How it all began...

The Journey Begins

As a same-sex couple, we knew early in our relationship that our path to motherhood would have to be done in an “alternative” way. Kiki had dreamed of adoption since she was young, despite the daunting stories we’d heard. It was our conversation with Angel Adoption that shifted our fears to confidence, assuring us that adoption was our destined path to parenthood. When we shared the news with our friends and family, everyone was over the moon to support us on our journey!

Waiting for the Right One

Not long after joining Angel’s program, our profile was chosen by an expectant mother for the first time. It was surreal how quickly it was happening. During that first opportunity, we tried to reach out to her about once a week, but the communication was very on and off. It eventually led to the expectant mother stopping communication altogether with both us and Angel.

After that first opportunity, a woman reached out to us via our personal Facebook page. She claimed to represent an agency and had an adoption opportunity for us. It all felt sketchy from the beginning. After doing some digging, we found this woman was not at all associated with any agency and was attempting to scam us. We are grateful we were on high alert and didn’t send her any money or our home study as she had requested.

We spent about a year waiting for our next opportunity. We did our best to stay busy by working on house projects and trying not to obsess over the wait. Our patience paid off when another expectant mother reached out to us directly, this time through our home study agency’s website. She shared with us her back story and that she was early in her pregnancy. We were being extra careful after the Facebook scam, so we got in touch with Angel immediately and their birthmother coordinators spoke with her before we did.

After that, we spoke with her every single day until our daughter was born. She lived about six hours from us. She had other children and had placed another child for adoption a few years prior. We were able to FaceTime into every doctor appointment that she had and felt looped in through her entire pregnancy. The expectant mother’s boyfriend was also involved in the adoption process and we got to chat with him during those months as well.

Throughout her pregnancy, it felt as though she was treating it more like a surrogacy than an adoption. She spent those six months telling us that it was our baby and our pregnancy. While she never waivered, everyone around us was trying to protect us by reminding us that things could always change.

Meeting Rylee

The expectant mother was due just after the start of the new year; however, we knew she would deliver early based on her past pregnancies. We all continued to press the doctor for an induction date and he wouldn’t provide one. It was really important to all of us that we were present for the birth, so the expectant mother spoke up about how important her birth plan was and that we needed to accommodate drive time. We were finally given an induction day — the week of Christmas! We were so excited about the possibility of spending our first Christmas as a family of three, together.

We drove out the day before the scheduled induction. We knew we wanted our own support system to help while we were at the hospital and settling in, so Del’s mom and sister came with us. At the hospital the following evening, we met the expectant mother, her two youngest children, her oldest daughter, and the expectant father, who joined us. As we all settled in at the hospital, the staff started the expectant mother on her induction medications and we took turns napping and waiting. It was a slow process, and it seemed as though every time we tried to take a break and grab a bite to eat, something big happened.

Our daughter, Rylee, finally arrived. We were so grateful that the expectant mother had given us permission to be in the delivery room with her. Del was able to cut the umbilical cord. We knew it would be an emotional experience, but we never could have imagined how overcome we would feel.

Building New Bonds

We had discussed having Rylee in our own room during the recovery period, but that communication was lost during the nurse changeover, and she was placed in the nursery. We waited for her for about one hour before she was finally brought to us and we were able to hold her for the first time. Our hearts were bursting with joy and love for our daughter and our new family.

While at the hospital, we continued to check in and spend time with Rylee’s birthmother and biological sister. They both had an opportunity to hold her and we took a number of photos together. We knew how fleeting these moments were and we wanted to cherish them.

We were discharged from the hospital two days after Rylee was born and spent our first Christmas as a family of three at our Airbnb. Kiki’s boss was so kind and sent us a full Christmas spread for dinner and we purchased ourselves a mini Christmas tree to celebrate. The ICPC process took longer than usual, but we expected that, given the holiday. When we were finally able to head home, we made the six-hour drive together as a family.

The Biggest Love

We agreed to an open adoption with Rylee’s birth family and have truly enjoyed the communication we’ve had with them thus far. We upload photos for her birthmother to see and we even send photos directly to her oldest biological sister. Rylee’s biological grandmother crocheted Rylee a blanket and outfit and we felt so honored that she gifted those items to us. The love that surrounds Rylee extends well beyond us and our families — it’s clear how much her biological family loves her as well.