How it all began...

The Best Fit

When we started discussing what we wanted our family to look like and how we were going to become parents, we loved the idea of adoption. We have adoption in our family, and it felt like the best fit for us.

We started our research and narrowed it down to a couple of adoption providers, including Angel. They were the only out-of-state provider we spoke with, and after our initial meeting, we knew they were the right partnership for us. Our family was so excited for us when we shared the news. We, on the other hand, were very nervous. Adoption in real life felt so different from reading about it or watching it on TV, but we couldn’t wait to see what our journey would hold.

We had no idea at the beginning of our journey that it would take a little over three years until we were a family of three, and what we always envisioned—a newborn—wouldn’t actually be the child meant for us!

A Rough Road

Throughout our time with Angel, we were selected often. We ended up hiring attorneys for five different expectant mothers, with all of them disrupting. Remaining hopeful got really tough at times, especially after the disruption where we traveled across the country and the birthmother chose to parent right as we got to the hospital. It was absolutely devastating walking back through the airport with an empty car seat.

Through it all, we leaned on each other and our family and friends to pull us through. Looking back, we could have done more to distract ourselves—a hobby, a vacation—but hindsight is 20/20.

A Surprising Twist

Within our preferences, we had always been open to a non-infant adoption, but each opportunity we got was always with a pregnant expectant mother. We were shocked when we got the call about a three-year-old whose birthmother had selected us. We talked about it just briefly as a couple and decided that yes, we were truly comfortable with it and maybe this was what was meant to be. Once we said yes, we were given photos of the sweetest little boy, Levi, and it was love at first sight.

Getting to know a birthmother whose child was three years old felt very different than an expectant mother. We basically had our conversations down to a predictable script, and this definitely wasn’t that. There was so much more history to share about her, Levi, and them together. We spent two weeks talking to Levi’s birthmother before we made any official plans to visit.

During this time, we had let our home study expire. We weren’t terribly hopeful anymore and had been thinking about what was next for us. We truly thought our journey was over. So while we were getting to know Levi’s birthmother and realizing this might be it, we were also scrambling to get our home study updated.

When we did finally make the 15-hour drive to meet Levi and his birthmother, our time together was great! We first met at a park since his birthmother felt neutral ground would be best for everyone. She had started to explain to him that he would be meeting us and had introduced the idea of a new mom and dad. We spent that first day together hanging out, playing, and starting to feel comfortable.

We ended up spending two full weeks in Levi’s birth state before returning home with him. We didn’t want to cause any trauma by taking custody of him immediately. We started slowly as all four of us spent time together. Then we moved to half day with just us and him, then a random overnight, until we built up to four days in a row. It was always in the back of our minds that Levi’s birthmother could stop this plan at any point; she had, after all, been his mom for three years. But as time went on, she continued to open up to us and to share more details about herself and him and stories of their life together. We found out she had actually considered adoption while she was pregnant, and when she was ultimately a single mother for the first three years of his life, she knew that long term, this wasn’t the best choice for her and Levi.

Instant Love

Our adjustment back home was thankfully fairly uneventful. Levi was welcomed with open arms by our entire family. We have a large family and his birthmother was a little worried how he would adapt to so many people, but he immediately took to his aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. And, of course, they took to him instantly!

Since Levi’s adoption, we’ve been able to stay in touch with his birthmother. We’ve been able to share photos of him meeting new family, our own family adventures with him, and just how well he’s doing with us. We agreed to an open adoption and look forward to the day when his birthmother is ready to see us again.

What Was Meant to Be

We never imagined our adoption journey taking as long as it did and then having a three-year-old. But since the moment Levi entered our lives, we knew every difficult disruption led to him, every heartache was one step closer to our boy, and every twisty turn was meant to bring us to where we are now, a family of three.