How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
We always knew that we wanted to be parents, but struggled to do so for years. After many failed attempts and miscarriages we started to explore other options. We went back and forth for a while but in the end, we knew our wish was to become parents, and adoption was our best path to fulfill that dream.
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
We started out by doing research online, comparing different adoption agencies. We came across Angel Adoption and after reading reviews, seeing the cost, and looking at the success rate, we were intrigued. We knew we found the right place for us. We felt so much care and support at every step of the way.
What were your feelings as you began your adoption journey?
We were so apprehensive and nervous. Knowing that we would be putting ourselves out there with no guarantee of a positive outcome was a hard concept to embrace. Of course we also had many feelings of excitement and joy, as we were so incredibly excited to become parents. The anticipation of when we would be chosen, or if we would be chosen, was overwhelming. We were pleasantly surprised when we received a call from Angel Adoption a month after completing all of our paperwork. We were notified that an expectant mother was interested in communicating with us via text.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Our families were thrilled when we told them of our plans to adopt. Our family was so supportive and overjoyed to welcome a new child into their lives. Duane’s father actually met us at the airport when we brought Paisleigh home for the first time. As we came off the elevator with her, he was waiting there to greet us with tears in his eyes.
What was it like meeting the birthmother for the first time?
We had the opportunity to meet her and her boyfriend the day before she gave birth. Meeting for the first time, we were filled with butterflies and excitement as we made the drive to see her. Once we hugged each other there was a huge release of emotions. Our interactions felt natural and relaxed, never a moment of awkward silence. We were blessed to be able to take her to her last doctor’s appointment followed by lunch. Being able to spend that time with her is something we will never forget.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption?
We went into our journey open to whatever the birthmother wanted to do. After getting to know her a bit better, we learned she was interested in a semi-open adoption. We want her to know that she can reach out to us at any time should she want pictures or an update. She was incredibly open and vulnerable with us during this journey. That is something we truly admire about her, among so many other things.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him or her.
We had the honor of picking her up at home and driving her to the hospital for a scheduled C-section. Knowing that we would be meeting our baby that day was so incredibly exciting, but we were trying to remain cautious. We knew there was always the possibility of her changing her mind and we wanted to prepare ourselves for that. The mix of emotions is something that can’t truly be described, there are no words.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
The moment we met our daughter, Paisleigh, we were in love. They wheeled her into our room in a bassinet and when we saw her we were in disbelief. Disbelief that this perfect child, this blessing, was now ours. There are no words to describe the feeling of meeting your child for the first time. So many emotions completely take over you and we had a hard time containing them in that moment. Our hearts were so full. Our bond with her was instant and strong. We just couldn't believe that after so many prayers and so many years, we were finally parents to this little girl. She attached to us very fast and we were so overjoyed to spend two weeks alone and bonding with her as we waited for our attorney to clear us to go home.
What is your relationship like with your baby’s birthmother?
Though we don’t speak often, we will always have a strong bond with Paisleigh’s birthmother. She brought Paisleigh into this world and gave us the biggest blessing we could have ever asked for. Seeing the amount of love and sacrifice she gave to her baby was an incredible experience. Knowing that her heart was aching at having to make this choice to place her baby up for adoption is something we will never be able to fully understand. The way she handled the entire situation was breathtaking. We have so much respect and love for her and what she blessed our family with.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
The biggest challenge was the financial aspect of adoption. We knew it would not be an inexpensive path, but we did everything we could to prepare for the costs. Thankfully we were able to cover the costs of Paisleigh’s adoption using some of the money we received from the sale of Valerie’s childhood home.
Adoption can be a lengthy process — how did you get through the wait?
We were in the middle of a remodel that kept us busy and preoccupied while we were waiting for ‘The Call.” It was a great distraction and we feel grateful we had something to help us stay grounded.
Would you adopt again?
Although it was expensive and at times very stressful, if the right opportunity presented itself, we would love to bring another child into our home. We've been so blessed and Paisleigh is such a joy. She's our angel.
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
We would say to have faith and be strong in your belief. If you truly believe that this is your path to parenthood, hold on to that dream. Know that you will have good days and bad days, but the good will always outweigh the bad. When feeling discouraged, we would reach out to the Angel staff, so don’t ever be afraid to ask for help.