Knowing Adoption Was For Us
Family is at the center of our hearts and souls, and we could not wait to provide a child with an abundance of unconditional love and support. We never questioned if adoption was the answer, as this is how we have always pictured our family becoming whole. Parenthood had always been on our minds, and we built up our lives in anticipation of our adoption journey.
We had been together since 2012 living life and growing as a couple. We got married in 2017 surrounded by friends and family, bought a house, rescued a few pets, and established ourselves in our careers. It was not long after our relationship blossomed that we decided we wanted to grow our family. We started exploring our options in terms of agencies and found ourselves worried about whether or not they would support same-sex couples.
Finding Our Perfect Team
The moment we came across LifeLong Adoptions, we felt connected. On their site for ‘Waiting Families,’ they represented an array of different types of families. We decided to put in an application and shortly after, we received an email inviting us to a virtual interview. When we did our interview, it felt authentic and meaningful in a sense that it did not feel like an interview. Rather, it felt like a conversation of sharing who we are and why we want to build a family. They were extremely personable and genuinely made us feel valued and important as prospective parents. Making our decision was easy and little did we know it would be less than a year before we received our beautiful gift.
As we began the adoption journey with LifeLong, we had a combination of feelings. We were excited, but also nervous and anxious. Through all those emotions, however, we never felt alone. During the entire experience, LifeLong Adoptions guided and supported us. From choosing a social worker for the home study to hiring lawyers for the adoption hearing, LifeLong provided us with referrals to contact. This was especially helpful as those contacts had worked with LifeLong and understood the process.
In addition to LifeLong’s support, we also had our friends and family. We were surrounded by individuals who loved and supported us and could not wait to welcome a child into their lives. Most importantly, we had each other for support. A strong support system is a vital component of the adoption process. It is imperative that you surround yourselves with individuals who can be there for you throughout the process. We will never forget what our social worker told us during her first visit: “It’s not if you adopt, it’s when you adopt. Your child is out there, it’s just a matter of time.” That mindset kept us inspired and kept us sane as we worked to build the family that we envisioned.
Our Growing Relationship with our Birthmother
Fortunately for us, our wait to adopt was not long. Although it felt like a lifetime, we were extremely blessed to have a fairly quick experience. We received a call from LifeLong about an expectant mother interested in our profile. This is where the relationship blossomed and we spent the next few months getting to know her. We would talk on the phone, video chat, and even had the opportunity to meet with her in person for lunch. She shared ultrasound pictures and videos of the baby kicking, and she shared with us her feelings throughout her pregnancy. She truly made it a point to include us in the process. Together, the three of us chose a name for the baby, which we were so happy to have picked together: We decided on Karson.
It was not long before we found ourselves approaching her due date. She had a scheduled induction date and she invited us to the hospital to be there for the birth. We drove up the night before and got a hotel room to ensure we had enough time. Luckily, we only live about three hours away from her, which made driving there very easy. We waited in the waiting room and throughout the process, her father came in to give us updates. It was so nice to be there for her, to support her, and to anxiously wait for the birth of our son.
Finally, our son was born. The moment we walked in to see him, our hearts were so full. It felt so surreal to hold him for the first time, to look into his eyes and to feel that instant connection. For the next two days, we all spent time together in Karson’s birthmother’s hospital room. We talked, laughed, and enjoyed each other's company with Karson. Those two days were beautiful and we were so thankful to have those memories with her.
We wanted Karson to know his birthmother, so we decided on an open adoption. For us, that means we stay connected with his mother via texting, calling, and video chatting. Throughout the past year, we have sent her photos, updates, and milestones. We also agreed to visit in person a few times a year so that we can all spend time together. Experiencing an open adoption firsthand, we wholeheartedly recommend other prospective parents be open-minded to this option. It is such a gift to have additional love for the child and it extends the family even further. It also keeps that connection between families, which comes with so many long-term benefits.
Taking Our Leap of Faith
The biggest challenge of the adoption process was taking the chance to dive in and commit to the process. Going in, you have no idea when you will be chosen or whether or not the expectant mother is going to stick with her adoption plan. At some points, it can feel overwhelming because you are so invested in the process, both financially and emotionally. Although this was a challenge, the best decision we made was taking a leap of faith and committing to become fathers.
As we reflect back on our adoption journey, we are so grateful to have come across LifeLong Adoptions. We will use them if we ever decide to adopt again in the future. They have empowered us to create the family we aspired to have and we are so blessed. Our sweet Karson is now a year old and thriving. We have made so many beautiful memories with our son and we are so lucky to be his Dada and Papa.
The biggest piece of advice that we can offer to other adoptive parents is to live in the moment. Do not let this wait be agonizing and consume your daily life. The adoption process, although it can be a lengthy process, is a joyous time of celebration. You are growing your family and the child meant for you will find their way to you. Be patient and live your life. Do things you have always wanted to do such as traveling, going out with friends, and doing projects around the house. Before you know it, you will be in your new role as a parent.