How it all began...

My Family Is Complete

As a single mother of a 12-year-old biological child, I felt in my heart he wasn’t going to be my only child. As the years passed and my son grew older, I knew it was time to expand my family. Due to pre-existing medical problems, carrying another child was not an option. I talked with my son, and we agreed we would try to adopt a little girl to complete our family. It was great to have him be so supportive every step of the way.

I initially thought of adopting over six years ago and came across Angel’s website during my many days of research. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the right time, so I put adoption on hold. Years later, as I started researching again, I came across Angel’s website and felt that same connection that I had years before. I knew they were the reliable partner that I wanted to help me become an adoptive parent.

As I started the process, I was excited but also anxious as I concentrated on handling all the steps involved. My family was supportive from the beginning. My mother, who is my best friend, was involved in my journey from day one and helped me to stay grounded and hopeful.

Following My Intuition

The first connection I had was very strong. She felt genuine, and I didn’t put my guard up at all. As we proceeded, the social worker who did the initial intake told me she wasn’t 100% sure of the potential birthmother’s intentions. After the meeting, the expectant mother said to me, “I felt very uncomfortable with the legal agency you chose,” and asked me not to work with them anymore. To appease her, I started to look for other lawyers/agencies, all the while following my intuition and doing further background checking on my own. Not only did I discover through social media that she had recently had a child but I connected with another agency she was working with. As I conversed with that agency, we found she simply gave minimal information to them as well as Angel and used an ultrasound of her already born daughter as “proof” of pregnancy. Unfortunately, the other agency had connected her with a family, and they had already begun helping her with living expenses.

I called her on everything I found out and never heard from her again.

Disappointed but Carrying On

After this failed connection, I started to be very wary of the process. What if they were all like her? I kept my faith, though, and three months later, I connected with an expectant mother who would be the birthmother of my child. Even though the communication started off slow, she didn’t hold back any of her feelings and answered any questions I had. My mother felt this was the one, but I remained cautiously optimistic. After communicating for two and a half months, we found out on a Thursday she was going to be induced the following week, two weeks before her due date. By this time, I was already prepared. That week gave me time to adjust flights and hotel stays and get a couple more days of school under my son’s belt. My mother was also able to meet us in my daughter’s birth state.

The day my daughter was born was nothing short of amazing. They induced her birthmother as soon as we arrived at the hospital, and two and half hours later, the doctor had just enough time to walk in, put on gloves, and catch the baby. I was blessed to be there to watch her give birth to my daughter naturally.

As I held my daughter in my arms, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Those exact feelings I had holding my son in my arms for the first time came flooding back. I cried knowing she was here and healthy. I couldn’t have been happier.

Managing Expectations

With this adoption, I believe my family is complete. I am so overjoyed at how wonderful my son is with her, and I just love seeing them together. Through this process, I’ve learned expectation management is key. I expected to fall into the majority and have either an open or semi-open adoption. Instead, it’s closed, and that’s okay. Every adoption is unique, and as much as you want to have that perfect experience, it may not happen for you. Adoption is a privilege, and I thank my daughter’s birthmother for choosing me.

Take advantage of the expertise that the staff at Angel, the social workers, and the lawyers have. Partner with them as much as possible so they can guide you through the process and help you better understand what the birthmother may possibly be going through and what her true intentions are.

If I could give any advice, it would be to keep living your life during the process because you never know when it’s going to happen. Also, when something doesn’t sit right with you, don’t brush it off. Follow your heart. Sometimes the strong desire to adopt may cloud your judgment, keeping you from seeing what’s right in front of you and ultimately causing you more grief in the end. My journey started with the scenario that a lot of us fear the most, but I didn’t let that stop me. Now I can’t envision my life without my beautiful daughter.