How It All Began...
Knowing Adoption was for Us
Before I, Mandi, met Rob, I knew I always wanted to adopt and was looking to start the process on my own. Then I met Rob and we both knew that adoption was near and dear to our hearts. Rob does mission work as well as mentors younger children. Although he already had biological children from a previous marriage, he always knew when he met Mandi that adopting was the answer for them. Through Rob’s mission work, we found that several children needed parental figures in their life. This was a major driving force for us when choosing adoption.
Conducting our Adoption Research
When we were ready to take the next step in our relationship of expanding our family, we started to look at different adoption agencies. Since I did not have any kids of my own, it was important for me to experience the entire process of becoming a mother. So we narrowed our search to agencies who specifically worked with infants. We started talking with different agencies when we found out that most of them had a marriage requirement. Knowing that we have only been together for a few years, it was looking like we were going to have to put off our adoption journey until we met those requirements.
Not wanting to wait, Rob continued his research. As we continued to talk with other agencies, we found that some of them would not accept you into their program if your viewpoints did not match up. We are strong in our Christain faith, but we knew when agencies did not support single parents or same-sex couples, they were not the agencies for us.
One day, we came across Angel Adoption. From the minute we started talking with them, we felt like we were home. There was no judgement of our beliefs and no marriage requirements. Knowing how much we wanted to build our family through adoption, they supported us throughout our entire adoption journey.
Hearts Torn in Different Directions
Unlike some other families, our adoption process moved rather quickly. Once our home study was completed, a few months passed before an expectant mother chose us for the first time. As we started talking with her, we found out that she was choosing between us and two other families. It was a nerve-wracking situation because in the back of our heads we knew there was a chance she would not choose us.
We put those thoughts aside and continued having conversations with her. Still not knowing what her decision was, she all of a sudden stopped replying to us. Fear crept into the back of our minds as we knew she decided to go in a different direction. Our stomachs sank. The hard part about adoption is the unknown. Not knowing how many expectant mothers you will talk to, not knowing how long your process will take, and not knowing why someone did not choose you.
While this was happening, a different expectant mother reached out and wanted to move forward with us. As most people would be happy in this situation, our gut was telling us otherwise. This expectant mother wanted to have a closed adoption, meaning there would be no communication with her throughout this process nor after the placement. It was so important to us to have an open adoption because we wanted to be a part of the entire journey, including everything after placement.
Just as our minds were racing about what we wanted to do, we were presented with a deadline. We had to let Angel know if we were going to move forward with this expectant mother by that afternoon. At this point, we also found out the connection between our original expectant mother and the other adoptive parents she chose fell through, and she wanted to move forward with us.
We were filled with the stress of making this decision, but we eventually found it best to move forward with our original expectant mother. We had chemistry with her and what we were looking for in adoption matched up with what she wanted out of her journey. We picked up our conversation with her where we left off and everything seemed to come naturally. We had weekly Facetime calls, texting daily with updates, received ultrasound pictures, and had many light-hearted conversations.
Building our Rich Relationship
As the weeks progressed, we grew extremely close with her. We felt comfort within her as she lived in our neighboring state. We set up a visit with her when I went to visit my parents. Rob was unfortunately not able to come due to a work responsibility. We gathered around a table, engaging in conversation as well as Facetimed Rob. Meeting with her in person pushed all the fears of her possibly wanting to parent out the window. Our connection grew with her and she became a part of our family.
We were lucky enough to know she was going to be induced. This allowed us to better prepare and fully plan for our son’s arrival. A week before her induction date, her doctor called her and said she needed to be induced that night. Our minds were racing, but we gathered our belongings and made the three-hour trip through the night.
Welcoming our Beautiful Son
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were unable to stay at the hospital while our expectant mother was in labor. Luckily, her close friend was giving us updates as we were driving. After only an hour of labor, our beautiful, precious son was born. We were not expecting the labor to go so fast!
When we arrived at the hospital the next day, we were in a negative-pressure room because of Covid-19. We were so anxious about meeting our son, but as they wheeled our little Murphy into our room, all of the anxiety and fears just melted away.
Going through adoption, you experience a lot of fear about the ‘what if’s.’ You think because you did not carry your child for nine months, there may not be a connection of instant love. We are here to tell you that the moment they place your little baby in your arms, all those fears are gone. Your heart grows even further than you thought it could, and your parental instincts kick in right away. We never knew you could experience so much love for such a tiny, little human. We are so grateful for experiencing this with our birthmother.
This is Your Journey
Throughout this process, we gained so much insight. We developed such a warm, rich relationship with our birthmother, allowing this journey to be more than we could have ever imagined. We have gained not only one, but two new family members and we could not be more grateful. Since we chose to pursue an open adoption, we’re able to keep growing our relationship with our birthmother and we’ll be able to provide answers for Murphy in the future about his birth family.
During this process, we also dealt with hardships. One such hardship was experiencing bias while at the hospital during Murphy’s delivery. We want you to know that we live in a world where everyone has different viewpoints. A world where not everyone is going to agree with the decisions you make. So do your research and push forward. Push the negativity away and push aside all your preconceived notions of what a ‘perfect’ adoption process should look like. This is your journey and know that your birthmother is doing a true act of love. She is providing you with your greatest gift, allowing you to grow your family. Know that all the hardships will be worth it. Without the hardships we went through, we would not have our precious Murphy.