Monday, May 8, 2023

When The Journey To Adoption is Hard

When I got the first phone call from Hailen and Adam about adoption it was a pleasure to hear their excitement and passion.  I didn't know then what was in store for their adoption journey, and all the really hard twists and turns they would have in the process.  This was going to be a story that was made sweeter through some very hard circumstances.  Thankful I had the privilege of seeing their dreams come true.  Here is their story......

Adam and I have wanted to grow our family for years now. Over a year ago, we began our adoption journey. I always knew I wanted to adopt growing up, and we have discussed adopting since we first started dating, but were trying to decide on the route we would take and when. Once we started the process, we began with talking to as many people as we could that had adopted successfully and began reaching out to consultants, attorneys, and agencies. After all of our “research”, we signed on with Christian Adoption Consultants and completed our first home study in October of 2021. 

At the beginning, I was so eager to get started with the process and presenting to birth moms. Dawn Wright was amazing at answering all of our questions and explaining the different “options” we had with the multi-agency approach, and we began signing on with agencies, which started the beginning of our waiting.

The next several months were filled with several “no’s” and “not yets.” No one can truly prepare you for the wait and the different stages of the wait. The wait to see a situation. The wait while you pray about and decide to present or not, and the wait to hear the birth parent’s answer. During the season and cycle of waiting, there would be times we were positive and knew God was shaping us through the process, and then there were times we felt like it would never be our turn. 

In July, we finally matched with a birth mama due the first week of August with a baby girl. We spent the month getting final touches ready and talking with the mama. We traveled to South Carolina on August 2nd to meet her for dinner. The next morning, her baby girl was born. After a few days in South Carolina, on August 5th, she changed her mind on her adoption plan and decided to parent. This trip was filled with more emotions than I knew possible to experience in such a short time, so we packed up, and headed home with our empty car seat to our empty nursery. 

This was a tough pill to swallow. You know that it is a possibility once you’re matched, but you hope it won’t ever be you. After lots of tears and phone calls with our consultant Dawn and the agency we matched with, we continued on. Because I am a teacher, it was a very tough start to the year meeting your students, telling them you will be out on maternity leave, and then coming back a week later and saying “nevermind.” I did not know how I would explain this to my middle schoolers to understand when I didn’t understand it fully myself. 

In addition, we had to begin renewing our home study because it expired at the beginning of October. This was a point I never thought I would be at, but here we were. We were continuing to present to situations and continuing to hear “no’s.” The last week of September we got the call that a birth mom wanted to talk to us and another family to make her decision. On September 30th, we got the call that she chose us and was being induced the next morning. 

We frantically packed and booked flights to Dallas. On October 1st, at 1 pm, her baby girl was born. This trip and experience was much different than the first time, and we were so excited because everything began to fall into place so “perfectly.” It seemed that we could see God in each step with perfect timing. Signing with the birth mom was scheduled at 1 pm on October 2nd. Unfortunately, at about 12:30, we got the surprising call that she had changed her mind and decided to parent. The flood of emotions and hopelessness that we felt in that moment is unlike anything I had experienced. We packed up, canceled the reservations, booked flights, and carried our empty car seat back through the airport to go home. 

On the flight home, I prayed and cried the entire way. Throughout the adoption process, we lived by “Thy Will Be Done.” It was on our fundraising tshirts, and we collectively listened to that song more times than we could count, but at this point we were so confused and not understanding what His will would be for us. We were trying to make sense of “why” and determine what we should do from here. We decided that we would present to every situation that we saw and leave it in God’s hands. On a day that we received another devastating “no,” the agency called that they had the perfect birth mama for us. We immediately said yes and very shortly after found out she wanted to talk with us on the phone. 

After this phone call, she chose us, and we found out she was due that week, but did not know the gender of the baby. That weekend, I was also in one of my best friend’s weddings, so I spent the week notifying work of the potential possibility (again) of needing maternity leave, packed our bags, and traveled to the wedding. The morning of the wedding (as I was getting ready), we got the call that Mama O was in labor and we needed to get there immediately. She had also chosen me as her support person to be in the delivery. 

We managed to grab the last flight that night and headed to Delaware and arrived at 2 am. We headed to the hospital first thing. Throughout all of the traveling and rush, I tried to maintain my expectations and not get too excited. The time in the hospital with her went better than I could have dreamed. We got to talk and spend time together, and I got to be a part of the most beautiful experience of my life watching our baby GIRL come into the world. We had previously matched with two baby girls in the past, and did not know the gender of this baby. Adam says that it is because God clearly wanted us to be girl parents and had our perfect girl chosen for us. 

Right after she was born, we were rushed into another room for my husband to join us to watch her measurements and hold her for the first time. After that, we were unfortunately moved to the NICU because of this hospital's adoption policy. Adam and I had to take turns being with her because they only allowed one visitor at a time, but I will forever be grateful for her choosing us and allowing me to be a part of every little detail as our baby girl entered the world. 

The signing was the next day at 1 pm. That 24 hours seemed like an eternity (especially the hours I was at the hotel when Adam was visiting with our girl). At 12:54, we got the text that the signing had been moved back. This was the worst thing I could have heard. My mind went to the worst case scenario, and I started fearing that we would go home empty handed again. 

Thankfully at 2pm we met with Mama O, the agency, and a notary, and at 3:01 she officially became OURS forever! When we decided to adopt, I tried to educate myself on all the possibilities. My biggest fear was a failed adoption, and we had TWO. Looking back now, I would not change a single thing. Everyone always says in “God’s perfect timing,” which can be very difficult to hear at times, but I know now that his timing was so perfect. This is our perfect girl. Every detail was better than I could have dreamed (minus not being able to be together in the hospital due to policy). Every no, not yet, and heart breaking trip home lead us to her. Despite the crazy road to getting our girl, I can see God in all of the little details and would not change a thing. 

If you have any questions about adoption:

Did you know we launched an all new Embryo Adoption Program as well?
Feel free to contact me about this amazing new program!

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