led you to adoption?
When talking about starting a family, adoption was always part of the conversation. We had done a lot of research on adoption and once we discovered LifeLong, we decided it was time for us to start our journey.
Why did you choose to work with LifeLong Adoptions?
The initial attraction was that LifeLong not only accepts same-sex applicants, but welcomes them with open arms. In our research, we came across many that would have turned us away for that alone. After talking to Mark, we were even more certain LifeLong was for us. He gave us so much confidence and advice. We felt he really cared about the company and our success.
What were you most excited about?
Finally starting the journey and getting our profile out there. So much goes into this process, and each part, although sometimes overwhelming, is just another stepping stone to an exciting outcome.
What were you most nervous about?
Creating a profile that would gain attention. It is very hard to write about yourself. Are these the right pictures to help us stand out? Did we mention we love to travel? Record a video...? *gulp* The unknown is always the hardest, and until you get that connection, you find yourself wondering if maybe there is something you forgot, something you need to reword, etc. It is important to be patient. Patience kills those nerves.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
We had nothing but support from our friends and family. Having that support system helped us bounce back when we hit bumps in the road.
What was it like meeting the birthmother for the first time?
It was like nothing we had ever felt before. You feel nervous and shy…you don’t want to overstep, but you don’t want to be quiet and weird. We had no idea what to expect as we did not have a lot of time to get to know her before she went into labor. By the time we got to talking, it was a very comfortable situation, almost as if we had been friends for years.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
We chose an open adoption together. We’ll always be open with our son about the adoption, and his birthmom was into the idea of receiving updates as he grew.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him.
Two weeks before the birthmother’s due date, we received a text from her saying, “I hope you like surprises, because my water just broke.” After rereading the text a few times, we were throwing clothes into suitcases and gathering everything we could think of. We knew we had a 7.5-hour drive to complete, so the quicker we got in the car the better.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
When we got to the hospital, he was in the nursery. We didn’t know if he was a boy or girl. When we got to their room, the birthfather said, “Have you seen him yet?” We basically melted right there in front of them. We nervously made our way to the nursery. Getting to see and hold him for the very first time is something we will never forget. It all seemed too good to be true, but when we held him we just knew he was meant for us.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
It is great. We provide updates and it still feels like we’ve been friends for years. She and the birthfather are both really kind and great people.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
We had been connected with another birthmother from her twelfth week of pregnancy. After the baby was born, she changed her mind and chose not to place him for adoption. Although devastating, we understood her situation and knew this was a possibility. While this was a pretty big bump, we still had the support of our family and friends to get us through. LifeLong was there for us too. You really get to know the staff as you work with them and we considered ourselves extremely lucky to have the support from them that we did. Our process was just about 33 months long. Although you couldn’t be happier for them, it is not easy to see all the success around you as you wait. But we are now firm believers of “Your day will come,” “The perfect baby for your family is still out there,” “Everything happens for a reason,” etc.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
We tried to keep ourselves busy. In the middle of our process we got married, bought a house, and did some traveling. We also updated our profile from time to time and called LifeLong to see what else we could do to get more exposure.
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
Because of what adoption means to us, we would absolutely adopt again.
Do you have any advice to share with other adoptive parents?
Try to stay patient. Know that LifeLong is doing everything they possibly can. Stay strong and keep your support system close. We wanted people to be updated and excited, but after our failed placement we immediately regretted telling people. That is until we realized how badly we actually needed them to be there for us. This is an emotional process…all the good and the bad. Stay positive, keep busy, know every situation is different, and your day will come.