How It All Began...
On the Right Path
After being diagnosed with a major birth defect in 2017 and ultimately undergoing an emergency hysterectomy, we found ourselves exploring adoption to grow our family. We had many friends and family members who had adopted and talked to all of them to learn more about the process and whether or not it was the right path for us. We relied heavily on our support system, including our church. Ultimately, we felt very strongly about growing our family through the journey of adoption. We knew we could provide a loving home to a child who needed it.
We had always loved stories and films that were focused on adoption, so it felt right for us to head down that path. We had so much love and support around us the entire time. Our church, friends, and family all provided emotional and financial support to help us through the process. We simply would not have been able to do it without them.
The biggest challenge of our adoption process was definitely the wait! When everything was quiet, the waiting was the hardest to get through. The best distraction was just doing stuff together, being spontaneous, and finding new, fun activities to enjoy. We trusted the process and knew our phone call would come eventually.
Just Keep Trusting
We actually had a few different expectant mother opportunities outside of Angel Adoption. We had someone reach out to us through Facebook who lived locally. We were able to meet in person and help her connect with a support person at Angel Adoption. We had built a comfortable relationship together, but she ultimately decided to parent her child; we were very supportive of that decision. We felt some disappointment on our end, but we realized it was for the best and simply trusted our baby was still out there.
We had another friend from church introduce us to an expectant mother who was considering adoption. She ended up placing her child with a family member, which we obviously understood and supported. We again found ourselves trusting in the process and knew with confidence that our child was still out there.
Less than a year into our journey with Angel Adoption, we finally got the call we had been waiting for. We had just finished babysitting our friends’ foster son for a few days. During that time, we learned just how easy it was to fall in love with a child in our care. The entire time we had him, we kept praying to God that we would get our phone call soon. On a Friday evening, after shedding tears over a McDonald’s happy meal in an empty car seat, Autumn prayed we would get a call before Angel’s office closed that day. Thanks to the time difference, there was still an hour left to spare.
While laughing at funny YouTube videos together that same night, our phone rang. We recognized the area code and couldn’t believe it was actually happening. It was five minutes before the office closed. Our prayers were quite literally being answered, and we started crying.
We learned about an expectant mother who had placed for adoption before and was due in a month or so. As soon as we hung up the phone with Angel, we reached out to her to introduce ourselves. She stayed to herself a bit and did not initiate contact with us that often, but we checked in with her regularly and she always responded when we reached out. We respected her communication preferences and just kept reminding that we were there.
On Mother’s Day, we got a text from her informing us she had a scheduled c-section in two and a half weeks! Coincidentally, we had already planned a camping road trip out West prior to knowing anything about this opportunity. The timing was perfect. We ended up flying out for the birth of our son instead of camping in the desert (much to Autumn’s relief!). We still had a couple of days to spare and spent that time sight-seeing, just the two of us.
We were so lucky to have family who lived in the same state as the expectant mother. They housed us, fed us, and provided much needed support during that time. Travis was born in the morning via C-section. We could not wait to meet him! We gave the expectant mother some time to recover and headed to the hospital that afternoon.
When we finally held him in our arms, it was a bittersweet experience. The emotions we felt in that moment were complex. We were so happy to hold him, but we also had to respect his birthmother’s feelings and not do anything to negate what she was going through. We appreciate exactly how everything played out and would not have wanted it to be any other way.
We spent a few days in the hospital together and talked a lot during that time. We would have Travis pretty much all day, and his birthmother would have him during the nights.
We maintain a semi-open adoption with Travis’s birth family. We send photos and updates several times a year and just recently sent them updates from his birthday. We are so happy to be able to send them pictures and will always respect our relationship with them.
We Belong Together
We could not have dreamed up a more perfect addition to our family. He is just as much our child as any biological child could be. We are his parents, and we never question for a second whether he’s our son. Knowing all of the disappointments would bring us to him, we would do it over and over again. We are so happy with the journey we went through. Looking back, we appreciate that waiting period. There is anticipation knowing your child is out there and just trusting that you’ll get your phone call just at the right time.
We love our adoption story and how everything worked out. We know that’s not how it is for everyone. We are so thankful for this process, and if our story helps another expectant mother or adoptive family, we are happy to share it!