How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt?
We went through 18 months of infertility treatments including five IUI cycles and three IVF cycles. We suffered through three losses. We could either look into donor eggs, surrogacy, or adoption. We felt that Angel’s placement rate in two years was better than a 50% chance at IVF with donor eggs or a surrogate. All we ever wanted was a baby. Biology didn’t matter.
What made you choose Angel Adoption?
Our neighbors adopted through Angel.
What were some of the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
All the unknowns. When would we get chosen? Where would the baby be located? Would we get chosen at the beginning of a pregnancy or at the end? Once we were chosen, what would we do? Hire an attorney? An agency? There were so many questions and very few answers.
What were you most nervous about?
A birthmother changing her mind at the hospital after we fell in love with a baby.
What were you most excited about?
Honestly, I was very negative throughout the entire process. After having so many losses I never felt like it would happen for us. And after having a disrupted adoption I was even more negative about the process. Boy was I in for a surprise!
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Our friends and family were over the moon excited for us. They are so supportive and excited for us.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption - and how did you make that decision?
We have an open adoption. We let our birthmother choose open or closed.
What was it like meeting the birthmother?
It was a little awkward at first. We didn’t want to say anything to scare her off. What we really noticed was that our expectant mother seemed to be just as nervous. She needed our guidance and reassurance. It was really sweet.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
We set mini goals along the way to keep ourselves occupied. We trained and ran a half marathon one summer. We planned vacations and weekend getaways so we had fun things to look forward to. My husband started finishing our basement. We decorated the baby’s room. About every two to three months we would go to a local baby store and buy something small. It was a way for us to feel like we were doing something.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him/her.
Our daughter's birth was a scheduled C-section, but she came one day early via emergency C-section. Our expectant mother called me at 7:01am to tell me she had been in labor all night and was headed to the hospital. We were all packed and in the car by 7:20am. Our birthmom is located about one hour and fifteen minutes from where we live. Of course, we would have to head to the hospital during Chicago rush hour traffic! It was a very stressful car ride. It took us over two hours to get to the hospital. We were so worried we were going to miss the birth. We arrived at the hospital just in time to see the doctor head into surgery. Our daughter was born nine minutes later.
Describe the feeling of finally meeting your baby.
We met our baby in the hallway while she was being transported from delivery to the nursery. I remember the nurse saying, “Mommy and daddy, come meet your daughter.” Of course I cried and the moment felt so surreal because we knew in our hearts that she wasn’t ours yet.
What is your relationship like with the birth family?
We have a special relationship with our birthmom. We never specified a number of visits or a schedule for sharing pictures and letters. We share pictures, updates, and videos with her via text, phone calls, and social media. It works for us. In the beginning, I was concerned that having an open adoption would make me feel like less of a parent, but it’s the exact opposite. Our daughter is 100% ours and we get to have this special bond with an incredible woman who gave us the ultimate gift. How could I have ever thought that including her in our life would make me less of a mother?
Would you adopt again?
Yes we plan to adopt a second baby.
What is something you would like to share with other adoptive parents?
Believe in the process! Don’t spend up to two years waiting and being negative. It will happen. Be cautious! Don’t jump at every expectant mother situation out of desperation. You have to go with the situation that feels right for you. We had a disrupted adoption and from the beginning, we didn’t feel right about the situation. Then we were contacted by a scammer (a woman was not really pregnant) and we knew right away that there were red flags. With our daughter’s birthmother, we knew what to look for and we felt right about the situation. Find someone that has been through Angel’s process that can support you. My next-door neighbor was my biggest support. I don’t know what I would have done without her!