How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt?
We had gone through infertility for seven years. We had a lot of hardships with it and we lost five children. When the fifth one did not pan out it emotionally broke me. Luckily my husband had gotten over his concerns with adoption. He was not pro-adoption for quite a while, but he couldn’t handle seeing me go through anything more physically or emotionally.
What made you choose Angel Adoption?
We spent five months doing some research. My husband had actually spoken to a coworker who had gone through Angel and had a positive experience. We looked at private adoption and then Angel came about. When you Google “adoption,” Angel is one of the first things that comes up. A couple of people recommended more personal stuff, like doing your own marketing, going to places in the community, etc., but we’re in education and we didn't want to go that route for personal reasons. In the end, we determined Angel was the best fit for us.
What were some of the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
It is a challenge to start just in the fact of putting a profile together. When you are trying to paint yourself in the most positive light it’s emotionally draining. Waiting to determine if someone is going to pick you and questioning whether or not you have the right pictures and the right information. It’s an emotional rollercoaster.
What were you most nervous about?
We were picked immediately, but it did not pan out. Once that happens, you start to get nervous. Did I do something wrong? Did I say something wrong? Why didn’t it work out? There are many reasons why someone might think they are going to place their child for adoption but then change their mind. Our expectant mother was the fourth contact that we had. Three of them didn't work out. It’s exciting when you get that call and your profile was chosen and somebody wants to talk to you. But then if that doesn’t pan out it’s very challenging emotionally.
What were you most excited about?
The prospect that something would finally happen. That I would finally have a child. You see a lot of success stories. I know a lot of people that were adopted and who have adopted. We work in education and I have students with adopted parents. I knew in my mind no matter how much I struggled when people weren’t picking us that bottom line - there would be a baby.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption - and how did you make that decision?
We have an open adoption. It’s more and more prevalent that agencies and social workers are going to encourage what’s best for the child. And what’s best for the child is an open adoption, where you can communicate and find out things. We’re having our son assessed for some possible speech development issues and it was important that I got some background regarding any issues she may have had. She has four other children who are siblings to my son. It’s very valuable to be able to have that communication and for her to be able to answer those questions for me.
What was it like meeting the birthmother?
The January before my son was born, we flew out to Texas where she lives. We took her out and spent the entire weekend with her. We got to know her, talked and picked names together. We had names that we were looking at and we included her in the conversation. It was a good experience to have.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet him/her:
Our birthmother had some medical issues that prompted her to be in the hospital frequently towards the end of the pregnancy. The morning before our son was born she took herself to the hospital because of severe back pain. We were ready to leave and could have been there for the delivery but she was only one centimeter dilated. It was a 24-hour drive for us, so we kept asking her “Do you think it’s time?” By 8pm that night we got a call from her that she was now four centimeters and she was going to deliver. At that point it was utter chaos. We had most of our stuff packed in the RV in anticipation of needing to go quickly. We were in our pajamas getting ready to jump into bed, then we were running around and making sure we had clothes and all those last things. We were on the road to Texas by 9:30pm. It was exciting but at the same time it was utter chaos.
Describe the feeling of finally meeting your baby:
Very surreal. Until those papers are signed and the baby is in the car, you still have nerves and doubts. There is still apprehension. You’re thinking, “Is this really happening? Is something going to go wrong?” You are nervous about the waiting period of the birthparents signing off their rights. It was exciting and I had lots of emotions. It was also challenging because the birthmother was in the room. It was challenging to express everything I was feeling because you have another person that’s not feeling the same way. There is somebody who is hurting. It was a bit uncomfortable for a lot of reasons. I think I was more nervous because...I’m now a mom!
What is your relationship like with the birthmother?
We still communicate with our son's birthmother. It’s primarily through Facebook.
Would you adopt again?
I would love for my son to have a sibling, but I don’t know emotionally if I could do it all again.
What is something you would like to share with other adoptive parents?
You have to keep in mind there will be a positive end result, no matter what the ups and downs because there’s going to be loads of them. Even though we think very highly of our son’s birthmother, she knew she would not have been able to give him the life that we’ve given him. It’s worth every struggle because I know I will give him the best life ever.