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How it all began...

All In

After some infertility struggles, we knew adoption was our best option. It felt right to invest wholeheartedly in the adoption process. We were physically and emotionally exhausted. We were ready to put all our eggs into the adoption basket!

We knew Angel was the right fit for us because our values aligned. A lot of local agencies seemed to have strict requirements for adoptive parents. Angel was inclusive and supportive from the beginning. We were excited to get started! Coming from government work, we were prepared for the paperwork and home study process. It didn’t hinder our excitement at all. We enjoyed bonding over the home study training assignments and would talk about the hypothetical future together.

When our first expectant mother opportunity didn’t work out, we felt incredibly supported by Angel. It was hard not to reflect on our conversations with her and wonder what we did wrong. Ultimately, we could not fault a mother for wanting to raise her own child. Knowing she had followed her heart brought us reassurance that our baby was still out there. We processed our emotions and jumped right back on the horse to get our profile out there.

A few months later, we were presented with a new opportunity. It felt different from our first conversation with the other expectant mother. It reassured us we had done nothing wrong the first time around. It was just meant to work out that way. Everything was leading us to our little boy.

Back on the Horse

After our first text exchange, we didn’t hear from the expectant mother for a couple of days. We started to worry again that we came off the wrong way! It’s difficult to let go of that control and expectation of yourself to be perfect. All we could do was be ourselves and leave the ball in her court. Thankfully she reached back out to let us know she wanted to move forward with us! She chose us out of all the other families. We felt so honored.

She was due soon, so we hired legal services right away. Everything about this connection felt more positive than the first one, from the attorney’s support to our connection with the expectant mother. We supported her in every way possible. We talked about our families and our future. We wanted her to have a sense of what her son’s life would be like. She even asked us what we wanted to name him.

We were within driving distance to her, so we made plans to visit in person before her due date. We went out to lunch and solidified our connection. We could not have prepared for what happened next. We returned home after meeting in person and got a call two days later that she was in labor! Our baby boy decided to come two weeks early!

Going with the Flow

After some last-minute scrambling, we were back on the road. We had so many questions about the hospital’s protocols but ultimately had to let go of our expectations and go with the flow. We knew it would all work out how it was meant to. An hour and a half after arriving at the hospital, Lesley was in the delivery room with the expectant mother.

What an amazing experience. Lesley held her hand and supported her through the delivery. The expectant mother did not want to see the baby after he was born. Lesley reassured her it was okay and it didn’t mean she didn’t love him. It was emotional for everyone, but we were just grateful to be there for the expectant mother.

Falling in Love

Lesley watched James meet our son for the first time. It’s a memory we will both cherish forever. We fell in love with him instantly. He was absolutely perfect. The hospital staff was so supportive of the adoption plans. They treated us all with grace and dignity. We left after two nights and spent the next couple of weeks in an Airbnb. That time together was special, and we’ll always remember it fondly.

Since Ethan’s birth, his birthmother has kept in touch with us sparingly. She initially wanted a closed adoption, so we just left the door open for her to reach out when she’s ready. We upload pictures of Ethan to a private space where she can see them if she wants to. We are hopeful for the future and wish nothing but the best for her.

Letting Go

With fertility treatments, you feel more in control with what you’re doing. It’s your body and your actions. With adoption, you have to relinquish that control. You can only do so much, and the rest is out of your hands. Lean on your support system during the process: family, friends, other adoptive parents, and your professional adoption team. Have faith that it will work out exactly how it's meant to. When an opportunity doesn’t work out, believe in your heart that it’s a step in the right direction.

Take care of the expectant mother that has chosen you. Without her, none of this would be possible. Trust her decisions no matter what, and humble yourself along the way. Allow your heart to open, and fall in love with your baby before they arrive. It will hurt if it doesn’t work out, but when it does work out, it will feel like a missing puzzle piece that finally fits perfectly.