How it all began...
The Right Time
Adoption was always going to be how we grew our family. We knew that before getting married, so it was never a question of how but when. After five years of praying for a sign and a weekend away for John’s birthday, we knew it was time. We already knew, hands down, that we wanted to work with Angel on our adoption journey. We did all the research and felt that Angel’s team, having so much personal connection to adoption, would completely understand us and be able to provide the best support possible. Within a few days, we submitted our application to join Angel’s program. We were beyond ready to become parents.
Our families and friends were completely on board with us and equally as excited. We felt relief when the overwhelming home study process was finally complete, and from there, the anticipation grew. We had fearful thoughts however: “What if nobody chooses us?” “What if we won’t be good parents?” When those inevitable moments of fear and anxiety crept up, our family would reassure us that God didn’t bring us this far just to let us down. We continued praying for endurance and patience while we waited for our profile to be chosen.
Finally, we got the call. An expectant mother wanted to talk to us. We were so excited! We texted her right away and began building a wonderful relationship. We never wanted to overwhelm her, so we waited for her to initiate contact but would always check in every few days if we didn’t hear from her. We felt grateful when she was ready to move forward with the process.
When Everything Falls Into Place
It was a scheduled c-section, so we traveled to her state beforehand. Meeting her and her family at the hospital was incredible. It was nerve wrecking not knowing what to expect or how to react, but they were so supportive and loving. They welcomed us with open arms. We knew it was a difficult time for the expectant mother and just wanted to be supportive. Thankfully, we got a room next to her, so we spent time together after Juniper’s birth, and that really strengthened our relationship.
When we finally met Juniper, we were in awe at just how beautiful and perfect she was. She had so much hair! We already loved her. That first day with her we were doing skin-to-skin, and Bethany felt something special. A chemical or physical change happened, and she felt this explosion in her heart. The connection was indescribable. Everything had fallen into place.
Watching Juniper’s birthmother leave the hospital was bittersweet. We knew our journey as parents was just beginning, while she had to begin her journey of healing. We agreed to keep an open adoption, and our relationship with her means the world to us. We share photos daily to a private online space that she and her family have access to. Juniper has a mama who loves her so much. We will always honor that.
The Tree of Life
By far, the hardest part of the adoption process was the waiting. We kept busy, took trips, worked on house projects, and just bonded as a couple. We worked through the hard moments together and leaned on our amazing support system. When the journey feels scary, do it scared. Keep faith that the right things will fall into place.
When you overcome the obstacles, it shapes you into the parents you will be. Allow yourself to feel your emotions fully. There’s nothing “bad” or “wrong”; it's just a part of the process. The beautiful blessing waiting for you overshadows any anxious or doubtful feeling you’ll have. The juniper tree symbolizes the tree of life. Our Juniper brought new life to us and made us a different kind of family—the family we dreamed of and prayed for so many years.