How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt?
My pregnancy with our biological daughter was a nightmare. I was constantly in the hospital and lost 50 lbs despite frequent feeding tubes. Our daughter was only four months old when we signed up with Angel Adoption. We had always planned on having more than one child, so the decision came very easily.
What made you choose Angel Adoption?
We liked how small the program was. We felt very supported by the staff. It also helped to see the families on the website, it renewed my faith that our baby would find us.
What were some of the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
Waiting was the hardest thing. Being patient is not one of my strong suits and this experience challenged that immensely. Another problem we struggled with was the number of people who made uneducated comments about the possibility of our expectant mother changing her mind at the last minute. After we were chosen, one acquaintance even told us that we, “Shouldn’t get too excited." The question, “Why didn’t his real mom want him?” was also very painful. I am his real mom!
What were you most nervous about?
The health of our baby was my main concern. Knowing that some expectant mothers might not disclose details like drinking, smoking, and drug use to entice waiting parents drove me crazy.
What were you most excited about?
Getting to meet our baby! Our expectant mother was 20 weeks along when she chose us, so the anticipation built steadily as the time passed.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Our friends and family were ecstatic to hear the news. Everyone was aware that I wouldn’t be able to carry a baby again. We were blessed to have full support from all the important people in our lives.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption - and how did you make that decision?
We chose to do a semi-open adoption. We wanted to be able to tell Alex things about his biological family.
What was it like meeting the birthmother?
We video chatted and talked on the phone almost daily. We received ultrasound pictures and ‘belly shots’ to share with our friends and family. She was very outgoing and extremely excited about providing Alex with a good home. She was upfront about her situation — the race of the baby was unknown. We built a very strong relationship during the months before Alex was born.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
We waited almost 18 months before we were chosen. We were specifically looking for a boy and one whose birth parents didn’t want any in-person visits. I’m sure those qualifications caused the process to move more slowly than it might have. The wait was difficult. I couldn’t have gotten through it without talking to my friends and family, they kept me centered. I also found great comfort in setting up Alex’s nursery and then going in there to feel peaceful. The silliest thing that kept me going was a ritual our then two-year-old and I had. We would crank up the Michael Buble song “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and dance around singing together.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him.
We were supposed to have a planned C-section. My husband was even going to cut the cord. We got a call two weeks before our trip was planned. I was so excited and freaked out that my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. In my rush to pack I only grabbed things for Alex and my journal. Our social worker had to go by socks and underwear for me! Alex was born during my layover and suddenly there were pictures of my son being sent to my phone. Amazing.
Describe the feeling of finally meeting your baby.
I ran into the hospital room and saw the most perfect little pink face. I scooped him up into my arms and felt a joy that I’d never experienced before. We stayed in a hotel suite for two weeks until we were allowed to go home. We spent so much time just hanging out and bonding - it was perfection.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
During the first year we sent one-month, three-month, six-month, and one-year photos. We’ll be sending a few pictures to her around his birthday every year. She will forever be the most important woman in my life, and I’ve made sure that she knows that.
Would you adopt again?
We would absolutely adopt again. No matter how difficult it seemed at times, looking into our son's sweet blue eyes says everything. Our family was missing something and Alex was the piece we needed.
What is something you would like to share with other adoptive parents?
We created an “Adoption Album” for Alex that has pictures of his birthmother and her family holding him in the hospital, ultrasound pictures, photos of my husband and myself with his grandparents and great grandparents. We have numerous shots of his biological half-sister in the album also. The back of the album lists some fun information from his birthmother. Quotes she loves, favorites (color, food, etc), and a sweet letter that she wrote to him explaining how much she loved him and what an amazing life she had found for him. Our older daughter is fascinated by the album - more so than with his actual baby book! I can’t wait until Alex is old enough to understand the book. Until then, I tell him every night that mommy’s belly isn’t a safe place for babies to grow and how we looked all over to find the belly he was growing in. By the time he understands any of this, it will hopefully seem somewhat normal.