The Journey to Motherhood
Having a family was always something we wanted and knew was part of our plan. The first route we decided to take would be Maria trying to get pregnant, but after so many failed attempts, surgeries, and medications, it was becoming too much for her body to handle. It was time to start thinking about another way to grow our family, and naturally we decided on adoption.
Maria’s dad grew up in an orphanage and Victoria’s mom was adopted, so adoption was something we were familiar and comfortable with. When we told our families we were going to adopt, everyone was so supportive and excited for us. Maria’s dad said something to us that always stuck with us. He said he wished he knew what it was like to have parents. We could not wait to know what it felt like to have a child.
Choosing the company that will help you with adoption is a big decision and one we did not take lightly. Finding a few companies that ultimately turned us away became emotionally draining. We became angry and hurt that a company would deem us unfit to be parents because we were a same-sex couple. We knew our hearts and knew we had so much love to give to a child. We deserved a chance to be parents, just like anyone else.
Our friends who had adopted with LifeLong raved about how amazing their journey was and how helpful the staff was. From the first phone call with LifeLong staff to our meeting with them, everything felt right. Everyone who works at LifeLong is so passionate about what they do, and we knew we could trust them.
Starting our journey, we felt very excited but also nervous because we did not know what to expect. There were so many boxes to check to start the process, from the home study to talking about preferences and working on our profile. Once you are done with those things is when the waiting starts.
It was not long before we were chosen by an expectant mother whom we built a beautiful relationship with. We talked almost every day and supported her every way we could. We helped her get an apartment and took care of any needs she had. We felt so honored to be able to help her while she was pregnant. Conversations started to happen about having an open adoption and what that would look like for us. We loved the idea of continuing our relationship with her after her pregnancy and always felt it would be special for the child too.
After getting to know the expectant mother, we decided to fly out to meet her in person. We were fortunate to not only meet her but her partner and family as well. Shortly after meeting her, the baby was born. Unfortunately, the baby was born addicted to opioids and needed to detox from that. The expectant mother had a son whom she was parenting at the time and, after giving birth, asked us if we would also parent her son. We of course said yes and felt honored to be asked.
After the baby had detoxed in the NICU, the hospital released the baby to us. We were so excited and hopeful to be given such a gift. We spent the next few days in a hotel waiting for ICPC. It was about an hour or so before we were due to meet to sign paperwork that our attorney called us with what would be the worst news we had ever gotten. The birthmother had decided to parent, and we would need to bring the baby back. This was earth shattering for us, and we had no idea how to navigate through the emotions and grief.
Our car and our things, including us, all smelled like the sweet baby we had just fallen in love with. We needed to take time to grieve the loss before continuing on. Once we were ready to jump back into our adoption journey, we tried to not look back and only look forward. We are glad we did because all the pain and heartbreak would lead us to our baby.
Now that we were ready to move forward, Victoria asked that Maria handle things more on the front end because it was still extremely difficult for Victoria. There were a few opportunities that did not end up really going anywhere at all. Then Maria took a call that would change our lives forever. She was teaching a class in Minnesota when LifeLong staff called and explained the opportunity. We reached out to the expectant mother and got a reply but then did not hear from her. We knew this could happen and figured she had changed her mind. Then a few days passed, and at 3:25 p.m., we received an email stating we needed to get to the state the expectant mother was in because our baby was born.
We threw everything into a car and drove 10 hours. When we arrived at the hospital, we were fortunate to meet the birthmom. It was so different from the first time we met with a birthmom because we had built a relationship that time; this time we were meeting and talking to her for the first time. We tried our best to be our charming selves to make it less awkward. When we finally laid out eyes on the most perfect baby girl, our hearts melted. She looked like Maria, which seemed like a miracle. Seeing baby Olivia took our breath away. Everything we thought mattered no longer mattered anymore. In that moment, everything changed and became a little sweeter.
The birthmom requested to be able to spend some time with the baby before placing. We respected that, but of course it led to some fears because she could easily change her mind. The last time we had reached this part of our journey, the birthmom decided to parent, and we were left heartbroken; it was easy to wonder if it would happen again. Victoria had a lot of walls up to act as armor for her heart, so it was not until the birthmom signed and we were back at the Airbnb that things sunk in. Victoria was sitting on the couch holding baby Olivia knowing she was now officially ours. All the armor fell off, and Victoria became overwhelmed with emotion and cried. We were thankful and so in love with Olivia. Our lives were forever changed!
A Dream Come True
These past few years have been a dream come true for us and everyone else who knows Olivia. She is what made us a family, and we are forever grateful for the bravery of her birthmom. Olivia feels like she came from us and that this was always what was supposed to be. She brings happiness and laughter into our lives. She has such a great sense of humor, and everyone loves her.
Our best advice to any adoptive parents going through this process is to trust LifeLong because they truly have your best interest at heart. They are passionate about what they do and want to help. Trust the process, and know that everything will work out at the right time with the right birthmom and the right baby. Lean on each other, and be strong for each other. We believe the universe knew Olivia was meant to be with us.