How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
Jon and I always knew we wanted to adopt. Our plan was to have two biological children, then two adopted. We just ended up adopting earlier than planned. Our first pregnancy was very difficult. I had to be put on so many medications along with a permanent IV line. Our doctors didn’t think both of us would make it, maybe even neither, so they had wanted us to abort the baby. We did not even allow that thought — if God was going to take one or both of us, it was his decision. Well we both made it, but decided it was not safe to go through another pregnancy. Since we had always wanted to adopt, we just decided we would do so earlier because there are so many amazing ANGELS out there that need homes. We couldn’t wait to get the opportunity to welcome our angel into our family.
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
We LOVE Angel Adoption and are so blessed we found them! We had been talking about adoption but were really unsure where to start as we didn’t know anyone that had adopted domestically. One day I decided to try researching online. I came across many agencies and Angel was one of them. We talked and decided if it was meant to be, we would only contact Angel Adoption and see if we liked the staff and if they had the room for us to start the process. We are so glad everything worked out and we were led on the amazing journey to our Princess.
What were you most excited about?
We were most excited about our oldest daughter having a sibling, and we were excited to have a baby to love and care for that needed us! The excitement of having new life in our little family, to raise and all grow together!
What were you most nervous about?
To be honest we were most nervous about the unknowns. We had never adopted, so what was this process? How long would it take? Would a birthmother like our family and feel we were the perfect fit for her little one? So many things to think about, so many things we didn’t know! When you have your own, you don’t have all these unknowns, so it was very nerve racking.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
Both of our families were extremely supportive. We weren't sure how they all would feel at first, but they were excited! They all knew the seriousness of my previous pregnancy and not one of them wanted us to go through that again, so this was a way that we could grow the family without the worry of whether or not I could make it through another one!
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
Our adoption is a closed adoption. We were open to whatever the birthmother wanted, and she wanted it completely closed. I wouldn’t have minded contact as I can imagine it is not an easy step to decide it’s best for you to place you baby in another family. When Ziva was one year old, the birthmother did contact me for a picture and asked how she was doing and I was more than willing to give that! I am so thankful for her giving us our Ziva — she is the biggest blessing! I think of her all the time and pray that she is doing well.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her.
It is that “Pinch me is this real?” moment! I cried and screamed and the excitement to go meet our little girl was indescribable! I remember calling Jon at work in a meeting and saying, “It’s time, it’s time, let’s go babe!” We wanted to be there ASAP and we couldn’t get a flight until the next day, so we decided the best thing to do was drive 24 hours through the night. So my parents, Jon, and I drove through to meet our girl!
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
We arrived at the hospital and the nerves kicked in big time! We went to the desk and the doctors treated us so well, just like I had given birth to her, like I was her mom (because the birthmom had chosen me — truly what an honor she had given me). They brought us to a private room and told us to wait there while they got her for us. They wheeled her in and I saw her beautiful face and gorgeous head of hair and my heart melted! She was our little girl! I picked her up and never wanted to put her down! She was PERFECT! Everyone just loved Ziva, the nurse staff wanted to keep her!
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
The birthmom was amazing and I have so much respect for her. She did what she felt was best and I can’t imagine the emotions she had to go through making such a decision. She felt it was best to be disconnected from us. Initially, she emailed with us daily and we got to know her and loved her, even with what little she shared with us. She didn’t meet Ziva and did not want to talk on the phone with us or meet us, so we have never met or even talked. We just wanted what was best for her through all this, and if it was easier on her to be distant I totally respect that. I am truly grateful for our birthmother as she gave us a beautiful little sister to our daughter with such a great personality! She gave us our ANGEL! I thank God all the time for her because without her our family would not be complete!
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
Two really big challenges we had to deal with were waiting, and then being chosen by a birthmother then having her change her mind. We had a birthmother pick us. I talked with her and we had so many things in common — it felt perfect. We just connected so well. She was having a little girl, and we even had her name picked out. One day she just decided to stop contacting me, because she had chosen to keep her little one. I completely understand and am glad that she was able to, it just was hard on us. I still think of that little girl, but am so thankful as we have the perfect little girl for us. It is just hard knowing you can go through things and minds can be changed. It’s a worry until you get the birth certificate and all the things you need to know that she is your little girl. When you want a baby so bad, your wait seems longer. Our wait seemed forever and was only about 18 months…but when your heart longs for a baby to call your own, the unknown and wait hurt the most.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
Just focus on life as it is. Focus and enjoy the things that are happening now! I just had to tell myself when the perfect fit comes, it will come! I told myself if it happened too early it may not be the one, just be patient and wait! It happens when least expected!
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
Yes we would for sure adopt again! We have talked about it and when the time is right we will be getting in contact with Angel Adoption again to add to our family! It will help now knowing what’s involved in the adoption process!
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
We were so nervous about the birthmom. Would she change her mind? We could get there and spend days with our princess and she could change her mind. I was on edge every time someone came into our room. Just enjoy that time with baby. Don’t be afraid to connect, don’t hold back because of worry about things, just love on your baby! Our birthmom’s doctor told us before we drove down that we would most likely never take our baby home because this girl would most likely change her mind. Our attorney even said, “You sure you want to come down with him saying that?” Yes of course, we said that is our princess and I am not leaving her, if that happens I will deal with that pain, but that was our baby! Just LOVE and try not to worry!