How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
After years of infertility, rather than pursuing more treatments, we knew adoption was the journey we wanted to take to build our family. We are so thankful we could not have children because we wouldn't have our beautiful little girl. It was meant to be!
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
We researched several adoption agencies and attended adoption meetings, but never felt a connection. A friend recommended Angel to us. The day we met with Carolyn, we had an immediate, personal connection. We loved that Carolyn and Sharon were both adoptive mothers too and that most of the staff has a lot of adoption experience. It gave us a sense of comfort — they knew the process firsthand and the beauty of adoption.
What were you most excited about?
We were extremely excited at the possibility of finding our baby — and we did!
What were you most nervous about?
We were nervous that a birthmother would change her mind. Unfortunately, that did happen. Luckily, we quickly realized that it wasn't meant to be and we just needed to wait a little longer for our baby. We had to trust that God had a baby for us.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Our family and friends were incredibly excited and supportive! They were so happy we were pursuing adoption. And since we adopted our baby girl, their continued love and excitement has been amazing. Everyone we know just loves Ava and cannot believe how perfect of a match she is for us!
What was it like meeting the birth parents for the first time?
I was anxious and nervous at first, but once I met Ava's birth parents, there was an instant connection, bond, mutual respect, and pure love. I met Ava's birth parents a week before our birthmother was due. My husband stayed home in Illinois, to wait for our birthmother to go into labor so he could spend the ICPC time in Arizona. Coincidentally, the evening I met our birth parents, our birthmother went into labor! She said, “The baby knows her mama is here and ready!” My husband met Ava's birth parents right after she was born.
Describe the experience of learning your baby was being born.
Since I was already with our birth parents in Arizona, when our birthmother went into labor, I took them to the hospital. I remember the feeling very vividly. I was the happiest and most nervous I have ever been in my entire life! I couldn't wait to meet our little one! Hearing her heartbeat for the very first time is something I will never forget! It was absolutely surreal and the most beautiful sound!
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
I was with Ava when she was born...it was the best moment of my entire life! Seeing my little Angel Baby was absolutely breathtaking! I instantly fell in love! And I couldn't wait to tell my husband he was a daddy to a beautiful, perfect baby girl! Our birth parents wanted me to cut her umbilical cord. It was very symbolic for all of us. Her birth parents insisted that I hold her first. It was perfect!
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
When we started the adoption process, we weren't quite sure what open adoption meant. However, after talking with Angel and our social worker and learning about the different types of adoption, we knew open adoption was our preference. Fortunately, Ava's birth parents felt the same way. We have an open adoption and feel it's in Ava's best interest. We continue to provide her birth parents with updates. Occasionally we will talk with her birthmother. We respect their choice — they prefer to contact us. Our birth parents know they can always contact us. We enjoy hearing from them. No matter what, Ava will always know her special birth story.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We continue to have an open adoption with Ava's birthmother. We love her immensely! We communicate with her occasionally. She prefers to contact us, but we do send her and Ava's birthfather updates twice a year. Not a day goes by that we do not think of them and thank God for them! They are the two most amazing and selfless people we have ever met. Our time with them was short, but we learned so much about them in a few days. We were able to find out what traits Ava received from them. The time spent with her birth parents was a true gift.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
Waiting! We waited an exceptionally long time — almost three years. We were at a point where we were considering giving up. We are so thankful we didn't. It just took time for us to find our baby. She was worth the wait!
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process — how did you get through the wait?
We enjoyed our life as a couple. We knew once we became parents that our lives would change, so we spent time doing things we love, such as traveling. There were times the wait was hard, but we kept ourselves busy. We supported each other through the process. Angel was always encouraging and reassuring our baby would find us.
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
Absolutely! We cannot wait to give Ava a sibling soon. We are hoping to join Angel's waiting families in just a few months! It was a beautiful and amazing journey to find our daughter. Our lives are beyond blessed because of adoption.
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
Be patient, even though it's hard to wait. We promise you that it's worth every tear and anxious day of waiting. Adoption is a beautiful journey and your life will change for the absolute best! Once you see your baby, your heart melts! And you are in love more than you ever have been in your life!