How it All Began...
How did you decide to adopt a baby?
When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 20 years old I had to have a hysterectomy, which took away my dreams of having babies. God has always placed a desire in my heart to adopt and now that path was clear. Both my husband and I were incredibly at peace with this decision and knew it’s how our family would grow. We were hopeful!
Why did you choose to work with Angel Adoption?
I had a friend who knew somebody who knew somebody who went through Angel. I looked into the program and felt it was the right place to go. I went with my initial instinct…mother’s intuition I guess!
What were you most excited about?
Easy—becoming parents! We loved knowing that God would place us with the exact baby he created just for us. It was a very sacred and wonderful journey. The process is a bit out of our control and sometimes we found great peace in having to fully trust in God’s plan.
What were you most nervous about?
Becoming parents! It was our first journey with adoption and becoming parents and that’s scary no matter how you grow your family. Like many first-timers, we had the typical nerves and anxiety of being responsible for new life. We were probably most nervous about the process. You so often hear adoption horror stories, and you don’t hear the JOYS of the adoption journey and there are so many! It’s a beautiful path to take and we wouldn’t change a thing! We had to be intentional about NOT getting consumed by all the what-ifs and misconceptions of adoption.
What was it like meeting the birthmother for the first time?
We met our birthmom the day after she gave birth. We were both (especially me!) extremely nervous about meeting her. We walked into her hospital room, I hugged her and immediately sobbed. She was so young and sweet. I fell in love with her and my heart ached for her loss and hurt. She was instantly the most beautiful and courageous young woman I’ve ever met. I felt a love, a bond, and protection over her. We didn’t say much. Words wouldn’t have done the experience justice.
Did you choose an open or closed adoption? How did you make that decision?
We chose to have an open adoption. Initially, like many others, we were worried about the “openness” and what that means. We thought we wanted closed. As the journey progressed and we spoke with our birthmom, we realized how selfish and foolish we were to think we wanted a closed adoption. This is my greatest take-a-way from our experience. We had to look beyond ourselves and our insecurities. Having a relationship with our birthmom is inviting someone else into our daughter’s life to love her and support her. How could we not want that for our little girl? One of our greatest prayers is that our Meilah would grow up to know the strength and beauty of her birthmom. I am so grateful to know the birthmom. I can’t imagine not having her in our life. She’s become someone we talk about, pray for, and love deeply.
Describe receiving the call that your baby was being born and traveling to meet her.
Best day ever! It was pure joy, excitement, nerves, everything. Of course I just wanted to get that baby—MY baby—in my arms. Like most parents, we prayed for a safe delivery for mom and baby. We could not get in the car fast enough to make the trip. The car ride was the longest car ride of my life. It was a very precious and sweet moment for us.
Describe the experience of finally meeting your baby.
All I could do was cry in my husband’s arms. I was overcome with emotion in that moment and couldn’t speak. I just soaked up the total joy I felt. But I couldn’t help but hurt for the birthmom. While this was the greatest moment of our life, I knew it was one of the hardest for the other young woman in the room. Many mixed emotions. When I finally was able to pick up our baby, she was instantly mine. There was no question about it—this baby was created just for us. We were so darn smitten by her. She was beautiful and the most perfect thing I’d ever seen. She is our greatest earthly blessing. I wouldn’t have wanted to get her any other way.
What were the biggest challenges of the adoption process?
For me it was the home study process. It did not bring out a good side of me! I struggled with anger and resentment over the process. I felt it was intrusive and it angered me feeling like we had to continually prove we would be decent parents. I was angry that others could just have a baby and we had to go through all of this! It just wasn’t fair. I know this is common. It sounds awful, but it’s honest.
Adopting a baby can be a lengthy process - how did you get through the wait?
I worried about the adoption wait, but we were so blessed to have it go very quickly. It took a few months to complete the tedious home study, but once that was completed and we were signed up with Angel, it was only a matter of weeks until we got the call about an expectant mother. Still, it was hard. I spent many days praying and journaling. Daily I gave it to God and trusted His perfect plan. I tried to stay occupied with other things and didn’t allow myself to buy baby things or make a nursery. As tempting as that was, I know for me personally, it would have hurt to do so. Once we got the call that we were chosen, the baby was due in a few short weeks. What a fun, wild whirlwind that was.
Would you adopt again? Why or why not?
Absolutely! We plan to start the adoption before year’s end—with Angel of course!!!
What advice do you have to share with other adoptive parents?
All I can say is try to enjoy the journey. It’s not easy at all. It’s incredibly emotional, full of highs and lows. I suffered silently much of the time, not wanting people to know I was hurting. Invite them in and accept the support. I now feel very special that God chose me and my husband to have the privilege of adoption. It’s a unique and deeply moving lifelong experience. Don’t take that lightly. We found all our strength and hope knowing God’s got it. Don’t try to make things happen, allow it to play out how it’s supposed to. It might be a long road but it’s so worth it. Worth the wait and weight of it all.