How it all began...
Finding Our Fit
Like many families, we experienced infertility before turning to adoption. After a number of years of testing and failed attempts at pregnancy, we realized biological children might not be how we became parents. When we started researching adoption, we found Angel, and something about the website felt like this was the place for us. The website was comprehensive but not overwhelming, which was great!
We worked through our home study, which took longer than we expected, but about six months after our first call with Angel, we were officially live!
It only took a couple of weeks before our profile was chosen for the first time and then, just weeks after that, a second time. Neither of those opportunities materialized into a relationship, but we were grateful to see our profile was working.
About two months after we were live, our profile was chosen a third time. This one immediately felt different. We had a great connection from our first conversation. Between the time we first connected to when our son, CJ, was born, we found ourselves speaking with the expectant mother two to three times a week. She was such an amazing person, and we loved getting to know her!
She lived only hours from where we did, and we had the opportunity to meet her twice before her delivery. Spending time with her in person was just as comfortable as our other interactions.
It was planned that Emily would be in the operating room for the scheduled c-section, and Rob would be waiting in recovery. A little over a week before the expectant mother was due, she called Emily while she was at work and told her she believed the baby was coming. We both left work immediately to run home to start packing and were able to get on the road less than an hour later.
Becoming a Family of Three
We drove the couple of hours to the hospital and met the expectant mother there. While at the hospital, we met the expectant father for the first time. It was clear how much he cared about the expectant mother and their child. After hours of sitting at the hospital the attending doctor decided they weren’t going to induce her so we went to find a hotel room to sleep for the night.
The following day, we returned to the hospital, and the expectant mother’s regular doctor was available and decided to move forward with her c-section. Emily was unable to be in the room as planned, but as soon as CJ was born, he was brought to us, and we were the first people to meet him! We were instantly in love.
We spent the next few days with the birth mother and CJ in her hospital room. CJ then spent a few days in the NICU as his weight had dropped a bit lower than the doctors wanted. Luckily the hospital had a special room for NICU families so we were able to be with him the whole time. When we finally discharged from the hospital, our clearances took only a few days so we were able to head back home 8 days after CJ was born.
It was strange to return home and not have the regular phone calls with CJ’s birthmother we had previously had. We were still in communication with her, sending her updates and photos, but we had grown so close that not speaking with her several times a week felt odd at first. We also began communication with CJ’s birthfather. Sometimes we’d send him photos, and other times CJ’s birthmother would share the updates with him. Right around CJ’s first birthday, his birth mother let us know she was ready to start speaking more regularly. So we began doing video calls with both parents several times a year. And finally, after a long wait due to COVID, we were able to meet in person with both birth parents. Regardless of how often we spoke, we have maintained the most loving relationship with both of them.
Meant to Be
We’d always dreamed of more than one child but had to wait until CJ was a year old to start another adoption. It was an easy decision to work with Angel for a second adoption given the success of CJ’s adoption.
For the first year, we had a couple opportunities but nothing that stuck. With CJ at home and a better understanding of the adoption process, the first year went by quickly.
We updated some photos on our profile at the start of the second year and right afterwards it was chosen by an expectant mother, which also happened to be right before our in-person visit with CJ’s birthparents, and when we shared the news, they were so excited for us!
We found pretty quickly that this relationship was very different from our first. This expectant mother was due in what she thought was three months and had yet to receive any prenatal care. While we did have opportunities to text with her, our communication was spotty with her cell phone being turned on and off at random intervals. We were able to hire an attorney, but they struggled to get medical paperwork from her or even make contact with her on a regular basis.
There were so many red flags and we had every reason to walk away, but something in us held on. After countless attempts, the expectant mother finally reached out to the attorney via Facebook, and they tried to help her set up her first ultrasound appointment. Her due date had come and gone, and we weren’t really sure what was going to happen next. We understood there was a level of chaos in her life and that if it was meant to be, it would all work out in the end.
A Family of Four!
After months of trying, the attorney finally met with the expectant mother in person one week before she went into labor. In those seven days, things moved quickly! The attorney was the one to call and let us know the expectant mother was in labor. Rob stayed home with CJ and after a canceled flight, an overnight layover, and an almost two-hour drive to the hospital, Emily finally made it to meet our son Cooper.
Emily was able to meet Cooper’s birthmother, his birthfather, and the birthmother’s mom. Emily and Cooper were given their own room and were discharged after only two days. Cooper’s birthmother had received zero prenatal care, and we were still holding the most perfect baby.
Building Our Bond
Robert arrived days after Emily, and we had the weekend together, just the three of us. Monday was our scheduled court hearing, and we decided to head to a larger city in the state to have more access to shopping and running baby errands.
Cooper’s birthmother and birthfather wanted to spend time together before we headed home, so we drove back across the state to meet them at a park and have lunch together.
Although our communication wasn’t rock solid during the pregnancy, our relationship has grown so much since his birth! We are in regular contact and share photos and updates. We are incredibly hopeful we will get to see them both again.
Prior to CJ’s birth, we were very nervous about open adoption, but after reading more about adoptees’ experiences, we never wanted CJ, and then Cooper to endlessly wonder about their birthparents. We understand how special it is that we get to see both of our boys be loved immensely by their birthparents.
Both of our adoption journeys were different in wait times, birthmother personalities, and hospital experiences. However, without two different journeys, we would not have our two beautiful boys.