How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
Children were a part of the discussion and equation of our relationship early on. We both come from large families and we both wanted children.
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
We chose Angel Adoption because they were one of the few places that worked with same-sex couples. After traveling to their offices to meet them and discuss their process, we knew they were the right fit for us. The staff at Angel Adoption were very skilled at their job and had the success stats to back it up, but more importantly, they were all kind to and supportive of us. We felt they were on our side and wanted us to adopt a baby as much as we wanted to.
What were you most excited about?
We were so excited for the process and the end result of adopting a baby.
What were you most nervous about?
We were nervous about the waiting. We were also nervous about the what-ifs, like what if a birthmother changes her mind.
How did your friends and family react to your decision to adopt?
All of our friends and family were very supportive of our decision to adopt. We had to stop them from buying stuff for us before we actually adopted because they were all so excited.
What was it like meeting the birthmother for the first time?
Our connection happened three weeks before our daughter Scarlett was born. Texting with our birthmother came naturally, and we connected amazingly. We were extremely nervous about this connection because of a previous failed adoption. We never hesitated or held back with her, but we were terrified of getting hurt again. However, when we met her at the hospital, we felt a bit more at ease. We were there for her every step of the way, and she was there for us.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
We wanted to have a closed or semi-open adoption. We felt these were the best options for us. In the end, we have a semi-open adoption. We send pictures and updates regularly and have a great relationship with Scarlett’s birthmother.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her.
Roberto had left early to be closer to the birthmother and Justin was on his way back from London. The call happened at 4 am, and Roberto was surprisingly calm because we had been through the birthing process before. Roberto stayed with the birthmother every step of the way and through every contraction. Justin was excited and frustrated that he was stuck on a plane as the birthmother was in the delivery room. Scarlett was born when Justin was at baggage claim at O’Hare, and he just cried tears of joy. On the way to the hospital from the airport, Justin could not stop crying with joy and telling his driver about everything.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
Roberto was in the delivery room and was able to cut Scarlett’s cord. He was the first person on earth that Scarlett saw. He was the first one to hold her, feed her, and change her. It is a feeling he will never forget. Justin got to the hospital an hour after the birth and he could not stop smiling. When he first held Scarlett, she knew she was with her daddy. We both fell in love with her instantly.
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We have a great relationship with the birthmother. We share photos and stories about Scarlett with her whenever she asks for them. At the beginning, this was daily, but it has slowed down. We are happy to share Scarlett’s milestones with her. We are all back living our lives and we could not have asked for a better birthmother.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
The past four failed connections hurt, but the worst challenge we faced was a failed adoption. We invested everything into that birthmother for six months and she changed her mind after we had left the hospital with the baby boy. I don’t know how we survived the heartbreak over losing Sebastian. We still think about him and hope he is okay. Everyone around us asked or advised us to take a break from the process, but we could not stop.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process — how did you get through the wait?
The waiting was one of the worst parts because everything runs through your head, like, “Is our profile working?”, “Are we not good enough?”, “Do birthmothers not want us because we are gay?”, etc. To get through the waiting period, we always kept busy. We actually became busier at work during the waiting process, so we were never idle enough to dwell on the silences of that period.
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
We would definitely do it all over again. Heartache and headaches and all.
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
- Make sure you keep your lives and schedules busy during the process to avoid the silences during the long waiting periods.
- Put everything you can into each expectant mother connection. Make all the effort you can because you never know which connection will be the one that sticks and leads to your child.
- No matter what you do, you cannot prepare for the worst-case scenario.
- When you find that right agency, maintain a great relationship with them through the process. They are on your side.
- Make sure you have the best team behind you. You want to make sure you have the strongest, most aggressive lawyers and social workers on your side.
- Never give up! We went through four failed connections and one traumatizing failed adoption, but we never gave up. We never took time to regroup and continue the process. We took the beatings and kept going because that’s all we could do.