Growing Our Family
We both longed to have children and spent over five years doing everything we could to make that dream come true. After years of trying and a few failed IVF attempts, we began to come to the realization that we may not be able to conceive biological children. As we began making peace with that, we started to look at other options and felt strongly adoption would be our next step. We began slowly dipping our toes into the idea, not truly 100% on board, but mostly curious as we did our research. After coming across LifeLong Adoptions in our search, we set up a call with staff to get more information on their company and what they could provide for us. Once we got off that phone call, we went from just looking to completely committed to this adoption journey and signing on with LifeLong Adoptions. Once we were in, we were committed and felt excitement and hope for the first time in a long time. We loved that with LifeLong, the reach was national rather than more local, and we loved how caring and compassionate they were. Everyone was so understanding of the many emotions we carried walking into our adoption journey. Even though LifeLong Adoptions is geared toward the LGBTQ community, it didn’t hinder our chances or ability to work with expectant mothers, and we were treated with such compassion and care.
Completing the homestudy and gathering our required items to complete our profile proved to be intense, but this reassured us knowing we met all requirements—almost as if an honor was being bestowed upon us. We graciously completed what we needed to be eligible to adopt and moved forward, only telling our immediate family of our choice to pursue adoption. After so much loss during our years trying to conceive, we wanted to keep things more private this time.
The Surprise No One Saw Coming
We had barely gone live on LifeLong’s website when we found out just how quickly life could change. LifeLong staff called to let us know we had been chosen. We could not believe how quickly this had happened, and as we were processing it, we heard this birthmother had already given birth to a beautiful baby girl almost four months ago. LifeLong staff explained she was born 16 weeks early and weighed only one pound at birth. She had been in the NICU this entire time and was at a hospital only one and a half hours away from where we lived. We could not believe it, and we were beyond shocked. We spoke to the birthmother via text for a few days and learned her baby was being released at the end of the week; she asked us to come up that weekend to meet and stay with our sweet baby girl until she was released from the NICU on Sunday. Her name was Madelynn, and we immediately fell in love looking at the pictures her birthmom shared with us via text.
Ultimately, Madelynn had some acid reflux issues and remained in the NICU for another two and a half weeks. During that time, we spent as much time as we could with her and tried our best to keep trusting the process. We still had not shared any information with anyone outside immediate family and felt it best to not say anything until it was final. The birthmom still had not signed over her rights as she didn’t want the hospital to know she was placing her child for adoption. As far as the hospital staff knew, we were just close friends visiting. Two days before Madelynn was to be discharged, the birthmom revoked all parenting rights and placed Madelynn in our care. After our long wait, we could finally sink into the knowing and absolute truth that this was our child, our beautiful daughter. We began making our way back home with the surprise of a lifetime for our families. On our way back, we began making phone calls and announcing our huge surprise on social media. The outpouring of love and excitement from so many people was incredible. This little girl was already so loved by so many people.
Life as Parents
When we welcomed Madelynn home, she weighed seven pounds, and now, just a week shy of her first birthday, she is 16 pounds. We brought her home hooked up to oxygen and monitors, and we are so happy to say she is off these now and is looking to be released from pulmonary care in the next week as well. The last eight months have been amazing, and it’s been such a joy to watch her grow and thrive. We can’t stop smiling, and we look forward to enjoying each milestone as she continues to grow. When you feel the love for your child, the feeling is beyond anything you have ever felt or could imagine feeling. Looking back at our journey, we are humbled and grateful for all we have received.
The adoption process can be tough and emotionally draining, but we made the decision long before to put our marriage first. For us, this was what carried us through the tough times and losses we never expected to face as a couple. Understand that this journey is going to take you where God wants you to go, not where you want to go. You cannot force any of it. When we stopped rushing and pushing, things fell into place with ease.