How it All Began...
The Long Road to Angel
We always knew we wanted to have children, and we actively pursued growing our family for some time before we were given the devastating news we were unable to conceive biological children. We made the decision right then and there to take this news and move forward on a positive and new path. We had planned to pursue fostering children eventually, but we now saw we were being guided to take a similar path, only sooner. We did some research and ultimately decided to pursue the adoption route. We spent time speaking with many couples we knew who had adopted, learning the good and bad that came along with this journey. After speaking with three different couples who recommended Angel Adoption, we made the decision to work with them as well. We were excited to share with our family our news, and they happily supported us.
As we embarked on our adoption journey, we were so excited but also very nervous. We were so happy we were finally on our way to becoming parents but so nervous as there were no guarantees and no way to control the outcome or timing of when we would adopt. We were eager to be a wonderful example for others and our community, showing them there is more than one way to grow a family.
The Emotional Waiting Game
As time went on, we had the opportunity to speak with a few different birthmothers. For one reason or another, things didn't work out, and we were left feeling a bit down but still very hopeful. We received a call from Angel letting us know there was an opportunity to possibly take in a toddler. We definitely had not prepared ourselves for this kind of scenario but let our hearts lead and accepted this child with open arms. After two weeks of having this child in our home and caring for them as if they were our own, the birthmother changed her mind, and we had to walk away knowing that this was not meant to be our child. We were heartbroken, and although we understood and respected the birthmother’s wishes, we definitely couldn't help but feel sad. Angel staff offered to have us go on hold to take time to process and grieve. We declined and again made the decision to move forward on a positive path, trusting that our child was out there. A few months passed, and we began to truly wonder if we would ever be parents.
A Complete 180
Around mid-October we received a call saying there was a birthmother who had chosen us; she wanted to move forward with hiring services immediately. We didn’t have a ton of information as she wanted a closed adoption. We decided to take a chance and move forward with hiring services even though we had little to no information, not even how far along she was. After six weeks of working with attorneys and trying to obtain information and confirm her pregnancy, we finally received an ultrasound picture confirming that she was pregnant and due in six weeks. By the end of that week, we were at home relaxing when we received a call from our attorney stating that the birthmother was in labor and we needed to get there fast. We were pacing and didn’t know what to do. We had no communication with her and had little to no information about the pregnancy and the likelihood of the birthmother placing. We were told this would have to be a leap of faith; if we didn't come right then, they would look for another family. We got in our car 15 minutes later. We were jumping into the unknown and carrying all our hope, trust, and faith in this working out.
Our Child Has Arrived
As we made our way to the hospital, we heard the baby was born and was moved to the NICU for observation. When we arrived at the hospital, we were greeted by nurses who were so sweet and told us, “He is doing great!” Our jaws hit the floor as we had always longed for a boy. We unfortunately could not go see him since there was no caseworker present at the time. We attempted to get some sleep at a nearby hotel, but we were too anxious and excited.
We got back to the hospital, where the nurses and social worker greeted us and let us know we were clear to go to the NICU to see our baby. When we saw him for the first time, we could not contain our emotions. He was so beautiful and tiny, and we couldn't believe we had made it to this moment. We tried our best to not lean into this 100% yet, knowing she still had time to change her mind. Those 72 hours were some of the longest hours of our lives. We bonded with him over feedings, baths, and holding him. We were immediately head-over-heels in love with this child from the second we saw him. We named our precious baby boy Jackson. Word finally came through that she had signed her parental rights over, and we were officially Jackson’s parents.
So Many Blessings to Reflect On
Reflecting back on our journey it is overwhelming when we think of all the ways we were blessed. Our amazing friends set up a GoFundMe for us, and we were able to cover half the cost of our attorney fees. We were again blessed when we were able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House while we waited for Jackson to get out of the NICU. Staying in communication with our Adoptive Parent Coordinator was huge for us as being able to connect helped us stay positive. We never felt like a number and truly felt cared for and supported.
We also stayed busy and took trips, so if you are weighing your options, we say, take the trip! We know it can be easy to get in your head and go through the million possible scenarios, but try your best to let that go and enjoy this waiting period. Enjoy each other, and allow yourselves to celebrate the arrival of your child. Being wrapped up in wanting this child so bad and solely focusing all your energy on the desperate feeling will only add more negativity to your experience. Enjoy the process, and allow yourself to just be in that moment. Your current situation is still a gift, and you don't want to look back on the process and have nothing but negative feelings. A thirteen-second voicemail from our attorney changed the course of our lives forever.