Whitney &
Stephanie

our adoption story

Whitney & Stephanie
How did you decide to adopt a baby?

Adoption was something we had always talked about in regards to growing our family. We knew we wanted to adopt, but didn’t know how or when that would take place. We knew it would be a beautiful journey with some ups and downs, but didn’t know if we would have a child biologically first or go through adoption first.

Why did you choose to work with LifeLong Adoptions?

We liked that LifeLong is same sex couple-friendly. We also liked that they work with adoptive families and birthmoms across the United States; they’re not just limited to one geographical area.

What were you most excited about?

We were excited about having our dreams come true, being able to be moms, and meeting our daughter for the first time!

What were you most nervous about?

We were worried about the possibility that it may not work out and we could be let down.

How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?

Everyone was extremely supportive and excited. There were lots of questions asked. I would say our parents were cautiously optimistic and didn’t want to see us get our hearts broken, but they were still very positive and supportive.

What was it like meeting your birthmother for the first time?

It was pretty exciting and humbling. We felt like we knew her from all the conversations, Skype calls, emails, and pictures. We loved her and the amazing gift she was giving us. We felt very protective of her. Our first actual meeting was during her labor as we walked into the delivery room. We instantly gave her a big hug and started holding her hands, helping her through contractions.

Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her.

We both went to work that morning and got the call shortly after. We knew it was going to be any day, but at that point the real adrenaline and excitement kicked in. We hurried home, packed the car, and headed to North Carolina. We never thought we would make it in time before our birthmom delivered, but by God’s grace and the strength of our birthmom, we made it from Florida to North Carolina in time to talk with our birthmom and our baby’s biological grandma, and to help our birthmom through labor until our daughter was born about 45 minutes after our arrival!

Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.

Breath-taking. Truly it was one of God’s greatest gifts to watch and be a part of the delivery, to hold her skin to skin for the first time, and to feel like a giant void had finally been filled. Our birthmom did an amazing job with labor, and it was a process and moment in time we will never forget and are forever grateful for.

Did you choose an open or closed adoption?

Open adoption. We wanted to learn everything we could about our birthmom, her family, the birthfather…. We wanted pictures to be able to tell our daughter about where she came from and how we became a family. It was very important to us to be able to have as many answers for our daughter as possible as she got older. We also wanted our birthmom to be able to see pictures of our daughter growing up and the opportunity to keep in touch with us as much as she wants.

What is your relationship like with your birthmother?

It was great at first. She was extremely appreciative and said she knew she made the right choice. She emailed us and texted us frequently for about the first six weeks. Her communication has been non-existent since. We do stay in regular contact with our daughter’s biological grandma, and she sees pictures of our daughter all the time.

What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?

The interstate child protection paperwork as well as ICWA paperwork — allowing for travel across state borders — was challenging. Our daughter has Native American lineage, so it added a whole extra level of paperwork and lawyers in order to complete the adoption. We were in a hotel for three weeks waiting with our little girl to bring her home to all of our family and friends.

Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process — how did you get through the wait?

We tried to focus on other things — painting the nursery a neutral color, focusing on our friends and family, and continuing with normal plans and activities. We planned a vacation and other things to look forward to and just tried to have hope and trust God’s plan and His timing. There were definitely some challenging days where we felt like it wouldn’t happen, but a normal pregnancy lasts nine months, so we told ourselves to not start getting too anxious until after waiting at least a year with adoption!

Would you adopt again?

Absolutely! 100%.

Do you have any other advice to share with other adoptive parents?

Stay patient and stay positive (easier said than done, we know!). Lean on your support system of family and friends and don’t be afraid to talk about it. There will be good days and bad days. Days when you feel like it is never going to happen. There may even be connections with birthmoms that fail. But if you hold onto even the tiniest amount of faith, the baby that is truly meant for you and your family will come into your life.

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