An Emotional Shift
A couple years after getting married, we started trying for biological children. After no success, we started with fertility treatments. After an adverse reaction to some of the fertility medications, we chose to walk away from treatment and toward adoption. We found LifeLong through online research, and it felt like a great fit.
We knew adoption was the best option for us after our fertility experience, but the decision is not one we took lightly. There was a mental and emotional shift for both of us that required us to have deep conversations about loving a non-biological child. We’d never pictured that our family would grow through adoption, and we wanted to be sure we were ready. We felt confident we could love any child meant for us, and we were officially ready to jump into adoption.
Our families were so excited for us to move forward with adoption. They had typical adoption questions—truthfully, the same ones we had asked—and we knew they were just looking out for us and our emotions.
Trusting Her & Protecting Ourselves
Throughout our time with LifeLong, we had a handful of expectant mother opportunities. The first time we were contacted with an opportunity, we were both nervous and excited. We were shocked to find out from the expectant mother that she was nervous as well. From the outside, we’d always viewed the expectant mother as the one who held all the cards, but after our first conversation with an expectant mother, we saw how much was at stake for her with finding the right family and ensuring her child was going to be loved and cared for. Our first opportunity was short, and we only spoke once before she chose to parent. We knew there would likely be more opportunities, and we held no ill will; we wanted what was best for her and her child.
By the time we got a call with our fourth opportunity, we knew the routine. We were provided details, and it was now our turn to reach out to her. We knew each opportunity had the potential to work out, so we walked in optimistically. Our first conversation went well, and we really had a chance to get to know each other.
Throughout our connection with the expectant mother, our communication was on and off. We were anxious each time our communication would go silent, but when we were finally able to speak again, everything she had to share with us was so positive and reassuring. Emotionally, we were torn between trusting her and protecting ourselves, but we knew we had to continue forward.
It was important to us to meet the expectant mother in person prior to delivery, so we offered to travel to her one weekend and rent a beach house for us to share with her and her children. The expectant mother was completely on board, so our “family vacation” was planned. We had a great weekend together, and it was so special for us to get to spend quality time together and have those memories to share with our future child.
An Unexpected Birth Story
Part of the expectant mother’s birth plan was that we were going to stay with her prior to delivery and then both be there for the delivery with her. We traveled down early and did stay with her for a couple days, which was great, but ultimately ended up in our own hotel room. The evening we switched to a hotel room, the expectant mother went into labor, so we picked her up and all headed to the hospital together.
We were both able to be in labor and delivery with the expectant mother and were the first to meet our son, Beau, when he was born. Logan was able to cut the umbilical cord, and Colleen was the first to hold him. Both of those moments are incredibly precious to both of us.
Not long after Beau’s birth, our relationship with his birthmother started to shift from what we considered healthy to a rocky relationship. She started asking for demands we were unable to meet as exhausted new parents, and our inability to meet them had her questioning her adoption decision. We sat on pins and needles for four days while caring for Beau while his birthmother decided if she was going to place for adoption. On the fifth day, the day she was supposed to sign her parental consents, she shared with us that she was going to place Beau with us, and we were incredibly relieved and overcome with emotion. We thanked her endlessly and were able to see her briefly and exchange hugs one last time.
Our ending relationship with Beau’s birthmother caught us off guard, and while it may not have been perfect, we are grateful for the choice she made. We still feel an immense amount of love for her. We do still reach out to her for holidays to let her know we are thinking of her, but we have not heard from her since the last day we said goodbye.
Squashing the Doubts
Throughout our adoption journey, doubts continued to plague us as to whether or not this was the right choice for our family. The moment we met Beau, every doubt and fear melted away, and we knew instantly he was the child meant for our family. We know each adoption story is unique and ours is no different, but we also know we share with every other adoptive parent a story that is special to us and a birthmother we are eternally grateful for.