How it all began...
A Different Path
After years of fertility treatments to no avail, we started to feel defeated in our attempt to grow our family. We were on the same page, and without even having a full conversation, we knew the last time we walked out of their office would be our last. On the long car ride home that day, we talked about adoption and that we were ready to move forward on a different path.
We started researching adoption, and Angel continued to come up in our searches. We felt like we had a great chance of being successful in their program, and after speaking with another option and not getting a great feeling, we chose to move forward with Angel.
Hopeful yet Tired
Only months after our profile went live, we were selected by our first expectant mother. We could not believe how fast things had already happened. We only spoke with her through email, and after we found out her sister was getting involved in her pregnancy, we started to feel as though this opportunity would not be “the one.” When she ultimately chose to parent, we were not that upset; we had seen the writing on the wall and respected her decision.
Following our first opportunity, we had three more that all ended painfully. We had built phenomenal relationships with the second two expectant mothers and really felt like both women were going to place with us. Both women were having boys and ultimately chose to parent. We found out through social media that one had chosen to parent, which hurt more than the one who shared the news with Angel, who passed the news on to us. We had put so much of ourselves into each of those women, and we felt defeated after each disruption.
The fourth expectant mother who selected us found us on her own on Angel’s website. We didn’t spend a long time building a relationship with her initially because shortly after she chose us, she called to tell us she was in labor. We started to prepare to leave, but she later called us and told us it wasn’t time yet but would be soon. We continued to follow up with her, but she wasn’t responding. When we finally did hear from her, she expressed to us that she wanted to ask us some questions, and we were ready to be an open book to her. Once again, we did not hear back. We both felt as though this opportunity was not going to lead to adoption, and when Jay finally got ahold of the expectant mother, she broke the news to him that she was choosing to parent.
After four opportunities and four disruptions, we were spent. We were remaining hopeful, but we were tired.
Meant for Us
Our fifth and final opportunity brought a new kind of anxiety we hadn’t experienced yet. The expectant mother had not wanted to select a family, and when Angel presented her with our profile, she was happy with us; however, she did not want to speak with us. We knew she was meeting with her social worker and in contact with Angel, but to have zero contact with her was difficult and strange. We had spent the previous one and a half years building relationship after relationship, and now, having none was very different. All we could do was pray each night that if this was the opportunity meant for us, it would work out, regardless of communication.
One morning we were getting ready to run errands, but Jay wanted to check his email before we left. He came through the house in a panic, yelling, “We have a baby! A little girl was born, and we have to call this number and go!” In a frenzy, we called the number, but nobody answered. They called us back almost immediately, and we spoke with the hospital staff. We continued to ask if “this was real,” and they continued to reassure us that yes, a baby girl had been born; she was early; she was healthy; and yes, she was ours.
With our world turned upside down, we called close friends to help us prepare to leave: Jamie’s friend to help us run errands and pack and Jay’s friend to house-sit for us while we were gone. In the middle of the chaos, Jamie’s mom called, and she shared the news with her, swearing her to secrecy until we knew everything would be okay.
As we hit the road, we knew we had an eight-hour drive ahead of us, and to help stay calm, we listened to an audiobook. We knew we could not obsess for eight straight hours, and this helped us relax just a little. About two hours out from the hospital, we turned our brains back to adoption and started discussing all the what-ifs, our fears, our excitement, and our potential daughter’s name, Tyler Kay.
Our Dream Come True
When we arrived at the hospital, we headed to the maternity floor. When we tried to explain to the nursing staff who we were and why we were there, they had no idea what we were talking about. We found out we had shown up just after the shift change, and the new nurses were completely unaware of the adoption plan. After providing IDs, the head nurse speaking with the birthmother, and the hospital’s approval, we were brought to our own room to wait for our daughter.
When the door opened next, it felt like the entire nursing staff had brought Tyler Kay to us. They rolled her in and told us, “Here she is,” and placed her into Jamie’s arms. Lost in our own world, we finally noticed the nurses backing slowly out of our room while we couldn’t stop staring and crying over our new daughter.
We spent the evening with Tyler Kay, and the nursing staff was absolutely wonderful to us. They continued to check on us and gave us all the support that a biological parent would receive. We found out the head nurse was an adoptive mother herself, and she was phenomenal at making sure all our paperwork ducks were in a row.
Around midnight on our first night at the hospital, a nurse came to let us know that Tyler Kay’s birthmother wanted to meet us. To say we were nervous was an understatement. We had never spoken with the birthmother before, and we had no idea what to expect from her. She was a stranger to us in such a vulnerable place, but we knew how important this meeting could be.
After the initial awkwardness, we fell into easy conversation. She told us a little about herself, her other children, and Tyler Kay’s birthfather. We got to be the ones to share with her Tyler Kay’s name, and she told us how much she liked it. At the end of our conversation, she asked if we could leave Tyler Kay with her for a bit, and we could tell she wanted and needed to say goodbye. Although we were returning to our own room without Tyler Kay, we felt a sense of peace; we knew it was going to be okay.
After Tyler Kay returned to us the following morning, her birthmother was discharged. After some setbacks, the social worker met with us and Tyler Kay’s birthparents for them to sign their paperwork. The waiting period to know that Tyler Kay was officially ours was excruciating and more stressful than we could have ever imagined, but late that evening, we got word that everything was done, and we were finally parents.
Leading Us to You
Prior to our own journey, we did not know anyone who had been through domestic adoption. Even if we had, every journey is so different; it likely would not have mattered. Until we went through the process for ourselves, there was no way to prepare or understand what lay ahead fully. In fact, everything we had thought we were prepared for was the opposite of Tyler Kay’s adoption. We were prepared to build a relationship with her birthmother, but she did not want one. We had prepared to be there for the birth, and Tyler Kay came early. We had prepared to stay in contact with her birthmother, but at her request, we have a closed adoption.
Looking back, we know every step along the way led us to Tyler Kay and that each expectant mother who came before her was leading us to her. As much as we didn’t know what to do or what to expect, our adoption worked out the way it was meant to, and we would do it all again and more if it meant bringing Tyler Kay home.