How it all began...
Long Time Coming
We have been together for over nine years and talked often about starting a family. We did all the things we wanted to before starting a family. When we would talk about family planning, adoption was always part of those conversations. Kaylynn’s grandmother was adopted in the ’30s, which looked much different. It was not as beautiful as adoption is today. It became a goal of hers to redo adoption in a positive way to honor her grandmother.
We started doing research because we wanted our adoption to be ethical. There are still a lot of unethical situations happening, so we wanted to ensure we chose the right company. Their support of birthmoms was something that drew us to Angel Adoption and ultimately why we chose to work with them.
As we started our journey, there were feelings of hopefulness and excitement. Our family and friends were so supportive, but even with that support, we did not know what to expect. Kaylynn remembers telling her uncle, who cried in support of us growing our family through adoption. We knew going into this that every situation looked different and there was no way of knowing what ours would look like. We were ready to grow our family even with battling the unknowns and fears.
Six months before we started our adoption journey, Kaylynn’s grandmother passed away. She always wanted to share her adoption journey with her grandmother, but she found a way to bless our journey. The day we were spreading her ashes was the day our profile went live. A short three weeks later, we would be chosen by our first expectant mother.
Ups and Downs
We received a call from Angel letting us know that we had been chosen. Kaylynn remembers the staff member asking if she was sitting down. It was a birthfather and birthmother who were having a baby in a few weeks. The birthmom wanted to text, so we reached out right away. We had a lot of support and prep from Angel Adoption, so we expected things to be uncomfortable, which helped prepare us for this moment.
We FaceTimed with both birthparents that same night. We instantly fell in love with all the possibilities, and it was magical to have four people on that call who loved this baby. We talked and got to know each other so well. Things seemed to be moving fast, although we had nothing to compare it to.
Right before the baby was born, we drove to meet them in person. She said she was having contractions, so we rushed to her. It was scary but also really exciting. There were a lot of tears all around. We went to the hospital and held the baby right away. We spent a couple hours with the baby and the birthparents. After some time had passed, we went back to the hotel, where we waited a few days for the first doctor appointment for the baby. Then we got a call from Angel staff that the birthmom had changed her mind.
Driving home with an empty car seat was heartbreaking. It was hard, but one thing we walked away with is that the baby would be loved and we had to move on. We sent a supportive text to the parents thanking them for allowing us to be a part of the last few weeks. We wanted them to know they should not feel bad or guilty. They made the right decision for their family.
More Bumps in the Road
Two months later, we were chosen again. We had some time to heal from our first opportunity, and we were now excited for this new one. The birthmom was early on in her pregnancy, which was different from the last opportunity, where there was just a few weeks before the birth. She was in a very bad situation and homeless. We started talking and getting to know each other, and things went slower this time. We offered to come meet with her and that made the expectant mother really happy. The day before our flight to go see her, she changed her mind about adoption. We stayed in contact for a few months because she just needed someone. We were okay with being whatever she needed until one day the communication drifted away.
Four months went by where we waited for another opportunity. At times that can seem like a really long time. We were called about another opportunity, and we felt like pros at this point. We texted for about two weeks before we met in person and had lunch with her and her mom. We sat together talking and making plans as an open adoption family. Everything clicked and went smoothly, which felt different than the times before. We were excited and hopeful, but we had our guards up because of the other opportunities we had previously. We were pushing forward and taking the leap of faith so the connection could keep being built.
We talked for six months, just getting to know each other. There were ups and downs as she was in an abusive situation. Other than her mom, we were her only support, so there were times that could get hard. The bond that was created during this time was strong. It was beautiful but also stressful at times making sure she was safe and helping her every way we could.
It Was Time
There came a time where she was having birthing symptoms, so we stayed close by. Whenever she would go in to the doctor to get checked, Kaylynn would go with her. The third time was the charm, and she was admitted. Kaylynn was in the room, which was important to the expectant mother. That moment of being in the room when the baby was born is something very special to Kaylynn. We did not know what to expect because we followed her lead every step of the way. What a gift it was to even be in the hospital, but to be in the room when the baby was coming into the world was profound.
The birth was hard for the expectant mother, and the nurses were at a loss of how to help her. She had a hard time communicating her needs, so getting to be an advocate for her was special. When it was time to push, it was an intimate and intense hour and a moment that will always be in the top moments of Kaylynn’s life.
Kaylynn remembers thirty minutes into pushing the nurse saying she could see her head and asked if Kaylynn wanted to see. She remembers looking and seeing so much hair. She felt faint because she was overwhelmed that the baby was coming. We put so much effort into supporting the mother that it became real now having the focus on the baby. This was really happening, and in that moment, this all became surreal.
The birthmother wanted to hold the baby first, which was discussed when coming up with a hospital plan. In the moment, though, she freaked out a little and felt different about holding her. You can make a birth plan, but being flexible is so important. Kaylynn did skin-to-skin right away with her. Kaylynn sat there with the birthmother as she was holding the baby. Avilyn was here, and she was perfect. It was easily the best moment of our lives. Donnie was in the room right next door and could hear everything going on.
Kaylynn wheeled Avilyn next door, where Donnie was waiting. Something important to know is that Donnie is a stoic man. Kaylynn is the loud and extroverted one. He had a look come over his face that Kaylynn had never seen before. We sat there together and cried. We were quiet with each other and overcome with love at that moment.
Our relationship with Avilyn’s birthmother has been hard and confusing. We are all doing okay, and we talk at least a few times a week. We hired a therapist for her to help her through any feelings she is having. The postpartum was hard on her, but she is doing well. We have a solid relationship.
The most important thing to remember when navigating adoption is to stay fluid and flexible. Always put the birthmom’s needs first and show love to her. We are so thankful for Angel Adoption and to our daughter’s birthmother for the beautiful gift. Without them, we would not have Avilyn.