Starting a Family
Shannon always wanted to have a family and kids of her own. Robert had children from his previous relationship, so his approach to family planning was a little more relaxed and encouraging. When we found the right time to start our own family, we were met with some infertility issues. We needed to take some time to heal from that journey before embarking on a different journey.
Shannon’s grandfather was adopted, so adoption was something Shannon had considered from the beginning. Shannon’s grandfather had a wonderful relationship with his mother. After conversations and research, we found LifeLong Adoptions. We loved how inclusive LifeLong is and how instrumental it is for the LGBTQ+ community. We wanted to join and be a part of that.
And We Were Off
Everything moved so quickly for us, so there were times when we felt we had a lot of questions. Lucky for us, we had an amazing staff at LifeLong that always answered all of our questions and supported us throughout our journey. We had no idea how long we would wait or how quickly we would get to talk to an expectant mother. Every journey is just so unique we had no idea what to expect.
Two weeks into our journey, we were chosen by an expectant mother. We never expected things to move along this quickly. We learned that the expectant mother who chose us was actually about to give up. She was sent 15-20 families, and no one stood out to her. Of course that would be discouraging, and she almost took it as a sign that she should parent. Then LifeLong sent her another group of families to look through. She came across our profile and said we stood out to her.
Shannon remembers exactly where she was and what she was doing when she received the call from LifeLong that we had been chosen. She was cooking dinner, and her phone rang. It was LifeLong calling to tell her about the opportunity. Shannon texted the expectant mother right away and really has not stopped texting since.
The next day the expectant mother told us she really liked us. She was ready to move forward, and we could not have been more excited. Was this it? We almost felt like there was no way it could be this quick and instant of a connection with someone. We felt so lucky, and we were ready.
The expectant mother had a doctor appointment and told Shannon she felt like he was going to induce her. She called us after her appointment to tell us she would be induced the very next morning at five. We were so excited and every other emotion you can think of.
Welcome to the World
As we packed and got into the car to head to the hospital, we could not stop thinking about how lucky we were. We were going to meet the expectant mother and our new baby. One hour into the car ride, we received a text message that said, “He is here!“ The rest of the car ride seemed like an eternity.
When we arrived at the hospital, Shannon was allowed into the room to meet the birthmom and the baby. As soon as Shannon walked through the door, the birthmom had her arms out to hug her. Shannon really wanted to be respectful to the birthmom and not be intrusive, but the birthmom asked Shannon right away if she wanted to hold him. Shannon was able to hug the birthmom and then hold her son.
As soon as Shannon picked up the baby, he cooed, and she felt like that was a sign he liked her already. He was the most beautiful baby there ever was. A short time later, we were given a room, so Robert and our daughter came up to meet him. Robert leaned over the bassinet and said, “Well hello there, big guy!“ It was instant love and so surreal. It did not feel the way we thought, but it was more magical than we could have hoped for. Everything was the way it was supposed to be, and we could not be happier.
We have the most beautiful relationship with our son’s birthmom and truly believe we received two gifts when we chose adoption. We were gifted with the relationship we have with our son’s birthmom but also a beautiful baby boy, Jackson. There is not a day that goes by where we are not thankful for these gifts.
It was a long road to get here, so trusting the process was hard, not because we did not trust LifeLong or the birthmom but there had been loss and letdowns on our path to adoption. Our son’s birthmom actually was the one who would encourage us to do a gender reveal and really let go of all the worries along the way.
Do your best to trust the expectant mom, and never forget how special she is. She gave us the greatest gift, so the least we can do is give her things she might ask for along the way. No matter what she asks for, it won’t be nearly as huge as what she will give to your family. Open your heart, and provide the same love to the expectant mom that you will provide your child. She is not a means to an end; she matters. We are so thankful for everything LifeLong and our son’s birthmom did for us.