How it all began...
Our Family Planning Path
We'd always dreamed of having children, and when it came time to discuss family planning, we felt adoption was the best path for us. We found Angel online and really connected with them. We noticed immediately that there were interracial couples on their website, and from day one, our family was represented on their website. Katie also spent a good amount of time reading the stories on their website and felt so comforted by them.
Starting the actual process, we were SO nervous! We had a hard time getting the home study finished in the court system as they were virtual due to the pandemic, and there were so many unknowns in front of us. We knew we were letting go of a lot of control and felt a sense of calm around the control we could have: our preferences.
Not long after our profile went live, we were chosen for the first time. The expectant mother was early in her pregnancy, and after texting for just a couple of months, she stopped responding to us and Angel. We were pretty freaked out that she disappeared on us, but Angel was great at reassuring us that this was normal, it happens, and another opportunity would come along.
It turns out Angel was correct. Our profile was chosen a second time, not long after our first disruption. The woman we got to know was so sweet. She had a number of children already, and although she was early in her pregnancy, we spoke with her often. We hadn’t yet told our families we were going through the adoption process, and we felt so confident in our relationship with her that at Christmas, we finally told everyone we were expecting a baby the following July! She had shared with us ultrasound photos. When sharing with our families, we had no idea that just two days later, our lives would change forever.
In the Blink of an Eye
While at work one afternoon, Katie received a call from Angel. It was unexpected, so she excused herself from a meeting and returned the call. The first thing Angel told her was “Congratulations! If you say yes to this opportunity, your baby girl is here!” She was shocked, to say the least. A baby girl had been born across the country, and her birthmother had chosen our profile. Andrew was out of town for work and Katie couldn’t get a hold of him but knew we had to say yes.
She left work immediately and headed home to pack and book travel. While packing, she finally got in touch with Andrew, and he started trying to rearrange his own travel to meet Katie in the birth state.
While on her way to the airport, Katie had a chance to speak with the birthmother and her mom for the first time. She was young, and she had big dreams. We didn’t need any convincing to say yes. We were already on our way to her, but our conversation was so reassuring that this was the young woman meant for us. We were impressed with her maturity and the massive decision she was facing. She hadn’t known she was pregnant and was faced with the choice of adoption or parenting on the same day she learned she was going to be a mother.
Meant for Us
Once Katie’s flight landed, she found out the rental car facility had closed early, and being in a small town, there were no other options. She was determined to get to our daughter that night, so she called a Lyft and took the 2.5-hour ride to an even smaller town. From the time that Katie got the call to landing, an attorney had been hired and already met with the birthmother and the hospital. When Katie arrived at the hospital, the entire staff already knew her by name and was anticipating her arrival. She was brought upstairs, and the nurse opened the doors to the nursery and handed Katie our daughter, Aria, for the first time. Aria was perfect from the first moment we laid eyes on her. There was an immediate love, and we knew she was meant for us.
The following afternoon, we met Aria’s birthmother and her biological grandmother. Aria’s birthmother had chosen not to meet or hold her after birth, but her mom felt it was important that before leaving the hospital, she would at least have the opportunity to meet her daughter. They were both so gracious and loving toward Aria, Katie and Andrew. They loved that we were an interracial couple, had strong careers, and were an active couple. After Aria’s birthmother held her, her biological grandmother chose to hold her also, and Katie could see the love radiating from her to Aria.
The Support Around Us
Andrew arrived the afternoon after Katie, and we spent the next two days loving on Aria in the hospital. Her delivery had been fast and easy, so we were discharged only two days after she was born. Our attorney was wonderful at getting us out quickly, and we were grateful for her adoption knowledge. The hospital we were at hadn’t had much experience with positive adoptions, and they continued to put up roadblocks for us.
The state that Aria was born in required us to go before a judge before we could return home, and our original court date was set for three weeks from when we left the hospital. We knew there was no way we wanted to be away from home for that long, so our attorney was able to find us a much smaller country with a judge willing to squeeze us in the following day.
When we arrived at court the following morning, Katie was so nervous that something might go wrong or that we might say the wrong thing. At the time, Andrew was in law school and continued to reassure her that it would be fine. While waiting in the courtroom for our turn, the judge noticed us in the corner with tiny Aria and asked if we were their adoption case. Our attorney said yes, and she rearranged her entire day so we were next on her docket instead of waiting the entire day! We were so grateful she took care of us and allowed us to start our drive home even sooner than expected.
Filled With Love
While we were gone, our families made coming home with Aria so much easier! Katie’s brother prepared Aria’s entire nursery, and his wife cleaned and prepped our home from top to bottom. Our families immediately wrapped Aria up in their love, and her cousins were her immediate protectors.
After returning home, we stayed in close contact with Aria’s biological grandmother and birthmother. She shared with us photos of Aria’s birthmother when she was younger, and it was amazing to see how much the two looked alike. We updated a shared drive with photos, and we send emails back and forth updating each other about our lives quarterly. Aria’s birthmother has since sent us the sweetest scrapbook she made that we read to Aria regularly so she will forever know her story, what an amazing woman her birthmother is, and how truly blessed we all are to have Aria in our lives.