How it all began...

Finding Our Way to Adoption

We always knew we wanted children, and after we were married, we started trying for a family. After finding no success naturally, we moved onto testing and found out the only way we would be able to have biological children was through IVF. We went through four failed rounds of IVF before deciding to stop pursuing treatment. At the time, we were exhausted and took a one and a half year break from all things family planning. We focused on ourselves and our grief, and when we were ready, we chose to move forward with adoption.

We found Angel through online research, and after just our first conversation with them, we felt at peace. They were so comforting, and we could not wait to move forward. Our friends and family were behind us 100% as well. They had seen our struggles over the previous years and were excited for us to grow our family.

An Unexpected Distraction

We started our adoption journey just before the COVID pandemic, so we realized very quickly that parts of our adoption process might take longer than normal. For example, our home study took significantly longer due to shutdowns and our inability to meet with our social worker. We also shifted to working from home full-time, which was an adjustment. With the major life changes happening, the constant news cycle, and trying to complete parts of our home study, we didn’t even realize we had waited one full year before our profile was selected.

Exactly one year into waiting, we got the call that our profile had been selected. Pam received a voicemail from Angel and interrupted Ian at work so that we could call them back together. We learned a little bit about the expectant mother and immediately said yes to the opportunity.

We started by texting with the expectant mother as that was her preference. As we got to know each other, we found out she had two young sons at home, and she knew she was unable to parent a third child. The expectant mother was great at keeping us updated after each doctor’s appointment, which helped us feel included when we couldn’t be there with her. The expectant mother had been diagnosed with a condition that affected her liver and gallbladder, and due to this, she was likely to deliver early. To mitigate risks, her doctors set an induction date.

The Most Honorable Relationship

The expectant mother happened to be delivering in a city where Ian’s dad owns a house, so when we flew in for her delivery, we felt right at home. We had hoped to meet with the expectant mother before her delivery, but we were unable to.

The morning of her induction, we picked her up from her house and spent the drive chatting. We were excited and anxious, but at the same time, we felt calm. The expectant mother had asked that we be with her during her labor, which ended up being 24 full hours. When it was time to start pushing, Ian stepped out of the room at her request, and Pam stayed as her support person. While her labor was long, delivery was fast, and our daughter, Sutton Grace, was born surrounded by the love of her biological mother and adoptive mother. Pam was able to cut the cord, and while the nurses cleaned Sutton, she turned her attention to Sutton’s birthmother to make sure she had the support she needed.

When it was time for Ian to meet our daughter, he was overcome with emotion and couldn’t believe she was ours.

Sutton’s birthmother had been honest with us her entire pregnancy and delivery and had expressed her desire to have Sutton spend the first night with her. While it was difficult to leave the hospital that night, we respected what the birthmother wanted and trusted her decision. That evening she texted us letting us know how Sutton was doing and that she was looking forward to us coming back in the morning. We know this decision could have struck fear in us, but we trusted Sutton’s birthmother knew what she needed. The following day, we returned to the hospital, and Sutton’s birthmother chose to have her go to the nursery, where we were able to spend the day with her.

When Sutton was approved to be discharged from the hospital, we were ready for an extended stay in her birth state and were hoping to visit with her birthmother before we left. Unfortunately, we were unable to, but lucky for us, our clearances came sooner than expected and we were able to head home after only one week of waiting!

A Perfect Journey

Since Sutton’s birth, we have remained in contact with her birthmother mainly through texting. We love sharing photos and milestone updates with her. Her birthmother has also made tremendous strides in finishing her schooling and being hired full-time by the company she was interning with. We are so proud of her and brag on her to Sutton often.

We are grateful our adoption journey was a fairly smooth one. When we compare it to our infertility journey and IVF, adoption was a much easier process for us. We believe adoption was easier for us because our expectations were set early and we were more prepared for the process. We knew we were going to have to check boxes as we went, and we were emotionally prepared. We are thankful each day for our sweet Sutton and the courageous choice her birthmother made. Our family of three is perfect in every way imaginable, and we would not be here without adoption.