Wide Eyes and Open Hearts
Adoption was something we discussed early on in our relationship. After getting married and trying to conceive biologically, we found ourselves exploring adoption as the best option for us to start our family. Adoption is near and dear to our hearts. We have a family member who placed her baby for adoption 13 years ago, and we have family members who have also adopted. So we were able to embark on our journey with wide eyes and open hearts.
Obviously we were looking for adoption entities that were LGBTQ+ friendly. We had some issues with finding that locally, so we were thankful when we came upon LifeLong Adoptions. We had a lot of nerves going into our initial meeting, but we quickly felt at ease. Our first point of contact at LifeLong was down to earth and made us feel very comfortable. We were so excited to get started once we were accepted into the program!
It Takes a Village
Our support system made a huge impact on our journey. The process can be lonely, and it felt defeating at times as we waited for opportunities. Outside of our amazing family and friends, we found a local support group that our home study social worker had started. We found that being involved in anything adoption related helped us feel supported, so we volunteered with local foster care organizations as well. We really felt like we had a village surrounding us, and we continue to maintain those connections even now.
The waiting and the silence were definitely the hardest parts for us. Not knowing when or if another opportunity would come along had us feeling lost at times. We relied on the strength of our marriage a lot. When one of us was having a difficult time, the other would step up and be that needed support. We balanced each other out, and it definitely brought us closer together.
Our adoption journey took us down many roads. Some were more easily navigated than others. We had to make tough decisions because that’s what was best for us and our future family. Looking back, we can know with confidence that we made the right choices and those situations were not meant to be. We followed our hearts every step of the way.
When we finally got the call about Banksy's expectant mother, we were cautiously optimistic. She shared with LifeLong that she was unsure about adoption and wanted to interview a few different families to start. She was young, and we wanted to be as supportive as we could for her. Luckily she had her mom in her corner as well. After one day of talking back and forth, she informed LifeLong she only wanted to communicate with us moving forward. It was an amazing feeling to get that confirmation from her!
We continued building a comfortable relationship from there. When she called us on the phone to share her confidence about adoption and us as the adoptive parents for her baby, we couldn’t believe it. We felt such a connection with her and looked forward to everything the future could hold. When we went to visit her, we spent the day with her and her mom at the zoo. It was such a fun time, and we ended the visit by exchanging “love you’s” and taking many pictures together.
An Unforgettable Experience
The expectant mother had a planned induction date, so we were able to arrive a few days beforehand. She ended up delivering early, and we were able to meet Banksy within a few hours of her birth. It was an unforgettable experience, but it was understandably a delicate situation we wanted to navigate appropriately. We got to know the nurses very well at the hospital as they graciously provided support to us and the birthmother. It was important to us that she and her mother spend time with Banksy. We spent time together in the hospital and at our hotel after discharge while we waited on approval to head back home.
Our relationship with Banksy’s birthmother is very open. We share pictures with her and update her on big milestones. Her middle name is her biological grandmother’s name, and it’s so meaningful that Banksy will always have that piece of her birth family. We look forward to future visits together because we want Banksy to know how much she is loved by her birth family.
The Other Side
There’s not a lot of advice that will make sense until you have the space to reflect on your adoption journey. One thing we highly encourage is to educate yourself about the other side of this process. Read birthmothers’ stories to develop empathy for their experiences. Having a family member who placed a baby for adoption brought us insight about the loss that’s involved for birth families. We had to honor the sacrifices that were made in order for us to gain this beautiful, amazing baby girl. Her birthmother gave us the most incredible gift, and we will always be grateful for her.